AN ITALIAN LOVE STORY: PALAZZO SASSO BECOMES PALASSO AVINO
Ravello, ITALY – (June 13, 2012) – Beginning 2013, the Amalfi Coast’s prized jewel – Palazzo Sasso – will become Palazzo Avino, wearing the name of its founding family. The name change – the building of Palazzo Sasso and its transformation into Palazzo Avino – has every making of an Italian love story. There’s passion, beauty and a dream. All played out along Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast.
The story began decades ago with Giuseppe Avino who, with his father Attilio, built a successful tomato canning factory. But Giuseppe’s vision went beyond the tomatoes. His dream was to have his own boutique hotel. Not an ordinary ‘hotel,’ but a special place, a dream place. And he found it – sitting atop a hill, along the Amalfi coast in Ravello. “The place,” originally built in the 12th century and part of Ravello’s aristocratic quarter, was in ruins, only a shell of a building, no floors. But Giuseppe saw the potential. And for three years, while still running the tomato factory, he renovated. In July, 1997, Palazzo Sasso opened as a hotel.
Not long ago, Giuseppe’s daughter, Mariella – Palazzo’s new managing director spoke about her father and of the hotel‘s new name change to “Palazzo Avino.” The name change comes as result of legal battle over use of the name “Palazzo Sasso” on the hotel. After much legality, the family made the decision to change Palazzo Sasso to Palazzo Avino – wearing, with much love and pride, the name of its founding family.
“For 15 years, my father was always behind the scenes, making the important decisions,” says Mariella. “Now, the family has decided to lead the management part of the hotel and, with a name-change pending, publicly put our face on the hotel. We will all be involved — especially my sister Attilia and me.”
Mariella holds a degree in business administration (Hotel Management) and worked as a credit analyst (Luxury Hotels division) for HSBC in Milan before attending a Master in Hospitality Administration at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and entering the family business three years ago.
“I love the Palazzo,” Mariella says. “I love the location. I love the views. I love every single element. I love it because I grew up here. I know its past (my father’s commitment and effort to create the property). I know its fantastic present, and I’m excited to write its future with all my passion, my heart and my love.”
While Giuseppe Avino has always been shy to tout the family name, Mariella sees it differently. “The idea of having the Avino name on the hotel is actually very special for me and my sisters, Attilia and Mariavittoria,” Mariella admits. “We have no men in the family besides my father, so our name, Avino, will eventually disappear. But with `Palazzo Avino’ the name will always remain. My grandfather is no longer with us, but now his name is here forever. I know this would have made him very happy.”