More than a century of history
Built on land given to Lady Fanny Morgan, of English descent, as a wedding gift when she married Italian-born, Raffaele Stoppini, the Hotel was opened in 1913. To honour Fanny’s Anglo-Saxon heritage, who came from a family resident in the Berkshire county, it was originally named Hotel Windsor.
The first brick has been laid in 1911 and the initial plans for the Hotel involved building two floors above the main entrance. To make this possible, when carrying out the work, Raffaele moved the entrance further up, thus making maximum use of the sloping road and thereby gaining a floor.
This change was hampered by the owners of some rival hotels who appealed against the plan. As a consequence, the construction work was delayed for about a year. Eventually, Raffaele won the appeal and construction was finally completed.
In 1924 Fanny and Raffaele designed to raise the building by one floor, to meet the growing demand for accommodations for the upcoming celebrations of the Holy Year and the Franciscan centenary. Unfortunately the project was not approved by the Public Administration and the idea remained only on paper.
During the Fascist period it was forbidden to use foreign names in Italy and Mussolini's Blackshirts interpreted the hotel's name as a tribute to the name of the English Royal House (even if it was only in 1917 that King George V chose to change the name of their House from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, in order to counteract the anti-German sentiment that was growing in Great Britain during the First World War). The Blackshirts forced the Hotel Windsor was thus renamed Hotel Stoppini and later Hotel Savoia, in honour of the Italian monarchy.
Once Second World War had begun, one of Raffaele's children had a big white cross painted on the roof of the building, managing that way to make it seem like an hospital and avoiding the enemy bombers from attacking it.
During the armed conflict, the Hotel was occupied by German troops. Colonel Müller, the commander of the Nazi troops occupying the city of Assisi, chose the hotel as his residence. In Alexander Ramati’s movie "Assisi Underground" (1984), which tells the story of those dramatic days, reference is made to the Command’s telephone number, which was 210. To this day, the number 210 remains as part of the Hotel Windsor-Savoia’s telephone number: 075.812.210.
In the summer of 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the Hotel was re-opened to the public. The proprietors chose to keep the names of both the Italian and the British Royal families, which our Hotel is still named after to this day: Hotel Windsor Savoia.
In 1954 a restaurant was added to the Hotel. The Hotel has given hospitality to many famous guests over the years, such as Giovannino Guareschi in 1956, who is famous for being the author of the saga of Don Camillo and Peppone.
Over the years, many famous figures have been our guests, among which the racing driver Giuseppe Farina, the soccer players Gianni Rivera and Gigi Riva, the cyclists Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali and, also, Bernard Hinault, the singers Claudio Villa, Nilla Pizzi, Paolo Baccilieri, Nuccia Bongiovanni and Mino Reitano, the actor Mario Riva and, recently, Pippo Franco and the famous violinist Uto Ughi.
Nowdays, the Hotel Windsor Savoia is a modern three-star Hotel with all the amenities of the category and it is still managed with the same pride and passion by the descendants of the Stoppini family.
Vintage luggage labels
Nowadays, when looking at an old cardboard suitcase, used in the late nineteenth century, one would probably find labels of different colours and formats stuck on it. In the late nineteenth century tourism was an elite phenomenon and there were few people who could afford to travel and stay in luxury hotels.
At that time, the practice of checking in at a hotel was that, on arrival, the hotel staff would stick brightly coloured and illustrated labels on the suitcases or trunks of the lucky travellers. These graphically-sophisticated labels were the workmanship of well-known illustrators of the time; their use became quite widespread, as many organizations found this an effective way of promoting tourism.
As this practice originated in the nineteenth century and it was widely practised until the 1960s, it is possible to trace not only the development of tourism and of the hotel business during that period, but also the history of travel, of graphic design and advertising. Throughout its long history, the Hotel Windsor Savoia has used this method of advertising and communication by adopting the two labels shown here.