COURTESY ROME CAVALIERI WALDORF ASTORIA
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Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, Rome. A homage to ancient knights

The bulk refers to famous hotels in the 1990s, while today pleasure is looking for reserved corners. The galleries of shops branch off from the lobby and generate déjà-vu.

An American hotel

The Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria in Monte Mario looks like a Las Vegas structure: the bulk refers to famous hotels in the 1990s, while today pleasure is looking for reserved corners. The galleries of shops branch off from the lobby and produce déjà-vu. The volumes, the large rooms as they should be in all hotels at certain prices, the terraces on the park, the view of Rome beyond the foliage of the pines. A spa of a thousand square meters with two pools and a wealth of space – which reminds you of the definition of Spa before each puddle of chlorine takes on its appearance.

The Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is an American hotel, the only resort in the city – as such, it brings back to those sixties of custom that we continue to recall. For those who complain about the out-of-fashion layout, it is necessary to replicate with a collection of art of a thousand pieces, from the Caravaggio to the statues of Canova, from the furniture of the King of Poland to the panels of Tiepolo. A note for the double-helix staircase in the entrance hall: you need to realize it and stop, read the contrasts of this place and understand how culture is always played on tables different from your own.

The elliptical double-ramp staircase dominates the surprise ending of the Eritrea episode by Luigi Comencini, in the collective film My Lady, from 1964, which exalts the mysterious allure of Silvana Mangano, also protagonist of the other four episodes, directed by Mauro Bolognini and Tinto Brass. Protagonist of the roaring Sixties, the boom period, the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria was built to a design by Ugo Luccichenti, Emilio Piferi and Alberto Ressa, with a collaboration of Pier Luigi Nervi.

The name Cavalieri intended to pay homage to those ancient knights who came to the Eternal City from the Via Francigena and from these hillside stands, where they stopped to rest their horses before accessing them. It is not common to be able to live hospitality in direct conversation with artistic splendors of such impact: a collection of pieces that ideally comes to life with the painters of the sixteenth and Baroque to go as far as those of the twentieth century and the contemporary.

On view

Gallé glasses and theatrical costumes by Rudolf Nureev. The comfortable bronze-embellished of Jacques Caffieri, originally belonged to Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and then king of Poland with the name of Augustus III, passed into history among other things for having been the inventor of the Meissen Ceramic Manufactory . It is surmounted by a brass and silver jardiniére on a turtle background from the early 18th century, a masterpiece from the workshop of Charles-André Boulle, the master cabinetmaker of the court of Louis XIV. There are sculptures by Danish neoclassical artist Berthel Thorwaldsen, Canova’s antagonist in early nineteenth-century papal Rome, notably Il Pastorello and the dog, next to the marble Minosse by the Florentine Cesare Zocchi, executed at the end of the nineteenth century.

Il Bacio, still in marble, made in 1861 by the Lombard Antonio Tantardini. The tapestries are the pride of the hotel collection: from the glimpses of the seventeenth century, devoted to a sophisticated fairy tale exoticism, in enamel and hardstone colors, from the Histoire de l’Empereur de Chine series, to the Triumph of Mars, on cardboard Jan van Orley is eight meters long. The painting is told with the darting and intense colourism of Giuseppe Bazzani which is represented here by two paintings with mythological subjects – one of them is the Judgment of Paris, placed on the right of the entrance to the gallery.

The highlight of the visit to the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria coincides with the three vast paintings by the Venetian Giambattista Tiepolo, painted in 1725 for the Sandi palace in Venice, commissioned by the owners who wanted to adequately celebrate their recent acquisition by the patriciate of the Serenissima. The Judith and Holofernes that Francesco Cairo painted at the debut of the seventeenth century is an arcane and hypnotic picture like certain sidereal baroque opera arias, something magnetic and bewitched. The haughty gaze of the protagonist, is framed by the silk of the turban and precious details, rendered with satisfaction by Cairo, formed in the wake of the Borromeo culture in the Spanish viceroyal Milan.


Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101

Rome, Italy

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