For Alessandro Benetton, chairman of Benetton Group, work and leisure are interconnected. As a companion to his reinvigorated brand Playlife, the new book AB. A Playlife Story (Mondadori Electa) gives an intimate glimpse into Benetton’s world, collecting images and ephemera from his past and present, including family photos, a school notebook cover, and his aesthetic influences, from his collection of cowboy boots to the buttons on a preppy blazer. From the book, we learn that his love of nature, family, sports, and simple pleasures is what is at the core of Playlife—as well as his own life. In this spirit, we asked him what he loves most about summer in Italy.
In summer, I try to make up for the time I wasn’t able to spend with my family during the year. We like to be close to nature, especially the mountains. Usually we go to Cortina, which is not far from home, and which is the most beautiful place in the Alps. It is an exceptional place in both summer and winter, surrounded by the Dolomites—those calcareous mountains, with their strange, beautiful, and irregular shapes that cast a spell on Goethe during his travels in Italy.
Other times we go to another place in the Alps, Santa Caterina Valfurva, which is my wife’s hometown. It is a magical place, a little farther from home and therefore more difficult to reach. The fantastic thing about this place is that you arrive, park the car, and you are in the middle of the Stelvio National Park, a huge preserve in Lombardy.
For a few years now I have been a kitesurfing enthusiast, which I like to practice on the sea, in Tuscany or in Sardinia, or else on lakes.
When we are not traveling, we like to stay at home, take a bike ride in the countryside around Treviso. We like to rediscover the value and the beauty of the places that surround us, exploring the territory to which we belong.
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