October 13, 2004
Reception is on the second floor, accessed by an ancient tenement lift or a staircase, as the ground and first floor are not parts of the hotel. As the hotel is on the busy Via Volturno, we were pleased our bedroom was around the back (I guess rooms at the front will be a bit noisy). On arriving, we were a little bit thrown as the receptionist spoke very little English, and we speak even less Italian (my recall of schoolboy Latin was not in the least bit helpful!). Hand gestures helped, and we got by.
The whole hotel was tired and in need of a good re-decoration, but it somehow had character. The breakfast room and communal lounge were full of interest, with interesting furniture and old pictures and photographs. Our bedroom can best be described as adequate, but we had no complaints about the cleanliness or the comfort. The bed was extremely comfortable. We were in a suite, but not all rooms were, and the bedroom next to us had a toilet off the corridor.
The view from our bedroom was over a courtyard, and a small veranda allowed me to watch over the neighbourhood with ease.
Breakfast was ample with a variety of croissants and rolls. There was no chance for extras, as the serving was delivered to the table, but there was a good supply of strong Italian coffee. These heightened caffeine levels would keep us going for the whole of the day.
We did find all of the staff very anxious to please, although, as I said, the language barrier was evident, and there was always a cheerful greeting when we saw them. It was possible to buy drinks from reception, and the odd ones we had did not seem to be extortionately priced
Overall, we were happy with the service at Hotel Bianca. It’s not posh, but it is more than adequate if you want to use it only as a base from which to explore. I reckon we’d use it again if we returned to Rome, and I certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed to recommend it to budget travellers.
From journal Roaming in Rome