The Hotel and Restaurant Belvedere has belonged to my family for four generations. My great grandfather Defendente Lamberti had the honour, in 1921, to welcome among his guests the French general Charles De Gaulle, who had lunch in this restaurant during his honeymoon (see De Gaulle mon père, by Philippe De Gaulle).
My great grandfather was also the founder of the first cooperative company of the island: the Unione Pescatori. At the beginning of the last Century, there were many difficulties for whom who offered hospitality on the island; the comfort of the present days were then considered a real achievement: in a brochure of that time, in the description of Belvedere, we can find electrical power, telephone and the fishing reserve belonging to the family Lamberti.
My grandfather Cesare, Defendente’s son, carried on with passion the fishing activity for all his life, while my grandmother Edvige run the restaurant and hotel with an open minded view, quite rare for that period. We are speaking about the difficult years of the World War II, and the echoes of the dramatic events reached our quiet island. Fishing, more than ever, was a real important resource for the whole community. After the war, the period of the economical expansion began. Belvedere was enlarged and new rooms were built, to respond to the request of increasing and affectionate clientele. Since 1996 it is me, Paco Garofoli, who carry on my grandfather’s activity.
Times have changed, the job has differentiated and fishing for me is just a sweet memory of my childhood, when with my uncle Enrico we went out on our small boat to collect the fishnets. If we went far from the shore, we slept on the boat, lulled by the waves…For sure, hospitality and catering are nowadays my main engagement. I devote to this activity with the passion inherited by my grandfathers, the ambition of carrying on following the example of my predecessors and the desire of always improve.