If you are looking for a hotel in Rome where you can breathe the true air of the city, you should take a look at the Orange Suites, in the heart of the Eternal City, the one that is envied all over the world and that has always inspired poets, novelists and singers. It doesn’t matter if you just spend a weekend or have lived there for years, with its timeless spots and its artistic jewels and culture it has been enchanting and seducing for centuries.
And also the Orange Suites hotel is there to confirm how the Italian entrepreneurship increasingly gives space to successful women, just like the owner of this wonderful structure: Francesca Cascino.
After having worked for years on the family farm, Francesca decided to invest, together with her husband, in the Hotel business. The backdrop to her initiative was precisely the Eternal City, with Piazza di Spagna, Via Tomacelli a place where you can breathe the atmosphere of the most glamorous and most famous Roman streets in the world. It is in this district that the historic Orange Suites building stands. As always, with curiosity and passion let’s retrace together with Francesca the beginning of this venture, and the first steps of the Orange Suites, a Roman hotel that definitely should not be missed.
From agriculture to the hotel industry is a big step. What were the difficulties you encountered?
“I learnt to cope with difficulties from the family business. Investing in first person exposes you to continuous risks; you must be forward-looking and always a step ahead to try and anticipate events. I grew up professionally in Sabina, where I managed 25 hectares of olive groves with my family. It was and continues to be a challenge, above all because our product is entirely organic and we must be impeccable to always guarantee a high level of quality “.
So, what motivated you to invest in a hotel in Rome?
“I really liked my job, but at the same time, in some ways it also disappointed me. People prefer to spend their money on clothes, or to buy a nice watch, a nice car; they are rarely willing to spend money on a ‘niche’ oil.
The challenge in the hotel industry was born by chance. My husband in 2010 bought the first apartment in the heart of historic Rome, a few meters from Piazza Navona. And immediately we had the idea of making it a holiday home. At first we entrusted it to a manager, but then I realized that I could dedicate myself to it. Later we bought another one in Via dell’Arancio, near Via di Fontanella Borghese and Via Tomacelli. And then we went bigger again. We had the opportunity to acquire some apartments in the same building and to structure ourselves as a true reference for hospitality, diversifying the offer .”
How has the market changed over the years?
“The market has changed and is still changing very quickly. With the economic and labor crises of the last few years, many people have turned to this activity. Those who had real estate have tried to make a profit, turning it into a real job. Only in the last two years, supply has practically doubled. And this means an increase in competition and a lowering of prices and hospitality standards “.
You are privileged to be able to welcome guests to your hotel in Rome and immerse them completely in the reality of the capital. From the point of view of a woman and a Roman how do you live it?
“I have always loved traveling, it enriches your life and is formative. And I really like the idea of welcoming tourists to our beautiful country, making them feel at home and showing them our unique and, let’s say it, the most beautiful historical center in the world. When I look around, I feel very satisfied and I am happy to live in Rome. Unfortunately, there is something lacking on the level of public administration and the city suffers, but Rome remains timeless”.
I know you’re also a mother of 4 children. How is it possible to reconcile family, children and professional commitments, especially in everyday life?
“The truth is that I really don’t know. I simply, run everywhere. However, at least at work, I can count on the help of good employees”.
What are your projects, how do you see the future? Will it become a family activity?
“For the moment I see it as my own thing, also because my children will probably go and study abroad, then who knows. I can only anticipate that we would like to purchase the last remaining apartment and take over the whole building”.
And for the moment, we who take care of Italian excellence, can only take note of it. Chapeau! dear Francesca.