US, OUR FAMILY, OUR HISTORY
Hotel Terme Orvieto turns 50: a story of warm hospitality, warm like our water.
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Those who’ve known my family for some time can understand what I mean. For my family, the Carraro family, a smile was always a window that we needed to open proudly on our faces to show everyone that, yep! our heart was at home, and that you just needed to knock at our place to find open doors any time.
And our home, warmed up by our innate hospitality, has always been the most precious asset for us.
A dream that has come true. This is for all of us our Hotel Terme Orvieto, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An important goal for us, who have enjoyed every single moment of it thanks to the many priceless satisfactions that, in my mind, look like all the faces who contributed to build this magnificent universe overtime.
Many, many faces crossing in my mind, people who have made the history of this hotel, this “home”, as my grandfather Gilmo, the founder of the hotel, wanted to see it so bad. He was so impatient to see his dream come true that he didn’t think twice about opening the hotel as it still was unfinished. It was on July 1968, and the construction work was taking more time to complete than it was expected. Consequently grandpa and grandma, a quite determined young couple, decided to open the doors of the hotel just as it was, with only one floor ready for their guests. Opening a three-floor hotel without two floors is quite something, isn’t it?
As many of our clients know well, in this hotel – in this house – we never give up, strong in our belief that you will always have a little big presence right behind, ready to roll up their sleeves with you and for you whenever you might need it. A perfect description of our dear grandmother Norma, the historical cook of Terme Orvieto, the real pillar of this hotel and the strongest symbol of a family that never takes anything for granted, ever.
On the other hand, having the chance to choose the frame of your destiny is a unique and rare challenge: in fact, what we put into this frame is what matters the most, the colours that we choose to paint on our personal canvas. And my father Tiziano, my Aunt Anna and my Uncle Attilio, all children of Gilmo and Norma, should know this better as they ended up having to run the activity with my grandpa’s premature death.
A well-known Chinese proverb says: “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come”. Well, with my father Tiziano the Hotel Terme Orvieto had definitely found its own. By singing, my father is the first to say hello to our beautiful park as well as the one who first open the hotel’s gates in the morning when making croissants for breakfasts. He’s always been quite careful about what we offered to our guests since one of the things that make our place a very special one to stay is the good food, “la pappa buona” as we call it. Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are, they say. Well, we’re totally eco-friendly with our wide range of locally grown food products and have never been fans of any distance whatsoever!
And it’s not a coincidence that my father is recognized by all as our “pork butcher”, which in Italians sounds far less aggressive: “norcino”. Undisputed star of the delicious gastronomic offer of our hotel, my father loves being and spending his time in our farm and among vineyards, olive trees and fruit trees. They represent the most important sources of our own production of oil, wine and cold meats “salumi”.
De facto, a kitchen is always run by love, just as my mum Donatella would say it. Powerful engine of the dining room, it is thanks to my mother and her exceptional skills in organization, team leading and attention to detail that the perfect functioning of the dining room is constantly ensured.
Yet her most striking feature lies in her incomparable knowledge of the client, whose needs are always met in the most gracious way. After all, home is where mum is, and the Hotel Terme Orvieto would certainly not be what it is today without her remarkable presence.
The universal language of hospitality isn’t just about the cooking but it is first about kindness, courtesy and helpfulness: a family lexicon that our Aunt Anna can also speak perfectly in great fashion. She is the maître of our Hotel and, needless to say, a tireless worker! Aunt Anna is always smiling, she is a woman with a standing out kindness that she uses to make her guests and their needs the highest priority of all.
Let me give you an example. Aunt Anna doesn’t speak German, yet she always knows what her German-speaking guests want, and can even anticipate their needs. Where’s the trick? The love for her work and her great dedication make a perfect combination that dear Aunt Anna always knows how to use with grace and accuracy.
My uncle Attilio completes the picture of the direct second generation of the Carraro family. He is the administrator and accountant of the hotel, yet what makes him very, very special is not his exemplary management of the Terme Orvieto budgets (but thank you, anyway!). Uncle Attilio is the most entertaining and entertained person in the world. He’s really, really funny and he’s someone you can always count on if you want to enjoy a good laugh. If there weren’t people like him in the world inventing them should definitely be necessary as they are like the dressing for food: without them, everything is somewhat bland and oh-so-boring.
On the contrary, who may be recognized as a definitely not bland or boring person is Uncle Adriano, Aunt Anna’s husband, an exceptional maintenance technician and our favourite factotum: we call him the MacGyver of Hotel Terme Orvieto. Yet most importantly for our activity, Uncle Adriano is above all a great specialist in SPA treatments. You can imagine how such a passion cannot get unnoticed in a facility in Abano Terme, which is particularly famous for its high-level SPAs and rehabilitation treatments. This passion runs through the whole family’s veins, and his daughter Martina, my cousin, is the perfect living proof of it. If we can proudly offer our clients high-level body care services provided with passion and great knowledge, it’s because of Martina; if you need a completely personalized treatments and procedures or even a custom-made prophylaxis therapies made of excellent care and proper nutrition, just ask her and you will be given the right one straightaway.
Alternatively, you can ask me. What makes our community so peculiar is that each one of us is always there when you need them, ready to give you both of their hands to help out and support you, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. It isn’t part of us to just stop and watch without helping at all, which is why our guests often have a hard time understanding who is who, who’s the boss and what exactly each one of us does.
I myself like considering my role as a jolly card, fit for every context and situation. I’m always there even if you don’t want me to be there. I’m not bad, I’m just having fun that way! I love helping out my team, throw fun parties and events for us and our clients by the swimming pools, care for my guests through every stage of their stay, from check-ins to departures, and so on.
Oh, I also call myself with pride the Master of Decorations at the Hotel Terme Orvieto. “Know thyself”, the famous Oracle of Delphi would say. Well, I don’t think she was managing a family hospitality facility.
Our landscape professional Nicolò completes our big “extended” family with his exceptional gardening skills, along with his mother Antonella, the most efficient floor supervisor I’ve ever known. She’s Adriano’s sister-in-law (if you’re confused about our Family Tree, no worries: it’s a matter of routine).
Don’t even try and enumerate each member of this big family, mostly because it’s our strong belief that any man or woman working in our beloved team must be considered part of this family. Our employees are simply precious, indispensable, and substantial for this activity, and it’s such a shame that we cannot list them all.
Starting from Marino, the most requested physiotherapist on Earth, an exceptional professional therapist who enjoys as much recognition as a Hollywood celebrity with his “golden hands”. He’s that sensitive to each one of our guests’ needs because he simply loves his job, and shares with Martina this beautiful conception of body care that moves away from the calendar plan and puts at the center of his work the client and his or her necessities.
Experience, quality, imagination and good humor shape our daily working time not just by the pool, but in the kitchen as well! And there is just one person who can confirm that: our chef Massimo Fiocco.
He lives for any cooking experience, provided it is driven by love and curiosity. Massimo is the true living proof that there is a huge difference between feeding your stomach and feeding your soul, and he knows exactly how to fill your heart with his delicious dishes. His charisma and his professionalism are so contagious that any member of our kitchen staff follows religiously his precepts, fully aware that his talent proves unprecedented. And we can’t help but love him for being such a great part of our team.
The kitchen is a world of love, and no one could ever express this idea better than Berta, our dearest breakfast supervisor and historical member of our staff at the Hotel Terme Orvieto. Start everyday with a smile, it makes your whole day better, they say. Well, if you start it with Berta’s smile and one of her super tasty cappuccinos, you will make your whole life better, believe me!
Hands down for Elena, too, our concierge. She is a very authentic Sardinian lady, fierce and independent, whose hard armor hides the huge sweet beating heart of a tireless and passionate worker, and I’ll never have enough of thanking her for all that she does each single day.
As I said before, I wish I could talk about all of our employees because the truth is, you can’t play a whole symphony on your own, you need a great orchestra to perform it in the best way you can. This orchestra includes each member of our staff, whose presence is essential to allow every guest to feel at home, with all the cares and attention that only a positive and dynamic staff like ours could guarantee.
At the end of the day, there is always a reason a family stays together, fully aware of a greater objective, a greater goal to pursue, day by day. For us, this goal are our Clients. They are Hotel Terme Orvieto, they are active members of our family, they saw us growing up, and – most importantly – they have fun with us. Having fun is a serious business!
You are the heart of our hotel and if there’s someone to celebrate as we raise our glasses for this 50th anniversary, this is you. From the whole Carraro family, thank you all for being here with us, helping us out expanding the border of this special house.
Sunday, March 11, we opened the Hotel Terme Orvieto for the 50th time with the same enthusiasm we had in for our first: come visit us… We’re here. See you at home!