Grand Universe Lucca. It's always you

Grand Universe Lucca. It's always you

Grand Universe Lucca

“It’s always you”

From 5 to 20 May, an exhibition at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca on the city’s most important hotel: how it was and how it will be.


“Imagine yourselves in this room of the Teatro del Giglio in 1831, having just assisted at a performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s "William Tell", directed for the occasion by the great Niccolò Paganini. You are leaving the theater together with a large crowd of people who are enthusiastically commenting the opera they have just seen. You are outside now, in the splendid piazza directly facing the theater, where the usual pleasantries blend and mingle in the midst the long skirts of precious taffeta gowns and voluminous hats. Just a few steps at a slow pace lead you underneath the windows of the elegant Palazzo Paoli, right in front of the theater, that a decade later would become the Grand Hotel Royal de l’Univers”.

It is with these words that the visitor is greeted to the exhibition “It’s always you”, inaugurated Friday 5 May at Teatro del Giglio, that presents the restructuring project of the historic hotel having the same name as the piazza, purchased in 2016 by Gruppo Marcucci and Shaner Italia.


Today the hotel is called Grand Universe Lucca, and “It’s always you” wants to remember its past through a detailed historical research by Dr. Roberta Martinelli and present the furnishings and materials of the future hotel created by Studio Archea Associati of Florence.

“A proposal to travel through time, but also an invitation to rediscover the places, colors and sensations of an identity of Lucca that has never disappointed its prestigious guests”, explains Alessandro Stefani, curator of the exhibition together with the communications agency Genau of Lucca.

The renovation and restoration works of the Grand Universe Lucca, scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, require an investment of around 15 million euro. Opening of the doors to the hotel is expected for the second half of 2018.

The exhibition “It’s always you” can count on the precious collaboration of Teatro del Giglio, will remain open until 20 May and can be visited during the theater’s opening hours to the public. For information:


A grandiose history. Beginning in 1860, the hotel has hosted actors and actresses, musicians and illustrious exponents of the high society of the times, such as the writer John Ruskin and the soprano Maria Malibran, king Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy and Maestro Giacomo Puccini. An endless love story with music that becomes established in time, so much so that in the 1960s, jazz trumpeter Chet Baker is captured in many photographs – that have today become a piece of history – looking out of room number 15 that will be dedicated to him. Baker was in love with Lucca and it is from the words of one of his unforgettable songs, “It’s always you”, that the exhibition takes its name, underscoring once again the hotel’s desire to conjugate tradition and innovation, affirming itself, as “always”, to be an important crossroads between art and culture.