The building is in the Leonina city or suburb district, between St Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’ Angelo. Just above the window of the hotel, is he “Passetto”, the long passage which links the Vatican to the fortress of Castel Sant’ Angelo.
It was called “Locanda Leonina”. This name comes from the small square near St Peter’s Colonnade.
Since 1873, generation of the Mariani family, have always distinguished themselves for the quality of their hospitality.
This building, wich was built in the 15th century, became the house of the architect Domenico Fontana, who was asked by Pope Sisto V to stay in Rome 1543. He lived here for long time before going to Naples, where he died in 1607.
The restoration of the hotel was completed in 1999 reaching the high quality standard which is typical of small historical buildings.
Another interesting piece of history is the White Elephant called Annone dating from about 1510.
A domestic White Elephant, originating from the Island of Ceylon,from Pope Leone X; The Elephant was a present from King Manuele of Aviz, Portugal, for the Coronation of the Pope and it was the subject of the book “The Pope’s Elephant”,an Elephant’s Journey from Deep in India to the Heart of Rome, by Prof. Silvio Bedini.
It was Prof. Silvio Bedini who, in order to study in the secret archive of the Vatican, stayed in our hotel to discover the final resting place of the Elephant – an old desecrated church just opposite our hotel