The memories of the Pasolini family are lost in time, surrounded by the fog that the sea brings out during the wintertime, when all becomes quiet and the days are showing the brightness of the lighthouse that brings the sailors safely back home.
We are in the 50s and the characters resemble the same people described by Fellini in his most famous film “Amarcord” – I remember. The memories of Nonna Pia are still alive in her blue eyes, even now that she needs a cane to hold up the weight of the years passing by and her face is still framed by her curly hair. All you need to ask is: “Hey, Nonna Pia, how good were the olden days?” that all comes back to life: the fire always on, in the kitchen running from an errand to the other, and the cleaning up of the bedrooms....Pia is an authentic “Azdora”, simply translated from the Romagna dialect to the modern Italian as homemaker. For us “romagnoli”, the “Azdora” is the heart and commander-in chief of the family, who regulates all and manages: husband, children, animals, food, home....and the in-laws! Her trusted allies are the rolling pin and the chopping board.
Nonna Pia and nonno Guido decided that a small hotel to run is what would work for them, in Via Zara; this is where the whole story begins, few steps away from the beach in Cesenatico, with hard work and many debts, year after year, expands.
How were they able to find people to stay at the hotel? Simply by going to search for customers, without phone, fax or computer. Nonno Guido prepares his suitcase with a notepad to take the reservations, few business cards with the hotel’s address and good products to showcase: homemade salami and good wine to enjoy the company, and away he goes to Germany and Austria in search of families to stay at the hotel for their holidays. On his way back, he would call Nonna Pia: “Get ready, they’re coming!”
The years go by with the sound of Secondo Casadei and his violin, and their daughters Primula and Loretta playing and running around the dining table learning the secrets of Pia’s recipes and helping her out, with the help of a footstool to reach the table height.
A decade goes by and in Via Zara there is a young boy who is working at the beach. His story is alike: he built the hotel “Bel Turismo”, together with his father and his younger brother Enzo and her mother Anita in the kitchen; the boy takes care of the accounting, all by hand as calculators weren’t available yet. Good looking and athletic, he loves the sea and enjoys being a water-skiing instructor. His name is Giuliano, a handsome man who loves the sun and having fun.
These are the years of the dancing discos where Raul Casadei’s music is prominent; in the clubs you can meet Mina, Patty Pravo and Fred Bongusto, and people are dancing tight together to each other. Amongst everybody, he noted Primula and he’s going to pick her up with his new shiny Fiat 500; she holds on tight, her purse between her legs, the curves riding up the hill, sometimes rough which makes them ride closer together. From up there, under the starry sky one cannot tell apart from the sea, he speaks about dreams and projects. He talks and talks and a star is listening, and decideds to come and watch closer.... that’s Silvia: unexpected!
Between the years 1969 and 1970, there’s a new family: what to do? There is that small hotel on the other side of the street, where Primula’s parents use as a depandance while Loretta stays at home, let’s go... now the memories bring up the worries of the debts, the renovations, the many worries... let’s go, there’s lots to do! Primula, with the inherited recipe book, starts working in the kitchen and, surprisingly, at 19 years of age becomes the queen of it! Giuliano works the bar and the dining room, he already became the great host everybody still talks about today. As the athlete that he is, when the time allows it, he jumps on his bicycle for a ride. No high-tech bikes those years: only hard leather seats, a newspaper to protect the body from the cold, itchy woolen shirts and a sandwich with salami for when it’s time to rest.
The passion overcomes obstacles! Silvia studies in the patio and helps with the small errands, actions showing her independence, and in 1974 the little sister is born, Francesca, and to take care of. Those were wonderful years when all was needed was a phone reservation: “Mr. Helmut called saying that he’s coming on the 12th” and on the 12th, Mr. Helmut with his family would come and come back again for many years. Guests who became family, who fell in love with Romagna. Monika and Klaus, Ernestine, Renè and Marghit, the families of Musso, Chellini and Fanti, are today still dear friends who come back every year. Silvia and Francesca, when finished their schooling, became an important part of the hotel management, and then it’s decided to purchase another building: there is a hotel for sale in Villamarina, the Hotel Lungomare; so called because of its position on the Lungomare of Cesenatico, the beautiful beachside avenue. At the beginning, there were two villas by the sea which afterwards were unified and renovated as a hotel in 1955. The main hotel entrance is located in the same spot where the original one was located. Francesca moves to the Hotel Lungomare, it’s 1999, and sounds like a separation from her family, but the affections remain. Silvia is married and becomes a mom, she had her boy Filippo and all became different. The parents are going back and forth to help both kids, and when the little Carlotta was born and having her brother Filippo, then it became time to go all back together with the family.
In 2004, everybody joins forces at the Hotel Lungomare and the past leaves the place to the present: in 2011 Lorenzo, Silvia’s husband, leaves the family grocery store business to help at the Lungomare; an excellent and wise bicycle tour guide, problem solving person, brings his precious contribution. Their son Filippo is too a strong rider, keeping the tradition alive with her sister Carlotta, custodian of the entrepreneurial spirit of the women of this family, and the young Edoardo, Francesca and Marco’s boy.
You may ask yourself who am I, narrator of this story, that is not a tale? You’ll find me at the Hotel Lungomare, and can recognize me from my typical romagnolo accent, a loud laughter and my name is the same of Dante Alighieri’s muse.
The story of the Hotel David has been crossing the Pasolini family for a long time. It is primarily a family matter that joins the two, as the previous owner was Primula’s cousin Davide.
In the meantime, while Giuliano was putting his thoughts about taking over the Hotel Lungomare, he would also keep an eye at the Hotel David being a broad and elegant structure that he really appreciated.
The arrangements were taking a long time, as for the current owners wasn’t easy to decide to leave the business; until Gigliola with Chiara and Vito realized to be ready and Giuliano welcomed their inheritance, in line with the ideas and values of his family. So a new adventure begun, with Giuliano and Primula always in charge, Francesca and Silvia on their side with the support of their families.
What rests still doesn’t survive, for this reason they begun with new projects of renovations, changes and innovations. A bit at the time...