Architetto: Guilio Podesti (1857 - 1909)The Grand Hotel of Rome has recently been bought and refurbished by a multinational company which has named it the St. Regis Grand. Conceived by the renowned hotelier César Ritz at the suggestion of the then Italian Prime Minister, Marquis Rudinì, the Hotel was built in 1890 in the area bordered by the central Termini Station, Via XX Settembre and Piazza Esedra (now Piazza della Repubblica), in a[n] area of prime importance for urban planning. Here many different transport routes converge, consisting of the great flows of national and international traffic in and out of the Station, and the city's road traffic around Piazza della Repubblica. Added to these are the commercial activities of the Galleria Esedra (1953) and the comings and goings around the great historical and artistic centre, the Baths of Diocletian (298-306 A.D.) - the most imposing Roman baths of the city, whose grandiose scale was destined to influence the development of the district down to the present day. The housing block in which the prestigious hotel is situated had been furthermore at the centre of the earlier Papal town-planning. In 1586 Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) had the fountain of Moses erected here, and subsequently Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pius IX (1846-1878) promoted substantial modifications to the character and embellishment of the district. Until the middle of the 19th century, next to the large fountain there was the rusticated porch of the Villa dei Panzani (the Panzani family were the owners of the whole area around the fountain), next to which Clement XIV ordered the Fabbrica della Calancà (factory for Indian printed calico cloths) to be erected. This was then enlarged by Pius IX and restored in 1841, when the Hospice for the Deaf and Dumb was established there. Another impulse for the growth of the district was given when Rome was proclaimed capital of Italy in 1870, when, intensifying the urban development that was already under way, construction began on the principal administrative offices of the newly united Kingdom of Italy in the district around Via XX Settembre. The Hotel was thus built in one of the most vital centres of the ancient city that was now modernising, according to the plan of the architect Guilio Podesti, who was one of the leading figures in late 19th century Rome (some of whose most important buildings were the Policlinico Umberto I [the Umberto I Hospital] and the buildings around Piazza Vittorio, to name just a few). To build the Hotel, destined for the Roman élite of the period, the porch of the Panzani Villa was taken apart and the ancient Hospice demolished. The majestic façade is broken up by five rows of windows emphasised by massive cornices marking the division between the floors and by rusticated responds, creating a[n] overall effect that is severe and dignified. This effect is however moderated by the central block which protrudes and is made vibrant by the tympana and moulded cornices of the windows and by the elegant decorative plasterwork separating the openings on the top floor. The main entrance, on Via Vittoria Emanuele Orlando (previously named Via delle Terme - the Street of the Roman Baths) is dignified by its elegant porch, surmounted by a balustrade that has a sixteenth-century flavour, leading into a majestic entrance-hall. The designer showed himself to be in tune with the neo-Renaissance architectural taste of the principal public and private buildings of the period, while s[t]ill open to the most up-to-date technologies. The sober elegance of the exterior was matched by the extreme stylishness of the interiors (enriched by antique furniture and pictures personally chosen by Madame Ritz), and by the central salon and beautiful winter conservatory. The prestige and exclusiveness, which still mark it today, meant that the Grand Hotel became an alternative to the district in which the grandest hotels had traditionally been concentrated - the area between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna. Today's St. Regis Grand was moreover a pioneer in guaranteeing its clientele a genuine innovation for that period - electric light. Finally, a separate entrance on Piazza delle Terme provided direct access to the equally exclusive international restaurant, rendered distinctive by two conservatories connecting with the garden.
|Placed By||Ministero Per I Beni E La Attivià Culturali - Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e per il Paesaggio e per il Patrimonio Artistico e Demoetnoantropologico di Roma – Comune di Roma – Assessorato alle Politche Culturali – Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali – Progetto Mirabilia – Piano di Comunicazione Nazionale del Patrimonio Culturale|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||28T E 707797 N 4642163|
|Decimal Degrees||41.90410000, 12.49475000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 41° 54.246', E 12° 29.685'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||41° 54' 14.76" N, 12° 29' 41.1" E|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling North|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 88-100 Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Roma Lazio 00185, IT|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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