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Themes:     ‘Casa’ & LaPerla (85)  
Tags:    Future     Women
michil Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Women: trailblazers

A snapshot of our women’s roles at La Perla certainly doesn’t do their past and present endeavours justice.
Women: trailblazers
"A snapshot of our women’s roles at La Perla certainly doesn’t do their past and present endeavours justice; it doesn’t highlight just how much their contributions and decisions influence our actions."
Take Anni, my mother, for example: a larger-than-life personality if there ever was one. Had she not rolled up her sleeves after the devastating fire of ’75, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Back then, she took care of everything: welcomed guests, helped cleaning staff, stepped in for the waitress, and was even the hotel porter! Come evening, she’d be cooking in the kitchen, then moving on to the tavern, Club44. While my dad was the impeccable host of the night, entertaining the audience to the sound of the drums of our Gegè di Giacomo, Anni created the cocktails and measured just the right amount of champagne into the glasses. Don’t forget she also had to raise us, her kids. She did a stellar job with Mathias and Maximilian and with me… well, we can agree to disagree on that one. She is the soul of La Perla, what with her characteristic, obstinate and smart nature. Even today, nothing happens in the house without her knowing of it: a wilted flower, a waitress with a wrinkled apron, an abandoned cigarette stub on the ground, or music which is just too low at the L’Murin. There she comes, swooping in and fixing everything. Swift of pace and the hostess with the mostess, she’s always intuitively knows what to do. What a woman!

Enter Petra, Mathias’ wife: our de facto accountant. She’s so pernickety that she may spend several hours on a calculation until it makes sense – I don’t know how she doesn’t get a migraine, because I get one just looking at her doing such a thing! I’m sure she’d benefit from some hobby, some fresh air. ‘Yes, yes, but work comes first’, is her predictable reply.
Her colleague, Verena, is also precise and careful with the hotel’s books. She’s a swimming teacher. Calm, with the hint of a smile blossoming on her lips giving away just what good a person she is.

Another well-mannered one is Katrin, Maximilian’s wife. She’s just opened a boutique in Lana, Gemma Store. Talk about creativity – be sure to visit her if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Now, listen to this: ‘Una carezza al vento/con la brezza svanisce/alimenta il vuoto/colma l’angoscia/rinvigorisce la tristezza/abbandona la certezza./Vana la speranza’. Marvellous, don’t you think? It is worth learning Italian just to appreciate the beauty of the words and it is penned by our very own Elide; my dear Elide, who assists me with everything. Quick wits, always there for everyone, and an extremely creative person: she paints like an artist, so you’d be forgiven for not believing how pragmatic she can be. She juggles the two sides of her personality with aplomb. Elide is also in charge of the La Perla Costa Family Foundation, completing many a project with commendable dedication; she’s also got a soft spot for helping the underdog of the situation.

Moving on, let’s head to the kitchen: what you hear from the men of the house cannot certainly be repeated for decency’s sake. Luckily enough, we have sweet Martina taking care of the entrees, adding that serene touch to this male-dominated area. And what about our girls in the dining room? And at the front office? Have you seen them? Refined as any diamond could ever be. Attentive, delicate, and ready to fulfil our guests’ needs.

You probably don’t see her much but, boy oh boy, has she got a set of lungs on her! She works in the back office. If she’s annoyed at you you’d better run for the hills, yet our Madame Lisa is a sight to behold: tall, poised, she doesn’t walk down the hallways, she glides. How could you ever miss her?

The cleaning ladies working in the hotel are also an essential part of our team: theirs is a hard job, yet they carry it out with a lightness, an aplomb and are always courteous and smiling.

And how on earth does Biancamaria, head of the SPA, coordinate her three girls, make them work in harmony? It’s not as easy as it looks: working at those temperatures massaging and generally pampering. You need a cool head. Yet harmony is exactly what you walk into when visiting the SPA.

And, for the first time at La Perla, a woman will be in charge – under the expert gaze of our maître sommelier Paolo – of the wine cellar. Elisa is outstanding: tireless, quick on her feet, smart, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone as dedicated as her.

Joe, I haven’t forgotten about you. She’s been in charge of HR since last year. She’s always putting a good word in for everyone and she’s never – I kid you not – grumpy. Ne-ver. And she’s armed with the patience of a saint! She’s also in charge of Communication at La Perla, and her slogan is painted on the wall of her office: ‘We consciously create wellbeing by treating people as people, because taking care of others is a pleasure.’

Happiness and pleasure wouldn’t exist without women, that’s for sure. The weaker sex? I beg to differ. Independent, self-deprecating – more than us men – determined and strong, respected; yet sweet and romantic.
In a time where emasculation is at the forefront of our society, women represent the real strength and hope of our future.
A hip hip hooray to all the women in this world!

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