Pesaro is known internationally for two men. One was a magnificent composer of brilliant rhythmic operatic works, and he is celebrated for the month of August each year, Gioachino Rossini, the first jazz composer, his Messa di Gloria from 1820. The other has been celebrated much more recently in another discipline where sound and rhythm are also essential features, Moto, and he is Valentino Rossi (just ‘ni’ short of a great composer).
The beach of Pesaro in summer is still an army of ‘companies’ of umbrellas, all regaled in their captain’s colours, row upon row from the walkway to the sea. Hotels appear full, still with a mixture of Russian, German and English plus a smattering of native Italian dialects. Restaurants serve a smorgasbord of tastes till late and the sound of parties drifts through the night.
But if you are to find yourself at the Rocca Costanza at any time of the year but full summer and you stroll down Viale Giuseppe Verdi towards the beach, coming to Viale Trieste, you look left and right and hardly a person blocks your view. For Italians who came here 30 years ago as children for summer vacation or as young adults chasing the disco craze, you have returned to a ‘ghost town’. Turn right towards the south, stroll past the bank of hotels, closed after the season, or boarded up permanently. Occasionally a bar or hotel struggles to breathe life into the street, but for whom? Tourists have deserted Pesaro as they did desert Atlantic City in the ‘70s before the casino resurrection.
Eventually you approach the end of the road on this your stroll through ‘memory lane’. And there on your left you find a white Taj, a hotel with a sculpted tower out front, near the entrance, and a name ‘Alexander’. What is this English name representing? Look behind the tower and you see rank upon rank of red soldiers. The Hotel Alexander attracts attention. Look into the white foyer and past to the open lounge and dining area, and your eyes are captured, not by one but by dozens of works of art, all from different artists. Walk around this area and find a cabinet filled with books and small works of art and photos, all by Nani, Alessandro (Alexander) Marcucci Pinoli di Valfesina, il Conte Nani.
Who is this man? What is this hotel? If you are fortunate enough to arrive in the morning, you may meet an elegant man seated over a cup of tea, reading. Ask at the desk for an introduction to the creator of this wonderful museum that is also a hotel. A short time with ‘il Conte’ and you are thrilled by the intense eyes and rollicking sense of fun, as well as a devotion to art and the environment. Stay a while, one or more nights, select a room – every one is a different work of art created as a unique piece by an artist selected by Nani.
Come afternoon, you may sit near the windows overlooking the sea and dream until dinner, a delight of culinary excellence. A glass or two of wine and then watch the stars over the sea before drifting to sleep wondering whether this is reality or just a dream.
Thanks to Nani, il Conte Alessandro Marcucci di Valfesina, you have spent a day alive in the art palace of Pesaro, the rebirth of Pesaro – il Rinascita dell’ Arte e del buon arte. Rossini would have been proud.