Once a refined patrician villa and now a “princely” hotel, the Parco dei Principi is aptly named. Its interior is comfortably elegant; the formal sitting rooms and bedrooms with period furniture, rich fabrics and fine linens reflect the hotel’s commitment to excellence of both style and service.
Located in the quiet residential area of Parioli, the Parco dei Principi garden offers a beautiful haven from the bustle of the city center. Just one street separates its garden from the world-famous Villa Borghese Park, designed as a formal garden in 1605 for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the first of its kind in Rome. By the 18th century, the park’s appearance evolved into a more natural look and in 1902, it became the property of the Italian State, housing museums, galleries, academies, as well as an array of summer houses, fountains, statuary and an artificial lake. All of this is a stroll away from the hotel.
We enjoyed a pleasant passeggiata through the Borghese gardens on several occasions during our stay at the Principi and particularly enjoyed our visit to the Villa Borghese Galleries to see the Canova sculpture of Pauline Borghese. This we did before dining at the hotel’s Pauline Borghese Restaurant, named after Napoleon’s famous sister.
Taking inspiration from traditional recipes, Chef Gianfranco Calidonna uses regional ingredients in simple yet unusual ways, never compromising their flavours or textures. Like a master conductor, the Maitre D’ arranged our travel from appetizer to dessert wine, as we sampled the chef's variations of specialties from more than one region of the Italian peninsula. Sommelier Riccardo helped select the wines that were to accompany us on our journey through the menu. A glass of chilled Agricanto from the Veneto was a perfect ending to a thoroughly delightful meal, one of the best we have had in Rome.
Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson
Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel
Via Gerolamo Frescobaldi, 5, 00198 Roma, Italy
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson