ROME, ITALY: Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology is a stunningly monumental 5 star luxury hotel set in a magnificent 19th century palace in the heart of Rome at the center of Piazza della Reppublica. A towering 6 story gleaming white marble edifice, this incredible property is the latest addition to The Dedica Anthology’s impressive portfolio of one of a kind hotels.
Palazzo Naiadi: The hotel
With 238 amazing rooms, immaculately detailed architecture, and the entire history of Rome at its feet, it is hard to imagine a more impressive luxury property to explore the Eternal city from. Its sweeping grandeur is breathtaking. It dominates the Piazza della Reppublica. Rising like a colossus against the sky. Topped with an array of massive marble sculptures.
The crescent shaped palace that is the centerpiece of the hotel was built in 1887 by Gaetano Koch. It is one of two twin structures surrounding Rutelli’s Fountain of the Naiads at the center of the Piazza. It has sweeping views of Michelangelo’s ancient Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli right across the street.
Palazzo Naiadi: The history of Rome beneath its feet
Palazzo Naiadi was built over the ancient Diocletian Thermal Baths complex dating from 306 BC. Its excavated foundations and mosaics can be seen through an intriguing display on the ground floor of the hotel. The glamorous sense of history of the Roman Empire and the Papal States is everywhere.
An adjoining wing of the hotel was built in 1705 by Pope Clement the XI. It was a grain storage warehouse for the Vatican. It has a number of rooms where some of the original timbers adorn this atmospheric section of the hotel. At every corner of the property the vestiges of the past are brought to life.
The entrance to the palazzo is otherworldly. The façade of the hotel is as impressive as any building in the city. Its location at the center of the Piazza della Republicca is symbolic of its presence and importance as a living monument to the history of Rome in modern times.
Palazzo Naiadi: The lobby of glorious architecture
Even before entering the lobby, the series of arches in the colonnaded portico stretching the length of the semi-circular building loom 40 feet in the air above the promenade below.
Beneath the colonnade the outdoor lounge area of the Tizeo Bar is a welcome spot for guests and tourists to have a drink and a light meal under this exquisite architectural wonder.
The lobby is gorgeously spectacular. An incredible white walled oval room with 40 foot ceilings. Capped by a massive chandelier of white Murano glass whose scale and grandeur is as impressive as the room.
Comfortable seating throughout the room makes it a fabulously serene location for drinks, or to simply contemplate the beauty of the setting. There are few lobbies of any hotel that can match its grandeur.
The reception desk is just off the main lobby, all white stone and marble with elegant design touches. It is manned by a stylishly dressed sophisticated staff beautifully cognizant of their guests every need.
Palazzo Naiadi: The Room
The exquisite two story Junior Suite on the second floor of the hotel is mesmerizing. Cream plaster walls with classic decorative moldings under 30 foot ceilings flow to the sky. Offset by a modernist chandelier at the apex of the room.
15 foot wooden center window panels open up over a glorious view of Piazza della Reppublica and Michaelangelo’s Basicalla. Three layers of 30 foot curtains adorn the window. One is a rich olive valence tapestry, with a checkered olive patterned curtain underneath.
A white sheer privacy curtain is closest to the window. An electronic control panel opens and closes two of the curtains for various levels of privacy. The effect is mesmerizing, like a personal suite in the Palace of Versaille. Literally, floor to ceiling curtains that epitomize the magnificent grandeur of the room, and the next two days in its treasured confines.
Palazzo Naiadi; The two story Junior Suite
The Junior Suite is two stories tall, more an apartment than a hotel room, with a large living room filled with antique furniture, a writing desk, and a Roman art deco couch with twin baroque chairs. Beautiful sconces with rich golden light hang from the walls. A curved solid wooden beam soars above the couch.
Up a wooden staircase with wrought iron railings is a sumptuous bedchamber where the most comfortable king size bed ever slept in awaits. The effect is a deliriously lovely and completely romantic dreamscape. A wrought iron balcony railing overlooks the beauty of the living room below.
The whole of Rome is a spectacle of glory outside an exquisitely tall antique paneled window. The Piazza della Reppublica in all its wonder is a daily visual touchstone. It is a suite fit for kings and potentates, a Roman holiday of unmatched beauty and elaborate proportions.
The effect is almost hallucinatory, the very essence of eloquence. The glamorous sophistication of a chamber we will barely want to leave over the next two days. But then, Rome awaits.
The rooftop pool and lounge
On the rooftop of the hotel has an infinity pool and terrace bar with views overlooking half of the city. The casual Posh Lounge serves light food, while the wrap around outdoor terrace has sitting areas for soaking up the sun in Summer months
Just before the bar and pool lounge an even larger terrace spreads across the length of the sweeping arc of the rooftop, overlooking the center of the piazza. This is a reception area for special events and weddings. Capable of serving hundreds of guests with rooftop views that are incredible.
Dinner at Tazio
Dinner at the fine dining restaurant Tazio is an eloquent affair in an intimate setting. Named for the acclaimed first paparazzi Tazio Secchiaroli, it is decorated with black and white photos from the era of La Dolce Vita era of the late 1950’s.
Executive Chef Niko Sinisgalli has for 12 years produced exquisite cuisine that captures the breadth of the flavors of Italy, but especially of his home region of Basilica. A genial, intense man with a passion for fresh ingredients and innovative stylings. He delights and enthralls with a buoyant personality and a brilliant approach to fine dining.
With just 12 tables in a gorgeous space highlighted by crisscrossing wooden beams under 25 foot ceilings, Tazio is full of dark wood walnut paneling, and sumptuous blue velvet cushioned booths. Not a large space, the meal that ensues is big enough to satisfy any discriminating palette.
Tazio: The meal begins
Homemade bread with a fluffy center with red onions is tantalizing to sop in the nutty olive oil from his home region. Served alongside a tasty amuse bouche of cream potato and pecorino cheese under a poached egg.
Our server Igor Ciortesco is a personable young man from Moldova who has been here for 5 years. Along with his colleague, Alvaro Gallegos, they preside over a glorious dining experience with precision and grace, impeccable service in a beautiful atmosphere.
From the walls the visages of Sophia Loren and Gina Lolabrigita stare down in fascinating photos of a glamourous era that defined the era of Fellini and La Dolce Vita. Long before Taki there was Tazio.
The meal begins with a luscious wild pea soup with tender octopus and marjoram flavored potato chips. The soup is thick and flavorful, accented with healthy pieces of octopus that melt in the mouth.
Tazio: Scallops and the Anglianica grape
Pan fried scallops with thyme lemonated in a topinamber cream with Osetra caviar and gold flaking is simply wonderful. Lush tender scallops with a crisp exterior and an interior bursting with flavor are accented with just a touch of salty caviar, under the aura of tiny flakes of gold.
The meal is accompanied with an outstanding 2013 Taurino Anglianica, a powerfully beautiful wine from Campania near Naples, made from 100% Anglianica, the ancient grape introduced to Italy by the Greeks.
Chef Niko reminds us that the Anglianica grape has its true historical roots in his home region of Basilica, when most of southern Italy was a Greek colony, over 3000 years ago. A gorgeous wine with a full bodied taste, it blossoms into a lovely fruit forward wine with hints of wild cherries and currents over the course of the meal.
Tazio: Pasta and Risotto
Cavatelli handmade pasta “Don Mario” style, with vesuviano tomatoes slightly picante, basilico and smoked pecorino cheese from Sardinia is extraordinary. Exquisitely tasty pasta clings to the hearty sauce in a tour de force that defines southern Italian cooking. A peppery undercurrent is a striking contrast to the fulsome tomatoes, a full blown tour de force of Haute Cuisine from Chef Niko.
This is followed by a sensational creamed risotto with pumpkin, candoncelli mushrooms and stewed leek, served in a deep dish resembling a Greek sailing ship. Eloquently capturing the brilliant subtle taste of risotto, it sings off the fork with every luscious spoonful.
The pumpkin accentuates the delicious mushroom flavor, and its piping hot temperature is a match for its creamy texture and powerfully beautiful taste. It could easily be consumed on a daily basis, and captures the breadth and depth of Chef Niko’s talents.
Tazio: Fillet of Tuna and Rack of Lamb
Fillet of Sicilian tuna in a pistachio crust with cucumber and crushed avocado is a spectacular main course, beautifully presented, and outrageously delicious. Succulently rare tuna, perfectly seared, is as soft as fillet on the palette, as rich as toro sushi, and as wonderful as anything ever eaten.
The meal reaches a climax with red garlic scented lamb ribs, medium rare, with roated potato and broccoli and a dash of pecorino romano. Sumptuously juicy, perfectly cooked, with a bright pink interior, the lamb is sweet and meaty, lusciously tender, a triumph of locally sourced fine dining.
By now the wine has opened to its full potential and complements the exquisite lamb to absolute perfection. It is the highest expression of tender meat matched with the Anglanico grape, both brought to its fullest realization.
A flurry of deserts is close to overwhelming, including homemade tiramisu with dark chocolate dusting served in a martini glass among them. Coffee, homemade dark chocolate petit fors and an incredible Grappa from the Piemonte region made from the Barolo grape is a captivating end to a simply wonderful meal.
Tazio: Chef Niko Sinisgalli
Chef Niko Sinisgalli joins us, and presents a signed cookbook of some of his favorite recipes. Here is a man in his element, in command of his destiny, pursuing his passion. His love for his home region of Basilica is only overshadowed by his spectacular skill in the kitchen.
At Tazio he has found a home that expresses his extraordinary abilities in an intimate dining setting that underscores both his talent and his eloquence as a chef. It is a fine dining experience worthy of any celebrity seeking respite from the paparazzi lurking outside. La Dolce Vita indeed.
The Rome night is crisp and lovely. The lights from Palazzo Naiadi cast a glow onto Piazza Reppublica that is as incandescent as the warmth of the grappa from Piemonte. The Tazio Bar is in full swing as another night in the Eternal city winds down in a whirl of beauty and muystical grace.
Palazzo Naiadi: An unforgettable experience
Breakfast is served the next morning in a gorgeous chamber on the mezzanine level of the hotel overlooking the Piazza. Yet another element in the glamourous pastiche of Palazzo Naiadi unfolds over coffee, fresh eggs, made to order omlets, and a bevy of pasties and fruits.
Two days passes all to quickly. Hours are spent merely luxuriating in the glory of the two story Junior suite. At every turn, in every detail. From the bathroom soaps, to the eloquent wall sconces.From the gorgeous dark wood doors of each guestroom, to the stunning oval shaped lobby. Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology creates a glorious experience in this 5 star luxury setting.
From the history of Rome through the ages, to the fine dining at Tazio. In the elegant stylings of every aspect of the property, there is no finer hotel in Rome. From the ancient Republic of Roma in the centuries before Caesar and Christ, to the churches of Michaelangelo and the 15th century, to the modern Piazza della Reppublica.
Piazza Naiadi: The Dedica Anthology is at the center of it all.
A soaring palace and even grander edifice that captures the heart of the Eternal City. It captivates the imagination even as it restores the soul of each of its treasured guests with the beauty of its graceful experience.
Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles @JoelBerliner
All photos by Alison Reynolds @BigAlPeoplesPal