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Press kit - Palace Hotel


									  PRESS KIT

-   The city of Bari
-   The city‘s surroundings
-   The Palace Hotel
-   The rooms
-   Dining
-   Conventions and special events
-   Hotel‘s stars
-   The golden Book

Bari becomes part of the Roman Empire in the third century BC and is known as municipium
Barium. After the construction of Via Traiana the city grows rapidly.

In the fourth century, it becomes Episcopal see. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Lombards
(Longobardi) and Byzantines fight for control of the city. In 875, the Byzantines made it into the
capital of the Byzantine district: Thema di Langobardia which included Apulia and Calabria.
Bari was the last Byzantine stronghold in Italy. In 1068, the city was besieged by the Normans and
conquered by 1071. Subsequently, in 1087 the holy relics of S. Nicholas of Myra where brought
there and are still kept to this date in homonymous Basilica, built between 1087 and 1197. In 1098,
Pope Urban II convened 180 bishops to the vault of S. Nicholas Basilica for the ―Council of Bari‖
to discuss dogmatic issues between Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches with the
intention of reconciling the two parties. The Great Schism was however inevitable.

William of Sicily - also known as William the Bad or the Wicket practically destroyed the city.
During the Swabian era, Bari flourished once again around the Norman Castle built by Frederick II
over the remains of a pre-existing fortification. A prolonged period of decadence followed the rule
by the House of Anjou, Aragonese and Spanish. Such decadence was interrupted by the splendor
gained under the Sforza rule, headed by the Duchess Isabella of Aragon and her daughter Bona

Bari was also under Venetian rule for a time. This was an extremely prosperous period for the city
mainly driven by sea-trade of inland products that were very much on demand in foreign markets.
Its harbor was expanded and greatly developed during this time.

On April 25, 1831, Gioachino Murat sets the first stone outside the medieval walls to begin
construction of the new village known as ―Borgo Murattiano‖. Today, it extends from the railway
station and seaside to the ancient city, known as ―Vecchia (old) Bari‖ between the new and the old
harbor. The streets have an orthogonal reticulum structure. It is closed on the east side by the
city walls that separate it from the seaside and follows the characteristic medieval urban planning.

The oldest part of the city has many Romanesque monuments, among them: the Basilica di San
Nicola (S.Nicholas Basilica) built in the XII century and a masterpiece of Romanesque-Apulia
architecture; Bari‘s cathedral, Cattedrale di San Sabino (1170-1178), famous for safeguarding
ancient records, among them a document dating back to before the year 1025 and known as the
famous Exultet‖ (illuminated manuscript). This document contains the liturgy for Holy Saturday.

S. Gregory‘s Church, Chiesa di San Gregorio, (XI- XII century) is very interesting from an
architectural perspective. The famous Swabia-Norman Castle built by Frederick II of Swabia is built
over the remains of Norman and Byzantine fortifications. The castle was expanded in the XVI
century when it became Isabella of Aragon‘s residence, but in the XIX century it was used as a
prison and later transformed into army barracks.

In the new city, one finds the Archeological Museum and the Provincial Pinacoteca, picture gallery,
located on Lungomare Nazario Sauro. The Teatro Petruzzelli Petruzzelli Theater built between
1898 and 1903 is located a short distance from the waterfront. In 1991, a fire seriously damaged
the theater, but re-opened its doors to the public in 2009.

During the XX Century, the city‘s population grew radically from 18,000 to 94,000 inhabitants. It
became provincial capital and many public institutions chose it as their headquarters, among them:
Teatro Puccini, Puccini Theater, Chamber of Commerce, Apulia‘s Aqueduct, Teatro Petruzzelli,
―Università degli Studi‖ and the famous publishing company Laterza.
During World War II, following the occupation by Allied troops, the seaport of Bari, Brindisi and
Taranto, played important strategic role in the war. The ports were a critical and active part of the
war campaign in that many Allied ships and military machines were harbored and stored in this
area throughout the duration of the conflict. Following military operations and after signing the
Armistice between Italy and the Allied forces—known as the Armistizio di Cassibile (due to the
location) on the 8th of September 1943—on January 28-29, 1944 Bari hosted a convention of the
province committee for the liberation. The meeting was aimed at defining common guidelines to
be adopted by all anti-fascist parties for the future political actions throughout the nation.

Thirty minutes away driving distance from the Palace Hotel of Bari one can visit Trani, a famous
picturesque maritime village with an illustrious past, enchanting picturesque medieval quarters, a
historic center filled with beautiful churches and aristocratic buildings. The most ancient part of
the town is located on a peninsula and is crowned by the Roman Cathedral facing the sea. This is
one of the most spectacular and striking churches in Apulia.
A 45 minutes trip by car takes you from the Palace Hotel to Barletta, a town that reached its
maximum splendor under the Anjou rule that increased trade with Eastern countries. In 1503,
when the French and the Spaniards were at war, Barletta became the setting of a historic challenge
known as the ―Barletta Challenge‖ (―Disfida di Barletta‖). a mounted tournament between French
and Italian knights where the Italians were victorious. Other interesting monuments to visit are
the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher (―Basilica di San Sepolcro‖), the Cathedral of Santa Maria
Maggiore (Duomo di Santa Maria Maggiore) and the Castle.
The most famous and beautiful castle in Italy, Castel del Monte, is located only 45 minutes away by
car. It was built by Frederick II of Swabia, in the first half of the 1200‘s. It is a place surrounded by
mystery and legends concerning the reasons behind its construction. Today, it is a popular location
for cultural events and exhibitions.

Matera is located approximately an hour away from Bari. The city of Matera is internationally
famous for its ancient historic quarters, known as the ―Sassi di Matera‖ (stones of Matera). In
1993, UNESCO declared them a World Heritage Site. The ―Sassi‖ are ancient houses dug into the
calcareous ravine, known as ―la Gravina‖, a deep gully that divides this territory in two. The Sassi
di Matera represents the oldest quarter of the city. It was built in a valley and is separated by a
rocky spur of the Civita. This enviable position made the city invisible to its enemies for thousands
of years, allowing it to be untouched for centuries. Interesting religious sites to visit here include,
the XIII Century Cathedral built on the highest point of the ―Civita‖ buttress; the church ―San
Giovanni Battista‖ (S. John de Baptist) praiseworthy example of a Romanesque architectural style
and a series of 150 rupestrian churches (caves excavated in the calcareous rock on both sides of
the ravine). Other noteworthy monuments to visit are: ―Tramontano‖ Castle, built in Aragonese
style, ―Palazzo Lanfranchi,‖ a 17th Century building constructed by Frier Francesco da Coertino by
orders of Bishop Vincenzo Lanfranchi, and the ―Palazzo Annunziata,‖ today the site of the
provincial library.

Built in the late 1950‘s, the Palace hotel is the largest accommodation structure located in
downtown Bari, the regional capital of Puglia. Located a short distance from the city‘s main points
of interest such as the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele—the grand boulevard that leads into the
city‘s the pedestrian area—ideal for shopping; the Noman-Swabian Castle; S. Nicholas Cathedral
(―Catedrale di San Nicola‖) and the renown Petruzzelli Theater (―Teatro Petruzzelli‖).

Palace Hotel welcomes guests in a large foyer and reception area from which it is possible to
access many of the facilities available on premises. The main lobby is decorated in a Classic style
with antique furnishings. It opens into a hallway that leads to the wing of the building where the
hotel‘s Bar and most of the hotel‘s Convention halls are located. Crossing the large ―Galleria‖
(gallery) on the left hand side, there is direct access to the hotel‘s largest meeting rooms: ―Salone
degli Specchi‖ (The Mirrors Hall) and the ―Salone delle Feste‖.

A short distance from the hotel‘s main entrance, guest can access the lounge area of the Bar &
Lounge furnished with comfortable welcoming sofas in which to relax reading the newspapers or
having cocktails with friends. Guest can also catch up on the main cultural events taking place in
town by browsing through the notes posted in the stylish, shinny brass announcement stand
containing local tourist information and the latest cultural events.

Breakfast is served in ―San Nicola‖ restaurant, accessible from the main Lobby close to the main
entrance. The lounge area is easily accessible from the restaurant. In the 1970‘s, considerable
expansion work was done at the Palaces Hotel; eighty rooms and the Convention Center were
added. Renowned architect Roni Facella Sensi was in charge of the remodeling work and the
furnishings were commissioned to ―Cassina‖. Although throughout the years these rooms have at
one time or another undergone some updating, they still maintain their original style.

In 2000, some areas of the Palace Hotel were remodel by Giorgio Pes, a famous and renowned
architect. He also decorated 60 rooms in the main area of the hotel, following the original Classic
style while favoring red, green and beige as predominant colors for the décor.

In 2010, François Droulers bought the Palace Hotel. The ownership change has brought about an
important process of renovation that is part of the general investment plan. It started with the
installment of a new air-conditioning system and new fittings and fixtures that comports with new
energy and eco-friendly regulations. These changes will raise energy efficiency by up to a 50%.
Soon, the renovation will focus on the creation of two new suites and the remodeling of 10

Located in downtown Bari the hotel features 196 rooms and 18 Suites.
The rooms have an average size of 30 square meters and are furnished and decorated in different
styles that vary from Classic to Contemporary.
In-room technology includes: high-speed Internet connection and satellite TV (including Pay TV
and Mediaset Premium and on demand movies). All rooms offer the highest level of comfort and
are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen, 26 inch TV set, mini-bar, cable Internet connection
and safety deposit box.


The suites are furnished and decorated in Contemporary style measuring approximately 57sq m.
They include a bedroom with a double king size bed, a separate living room area and a balcony.
They feature a large marble bathroom with shower and bathtub. The technology featured in this
room includes: high-speed Internet connection; two satellite televisions with on demand movies.
The suite amenities include: bathrobe and slippers, in-room tea and coffee makers, mini-bar, hair
dryer, alarm clock, newspaper and laundry service.

Junior Suite

The junior suites are approximately 35-40 sq m. These suites were carefully designed to provide
additional space for the comfort of our guests on business or family trips. They feature a large and
spacious bedroom decorated and furnished in Classic or Contemporary style, marble bathroom
with shower and bathtub. In-room amenities include: hair dryer, tea and coffee makers, alarm
clock, newspaper and laundry service. Flat screen 26 inch TV with on demand movies. High-speed
Internet cable connection is available for an extra fee.

Executive Rooms

The Executive rooms measuring 32 sq m. are the largest in this category. They are furnished and
decorated in Contemporary style featuring marble bathrooms with shower and bathtub, mini-bar,
Flat screen TV 26 inch, on demand movies and high-speed Internet cable connection available for
an extra fee. Other special amenities in these suites include in-room coffee and tea makers.

Superior Rooms

One of the main concerns of Palace Hotel is to offer comfortable and spacious rooms with an
excellent habitability. Its Superior rooms, measure 28 sq m. offer additional space for the comfort
of guests on business or family trips. They are decorated in Classic style featuring antique
furniture, marble bathrooms and balcony. They are equipped with a mini-bar and Flat screen 26
inch TV, on demand movies and high-speed Internet cable connection for an extra fee.

Classic Rooms

These rooms are approximately 25 sq m. and are decorated with Classic style furnishings. They
feature mini-bar, Flat screen 26 inch TV, on demand movies and High-speed Internet cable
connection for an extra fee.

Special Request Rooms

As a result of its constant search and aim to offer varied top quality services to its guests, the
Palace Hotel features a series of ―Special Requests Rooms.‖ These special request-type rooms
offer: the ―Businesswoman Room,‖ a room specially designed for the female executive; the
―Children Room,‖ specifically acclimated to welcome children. It includes gifts, stuffed animals and
lots of cartoons; the ―Animal lover Room, specially suited to welcome pets. It includes wooden
floors, pet bed, dog-walking kit (including plastic bags and a pair of tongs), pet toilette kit and a
selection of high quality pet food; a ―Smokers Room‖; a ―Music Lover Room‖ that includes a
sophisticated stereo system, a huge selection classical music and theme related books, and in-
room information regarding the latest theater and festival programs.

The Palace Hotel offers its clients the possibility to use the Convention Center located on site. It
features 16 different halls suitable for meetings, conventions, special events, presentations and
exhibitions. The convention Center has a maximum capacity of 1500 participants.
The meeting rooms are located in the lower level, main floor and first floor of the hotel. All
meeting rooms are equipped with computerized controlled air conditioning, free high-speed
Internet (100mega optic-fiber), Wi-Fi connection in all the hotel‘s meeting rooms and public
spaces, large exhibit areas, simultaneous translation equipment, Conference system and Business
Center and the opportunity to personalize events with the highly experienced, efficient and
dedicated convention center staff. The Palace Hotel‘s Convention Center also offers separate and
direct access to all the convention halls.
Business planners can reserve up to 150 rooms including late checkout option.
The Meeting rooms are located throughout the hotel as follows.

                                            Lower Level Floor
                      Sala Abbrescia, Sala Illiria and Sala Daunia meeting rooms.
                                                 Main Floor
     Salone delle Feste, Salone degli Specchi, Sala Messapia, Sala Ausonia, Sala Barion, Galleria
                                                 First Floor
  Sala Japigia, Sala Egnazia- Sveva, Sala Ionia, Sala Sveva, Sala Egnazia, Sala Appulia meeting rooms.
                                              Seventh Floor
                                Murat Restaurant and the Sala Camino.

Salone degli Specchi is the largest with a maximum capacity of 450 seats. The space has no
columns or divisions of any sort and is illuminated with natural sunlight. These features make it
one of the largest convention halls located in a major Italian city center.
The Salone delle Feste is elegantly decorated with antique furniture and paintings. It is the ideal
place for banquets and can host up to 500 persons.
The Murat Restaurant is located on the 7th floor and features a spectacular view of the Cathedral
and the Vecchia Bari. It is also available for banquets and special events.
To organize private parties and special events that require outdoor spaces, the Palace Hotel Bari
offers Villa Palace, a 19th century mansion wholly restored by the Architect Renzo Mongiardino,
located a short distance from downtown Bari.

Palace Hotel offers its guests excellent catering services capable of satisfying even the most
demanding palates. It features two spacious and welcoming restaurants elegantly decorated.
San Nicola Restaurant is located near the main entrance thus making it easily accessible. It is the
perfect place to enjoy the famous Palace Hotel award winning breakfast. The restaurant is
decorated in English style and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere giving guests that home
away from home feeling. Under the guidance of Patrizia Matera every morning the buffet of the
San Nicola restaurant offers its guests a variety of homemade cakes and pastries. A classic and
internationally renowned English breakfast is also available. The restaurant is open to the public
from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The Murat Restaurant is located on the seventh floor of the Palace Hotel. It features a magnificent
terrace with a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea, Bari‘s Harbor and the famed Cathedral
dedicated to S. Nicholas, the patron of the Bari.
For the past ten years, Chef Vito Paradiso, has been responsible for the hotel‘s Murat restaurant.
He personally chooses the products and elaborates them into the tasty and delicious dishes
featured in the restaurant‘s menu. Guests can chose from a variety of dishes in the buffet or the ―a
la carte‖ menu. The dishes offered at the Murat restaurant bring out the flavors of local products
without altering their taste and flavor by excessive manipulation. Simple and tasty dishes served
with elegant and impeccable service by the restaurant‘s staff; the result of years of experience.
Murat Restaurant is elegantly decorated with antique pictures and furniture. It is the ideal setting
for organizing all kinds of events while also offering top quality accommodations.
The Palace Hotel also offers a ―brunch‖, which is served until 3.00pm in the Lounge. It‘s the
perfect option for guests who prefer a quick and fast meal without compromising its quality.
Available at any time of the day, the Bar located in the main Lobby of the Palace Hotel is the
perfect place for a coffee break or appetizer drinks with friends.

                                   François Droulers, Hotelier

François Droulers was born in Milan in 1971. He studied in Italy and England, where he obtained a
degree in Business Administration. He starts career in London with the Thistle Hotels (an English
four star hotel chain with 100 structures) where he held various executive positions. At the age of
26 he was appointed Assistant Manager in a 370 rooms hotel in Kensington.

In 1998, Mr. Drouler returns to Italy with the responsibility of remodeling, restructuring and re-
launching ―Villa La Massa‖ a 5 star luxury hotel located in the outskirts of Florence. ―Villa La
Massa‖ was then part of the Villa d‘Este Group, of which his father was the major shareholder. He
later left the family business though he kept a seat in the company‘s board of directors. He
devoted his career and focused his interests in hotel management and development as
management consultant for hotel structures throughout Italy.
These endeavors were carried out in collaboration with a consulting firm with which he obtained
the rights to the distribution of ―The Bench‖ in Italy. ―The Bench‖ is a hotel industry benchmarking
software technology now known as STR Global, a leader in the market. In 2005, Ernesto Preatoni
hires him to design and develop the business and marketing plan for the Domina Group, an Italian
hotel chain. François Droulers negotiates over 200 hotel acquisition operations involving Italy,
Europe, Russia, Middle East and India. During the years spent with ―Domina‖, he buys 35 hotel
structures and sells 15. In July 2009, he resigns from ―Domina Group‖ to focus on the creation of
his own Italian hotel group. During the first half of 2010, he acquires the Palace Hotel in Bari and
the Move Hotel in Mogliano Veneto, which will be opening on March 2011.
Mr. Droulers believes in accessible luxury. The quality of service is the foundation of his
management style. These hotels have similar characteristics in reference to their market
positioning; yet each is quite different in style.
The Group aims to expand from the current 400 rooms offered in the Italian territory to a total
of 1000 rooms in the next 5 years.

 Other Career Positions: Independent Counselor to Unione Alberghi Italiani, Italian hotel Union
                                Gabriele Fortunato, General Manager

Gabriel Fortunato was born in Andria in 1958. He begins his hotel business experience at a very
young age. First he is Assistant Sommelier at the ―Grand Hotel Villa d‘Este‖ in Cernobbio and
later, from 1975 to 1982, he moves to Great Britain where he works as maître for different
hotels, such as the Caledonian Hotel to the Cosmo Restaurant in Scotland.
Later, he returns to Italy with an acquired professionalism and experience and decides to change
his working field from the catering business to guest relations. He works as Receptionist at the
historic Grand Hotel in Milan where he stays for nine years.
In 1991, Mr. Fortunato starts his management career first as Reception Manager for Century
Tower Hotel in Milan, and later in 1998 as General Manager for some of the major hotels of the
―Bonaparte Hotel‖ group—now merged into ―UNA Hotels‖.

In 2004, another important hotel industry group, ―Domina Hotel Group,‖ selected Mr. Fortunato
as part of their team. He worked as General Manager for the ―Domina Inn Malpensa‖, the
―Domina Hotel & Conference Rotterdam‖ and the ―Domina Inn Milano Fiera‖.

           In 2009, he was appointed General Manager for the ―Palace Hotel‖ in Bari.

Vito Paradiso, Executive Chef

The Chef, Vito Paradiso, has been working at the ―Palace Hotel‖ for over ten years. He arrived in
2000 at the conclusion of his first working experience at ―The Halkin‖ hotel in London. There he
worked with the renowned Chef Gualtiero Marchesi.
Palace Hotel‘s Murat Restaurant menu is focused on the region. Chef Paradiso offers a menu filled
with tasty dishes based on local traditional recipes obtained by the use of seasonal quality of

Chef Paradiso‘s strength centers on the choice of the basic ingredients, which combined with a
simple and genuine cooking style results in tasty dishes where the original flavors of the
ingredients haven‘t been altered during the cooking process. For guest staying in the Special
Request Businesswoman Room, Chef Vito Paradiso offers a special high energy lean menu:
vegetable ―Carpaccio‖ (seasoned thinly sliced raw vegetables) accompanied by an Altamura bread
pie; fresh ―Tagliolini‖ with basil, shrimp, zucchini and oranges peels; a‘ gratin (oven cooked) red
snapper fillet on a potato and herb crust and for dessert a ―fresh fruit aspic‖.
Patrizia Matera – Breakfast Coordinator

Patrizia Matera has been working at the Palace Hotel for decades and represents an important
point of reference for both hotel‘s staff and guests. Patrizia is known as the ‖breakfast fairy,‖ a
nickname once given to her by a guest. She started her career in the hotel as assistant
housekeeper. In the early ‗90s, having gained the trust and respect of the acting General Manager,
she was promoted to server manager and specifically responsible for breakfast. He recognized her
natural ability and potential in guest relations promoted her. .
―Untill then‖ says Patrizia ―the breakfast lounge at the ―Palace Hotel Bari‖ was an anonymous
poorly lit area with little importance; it went practically unnoticed by clients‖. The application of
specific marketing and communications strategy adopted by the Palace along with and Patrizia‘s
professionalism and grace, gained through a series of professional courses offered and paid for by
the hotel) transformed the breakfast experience into one of the most significant and characteristic
services offered by the hotel. In 1996, the ―Palace Hotel‖ won the ―Hotel of the Year‖ award for

Palace Hotel has always been an icon in the hotel industry in Bari, making it the most likely choice
for political, economic, cultural and religious representatives visiting Bari for long or short stays.

Among the many celebrities that have chosen Palace Hotel Bari as their favorite hotel in town are:

Stefano Accorsi
Gianni Alemanno                     Edoardo De Filippo
Magdi Allam                         Gerard Depardieu                     Ennio Morricone
Giulio Andreotti                    Pierpaolo Diotallevi                 Riccardo Muti
Cardinale Bagnasco                  Anna Maria Ferrero                   Negramaro
Lino Banfi                          Gianfranco Fini                      Rudolf Nurejev
Michail Barysnikov                  Dario Fo                             Ferzan Ozpetek
Roberto Benigni                     Carla Fracci                         Sandro Pertini
Silvio Berlusconi                   Loretta Goggi                        Michele Placido
Enzo Biagi                          Rutger Hauer                         Pooh
Rosy Bindi                          Thomas Howell                        Romano Prodi
Nuccia Bongiovanni                  Helmut Kohl                          Gigi Proietti
Raul Bova                           Rita Levi di Montalcini              Patty Pravo
Enrico Brignano                     Gina Lollobrigida                    Massimo Ranieri
Paolo Carlini                       Macario                              Katia Ricciarelli
Francesco Cossiga                   Mitria Medvedev                      Cardinale Ruini
Lucio Dalla                         Milva                                Francesco Rutelli
Massimo D‘Alema                     Mina                                 Frank Sinatra
Gigi D‘Alessio                      Domenico Modugno                     Gerhard Schroeder
                                    Aldo Moro                            Liz Taylor
                                                                         Franco Zeffirelli

          Via Francesco Lombardi, 13 – 70122 Bari
            Tel. 080 5216551 – Fax 080 5211499 –

                  PRESS OFFICE

              IMAGINE Communication
          Via G. Barzellotti, 9b – 00136 Roma
 Tel. 06 39750290 – –

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