Roman holiday : Palazzo Dama
Few years ago, I moved to Milan from New York. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I knew I needed some changes in my life, just as Elizabeth Gilbert’s heroine in “Eat, pray, love.” Travelling all over the world, I’ve never had a chance to fully explore beautiful Rome. So I was really excited to visit Italian capital one more time and hunt for the best spots to stay, dine and relax.
The ideal hotel
I love luxury, elegance, staying private. I also value good food and excellent service. You say I am high maintenance, but I just prefer quality to quantity. My hotel of choice in Rome was magnificent 5 stars Palazzo Dama, once a Roman villa served as both the Malaspina family home and a backdrop to high society gatherings where the family entertained diplomats, aristocrats, and prominent cultural figures. Palazzo Dama is named to honor the dignified elegance of the aristocratic women – the dames (or dame in Italian), who once roamed the halls throughout the generations of Malaspina dignitaries. The hotel’s name, in particular, pays homage to Anna Maria Malaspina, an 18th century Marquise who was admired for her refinement and recognized equally for her great many writings and poems as she was for her exuberant, playful and witty spirit.
Palazzo Dama was recently renovated into luxurious and opulent hotel by a young architect Antonio Girardi . Hidden behind historical façade, this hotel gave me a warm welcome with it’s relaxing cozy atmosphere. Yet, it felt very intimate and private. I must add that welcoming staff and the owner of the hotel demonstrated the ideal level of hospitality and made my stay at Palazzo Dama more special. “Staying in a big hotel you don’t have privacy. You are just one of the many guests, – explains Antonio Girardi. – Of course, you can take President Suite to guarantee your privacy, but if you stay in an ordinary room in a 150’s room hotel, you are just one of the 300 people in a crowded space. In Palazzo Dama we offer 28 rooms, so that everyone feels unique and special.”
I’m wearing: Walk of Shame dress, Sergio Rossi sandals
The atmosphere of this luxurious hotel is based on its unique design. Going through halls and rooms, sometimes it felt like I travelled in time and witnessed the opulence of Great Gatsby’s NY or enter the precious Ralph Lauren world, where antic luxury meets modern design. “Everything you see here: candle lights, paintings, velvet couches, was bought by me on the auctions all over the world, – says Antonio. – I’m a passionate collector and this hotel is perfect place to display my finds».
It is true. This, sometimes over the top, interior with a lot of details and exquisite art collection is unique and it makes it 100 percent my style. Original artworks of the likes of Picasso and Warhol, historic mosaics, mind-blowing chandeliers and original stairs, sumptuous Loro Piana fabrics, rooms of the unexpected clean and minimalistic design – all this makes the hotel stand out from the crowd. And the courtyard garden, shaded by lemon and olive trees, invites you to spend lazy afternoons by the pool with unicorns and cocktails.
Another treasure of Palazzo Dama is Pacifico. With gilded paneling and button-tufted banquettes, the villa’s restaurant has a decadent vibe that harks back to the glamour of the palazzo’s past, yet it celebrates the taste of today with from one of the best Chef in the world, Jaime Pesaque. The taste of Peruvian cuisine has always been a mystery for me, a Pandora box with flavors and spices I wanted to open for many years. Imagine my excitement when I found out that Pacifico is in Palazzo Dama and I have a chance to explore the secrets of menu that celebrates Asian-Peruvian cuisine. Lingua di vitella sope and Roca de Camote – perfectly balanced new tastes from freshly presented menu were my personal favorites.
As you know, I am all about healthy lifestyle wherever I go. Fitness is a very important part of my daily routine. Even on vacation, I try to find the place to workout and I always ask locals because they know better. Heaven Club in Villa Borghese was introduced to me by my new friend Lorella Campi. With 1300 square meters of fully equipped six sport rooms, spa, swimming pool and a park to workout al fresco it became my sport spot of the weekend. From the workout menu, I chose Antigravity Yoga Body and Mind program.
I tried this routine for the first time and it was perfectly balanced straight &relaxation workout. But I quit this program the moment I found the most exciting exercise in Europe.
Perhaps you did not know but I used to be a big fan of Formula 1 and even had some admires from that field. That is why I felt super lucky to ride in one of 23 Sim-Speed Rooms in the world. It’s the simulator of Formula 1 bolide, which is used to train pilots. To get inside the bolide I have to wear an original suit of professional racing driver Giancarlo Fisichella. It felt unbelievable! True fans of racings will understand my feeling. The adrenaline level in my blood after the 30 minutes ride went higher than ever. I felt like a real pilot and was shaking after I made it to finish. No matter, I crack the car to the wall at list 5 times. This Sim-Speed Rooms is a must-visit for every high speed and Formula 1 fan. Highly recommended!
After this shot of adrenaline, I was desperate for my green juice! Luckily, Heaven Club owns a fantastic bar where you can order freshly made green juices – just how I love it.
I’m wearing: Vika Gazinskaya dress
Once in Rome
My weekend in Rome was short, but packed with emotions. Before my flight home, I had to take a morning walk to explore the city and shake off that dinner I had the night before. I have to confess I have never eaten that much in my life! The taste of Asian-Peruvian cuisine by Jaime Pesaque made me so hungry!
It is not news, that Rome is a beautiful city. What can be better than to walk around the city center in my stunning Walk of Shame dress and learn about the history of the city from locals? Only the chance to hear the clatter of horses’ hooves on the cobblestones and feel the energy of those beautiful animals on famous piazza di Spagna!
I’m wearing: Walk of Shame dress
Thank you beautiful and sunny Rome for unforgettable weekend, now off to Thailand and Russia in search of healthy and luxury lifestyle.
Photo: Betty Colombo for Glamour Italia