The Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni" is located only a few steps away from Piazza Maggiore, in the very heart of Bologna, the city known as “the fat one, the learned one and red one": a magical place, where two millennia of history, art and culture are melted together, to spring out through streets and monuments.
The past of the city is then revealed to those who search among the clues and traces, inside and outside the hotel.
Bologna; an ancient cultural historical center
A city older than Rome itself: the ancient Etruscan Felsina (the ancient original name of Bologna) was conquered by the Gauls Boi and then by the Romans.
Bologna experienced alternating phases, around year 1000 A.D. it was a free self-managed city and then, it passed under the Papal dominion for centuries. City of culture, it is home to the first university of the western world, still important and vibrant today. Bologna has two special emblems; the towers, which in the moment of maximum splendor of the city were over a hundred - some of them clearly visible from the windows of the hotel rooms - and the arcades, built starting from the 13th century, are now candidates to become a Unesco world heritage site. The historic center is one of the largest and best preserved in the world and is really worth to lose in this medieval maze, among the red roofs and the most varied architectural details.
Journey through time and Bolognese culture at the Majestic
As the city itself, also the building which houses the Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni" has been through many different lives. A small street of the ancient Bononia (the roman name of the Bologna) passed here: a part of a Roman road from the Imperial era, 189 BC, with grooves of the chariot wheels, can still be admired in the basement of the Hotel. Now completely renovated, this space has been transformed into a gallery for exhibitions and returned available to be visited.
The palace was born several centuries later. Next to the ancient Palazzo Fava – now a museum completely renovated and redecorated in the second half of the 16th century by the famous Carracci brothers – there were the medieval residences of the Ariosti family, demolished by the will of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, future Pope Benedict XIV, in order to build a seminary, right in front of the city Cathedral of San Pietro.
In the twentieth century, the building annexed some frescoed rooms of the adjacent Palazzo Fava. Currently only one of these rooms belongs to the hotel as function and meeting room named the Camerino d'Europa. Here the Carracci brothers moved their first artistic steps, creating an authentic masterpiece considered one of their most valuable works. Furthermore another artist Donato Creti left his sign on a wall of this precious room with his “Hercules and Cerberus”, dated 1688. Other frescoes, representing the Myth of Phaeton, decorate the vault of I Carracci Restaurant. Art historians agree the author was probably a talented student of Lorenzo Sabbatini, a bolognese painter, follower of Parmigianino and Vasari, who worked in Bologna, in Florence for the Medici and in the Vatican City.
The palace finally discovers its hotel vocation: on February 15, 1912 the Grand Hotel Baglioni officially opened. The building had still a leading role, two years later: Filippo Tommaso Marinetti chose the hotel for his famous blitz-exhibition, showing the works of Giorgio Morandi, Severo Pozzati, Giacomo Vespignani, Osvaldo Licini and Mario Bacchelli. For this reason the Cafè Marinetti is named after the founding artist of Futurism.
In the following decades, the hotel became the Bolognese home of Hollywood and Cinecittà stars, as well as of all important celebrities visiting the city, including royals, writers, artists and politicians, whose traces of their stays are still preserved in the precious "golden book". More than a century of life for a hotel born in the heart of the city's cultural life.