A G-Rough Guide to Italian Design


Stepping into G-Rough feels very much like stepping into the home of a very stylish (and rich) Italian friend.  And that can’t be a bad thing, as this was always the intention of owner Gabriele Salini and his business partner, the late Emanuele Garosci, who launched the hotel in the heart of Rome last year.

Framed by an exquisitely preserved and restored 17th century shell, the property is less ‘hotel’, more serviced apartments, with each of the 10 spacious suites possessing its own striking aesthetic. And the name? Perhaps not the sexiest moniker, but an accurate description of the property’s roughly-hewn aesthetic; a calm medley of high end, luxury design with slightly dishevelled edges (the ‘G’ connects the hotel to its Venetian sister, Palazzina G). Pair this with a picture perfect locale — a two-minute stroll from Piazza Navona, one of the city’s busiest squares — and you have an Instagrammer’s paradise.


There is no lobby and the shop front is so gloriously discreet that passers-by often stick their neck around the door out of pure curiosity to see what lies beyond the narrow arched windows. The answer is four floors of accommodation, each one inspired by a different Italian designer and concept from the 1930s to the 1950s. Were the hotel to have a slogan, that much-respected badge, ‘Made In Italy’, would sum it up neatly. All the designers showcased are proudly Italian, and some so well known — like Gio Ponti — that even non-design buffs will be impressed.

Other names, like Silvio Cavatorta, Piero Fornasetti, Ico Parisi and Seguso, Venini, may not ring a bell for the less familiar, but one does not have to be an expert to appreciate the well-curated selection of original mid-century furniture that peppers every space at G-Rough. Original beamed ceilings and parquet flooring provide an impressive backdrop to interiors which bear all the hallmarks of Italian design — from the Murano glass chandeliers to floors mosaicked with Seletti tiles in living areas. Stripped, putty-hued walls offer a glimpse of what once was, and are dressed with contemporary art and aged mirrors. If there was ever a summary of the term ‘shabby chic’, this is it.


Yet despite the reverence of vintage and odes to mid-century art and design, G Rough does not fall short on the contemporary luxuries one comes to expect from a modern hotel in a modern city. Bathrooms feature cast iron claw-foot bathtubs and rainfall showers lined with mirrored metro tiles — both a welcome respite from the oppressive Roman summer heat — and stocked with fantastically chic and fragrant amenities by Malin + Goetz . iPod docking stations and discreet flat screen televisions sit seamlessly amongst the nostalgic interiors, and beyond the suites, a ‘Lifestyle Butler’ (a concierge to you and I) is dedicated to helping guests explore the ‘Rome of the Romans’.

Should you not want to venture too far, G Rough’s ground floor gallery, curated by local artist Guendalina Salini, features a rotating display of commissioned art by both emerging and established Italian artists. It’s also home to the hotel’s creatively named G Bar, a contemporary wine gallery-cum-performance space, where guests are actively encouraged, in the most charming Italian manner, to indulge a nightcap or two before slumber.

It’s hardly roughing it, but we’re not complaining.

G-Rough. Piazza di Pasquino, 69, 00186 Roma. Double room, from €425. For more information visit www.g-rough.com.