Before you enter the Vatican through the semi-circular colonnades designed by Bernini as the two open arms of the Saint Peter's Basilica, step back, and look at the last set of buildings to your left. There you will find, behind a tall green door, this quiet little hotel, its name displayed unobtrusively on a small brass plate.
The hotel is technically in Rome, but only just. A dozen steps away, the Vatican - an independent country within the boundary of Rome- begins.
The foundations of the building, and indeed its basement date back to 1506, the same period when Saint Peter's Basilica was built. The hotel building was owned by successive families of Cardinals, and was renovated to its present condition and used as family residence by the Cesi family, as recently as 2004. Fr.Francesco Cesi Jordan, who lived here, established the Society of Divine Savior, which occupies the rest of the building.
The huge green outer doors are usually locked, but are electronically controlled by the reception or by using your room key. Once inside, you walk down a long verandah, its terracotta floor in herringbone pattern skirting an enclosed small formal garden. A trickling fountain, amidst flowering bushes and chirping birds,completes this unbelievable quiet scene. . It is a lovely place to sit, specially in the evenings, when they light candles for illumination, and sip a glass of wine . A small bar is at hand to serve guests in the late afternoon and evening.
The ground floor also houses the reception, the wooden beams of the room complimenting the remnants of fading fresco on the plaster walls.The dining room nearby serves breakfast from 7 am till 10. There is no restaurant, but there are any number of eateries just outside the hotel.
The guest rooms are spread over the four upper floors. With only 4 rooms to a floor, you need to book well in advance if you want assured place.The rooms are small, just enough for a double bed, a desk, a chair and a roomy wardrobe for your clothes.The lighting is a bit dim,but the large windows let in a lot of natural light.The wardrobe holds an electronic safe for your valuables, and an electric kettle for tea.The mini bar has stocked with food and drink. There is free internet connection through the room TV.
The bathroom is small, even by European standards, with a shower stall, good hot water,a hair drier and enough towels.
The breakfast, included in the room rate, is quite substantial: scrambled or boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, cold ham, salami, breads, pastries, cake, cereal, fruit, tea and coffee. Their fresh juices are the best.
The ladies at the reception are most helpful. They speak excellent English, and are happy to book restaurants or entrance tickets to museums and monuments for you. You can book a taxi for your airport pick up and drop off from the hotel, at rates that are excellent. But the best part is they can book you a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel with a qualified English speaking tour guide.You skip all the lines, and see this prime tourist attraction with relative ease in the shortest time. And anyone who has tried to visit Saint Peters and the Sistine Chapel knows how long the queues are just to get into the buildings, let alone to see the attractions.
The best thing about the hotel is its proximity to the Vatican. It is close enough for you to stroll there early in the morning, at 7, as the sun rises, and go into the Church for the day's first prayers, see Michelangelo's Pieta, and watch the faithful kiss the well-worn foot of Saint Peyter's bronze statue.
You can't live closer to the Vatican than when you stay at Palazzo Cardinal Cesi, unless the Pope invited you to stay as his personal guest.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palazzo Cardinal Cesi, only a few yards from St Peter's Square, on Via della Conciliazione, is an oasis of peace and spirituality drenched in history at the very heart of Christendom, with the enormous privilege of being able to stay so close to the Holy Father's residence. As you enter through the imposing door, leading to the secluded cloisters, experience the reassuring sensation of taking a step back into a bygone age, leaving behind you the hubbub of the city to enjoy the luxury of settling down in an elegant haven, surrounded by every comfort of to the highest standards of first-class accommodation, where everything has been carefully designed to welcome you, and to make you immediately feel at home.Palazzo Cardinal Cesi, sulla magnifica Via della Conciliazione, nel cuore della Cristianita, a soli pochi passi da Piazza S.Pietro, e un'oasi di pace e spiritualita, intriso di storia.Splendido palazzo del '400 con delizioso chiostro interno,. Un elegante rifugio, con tutti i confort di un 4 stelle, dove si e circondati da un'atmosfera calda, curata ed elegante che fa sentire l'Ospite come a casa propria ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palazzo Cardinal Cesi Rome
- Palazzo Cardinal Cesi Hotel Rome