HOTEL DUE TORRI - VERONA
In the heart of the historic center of Verona, overlooking the Church of Santa Anastasia, just a stone's throw from Juliet's balcony, Piazza Bra and the Arena, one can find Due Torri Hotel, the prestigious memory keeper of the city. The building, dating back to 1300, has gone through centuries of the city history, from Scala to the Venetian domination, from the Habsburg empire to Italian Unification, from the carefree years of the Dolce Vita to our age, hosting the most important people of all times. The last major renovation, carried out by the new owners, have brought to light the frescoes of Arena Casarini, decorated with circus scenes: a priceless treasure returned to the city.
We are steps away from the balcony of Shakespeare's Juliet, Piazza Bra and the Arena, the cradle of Italian and international opera, in the maze of Roman streets of old Verona. Since the fourteenth century, a building known as Palazzo dell'Aquila (Palace of the Eagle) has been located here. It was the era of transition from a town to “Signoria”, and the long reign of the Scala family, who with Cangrande I, the imperial vicar, inserted the Habsburg eagle in the family crest.
From the early 1400s until 1730 the building belonged to the family of Bordieri. Bordieri were cutlers originating from Brescia, who had moved to Verona at the end of 1300s, became goldsmiths and conquered a solid position. These protagonists of important social rise, acquired the austere Scala Palace as a status symbol matching their ambitions. In 1674 they were the ones who made the palace become the inn. The city, already a cultural and economic hub, was still recovering from the Great Plague of 1630, which had wiped out more than half of population. It was the true first class structure: its rooms hosted the great personalities of the time, Mozart and Goethe. A marble sign built in the facade in the 50s of the last century, reminds us of the thirteen-year-old Austrian composer staying here, in January of 1770.
Then they took over the family of Zenobi, and then those of Arvedi, who transformed the inn into the Grand Hotel Imperiale. In the nineteenth century the building was also the scene of important historical events, like the coronation of King of France of Count of Lille, King Louis XVII of France, as well as signing the Treaty of Villafranca between Napoleon III, Vittorio Emanuele II, the Archduke Ranieri and Marshal Radetzky. In 1866 Giuseppe Garibaldi spoke to Verona from hotel balcony, facing Piazza Santa Anastasia.
In 1882 the hotel transferred to the Bastogi - Soini, who closed it. Later in 1903 it was purchased by entrepreneur Francesco Zeiner, six years after it was inherited by the family Wallner. In the years of the Republic of Salò it hosted three ministries, before returning to its ancient splendor after the war, when Enrico Wallner, who studied cinematography in Rome in full golden age of Cinecitta, took off as a hotelier and transformed the old structure into a luxury hotel. At first, however, he restructured it properly. He delegated the project to Carlo Scarpa and Gio Ponti, but got disappointed with the solutions; So he employed two Veronese talents: engineer Alessandro Polo and painter Pino Casarini, who had already been an established artist. The furniture was curated also by Wallner, who acquired antique furniture in Biedermeier style and fine pottery at antique dealers. He created a large atelier of joinery and restoration, designed and furnished personally all the rooms of the hotel - a hundred of rooms. The hotel was inaugurated on December 31, 1958. The frescoes by Pino Casarini received greatest admiration: the Tournament of knights in Brandenburg at the entrance hall and the Equestrian Circus, in the theater. Since that day, the major Italian and international personalities who lived in Verona were hosted by Due Torri: Vittorio De Sica, Alida Valli, Anna Magnani, Giulio Andreotti, Giovanni Spadolini, Rita Levi Montalcini, Margaret Thatcher, Placido Domingo, and many other VIPs, entrepreneurs and representatives of the international jet set.
In 2010 Duetorrihotels Group acquired the prestigious structure, inaugurating a season of major renovations: in a few years the hotel was reaffirmed as an excellence in the hospitality industry. Great works of modernization touched almost all of the 89 rooms of the palace, they were completely renovated.
A stay at Due Torri Hotel becomes a special experience, a journey through the most representative styles of the late nineteenth century. Nothing is left to chance: living rooms, bedrooms and suites are embellished with such details and finishes as hand-varnished parquet, marble, Murano glass chandeliers, mosaic work, luxurious and sophisticated fabrics. Authentic antique furniture in Biedermeier or Empire style welcome guests: chaise longue, sofas, full-length mirrors, wood paneling create an intimate, elegant and timeless ambiance.
The latest renovation gave Due Torri a new facade, a lobby with contemporary features, a fantastic rooftop terrace (where you can admire the oldest part of the city) and a brand new dining room. But above all, they have unearthed a treasure, returning it to the city: ''Arena Casarini", frescoed by the eponymous master from Verona, also the author of frescoes found in Due Torri Lounge & Restaurant. Over large portions of the walls we can admire scenes of circus life full of entertainment: circus wagons, acrobats, jugglers, tightrope walkers, tamers, clowns, dancers and lots of animals. The structure of the Arena is very special: the golden segments which subdivide scenes inthe paintings go upward, to the ceiling, which is slightly curved. Each element contributes to the structure of a circus tent, creating a colorful allegory that creates a very special atmosphere in the most prestigious meeting rooms of the hotel.
Going down in the basement of Due Torri Hotel, you will find Arena Casarini, a true masterpiece, signed by one of the greatest masters and fresco painters of the last century. Thanks to the restoration works, carried out in recent years by its new owners, it became possible to return it to its ancient splendor.
Pino Casarini, an appreciated eclectic artist, painted regularly sets of opera seasons of the Arena. At Due Torri Hotel, Casarini represented a circus, being inspired by the spectacular panels of a play or an opera. The movement of the figures painted in the decorated mirrors is resumed and exalted by the special structure of the room, as an endless dialogue. This becomes a colorful, cheerful and dynamic "special effect", perfectly consistent with the imagery of a traveling circus.