fbpx

About Us

REFINED, ELEGANT, DISTINGUISHED

Our Achievements

 

Rosselli – AX Privilege has received numerous awards in the first few months of its opening including an International Standard of Excellence Award, a Golden International Award, has been nominated for two categories in the International Property and Hotel Awards, has been acknowledged by Forbes, was amongst the Best Honeymoon Hotels in Valletta and was acclaimed for its interior space by the local Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers. Recently, the luxury hotel was also awarded the Booking.com Traveller Review Award and the Planning Authority Award for Hospitality Tourism Accommodation and Leisure was won by Forward Architects for the design of Rosselli hotel in Valletta.

Casa Rosselli-Massa

 

Built in the first decades of the 1600s, Casa Rosselli-Massa is a magnificent house that reflects the building and decoration styles of 17th century Malta. The house has been respectfully restored to bring out the elegance and sophistication intended by its original architects. The house now weaves history into a contemporary tapestry of design and colour palettes. Without compromising on the highest standards of modern-day comfort, Rosselli – AX Privilege will take you back in time when nobility distinguished its wealth and standing through stately homes of distinct architecture.

A refined blend of renaissance and baroque

 

Located at 167 Merchants Street, corner with St. Christopher Street, the palazzo is a clear example of a transitional building, incorporating the classical lines of Renaissance architecture and the more florid early Baroque styles.

On the refined symmetrical façade, the Rosselli coat-of-arms sits proudly atop the main doorway. The arms show the initials P.R and A.M. for Pietro Rosselli and Alusietta Massa, the owners of the house. The crest shows three herons representing the qualities of calmness, grace and tranquillity, as well as the badge of the Archconfraternity of Charity. This unique heraldic sign was a civic identifier, denoting the family’s status in society.

The Interior

 

The Interior of the palazzo follows the structure of typical houses of nobility, with service and servant quarters on the ground floor, and the Piano Nobile on the first floor, which housed the main living quarters and sleeping arrangements of the family. This floor would have enjoyed views from the balconies, and the dry and warmth, away from the dampness of the ground floor.

A 400-year-old+ fountain authentic to the building sits quietly in the palazzo’s internal courtyard. Important buildings had their own private fountains in Valletta. Water was scarce and having easy access to underground water from deep wells was a privilege. Fountains were also works of art and aesthetically pleasing with the soothing sound of water reverbating up towards the high walls.

The family’s will shows what kind of objects the house would have held, including very rare items such as ivory and ebony devotional crosses, bed drapery, armchairs covered in damask, sugar bowls made out of tortoise shell, frames made from walnut, amber and solid gold rosary beads, porcelain coffee cups and silverware.

Rosselli – AX Privilege

 

The architects and designers commissioned for the palazzo’s renovation project had one clear brief – to remain sympathetic to the original characteristics of the building, while incorporating contemporary elements, styles and materials. Considerate to the building’s heritage, the project has conserved important historical features and recreated iconic local features like the Maltese balcony, without defaulting on all-important modern comforts that any guest at a five-stary luxury boutique hotel expects.

As you walk through our common areas and into your room, notice the subtle circle leitmotif – a recurring symbol in the palazzo’s interior design. From the wall lights to the sinks, bathtubs and mirrors, the circle of life is often referenced discreetly, as a way to remember the old and connect with the new.

Only the very best materials have been used in the palazzo’s interior design and no expense has been spared. From locally produced as well as Carrara marble, to custom made playful coffee tables with a mid-century flair, to gold and brass that’s a nod to the history of Don Pietro and his family, the rich textures throughout the hotel conspire to make your visit a truly wonderous stay.

Line Seperator

OUR STORY

Don Pietro and Alusietta

Pietro Rosselli was a well-known merchant and a goldsmith of wealth and good standing. Born in Valletta in 1607, he married Alusietta Massa, daughter of the Master of the Mint, Mastro Antonio Massa. The couple, who celebrated their vows in St Francis Church, Valletta on the 29th of April 1634 had a son Maruzzo, and Casa Rosselli-Massa at 167, Merchants Street, Valletta was their home.

In his portrait in the reception area of the hotel, Pietro is seen wearing the Mezza Croce, otherwise known as the half-cross badge. This honour was bestowed upon him by the Hospitallers, making him a Donat which was a distinction awarded to a few, and rarely to the Maltese. Additionally, both Grand Masters Jean Paul Lascaris Castellar and Martin de Redin appointed him Jurat of the Universita’ of Valletta and the Harbour Cities in the decade between 1649 and 1659, affirming Pietro Rosselli’s position as one of the leaders of Maltese society. Rosselli and Massa’s portraits may be found in a chapel of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Charity and dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Siġġiewi. The word ‘Founder’ is inscribed beneath their names in this chapel.

Rosselli Taste History

Pietro Rosselli passed away in April 1676, possibly as an early victim of a terrible plague in Malta during that year. Alusietta joined him in August 1682. Today, the couple lie in their chapel in the Jesuit’s Church in Merchants Street, the tombstone bearing an inscription that highlights how Pietro Rosselli wanted to distinguish the worthiness of his soul from the money he held. It is also adorned with Rosselli’s crest which includes the distinctive Mezza Croce and three herons.

Philanthropy

Rosselli and Massa were renowned philanthropists. Their funding projects included the building and decoration of the Oratory of the Goldsmiths, that of St. Helen, and for the embellishment of the Confraternity’s Chapel in St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church in Valletta. They also endowed the chapel of San Pietro ad Vinculis in the Jesuits’ Church in Merchants Street giving it damask wall coverings, silver lamps and oil paintings by Mattia Preti, then the court painter to the Grand Masters. The mere fact that they were able to commission Mattia Preti to work for them, only confirms the wealth and standing of the family.

OUR LOCATION

Valletta

 

Malta’s capital city Valletta was built right after the Great Siege of 1565 by the Knights of the Order of St John who, at the time, had sovereignty over the Maltese archipelago and who walked tall with pride and glory after holding the Ottoman Empire’s attempt to conquer the Island.

It is a walled city built on a promontory between two harbours with one entrance across land. Valletta was designed by architect Francesco Laparelli da Cortona, a man with extensive experience in the design and construction of fortifications and who had also assisted Michaelangelo in the construction of the majestic dome of St. Peter’s in Rome.

Valletta was planned as a grid of nine street running parallel to the ridge of the promontory with twelve streets running across and surrounded by a ring round just inside the walls. Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar was left the responsibility of the city after Laparelli left Malta and who continued developing the city in a homogeneous manner.

Today, Malta’s capital is an open-air museum of churches, palaces, palazzos, Maltese balconies, fountains, monuments and residences most of which are between 250 and 400 years old.

Merchants Street

 

Our luxury five-start boutique hotel is situated on the quieter end of Merchants Street, slightly off the urban part of the long stretch that’s replete with imposing historic buildings, high-street shops, quaint restaurants, coffee shops and a market. Our perfect location means you have the best of both worlds if you want both a piece of the action and quiet strolls down towards the lower end of Valletta, through delightful, stepped streets with small corner vendors full of old-world charm and endearing residents.

Historic Landmarks

 

Merchants Street is home to a number of imposing houses with a chequered past that throws light on the history of the Knights of St John. The street stretches from the Auberge d’Italie right at the top which houses the Malta National Community Art Museum – MUZA, all the way down to the Infermeria, a hospital built by the Knights. Stroll along the street, taking it from the top right down to the coast for an self-guided tour of baroque architecture.

Opposite Auberge d’Italie is Palazzo Parisio, now the base of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The building is where Napoleon Bonaparte lodged on landing in Malta in 1798.

Along the way is Cara Dorell, once the Castellania or Civil and Criminal Tribunals of the Order and is now a Government building. On the façade are two marble figures depicting justice and truth. The house corner with St Lucia Street was originally the house of the Secretary to Grand Master La Valette, bougth by the Assembly of Conventual Chaplians in 1690.

Stop at No. 46 and look up at the former Monte di Pietà e Redenzione. This palace has an intricate past. It housed several offices among which the Banca Giuratale and the Treasury as well as the Universita di Valletta. The palace was also used as the headquarters from which the ‘spogli’ or spoils of dead knights were sold. The building gets its name from a fund set up to lend money at modest interest rates, on the security of gold, silver or other precious articles given in pawn.

Opposite the Monte di Pieta stands the old Banca dei Giurati, later known as Palazzo della Citta and also the Consolato del Mare. Built in the 18th century to house the city’s administrative council, it was subsequently used as the General Post Office and the Public Registry. Today the building is officially known as Palazzo Zondadari.

On the corner with Old Theatre Street stands Casa Bellott donated to the Assembly of Conventual Chaplains by Chev Fra Carlo Bellott. Leaving Archbishop Street on the right we find the Jesuit Church and the Jesuit College. Opposite this at No 179 stands a house that was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the Second World War. At 179 was Casa Zoitana and the adjoining Casa Albergotti, belonging to a family from Tuscany of the same name. This house was later owned by a Greek gentleman who bequeathed the property to the people of Malta to be utilised in helping poor young men.

Opposite the Infermeria was a large house called Camerata erected in 1958 where some knights led a religious life. In 1629 it became an official residence for French, Spanish and Italian knights on probation. The building was later used to store linen for the hospital and was called Lingeria. The house was later demolished and rebuilt with machine cut stone and was eventually used as the Royal Naval Barracks.

This is just a brief taster of what awaits you in the surrounding area of our very own stately Casa Rosselli-Massa. Go on a walking tour around the whole of Valletta to really capture the essence of this unique peninsula deeply rooted in history, culture and tradition.

OUR SOCIAL HUB