The entrepreneur from Matelica has purchased and renovated the Colpaola estate
Francesco Porcarelli: we are living again in the Marche, but we must defend and enhance the territory
In the Marche there are places that have "more meaning". This is a concept that is very dear to those who follow this blog "lemiemarche.net", because it is the mission of our travel around the territories. Well, one of these places is Colpaola, an estate at the foot of Monte San Vicino that the protagonist of our report, the entrepreneur Francesco Porcarelli, walked "barefoot at the age of two".
Colpaola is a particular estate, it belonged to the Boldrini family of which we remember the economist and statistician Marcello, professor at the University of Milan and Rector of the University of Trento and who led Eni for a short period after the tragic death of Enrico Mattei in the Bescapè plane crash. Boldrini was a friend of the Father of Eni from the years preceding the Second World War and one of the economists of the "Camaldoli manifesto".
Returning to our story, we must say that Francesco's grandfather and then his father Piero, at the end of the seventies, rented the estate to run it and it is natural, with the Boldrinis' decision to sell, that Francesco and his wife Stefania, they decide to buy it. Francesco is the head of Corimac Srl and www.imholding.it , a leading operator for over forty years in the purchase and sale of movable goods as well as entire companies in the most varied sectors.
Francesco, to develop your business you have worked in Europe, the United States and in many cities. Then you too felt the call of your land.
“The beauty of the places and in particular of this hinterland from the coast of Senigallia up to here. There are many managers and entrepreneurs who are part of the Matelica came-back club. Ultimately, I too belong to those who have experienced a glocal way of life. For a long period I had experiences in many countries, but then I returned because I want to live in my homeland. There isn't the aggression here that I've seen in other places. Maybe you have to live with some wild boars, some porcupines, some badgers, but then there is a wonderful environment. We live well here, even if we should commit ourselves to defending our territories. My family is the protagonist of various initiatives for the valorization of the territory of which the restructuring of Colpaola represents only a part.
Art and culture is a component of the Italian lifestyle. Do you feel this all-Italian plus when living abroad?
“We are immersed in beauty. Right here in our headquarters a young restorer works and needs space for her activity. I can see first-hand that we have an important artistic heritage spread across cities and villages. We collaborated with the municipal administration on the creation of exhibitions with important paintings. And Vittorio Sgarbi often collaborates with us for exhibitions and events."
The village of Braccano became famous thanks to the murals, an initiative sponsored by a local professor who had relations with the University of Brera.
“Braccano is geographically close to Colpaola. Here what I think about our land has come true: the beauty of the places makes us return to live in the Marche, but we must commit ourselves to defending our territory and making it better. What is now a public success with its open-air works was previously a simple town with few inhabitants. Then let's not forget that in Matelica at the former San Sollecito Hospital there is the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine which brings hundreds of students and cultural interests. So this territory is anything but resigned."
You didn't actually buy the winery to make a profit, did you?
“Certainly for emotional reasons and to create a project for the area together with my wife Stefania. After all, she interrupted her career in banking to dedicate herself completely to her vocation as a winemaker. The clients of my companies who come to visit us from many parts of the world are always astonished by such beauty. Part of the vineyards "touch" the sky and are protected by some mountain ridges which form a microclimate with strong temperature variations which give us a unique Verdicchio. However, if the question is how we could make our wine business more economical, I should say that I respect the entrepreneurs of Alto Adige. For some time they have been implementing a sort of very flexible sharing: grapes can be delivered in the common production facilities or the systems can be used while maintaining their own brand. They were able to create an effective and flexible solution allowing manufacturers various options. This is more difficult for us because we are more individualistic."
What do you recommend to entrepreneurs who would like to develop in the Marche instead of abroad or even to many managers from the Marche who are around and would like to return?
“We need to do things in a balanced way. There are investments that are too large that will have difficulty making returns in the profit and loss account with companies that will never be able to reach the break even point. Then, when the entrepreneur changes hands, who will those companies end up with? This is why I say that, as they say in the Marche region, you have to take your step according to your leg."
Today you can work in the area, all you need is a connection and we're talking about smart working.
“With connection, smart working can be developed. There are already many people who leave the big cities to come and work in this beauty. After all, it is enough to allocate services across the territory, starting with healthcare and road infrastructure. With the creation of the Quadrilatero, reaching motorways and large cities is now easy. This is also true for incoming, many foreign customers come to us, from Japan to the United States".
Do we still need supply chains and companies that are a reference for suppliers and sub-suppliers?
“Much less than before. Among our companies in the group we have a company of around 50 employees who work on the web and on databases and the clients are large groups so we can work at good levels even in our territory".
Francesco, an anecdote that you can tell about your experience as an entrepreneur
“Living in a wonderful place surrounded by beauty. In the environment of my childhood, in the places where my parents lived and where I have roots. I never left my territory even when I was in London or Dubai. If I tried to say where I was from, I had to explain it. But it is my land and I want to live here."