a permanent center of gravity
Entrepreneur Attilio Bindi and his immense love for Versilia: vacations with the family, bike rides, investments in tourism. A life with Forte in his heart
Interview by Stefano Roni - Photographs Annalisa Ceccotti
“There’s not just one Versilia. There are many, and I love them all equally.” Attilio Bindi’s declaration of love for his adopted land couldn’t be any more direct or disarming. Adopted, because now he lives here permanently: it’s here that his interests lie and his day to day is concentrated. “During the many years I headed the family business [since 1946, producers of the famous Bindi desserts – Ed.] my center of gravity was Milan; I came down to Forte only from time to time. Now, it’s exactly the opposite and I’m happy it is!”
Entrepreneur, collector, a man driven by insatiable curiosity, in Versilia Attilio Bindi is making a number of important investments in the hospitality and free time sectors. In a year or less he’ll be inaugurating his new Motor Club, in the works on the site of the former La Canniccia discotheque. Concurrently, he’s pushing forward with his projects for recovering historic hotel structures in Forte (the original Hotel Franceschi building, the Areion) and the Laveno summer colony in Pietrasanta, destined to become the area’s first haut de gamme hostel. “Precisely because I love Versilia, I want to contribute to the effort to diversify and elevate its tourist offer and create year-round attractions,” he explains.
Is this also your aim as recently-appointed president of the foundation that manages the Palazzo Mediceo UNESCO site in Seravezza? “The culture, the landscape, the traditions, the people themselves: Versilia’s true wealth lies in this mosaic of discrete elements. I discovered this as a young man and I still feel it’s true,” he replies. “I want to favor reciprocal enrichment, integration, complementary engagement among the different territories. To contribute to what I believe is a necessary effort to systematize these assets.”
As he speaks, his eye strays to the window of his hill country home, surrounded by nature and with a superb view of the coast. “Back when I was a child, we didn’t own a vacation home here. We set out from Chiesina Uzzanese in the morning, we spent the whole day on the beach, and we went back home in the evening,” he recalls. “Then came the vacations with my grandmother in Viareggio, and finally the Forte house in the Caranna neighborhood, where my children spent their vacations as they were growing up. I remember the dawn reveilles for interminable bike rides with Uncle Rino through Versilia, Garfagnana, and Lucca, discovering villages, good things to eat, and the extraordinary variety of this territory. There are revelations, and sensations, that only a bicycle can give you. This is something to consider for anyone who wants to truly see and understand – and come to love – this territory.”