Guido Colonna di Paliano

Guido Colonna di Paliano
European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs
In office
2 July 1967  8 May 1970
President Jean Rey
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Altiero Spinelli (Industrial Affairs and Trade)
European Commissioner for Internal Market
In office
30 July 1964  2 July 1967
President Walter Hallstein
Preceded by Giuseppe Caron
Succeeded by Hans von der Groeben (Internal Market and Regional Policy)
Personal details
Born (1908-04-16)16 April 1908
Naples, Italy
Died 27 January 1982(1982-01-27) (aged 73)
Naples, Italy
Political party Christian Democracy
Alma mater University of Naples

Don Guido Colonna, dei principi di Paliano, noble of Rome, patrician of Naples and Venice (16 April 1908 in Naples – 27 January 1982 in Milan) was an Italian aristocrat, diplomat and European Commissioner.


Guido Colonna di Paliano was a scion of the Colonna family, from the branch of the Princes of Paliano and the sub-branch of the Princes of Summonte (his elder brother Carlo would eventually succeed their uncle as 5th Prince of Summonte in 1956). He was the seventh child and fourth son of Don Stefano Colonna, dei principi di Paliano (1870-1948) (a son of the 3rd Prince of Summonte), and his wife Maria Dorotea Cianciulli (1875-1942).[1] Marquess Guglielmo Imperiali (1858-1944), an influential diplomat and Italian ambassador to London during the First World War, was the husband of his paternal aunt. Through his mother, he was a descendant of Michelangelo, Marquess Cianciulli (1734-1819), a jurist and Minister of Justice of the Kingdom of Naples, famous for settling the bill of law abolishing feudalism in that Kingdom.

Guido Colonna himself graduated in law in 1930 from the University of Naples. Before the Second World War, he served in America as Italy's vice-consul to New York City from 1934 to 1937 and then to Toronto from 1937 to 1939.[2] From 1939 to 1940 he was secretary of the Italian embassy in Cairo.

After the war, he was Secretary-General of the Italian delegation at the Marshall Plan negotiations (October 1947-March 1948), then Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (10 May 1948-July 1956). In 1956, he was appointed deputy general director for political affairs in the Italian foreign affairs ministry. He was promoted to the rank of minister on 20 October 1957. From December 1958 to July 1962, he was Italian ambassador to Norway, succeeding Paolo Vita Finzi. He was deputy secretary general of NATO from 1962 to 1964.[3]

On 30 July 1964 he succeeded Giuseppe Caron as European Commissioner for Internal Market & Services in the second Hallstein Commission and he remained in the succeeding Rey Commission of 1967 as Industry Commissioner until his resignation in May 1970 just before the Commission's term of office expired. His resignation from the Rey Commission and the subsequent delay in appointing a successor confirmed reports that the Member States would not renew Rey's mandate that expired at the end of June 1970.

After the end of his political career, Guido Colonna di Paliano returned to the private sector as President of the Italian department store chain "Rinascente". He also became a member of the Trilateral Commission.[4]

Personal life

On 8 June 1938 in New York, Colonna, at the time Italian vice consul at Toronto, married Tatiana Conus, daughter of Julius Conus (Yúlij Eduárdovič Konyús), a Russian pianist and composer of French origin, and of Princess Maria Alexandrovna Lieven.[5] She was born in Moscow on 1 December 1916 and died in Milan on 29 July 2009. They had three children: Don Piero Colonna (born in Toronto 25 December 1938), Don Stefano Colonna (born in Cairo 21 March 1940) and Donna Maria Cristina Colonna (born in Stockholm 16 December 1941). On 23 June 1967, in Paris, the latter married Count Patrice de Vogüé (born in Paris 8 December 1928), descendant of the diplomat and archeologist Melchior de Vogüé and owner of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a famous historical French château which he received from his father on the day of his marriage.

Tatiana Colonna and her children are the subject of a story told by Italian writer Curzio Malaparte in his war novel Kaputt (published in 1944): she cures them of their fear of birds, brought on by their association of a sparrow trapped in their bedroom with the bombings they have experienced in Naples.[6]


  1. Genealogisches Handbuch der gräflichen Häuser, volume 19, Limburg an der Lahn : C. A. Starke, 1959, p. 437
  2. L. G. Pennacchio, Exporting Fascism to Canada: Toronto's Little Italy, in Enemies Within: Italians and Other Internees in Canada and Abroad, eds Franca Iacovetta, Angelo Principe and Roberto Perin, University of Toronto Press, 2000, p. 52.
  3. "NATO Who's who? Secretaries General of NATO",
  4. The Papers of EEC,
  5. The Nebraska Journal (Lincoln, NE), Thursday, 9 June 1938: "With the approval of King Victor Emmanuel of Itaty, the wedding of Prince Don Guido Colonna de Paliano and Miss Tatiana Conus, daughter of the former Princess Marie Levien of Russia, took place Wednesday in the flower bedecked home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fairfield Osborn, jr. Forty socially prominent friends attended the formal double ring ceremony conducted by the Most Rev. Giovanni Tedesa. The prince, Italian vice consul at Toronto, and his bride left immediately for a motor tour of Canada."
  6. Robert G. Walker, Malaparte and Literary Strangeness: a Critical Preface to Kaputt:>

Political offices
Preceded by
Giuseppe Caron
Italian European Commissioner
Served alongside: Lionello Levi Sandri, Edoardo Martino
Succeeded by
Franco Maria Malfatti
Succeeded by
Altiero Spinelli
European Commissioner for Internal Market
Succeeded by
Hans von der Groeben
as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Regional Policy
New office European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs
Succeeded by
Altiero Spinelli
as European Commissioner for Industrial Affairs and Trade
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