Persona October, 20th 2010 by

Dario Meets the Morelli Family

On arriving at the entrance to the romantic Valparaiso Restaurant situated just below Mijas, guests are usually welcomed by the cheerful presence of Raffaele Morelli, one of the three brothers from this extraordinary family, who have made such a positive impact on the Costa del Sol and Marbella since they arrived in Spain over twenty six years ago. Few people can have failed to have visited this well-established restaurant on at least one occasion when in the area. As numerous testimonials show over many years, countless guests have enjoyed the special atmosphere created at the Valparaiso by a lifetime of dedication, by the Morelli family’s attention to detail, delicious food from a substantial menu, fine service, and the best of entertainment.

People of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, have experienced that special “Italian touch” of warmth and professional service, where the guests are always made to feel as one of the family, by the hard working Morelli brothers, Raffaele, Vittorio, and (Sandro Morelli at the exclusive Tiberio’s in Marbella) The bothers can justifiably claim that the Valparaiso has become an integral part of the social scene, as established and recognisable as the mountains nearby.

The Valparaiso was founded in 1984 and is placed snugly in a magical setting with sea and mountain views visible from a beautiful flower-covered terrace. It‘s spacious both outside and within, with special areas designated for dancing. Just step inside, and one is surrounded by walls that are decorated by an amazing photo gallery of fascinating pictures; a veritable who’s who of famous celebrities of the entertainment and sports world who have dined there. Bruce Forsyth, Sean Connery, the Beckham’s and Max Clifford, just to mention a few. And as I looked around this Hall of Fame, to my amazement, Raffaele pointed to a black and white photo of my sister and I, taken in the early seventies, the duo “Dario and Delia, Two of a Kind.”

 The Valparaiso has a faithful clientele, based not just locally, but internationally and Raffaele though privately modest, is in fact the showman and entertainer of the brothers; a man of enthusiasm, boundless energy, and a quick mind brimming with ideas.

He told me “I am not really a businessman in the traditional sense. I am in fact an artist first in everything I do and reflecting this creative part of my nature, I enjoy giving and seeing the pleasure on the faces of my guests. This is one of my private rewards, that money cannot buy!” 

 His artistic nature is for all to see during an evening dining there. One feels like a part of the family as Raffaele or Vittorio oversee your needs and cheerful waiters attend quickly to any request, as they serve you delicious cuisine from the Valparaiso’s International menu or savouring the flavours of real Italian pasta, while indulging oneself with a fine Chianti or Rioja wine. One can also relax and enjoy the theatricality of the venue, which offers an attractive range of good musical entertainment, opera singers and Flamenco shows as well as dancing; the Valparaiso has something for everyone.

Following in the family footsteps, are the younger generation of Morellis, the lovely Daniella and Paola the proprietors of Regine’s, a “Michelin Guide Restaurant, located next to Puerto Banus, near the Casino. It was established in 1995 and the delightful ladies are following in the Morelli tradition of hard work, dedication and commitment to pleasing their guests, as well bringing to you everything that is the best of Italy. Their motto is. “When you are here you are family!

Regine’s also provides entertainment, and have recently attracted the talents of David Mairs to their beautiful Ristorante, one of the most popular musicians / entertainers on the coast, and will be performing his genre of musical magic to the lucky guests three evenings a week in October.

I left the enjoyable interview with Raffaele, with the words of the great English bard Shakespeare, cheerfully illuminating my mind. “If music be the food of love, play on.”

 We wish the all Morelli family, good fortune for now and in the future!

 Contact Valparaiso: E-mail:

Key to Mijas Costa and Beyond (Issue 73) key 

Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


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