TURIN AND GRAND HOTEL SITEA
Grand Hotel Sitea and Bike Italy have a consolidated partnership since long time. The reason of this is mainly because the central location of the hotel and even more, the excellent service. Both of the reasons make Grand Hotel Sitea an ideal base for our guests for the Piedmont bike trips and for who like to spend some time in one of the most charming towns of Italy.
Here is a short interview with Monica Capuzzo, marketing and communication manager of the accommodation.
TORINO, archivio regione Piemonte
How many years has the hotel been active? How has the city transformed over the years of SITEA activity?
The Grand Hotel Sitea was founded in 1925. The property has been in the same family for four generations. Confidentiality, friendliness, discretion are three qualities that make up the philosophy and fame of the Grand Hotel Sitea, a hotel in the heart of Risorgimento Turin.
The hotel is and has been the protagonist in town in the last Ninety years spent in the constant service of subalpine hospitality amidst the scenes of facts and news that characterized three-quarters of city life in the 1900s.
Between the early 1920s and 1930s, the Piedmontese capital was experiencing its first phase of remarkable industrial evolution. FIAT was expanding its facilities with the construction of the futuristic Lingotto factories and was preparing to put on the market models such as the "509" and the "Balilla." Via Roma - even then the backbone of the city center - was about to change its face. And Italy was approaching the significant political changes that were to lead, shortly after that, to the Second World War.
According to a saying of the time, even Louis Armstrong, called to play at the Chiarella Theater (now Metropol cinema), "went down" to Sitea by the impresario Alfredo Antonino, a great fan and collector of jazz songs.
The Savoy stay of "Satchmo" was an absolute triumph, despite the difficulties posed by the fascist regime towards an American, moreover of color. His music was able to break through music lovers' hearts and leave traces in the city. Among the audience of that historic evening, two young people: Renato Germanio and Ferdinando Buscaglione - later called "Fred" - souls of the Turin jazz duo who, over the years, contributed to making Turin one of the Italian capitals of this new musical trend from across the ocean.
In January 1940, the hotel registered 2,750 visitors and a collection of 94,000 lire. But the war is now underway, and difficult years are ahead for the hotel as well. On 16 December 1944, the Sitea was requisitioned by the R.A.P. (Anti Partisans Departments), and regular hotel business is interrupted until May of the following year.
Today the Grand Hotel Sitea is increasingly the backstage of the city's cultural and social life, the antechamber of major sporting and political events. Each time it is ready to discreetly transform itself into the Youth Film Festivals and Sports Cinema foyer or the antechamber of the Grinzane Award and the Book Fair. The hotel, however, has dressed sports clothes also, like on the occasion of the 1990 World Cup and, as the base for the Juventus soccer team between 1994 to 1998.
The hotel has a vast and heterogeneous clientele. From the Nobel Laureates invited to conferences and literary competitions, to the foreign delegations that attended Turin for the 1996 G7 or, the actors that pick the Grand hotel Sitea as their residence for their business in town.
Philosophy of welcome for GH Sitea, what does it mean?
At the Grand Hotel Sitea, the customer is always at the center. Thanks to the experience and professionalism of the staff, we are able, right from the first contacts, to recognize the expectations and needs of guests, and we do our best to ensure that the customer, at the end of their stay, brings home a beautiful memory and the desire to return.
What is the relationship between the GH SITEA and the city? A city Hotel is in the town, but it is still an activity aimed at those not from the city. Do you feel like you're some hinge? Connection element between the city and the visitor who stays with you for tourism or business?
We have always felt a little like the thermometer of the city since the hotel is frequented by freelancers and top managers of the largest companies. Politicians and entertainment personalities consider the GH Sitea their base when they are in town.
Since Turin has also become a tourist destination, the "Sitea," thanks to its location in the center, in a quiet pedestrian street, which offers the opportunity to visit the main tourist attractions on foot, has become a reference point for tourists.
How has the hotel business transformed in this period of Covid? What do you do to maintain the warm welcome with this virus that tends to create distance?
The hotel has adapted to all anti-COVID procedures, as per ministerial provisions and indications of the Piedmont Region and Federalbeghi.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the hotel had to be closed for several months. We have reopened for a couple of months with reduced staff and some changes to services. To date, in light of the new government changes, we organize breakfast, with a reduced buffet and table service.
The annexed Bistrot Carlo & Camillo restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with à la carte service. Possibility for hotel guests to choose the table outside or inside. Closed on Sunday evening (however, a snack service is guaranteed for hotel guests) and on Monday, all-day
Finally, the starred restaurant "Carignano" is open in the evening, from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday for lunch (only three tables set up in the hotel's internal garden). Reservation is mandatory. We are closed on Sunday evening and all day Monday.
The organization may undergo variations depending on the evolution of the situation:
After the first reopening, customers begin to increase, but they are still very few (average 15/16% occupancy). Those few are very popular, and we do everything possible to make their stay as personalized as possible. We are few staff members, but we are all for them as if it were a small structure.
The recovery of the business will be a long process. Despite the reopening, Turin is heading towards the low season. If there are no new waves, we can hope to return to suitable occupations in September and October 2021. Then in November, with the ATP finals, also do excellent results. The after is all a question mark.
There will be changes, positively, with the return to normalcy. Hopefully soon.
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Do you like to plan a bike tour in Piedmont that includes Grand Hotel Sitea?
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