Discovering one of the most beautiful buildings in Northern Italy, the one designed by Ruggero and Arduino Berlam for RAS in 1909, today a jewel part of HNH Hospitality, and its Novecento Restaurant which offers all the charm of a "rendez-vous ” with the imperial Trieste.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste is located inside the majestic Renaissance-inspired building inaugurated in 1914 as the new headquarters of the insurance company RAS, Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, in Piazza della Repubblica, a few steps from Piazza Unità d’Italia.
Indeed, the then General Manager, Adolfo Frigessi, wanted to give life to a building that the whole city could be proud of, therefore designed according to the most sought-after materials of the time and with cutting-edge technologies.
Trieste had not yet had a work of architectural creation accomplished in such grandiose proportions. And perhaps there is no other in our entire past (…) with all the noblest and richest forms of matter, the fervent inspiration towards beauty.
(Il Piccolo newspaper, 1914)
Reopened in 2019 by HNH Hospitality after two years of meticulous conservative restoration which returned it to the city in its former glory, the palace, even after 100 years, continues to amaze its visitors.
The monumental atrium welcomes us, in fact, with an original mosaic floor, which faithfully reproduces the Roman mosaic of the second century. d. C. brought to light during the excavation of the foundations of the building, and an imposing polychrome marble fountain that represents the Roman god Mercury fighting against three lions, a symbol of man’s strength that wins over wild nature.
From here, on the right, there is access to a marvelous marble staircase that leads us, on the first floor, to the historic café of the Hotel, the Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail, housed in the ancient hall where RAS’ executive meetings were held, and the Novecento Restaurant.
Both open in the evening, they represent the perfect combination for an aperitif and a dinner dedicated to the splendor of “imperial” Trieste both to the eye and to the palate. A crossroads of cultures, a seaside city open to trade, it has, in fact, given life to a unique cuisine in Italy, with intense flavors and a strong Austrian and Balkan influence.
Among the proposals of the Novecento Restaurant, we find dishes with a contemporary taste, based on ingredients of both local and international origin, that celebrate the territory such as the Fusi Istriani with fresh tuna sauce and olives, the beef fillet wrapped in San Daniele raw ham with puff pastry crust and spinach or the Frittura del Golfo di Trieste served with tempura vegetables.
A menu accompanied, in particular, by the best labels of Friuli Venezia Giulia to which the original open-view wine cellar of the restaurant is dedicated, inspired by the glass-iron winter gardens of the turn of the century.
A decoration also taken up in the retro-style armchairs and in the geometric patterns of the walls and cement tiles of the floors.
The combination of the Palazzo’s precious original furnishings, protected by the Superintendency, and the new areas built in a contemporary deco style also distinguishes the 125 rooms of the structure. If the more modern rooms are, in fact, inspired by the maritime life of this port city and its yachting style, the historic suites keep intact all the charm of the turn-of-the-century RAS’ executive spaces and offices.
Like the King Historical Junior Suite, once an area dedicated to the archive of the building, or the Presidential Suite characterized by a unique angular shape and offering a suggestive view of Trieste.
Besides Novecento Restaurant and Berlam Coffee Tea & Cocktail, the hotel is equipped with beautiful meeting rooms, some of which are housed in the old offices of the insurance company and still maintain the fine furniture, a wellness area, a fitness room and a private car park conveniently located 400 meters from the hotel.
It is a must to “get lost”, by requesting a visit to the hotel staff, among the common areas of the DoubleTree Hilton Trieste and savor its marvelous original decorations, such as the wrought iron friezes of the gates, handcrafted work by the Calligaris company of Udine, the glass engraved with the logo of the famous insurance company and the wall clock inserted in the boiserie of the historic library.