My Life in Travel: Giorgio Locatelli

'We always rent a house in Sicily'
Click to follow
The Independent Travel

What's your first holiday memory?

What's your first holiday memory?

When we were young, my parents used to take us to the beach around Rimini. Every time I eat a bombolone (a type of doughnut filled with cream) I think of those holidays.

Where did you spend childhood summers?

I grew up in Northern Italy on the shores of Lake Maggiore. My parents rented a house around Sestri Levante near Genoa, and we spent a lot of our holidays there.

What's been your best holiday?

One of the most memorable was a holiday I had when I finished a contract in Switzerland. I had quite bit of money and a beautiful motorbike and drove to Morocco, through France and Spain with some friends. I just had my motorbike and a sleeping bag - I didn't even have a tent, so it was really, really basic - but fantastic.

Are you a frequent traveller?

I hate flying and I hate long-haul flights so I don't do them. I've been invited to Australia about three times, but I haven't got the courage. I love driving to Italy once a year with my family.

What's your favourite place in Britain?

When I get out of London it's nearly always on my motorbike. We go to Bristol as we have some friends there and Cornwall is absolutely amazing. I also love just getting 20 minutes or so outside London to places like Hemel Hempstead.

Who is your ultimate travelling companion?

My wife Plaxy. She is fantastic and never complains. If we have to sleep in the car, she's OK with that. If it's 9pm and we don't have a hotel, she doesn't panic - I'm the one who panics.

Are you beach bum, culture vulture or adrenaline junkie?

I get the adrenaline on my motorbike. When we go to Italy I love to take the children to see things. I got a fright when we were in Spain last year when my kids thought Christopher Columbus was Spanish. So I said: "Next time we go to Italy, I'll take you to the island where he died." But I lead a stressful life, so I also need to relax.

What luxury would you never travel without?

My Swiss army knife. And a watch. On holiday I'm always asking: "What time is it? What day is it?" So although I never wear one in London I do on holiday.

Where have you lost your heart?

We always rent a house near Sciacca in Sicily next to a small lake, which is fantastic. Last September we flew there for the weekend because I had to have a swim in the lake. Capo Vaticano in Calabria also left me breathless. There is a beach hut where they make you a plate of pasta or a tuna steak, which tastes better than any restaurant in London. These are the things that I really adore.

Where would you never return?

I took my kids to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. My daughter wants to go to the one near Paris, but I'll never set foot in a Disney resort again.

Where's the most over-rated place?

Disneyland. Tuscany is not over-rated because it's so beautiful, but we don't go in summer.

Where's the most underrated place?

Naples. It's buzzy, rich and beautiful.

What would be your trip of a lifetime?

To go around the world on my motorbike.

Where are you going next?

I'm going on a little trip to Verona to buy some wine, then in July I'm going on holiday to Sciacca with the kids for two weeks.



Giorgio Locatelli is the chef and co-owner of Locanda Locatelli, 8 Seymour Street, London W1 (020-7935 9088; www.locandalocatelli.com).

Comments