The records of the Pasolini family are lost in the mists of time
The records of the Pasolini family are lost in the mists of time, enveloped in the fogs that the sea offers us in winter time, when all is quiet and the days illuminated by slivers of light and the whistle of the lighthouse which gives navigators comfort. We are back in the 50s, and the characters are just like those so well described by Fellini in his film “Amarcord” - meaning “MI ricordo”, or “I remember”. The memories of grandmother Pia still live in her blue eyes, though now she needs a walking cane to soothe the weight of the year, her face framed with curls. But a quick “Eh Pia? What was it like back then?” brings it all back to life: the fire always on, feverishly rushing from one side of the kitchen to the other, tidying up all the various rooms... Pia is a real “Azdora”, too simply translated from the Romagnolo dialect as “pasta maker” but literally meaning “Housekeeper” or “Homemaker”, she who presides over the running of the house. For us the Azdora is the heart, the leader of the family, who governs and manages everything: husband, children, animals, food, house and... the mother-in-law! Both rolling pin and chopping board at the same time.
She and grandpa decide that a small hotel is the right thing for them, , in via Zara, where the whole story will unfold, a stone’s throw from the sea, in Cesenatico and year in year out the changes and sacrifices grow.
But how to get tourists to come? Simple - go looking for them. No telephones, no fax machines, no computers back then of course. Grandpa packed his notebook to take down reservations, cards with the hotel address on and some good produce: home-made salami, sweet wines... went in person to Germany and Austria to find guests... and on his return, “Pia get ready, they’re coming!” And so the years passed to the sound of the violin of Secondo Casadei*, with the daughters Primula (the eldest) and Loretta playing and chasing each other round the kitchen table, all the while breathing in the secrets of Mamma’s recipes, although Mamma gave them a helping hand too, aided by a footstool when the girls couldn’t quite reach the table.
A decade slipped by and then a young man was to be found on via Zara, going back and forth to the sea. He too came from a similar background: he built the guesthouse “Bel Turismo” together with his father and his younger brother Enzo. Mamma Anita cooked and Enzo looked after the books in the evenings, all done by hand, as calculators weren’t around yet...! Handsome and sporty, Enzo loved the sea. A water ski instructor, by day he flew on the waves.
And Giuliano, handsome as a matinée idol, loved his fun in the sun. These were the dance hall years when Raul Casadei drove us crazy, nights with Mina, Patty Pravo and Fred Bongusto**, we danced and twirled arm in arm. Giuliano had noticed Primula and used to go pick her up in his shiny new Fiat 500. She would hang on tight, handbag on knees, on the curves they took in the hills, turns sometimes so sharp that they ended up very close.... And from up there, under a roof of stars, which merged with the horizon of the Riviera, he would talk to her and tell her his dreams and plans. He’d talk and talk... and a star must have been listening, as it decided to come down from the sky to see how things really were down there on earth... her name was Silvia... unexpected!!
Between 1969 and 1970, a new family - what are they up to? There’s that little hotel on the other side of the street, that Primula’s parents used as an annexe and while Loretta stayed with Mamma, off they went... now time has toned down the colours of their worries over debts, building works, so many things to think about... so off they went... so much to do! Primula, a talented bookkeeper, surprisingly came into the kitchen when she was 19, and became its queen. Giuliano at the bar at front of house, was the best landlord anyone ever had seen and remains so today. But an incurable sportsman, as soon as he got the chance he would jump on his bike. Nothing high-tech about it in those days, leather saddles, a page from the newspaper to protect against the cold, itchy woollen sleeves, a salami panino for energy... but passion knows no obstacles!
As for Silvia, she studied on the veranda and helped with little jobs, tasks which hinted at independence, and in 1974 her little sister Francesca came along too for her to take care of.
Wonderful years when a telephone booking was enough – “Helmut’s called, he says he’s coming on the 12th!” And on the 12th Helmut would arrive, punctually with his family, and would keep coming back for years. Guests who became friends, who fell in love with Romagna. Even today, Monika and Klaus, Ernestine, René and Marghit , the Musso family, the Chellinis, the Fantis, are dear friends who return every year.
Silvia e Francesca, studies over, became an integral part of the management - so much so that it was decided to buy another building: a hotel at Villamarina, another part of town, the Hotel Lungomare, so named because it really is right on the seafront of Cesenatico, on the beautiful boulevard that runs along the beach. Originally there were two villas on the sea, which were eventually joined together and transformed into a hotel in 1955. The front door of the hotel is exactly where the villa’s used to be!
Francesca went off to the Lungomare, and in 1999, this seemed like a separation – but it wasn’t at all, at least not in terms of affection. Silvia stayed at Hotel Marconi, married and became a mother – then Filippo arrived and everything took on a new flavour, a new value. And the parents went back and forth to support both. When sweet Carlotta was added to her brother Filippo, it was time for everyone to come back together again.
In 2004, finally leaving the Hotel Marconi property, all were reunited at Hotel Lungomare. Past gave way to the present: in 2011 Lorenzo, Silvia’s husband, left his family’s supermarket to dedicate himself to Lungomare; an excellent cycle guide and very wise, indispensable for his problem solving, he brings his own special contribution. Filippo’s a strong bike rider too, keeping the tradition alive and representing the future along with Carlotta, custodians of the entrepreneurial spirit of the women of this family and the tiny Edoardo, Francesca and Marc’s puppy.
You ask who I am, the narrative voice of this real-life fairy tale? You will find me at the Lungomare, recognisable thanks to my typical Romagnolo accent, a noisy laugh and the name of the eternally beloved Dante Alighieri.
The history of the hotel David has been intertwined with the Pasolini family for a long time. First of all it is a family continuity that binds them, since the previous owner Davide was a cousin with Primula.
At the same time, while Giuliano matured the decision to acquire the hotel Lungomare, he looked at the David, a large, elegant structure, he really likes.
The years pass, the vicissitudes lead Davide's wife, Gigliola to weigh the idea of leaving and with Giuliano confides that she would like to be sure that her "house" was in good hands.
The agreements are long, because deciding to leave is not easy, until Gigliola, Chiara and Vito feel ready and Giuliano welcomes with open arms their legacy, in line and in tune with the ideas and values of their family. So a new adventure begins... Giuliano and Primula always at the guide, Francesca, Silvia and side by side, with their loved ones in support.
What remains immobile does not survive, so they immediately get to work with projects and innovations, transformations and novelties. One piece at a time…