and Photographs By Bonnie Carroll
Considered one of the most prestigious hotels
in the world, this family managed property is beyond words in
its elegance and style. Managed by the Wirth family for over a
century, the Hassler is a symbol of International hospitality.
Situated in the heart of Rome, next to the church of Trinita dei
Monti at the top of the steps in Piazza di Spagna, it sits regally
on one of the most beautiful hills overlooking the “Eternal
on Images for Captions
enjoying dinner or breakfast from the Hassler Rooftop
Restaurant are experiencing the first panoramic restaurant
ever built in Rome, and are awed by the breathtaking view of the
city from this historic venue, including a view of Vatican City.
Artists and poets, including Keats, Shelley, Dickens and Ruskin,
as well as an endless number of great Italian artists, have lived
near the Trinita dei Monti since its inception in the 18th century.
Many of these artists were awarded the coveted Prix de Roma by
the French Academy, located nearby.
Executive Chef Francesco Apreda is a master at
the preparation and presentation of delicate and bold Italian
specialties. His delicate and delicious menu items include warm
shrimp salad with cous cous and fennel, "Gragnano Pacheri"”with
baby octopus and Gaeta black olives, and a delightful sautéed
bass fillet with eggplant and ginger sauce. Naturally, the local
cheese and wine from the region offer a perfect compliment to
every meal. The exquisite Hassler Sunday brunch is new to Rome.
The first brunch was served at the hotel only five years ago,
and is now extremely popular. The inviting rouge colored Lounge
at the entrance to the hotel is perfect for afternoon tea or business
cocktails before dinner, and in the evening guests are entertained
by a talented and personable pianist.
The suites in the
Hassler are all uniquely different, and elegant as well as comfortable.
Every detail has been attended to, including their lovely Amorvero
signature bath products and perfume, which were created by Mrs.
Wirth, and named after her twelve year old twins. The hotel staff
is respectful, but very efficient, and the concierge at the Hassler
may be the best in the world. He gets a 10 plus from this traveler
for superb service and style. During my stay, I spoke with Roberto
Wirth, who is from a long line of renowned Swiss hoteliers, and
the proud owner/general manager said “We hope our guests
will think of the Hassler as their home away from home."
The short walk
down the Spanish Steps leads directly to the most exclusive shopping
area in the city, and the cobble stone streets are dotted with
cozy cafés and restaurants that are filled with a history
all their own. Every major designer is represented here, and windows
display the latest in jewelry, clothing, and leather goods. I
am certain this was a city Amelda Marcos frequented in the good
old days because the shoes were endless and bella. The tour bus
is the best way to quickly see this magnificent city, and unless
you are fluent in Italian you will need someone to explain the
history of the impressive monuments on the schedule. Walking to
points of interest with the guide gives you a great feel for the
energy of the people and the city. Did I mention how much I love
Palazzetto del Vino
The Wirth family, has also added a new and very prestigious venue
to their properties in the International Wine Academy of Roma
“Il Palazzetto del Vino” housed in an ancient Roman
villa, located just next to the Spanish Steps. The renovation
of this historic building into a destination for those who love
gourmet food and excellent wine, includes a Wine Bar/Restaurant,
tasting rooms, guest suites, and a charming terrace that sits
suspended above the steps that connect to Trinita dei Monti at
Piazza de Spagna, where chef Antonio Martucci carefully prepares
traditional Italian food and specialties. Roberto Wirth, owner
and general manager is dedicated to promoting and educating guests
on the rich and delicious wines of the region.
The Il Pallazzetto del Vino property contains
a library, furnished with important eno-gastronomical literature,
and hosts up to 20 persons; a perfect place for family or business
lunches, and private meetings or wine tasting sessions. The Wine
Bar has an inviting fireplace, and guests may choose from over
400 different wine labels combined with select cheese, cold cuts
and specialty food items. The Garden is also a pleasant spot for
private business events, and the Terrace is ideal for a cocktail
party. The Wine Courses include introductory, intermediate and
advanced master in food and wine combinations, and marketing of
More Information on Il Pallazzetto, International
Wine Academy of Rome, (click
The master class events and seminars provide special themes and
are held by experts in the field. Visitors in Rome have the opportunity
to taste Italian wine and food at a half-day intensive course,
wine tours or wine tasting events. The third and fourth floor
of the Academy offers four double rooms which can be customized
upon request. Room amenities include satellite TV, fridge bar,
internet and fax connections, as well as a private bath. These
beautifully appointed guest rooms receive 24 hour room and concierge
service. To obtain additional information go to www.hotelhasslerroma.com.
To experience a little taste of Rome in your own home, please
try the following specialty recipes served at The Hassler Hotel
Rooftop Restaurant. Mangia Bene!
Hassler Hotel Recipes
Bass Filet with Eggplant and Ginger Sauce
Shrimp Salad with Cous-Cous and Fennel
Hassler Hotel PDF