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  • Melanie Beard

Hotel D’inghilterra

A short stroll from Piazza di Spagna and Via Condotti, Hotel d’Inghilterra seamlessly blends the magic of traditional hospitality with the elegance of modern touches.

For those who wish to roam the most exclusive streets of the capital and wander in and out of ancient side streets, the Hotel d’Inghilterra is ideally located on Via Borgognona, the street the Los Angeles Times touted as the “fashion street par excellence”.

Nestled in the silent streets of the centre, the hotel is perfect place from which to visit Rome and her marvels: just a short walk from Via Fattina or Via del Corso one can then reach the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and then on to Saint Peter’s and the Vatican. Not only, but a leisurely stroll from the hotel also leads to the stupendous Trevi Fountain and celebrated Via Veneto.

Built in the 1500s, the six-storey building was for many years the aristocratic home of the Princes of Torlonia and over the centuries royalty, nobility, poets and intellectuals crossed the threshold of this elegant palazzo as guests of the prestigious family. In the 1800s, thanks to requests from the public so attracted by the presence in this neighbourhood of such British poets as George Byron, John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, the palazzo opened its doors and became a hotel.

One of the first guests to stay here was the philosopher-cum-politician Vincenzo Gioberti who in 1848, from the windows of what are now rooms 130 and 131, incited Rome’s citizens to fight for their independence.

A plaque at the entrance commemorates the memorable visit of Pope Pius IX on 2 July, 1855. It was the only time a pope had ventured beyond the walls of Vatican City to meet His Most Faithful Majesty Dom Pedro V, King of Portugal.

Another plaque was hung in memory of the sojourn in 1893 of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the author of the celebrated novel Quo Vadis.

Mark Twain chose this hotel as his Roman residence and over the years many other prominent figures became loyal guests: Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound, but also Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Gregory Peck. The French painter Balthus became a resident of the Hotel d’Inghilterra while they were mounting his great exhibition at Palazzo Valentino, just around the corner. Author Italo Calvino was another who could not resist the allure ofthe hotel. Nobel Prize winner Giuseppe Ungaretti was a resident in the EUR district of Rome, but he would send his family off to the seaside for their holidays and move into the Hotel d’Inghilterra in search of peace and quiet.

Alexandre Dumas père, who very likely knew of the splendid Roman residence, used the Hotel d’Angleterre in his famous novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, as the place his famous protagonist, Edmond Dantès, stayed in when in Rome.

Today, you are likely to come across Wilbur Smith walking down the hallway, as well as other famous people who have chosen the Hotel d’Inghilterra as their home in Rome.

This historical hotel has decided to undertake a great project of renovation and has begun a process of renewal which will shed fresh light on its past glory.

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