Lidia & Irene Forte in Sisters are Forte

Lydia always feels she is being observed in the office covered with photographs and portraits of her grandfather, Carmine Forte, who came from a village in Italy’s Ciociaria area to found a hotel empire in England and was made a peer. But this time, Lydia is quite certain that Lord Forte – as he was called by those who bumped into him while out for a stroll, dressed as ever in his suit and Borsalino hat– would have approved. She looks at her watch, hurriedly slips on her jacket and rushes to Brown’s Hotel.

At the back of the HIX Fulvio Pierangelini is waiting for her. For many years, he was Italy’s leading chef, and is now a consultant to Rocco Forte’s hotels.

How is the new cocktail bar doing with the botanical menu?” Lydia asks, curious to hear about the developments of what she has baptised “botanical bistronomy”. “The new addition of the vegetable, spice or aromatic herb themes encouraged the bar manager to invent more creative proposals. It’s been going down brilliantly,” Pierangelini enthuses, illuminated by the pink of the neon calligraphy with which Tracey Emin confesses I Loved You More Than I Can Love.

“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.” Lydia’s phone rings. 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.

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.

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”.

The Travelling Box

When the iconic magic box meets the place, captured from hotel guests shots to let discover the details of the hotel destinations.

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