There can be no finer place in Rome to stay than the Villa Spalletti Trivelli. It is the elegant family palazzo of a Roman Count and Countess. Neighbours include the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, whose 17th-century Palace is just across the leafy park. The Trevi Fountain is a stroll away. At the Villa Spalletti Trivelli, guests not only live as the Romans live—they live as the Romans would like to live.
Italian aristocrats on Roman holidays love to stay here, in the cultural heart of their own capital city: it is every inch a home-away-from-palatial-home, a salmon pink mansion from where everything one does takes on extra resonance: the joy of a performance of Verdi at the Teatro dell’ Opera; the spectacle of the Coliseum lit by a rising moon; dinner beside the Pantheon; a picnic on the banks of the River Tiber; a feast of fine art in the footsteps of Bernini and Michelangelo. Explore Rome at its most magical, after dark. After each experience, return to your palazzo, to be welcomed home by your butler, no matter what time of day or night …
Every detail at Villa Spalletti Trivelli creates an aura of taste and tradition within a family atmosphere that is not only cultured but relaxed. Its owner is the present Count Spalletti Trivelli, Giangiacomo, with his wife Susanna—the daughter of the unforgettably dark and dashing champion horseman Captain Raimondo d’Inzeo.
Neo-classical in design, the Villa was inspired a century ago by the Countess Gabriella, niece of Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Carolina, and widow of Count Venceslao Spalletti Trivelli, Senator of the Kingdom. Under this powerful and cultured woman the Villa, with its lofty ceilings and rich furnishings, became a political and cultural magnet, her Thursday afternoon salons attracting the éminence grise among politicians, writers, artists and intelligentsia of the day.
Ultimately, Gabriella left the Villa to her son, Count Cesare, who became a Knight to the Court of Queen Maria Josè of Belgium. His own son, Count Piero, a writer and poet, was next in line, and it is his son, Count Giangiacomo, who with Countess Susanna has converted the family’s private residence into one that welcomes discerning guests.
Into the Villa the Count and Countess have poured their family heirlooms, hospitality and history. Nothing is overlooked: Japanese-inspired papier peint in the dining room, tapestries in the Sala degli Arazzi, a boiserie in the library, where the book collection is protected by the Ministry of Natural Heritage and Culture. The 12 guest rooms of five suites and seven deluxe bedrooms are decorated with the family collection of antique maps and prints, as well as personal portraits and photographs. Their Afghan carpets line the oak floors, as they always have. Large oak-framed windows give on to the private, peaceful Italian gardens where generations of Italian nobles have whiled away the day in the shade of a gazebo, in conversation, or with a book, letters, or an aperitif.
The beds are dressed in embroidered linens yet have ultra-modern therapeutic mattresses to aid a perfect night’s rest. The bathrooms are Italian marble, with large showers and bath-tubs, and fine toiletries. Fluffy monogrammed robes and slippers are to hand. Iced drinks await guests’ selection in a private bar. There are high-tech facilities too—the vast plasma television sets, broadband access, laptops at the disposal of those who can bring themselves to work amid such elegance. More in the spirit of relaxation, the Spa offers beauty and therapeutic treatments, from the classical, in the Roman sense, to Turkish baths, yoga and massage, regenerative baths with Dead Sea salts, and a fitness room with powerplate and Pilate.
Another aspect of the Villa which sets it apart is the service of the resident chef, Adriano. The day begins with a large buffet of homemade cakes with ricotta cheese, fresh croissants, sugar brioches and bread rolls with that Roman speciality fouettee cream, as well as cold cuts, cheeses, salads, fruits and yogurts. One may ask for pancetta and eggs, cooked specially, Italian style. For lunch or dinner Adriano will prepare gourmet dishes according to your wish and his advice as to the freshest foods of the season, from a simple lunch of mushroom and truffle risotto to a banquet for 25 guests, or a romantic dinner, tête a tête. What a pleasure it would be to give a dinner party here.
All in all, staying at the Villa is akin to being given the run of a miniature palace whose wealthy owner has gone away and left everything to you, including his 15-strong staff. Everybody knows just what to do, and with grace and efficiency makes you comfortable and cosseted without fuss. It is not for everybody. It is, however, La Dolce Vita for those who enjoy the finer things.
THINGS TO SEE
Many of Rome’s iconic sights are on your doorstep, starting with the Piazza del Quirinale and the Presidential Palace (open to visitors on Sunday). The piazza crowns the highest of the seven ancient hills of Rome, where Augustus’s Temple of the Sun was built; it now holds the giant statues of Castor and Pollux. Within five minutes’ walk of the piazza you will be at the Trevi Fountain, unmissable as art, spectacle and cultural icon. The giant figure of Oceanus stands gleaming as he tames the waters, a metaphor for the feat of the aqueducts that brought water to the city. But who can forget the night scene in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita of Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni stepping into the fountain? A dip now will land you in trouble, no matter how hot it is. (Nearby stands the intriguing Church of Saints Vincenzo and Anastasio, containing the hearts and intestines of several centuries’-worth of popes.)
Not far from the fountain is Piazza della Trinità dei Monti. With its soaring Egyptian obelisk and lavish baroque symmetry, it is one of the most theatrical piazzas in Italy—and it leads on to the famous Spanish Steps. The Spanish had nothing to do with these spectacular flower-lined Steps, which were designed by an Italian, Francesco de Sanctis, in the 1700s. At the bottom is the house where the poet John Keats lived and died, aged 25.
Also near the Villa is one of the miraculous 13th-century icons of Madonna, housed in Santa Maria in Via, as well as two gems of Baroque architecture: Bernini’s masterpiece, Chiesa di Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale, which he considered his finest work, and Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane.
Among other gems is the tiny church of Santa Mario in Trivia, which conceals a rich Baroque interior. But just 10 minutes away is architecture on a different scale—the Pantheon, the best preserved Roman monument with the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture. Michelangelo said it was the work of angels, not of men. According to Roman legend, it is the place where Romulus was seized by an eagle and taken up into the skies to join the gods.
Only 15 minutes’ walk from the Villa stands the Coliseum, ancient Rome’s greatest architectural legacy. Vespasian ordered the construction of the elliptical bowl in AD72, and it was inaugurated by Titus in AD80 with a bloody combat between gladiators and wild beasts that lasted weeks. The Coliseum is itself now tortured by traffic, but a visit is an unforgettable experience.
On the lighter side, the Villa is near the heart of Rome’s shopping district, minutes from Via del Corso and Via Condotti, all filled with wallet-reducing Italian and international designer labels—Bulgari, Valentino, Ferragamo, Cartier, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana among them.
Our Members receive the best rates available anywhere, as well as a VIP welcome at this exceptional Villa, saving 15-35% on the best available rates, plus, when you stay three nights or more, a 50 euro voucher for spa treatments, complimentary airport return transfers, a bottle of wine to welcome you and a complimentary room upgrade if available on arrival.
To be first to book the Blue Ribbon deal, and for full details and availability for all rooms at all times of the year, please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or use the form below.
Via Piacenza 4