La Costa in Bra
The history of La Costa in Bra began at the end of the 18th century, during the French occupation of the city of Verona. Napoleon's troops took possession of the noble palaces in the centre, which had been left empty by the fleeing owners, while Napoleon Bonaparte settled in Forti Palace.
The huge contributions that were requested and the lootings made it a very difficult period for the citizens of Verona, which culminated in the popular uprising of the Pasque Veronesi (17 - 25 April 1797).
The 'Caffè alla Costa' was born in this historical context as the first café in the Parisian style. It was built inside a building owned by the Town Hall located in Via Costa, between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, and it was requisitioned along with the others by French soldiers.
The building is situated under an arch on which hangs a huge RIB, which most probably belonged to a whale. However, some people say that it belonged to a dinosaur or a mysterious monster. It is from the word 'rib' that, of course, derive the names of the street and of the restaurant.
According to the legend, it was under the arch of this picturesque corner of Verona, that ROMEO AND JULIET, the famous protagonists of William Shakespeare's play, exchanged their first kiss.
La Costa remained a French-style café for a long time and it was only in the 1930s that it passed to a wealthy family of confectioners, famous for making pandoro and nougat.
In 1962 the first pizza oven arrived. La Costa became the first place in Verona to offer pizza, which was a real novelty at the time. The restaurant remained in the building in Via della Costa until the last day of 2004.
In 2005, the town hall took over its management to make room for the 'Achille Forti' modern art gallery, which was set up in the adjacent Palace of Reason, and for the entrance to access the Lamberti Tower. In the same year, La Costa moved to Piazza Bra, right in front of the Arena, at the beginning of the long pavement that the Veronese simply call listón.