The Modern Art of Hospitality in Turin

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Devil in the details The Art Hotel Boston's Room Diabolik, inspired by an Italian comic-book antihero

The art nouveau swags on the façade of Art Hotel Boston, which despite its name is not in Massachusetts but in Turin, give no hint of the modern-art bonanza within. Guests check in beneath a poetic fusion of paint, cement and metal by Torinese artist Marco Gastini. A triptych by Roy Lichtenstein and a watercolor by Lucio Fontana hang in the bar. But it's the plethora of paintings, photographs and sculptures by lesser-known Italian talents — Luigi Ontani, Carla Accardi, Nicola Bolla — that suggest this is a private passion made public.

"I want my hotel to feel more like a private house than a museum," explains owner Roberto Franchi, adding that he first decided to display his artworks when he ran out of space at home. "This way, I can look at my art all day and other people can enjoy it too." Recently, his collection has been boosted by loans, including a canvas by Alberto Burri, from the Giov-Anna Piras Foundation of contemporary art in nearby Asti.

Franchi's creative flair is evident throughout, from the funky furniture (including a sofa inspired by Vladimir Tatlin's famous Monument to the Third International) to the themed rooms. Dedicated to Ayrton Senna, one room has a video of the Formula 1 champion above the bed. A new suite devoted to Picasso is scattered with ephemera from the master's Mougins studio.

Downstairs, the Linea Continua restaurant dazzles diners with its imaginative interpretations of Piedmontese cuisine. On Thursday evenings, aperitivi on the terrace are a magnet for players in Turin's buzzy contemporary-art scene. For more information, visit

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