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By the way… why Laaroussa?

people

Gaetano La Russa, one of Fred’s ancestors migrated from Palerma, Sicily with his family at the end of the 19th century, first to Tunisia and then to northern Morocco. Some of Fred’s ancestors were still living in the region of Fez during the early 20th century. As a consequence and to make a long story short, Fred was born in Casablanca to French parents but was raised in France.

In 2003 he came to Fez and immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of the medina. He realized that he had roots here and started to reconnect with his family story through the neighbours.

One of his great aunts Carmen La Russa did a lot for the local population and was called “Mama Laaroussa”, which means “bride” in Arabic. After Fred arrived in Fez, he investigated this branch of his family and, as it seems that nothing happens by chance, he ended up giving his ancestor’s name, with a local touch, to the riad and it became Riad Laaroussa; the Riad of the bride but also the riad of the ancestors who, without ever knowing it, once drove him to visit Fez…

The People

Riad Laaroussa is a family story. My name is Fred Sola. I run the hotel with my wife Cathy and brother Thierry. We along with our staff welcome you into Riad Laaroussa as into our home.

Our aim is to be representative of this country’s reputation for hospitality and to share with you our love for Fez and more generally for Morocco.

The Building

Facade    Fountain

Riad Laaroussa was probably built around the XVII century. It had several lives and we are still investigating its prestigious past. At one time it was owned by the Minister of War, Mehdi Mnebhi, under the reign of Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz (1894- 1908).

Mnehbi owned the entire block. More recently (around 1960), the Riad served as a coranic school. Fred, the current owner bought it in 2005 from a local family whose business was to prepare a famous local dish called khlii (dried meat, with salt and spices cooked and stored in a mix of oil and fat). It took 18 months for a team of 50 workers to bring the Riad back to its original beauty and to turn it into a boutique hotel of 8 rooms and suites. Riad Laaroussa opened at the end of 2006.

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