Paseo Dona Blanca in Puerto Plata is a unique alleyway created to commemorate the arrival of Mrs. Bianca Franceschini, a pioneer in the development of the early tourism industry in Puerto Plata at the end of the 18th century. This Victorian style alley is painted entirely in pink, including walls, flooring, decorative elements, benches and flowers; a great backdrop for photography that now attracts weddings, birthday and other photo shoots.
History of the Paseo Dona Blanca
Its history dates back to 1898 when Isidoro Rainieri and Bianca Franceschini, natives of Italy, arrived in Puerto Plata and, realizing that a hotel was needed to serve travelers, they decided to establish the Hospedaje del Comercio, which they later changed the name to Hotel Europe. The full story is available in the Book Divino Tesoro, by Graciela Thomen (Spanish).
Who was Doña Blanca?
Doña Blanca, as she was known in Puerto Plata, was a dedicated and committed woman with her family; serious, hard-working, strong and charitable, who with effort and dedication gave herself to educate her nine children; the oldest of whom was 17 years old When her husband died in 1914 in New York. Despite this, she was able to send several of them to complete her higher education in Italy.
About the Hotel Europa
Few know the history of this hotel, which was considered the best in the country, in its time. Writings about said accommodation appear in multiple works by foreigners who visited the country at the beginning of the 20th century. The story goes that admiral-commanders of the US naval forces, for that date, made reservations for lunch at the Rainieri hotel, famous for its exquisite wine cellar. The hotel was sold after the death of Doña Bianca in 1946. The beautiful Victorian building is still in place today, part of Puerto Plata’s Historic District.
The Paseo Doña Blanca connects Beller and John F. Kennedy streets in Puerto Plata, and can be reached very easy when in the proximity of the central park (see map above). Cruise passengers and other tourists visiting the city will be taken here as part of the city tour. Some people might refer to this as the pink alley. (main photo courtesy of the DR first lady`s office, from an official visit to this town). Other photos by Hubert Wells Fotografia Artistica.