Happy birthday Mr Pietro

16 Apr

In every town there are people who made history, for one reason or another. In mine, over the years, we had a few men and women to remember. Today it would have been the 100th birthday of one of them, Pietro Barilla, his name forever linked to our food habits….

2013 marks also the 20th anniversary of his disappearance, so the family – that still has the ownership of the company – will celebrate his founder all over the year. The company helped the building of the local Children’s Hospital, a new concept on how children can live their life at the most while being cured, with their families near. Obviously the new hospital was named after Mr Pietro, as anyone in town called him, whether they knew him personally or not, and his sons inaugureted it last january, symbolically giving the key to the head physician of the hospital.

Yesterday night, the eve of Mr Pietro birthday, a big event was held at the Regio Theatre, the main in town, broadcasted live by a local tv, and shown on a big screen in the main square of the city. It was called “Pietro, a hundred years ahead”, based on a book with the same title written by Francesco Alberoni.

From a local newspaper: “Everything is done for the future, go ahead with courage,” said Pietro Barilla. One hundred years after his birth his motto is always alive and the event strongly wanted by children Emanuela, Guido, Paolo and Luca, his wife Marilena was dedicated above all to the young. Grandchildren who are growing and many, many others, have recognized and acknowledged the values of the man Pietro Barilla, before the entrepreneur. This morning at the Bocconi University in Milan will be presented the project ‘Barilla for young people’, which will award up to ten scholarships – € 40,000 each – to as many students. The project, conducted in collaboration with CentroMarca and Parma Union of Industrialists, is aimed at young people between 18 and 28 years who can suggest, from April 16 to 30 September 2013, on, an idea on how to improve the planet and the lives of people, also including the training they’d aim to, that must belong to one of the following areas: business management, quality and innovation , art, communication and design, nonprofit. The best ideas will be awarded with the scholarship. “My whole life has revolved around two pillars: family and work. I always thought that a united family is not only the safest of refuges, but it is an invincible force with which you can deal more calmly many difficult moments.  For many people today the family is only a burden: children do not get married, do not have children, they behave like perpetual adolescents. But without roots you can’t built and can’t leave anything. Instead, I believe that the family is the foundation of individual and social life, in many cases, a solid company, honest, that continues over time, from generation to generation.”  These are the words of Pietro Barilla written by Francesco Alberoni, presented yesterday at the Regio Theatre as a show dedicated to Pietro Barilla involving the journalist Giovanni Minoli (the narration voice), Luca Zingaretti (voice of Pietro Barilla), Margherita Buy (Marilena Barilla) many other actors and musicians (Renzo Arbore, Tosca), and creative as Gavino Sanna (“Where there is Barilla there is home” famous ad), employees as the Director of the plant Giovanni Zoni and many more, impossible to mention them all. At the Theatre there were all those who have known Pietro Barilla, true friends and followers. Not the ones who as pointed out by Guido Barilla when his father ran gave up selling the company to the american giant Grace “changed the sidewalk.”  Pietro Barilla bought the company  back and who “changed the sidewalk” had to think it back. With the quality of the pasta “al dente, always,” and with “Barilla, and is always Sunday” and then the baked goods, sauces, biscuits and snacks Mulino Bianco, the company won the Italy preference (and many competitors, from Voiello to Pavesi) and european markets. Remembering eighty years of the life of a captain of the industry as Pietro Barilla, means speaking about many business, but also lots of friendships (Cesare Zavattini, Attilio Bertolucci, Enzo FerrariFederico Fellini, Riccardo Muti and Renzo Piano and others), passion (for art and culture), and of course a good part of the country’s history, the liberation from fascism (with the communists of Nilde Iotti that confiscated the factory), the boom of the ’60, with the first advertising with Mina signed by Valerio Zurlini, through the years of protest and the economic crisis of the following decade. The proceeds from the show were donated to the New Children’s Hospital of Parma entitled to Pietro Barilla.Seated in the stalls, among others, the singer Laura Pausini, Umberto Veronesi, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

 wife Marilena

 daughter Emanuela

 sons Luca, Paolo and Guido

Thursday, April 18, starting at 9 am, in the auditorium of the Central Building of the University in Parma, will be held “The teaching of Pietro Barilla: our way of doing business”, a conversation with the Barilla family, four generations of the Made in Italy in the world, with the students of the University sponsored by the degree courses in Economics and Management and Master in Marketing Management of the University, and visible live on the web. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the youngs and tell about a business model, always been inspired by the social, economic and environmental issues, with a passion for taste and for the nutritional balance of good food.

It was an amazing performance which I saw on tv, and it moved me so much, so many people attended and each one had only so good words and feeling for this incredible man, not just a entrepreneur, but a family man and a untiring benefactor.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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