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Turn the pages of
the Golden Books in Rome's grand hotels and there, in fading India ink, appear the
signatures of royalty, heads of state, and towering figures in the arts and sciences
Grand Duchess Olga of Russia.
King Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince Rainier of Monaco, on honeymoon with Grace Kelly.
King Gustaf of Sweden, who so loved the pastries at his hotel, he invited the baker to
abandon Rome and come practice his art in Stockholm.
There are other
signatures, belonging to the stars of today, but they are guarded with the utmost
To these noble
ranks, add your name.
At the heart of the
eternal city, two legendary retreatsthe Hotel Eden, first opened in 1889, and the
Hotel Hassler Villa Medici, dating back to 1885invite you to make yourself at home
in suites of unrivalled splendor. Here, luxury is never ostentation. In every corner you
sense the creed of these exalted hotels: the guest is sacred. You are surrounded by
refined details such as velvet tapestry, French silk, and delicate linens. Murano
chandeliers float, suspended from decorated ceilings. Intricate frescoes and gold stuccoes
make the walls gleam. Mosaic floors and vaulted roofs recall the ancient Roman baths.
Alabaster vases, antique furniture, and paintings of the schools of Tintoretto and
Caravaggioall evoke ages past.
Outside of Rome, in
the medieval town of Fiuggi, you experience rejuvenation at the century-old Grand Hotel
Palazzo della Fonte, whose interiors have graced the films of the most praised Italian
auteurs. Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman hid from the world here while their love
affair scandalized the censors of America. The hotel spa testifies to Fiuggi's renown as a
wellspring for renewing body and soul, with a palette of treatments ranging from
naturopathy and Shiatsu massage to oxygen facials and aromatherapy.
For a grand finale,
as your journey winds to a close, nestle into a suite perched above the Mediterranean, in
a seaside town beloved of Caesar and Tiberius as an escape from the trials of ruling the
empire. La Posta Vecchia was originally built by Prince Odescalchi, in 1640, as a
waystation for visitors to his castle, and later restored, in the nineteen-sixties, as the
home of an American oil tycoon. Here, your windows are filled with a panorama of
opalescent blue. Inside, sybaritic touches abound: a white Carrara marble staircase,
perhaps, or a bath in green "cipollino" marble; a collection of Meissen plates,
or a fireplace decorated with Luca della Robbia terracotta; seventeenth-century oak and
olive wood furniture or Venetian-style mirrors and wardrobes.
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