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St Regis Grand Hotel Rome

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grand hotel romeIn 1894 Cesar Ritz opened the Grand Hotel as the most elegant hotel of Rome. Auguste Escoffier was his first chef. Diplomats, heads of state and royalty shared tables at lavish banquets and occupied its splendidly appointed suites and rooms. Lina Cavalieri, a flower girl working there, became one of the greatest opera stars of her days. The King of Spain spent the last years of his life in his suite there. In 1945, the seeds of modern Italy were sown at the Grand Hotel. Hollywood enjoys it as its preferred retreat in the eternal city. In short: the St Regis is the cultural, social and political revolving point of Italy. This is its story.

‘After closing the large iron gates of the St. Regis in Rome, you leave the hectic noise of Roman streets outside. You enter a world of calm and tranquillity. Seemingly, you have reached a very quiet place. While you take a deep breath, you will soon realize that life in here is of a different character. I dare to suggest that major financial and political decisions are made right here at the St. Regis on every single day of the year, either in one of its corners of the lobby, in one of its superb suites, over a lunch or at the bar. Yet all activities are always out of earshot, discreet and inaudible. There were times when Italy was ruled from the Grand Hotel, when the most important people of this country lived here. If you sit still and lean back, you can experience this air of excitement and purposeful activity in an unrivalled discrete and noiseless manner. This is the story of this wonderful hotel, that set new standards for Italian inn keeping. The St. Regis Rome, as it is called today, started its career as the Grand Hotel Rome, a brainchild of the flamboyant hotelier César Ritz. In 1894 Ritz opened the Grand Hotel as the most elegant hotel of Italy. It was the only Italian ‘adventure’ of the London based Savoy Group. The ‘king of all chefs, the chef of all kings’, Auguste Escoffier, at that time under contract of The Savoy in London, was its first chef. Diplomats, heads of state and royalty shared tables at lavish banquets and occupied its splendidly appointed suites and rooms. Lina Cavalieri, a flower girl working there, became one of the greatest opera stars of her days. The King of Spain spent the last years of his life in his suite there. In 1945, the seeds of modern Italy were sown at the Grand Hotel. Fiat tycoon Giovanni Agnelli maintained a year round apartment and the stars of Hollywood enjoy it as their preferred retreat in the eternal city. In short: the St. Regis is one of the cultural, social, economical and political revolving points of Italy. And this is its story. To start with let me take you to the last decades of the 19th century, when Italy developed into a tourist destination as we know it today”.

Andreas Augustin

 

By Andreas Augustin. Hardcover (real cloth bound / gold stamping), laminated jacket.
ISBN 0-0000000-00-0

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