intoHistory, geschiedenis beleven in authentieke logies
In Rome, history is an open book nearly everywhere. Let’s take the history of a great Venetian family, now settled in Rome, where you will plunge into the multitude of souvenirs of the ‘Count’s House’. The most comfortable of suites, ideally situated along the Corso Vittorio-Emanuele II, which links Venice Square to the Vatican. The building itself reflects the many improvements made by the Royal House of Savoy in the second half of the 19th century. Enjoy the truly four-star welcome the family of Count Andrea Marcello del Majno are waiting to give you.
The ‘Count’s House’ suite is a small, delightfully appointed apartment, just a stone’s throw from the Piazza Navona. © Casa del Conte
At la Casa del Conte, you will be captivated by the precious furniture and the numerous paintings of the Marcello family. Period pieces which transcend the generations, each bearing witness to moments of history and brimming with memories. As for souvenirs, the family has a rich treasure trove of these, since its roots go back to antiquity. The Marcellus gens (a patrician Roman family) descends from the famous Claudii lineage. The family probably owe their name to the sea and the sky («Mare-cielo»). The gold undulation and azure background are reminders of the sea and the sky on the family crest.
Doge Niccolo Marcello, by Titian
It was in Venice that the ancestors of Count Marcello principally made a name for themselves, back in the 7th century. The members of the family distinguished themselves through their civic values and military exploits, thereby obtaining the title of patricians (patrices) of Venice. This distinction enabled them to sit on the Great Council of Venice (and its commercial empire) and participate in the election of the Doge (its leading magistrate).
Nicolò Marcello, involved in trade with the Orient, rose to this rank in 1473. It was he who reorganised the finances of the (most Serene) Republic of Venice, and introduced new coinage.
A great many other members of the family distinguished themselves throughout history, as men of the church, military leaders, ambassadors, senators and artists … As General Captain of the Venetian armies in the 15th century, Jacopo Antonio Marcello (represented opposite) made a name for himself for having enabled the Serene Republic to conquer Brescia and Verona, via the transportation, overland, of 44 warships from the Adige to Lake Garda.
As for Admiral Lorenzo Marcello, he won a strategic victory over the Turkish fleet in the Dardanelles in 1656, when Venice was endeavouring to stop the Ottoman Empire from dominating Crete.
The ‘General Captain of the Seas’ Lorenzo Marcello, was killed by a cannon ball during the naval battle that decimated the Turkish fleet in 1656.
In a completely different vein, Benedetto Marcello, magistrate of the Republic and chamberlain (treasurer) of Brescia, went down in history for his sonatas, cantatas and sacred works of music whose fame spread as far as London in the 18th century.
Through his paternal grandmother, Andrea Marcello is also linked to the family of the Duc de Berry, Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois (son of the future King of France, Charles X), who was assassinated in 1820.
King Victor Emmanuel II
Although it only dates from the end of the 19th century (hardly very impressive for the Eternal City), the building which houses the Casa del Conte has much of interest. The first sovereign of reunified Italy, the King of Savoy Victor Emmanuel II, made a great many trips between Turin (Piedmont) and his new capital. The members of his cabinet, who accompanied him, needed staff housing in the heart of Rome. And it was in this beautiful building in the Via Sora that they were accommodated. The apartments were cleverly designed, (especially in terms of internal ventilation) and fitted then with the most up-to-date amenities. Its lift, which is long and very narrow, is a gem (see the article dedicated to this fast-disappearing heritage).
No effort has been spared to make your stay perfect (see «facilities» below): double-glazing to reduce noise, sun screens and a limousine to pick you up at the airport (cheaper than a taxi). A very professionally-designed folder provides a host of useful addresses, visits, local points of interest, shopping information, recommended restaurants, excursions, etc. Signora Paternò, Count Marcello’s mother and your hostess on the spot, can breathe life into all the paintings and portraits that adorn the suite.
It is quite impossible to mention all the cultural treasures that can be explored in the vicinity of the Casa del Conte. We are in the heart of “Old Rome”, just a stone’s throw from the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Campo dei Fiori or the Farnese Palace. The corso Vittore-Emanuele II will take you east to Venice Square dominated by the grandiose (you could say megalomaniac) monument to the memory of the first King of Italy and the ancient Roman forum. To the west, in the direction of the Vatican, you will discover the Chiesa Nuova, with its surprizing fountain and two juxtaposed churches.
The Chiesa Nuova, with its stunning Baroque decor, is adorned with works by various celebrated painters, including Rubens and Caravaggio. © Nekotank
The district is chock-full of restaurants, art galleries, antique shops and assorted wine bars. The little streets which separate the most famous attractions from the Tiber will help you avoid the hordes of tourists.
Books to savour during your stay
The perfect setting for a little music
Sejourné à Rome à la Casa del Conte : tout etait parfait
la situation, le confort, l'equipement, la decoration, l'acceuil
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B&B Casa del Conte
Count Marcello del Majno
Via Sora 45
Tel +39 06 687 33 50
Suite’s own website
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