Who Are You Anyway?
We used to be a grand total of two people: Daniel Morneau and Martha Quaresma.
Martha left in June of 2009 when I, Daniel, decided that I wanted to reduce my workday to the hobby level. How I miss her! Now, however, at my advanced age, I want to work with few clients, and few properties. I say “no” even more than I used to.
As I write these words in July 2014, I am 65 years old, am 6 feet 2 inches tall (and shrinking), and just about as overweight as I was 5 years ago. I was born in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, grew up in Maine, underwent a Jesuit high school education, graduated from Johns Hopkins, and spent 5 years not completing a PhD in Literature at UC San Diego. I am an unreconstructed 60s person.
I lived in San Francisco from 1976 to 2000, then moved to New York City. I lived in Rome in 1980-1982 and 2002-2009 and made three dozen extensive visits during the two intervening decades. I now divide my time pretty much half and half between winter in Rome and summer in a house I purchased in a tiny French Catalan village. Other than my historic involvement with Vacanza Bella, my interests include opera, 19th-century novels, ecclesiastical architecture, film, eating, and visiting with friends. My passion for Italy long predated the founding of Vacanza Bella. My first visit was in 1971. I speak Italian fluently; most of Vacanza Bella’s property owners are Italian, and I deal with them in Italian on a daily basis.
In 1983, I met my life companion Thomas Lalor, and we lived together until October 28, 2001, when Tom died of a massive heart attack in my presence in Rome. He is buried at the Protestant Cemetery. Tom spent his life teaching pre-school deaf children, but he had huge, largely unheralded part to play in starting Vacanza Bella.
In 2002, by complete fluke, I met my current life companion, Francesco Sarnari, a Roman, lifelong left-winger, marathon runner, high-altitude trekker, tennis champ, opera freak, theoretical physicist, and about 25 years younger than I am.