Non est in tota laetior Urbe locus. ~ In all Rome there is no more delightful spot.
When the Friars built the Convent of the Trinity on the Pincian Hill in the 14th century, these words were inscribed in their library. Both prophetic and poetic, these words imprint themselves on my heart now, as I gaze at the unparalleled panorama of the Eternal City from the terrace of the Hotel Hassler. The twin bell-towers of the 16th century church of Trinità dei Monti are to my right, overlooking the triple Travertine marble stairway of the Spanish Steps and the lovely Piazza di Spagna below.
Wondrous gardens have graced the Pincio from earliest Roman times, creating peaceful oases where, throughout the centuries, the wealthy built sumptuous villas. The Hotel Hassler came into being towards the end of the 19th century when it was not uncommon for families to open their private villas and palazzi to entertain the city’s high society. The Hassler’s position, elegant atmosphere and impeccable service made it one the most sought-after destinations for visitors to Rome. In the 1921, the Wirths took over the management and in 1940, it opened its famous Rooftop Restaurant, the first panoramic restaurant ever built in Rome. On December 5, 2006, after a complete renovation, it re-opened with the new name Imàgo, a restaurant that celebrates both its incomparable views and its fine cuisine.
During my stay, Mr. Roberto Wirth, fifth-generation member of the famous Swiss hotelier family, welcomed me personally. A passionate collector of art and fine wines, Mr. Wirth is a charming gentleman who has made countless visitors feel perfectly at home in this exquisite hotel - visitors that have included royalty, celebrities, diplomats, writers and artists, and certainly those who seek the very best in Roman hospitality.
Hassler’s Palm Court, where breakfast and afternoon drinks are served, has ivy-covered walls with Roman statuary and marble fragments that embrace a tranquil and shaded courtyard, an oasis within an oasis. Here, as in the sitting room, our bedroom and the rooftop terrace, it happens - everyday cares evaporate like the misty spray of the city’s fountains. In all Rome, there really is no more delightful spot.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
View from Hotel Hassler Roma ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson