Maurizio ‘Zanza’ Zanfanti, legendary playboy from Rimini – obituary

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Maurizio “Zanza” Zanfanti, who has died aged 62 whereas in flagrante, was essentially the most well-known Latin lover of the bundle vacation growth in Italy, of which the epicentre was his dwelling city Rimini.

In his prime, girls queued as much as be seduced by him and in keeping with legend he slept with hundreds of them.

He died of a coronary heart assault at round two within the morning in his Mitsubishi Pajero 4×4, parked in a small peach grove owned by his household, seconds after making love with a 25-year-old Romanian lady, who raised the alarm.

Maurizio Zanfanti was born on October 20 1955 right into a household of poor peasant farmers who lived close to Rimini on the Adriatic coast. Italy was nonetheless a largely agricultural nation, devastated by the Fascist interval and the Second World Battle however on the point of the Nineteen Sixties financial miracle which might see its GDP briefly overtake Britain’s.

Younger Maurizio left college at 16 with no {qualifications} and in 1972 turned a buttadentro (thrower-in, actually) at a infamous discotheque referred to as Blow Up. His job was to seek for girls on the seashore and in bars and entice them with free tickets and easy speak to go together with him to Blow Up.

The work paid him a pittance, however gave him carte blanche to accost younger girls at will and have interaction them in dialog.

Maurizio Zanfanti in Rimini Credit score: Pasquale Bova/Ropi/REX

His rise to fame as a seaside end-of-the-pier model of Casanova was as speedy because the rise to fame of Rimini as a citadel of hedonism.

So efficient was he that he shortly earned the nickname “Zanza”, quick for zanzara – the Italian phrase for mosquito.

In these years, mass tourism reworked the Adriatic coast into one lengthy, infinite line of brutally ugly resorts, house blocks, bars, eating places and discotheques, and the sandy shore in entrance right into a forest of seashore umbrellas.

Federico Fellini was additionally born in Rimini and his Oscar-winning 1973 masterpiece Amarcord (“I bear in mind” in native dialect) is a couple of yr within the lifetime of this small coastal city earlier than mass tourism stole its soul. He wrote in a 1976 memoir: “I don’t like going again to Rimini.”

However, few Italians cared sufficient to cease the desecration, since most cared extra concerning the cash it delivered to their financial system. Least of all of the younger Zanfanti. For him, this desecration was not only a means of creating a residing: it was paradise on earth.

 Maurizio Zanfanti  Credit score: Pasquale Bova/Ropi/REX

Such was his standing as a serial seducer of the vacationers from northern Europe who flocked to the Adriatic within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties searching for solar, sea and intercourse that he was usually front-page information in Germany and Scandinavia.

In 1984 the German tabloid Bild devoted two pages to him, calling him the “Intercourse Bomber Der Nation”. A pop track he and employees at Blow Up made reached No 2 within the Swedish charts.

Quick and swarthy, he had dense caveman-style hair which he dyed golden brown. He wore his shirts unbuttoned to the waist or, higher nonetheless, only a skimpy leather-based waistcoat, to show to full benefit his chunky gold chains, tanned torso and furry chest. He invariably wore platform heels and had a passion for tight leather-based trousers.

However he was blessed with innate allure and it was this – they are saying – that stunned the ladies. A Norwegian, Mette Homburg, now 50, instructed the Corriere della Sera after his demise that when she met him at Blow Up in 1984 his first phrases to her have been “Ciao, bella”.

“However they have been sufficient,” she defined, “to make me fall in love with him, and I used to be so in love. He had the air of being a macho man however he was so good, and so humorous.” For 3 years, Mette returned every summer season to Rimini only for Zanza, they usually remained pals till his demise. “I knew he had a great deal of girls, however it didn’t matter.”

Many different outdated flames saved in contact down the years and a few even organised group journeys many years later to see him in Rimini for reunion events.

Zanza with pals in Rimini Credit score: Manuel Migliorini/Ropi/REX 

In a typical three-month summer season season, he used to say, his common tally was 200 girls, roughly two a day, rising to 4 a day within the infernal warmth of August. He knew what number of there have been as a result of he recorded each, with temporary particulars, in notebooks which quickly stuffed up and had to get replaced. However he at all times refused to disclose the grand complete, which is reckoned to be 6,000.

“They have been almost all international girls,” he mentioned. “The Italians needed to make do with my brother.”

After his demise, Walter Lanzetti, who owned the now lengthy gone Blow Up discotheque, instructed the Bologna-based day by day Il Resto del Carlino that he took him on as a buttadentro all these years in the past, after which as creative director, as a result of he knew a little bit of Swedish, which nobody else did, and he at all times had a smile on his face.

And what drove his ardour to seduce girls – insisted Signor Lanzetti, nonetheless unlikely it might appear – was an altruistic sense of responsibility. “He didn’t do it for fame, or to be high of the cucadores (Latin lover) league tables which existed in these days,” Lanzetti mentioned, “He simply wished to make girls pleased. Zanza was a romantic.”

Nevertheless, the arrival of Aids within the Nineteen Eighties, mixed with a rising consciousness of feminism, started to curtail his actions. These developments coincided with the decline of the Italian Adriatic because the bundle vacation vacation spot of alternative for northern Europeans. “1988 was a lean summer season,” Zanza conceded. “Solely 120 girls.”

When in 1993 Bild warned feminine readers to beware Italian philanderers brandishing cast medical certificates on the seashore or within the disco to “show” that they didn’t have HIV, Zanza was swift to leap to his personal defence.

“Me, I maintain my certificates signed and countersigned by the physician in my pockets,” he instructed la Repubblica. “However I’ve but to satisfy a woman who has ever wished to see it.”

Zanza in 2013; ‘He had the air of being a macho man, however he was so good, and so humorous,’ a good friend defined Credit score: ROPI/Alamy

In 2015, by now 60, Zanza introduced his retirement in il Resto del Carlino, insisting that he had “carried out extra for the promotion of tourism in Rimini than 100 journey companies”.

He by no means married however is assumed to have fathered 9 youngsters dotted about Scandinavia and Germany.

Requested as soon as if he had ever been in love, he replied: “I can’t permit myself to do it. I can’t permit myself to cease … Work is figure.”

His household’s parish priest refused to permit his funeral of their native church, not as a result of in canon regulation Zanza was a peccator manifestus (“infamous sinner”), however as a result of the priest didn’t need – or so he mentioned – a media scrum in his church.

As a substitute, the funeral passed off, no matter canon regulation, within the chapel on the cemetery in Rimini during which Zanza was afterwards buried – a stone’s throw from Fellini’s grave.

Tons of of individuals, together with the mayor, have been current. Many mentioned that Zanza deserved if not a road in his title, then no less than a medal.

All through his life as a tombeur de femmes Zanza lived on the primary flooring of the household farmhouse above his mom Teresa, who’s 80 and nonetheless owns a small fishmonger’s close by, his brother Loris and sister Mara, neither of whom is married. All of them survive him.

Although his mom was “not pleased” (as he as soon as put it) with the life he had led, he did his bit every day on the household fish store and on their farm. After his demise, she instructed the press: “He was a great boy, who at all times helped me.”

Maurizio Zanfanti, born October 20 1955, died September 26 2018

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