HOTEL PARADISO saw its birth in March 1930. In fact, Baron Frederick von Beust, already the owner of a residence across the gulf of Torbole, decided to buy “Locanda Paradiso” , located thirty meters from the lake, in the area so called, because of its pleasant peculiarities, “Paradise.”

This name had already been used by the German painter Hans Litzmann – very famous at that time in the whole Garda area – for his atelier house, one hundred meters southward from there, built back in 1906 but unfortunately destroyed in the war of 1918. At first, the baron ran the inn keeping its modest original structure, but in 1938 he applied to the municipality to be able to renovate and enlarge it: to provide it with more bedrooms , a larger kitchen, but his most ambitious project was to set up in its outdoor garden the “Caffè degli Ulivi” a meeting place for cultured people and local artists.

The work was finished quickly and so Von Beust saw his dream fulfilled. But in July 1939 the Baron died by suicide. There were no direct relatives, so the hotel fell to a distant German granddaughter, a certain Maria Von Petke,who was married to a certain Frienden and who gave it to a Swiss company founded by their heirs. It can be assumed that it existed as early as the early 1800s, as an old farmhouse, a post station for the horse couriers who from the Nago postal path descended to Torbole, then traveling along the road that flanked the fish farms of the Romani house and came out just 20 meters from Paradiso. This hotel was not far from the port of Torbole and its customs house, where goods arrived via the lake, goods that would then be loaded onto the wagons pulled appun with a certoto by horses to go up the road to Rovereto. Evidence of the old house is the large granite arch that separates the present hall from the back. There must have been the original entrance, considering that there was a small uphill path to reach it.

In 1940 Italy entered the war and Paradiso became a barracks for German soldiers. On May 1, 1945, American troops landed in Torbole, and from here they began to liberate Trentino, and so Paradiso changed hosts: the Germans had left in a great hurry, and their place was taken by those American soldiers who, with extreme sacrifices, had managed to break through the blockade lines of the eastern Gardesana. And from now on the hotel knew its glory days. The Americans were all very young boys who had a great desire to have fun after the hard life they had endured fighting. And they began to long for their countries, where they danced, danced. They composed a small orchestra made up of an accordion player,a saxophonist, a pianist-small piano not grand piano of course-and a singer. But there was a shortage of dancers and so every weekend, with two trucks-not pickup trucks!-they would drive around the neighboring towns such as Riva, Arco, Dro, Ceniga, Tenno, Pranzo, looking for kind partners. They found some, yes, but many went into hiding, because they did not have the courage to meet with men they did not know, even if the purpose was harmless. They even set about electing Misses: in fact, the picture you will find at the entrance is a portrait of a Miss, Miss Paradise to be exact, painted by the very painter Hans Lietzmann.

And Torbole was not hostile to these entertainments, so much so that it allowed the Pavese gymnasium to be transformed into a large ballroom. After three months, however, the Americans were repatriated, and all that was left in the bins of the Caffè Ulivi were bottles of beer and coke, which the Italians had drunk for the first time. So at the end of 1945 a well-known wine and liquor producer from Riva, Carlo Torboli, became interested in the Albergo, who wanted to make it a meeting place for people to taste his products. And he decided to continue in the old vein: there, every weekend, people would be able to drink and dance. So he adorned the large hall with stained glass fittings painted by our own Achille Dal Lago, a well-known graphic designer of the time, where he placed lights behind them to highlight them. And there to dance came people from Rovereto, Trento, Verona; he also continued the Miss election operation. Photographs of the time depict Miss Gancia, Miss Cinzano, Miss Campari…. The village maidens of that time, still remember those evenings, because in the summer they would go and stand under the garden walls and dance on the street.. While little boys would go and collect the “butts “of cigarettes thrown on the ground,to unpack them and put the tobacco together to make new ones.

But at the end of 1948, Mr. Carlo Torboli’s business took a remarkable turn: he opened a very large Cantina in Riva that produced Vino Santo, the famous Vino Santo Torboli that all the tourists from Alto Garda went to drink at the Spiaggia degli Ulivi. So he gave up running the Hotel. Immediately Giovanni Viola came to take over its management, who turned it, together with his wife, into a small inn-restaurant. But this was short-lived. After a year it opened,in Torbole’s Piazza Centrale, a fast-food eatery serving beer and spit-roasted chickens. But it was in January 1950 that Paradiso really took a major turn. Aldo Moser, a Riva hotelier and former owner of the “glorious” Cristallo ice cream parlor in Riva, took over the business and found it in a pitiful condition: on the bed of two-year-old Cristina, he had had to put a basin , because it was raining inside. He therefore started work on a very substantial renovation: he obtained permission to raise it two stories to make it a real hotel, adding the south wing as well.

Twenty bedrooms, a large kitchen, the bar counter was moved, and the dining room was enlarged. In fact, full board was offered to its guests. A large lobby was built at the entrance, but especially to the north, a large staircase was added that allowed guests to enter from there instead of from the steps leading up to the Ulivi Café. Business got off to a great start because customers could arrive on site by buses that came directly from Germany-in fact, most were German, while the other hotels in the village were the destination of English, Danish, Norwegian, and French tourists.

These were golden years for the Upper Garda because foreigners were finally beginning to get to know Lake Garda. But they were also golden years for the hotel itself, because the clientele that came to stay was very select. In fact, second-born daughter Lorenza still remembers a few names because she herself lived at the hotel. For example, the mayor of Antwerp certain Immerdorfer Josef, Franco Rasetti, physicist of the Fermi group, who used to go to Baldo in search of particular orchids, the painters Lilloni, Calderara, Vitale, Schmidt, who paid in paintings for their vacations. Another significant memory: in those years , in winter, Aldo Moser used to come to Garda to train, together with his teammate Pintarelli. President Segni and Senator Fanfani arrived, in short, the Paradiso was frequented by politicians , businessmen , sportsmen , artists , scholars of a certain prestige: the “Roll of Honor” still in the possession of Lorenza, the second son-in-law, bears witness to this. However, in July 1966, Aldo Moser died of a stroke. Mario Zucchelli, who had already been the hotel’s concierge for many years, then took over, carrying on the business with great passion and competence.

His experience lasted until 2019, the year of his death. As of this year, therefore, there are Mr. and Mrs. Albina and Mr. Paolo Zampiccoli, who, with their hotel eperience, have taken over the hotel, renovating it almost from scratch. In fact, all the rooms have been organized in a more modern and functional way and each has a small balcony. They have also done major terracing work on the land behind. So new guests must be pleased, Because the lake view and the 6 m separating it from the beach are not bad at all.

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