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This book, edited by Manila Alfano, celebrates the centenary of the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Viareggio. The collective, polyphonic narrative traces the history of the hotel from the opulent period of the Belle Époque, through the 20th century to the present day. It shows the project design inspired by the great hotels of the Côte d’Azur, its luxurious 5-star status, to the latest contemporary design, combining avant-garde and tradition.
The narrative begins with an in-depth analysis by Vittorio Sgarbi, describing the Principe in the historical setting of Viareggio and its expansion; the countless celebrities and film stars, guests at the hotel, are described in the chapter by Umberto Guidi, with the relationship between the silver screen and the hotel, often featured in famous films. Manila Alfano and Marco Turinetto, respectively, provide an analysis of the hotel’s history and its status today. Lastly, a chapter by Roberto Perrone is dedicated to food and wine: famous menus, international awards, specially created cocktails, and its 12-year role as a reference point for Kosher cuisine, approved by the Chief Rabbi of Rome, to the hotel’s present status with its two Michelin stars.
As well as portraying the hotel’s exceptional history, the book is rich in documents and archive material including rare personal dedications hand-written by musicians, actors, and sports champions, as well as historic photos, anecdotes and newspaper articles. This carefully researched material gives the reader an unprecedented glimpse of the first hundred years of this fine example of Italian excellence.
Manila Alfano, 45, journalist, has written for the daily paper il Giornale since 2007. She has a degree in Moral Philosophy and wrote her thesis on Minima Moralia and the Frankfurt School. She wrote for many years for the newspaper, Il Foglio, on foreign politics and news reports from South America for the weekly magazines Grazia and DiPiù. She also collaborates with the Fremantle Productions company for documentary films. In 2019, with Wise Society, she published Sembrava impossibile: Da 0 a 100.Storie di imprenditori di successo. She is currently working on a book dedicated to entrepreneur businesswomen.