Travel In Style At The Grand Hotel Palace In Rome

Lucy Broadbent

Journalist

Jul 26, 2022

The husband caught me drooling.  Stanley Tucci’s foodie travel show was on and that plate of Carbonara which the actor-turned-epicurean was forking into his mouth, looked so delicious, I could almost taste it.

“Rome,” I whispered, trance-like, drinking up the sun kissed piazzas on my screen, the tiny café tables, the narrow, cobbled alleyways that Tucci had led us down, the Renaissance opulence his cameras had panned to, the sculptures, the ancient against the modern, the unequaled style. 

My husband wiped the drool from my chin.  Armchair travel was simply not enough anymore. We had to go for ourselves.

rome spanish steps
Natasa Dav at Pexels

Searching For Italy, Tucci’s two season CNN travelogue, in which he valiantly tastes his way through some of the finest cuisine in the country, has possibly done more for Italian tourism than even the Pope.  He has sent so many millions on their own Search For Italy since pandemic restrictions lifted, that the show ought to come with a warning: ‘Watch and you won’t be able to resist booking plane tickets’. 

It’s why we are here now, the husband and I, salivating over our very own plates of Spaghettoni al pomodoro e basilico in a restaurant with famous frescoes on the walls – able to taste the pecorino, smell the garlic, run our fingers along the crisp white tablecloth.  We are on  our very own Search For Italy. Though, to be honest, it hasn’t exactly been hard to find. 

Harder to find, are words.  For the first time, I understand why Tucci is always running out of superlatives on the show, reduced to an ecstatic ‘Oh my God’ and an eye roll, because to be in Rome, eating this food, it seems, is to be rendered speechless. 

But it’s not just the food. Tucci knows this better than any.  It’s the Vespas whizzing past outside, the cathedral bells echoing across terracotta rooftops, the fading heat of a summer’s evening, the knowledge that your bed on the sixth floor is sumptuous.  All of it contributes.

Tucci doesn’t make public where he stays when he’s in Rome, but we are on our own journey anyway. We are staying and eating at The Grand Hotel Palace which sits at the top of the Via Veneto, the tree-lined boulevard, famous for its cafes, nightclubs, shops, and being featured in Fellini’s 1960 movie La Dolce Vita.  

The Grand Hotel Palace in Rome, Italy
The Grand Hotel Palace in Rome, Italy

It’s a hotel that lives up to its name. It is a grand palace with luxury rooms that open out onto travertine balconies. It has a spa, and a unique restaurant where giant, heritage-protected frescos, painted by the Venetian artist Guido Cadoran, depict Italian society in the 1920s, living the high life.

It’s glamorous, indulgent and sets the high life mood so well that while you are savoring your Spaghettoni al pomodoro e basilico in the restaurant, searching for and failing to find the words,the crowd of frescoed party people seem to urge you on.

The Grand Hotel Palace
The Grand Hotel Palace dining room is style personified

They seem to tell you to order another cocktail, or another Tiramisu, or maybe just one more Fantasia di Nocciola. They seem to tell you to have a little dance when the piano player strikes up again.  They tell you that the Dolce Vita doesn’t get much better than this.  They tell you that this experience surely deserves better words that just “Oh my God.”

The Grand Hotel Palace in Rome, Italy
The Grand Hotel Palace in Rome, Italy

 And they’re right. It’s just that my mouth’s full.

Rome has a competitive hotel market.  The Grand Palace Hotel stands out. It is very central so you can walk everywhere.  Prices start from around $340 Australian.  For details:  ‘The Grand Hotel Palace Rome is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’  Bookable on PreferredHotels.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Lucy Broadbent

Journalist

Lucy Broadbent is a British author and journalist based in Los Angeles. She has written about some extraordinary people, many of them Hollywood’s most famous, as well as writing reportage as it relates to social and cultural reality. She was also a travel editor. She has had two novels published, one of which was short-listed for a prize. She is a contributor to The Carousel, Women Love Tech, The Los Angeles Times, The London Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Stella, Style, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire (US, UK, Australian editions), Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Net-A-Porter, and Happy Ali

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