Verona, its history, Hotel Colomba D’Oro
The history of a great hotel, the history of a great city.
It is believed that as early as 1800 BC on the raised ground currently known as San Pietro Hill, the original nucleus from which the city of Verona would later be developed was constituted. In 89 BC Verona became a Roman colony: in the bend of the river Adige the ancient city was born, which saw the ford supported by two bridges, the still fascinating Pietra Bridge, rebuilt with the original stones after the Second World War, and the Postumio Bridge.
It is in this period that the Arena was built, the third largest amphitheatre in the world, the monument that the whole world admires and that is just a few steps from our Hotel.
At the fall of the Roman Empire, Verona became the capital of the Goths’ kingdom. The Basilica of San Zeno was built on what remained of a primitive early Christian church built at the tomb of the patron saint of our city. Verona became a municipality and can boast that between 1181 and 1186, it was the seat of the papacy, the seat of the Synod in 1184 and the seat of the Conclave.
In the first half of the fourteenth century Verona experienced a moment of great splendour, so much so as to be chosen as the destination of the Poet Dante Alighieri during his exile from Florence. In the mid-sixteenth century William Shakespeare, impressed by the history of our city, set the famous tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”, making Verona still today a destination for tourists from around the world linked to the romantic myth of the two most famous lovers in history.
In 1337, according to the documents of the time, the Convent of San Donato alla Colomba was built: this was how the palace was built that exactly 500 years later will be transformed into the Colomba d’Oro Hotel, taking its name from its noble origins.
The splendour of Verona from the 16th century is mainly due to the talent of architect Sammicheli who designed monuments, palaces and the ramparts of Verona. One of the important signs left is Palazzo Guastaverza, 50 metres from the entrance to the Hotel Colomba d’Oro.
In 1795 Verona was conquered by the troops of the French Revolutionary Republic, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who closed and secularized many convents and monasteries of the city, including the Convent of San Donato alla Colomba which was then used as accommodation and a restaurant for travellers
March 31, 1805 Verona became part of the Kingdom of Italy and in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna it was decided to create the Kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto.
The building that once housed the Convent Donato alla Colomba was sold and in 1837 the owner built the Colomba d’Oro Hotel on a design by the architect Francesco Guglielmi.
With the establishment of the Arena Foundation in 1913, a revolutionary idea that brought outdoor opera music for the first time in history, the Hotel Colomba d’Oro, being the only luxury hotel so close to the Arena, became a reference point for the great opera stars and for the opera fans.
The Hotel was subjected to an important renovation in 1929 that turned it into the most luxurious hotel in Verona. The elevator was also installed, a technological rarity for the time, in whose structure the current machinery now goes up and down. Among the many celebrities hosted in our rooms, we can boast the dialectal Roman poet Trilussa and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, author of the well-known manifesto of Futurism.
The Second World War instead involved Verona until 1943, when it became one of the capitals of the Italian Social Republic, with the establishment of important military commands. Confiscated by the German armed forces that made it their base camp in the city during the war, the Colomba d’Oro hotel was miraculously spared from the bombing and later became the theatre of the preliminaries of the “Verona Process”.
Since 1920, the Colomba d’Oro Hotel has been run by the Tapparini family who, from father to son for four generations, handed down their history, care and good hospitality habits.
In 2000 Verona became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 2007 Palazzo della Gran Guardia, a few steps from our hotel, has been returned to the city after an important renovation and has become the exhibition and congress centre of Verona, together with the nearby Palazzo della Ragione and AMO- Museo dell’Opera. The Verona Fairgrounds then, in the last decades, has become the cornerstone of international exhibitions such as Vinitaly, Marmomacc, Fieracavalli and many others. Our Hotel is conveniently connected to the Fair by free shuttle buses that leave from Piazza Bra.