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Rome offers numerous solutions on where to stay doing your “vacanza Romana”, but only at Holy Deer San Lorenzo City Lodge you can experience the feeling of being a Pope for a day. If you stand at the centre of Piazza Navona, a small balcony can be seen on the first floor of Palazzo Pamphilij along the facade of Sant’ Agnese in Agone church. This was the residence of Pope Innocent X: a luxurious 350 square meters space built by the genius architect Francesco Borromini. Its interior boasts original 17th-century frescoes by Francesco Allegrini and breathtaking views on the famous piazza. Once the home to Innocent X, this fantastic property features a combination of old-world charm and modern-day luxury, and also buzzes with an intriguing story of the forbidden love between a Pope and his sister-in-law, Olimpia Pamphilij.

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    Holy Deer was ideated by Giorgia and Stefano Barbini, who after years working in the fashion world decided to explore the hospitality field. Their winning concept in Rome is actually their third project: the first was White Deer, a former 16th-century hunting lodge in the Dolomites, and the second was Blue Deer – a four-cabin catamaran equipped with every possible comfort. The common theme between the three properties is “one guest at a time”: all in the name of the exclusive, custom experiences that are a crown jewel in Italy’s luxury tourism, and attract the most select clientele that appreciates Made-in-Italy wonders. During the renovation works, Giorgia and Stefano Barbini have pooled all their experience and expertise in order to create a place steeped in historical ambience where modernity and history go hand-in-hand.

    It is indeed one of the most outstanding residences now dedicated to luxury accommodation in Rome. Here, everything is exclusive and custom-made to offer guests the best. Everywhere you look, high-end materials have been selected and unique details added, such as the two 18th-century fireplaces, handblown Murano chandeliers, cashmere textiles, and contemporary furniture in velvet, leather, and silk. The apartment features Francesco Allegrini frescoes and red Verona marble doorways, both of which have been restored by local artisans. Various stone and richly veined marble finishes throughout the apartment represent those brought to ancient and Renaissance Rome as spoils of conquest or trade: from Egypt, Persia, Turkey, and beyond.

    When you arrive at Holy Deer, you immediately find yourself in an atmosphere that is somehow both staggering and relaxing. Holy Deer is in fact laid out in the shape of a horseshoe. At the two extremes, cleverly tucked away, are the two bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms. One bedroom overlooks the romantic Via dell’Anima and leads into an elegant walk-in closet; the other, the sumptuous Pope’s Room, looks directly onto Piazza Navona. The two secluded rooms are linked to one another through a library lined with weighty tomes on Roman history or fashion, study, music room, lounge for conversing, watching TV or enjoying your drink, dining room and kitchen. Conceived as a place to gather together and socialize, each of these spaces has been meticulously designed to help guests enjoy the intimacy of a private retreat to the fullest.

    Overlooking the bustling Via dell’Anima, the cosy Anima en-suite bedroom is detailed with sophisticated wall artwork and sanguines made by local artists. The Dressing room is dedicated to the grandfather of Giorgia Barbini, Gaetano Savini, the founder of the legendary fashion maison Brioni and boast a few of his original sketches. The Study is the ideal space for working or enjoying reading on the ancient books from the owners’ private collection. The Music room features a concert piano Yamaha Diskalvier and the guests can enjoy their private piano concerts without leaving the apartment. The Lounge is one of our favourite areas as it features two cabinets that hide a smart TV and a “minibar” which is at the guests’ entire disposal and offers the best Italian spirits and wines from Lazio region.

    The spacious Pope’s room with 8-meter high ceiling is decorated with marvelous frescoe by Allegrini representing Dido and Aeneas. Built from reclaimed wood with an elaborate headboard, the bed is raised on a platform, bringing you closer to observe it. Beyond the massive windows lies a private balcony and beautiful spectacle of the famed Piazza Navona. When you open the doors of the windows, which measure an astonishing 4,5 meters in height, the spectacle takes your breath away: it’s easy to imagine exactly how popes, princes and noble mistresses felt standing here. The bedroom where the Pope once rested could not miss the Pope’s bathroom, which Barbini’s have designed with an alcove jacuzzi decorated with a 265,000-tile finger nail mosaic.

    In the kitchen, where breakfast is served by a private chef, guests dine on an 18th century table composed of 30 types of inlaid marble. One of the most exciting elements of the Holy Deer is a 1918 vintage Berkel meat slicer, from which tissue-thin sheets of Sant’Ilario Prosciutto are issued with a single crank of the handle. Guests are encouraged to help themselves, though a full staff is on hand and will delight you with their signature San Lorenzo Lodges aperitivo upon arrival. For those who seek extraordinary dining experiences, private dinners with Michelin starred chefs and wine tastings are available upon request: the most exclusive experiences could come true in this unique location!

    • The most exclusive and luxurious accommodation in Rome
    • Perfect combination of privacy & public life
    • Spacious rooms with signature amenities
    • Dedicated staff at your service
    • Delicious breakfast served by a private chef
    • Fine selection of Italian spirits & wines at your disposal
    • Breathtaking views on Piazza Navona
    • The possibility to leave inside the history and become a Pope for a day!

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