A back door to the Opera

A close look at…
Rome | Hotel Quirinale

Crossing a beautiful hotel lobby and pushing a door at the end of a gallery that reveals itself the discreet rear entrance to a major European opera house is an exceptional oddity. But exactly that made Domenico Costanzi’s ambitious project so outstanding when he built, side by side, a performance venue and the very first grand hotel of the new, unified Kingdom of Italy in 1865. Entrepreneur, builder and already hotel manager of several Roman establishments, he envisioned the proximity of the two buildings in the newly established neighborhoods around Termini railway station an obvious and very desirable asset. After subsequent additions that established the current hotel, a dedicated corridor was created, linking opera house and hotel during performances ever since.

Although Rome’s ‘Teatro dell’Opera’ has (still) not reached the significance and prestige of its Milanese and Neapolitan equivalents, it nevertheless remains the leading stage in the Italian capital and thus a checkpoint for the Who’s Who in the music world: few hotels can look back onto such illustrious historic or contemporary artists that encompass Giuseppe Verdi, Maria Callas and Riccardo Muti who all made the ‘Quirinale’ the natural choice and convenient base during their appearances in the Eternal City.

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