Rome, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- The Marco Polo hotel, a stone’s throw from the main Termini train station in central Rome, has remained open to guests despite the lack of tourists by offering rooms to those in need, who simply pay what they can afford.
Diego D’Amario, who manages the family-run hotel with his brother Lorenzo, tells Efe that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy forced them to decide what to do with the Marco Polo. To them, it was clear: “We came up with a solution that could help those who are facing the most difficulties.”
The brothers are volunteers with the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio association, which has helped the hoteliers with the initiative. Currently, around 18 people are staying at the hotel, each paying whatever they can.
“Some receive aid and can pay for their stay, although they have difficulties buying food and receive food packages from the Community of Sant’Egidio,” Diego tells Efe. Others have the cost of their rooms fully covered by donations, he adds.
One of the guests at the hotel is Luciano, 70, who found himself living on the street after the pandemic forced him to close down his bar, a situation aggravated by his gambling addiction.
“I’m really happy. Luckily there is a hotel that looks after people in difficult situations like myself,” he says. EFE-EPA