I booked my stay at Residence Lodi about a week before any other reviews had been posted. After reading the reviews that were posted between booking and my actual travel dates I was a bit more than worried about what I was going to find.
I was pleasantly surprised when I actually arrived at the Residence. Contrary to what other reviewers experienced the business office at 45 Lodi was open and staff were present when I arrived. From what I was able to discern there are two ladies who deal with everything from front desk duties to changing sheets, Linda speaks quite a bit of english and the other (whose name I never did get) doesn't. I found Linda to be incredible helpful, not only at check-in but throughout my stay and at check-out. She provided me with a tourist map of Rome, a small card that had her cell phone number, the residence address and a smaller map of how to get to the residence and showed me how to get a hold of her through the residence intercom system. She also explained where the closest supermarket, fruit stand, pay phone were and what buses came into the area. Service way beyond what I had expected from the previous reviews.
Residence Lodi has rooms in 3 different buildings 35, 47 and 62. The picture that is in most of the advertising is of 62, the other two look to be a bit older and in a bit rougher shape. My room (946 in Lodi 47) was small, very clean and comfortable. Even though it was at the back of the courtyard it was very possible to hear the street noise when the windows were open - but very quiet with the windows closed. Of greater concern was the noise from the other residents coming from the courtyard. It took me a couple of days but I realized that if I closed the curtains and the bedroom door it reduced the noise from the building quite a bit. My travel agent had prepared me by letting me know that there was only maid service once a week. I arrived on a Wednesday and staff brought me new towels, and took the garbage away on Monday. After reading one of the previous reviews I brought my own towels (and dishsoap) and YES the towels are thin, but surprisingly absorbant! It was so hot while I was in Rome I was showering twice a day and I actually ended up preferring the hotel towels. I stayed 7 nights and only saw 4 bugs the entire time - 2 mosquitoes and 2 small spiders. The kitchenette is a two burner cooktop, a bar fridge and a sink and is sparcely equipped, mine had plates, bowls, cups, glasses, cutlery, a colander, a pot and a frying pan. I bought a cooking knife and a corkscrew and left them there, so you might find them too. If you are cooking I found that the grocery stores in the Termini were convenient and had pretty wll everything in one place. NECCI 1924 is the little restaurant on the corner of Via Pigneto and Via Fanfulla - great food and helpful staff. I didn't bring my computer so I don't know if the WiFI worked, but the TV and Air Conditioner did.
Pigneto may be up and coming but it is fairly distant from the touristy areas of Rome. I walked pretty well every where and figure I was averaging 15-20 kms a day. I never took a bus or metro, but I took taxis back to the residence twice, both times it was 13Euros from the Statzione Termini. Watch for taxi drivers - I had one who wanted to charge me 50Euros to drive me the 3kms from the Coliseum to Residence Lodi because it was "outside of the walls" (I walked). If you are walking you'll see a lot of garbage and litter, and more than once I saw men urinating against buildings. - don't step in puddle, they aren't always what you think they are.
All in all Residence Lodi is a good place to stay if you want to save money on your accommodations. It's liveable and clean, but no one is going to tell you that it's a "hidden gem" - you get what you pay for.
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