Meet the Villa Pia Family: Gina and Francesca
Continuing our popular series on the blog, we introduce you to the ‘Villa Pia family’ — the amazing team that helps make your holiday in Italy so special. We asked the staff questions** about work and what they do in their spare time. We hope you, our readers, enjoy these interviews as much as we do.
In today’s edition, we catch up with a feisty mother and daughter pair!
Gina (mother) and Francesca (daughter).
Gina: ‘I’m one of the cleaners at Villa Pia.’
Francesca: ‘I look after Palazzo Regina (the residence just up the road where some Villa Pia guests stay).’
How long have you worked at Villa Pia?
Gina: ’13 years.’
Francesca: ’15 years.’
What do you like most about working at the villa?
Francesca: ‘It’s very tranquil, very familial and it’s near to home. It’s half a day’s job so I can do something else in the afternoon. And the way I feel about this place, it’s like walking from home to home.’
Gina: ‘I feel the same. It’s a peaceful job, the staff are like family.’
Anything you would change?
Francesca: ‘I’d change some of the furnishings perhaps. Not the style of the furnishings, because that belongs to the house, but maybe I’d replace a few things with newer items. Sometimes I’d like to change my colleagues (laughs). But I wouldn’t change much because one of the nicest things is that Morag (the owner) trusts us and let’s us do what we want, because we know what to do.’
Gina: ‘I liked it in the past, our team was smaller and more unified… although maybe it’s my age as I was younger then. The year can be quite hectic at Villa Pia. I look forward to the Ways with Words (writing workshops) in September because they’re all elderly, no kids, easier to manage. Also workshop leader Kay laughs at the slightest things and her laughter can be heard throughout the house!’
What are your fondest or funniest memories of working here?
Francesca: ‘A while ago, the fireplace caught fire. One of the guests rushed in, touching his hair and shouting ‘Fire, Fire!’ (in English) and I thought he needed a hairdryer! After 15 minutes, we had to call the fire brigade. The language barrier is one of the funniest things at Villa Pia.’
Gina: ‘The previous owners lived in Roma and the villa was really sad, like an abandoned house. As a child going around on my bike, it reminded me of one of those houses in scary movies, the gates were always locked (the gates at Villa Pia have never been closed under its current ownership). A man called Guido looked after the house for about 25 years and it was very well kept, although he could be difficult to get on with. I always said I’d love to work here one day and finally I managed it. Villa Pia has done a lot for the village, with so many people coming and going, lots of movement and lots of work for everyone.’
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at Villa Pia?
Francesca: ‘I love animals. I have 4 dogs, 2 cats and I also go to help a woman who has lots of animals that need looking after. Also I just moved into a new house so I’ve been renovating.’
Gina: ‘I look after my house, I enjoy gardening and also babysitting for Gessy (one of the cooks).’
Describe Villa Pia in 3 words.
Francesca: ‘Tranquilo. Non Stressante. Elastico. (Calm, not stressful, flexible)’
Gina: ‘Ci sto bene! (I like being here)’
To enquire about a holiday at Villa Pia visit the Villa Pia Bookings page