On October 5th I landed at Malpensa airport, and our representative in Italy, Pietro Camera, was waiting for me to take me to my hotel in Milan. Then we picked up Enza, his wife, who teams up with Pietro to manage the distribution of our guitars, and they took me out to dinner at an exquisite place. A welcome that marked the starting point of a journey full of satisfactions and great people that appeared along my journey through some of the establishments that officially carry our brand.
Wednesday was spent in Rome. Our friend Roberto Fabbri took us to our meeting with Davide Tomassone. His establishment, Tomassone, is dedicated to high-end musical instruments. There I gave a talk that opened and closed with the music of Roberto playing his Anniversary guitar with that mastery and energy of his that we appreciate so much.
On Thursday, in Milan, the sales agent Gianni Camera, took us to Brescia, to visit Cavalli, a marvellous establishment dedicated to the best brands of musical instruments. Marco Taio and several guitar students were waiting for us there, as well as a guitar maker, Massimo Dubaz, who brought an instrument he had built himself, inspired by a Hauser guitar. Two of the students, Diego Nizzi and Fabio Pietroboni, played a duet with great skill on two Ramirez guitars, one from 1981 and the other, a chamber guitar, from 1984, both owned by Marco Taio. Mr. Cavalli was very kind in thanking me for my visit when, in fact, it was I who was grateful to him for receiving me so graciously.
We went back to Milan and went to Gino Strumenti Musicali which, although initially more focused on acoustic and electric guitars, is now also representing our brand. The owner, Gian Luca della Porta, was waiting for us there, as well as our friend Francesco Biraghi and a group of his students from the Milan Conservatory. Francesco made the get-together a pleasant and different conversation in which his students also participated. Afterwards, Gian Luca invited us to lunch and was very kind to have ordered a cake for my birthday.
Then we went to visit Marco Volontè, who provides the infrastructure for the representation of our guitars by Pietro’s hand, and who is preparing a show room scheduled for spring 2022. The premises, which is the headquarters of the Volontè publishing house, where he also has rooms dedicated to the musical education of children run by his wife, is a charming and exquisitely decorated place. I met Marco many years ago, and it was a great pleasure to see him again after so long.
In the evening Enza and Pietro invited me to have dinner in an absolutely incredible restaurant called Alchimia, which is beautiful, original and welcoming.
On Thursday Pietro picked me up at the hotel and we went to Parma, where Italo Iovane – sales agent – and his wife Antonella were waiting to take us to Bologna to visit the Tomassone factory there, and again I had the pleasure of meeting Davide Tomassone, who came to meet me there. Our friend Piero Bonaguri was also there waiting for us, and he opened and closed my talk playing, masterfully, some pieces by Torroba that allowed us to appreciate the multiple colors that Ramírez knew how to bring out of his guitar. A group of students participated in the talk and completed it with very interesting questions and contributions that enriched the experience. At the end, Davide had organized an aperitif, turning the visit into a party.
Then we went to San Marino to visit the Baldacci shop, where we were welcomed by Marino Baldacci and his son Mirco Baldacci. This visit was limited to a brief and pleasant contact to greet us and get to know his establishment, as there was no time for more.
Back in Milan, Enza prepared a delicious dinner at their house and I enjoyed a family evening with them and their two super rowdy and funny grandchildren.
Pietro and Enza are doing an excellent job as representatives of Ramirez Guitars in Italy, taking care and maintaining the good name and prestige of this brand that had not been treated properly in recent times, before they took the reins as they have done, with the heart, seriousness, honesty and professionalism that we really need. Besides being good friends, they are the soul of Ramirez in Italy.
This impromptu trip, which occurred to me two or three weeks in advance, has been too short considering other establishments that we have not been able to visit with such a tight schedule. I ended the trip very tired but very happy with the welcome I had in every place I visited and with all the people with whom I had the pleasure of sharing my time. And precisely because of the brevity and the impossibility of visiting more establishments, we have agreed to organize a trip, with more time, for the spring of 2022.