And there I stood, on the uneven 2000-year-old volcanic cobblestone (wearing flats of course) to check into our hotel for a fantastic weekend in Rome. For our stay, we required a hotel walking distance to all the sights possessing old-world charm while providing 21st-century amenities. Grand Hotel de la Minerve fit the bill. A palazzo from the 1600’s located in a charming piazza that is home to Bernini’s elephant obelisk. We found the staff to be very friendly. Although it was peak summer season, they had two of our three rooms available for early check-in and after a long day of travelling that was a fantastic welcome. Our room overlooked the square, and it felt like we could touch the Pantheon. It was clean and bright with a large, renovated, marble bathroom. The bed was white and dressed in crisp linen. I opened the windows of our juliet balcony, climbed into the bed and let the sounds of Rome fill the room. We could hear the church bells chime on the hour but during the night it was quiet for sleeping (hazelnut truffles at turndown were delish). The hotel had prearranged our dinner reservations (on my request before arrival) and successfully delivered on their recommendations. Our travel adaptor failed us but thankfully the front desk had an adaptor we were given to borrow (bonus marks for that).
We did not use the rooftop patio or restaurant as there was a private event however, we did manage to sneak up for a glimpse of the city.
I love how everything in Rome has a history. This is what we learned about Piazza Della Minerva square.
The Egyptian obelisk at Piazza Della Minerva, dating 589-570 BC was found in 1665 during nearby excavations. Pope Alexander VII ordered the obelisk raised and sought designs for a suitable base. The elephant sculpture design from Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini was selected. Bernini faced interference for his design from Dominican architect Father Domenico Paglia who himself had submitted a design that was rejected. It is believed that Bernini designed the elephant’s rear end to face the nearby Dominican monastery to demonstrate his distaste to the meddling Father. Pope Alexander VII died 40 days before Bernini’s elephant obelisk was erected.
Cover Photo Source Grand Hotel De La Minerve (Gallery)
della Minerva, 69 (Centro Storico)
00186 – Roma, Italia
Contact Tel +39 06 695201