Posted by: debrakolkka | January 10, 2011

Hotel Julia and Via Rasella

When I am in Rome I always stay at the Hotel Julia in Via Rasella, number 29.  It is well priced, in an excellent location and the staff are very welcoming.  It is nice to be greeted by a friendly face after a long flight.  Say hello to Rosa for me if you stay there.

Hotel Julia

The hotel is just a short taxi ride from Termini (Rome’s central railway station). It should cost around €10 for the fare.   If you don’t have heavy bags you could walk or take the Metro.

It is a short walk to the end of the street,  across the road, and another short walk and you are at the Trevi Fountain.  A short walk is a slightly different direction will have you at the Piazza di Spagna, and then Rome’s attractions are nearby.

The hotel is beside the Quirinale, where the Prime Minister stays when in Rome. I’m not sure if this is a selling point, but the building itself is most impressive.

It is hard to believe that quiet little Via Rasella has a bloody and tragic history.  In WWII this was the scene of a booby trap by the Italian resistance in one their earliest ventures.  A home made bomb was planted in a rubbish cart and the partisans, aided by lookouts, waited until a troop of German soldiers marched along the narrow street and the bomb was set off.  Dozens of unsuspecting soldiers and 2 civilians were killed.  When Hitler learned of the incident he vowed revenge against the Italian people.  For every German soldier killed there were to be 10 patriots killed.  This was to be repeated many times during the war, but it began with the Via Rasella killings.

335 people were rounded up and taken to Fosse Ardeatine where they were shot in the back of the head, placed in piles, buried under rubble and the caves were sealed off with explosives. The 10 – 1 rule didn’t quite work out exactly.  Five extra people were murdered just because they were unlucky enough to be selected, and because they had witnessed the killings, they were shot with the others.  Many of the German soldiers who were charged with this dreadful duty were very reluctant participants.  After the liberation in 1944 the bodies were discovered and given a proper burial.

Two films have been made about this horrible incident.  Deici Italiani per un Tedesco in 1962 and Massacre in Rome in 1973, starring Marcello Mastrioanni and Richard Burton.  As awful as these  events are, we need to remember them so that, hopefully, they never happen again.

I walk down the Via Rasella often, and I can’t help but think about what happened here.  Even though buildings in the street have been renovated since the war, bullet holes are still visible on the upper floor of one house as a permanent reminder.


  1. Thank you for the tip. I have heard you mention this hotel before. Also thank you for the historical information.

  2. Wow Debra. What a bloody history indeed. The history that Rome offers, both more recent and ancient is rather sobering. The things that city has seen…

  3. Thank you for the nice tip! The hotel sounds really lovely. Do you have any pictures of their rooms?

  4. Looks like a perfect place to stay!

  5. Thanks for the recommendation (and the sad history story). I checked out their website and it is indeed very good value. Next time we’re in Roma…

    • The hotel is quite small and the rooms are also not large, but it is clean and close to everything you want to be close to.

  6. Thanks for the hotel referral-I’m helping friends with Italy reservations and I will let them know about this hotel. This history is tragic. I’ve just started doing some research on the war in Italy as my father was there for a long time fighting the Germans and I am tracking where he was.

  7. […] the original post: Hotel Julia and Via Rasella « Debra & Liz's Bagni di Lucca Blog Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in Hotel, Hotel Lucca e ha i tag always-stay, […]

  8. We stayed at Hotel Julia 2008, our room which was in the neaxt door building was very spacious and the bathroom was quiet large. I think these rooms are for families or 3 or more people.
    Rosa was so helpful and such a great person, you leave feeling like she is a friend.
    Wish that we had known that history then…. It is great location, you can walk everywhere.

    • I didn’t know about it until I read a book about Italy in WWII. It was a terrible event – one of many I’m sure.

  9. Oh my Debra…. Just added this lovely place to my list. It’s beautiful!

  10. […] is the added benefit that I get a day to wander about in Rome. We always stay at the Hotel Julia, a short walk to the Piazza di Spagna, a very good place to start a Rome day. the Spanish steps the […]

  11. […] my final night in Italy I had dinner at a restaurant beside the Hotel Julia, where I always stay in Rome. I ordered saltimbocca and a fennel and blood orange salad. The […]

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