I slept in a sculpture in Rome for $100 a night and it was the coolest accommodation I've ever booked



The author outside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Insider's reporter slept inside a sculpture she found on Airbnb near Rome.

  • 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.

The author outside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
The author stands on the patio outside of the Airbnb in October 2022.

Source: Airbnb

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.

The author outside of the train to Rome and in front of the colosseum
The author travels to Rome by train (L) and visits the Colosseum in October 2022.

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.

The inside and outside of the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Photos the author took inside (L) and outside (R) of the Airbnb.

Source: Airbnb

In the listing, the Airbnb was described by the host as a livable sculpture, located on the roof of the villa where he lives.

The outside of the livable sculpture
The outside of the livable sculpture.

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.

The outside of the livable art sculpture
Pillars on the outside of the structure.

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.

General view of the english artist Tony Cragg's exhibition "Transfer" preview at Museo Novecento on September 21, 2022 in Florence, Italy.
Tony Cragg's exhibition "Transfer" preview at Museo Novecento on September 21, 2022 in Florence, Italy.

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.

Inside the Airbnb's kitchen (L) and bathroom (R).
Inside the Airbnb's kitchen (L) and bathroom (R).

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.

The top of the Airbnb in Rome
A view of the ceiling inside the Airbnb.

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.

The street outside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
The street outside of the Airbnb.

 

 

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.

A view from the balcony outside the author's Airbnb in Rome
A view of the backyard from the Airbnb's balcony.

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.

A face on the outside of the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
A face on the sculpture's facade.

Across from the face in the yard outside of the villa, I saw another cluster of tiles in the shape of a tree.

A tree on the outside of the livable art sculpture Airbnb in Rome
A tree made of tiles in the yard of the Airbnb.

To access the Airbnb, I carefully walked up a steep staircase to reach its front door.

The entrance to the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Stairs lead up to the Airbnb.

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.

The keys and door leading up to the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Keys (L) to the door leading inside the Airbnb.

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.

The inside of the author's livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
The main room inside the Airbnb.

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.

Tile flooring inside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
The floor tiling inside the Airbnb.

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 inside the author's Airbnb in Rome
The kitchen inside the Airbnb.

The kitchen was equipped with a mini fridge, coffee, dishes, and cooking supplies from olive oil to garlic and spices.

The kitchen details inside the livable sculpture airbnb in Rome
Kitchen details inside the Airbnb.

I thought the one bedroom was modestly sized with a full bed and curtains to cover up the windows looking out into the kitchen.

The bedroom inside the author's Airbnb in Rome
The Airbnb's bedroom.

I had a dresser and a clothing rack in there, too, so I unpacked and settled in.

Bedroom dresser and clothing rack in the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Clothing storage in the Airbnb's bedroom.

Next to the bedroom, I thought the bathroom was cozy with storage spaces and some amenities, including a bidet and a hair dryer.

The bathroom in the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
A look inside the bathroom.

The same tiling from outside and the living area continued into the shower, which I thought was snug but beautifully unique.

The shower inside of the livable sculpture airbnb in Rome
The shower inside the Airbnb's bathroom.

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.

A window inside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
A peak out one window in the Airbnb.

The largest portion of the Airbnb was the partially-covered patio balcony outside that overlooked the backyard of the host's home.

The sun sets on the patio at the author's Airbnb in Rome
A view from the Airbnb's patio.

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.

The outside of the author's livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
A table and lounging chairs on the Airbnb's patio.

Lights lit up the patio as the sun went down and I lounged out there into the night, as well.

The outside of the author's livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
Lights on the Airbnb's patio.

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.

The author inside the livable sculpture airbnb in Rome
The author wakes up and makes coffee.

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.

The fluffy, big dog outside the livable sculpture Airbnb in Rome
The friendly dog at the Airbnb gets some pets from the author's partner.

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.

Pasta made inside the livable sculpture airbnb in Rome
Fresh pasta the author cooked in the Airbnb.

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.

The author unwinds at the Airbnb
The author unwinds at the Airbnb.

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.

The author on the patio outside of the Airbnb
The author enjoys the patio at the Airbnb,

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.

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