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Maccaferri Palace

Fascinating building of the late nineteenth century, which combines the beauty of the Liberty style with the innovation of new materials and engineering techniques. A Palace with a social and cultural role in the center of Bologna, returned to the city with the wise restoration and the opening of I Portici Hotel.

Beauty and Avant-garde

I Portici Hotel is located in the historic center of Bologna and occupies the five floors of Maccaferri Palace, a fascinating late nineteenth-century building, set between Via Indipendenza, Scalinata del Pincio and Parco della Montagnola.
The building was designed by Attilio Muggia at the end of the nineteenth century, recognized as one of the most original Italian architects and engineers, because in his works the structural and design rigor combined with architectural quality and creativity, with the use of new techniques and innovative materials, such as reinforced concrete.

Maccaferri Palace was designed in the philosophy of synthesis of technology and aesthetics, in conjunction with the inauguration of the new Railway Station and the construction of the new Via Indipendenza, opened in 1888 as the main link between Piazza Maggiore and the station itself.

The Palace’s owner was Engineer Giuseppe Maccaferri who, together with Attilio Muggia, planned the construction of a building between Via dell’Indipendenza and the Giardini della Montagnola. The first stone was laid on April, 6th 1896 and the works lasted just one year.

A structure that respects the territory in which it develops, both from the morphological and from the socio-cultural point of view, in that, in addition to private residences, public functions, a restaurant and a café-chantant were also provided.

In the 1950s, after the end of the Second World War, Maccaferri Palace was sold and became a compartment for an electricity company until 2007.

In that year it opened I Portici Hotel Bologna, after a careful and skilful restoration that brought light the over 1,500 square meters of Liberty paintings in the halls and on the ceilings of the five floors of the building. Entering the Palace, one immediately perceives respect for the original beauty of the structure, which is enhanced and accentuated by the minimal design of the furniture and the suggestive plays of light.

Eden Kursaal Theater

The Eden-Kursaal Theater, the nineteenth-century café-chantant located on the ground floor of Maccaferri Palace, is now home to the I Portici Restaurant, Michelin Star since 2012. A fascinating place in Liberty style, a reference point for entertainment and the variety in Bologna. During the Belle Époque years, the theater saw the most famous protagonists of the variety perform, including the legendary Bella Otero, and hosted the city’s first trade fair. In 1921 it was chosen to represent the futurist Teatro della Sorpresa. From the genius of the versatile artist-craftsman Sante Mingazzi, the Room contained stuccos and frescoes, but also railings, lamps and wrought iron of all kinds, with the lighting curated by the Ganz company in Berlin and equipped with one of the first heating systems of the city. The restaurant also contained a large restaurant, in turn equipped with rooms with billiard and for playing cards. The diffusion of the cinema determined the crisis of theatrical entertainment, so the Eden Kursaal Theater ended its programming in 1923 and the main activity became food, allocating the space on the ground floor to the ballroom.

Ex Ice House – XIV c.

As well as having the prestigious Wine Cellar of I Portici Restaurant, the Ex Ice House is a unique place for fining tasting experience, with products and courses made by the skilled hands of the chef. The Ex Ice House, which represents an ingenious attempt to anticipate the first refrigerators by 500 years, after the renovation of the Palace, has been returned to the city of Bologna, to show the new way of hospitality that shares unique places and experiences and, at the same time, fascinating opportunities for recreation.
Entering in the medieval Ex Ice House in not hard relive the ancient atmospheres, when this place, that today is one of most suggestive in Bologna, was lit by the dim light of torches and oil lamps and kept, between straw and snow, foodstuffs of Rocca di Galliera, the fourteenth-century residence of the papal legate. Its tunnels run long and narrow to the Parco della Montagnola, starting from the bowels of Maccaferri Palace, home of I Portici Hotel, which was annexed to the early 1900s. It has gone through over seven centuries of history, without ever betraying its original characteristics. Careful restoration work has made it even more attractive, transforming it into an environment on two levels, separated by a transparent floor that can guarantee great lightness to the entire structure.