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Portrait Suites by the Ferragamo family
The Ferragamo luxury retreat on the corner of Via Bocca di Leone - Via dei Condotti
Article added on June 13, 2011
  
The eternal city is always a joy to visit. Even more so, if you stay in a luxury retreat in a great location. This is the case of the Portrait Suites owned by the famous Ferragamo family.

The Portrait Suites are located in the center of the Rome's high fashion district, on the corner of Via Bocca di Leone - Via dei Condotti, situated just above the Salvatore Ferragamo Man’s Store. The famous Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps can be reached on foot within a minute or two.

The Ferragamo townhouse is a relatively modern building with no famous previous owners. Everything is designed to make life more “dolce”. There is no reception hall and no restaurant like in a hotel. It is a discrete hideaway that is not open to the public. You can of course invite your friends to your suite or to the splendid roof top terrace overlooking Rome.

The Portrait Suites accommodate people who cherish their privacy as well as refined luxury. You ring the bell and someone on the first floor will immediately come down and open the door for you. No stranger can enter the building.


Via dei Condotti is named after conduits (channels) that transported water to the Roman baths of Agrippa. It was one of the streets that crossed Via Flaminia. From here, people could cross the river Tiber and reach the Pincio hill. Today, it connects the Spanish Steps with Via del Corso.

Incidentally, the inventor of the radio and 1909 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Guglielmo Marconi, lived in Via dei Condotti 11 until his death in 1937. In addition, Via dei Condotti 86 hosts Rome's oldest café, the Antico Caffè Greco, which opened in 1760. The likes of Byron, Casanova, Goethe, Gogol, Grillparzer, Keats - who lived and died near the Spanish Steps - as well as Stendhal drank their coffee here. The list is endless and includes Omar Sharif and other names of la Dolce Vita of the 1950s and 1960s. The café's artworks and photos testify to a long and rich history.

The fashion district around Via dei Condotti includes shops and ateliers by - among many others - Armani, Brioni, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Grucci, Laura Biagiotti, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton and last but not least Salvatore Ferragamo.

The Florentine shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960) studied shoemaking in Naples and later invented the cage heel and the wedge heel. He emigrated to Boston in 1914 and started dressing Hollywood stars in the 1920s, hence his title “Shoemaker to the Stars”. He returned to Italy in 1927, settling in Florence. The photographs in the staircase, rooms and suites at the Portrait Suites illustrate Ferragamo's unique hand-made footwear as well as his singular relation with actors and celebrities; I especially remember the facsimile of a receipt by Marilyn Monroe.



The Ferragamo empire grew rapidly and now includes not only shoes, clothes, handbags and other accessories but, since 1995, also the Lungarno Hotels (five in Florence, one in Rome), owned by the Ferragamo family.

Portrait Suites in the Italian capital opened in July 2006. The intimate dimension with
only 14 suites and studios allows a style of bespoke hospitality.

The architecture and interior design by Michele Bönan is elegant, classic and contemporary. Pretty much all items throughout  Portrait Suites including furniture, accessories and artworks can be purchased through the family owned Lungarno Details Store.


Portrait Suites with its marbles, curtain linings reminiscent of silk scarves, custom-made tables with incorporated lamps and rich fabrics create a discrete air of luxury. The dark brown wood with white stripes used for the kitchenette, the beds and other furniture items is not an exotic wood but painted veneer (according to the specialist dealer Theodor Nagel).

All rooms are equipped with a kitchenette. I just used it for my teas, but if you think you can do it better than the Romans, you can prepare your pasta yourself. Anyway, the kitchenette is impressive: all rooms feature AEG microwaves, Miele hot plates, Electrolux dishwashers, Francis coffee making facilities, water kettles, plates, cups, cutlery, an honor bar with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, etc.

On the entertainment level, all rooms and suites are equipped with Thomson Intuiva TV flat screens, radio, DVD and CD player. A complimentary selection of DVDs and CDs is available at the reception.

Portrait Suites offer free Wi-Fi, garage service, bar, continental breakfast served in the studio/suite or outdoor on the rooftop terrace and much more.


Be aware that not all rooms feature both, bathtub and shower. If you need a bathtub, ask for it when you book.

If you can afford it, go for the Penthouse Suite (room 651), with a private spa including sauna and a bicycle. The Penthouse comes with an extra-large terrace that runs alongside Via dei Condotti and Via de Leoni.

The best deal and my favorite is Deluxe Room 653 (equipped with a shower and a bathtub): it offers a splendid overlooking Via dei Condotti.

Don't worry if the rooms with terraces are fully booked. The rooftop terrace is fantastic. I loved taking my breakfast and reading my newspaper up there as well as spending evenings in the chimney corner. Portrait Suites offer an atmosphere you won't forget!

Portrait Suites,
Via Bocca di Leone 23 (on the corner Via Condotti), 00187 Rome - Italy.


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A junior suite bedroom. Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.


Kitchenette and room. The dark wood used throughout the rooms is not an exotic one but painted veneers. Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.


View of the Penthouse bathroom with bicycle, shower, sauna and the bathtub to the other side. Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.


A stylish view. Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.


The exterior of the hotel on the corner of Via Bocca di Leone - Via Condotti, where all the luxury shops are located. On the ground floor, you can find the Salvatore Ferragamo men's store. Photos © Portrait Suites, Rome / Lungarno Hotels.


A detail of the splendid roof top lounge - terrace overlooking Rome: the chimney corner. Photos © Portrait Suites, Roma / Lungarno Hotels.


The living room in a suite. Photos © Portrait Suites, Rome / Lungarno Hotels.


The view from the Penthouse terrace. This side is on Via Condotti. Around the corner, overlooking Via Bocca del Leone, the Penthouse terrace continues on twice the spice depicted here! Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.




Published in Italian: Il Calzolaio dei Sogni. Autobiografia di Salvatore Ferragamo. 232 pages, Skira, 2010.

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Bathroom view.
Photos © Portrait Suites / Lungarno Hotels.


View of a bedroom with the Tivoli radio. Photo © Portrait Suites, Roma / Lungarno Hotels.


The living room of a junior suite. Photo © Portrait Suites, Rome / Lungarno Hotels.





Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.