A Family Man Running a Family Business
Alessandro Avelardi was born in Livorno in 1963. He lives with his Canadian wife, Lori, and two young children, and for the past twenty years has been running the family’s jewellery shop in Livorno, along with his father, Luciano, who started the business in the 1960s.
Alessandro enjoys working in the world of precious gems and beautiful jewellery and likes the contact he has with his customers. However, he looks forward to having time off from work to spend with his family, preferably somewhere away from the city, in the country or the mountains. He stresses how important it is for him to see his children growing up and not to miss out on these important years--break-->.
Alessandro, how do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Who knows! From a work point of view, it is very difficult to foresee how the market will change. In any case, I don’t have any huge ambitions – I don’t aim to open a chain of shops or anything like that. I would just like to carry on working as I am now and to keep an open mind about what the future might hold.
What’s your pet hate?
I hate ignorance towards other people.
What’s your favourite place outside Italy?
I am lucky to have had the opportunity to travel a lot, but I think the place I like best is the beautiful nature found in Canada – its vast unspoilt forests.
And in Italy?
I think Rome is the most beautiful city in the world, but I also love Sicily. I love the contradictions of the region, the fact that in some ways it is decades behind the rest of Italy, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
And your favourite spot in Livorno?
I like the atmosphere of the San Jacopo district.
What’s your favourite restaurant in Livorno?
I’m not going to name any specific restaurants, but I like trattorias that serve typical Livornese dishes.
So what is your favourite Livornese dish?
Riso nero (risotto made with the ink of a cuttlefish so that it turns black).
Choose: Cacciucco or Triglie alla Livornese [Livorno style Red Mullet]?
Triglie (red mullet) have too many bones, so I’d go for Cacciucco, as long as that didn’t have bones either.
Choose: Ponce or Corretto al Sassolino [coffee laced with a local aniseed liqueur]?
Neither, although I do have the occasional Ponce.
Choose: Bagno or Scoglio [rocks]?
Scoglio – I like the rocks on the Romito (to the south of Livorno).
What do you miss about Livorno when you go away?
I miss Livorno’s liveable dimensions
Would you like to live anywhere else? Where?
I don’t exclude the possibility of living somewhere else in the future, but I realise that there is no Eldorado. A city might be beautiful, but difficult to live in. If I did move somewhere else, it would have to be somewhere that offers a good quality of life. The city I know best, and which might seem the most obvious choice, is Toronto (my wife’s city). It’s not definite though!
Livorno’s best point?
The best thing about Livorno is the character of the people – for better or for worse...
Livorno’s worst point?
The fact that Livorno could have been so much more than it is. It had a lot of potential that was not exploited.
Where would you take a friend on a one day visit to Livorno?
The day would have to include a visit to the Fortezza Vecchia, the Medici fossi, the Mercato Centrale, the Sanctuary in Montenero, and, if the season were right, a swim from the rocks on the Romito.
To find out more about Alessandro's jewellery shop, click here!