The Friendship Place in Rome has been my fav hostel (and Ive stayed at my fair share) its clean, and the staff rocks. The owner, Francesco, told us everyplace that we should go, invited us out for drinks, and as far as I could tell, spoke every language under the sun. He also made an awesome italian dish for everyone to eat for free.
Then, 3 MONTHS later I returned to Rome (I was staying at a hotel cuase my Mom didnt want to do the hostel thing) and I saw Francesco on the street and he recognized me by sight, greeted me warmly etc. Nice, huh?
its not a party hostel though.
anyways you can find it at hostels.com