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It was in 1939 that Mr. Gino De Andreis, a cousin of the poet and Nobel Prize Laureate Eugenio Montale, Genoese by birth with Monterosso blood, bought from the Montale family the first floor of Villa La Vecchiona in the pinewood in Monterosso.

Some twenty years later, he also purchased the ruins of Villa Pastine, a once splendid villa that had been designed and built in liberty style in the early twenties by Rolando Levacher, an architect from Parma, and by the sculptor Arrigo Minerbi.

Lying below the ruins of the villa was a little inlet with pebbles, and it was there that Mrs. Bebe De Andreis put up some simple beach huts made out of canvas, together with a number of beach umbrellas.

A huge caryatid, a statue called the Gigante, overlooked the inlet, bearing on its shoulders a terrace in the shape of a sea shell, jutting out onto the rock high up above the crystal clear sea.

The building of the small harbour started in the late fifties; at the same time a tunnel was excavated underneath the rock supporting the statue of the Gigante; in 1959 came the jetty, later prolonged, with the purpose of protecting the natural inlet from rough seas.

While the foundations of the little harbour were being laid, the ruins, or what was left of Villa Pastine, were demolished, keeping only the foundations of the tower.

The future of the Gigante was also at risk, as a consequence of having been hit by a mortar during World War II. Gino De Andreis was uncertain if to have it demolished or restored. There was a popular rising in the village: the Gigante had to be preserved. Thus De Andreis promoted a fund raising, himself donating the first one million Lire. Predictably enough, no other offers came. In any case, the restoring work of the Gigante started, today one of the most popular spots to visit and photograph in Monterosso.

In 1960 Gino De Andreis paid the final bill for the construction of the harbor,about twenty-three million. “ I have thrown my money out to sea! ” he would reply to those asking him questions about how he had invested his money.

The small harbour was inaugurated in 1961, on Gino De Andreis’s birthday. It was one of the first ports of its kind along the Tirrenean coasts. Four years later, on the 26th of May 1965, it formally became the Circolo Velico Monterosso. Way back in the roaring sixties just a handful of families, friends and relatives of the De Andreis’, and later on some devoted lovers of the inlet, used to spend their holidays on the pebble beach, or by the Rotonda, where you could sunbathe or rest in the shade under the beach umbrellas. In the early years of the Club lunch was an simple picnic,, later on it would come directly from the kitchen of Villa La Meridiana, the house that Gino De Andreis had had built where Villa Pastine once rose.

Mrs. Bebe, initially known as the ‘Admiral’ and later lovingly nicknamed Nonna Bebe, was the promoter of all the activities and overlooked the services, Thanks to her energy and commitment the Club becomes the ideal place for its members to spend the long summer holidays in those years. Sailing regattas and swimming marathons were organized along with swimming and water polo competitions among the guests, walks in the surrounding hills and countryside, boating trips, card games tournaments, fashion shows, fishing outings, plays organized by the young members of the Club and, of course, parties!

In the meantime the canvas huts were replaced by green wooden ones, jetties were made stronger and sturdier, a winter shelter for the boats as well as a bowling green were built, while the new generations grew and more and more enthusiasts joined the club.

By the beginning of the nineties the club counted more than 200 members: the whole organization had become more articulated and somehow complex, losing part of its familiar atmosphere. A new legal structure was required, so were some major maintenance works. In 1996 the Club started the process of purchasing the land on which the it had been built from the De Andreis family. In 1999 the members of the Club founded a real estate company called Società Immobiliare Il Gigante, which became the owner of the land and of the facilities where the Club lies.

In 2006 the Circolo was named after Gino e Bebe De Andreis to honour a very generous couple, whose dreams and visions gave life to a precious story that comes to new life summer after summer and generation after generation, under the watchful eyes of the Gigante.