Antonio's story

our story

I grew up with a great desire to relieve my family’s poverty. My mother, widowed at 30, raised me and my sister with dignity, sending us to a high school outside of the village, and after 8 hours at the cotton mill, supporting us with all kinds of work.

After graduating from middle school and a forestry expert program, I started my working life at the age of 15, with 3 years at the nursery. At the age of 18 I worked at Camping Garda with a 14-hour schedule divided between shop and bar-restaurant. I started learning some sentences in German.

The president of the Pro Loco asked me to work as secretary at the information office and this assignment lasted 2 years. Finally on June 15, 1960, I moved on to permanent employment in the municipality.

In the meantime, hotels had sprung up like mushrooms and the owners, once engaged in farming and fishing, found themselves acting as hoteliers without the slightest preparation. Many asked me to help them with administrative procedures, so to my 8 hours in the office were added as many at various hotels.

At the beginning of the tourist season of 1962 I started activity in the Hotel Ilma. The owner Mr. Bortolotti asked me to provide administration and I accepted, although I was overworked. This amount of work lasted until 1970. With my accumulated savings, I built my house just 50 meters from the Ilma hotel.

In the following years I was appointed President of the Tourist Board of Limone which involved a considerable commitment of attendance at international tourist fairs. There, I learned a lot. At the beginning of the 70s, in addition to my heavy commitments,  my cousin Germano generously turned over the management of the Taverna Cristina Disco to me. With this activity I earned well and when Mrs. Ilma's husband decided to sell the hotel, Germano and I bought a share of 30% each, leaving Mrs. Ilma the remaining 40% that she decided not to sell. This was in the autumn of 1982. I immediately renovated the annex and equipped all the rooms with new furniture.

For a year, Germano’s construction company had no work, allowing us to renovate the main house, increasing the capacity to 50 rooms equipped with toilets and new furniture.

We began to earn money, and in 2002/2003 we expanded 32 rooms, making them spacious for families. We also enlarged the dining room and built the first indoor pool in Limone, bringing our hotel to 4-star level. We created the fitness room and the SPA, the massage room, tavern and the conference room, changing all the furniture in the rooms, dining room and  bar and equipping them all with air conditioning. In the meantime, the pool needed to be redone and we spared no expense covering it with the best mosaic tiles. Finally, the annex needed to be renovated. We opted to demolish it, replacing it with 24 panoramic rooms equipped with every convenience. 

With the replacement of the old windows in the main house and the painting of the facades, we completed the whole arrangement. We are proud of what we achieved with so much work.

To complete the tourist offer over the years, we have renovated 92 rooms and 12 mini suites. In an olive grove of 4 thousand square meters, we built a beautiful villa with 5 apartments and a swimming pool.

Still, even the most beautiful hotel in the world is an empty box without guests. Now about half of our guests are regular customers (who came regularly even during the pandemic). We are proud to show our improvements in our facility every year. And we enjoy receiving compliments. Since the beginning (1982), every evening the original owner entertains the arriving guests with an aperitif, providing information and advice. This creates a personal relationship that is very welcome because it allows guests to feel pampered.

Some of our colleagues have been with us for years. Together, every year we have improved the dining service, rich and varied with traditional and Garda specialties. All embellished with oil and lemons produced by our garden.

My ambition is to be able to provide my family economic security without worries. I hope this allows them to have more time than I had to enjoy their children and grandchildren. I am proud of my wife and my children, who are able to improve their facilities every year, and of my two grandchildren whose parents will surely be the best teachers for their lives. As for me, I will always be active, guaranteeing continuity in the hotel’s management.

Tebaide Media