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Villa del Quar

History: 
    Villa del Quar
 in Verona

History

A few years after the birth of the Roman Empire in 27 B.C., General Nero Claudius Drusus began constructing a long highway called the Via Claudia Augustus through northern Italy. The road had reached the Alps by the late 40s A.D., helping Roman legions advance into southern Germany. A common practice of Roman engineers at the time was to create local forts along frontier roads—known in Latin as Castra—which protected legionaries from spontaneous enemy raids. In 47 A.D., the Romans built one such fort along the Via Claudia Augusta at the site that the hotel now occupies, and laid out a farm to serve the soldiers stationed at the building. Evidence of the Roman presence at the villa is still evident, as Villa del Quar features a Roman cellar that the Montresor family uses today for wine tastings. And the rolling farmland adjacent to Villa del Quar dates back to the first farm that the Romans planted while they developed the fort!

For the next several decades, the Romans continued to occupy the site, eventually transforming it into a mansio: a shopping center for weary travelers. The building survived the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, eventually falling into the hands of various feudal lords who rose to power over the next few centuries. Historical records dating back to the 900s indicate that locals knew of the villa by different names like “Coari,” “Arguara,” and “Arquarde,” before “Quar” became solely synonymous with the location. Over the course of the Medieval Era, subsequent owners of the building successively altered it into a castle. The changing political landscape of central Europe saw marauding armies pass through northern Italy frequently, forcing aristocrats in the Valpolicella valley to transform their homes into massive, stone fortresses. Villa del Quar was no different. Its various owners during the height of the Medieval Era morphed the building into a small citadel, complete with guard towers and an abbey.

By the middle of the thirteenth century, a powerful noble family called the Della Scalas owned the Villa del Quar. During the 1100s, the nearby city of Verona had become an independent commune. By means of wealth and ceaseless intrigue, the Della Scala family eventually emerged as the dominant political force throughout the region. From the mid-1200s until the very late 1300s, the Della Scalas dominated Verona and the neighboring countryside, falling from grace only when their abuses inspired an uprising among the other noble families during the 1380s. With the Della Scala family subdued, most of their possessions passed onto new affluent owners, including Villa del Quar. As such, the Trivelli family occupied the site in the years immediately following the demise of the Della Scalas.

In 1405, the Republic of Venice conquered Verona and the Valpolicella valley, incorporating the region into its expanding domain. For around the next 400 years, the region remained under Venetian control. Merchants from Venice moved into the Valpolicella valley, obtaining numerous medieval villas as they arrived. Several Venetian families acquired Villa del Quar over the next few centuries, who gradually changed the building to serve a more social purpose. Over time, the Venetian owners of the villa expanded its interior spaces, adding structures including a church and an elaborate garden to the grounds. The owners also morphed the abbey into a miniature palace, casting off the site’s prior identity as a castle. Adorning the walls of Villa del Quar were exquisite murals, sculptures, and carvings, that reflected the sanguinity of the area.

The Napoleonic Wars briefly disrupted the peacefulness of the area, as Napoleon’s armies descended upon the Republic of Venice, dissolving it in its entirety in the late 1790s. However, the villa returned to being a quiet country estate after the fighting subsided in 1815. The Montresor family of Verona eventually purchased the location at the beginning of the 1900s, using it as their own family farm until the 1970s. The First and Second World Wars briefly interrupted what was an otherwise tranquil enterprise. When architect Leopoldo Montresor inherited the location from his father, he decided to restore Villa del Quar to its former glory as a Venetian manor. During the 1980s, Montresor oversaw a series of intense renovations with his cousin, using architectural inspirations from the building’s past to as a guide. He even obtained original antique furniture to replace the ones lost during the World Wars, which brought back a sense of historical authenticity to the villa. By 1993, the renovations were finished. Leopoldo Montresor had ushered in another era for Villa del Quar, operating it to great success as one of northern Italy’s premiere luxury hotels.

Villa del Quar, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2018, dates back to at least 47 A.D.


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International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
Book by Phone: +1 866 670 3764
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