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Art and history: no place like Rome

From priceless Michelangelo masterpieces to Caravaggio’s ceiling paintings, and Raphael’s frescoes, Rome’s lively artisan culture has charmed travelers for centuries. Venture into Six Senses Rome, therefore, and it’s no surprise our interiors are a visual treat at every turn.

A new take on Rome’s legacy

The interior design has been curated by Patricia Urquiola, architect, industrial designer, and art director for Six Senses Rome. At every turn, the craftsmanship, the finishes, the materials, and the graphics create a union with nature while staying true to the building’s Roman roots.

The original 15th-century building was adapted by Antonio Tommaso De Marchis in the 18th-century and Urquiola’s vision cleverly integrates the existing architecture of Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini with the additions from later periods while also working within the architectural constraints of a UNESCO-protected project.

Heritage and history are embodied in the interiors, not only in the choice of finishes but also in the materials. Travertine stone of Italian origin, in all its wonderful variety of colors and finishes, is an important design element and a common theme throughout. The legacy of antiquity is also honored with the choice of cocciopesto, an ancient Roman lime plaster, that decorates the rooms and and gives a nod to Roman architect, Vitruvius.

This remarkable design achievement has been recognized at the 2023 Hospitality Design magazine awards, which honors innovation from around the globe. Six Senses Rome scooped three awards, including Sustainable, Upscale Hotel, and overall Best in Show.

Combining classicism and contemporary vision

The curation of one-off artworks by art advisor, Federica Sala, favors pieces with a strong handcrafted but contemporary imprint, often applying unusual techniques. Every commissioned and exhibited artwork is unique to Six Senses Rome. Watercolors, sculptures, textile works, and canvases tell the story of contemporary Rome while others take a fresh and unexpected look at its past.

Our selection respects our genius loci, while the decidedly modern imprinting allows us to look at what is “classically Roman” with fresh eyes.

This guides the progression of diptychs by Korean artist T-Yong Chung in our guest rooms, whose pieces depict imaginary dialogs between historic busts on which the artist has intervened in different ways, whereas the table-sculpture by Paolo Giordano in the entrance hall plays with deconstructing classic Roman sculpture. These works also use diverse expressive mediums, from the bas relief textiles of Czech artist Eliška Konečná to the digital art of Swedish artist Andreas Wannerstedt.

Uniquely commissioned artworks

Nearly all the works have been created for our hotel, to better respond to the pre-existing architecture and the contemporary interpretation of Studio Urquiola. This led to, for example, photographer Alberto Selvestrel – whose previously unseen work accompanies visitors through the corridors – portraying a geometrical and sunny Rome in which grand historic buildings (from the past or present) become one with the sky, the sun, and the shadows. The sculptures by Analogia Project that grace our guest rooms also nod to a quintessential Roman symbol: the Colosseum, though in a more stylized rendition.

Ultimately, the artists we have collaborated with have been free to depict Rome in different styles: from Sara Salvemini’s watercolors to the large paintings with overlapped layering by Roman painter Andrea Mauti, the pop paintings by Caterina Licitra Ponti, and the meticulous serigraph maps by Lebanese-Spanish artist Tarek Abbar, which reinterpret the capital city and the curves of the Tiber River using the Japanese style beloved by the artist. This well-balanced compendium of local and international influences gives us a glimpse of previously unviewed chromatic portrayals, such as the large tapestry by Beatrice Bonafini and the luminously colorful installation by Mandalaki Studio in the Spa Solarium.

Try the wings on for size!

Sometimes, you are also drawn into the story personally, represented by the sculptural work of Daniele Accossato featuring a caged wing inside a crate, as though it were about to be shipped to a local museum. The selection of artworks also highlights mastery across different materials: from ceramics by Aldo Londi for Bitossi Ceramiche, to Paolo Polloniato’s unassembled mosaic, or the glass powder paintings that artist Marco Emmanuele created by crushing glass bottles left on the Roman coastline, which transform litter into a new chapter of Italian art.

Rome is shown as the verdant, lush city that blooms on the terraces or enjoyed in the parks, thanks to the botanical theme featured in the works by photographer Caroline Gavazzi, also found in the rooms. This is, therefore, a journey that creates a temporal bridge between the classic imprinting of the city and its current version, with a decidedly modern edge.

Enhance your stay with private art & history tours in Rome

At Six Senses Rome, elevate your stay by enjoying a host of cultural experiences including private Rome art tours.


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