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Road Warrior// Andrea Illy on Rome

Andrea Illy Sky June 2010

Photo courtesy of CuboImages srl / Alamy

Andrea Illy is the CEO and chairman of illycaffé.

Role: CEO and chairman of illycaffè.

Based: Trieste, Italy, where he lives with his wife and three daughters.

Global Reach: Thanks to Illy’s global thinking, each day more than 6 million cups of illycaffè coffee are consumed in 140 countries.

Street Cred: When your grandfather is credited with having invented the modern espresso method, you have an impressive legacy to uphold. Trained as a chemist, Andrea Illy has used his passion for wine and spirits, outdoor activities, philanthropy, sustainability and culture to bring new innovations to his family’s 80-year-old company. From limited-edition coffee cups designed by top-tier artists to the innovative iperEspresso, a one-touch, capsule-based method for consumers to prepare authentic Italian espresso at home—Illy thinks outside the box. 

  • Best Place to Stay: Westin Excelsior, Rome. My favorite hotel is situated on one of the most classic streets in Rome (Via Veneto), near great shopping and wonderful sites. I appreciate the way the hotel’s Doney Restaurant reinvents typical Roman dishes such as la giuncata con insalatina di puntarelle (soft cheese with a chicory salad). 
  • Best place for exercise: Villa Borghese. It has luscious surroundings and is perfect for a jog or long walk. The villa is surrounded by museums, a lake, a park and charming gardens.
  • Best place for events and books: Auditorium Parco della Musica. It’s designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. I go there for concerts and lectures. The bookstore is one of my favorites for its great selection of art books, and I can also find illywords, our magazine. 
  • Best place for a cocktail: Friends Art Café. I enjoy this wine bar in the Trastevere neighborhood’s Piazza Trilussa. The barman prepares wonderful coffee cocktails like the vodka espresso and Irish coffee.
  • Best new museum: MAXXI. As a lover of contemporary art, I am looking forward to visiting this national museum of 21st-century art, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, whom I admire very much. I am always looking for a new inspiration for the illy art collection of limited-edition coffee cups that includes creations by Marina Abramović, William Kentridge, Julian Schnabel and James Rosenquist. Our most recent collection is by Pedro Almódovar.
  • Best place for a power dinner: ‘Gusto. In my opinion, it has the most wonderful fish in Rome and an incredible wine section. In summer, I like to dine outside, between the Portico de Piacentini and the Museum of the Ara Pacis.

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