Giovanni Podini, fascinated by the history and architecture of the Stadt Hotel Città has collaborated with architect Sergio Bizzarro to restore this historical Bolzano hotel to its former glory…
Located in the oldest part of Bolzano’s historical centre, the Stadt Hotel Città always had the feel of an elegant lady waiting to be invited for a waltz. She knew all the steps, all she required was a sure hand to lead her to the centre of the parquet floor so that she could shine again. With all eyes are trained upon her once again, she now is as cosmopolitan as she was before, the centre of attention. Giovanni Podini from the Podini Company, a South Tyrolean family-owned company, decided to pursue this ambitious goal.
Together with his architect, Studio Bizzarro, Podini has dedicated countless hours to choose the colours and work on the details for the hotel interiors. Whereas Podini prefers the warm tones of the Moroccan sand dunes, the architect looked out of the window, gazed at Piazza Walther, and took in its colours, such as the many shades of green on the cathedral roof and the antique pink on the hotel facade. Today, the interior of the Stadt Hotel Città shines in a colour palette ranging from iridescent jungle green to tropical green, sage, teal and the enveloping midnight blue of the restaurant.
Beyond the highly personalised colour scheme, Podini focused intently on the character he wanted the hotel to reflect. He wished to create a hotel where he himself would choose to stay. “I love hotels that have tradition, hotels that have a story to tell – but most of all, hotels that have soul,” he explained.
Studio Bizzarro, a studio based in Ravenna, has created a brand-new space in accordance with the very precise requirements of the client – a space with an exclusive flair, designed to satisfy a discerning clientele that appreciates privacy. Fully renovated in fresh and bright colours, the hotel’s rooms and suites offer all the creature comforts. Turquoise, green and blue, together with their many nuances, are the common thread running through the various areas of the hotel, characterised by a note of unusual and timeless elegance that is relaxing and regenerating for the eye and for the spirit. The harmonious combination of fine fabrics, soft forms and a forest of lush plants speaks to a fortuitous synergy between the aesthetic concepts of the two patrons, with masculine and feminine elements complementing each other in a surprising and harmonious way.
Podini wanted to create a new restaurant on the back side of the hotel, with separate entrance. Out of his passion for elegant interiors, the pleasures of fine dining and quality wine, an environment has taken shape that offers an urban and sophisticated charm – a place to sit, eat and drink as in a traditional Italian trattoria, equally ideal for a candlelight dinner or business lunch. So, it seems that Bolzano has finally regained its living room! A meeting point in the very
heart of the city, with the timeless charm of a Vienna café, the Parisian atmosphere of the restaurant ‘Al Città’ and the Elliptical Hall, which feels a bit exotic with its glass dome, green velvet armchairs, tea tables and lush jungle of plants all the way up to the ceiling: This is an urban space that sweeps you back in time, into a luxurious dream world. It is spacious, brightly coloured and bustling – but with a casual touch. A stylish environment enriched by a sense of worldliness.
With Studio Bizzarro at the helm, the project completely revamped the hotel from a functional point of view, especially on the ground floor, where the current café and restaurant has been redefined conceptually, converting the entire floor into a series of restaurant activities that are fully open to the external surrounding, in keeping with the most progressive and contemporary trends of city hotels. As a result, this first floor no longer has the connotation of a structure at the exclusive service of the hotel guests, but instead offers diversified food and beverage services to the entire city.
The functional subdivision of the ground floor has resulted in the creation of a charmingly designed bar and cafe, overlooking the arcade of Piazza Walther, which is intended as an iconic meeting point in Bolzano for visitors and locals alike and includes a pastry shop with a gelateria overlooking Via della Mostra, the city’s reference point for foodies and gourmets and a restaurant Al Città with an independent back entrance on Via Argentieri, which over the years has become the city’s go-to address for restaurants. The point of exchange and fusion of these activities has been and remains the intriguing central Elliptical Hall, which serves almost as the epicentre of the floor. Here sunlight rains down from above through a transparent glass ceiling, giving form to a triumph of cascading plants amidst sofas and tables with a Central European feel, it’s lovely to sip tea surrounded by a greenhouse.
On the upper floors, the existing 95 rooms have been reduced to 91 in order to consolidate the space, with a look that is urban, soothing and retro, yet still up to date with the new standards of comfort and services required by a discerning clientele. The bathrooms have been completely redone, using black-and-white rectangular tiles with diamond edges typical of the 1930s, along with the oversized mirrors and large, well-equipped showers, evocative of our ongoing, modern-day quest for relaxation and wellbeing. The lower floor features a wellness area with gym, treatment rooms and spa, with sauna and Turkish bath, connected to a small pool immersed in the blue of a starry sky, which is both enrapturing and inspiring.
Main image credit: Stadt Hotel Città