The hostel that I booked was named Sweet Hostel, a few minutes’ walk from Rovereto station on the red line of Milan metro. The hostel is located in a sort-of residential building. The bottom floor is an “entertainment” house (this was according to the hostel owner, he even showed me the website–and it is perfectly legal in Italy), the next floor is the hostel, and the top floor is the Milan governor’s residence whereas the other room is a piano teacher’s. It’s quite a strange mix, wouldn’t you say?
When I arrived around 9:30 in the evening, Bob (the owner) introduced me to the staff and guests loitering in the lobby. He offered me the wine and pizza that they were eating. They were listening to some music while eating and chatting. For some reason, they just felt like dancing right there in the lobby, first to Shakira’s waka waka, then to salsa and then to some folk song. They were really having fun!
To escape the dancing, I decided to take a shower. But while I was inside, one of the guests knocked on the bathroom door and told me they were going out for gelato (Italian ice cream) and that they could wait for me if i wanted to come with them. Of course I couldn’t pass up on a gelato festa! Bob, the owner, was with us (he was the master mind, actually). Unfortunately, when we arrived at the gelato shop, it was already closed! I was so set on gelato, I got really disappointed. And so did the other guests. So to make up for the closed gelato shop, Bob treated us to the only available dessert store: a kebab house! The kebab shop has arroz con leche (rice with creamy skimmed milk) and some cake that I can’t distinguish (it was sweet and that was all I cared about). I was amazed that the hostel owner treated his guests for dessert, suweeet! Bob said it was his birthday the next day, so they started planning for a gelato festa (I checked out the next day so I don’t know if their plans pushed through).
When we returned to the hostel, Bob mixed some cocktails for us and told us that he is selling all his hostels (he owns four hostels out of 21 in Milan) and is going to move to Thailand at the end of this year. He said he grew too tired of his life in Italy, so he bought an island in Thailand and is now developing a resort there. He also has a lot of stories about promiscuous and interesting guests. It was a very interesting night.
Of course, it was not at all perfect. There were only two bathrooms for the many guests of the hostel. The staff smoked inside the lobby, so my clothes reeked of smoke after since I stayed there for a long time to listen to Bob’s stories. The beds were fine, typical hostel beds (we were eight in a room) but there were no space for our stuff. But I was not a very picky customer. I can sleep anywhere, even sitting down in a bus or in an airport lounge. And it was the cheapest hostel I found in Milan, so I won’t complain much. Haha.
So I payed for a night’s stay at the Sweet Hostel, and I got free wine, dessert, cocktails, and good company in return… Not bad for 15 euros.