a seventy-year vacation
A love story that blossomed on the first of August in 1951. Since then, engineer Marcello Lavizzari hasn’t missed a single summer in Forte. “In this magnificent territory, I have found peace and happiness in every season of my life,” he tells ForteMagazine.
Interview by Titti Chiarello - Photography Nicola Gnesi
An even seventy. That’s how many years Milanese engineer Marcello Lavizzari has been vacationing in Forte dei Marmi. Now, after long career in key roles at construction-sector companies such as Pizzarotti and R.D.B., he lives here fulltime with his wife Pierangela.
Sir, have you ever missed a summer in Forte? “Are you joking? Never! I used to spend my winters dreaming about the arrival of summertime, time to leave for Versilia.” Do you remember the first time you set foot in Forte dei Marmi? “I remember it very well, as though it were yesterday. It was the first of August, 1951, and I came by bus from Milan with my mother and my sister. My father, a contractor, stayed behind: Milan was being rebuilt after the war. The stop was where it still is today: behind the city offices, what at the time were the schools. We took a carriage to the Venturini family’s Pensione Bellariva in Via Mazzini on the corner of Via d’Annunzio. Our first beach club was right across the street: the Bellariva, today’s Bagno Alfredo. The sea was as calm as could be, but to both my sister and me, the swells breaking on the shore seemed to be the heralds of coming storm. Until the year before, we had summered on the Adriatic and we had never seen waves that high.” How old were you? “Fourteen. I was a kid and it was a marvelous, happy summer. Like all the summers that have followed. In 1954 we stayed at the Pensione Raffaelli and I became a good friend of Pierluigi Silvestri, the owners’ son. His mother Angela was a drill sergeant: she locked up at midnight, no matter what; it was practically impossible to get permission to come in later – but we had found a way to sneak in a bedroom window and we never got caught. What a time that was! But then, I must say that in Forte – which in seventy years hasn’t changed much as far as urban layout goes – I have always had fun. Not only as a kid, but also when I became a father – Michele came first, then Giulia and Mario. Now that I’m a grandfather, I always find ways to enjoy myself, even with my grandchildren – who are also all grown up now. In every season of my life, I have found peace and happiness here. This territory is magnificent, and has everything: nature, art, history, music.” Do you like Forte in the winter? “Yes, a lot. I love the quiet. Then, beginning in April, I frequent Bagno Rossella, where I have many friends and where I can breathe clean air and freedom, just like way back when.”
...I must say that in Forte I have always had fun. Not only as a kid, but also when I became a father, and now that I’m a grandfather...