There are cities where history not only leaves behind the remains of the past but echoes with the memories of events and people that, through the constant passage of time, far from being lost or faded, come back to life.
There are paths that, though trod for hundreds of years, lead to the places of the heart and mind.
There are places in which to pause and soak up the rare and enduring atmospheres that transport the traveller to a dimension where one’s backpack of knowledge grows, without the extra kilos.
One of these cities is Rome.
One of these paths is via del Corso.
One of these places is Grand Hotel Plaza.
For almost a century and half, the Grand Hotel Plaza has resided in the antique Palazzo Lozzano in Via del Corso, whose design has endured through to the current structure, uniting, in around 1834, several pre-existing buildings in the same area by the architect Antonio Sarti, concluding the project in 1837.
The building was later reinvented as Architect Sarti’s Inn from 1862 to 1863, and it was with this function that it became an example of one of the most antique and prestigious hotels in Rome.
Further construction work took place in 1920s, inspired by the Art Nouveau style in fashion at the time and by the growing importance of the hotel as a meeting place for cultural exchange, in a period where the city of Rome was recognised once again for its role as the homeland of Classics, Culture and the Arts.
In recent years, the name “Albergo Roma” (Hotel Rome) was changed to the more international “Plaza”.
It is this stage to which the fresco of hall’s vaulted ceiling dates back, depicting “Ermes assiso presso un molo” (Hermes seated on a jetty), a symbol of the mythological peculiarities that guide and welcome its travellers to a safe place.
It is said to have been inaugurated in 1865 and quickly became famous as a meeting point for travellers, aristocrats, ambassadors, artists, political dignitaries and rulers when visiting Rome.
The halls and rooms of the hotel often replaced aristocrats’ lounges as private reception rooms and as the premises for public and political meetings.
In 1866, Her Imperial Majesty Charlotte of Mexico selected our halls to host the visit of His Holiness Pope Pius IX.
In 1871, in full political fervour for the recent reunification of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy, the Princes of Piedmont, Humbert and Margaret, watched the procession of the city carnival (an ongoing tradition in via del Corso since the mid-fifteenth century) from the balconies of the Grand Hotel Plaza.
In its stimulating setting and context, a plethora of artists and personages have chosen to spend several periods of their life at the Grand Hotel Plaza.
Most prominent of which is the composer Pietro Mascagni who, for more than 20 years, stayed in one of our suites where, in 1933, he composed one of greatest pieces “Nerone”.
Amongst the most significant stays of political figures, is that of Generale de Gaulle, Henry Kissinger and the Infante Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona, son of the current King of Spain.
Not to go unmentioned also is that in 1957, in our “Salone delle Feste” function room, the preliminary meetings were held that paved the way to the Treaty of Rome and the European Single Market institution.
The Grand Hotel Plaza was selected in countless occasions as a filming location. Out of our many illustrious guests, we can boast Luchino Visconti, who discovered here that nineteenth century ambience that was so dear to him that the film “L’innocente” (The Innocent) was shot in our very interiors. More recently, the interiors of “Ocean’s 12”, with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, “Gangs of New York” by Martin Scorsese and \"Along Came Polly\" with Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller were set at the Grand Hotel Plaza.
Lastly, mention must also be made of the unforgettable director Federico Fellini, who loved to frequent the Grand Hotel Plaza, a place which he believed to be ideal both for meetings with directors and to find his inspiration for the characters of his films.