Excavating the past to give the future a new lease of life.
It sometimes happens, for one reason or another, that the past demands our attention. On occasion, it happens because it is precisely to the past that we look when are looking to invent a new future for ourselves.
And this was the way our story started.
For quite some time we had been incubating the idea of creating a hotel in Orosei. In the conviction that this area, with its collection of buildings and its culture had a great deal to offer to visitors who are what we may call proper travellers rather than just tourists, who are no longer content to visit holiday resorts and are looking for original, authentic hospitality, inextricably intertwined with the local identity. And so we started looking from a different perspective at some of the old and nigh-on abandoned houses in the historical centre of Orosei. The leap from dream to reality did not take long.
The sort of tourism that we had in mind could be achieved by using the model of the scattered hotel – i.e. by renovating a number of prestigious buildings in order to transform them into welcoming, comfortable, functional and original guest rooms.
One day, in one of the houses that we were remodelling, we came across a painting – incredibly, in good condition, albeit covered in dust and submerged under old bits of furniture. Once it had been cleaned, we analysed it carefully: it depicted a man, with familiar features, a slight smile and a penetrating gaze. Nobody, though, know who he was, not even the elderly people in the district, to whom we showed the picture in the hope of solving the mystery. But everyone was conscious of the strange but undeniable similarity to our grandfather. How could such a thing be possible? And what was it doing in that house, which had never belonged to any member of our family?
Since then, we have never stopped trying to find answers. And there are those of us who claim to know the truth but have promised not to reveal it when proof can be provided In the meantime, as a sign of respect for the past that has come looking for us, we decided to dedicate the hotel project to our ancestors – those who in our dialect we call Sos Mannois.
Salvaging the past and making it attractive and effective in the modern day.
This is the aim of the architectural and restoration project that has led to the creation of Mannois, our 4-star hotel in Orosei. A project to renovate historic buildings in ways that respect the architectural elements of the local area and the equilibria between the internal and external spaces, between functionality and aesthetics.
The design of the spaces and the new intended uses respect the historical and architectural characteristics of every single space. Knowledge of the original functions of the renovated buildings provided the inspiration for the arrangement of the fixtures and fittings, the furnishings and the choice of the new uses. We started from the old, which was often lying in ruins, and revitalised blocks of stone and time-worn materials in which there was a clear echo of, and reference to, our ancestors, with a view to offering large, comfortable rooms that evoke a rich history.