The Wirth family established themselves in hotels in central Rome, Italy, first with the family Nistelweck, leasing and subsequently acquired the Hotel Eden which was run by his son Oscar. Heinrich next purchased the Hotel Victoria, built in 1899, with the Thieles. This was run and then subsequently taken over entirely by his son, Henry Alberto Wirth and his wife Elly Burkhardt. During this time Heinrich also built a luxurious hotel above the Spanish Steps between 1938 and 1944 named Hassler/Villa Medici and which today is owned and run by his son Roberto Wirth. During World War II the open-minded and democratic Wirths hid anti-fascists and Jews in the hotel and they were also able to save two young German lieutenants from the mob after German troops withdrew from Rome.
After the War this same attitude prevailed with the Victoria offering a safe haven for Russian musicians fleeing communism. Henry and his wife supported and promoted musicians all their lives wherever they could. Henry Alberto Wirth was for many years the president and promoter of CORO POLIFONICO ROMANO and of the ORATORIO DEL GONFALOLNE. The Wirth’s cultivated their relationships with travelling musicians, a list of their customers and friends reading like a musical handbook, ranging from V. ASKENAZY, S. CELIBIDACHE, S. CHERKASSY, E. & E. GHILELS, W. GIESEKING, P. HINDEMITH, L. KOGAN, the OISTRAKHS, S. RICHTER, R. SERKIN, S. STEINBERG to the maestro MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH, to mention only a few. Musicians still use the grand piano, in the family’s private flat, to practice during their stay in Rome.
Alberto H Wirth’s children had not followed him into the hotelier business and in 2000 the hotel was suddenly without its patron. At a family meeting, whether through a sense of duty, tradition or honor or pure entrepreneurial spirit, the oldest member of the family, Rolf H Wirth decided to take over the reins and the fifth generation of a hotel tradition within the Wirth family began. Rolf Wirth had grown up in the hotel and trained in the Hotel Management School Lucerne before finally deciding on a career in Banking. The move from Member of the Board of an International Bank to an hotelier was not such a difficult transition for a man with the necessary professionalism, practical experience of working in hotels and the love of hosting good food and drink. Rolf Wirth has managed to renovate the hotel Victoria to combine modern comfort one would expect from a 4 star hotel in Rome with a friendly and professional service in the Swiss family Wirth tradition.