Dino had quite a way with his grandsons and was very affectionate with
them. He expressed great satisfaction at the arrival of Alessandro,
Laurence’s son, as he would be the only one of all the six grandchildren
to carry on the surname Camillo.
After finishing the block of flats in Paliano and having sold out their shares in the Motel Boomerang, Dino and Rina moved definitively in 1974 to live in their little holiday cottage in Santa Teresa di Gallura in the northern tip of Sardinia, in front of Corsica. This is a very pretty town with a spectacular landscape and coastline.
The rocks at Capo Testa near Santa Teresa di Gallura
granite rocks of the nearby promontory of Capo Testa, provided
inspiration for the English sculptor Henry Moore. Here you can still find
lying on the beach, the roughly hewn and unfinished granite columns that
were to be shipped to ancient Rome, but abandoned for some mysterious
reason. Laurence even found two Roman coins on the beach there!
The ferry leaving Santa Teresa for Bonifacio in Corsica
Teresa is an idyllic setting and Dino and Rina settled down to a happy
life there, receiving their many friends in summer.
A couple from Santa Teresa
were also well received by the local village people, from the elderly
widow Santina next door, the fisherman Luigi, further down the road, who
supplied them with fresh fish and the friendly plump postwoman
Antonella, who kept them informed each day on the town's gossip.
had a wooden motor launch and became an expert fisherman, braving the
frequently rough waters of the Straights of Bonifacio, between the islands
of Sardinia and Corsica.
swimming and fishing were not enough for the active Dino; so he was soon
building again, first a block of three flats, then seven flats near the
port; then ten flats near his home (this in partnership with his brother
Terry, who also had taken to visit Sardinia). Dino then purchased an old
building in the main street, partly demolished it and rebuilt three shops
and an apartment there.
the never-ending surprise of his son, Dino always managed to quickly sell
by himself all of his houses, even in times of a slack market without the
help of any real estate agency and often "on paper", that is
before construction has been completed, or even before the building
actually begins. Dino inspired a sense of trustworthiness, always
respecting his obligations and his clients often became good
friends, rebutting the following mischievous dig of his son on the houses
that he built:
A builder from Via Sicilia,
he been given the chance, Dino would have restructured the whole town, but
here again he came against Italian Bureaucracy, which held him up no end.
While interminably waiting for construction permission for another block
of flats (as it was no longer possible in Italy to build without it) he
and Rina spent two years in Australia, happily visiting their many friends
there. Unable to keep still even on holiday, Dino kept an eye on a construction
site (Villa Venezia) in Hervey Bay in
Queensland near Fraser Island, for his friend David Barro
this period Dino's health started to fail and he came down with rheumatic
arthritis and the many medicines this required, further weakened him. Back
in Santa Teresa, the many setbacks and disappointments in obtaining
building permission for his latest project demoralised Dino and took a
further toll on his health.
developed fibrosis of the lungs and quickly degenerated. He finally
received the long sought-after building permission and commenced
excavations for the foundations, which required dinamiting the hard
granite rock. But shortly after, in December of 1993, he had to be
hospitalised in Sassari, where on the 24th of January, surrounded by his
family, Dino quietly passed away.
of his last wishes was that Ivana and Laurence finish the new project in
Santa Teresa. Ivana, who had previously moved there, took over the
construction of the flats and, with help from her brother, successfully
completed the whole operation, surely under the watchful eye of Dino.