Style & Substance: Alessandra

 

Name: Alessandra Rocchi

 

Age: 25

 

Location: Currently China, but while her heart might love every place equally, her eyes are always looking for the next adventure.

 

 

Firstly, Alessandra is Italian, which gives her about a million brownie points. It helps that she’s also got that kind of nymph-like natural beauty that most girls spend hours trying to affect.  Secondly, she’s one of those winsome world travellers. She goes where her heart, and the money, take her. We ask her some questions about love, wanderlust and her sense of priority…

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You are quite the jet-setter. People all over the world seem desperate to employ you. Which countries have you worked in so far and what were you doing in each?

 

Sri Lanka & Switzerland: The wanderlust took hold at a young age.  It all started when I was 13 and moved to Sri Lanka. Before school was even over, I was flying off to Switzerland to finish studying. While there I ended up working at world famous Le Bar Americain at the Hotel du Paris in Monte Carlo. I started on the day that Italy won the World Cup against France.

I was cleaning ashtrays and waiting hand-and-foot on powerful Sheikhs and notorious Russian businessmen. It wasn’t the ideal environment for an 18-year-old girl, as you can imagine, but it opened a few doors.

 

New York: I ended up working at an hotel company called The Standard, after seeing a presentation of theirs that featured Brad Pitt. I basically realised I had to work there – not entirely because of some girly fantasy involving Brad Pitt, an elevator and very few clothes, but mainly because I wanted to work for a company that catered for such big names of the entertainment industry. The next thing I knew, I was off to New York City!

 

Bahrain: A little while later, after a few seminal life events – a big break-up, for one – I started fantasising about going as far away as possible from everything I knew. So, amazingly, I ended up in Bahrain, in the Middle East, working for Bushido, a concept bar and club that forms part of the Buddha Bar family. And, as Sales and Marketing Executive, I worked with a great team to create some of the most lavish parties on the island.

 

Which has been your favourite place to live and why?

That’s a tough one. I have liked many places for many reasons, but I can tell you that my least favourite was Switzerland. Way too cold! I am only happy in the sun.

 

What is next on the Rocchi agenda?

So, I haven’t really told anyone yet, as I am still slightly sceptical… But I am moving to Shanghai, China this month! I have decided to set up my own business. Despite being in the entertainment business for so long, I’ve actually decided that I want to open a set of ice-cream venues.

 

Not the usual commercial guff, but a luxurious, home-made product. Something simple but delicious. Maybe it’s my Italian roots coming through.

 

There will be something else, unrelated, which I am going to keep for myself for now… watch this space!

 

Why do you think travelling the world makes you more appealing to the people that you meet?

It improves my character, for my own piece of mind. I find myself more and more able to keep an open mind and to be able to interact in a positive way with people from such a variety of cultures. I find that appealing in myself, so maybe that’s what other people find appealing too…

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It must be pretty hard to keep a boyfriend when you keep leaving on a jet-plane. Does your love life suffer at the hands of your career, or is there a man in every port?

Hard? It is impossible… I have always thought that a man in every port would be the most brilliant solution. Wouldn’t that just be the shoe on the other foot! Haha.

 

However, when real love hits you, there is no time, nor distance that can stand in the way of it.

 

Plus, I strongly believe that love without pain is like pasta without salt, tasteless. So far I have never put my career aside for my love life, but I think that sacrifices can be made – for the right person.

 

If you’ve only got time for brief romances, men clearly need to stand out pretty fast. What is the one thing a man can do to make himself instantly appealing to you?

Most of the time I am so focused on my own life and my job and my next move, that it is pretty hard for anyone to divert my attention.

 

I need a man who isn’t a push-over, but who won’t stand in my way. They need to be able to make me stop what I’m doing, sit down, have a muffin and engage in some great conversation, without completely side-tracking me from what makes me happy…which is often my work.

 

Do you think monogamy is realistic in this age?

Thank god you didn’t ask me the question about my father (see the Dani Doporto interview).

 

We are 5 sisters pretty much all from different mothers and there is not one single couple in my family that is not divorced or that has never cheated.

 

I would like to believe that monogamy is part of my own fairytale, but one can never be certain. All I know is that if I am in love with a man, I only want him, for as long as he will show me the same. If he doesn’t want me, and only me, then why bother? I’ll move on and find someone who will.

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You’ve lived in such diverse places, all with extremely different political infrastructures. How has this shaped your sense of world politics?

It seems as if wherever I end up, some sort of historical event happens. In Sri Lanka there was a civil war, we had curfews, bomb alerts and check points on a daily basis; in New York it was the peak of the US Financial Crisis; in Bahrain the Arab Spring; back in Italy the Economic situation.

 

Now I’m heading to China, where all manner of things could happen!

Having lived through so many events like this, I can see that the world view of politics is heavily shaped by “bad” media – the bending and stretching of the truth to political advantage.

 

Like so many out there, I constantly feel like if the real people had a voice, we’d do better than the politicians and the hacks. Unfortunately, though, the politicians and the hacks started off as “real” people too…

 

Who is your style icon and why?

My sister Federica, she is a fashion designer in London. I don’t like shopping, so to make things easier, I always look for pieces of unique clothing directly in her wardrobe, and ask her for suggestions on looks and style.

 

We all know that sunrise is a magical time of day. If you could experience a sunrise anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’d like for it to happen in my home. It doesn’t matter in which country, but for it to be perfect, certain components are essential. I want a big, white, fluffy bed, the chest of the man I love for me to lie my head on, floor to ceiling windows and waves slowly lapping at a warm shore, as if they are pulling the new sun out of the sea.

 

It’s not magical unless you are sharing it with someone. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

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