Irene Forte, Group Project and Wellness Director,
Rocco Forte Hotels
Thirty-year-old Irene Forte grew up in the family business (her father is Rocco Forte), and with 11 hotels across Europe, plus one in the Middle East, she travels almost weekly. “I love nothing more than exploring hotels,” she says. And she makes time for personal trips too: “I love adventure holidays and I try and do one big adventure every year.” Here are a few of her favorites.
Being Italian by blood, I adore traveling to Italy – Rome, Florence, the Tuscan countryside, Puglia, Venice… the list is endless. I’m extremely attached to Sicily. I fell in love with the island when I worked for our resort, Verdura, for six months in 2006. I now travel to Sicily at least once every two months for work. Its landscapes, culture, food, people, and sense of family are unrivalled. There’s a true authenticity to the place. My new Irene Forte Skincare line is inspired by Sicily.
Last summer, I did a road trip across the south of Italy. I started in Puglia (near Bari), headed to Ostuni, down to Lecce, across to Matera, to Paestum, along the Amalfi coast, to Pompeii, and finished in Naples. I had never visited this part of Italy and I was truly blown away by the hospitality, the food, the culture, and the landscapes.
Snow Leopard Spotting
Two years ago, I went trekking in the Himalayas in search of snow leopards. Despite having to camp for ten days in -20 degrees Celsius, it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Beautiful snowy landscapes, complete peace and freedom (with no cell reception), and two snow leopard sightings.
Indian Road Trip
In March last year, I drove through the state of Tamil Nadu in India for two weeks, stopping at different places along the way. I spent time in Sadhguru’s Isha Yoga Center meditating, I visited some of the most breathtaking World Heritage site temples (with no tourists), I visited some charming little hotels, and I broadened my knowledge of Ayurvedic practices.
I love going to Verdura, our resort in Sicily. It’s wonderful because there is so much to experience there. You can completely relax and enjoy the beach or spa or hike in the mountains and visit amazing temples and the beautiful nearby towns and villages. But truly, I love all of the Rocco Forte properties for different reasons.
La Posta Vecchia is a little gem outside of Rome that was once a Renaissance villa for the noble Orsini family and then home to John Paul Getty. Today, it’s a romantic 19-key hotel. The interiors are beautiful, the gardens and views are incredible, and the food is delicious.