While being in Milan for ACQUA DI PARMA‘s launch event for the new home collection, I had the pleasure to meet with Laura Burdese, the Italian brand’s President and CEO, who gave me her tips for her home town Milan and Liguria, where she loves to spend her free time.
After graduating in International Economics and obtaining a Master in Marketing at the University of Trieste, Laura began her career in beauty industry with brand management tenures at Beiersdorf and L’Oreal. In 1999 she joined Swatch Group, where over the course of almost 18 years she held different positions of increasing responsibility. In 2006 she was appointed Country Manager / Managing Director of Swatch Group Italy. In 2012, in addition to this role, she was also appointed President and CEO of Calvin Klein watches and jewelry Co ltd. On October 2016 she joined Acqua di Parma as President and CEO. The charming blonde is married and has two teenage kids.
Your favourite city?
MILAN – it is my home and the most international city in Italy.
Your favourite hotel?
The BELMOND SPLENDIDO MARE in Portofino. It is all about timeless glamour and exceptional indulgence, it is my favorite place on earth. Originally a monastery, the building was transformed into a noble villa and then, early in the previous century, became a legendary hotel, with breathtaking views of the bay. I like it so much that I decided to shoot our Acqua di Parma campaign for the new home collection there.
Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Phone: +39 0185 267801
Your favourite restaurant?
Definitely GIACOMO MILANO. Conceived and designed by architects Renzo Mongiardino and Roberto Peregalli in an evocative setting that recalls the old Milanese trattorias of the early Nineteen hundreds, it is one of the most comfortable places for me.
Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6, 20129 Milano MI, Phone: +39 02 7602 3313
Your favorite dish?
One of the most famous risottos: RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE, creamy with butter and spiked with parmesan, this saffron-gilded dish is a culinary classic. I love risottos in general and therefore we served it as a main course at the Acqua di Parma Home Collection launch event in Milan. As my kids say it is also the only thing I can cook very well (laughs).
Your favourite bar or nightclub?
I travel 70% of my time and when I am back in Italy, I don’t go to clubs and prefer spending the time with my family. I rather prefer inviting people to my place than going out. This is very Italian.
Your favourite sightseeing spot?
VARIGOTTI – a picturesque seaside town in Liguria, Northern Italy. You have to see this fishermen’s place once in your life. It is a magical place that not many people know. My family has a house there only 50 meters from the sea, I spend my childhood there, I got married there – it is the place of my heart.
Your favourite beach?
VARIGOTTI BEACH – Varigotti is famous for its sea and beaches, particularly the Saracen’s Beach, which is one of the largest public beaches in Liguria.
17024 Varigotti, Savona
Your favourite park?
I love the PARCO SEMPIONE in Milan. Its is a large green-space close to the Castello Sforzesco. It was built between 1890 and 1893 imitating a typical English garden.
Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Size: 39 ha
Your favourite shop?
Of course our ACQUA DI PARMA store in Milan that allows you to dive into our universe. We will close it in the end of April after the Salone di Mobile for two months and completely renovate it.
Via Gesù, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Phone: +39 02 7602 3307
Your must-have accessory?
A watch as I worked for 18 years in the watch industry and a fragrance. My favorite is COLONIA PURA. A great fresh contemporary unisex scent – my first launch at Acqua di Parma, my first baby so to say. I have an emotional connection to this beautiful scent.
The best soundtrack for this destination?
At the moment I cannot stop listening to the album of A STAR IS BORN. SHALLOW is my favorite song. I am not so fond of Italian music.
The best book to read while being on vacation there?
I read a lot and love contemporary literature, especially by American authors. THE TENDER BAR by J.R. Moehringer is my favorite book – a classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it’s also a moving portrait of one boy’s struggle to become a man.
Laura in three words…
Passionate, authentic and warm-hearted.
Thank you, Laura, for sharing your insider scoop on Milan and Liguria with us!
Photos: © Acqua di Parma, © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of the different locations