Tucked away in the heart of Rome is a place where you can live the life of a Roman aristocrat in a beautifully preserved classical villa. As the old residence-turned five-star hotel of one of Rome’s most storied families, Villa Spalletti Trivelli might just be the best kept secret in Rome!
The history of Villa Spalletti Trivelli starts with Gabrielle Rasponi who was the widow of Italian senator, Venceslao Spalletti Trivelli, as well as the niece of Napoleon’s sister, Carolina Bonaparte. In 1897, Gabrielle Rasponi purchased the land across from Palazzo del Quirinale, on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. Then she commissioned renowned architect, Domenico Avenali, to build the villa. Countess Gabrielle Rasponi was a leading feminist and philanthropist of her time as well as the President of the National Council of Italian Women. Villa Spalletti Trivelli became a flourishing center for cultural and political meetings and has hosted many influential figures throughout Italian history.
The villa continues to be under ownership of the Spalletti Trivelli family five generations later, under the management of Andrea Spalletti. Discerning guests can now stay at the stunning classical Italian villa with its golden façade and ornate dwellings. The experience is unique from the moment you arrive at the doors of the elegant villa. There’s no grand entrance or doorman to indicate that the villa is a hotel. You simply ring the doorbell and someone from the front office will come to the door to let you into the airy entryway with a glittering chandelier and curving staircases.
Once inside, there’s still nothing that indicates that you’re in a hotel. Passing through the villa’s opulent halls feels like a dream as you get a privileged look inside the life of a real royal aristocrat. You can relax in the plush salons at the heart of the property, on elegant, romantic furniture surrounded by Flemish tapestries and rich carpets. You can make yourself a cocktail at the self-serve bar which is always available at the main salon, and sip away in the same place where 19th century writers, thinkers and Nobel prize winners did over a century ago.
The villa has one of those charming, old-school elevators—the kind that you need to manually shut the double doors to use—which will take you to the bedrooms upstairs. Each room is named after a local neighborhood in Rome. The rooms are well-fitted and luxurious, while staying unassuming and tasteful. Nothing over-the-top; just good old-fashioned comfort and convenience. The rooms have big windows that look out to Quirinal Palace and are outfitted with original paintings, big marble bathrooms and an impressive minibar that includes top-shelf goodies like Chivas, Johnnie Walker and amaro. The villa also provides modern conveniences like a mobile phone charged with data which guests are welcome to take around during their travels.
Every meal at the restaurant feels like you’re enjoying a home-cooked meal, because you technically are. There’s no restaurant wait staff, other than the domestic caretakers who take your order and bring out the food on simple plates with no fanfare. The cozy dining room decorated with beautiful floral papier peint is open for breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, there’s fresh cheese plates, freshly squeezed arancia or pomelo juice, plus bacon and eggs however you like them prepared. Dinner at the villa is a special, intimate affair full of home-cooked goodness. Everybody must try the Spalletti Trivelli’s famous Cacio e Pepe Ravioli, which is just as rich and creamy as it sounds. The amatriciana is simple but flavorful, which shows that the kitchen really knows what they’re doing. You can also get top-quality Italian charcuterie plus grilled cuts of veal in a salty, savory gravy. To top it all off, there’s wine from the Spalletti Trivelli family’s vineyard in Umbria, which is totally divine.
Other amenities at the villa include an amazing rooftop where there are multiple jacuzzis for guests to soak in plus day beds for relaxing. The garden out back is also a gorgeous space which feels classically Italian with its exquisitely trimmed hedges and cherub statuettes. Guests can dine and have drinks out in the garden in the summer, which feels like being in the countryside rather than in the middle of Rome.
A stay at Villa Spalletti Trivelli truly feels like you’re staying at the personal residence of someone you know, rather than a transactional hotel. The staff is minimal, yet extremely attentive and personable. The historic villa preserves all its beauty, elegance and significance from centuries past. For a truly personal and one-of-a-kind stay in a classic Italian villa, Villa Spalletti Trivelli is every sophisticated traveler’s best kept secret in Rome.