“Now we have to keep focusing on refinement and authenticity. We have to promote seasonal goods and protected goods. At Irene in Florence, for example, I’d like to see a Tuscan tradition with an even more feminine, delicate touch,” Lydia stresses.
“Along the lines of the ravioli with the pappa al pomodoro tomato filling, you mean?”
Lydia’s phone rings, and she answers. “We were just talking about the Irene…and lo and behold, here is my sister.” On the other end is the brilliant Sicilian sun and the golden locks of Irene Forte, who, like Lydia, takes after their mother Aliai. All three share the same dazzling smiles and a passion for high heels.
Irene is returning from a jog on the beach of the Verdura Resort. “Steinbeck was right, there is no better doctor than fresh air, sea and sun– it’s wonderful here. We have just about finished picking the olives for the next batch of Organics,” she says, referring to the organic cosmetics range she has brought out.
“Friday I’ll be back for the DJ set at the Donovan Bar”. “Fantastic, so you’ll be there for mum’s Sunday lunch in the country.” “Is dad coming to Surrey as well?” “It would seem that Mr. Forte has promised to switch off a bit this weekend…” “We’ll see.” Irene is doubtful and says goodbye to her sister as she lowers her voice and enters the Spa.
The receptionist is on her mobile, and is monitoring her performance using the group app. She almost failed to notice that a guest was approaching the counter – a tanned woman holding Alain de Botton’s latest book. “I wonder if this woman would agree with the philosopher on the idea that romantic love ruins our lives,” Irene muses ironically.
I wonder if this woman would agree with the philosopher on the idea that romantic love ruins our lives.
The woman enters Spa for The Mind. Irene, on the other hand, walks out, heading for the swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean. “Nobody’s going to stop me enjoying five minutes of the sunset,” she says to herself, preparing to enjoy the peace and quiet, interrupted only by the shrieks of the seagulls.
But as soon as she lies down, a little boy walks over and taps her on the shoulder. “Hey, you want to hear a secret? Close your eyes. When you open them, I’ll show you something special. It’s my Forte passport, you see? Look at all the stamps I’ve got. Five of them, which means next time, thanks to me, the whole family can come, for free”.