Hotel Etico Rome
The Albergo Etico (Ethical Hotel) is the first of its kind in Rome and only the second in Italy (after one opened in the town of Asti, Piedmont in 2006). The not-for-profit Roman hotel located near Piazza del Popolo, which predominantly employs physically and mentally disabled people, opened in December 2018. It is the brainchild of Antonio Pelosi who combined his background growing up in a family of hoteliers with his experience recuperating from an accident that left him in a coma for three weeks and unable to return to the workforce. Now thoroughly recovered, Antonio provides meaningful employment and a learning environment so that people can make the most of their abilities and study professional hotel management on the job. “There are so many advantages to employing disabled people,” he says, citing “loyalty, happiness and high job satisfaction, high retention rates and the family atmosphere created in the hotel.”
The hotel in Via Pisanelli is a former private school rented from the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, made possible via a loan through Unicredit Social Impact Banking. Antonio is grateful to Unicredit, not only for the finance but also for their network and endorsement of the project. “In the non-profit world,” he says, “trust and credibility are my most important assets.”
Similar in size and functionality to its counterpart in Piedmont, it offers 18 double rooms, a bar, restaurant, terrace, and co-working spaces. Electric car and bike-sharing options are coming soon! Happily, the hotel has enjoyed support from many sectors – from business and banking to catering and media. Even the Rome hotel’s logo and cabinet design were donated by friends and supporters who understood the hotel’s mission. For example, the rooms are filled with cabinets and wardrobes of varying shapes and colors – just like people. “It’s this composition that makes the hotel and indeed the world beautiful,” says Antonio.
Officially, the hotel is listed as a three star property but Antonio insists they are able to offer a four star experience and setting. The rooms are indeed lovely. So why not turn your next Roman holiday into an act of good! By booking a room and frequenting the restaurant, you’ll be interacting directly with disabled people, many of whom have Down syndrome.You will also be supporting their transition into the hospitality industry and path towards living independently. If you prefer, you can also donate directly to sustain the hotel’s operation. Last but certainly not least, if you’re a hotelier in Rome looking for well-trained, loyal and hard-working staff, give Antonio a call. This is the first but hopefully not the last ethical hotel in Rome.
Artwork by Lorenzo Ludi
Lorenzo Ludi, a young painter from La Spezia, seriously disabled from birth, studied under the masters and now his artwork is appreciated and sought-after. He has exhibited all over Italy and as far away as the Philippines. His work may be purchased through the hotel.