Antônio Carlos Gomes, born in Campinas and considered the greatest composer of operas in the Americas, was a fervent admirer of Verdi. Some say that at the age of eighteen, he composed a march based on themes from Il Trovatore. With the support of Emperor Dom Pedro II, Carlos Gomes received a scholarship to further his studies in Europe. The Emperor would have preferred Carlos Gomes to go to Germany, where the great Richard Wagner was prominent, but the Empress, Dona Teresa Cristina, Neapolitan herself, suggested Italy.
In August 1888, the city of Rio de Janeiro welcomed the return of Emperor Dom Pedro II after a year-long trip to Europe for medical treatment. As they sighted Guanabara Bay, they saw the tribute made by the students of the Military School, then located at Praia Vermelha. They had placed a twelve-meter sign on top of Sugarloaf Mountain with the word “Salve” (Hail).