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It has been a long journey since 1300 A.D., when the Hospitium Magnum was born before the seaside for the tradesmen and sailors of the Port of Trieste. Between 1727 and 1732 it was replaced by the Osteria Grande, which was later expanded, renewed and renamed Locanda Grande. It was later demolished in 1847.
In 1873 the Assicurazioni Generali gave the engineer Eugenio Geiringer the important task of rebuilding what would later become the Hotel Garni. In the early 20th century the hotel was renamed Hotel Vanoli and in 1912 electricity was introduced in the hotel. Since 1972 the hotel's name has been Grand Hotel Duchi d'Aosta.
Throughout the centuries many important figures have stayed in our hotel, such as the young Mary of Spain, wife of Ferdinand I, Federico Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Giacomo Casanova, Carlo Goldoni and many others.
On the 8th June 1768 a terrible tragedy occurred: the archaeologist Giovanni Winckelmann, who made Ercolano and Pompei famous worldwide, was mortally stabbed by his lover. The trial generated quite a stir at the time: a nobleman allegedly having an affair with a serf during his numerous visits in Trieste. The owner of the Locanda Grande was the main witness against him and though never proven wrong, the Queen was found not guilty.
In recent years notable figures such as Francis Ford Coppola, Ray Charles, Primo Levi, Edoardo de Filippo, Anthony Hopkins, Sting, Brian Adams, Alberto Sordi, Rita Levi Montalcini, Claudio Abbaldo, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Queen Noor of Jordan have had the pleasure of staying in our hotel.
Note: The booklet The History of the Duchi from 1300 till Today is available at the Reception Desk.