Today we have a special guest post book review by our friend Moira Urich. If you like to travel and enjoy hanging with nuns and monks, this book may be for you!

Good Night and God Bless: A Guide to Convent & Monastery Accommodation in Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, ItalyGood Night and God Bless: A Guide to Convent & Monastery Accommodation in Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Italy
By Trish Clark

If you’re expecting hair shirts and barren cells, this book will surprise you with entries describing modern guestrooms, occasional three-star-hotel-caliber amenities, and even thermal spring health spas run by sisters in Austria. Readers seeking solely spiritual sanctuary can limit themselves to the Spiritual Retreat entries. But the vast majority of lodgings are categorized as Open Houses, meaning open to tourists looking for simple but good quality accommodations at lower cost.

For those who want to see photos before booking, most if not all of the convents and monasteries either have their own web presence or are featured on travel sites. Good Night & God Bless is a good bet whether it’s your sole source of travel information or it’s a valuable starting point for those wanting to find out more online (for instance, more detailed maps). The book also offers information not easily found–or simply not found–on other websites.

The entries routinely provide information about:

  • Contemplative or spiritual destinations in the vicinity, as well as pilgrimage sites
  • Notable artworks in or near your lodging
  • Off-the-beaten-path activities such as truffle-hunting excursions, outdoor markets, and day-long cooking classes
  • Shops that feature hand-crafted goods
  • Restaurants and cafes, in the Food and Drink section accompanying each entry

What other book about monastery lodgings would tell you where to find a great beer-bath spa in the Czech Republic? Or where to find an organic buffalo farm for tasting fresh Italian buffalo mozzarella? This book’s helpful tidbits of information, too numerable to categorize here, make it well worth your while.

Book review by Moira Urich