Tonight is our last night in Milano Marittima and Roz and I decided to have dinner in our hotel restaurant. Normally we shun hotel restaurants but we were tired from a day of touring Ravenna and Ferrara and wanted to stay close by. Besides most of the restaurants are closed for the Winter season.
Actually the Hotel Aurelia is a very fine hotel, 3 peaks in the Michelin Guide, with beautiful appointments throughout and a wonderful ocean view, plus an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, pretty rare in Italy.
Our meal was more than adequate and the staff, dressed in tuxedos, was very attentive. During dinner a short man entered the restaurant, dressed in a suit that wasn’t impressive.In fact at first I thought he was looking for a job. Then I found out that he was the owner not only of our hotel, the Aurelia, but 12 hotels, including three 5 star hotels, including the Grand Hotel of Rimini, made famous by Fellini and its international guests. Our waiter introduced him and he sat down with us for over an hour.
Antonio Batani, we found out, started his career as a waiter, then rented his
first hotel, then rented 6 hotels, and the rest is history. He had no airs and was very down to earth, and this was a man who owned 12 wonderful hotels.
So it’s not only in the States that a person can go from rags to riches. We look forward to bringing a group to the Adriatic; in fact, we already have the name for the tour: Treasures of the Italian Adriatic Riviera: Wine, Food and Culture. We may even stay at the Grand Hotel di Rimini, although I think everyone would be more than happy at the Aurelia.