- By: Deepali Nandwani
Award-winning director and foremost portrait and fashion photographer Francesco Carrozzini has crafted a soulful narrative on film for Belmond Italy, which just opened the doors of two of its properties to travellers.
The luxury hotel group commissioned Carrozzini to create a campaign to celebrate the iconic properties in its Italian portfolio. Belmond Hotel Cipriani and Belmond Hotel Splendido opened up to travellers on 19 June, while the group’s other properties will welcome tourists in July.
Belmond has created a series of experiences that reflect ‘the new Italian renaissance’: romantic encounters that remind guests of Italy’s fame as a country that inspires ‘Amore Cortese’ (sweet nothings whispered between lovers under starlit skies), and irresistible wilderness and stunning natural escapes, for instance. The idea of the campaign is to inspire people to, once again, fall in love with Italy, a country that epitomises romance in popular folklore, as the country of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona.
Carrozzini says it is apt that he calls his film for Belmond Italy, ‘My Love Letter to Italy’. “It is a truly personal reflection on what makes my home country so special, rekindles fond memories, and invites viewers to fall in love with Italy.”
Among the Belmond experiences the campaign refers to: tempting settings for romantic escapades across the properties—enchanted picnics under the golden light of Tuscany at Belmond Castello di Casole; candlelit evenings on the terrace of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, where DH Lawrence penned the novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover; and dinner on a private terrace at Belmond Villa San Michele, with the magical view of Florence below. It also touches upon natural escapes to which Belmond hotels offer a gateway: the rugged hills of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, and the hidden islands of Venice on a bike tour of Sant’Erasmo Island.
Carrozzini, who is now LA based, has this to say about the movie: “I have been staying at Belmond hotels for as long as I can remember and, as an Italian, I always felt they captured the true spirit of Italy. During lockdown, I kept dreaming of the Italian summer and I was longing to go back home. Now, more than ever, I appreciate what I had too often taken for granted about Italy—its food, its beauty and, of course, its people. I made this film to capture that feeling, to make us Italians fall in love with Italy all over again.”