Built in an Italian Rationalist style, Albergo Italia sits on on a crossroads, is marked by rows of shuttered windows, and surrounds an old courtyard. Despite its location, the hotel’s design makes for quiet evenings. Inside, the look and feel is very Mediterranean villa, its cool marble interiors characterised by old paintings, ornate coving, and polished dark-wood furniture. A wonderful stay, it’s full of charm, suffers inconsistent supplies of hot water, and entirely lacks Wi-Fi.
Food & service
There are two main restaurants and a bar at Albergo Italia, the last of these frequented by local Asmarans, who come here to drink coffee and socialise. The food is local – to outsiders, not dissimilar to Ethiopian fare – and staff are extremely friendly. The alcoholic drinks list consists of a house white, house red and local lager. Please note that there is a charge for daily laundry service.
There are 12 rooms at Albergo Italia. A good size, each comes with a very comfortable double bed, a desk, a TV (local programmes only) and a small sitting area. The bathroom is basic but clean with a sink, bidet, flushing toilet and shower.
Exploring Asmara on foot is a must for guests. This may include visiting the National Museum of Eritrea, looking around the local markets, drinking at bars and cafés or simply walking around and admiring the architecture. Guests can also walk out of town easily enough to visit the camel markets. For a simpler schedule, the restaurants, bars and the square at Albergo Italia are a wonderful place to meet local people who frequent the hotel and its environs.