The Grand Hotel Majestic “già Baglioni”
has always been a home from home for celebrities in Bologna
and is especially popular with film stars. The list is too long to name them all but it includes the likes of Clark Gable, Gina Lollobrigida, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Alida Valli, Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster and, more recently, Stanley Tucci, Whoopi Goldberg and, as we have already recounted in the past, Ava Gardner
, accompanied by her husband at the time, Frank Sinatra
. The Majestic, after all, is the only Luxury 5-Star hotel in town and is located a stone’s throw from Piazza Maggiore, the venue for the Sotto le stelle del cinema
(Under the Stars of Cinema) event and the Il Cinema Ritrovato
(Cinema Recovered) festival organised by the Cineteca di Bologna
, one of the most important film libraries in Europe.
Scorsese and Il Cinema Ritrovato
A great admirer of Bologna and its relationship with cinema is Martin Scorsese
. Born in 1942, the American director and screenwriter has Italian citizenship too. In the course of his career, he has directed many masterpieces many in partnership with Robert De Niro, such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Other successes include Goodfellas, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Cape Fear, Casino, The Aviator, The Departed – with which he won the Oscar for Best Director – Shutter Island, Hugo, which won five Oscars, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese’s rapport with Bologna
is based on a common interest in the films that have made cinema history, and the director has created The Film Foundation
, which has the same mission as the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna
– to restore the masterpieces of the seventh art.
In 2020, in the first summer ruined by the Covid-10 pandemic, Scorsese sent a particularly affectionate greeting to the audience at the 34th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato. “This really is a unique festival, there’s not another one like it,” he said, before thanking the organisers who “have reminded us at such a crucial moment in our existence how essential cinema is for those who love it”.
The director welcomed at the Majestic
Two years earlier, in 2018, Scorsese had been to Bologna
to inaugurate the “Sotto le stelle del cinema” season with his evergreen classic Raging Bull. On that occasion he stayed, of course, at the Majestic, where he had the opportunity to enjoy the cooking of the Ristorante I Carracci
, which interprets the great recipes of the Bolognese tradition with a contemporary twist. The director certainly left his mark as a guest
and the hotel staff have a perfect memory of his arrival and stay, and were impressed by his personableness and kindness. Commemorating the event are the many photos taken in the hotel while he was in the hall signing posters of Cinema sotto le Stelle and at his table in the restaurant. He stayed in the Royal Suite Verdi
, composed of the Suite Presidential Verdi and a Junior Suite: decorated in the Venetian style with antique furniture and a period fireplace, this is the hotel’s most sumptuous ambience.