I slept in a sculpture in Rome for $100 a night and it was the coolest accommodation I've ever booked
Posted on November 5, 2022
I spent two nights in a livable art sculpture in Rome that I found on on Airbnb.
Connected to a larger home that is 20 minutes from the heart of Rome, it cost $200 for two nights.
I thought the sculpture was the most unique and beautiful accommodation I've ever stayed in.
I've traveled around the US, Europe, and Canada staying in various accommodations from tiny homes to luxury hotels. But none have been as memorable as the livable sculpture I found on Airbnb in Rome for $100 a night.
Read more: I spent $600 to spend a night in a 200-square-foot room in the most photographed hotel in the world. Take a look inside.
I stayed in the sculpture for two nights as part of a recent train trip through four European countries.
Airbnb is known for having unique and unconventional lodgings and I wanted to stay somewhere in Rome that would be more memorable than a typical hotel. I searched for unusual homes in the area and was immediately stunned by this gorgeous, colorful listing.
In the listing, the Airbnb was described by the host as a livable sculpture, located on the roof of the villa where he lives.
During my stay, my host, Alessandro, told me that he made the sculpture residence seven years ago using as many recycled materials as possible, from car windows and scrap wood to pieces of broken tiles.
Alessandro also told Insider his livable sculpture was inspired by one of artist Tony Cragg's cube sculptures full of holes. He said it made him think, "If I make it bigger and find a way to close the holes, it could become a house." So he set out to create one.
Alessandro bought his vision to life and the Airbnb comes with one bedroom, one bathroom, a large patio, and a kitchen and dining space with an open floor plan.
Before booking this Airbnb, I had never even heard of a sculpture home. I imagined it wouldn't be unlike sleeping in a giant piece of art with design elements on display from every angle, inside and out. Turns out, I was right.
To get to the Airbnb, it was a 20-minute drive from the train station in Rome's city center. From the home, I took cabs to and from the heart of the city, which cost about $15 each way.
When we arrived, the host greeted my partner and me. He gave us keys to open the gate to the Airbnb entrance and led us into a yard with a lush garden. There were glowing lanterns, a hammock, plenty of sitting areas, as well as a variety of plant life including bamboo and palm trees.
The entrance to the sculpture was in the yard on the side of the host's villa. I noticed colorful tiling on the outside of the villa in the shape of a face with plump lips.
Across from the face in the yard outside of the villa, I saw another cluster of tiles in the shape of a tree.
To access the Airbnb, I carefully walked up a steep staircase to reach its front door.
Inside were two more flights of stairs leading up to the Airbnb. The sculpture's entrance was identifiable by a tile tree on the door similar to the one I saw outside. Each door had a lock, so I felt safe during my stay.
I first entered the kitchen and dining area. I thought the Airbnb's organic shapes made it feel like an above-ground cave with countless windows.
I immediately noticed the vibrant flooring that the host told me he installed with broken tiles. It had the same color scheme as the artwork I spotted outside. I thought it made the sculpture look cohesive.
The kitchen and dining area felt large to me. Since I was staying in a sculpture, I thought it would be primarily made for art and expected to feel crammed, but there was enough open space for me to do yoga in the mornings.
The kitchen was equipped with a mini fridge, coffee, dishes, and cooking supplies from olive oil to garlic and spices.
I thought the one bedroom was modestly sized with a full bed and curtains to cover up the windows looking out into the kitchen.
I had a dresser and a clothing rack in there, too, so I unpacked and settled in.
Next to the bedroom, I thought the bathroom was cozy with storage spaces and some amenities, including a bidet and a hair dryer.
The same tiling from outside and the living area continued into the shower, which I thought was snug but beautifully unique.
Across from the bathroom, a window with reflecting tiles on the outside and a view of the trees in the backyard was interesting enough to stand alone as an art piece, in my opinion.
The largest portion of the Airbnb was the partially-covered patio balcony outside that overlooked the backyard of the host's home.
There were two sets of tables and chairs, as well as two lounge chairs on the patio. I relaxed and dined out here. I also thought about how cool it would be to host a small dinner party in this beautiful outdoor space.
Lights lit up the patio as the sun went down and I lounged out there into the night, as well.
In the mornings, I woke up with sunlight pouring in thanks to all the windows. I started my days with coffee and yoga before heading to the center of Rome.
On my way in and out of the Airbnb, I made friends with a big, fluffy, spotted dog who also lived on the property. I'd never met an Airbnb owner's pets and he was so sweet, so it was a welcome surprise.
For my last evening in the Airbnb, I cooked some fresh pasta I picked up during the day using the kitchen supplies. Being able to cook here made me feel more like I was at home.
I think this accommodation would be perfect for someone looking for a one-of-a-kind place to stay with artistic vibes in a quiet, peaceful location in Rome.
I relaxed on the patio for the last time before leaving. Feeling refreshed and recharged from this unique home, I wished I could stay for longer. But I was onto my next European adventure.
Read more: I glamped in a geodesic dome in the woods. It rained the whole time and was still one of the coolest places I've stayed.