At Villa Carmela, you will find a family atmosphere full of tradition and little daily details. Our family created and has always managed this business, making all guests feel at home. That’s why we would like to introduce ourselves and tell you our story, which starts with Grandma Carmela ...
“It’s so lovely to see my little grandchildren playing together in the courtyard. And yet it seems like only yesterday that the doctor said to me: “Take your son to the sea and you’ll see how well he sleeps!”
At first, Natale did not agree with this advice, but eventually gave in and that is how our Bibione adventure began. And we’ve had so many adventures – and made so many sacrifices!
We wanted a little house by the sea, but that day – it must have been in ’58 – a tourist passed by and asked if we could put him up for the night. In return, he helped out with a few jobs in the house and garden.
That’s where it all began. I did not have any experience in this field, but I knew how to cook and keep the house clean and I thought maybe that was enough. I decided to build a second floor of the house, with three bedrooms and a shared bathroom. I would prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner and tidy the rooms. Eugenio and Giulio helped me to wash the dishes, set the table and keep everything in order, although they often snuck off.
Over various years, we gradually built more and more things. More rooms, some apartments, until after so many changes there were only apartments left. To be honest, I never would have expected it – I, who had only reached third grade!
And yet this business became my only work. In May, we would leave Milan for Bibione and in September my children and I would return.
Giulio was good and well-behaved, but Eugenio… he was always out and about, and made me worry. He was young and wanted to have fun; now it’s my two grandsons, Marco and Massimo, who want to have fun. So many things to worry about, but that’s a problem for their parents – for them, I’m just grandma.
Now it’s more Greta, the youngest of the four that worries me. In the summer, she always stays a few weeks here with me, but she is a rascal! I tell her to do as she’s told, but she always does the opposite – it’s her nature. But then she always gets me to forgive her, or maybe I just forgive her anyway!
She reminds me of myself when I was young. She is proud and determined, but so kind to everyone.
Luckily she has fun here. My house is always full of families and children and they all play together in the courtyard, even though I often have to tell them off! My poor roses suffer the most.
Who knows what will happen when I’m no longer around. I’m 80 years old now and I can’t help thinking about it sometimes.
Perhaps they’ll sell to the best bidder, or will they carry on looking after the place. They are all busy with their work in Milan. I can’t expect them to change their lives.
I would so love for somebody to take it over, for it all to stay in the family.
I would like them to carry on following my principles. I don’t really rent out the apartments to earn money, it’s more for the pleasure of meeting people and hearing their stories. For me, human contact and making people feel at home is very important.
“Grandma, grandma!!! There’s a German family that wants a week! Come down!” ...let’s stop thinking about it. What will be will be – “I’m coming, Greta, tell them to wai
You left us in 1998. You were 85. It was wonderful to spend time with you and make you mad – you always forgave me!
I used to spend most of the summer with you in Bibione. I was happy there. You would tell me so many stories and teach me so many things, like sacrifice and the importance of work.
Villa Carmela is still here. Through great sacrifice, dad has renovated it. It needed a good going-over after almost 50 years!
And we’re still here too – we won’t get rid of it, don’t worry! Your sacrifice will not be given away so easily because Villa Carmela and Carmela are one and the same, and everyone who loved Carmela must also love your house. Every nook hides a story, an anecdote and a memory.
Dad, Marco and I have carried on managing it over these years and we want to continue to do so in the coming years, as you would have wanted: with love and dedication.
Grandma, your heart has stayed there and mine is there with it.
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