Palazzo Dama, an exquisite palazzo located in the center of Rome, is steeped in the history of the Malaspina family, one of the oldest noble families in Europe and the palazzo’s inhabitants for over a century. This stunning aristocratic villa is now celebrating a contemporary revival offering a unique experience in an enchanting location. Located on the banks of the Tiber river, Palazzo Dama is a magnificent destination hotel that redefines luxury in the Eternal City. Architect Antonio Girardi was meticulous about the renovation of the palazzo where he felt that it was fundamental to not only maintain, but to enhance its eminent historical beauty and details including stuccos, friezes, original mosaic flooring and decorative ornamentation. Girardi preserved the original patterns and color schemes while transforming the villa into a luxurious five star hotel complete with a private club, pool and bar that are set to become the newest hotspots in Rome for a discerning, international clientele.
During the reconstruction, Girardi aimed to restore the original architecture of the 19th century villa, and revitalize its interiors while complementing it’s unique beauty with pieces of contemporary art and design. The façade of the building serves as a backdrop to a host of elements from carefully designed spiraled details in the cornice, original carvings on the angular corners and two wide bands etched in a flower motif stretching the length of the palazzo. Lead and wrought iron details on the balconies and windows catch the eye when enjoying a view from the garden while in the interiors of the hotel, Girardi focused on integrating rich colors in lush fabrics. “I worked with many artisans in order to give life to contemporary designs. I don’t necessarily look for the big names in furniture and design” states Girardi, “I enjoy creating looks and pieces of my own.” The eclectic style of Palazzo Dama’s interiors are a mixture of elements from various time periods blending well with Rome’s own rich history throughout the centuries.
During the restoration, Girardi made sure to restore the original mosaics in the entrance of the building and worked meticulously to improve the condition of the serpentine illustrations rediscovered underneath years of paint and plaster from previous renovations. The staircase of the bar area has been restored to its original glory and Girardi has enriched it by lining the steps with deep blue velvet, hexagonal decorations and brass details that accompany the eye as it arches up the imposing staircase. The allure of the exteriors is indisputable as they seamlessly continue through the impressive doorways from the interior. Upon entering the restaurant, an elegant atmosphere of pure extravagance surrounds the patrons with carefully created relief stuccos, lavish Rubelli fabrics lining the comfortable chairs and couches and magnificent original crystal chandeliers procured from New York’s famed Plaza Hotel. Thanks to the mix of tropical palm trees, the glow of the original Venini light sconces reflecting off the brass details and a vintage French sideboard in the whose original decorative tiles have been replaced with glass panel from the 50’s, an ambiance of lavish decadence has been created. The bar has been handcrafted with original woodwork and an iron base while the black lacquered glass and brass edged tables of the restaurant recall the colors and details of another era. The imposing curtains made of sumptuous Ralph Lauren fabrics cascade along the entire lengths of the high ceilinged walls. A game of mirrors alters space perception as they function as windows creating improbable perspectives and help to reinterpret the various corners of the rooms. The restaurant’s light colors and luminous shades create an intriguing contrast with the midnight blue of the bar, whose staircase is showered with light from the remarkable column of chandeliers and innumerable collection of photos and paintings by both famous artists and emerging photographers. The great columns and boiseries are original features of the palazzo and have been restored in the same vein as the staircase. Objects of design, many collected throughout Girardi’s own travels, complement the collection of contemporary and renaissance art reflected in the shine of the brass details, the carefully placed mirrors and the treated geometric glass windows. In each of the 30 rooms and suites, elegance and luxury meet comfort. The spaces have been reimagined as light-filled sojourns where guests can enjoy the calming effects of the soft blue and sage green tints and luxuriate in the comfort of Girardi’s carefully imagined and executed innovative mix of timeless elegance and contemporary luxury.
At Palazzo Dama, time seems to stand still and magic abounds.