Grand Hotel Duchi D’Aosta

Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century, it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague).
In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Trieste's union to Italy after World War I led to some decline of its "Mittel-European" cultural and commercial importance. Enjoying an economic revival during the 1930s and throughout the Cold War, Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs.
Today, the city is in one of the richest regions of Italy, and has been a great centre for shipping, through its port (Port of Trieste), Shipbuilding and financial services.

The history of the Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta, dates back to 1873 (see history --> right). Located a few steps from the sea, right in the heart of Trieste, the house is a abode of relaxed Italian elegance. You can still feel the refined Austro-Hungarian atmosphere which renders this hotel unique.

The Thermarium Magnum – a charming wellness centre with swimmingpool at exclusive disposal of hotel guests – and the “Harry’s Grill”, a refined restaurant opened by Arrigo Cipriani in 1972, complete the suggestive elegance which characterizes this palace, embedded in the magnificent frame of Piazza Unità d’Italia, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.

The hotel provides the public with little information about its history. Our team researches the hotel's past, from the very beginning, verifying its exact opening date and providing an overview of its history up to the present day.

If you have any useful information and would like to share it, please send it to [email protected]?Thank you

This is what we know so far (attention: unverified history!):

The history of the Hotel "Duchi " begins in 300 D. C., when its Progenitor, the Hospitium Magnum, was erected along the embankment. It offered hospitality to tradesmen, who arrived at Trieste's harbour to replenish their reserve of goods, as well as to seamen, who stayed there during the ships' stopovers.

Between 1727 and 1732, the "Osteria Grande" was built on the grounds of the "Hospitium Magnum ". Later, it was expanded, redecorated and renamed "Locanda Grande". It was demolished, in 1847.

In 1873, the Fund-owners, Assicurazioni Generali, charged the engineer Eugenio Geiringer with the rebuilding of what became the "Hotel Garni ". At the beginning of the twentieth Century, the Hotel was renamed into Hotel Vanoli and, in 1912, it experienced the introduction of electric current. The Grand Hotel Duchi d'Aosta was renamed as such, in 1972.

Over the Centuries, many distinguished personalities have reposed inside the walls of the Hotel: the Infanta of Spain Maria, spouse to Ferdinand I, Federico Gonzaga Duke of Mantua, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Giacomo Casanova, Carlo Goldoni, but to name a few. On 8 June 1768, a horrible blood crime was committed: the archaeologist Johann Winckelmann, who discovered Ercolano and Pompei, was stabbed to death by his lover. At that time, there was a great fuss about the trial of a crowned head that allegedly had an affair with a servant, during her frequent visits to Trieste. The manager of the Locanda Grande was the main witness to give evidence on her behalf and, even though the rumour was never disproved, the Queen was acquitted.

51/2 Rooms
Harry's Grill
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Our Select Member Hotel

Grand Hotel Duchi D’Aosta
Country: Italy
City: Trieste
Opening date: 1873

Note from the Host

General Manager Alex Benvenuti
Concierge: [email protected]


Piazza Unitá d´Italia, 2/1
34121 Italy, Trieste

Tel: +39-040-7600011
Fax: +39-040 366092

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