Born in Turin in 1977, Marco Budano joined Martini in 2004. After dedicating himself to business project reengineering and finance controlling, he accepted the most exciting challenge: transforming the CASA MARTINI company museum into a real Brand Home. Shortly after, he also took over another important company project: TERRAZZA MARTINI® in Milan.
Good morning Marco, what is your role in Martini?
Since 2014 I have been Brand Homes General Manager of Martini and I take care of the company's hospitality and advocacy programs and, more specifically, of the two Martini Brand Homes: Casa Martini in Pessione (To), where Martini has been born for over 150 years, and Terrazza Martini in Milan, a symbolic place of the Milanese city since 1948. The two locations are part of the panorama of the 12 Bacardi Brand Homes located throughout the world, whose common objective is to make known their history and the values that they share.
Let's start from CASA MARTINI. What is it and what does it represent for the company?
CASA MARTINI is a place dedicated to hospitality, open to the public. Located in Pessione di Chieri (Turin), in the historic Martini & Rossi building, the structure represents the meeting point between the traditions and the future of the company. Here it has its roots and, at the same time, its present as a cutting-edge production site. A place of the soul, where the values that inspired Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi, founders of the company over 150 years ago, are tangible, but also a real home - made up of comfortable environments and with a lively sense of hospitality - in to plan events of all types, tailored to any need.
What are the numbers of the Pessione office?
The Pessione plant covers an area of 160 thousand m2, with a production capacity of approximately 200 million bottles per year. Of the approximately 450 people employed in the company, 330 are employed at the production plant and 120 divided between the Milan headquarters and the Italian territory.
Casa Martini hosts an exhibition part, which allows visitors to immerse themselves in the company experience. How has the project evolved since your arrival?
From the 5 thousand people who visited Casa Martini per year in 2014 we have reached 30 thousand and, Covid-19 permitting, we aim to reach the ceiling of 50. The exponential growth was dictated by the greater interest in industrial and experiential tourism, but also from the other two focuses of reality. Casa Martini now hosts around 100 events a year of external companies, who choose our location for an off-site meeting and for team building in the academy, in which they challenge each other in creating the most balanced cocktail under the careful guidance of our ambassador. The last focus, no less important, is that of the advocacy programs, which see around 4000 people pass through each year, including journalists, VIPs, influencers, sector operators and new colleagues who follow specific induction programs designed according to the target .
In October Casa Martini reopened to the public for exclusive visits. What new features does this reopening bring with it and what do the visits include?
With the reopening on September 17th, at Casa Martini today you can discover, in addition to the natural ingredients and the production process explained in a simple and intuitive way, also the authentic stories of the men who work there every day. You enter the production part, perceive the magical atmosphere of the factory, the place where 'things really happen', until concluding the visit with a guided tasting of some iconic products including the Fiero & Tonic, the flagship cocktail in this moment. Currently, the public can visit our headquarters by booking the desired day and time from the visitcasamartini.com website.
What will be the further evolution awaiting Casa Martini?
We must plan the future by looking at the next five years and not at the emergency of the moment, focusing on enriched experiential paths, new technologies to transfer knowledge and additional services that can complete the experience. The ideas are there and must be weighed based on the response of the public that we will be able to conquer by making them fall in love, visit after visit, with Martini and its products. Just to stay on topic, we will soon launch a virtual tour in which people will have the opportunity to visit Casa Martini from our website.
The other company you deal with is TERRAZZA MARTINI® which – a few months after your arrival, in 2018 – was renovated in the name of its 60th anniversary. What is it about?
Since its inauguration in 1958, TERRAZZA MARTINI® has dominated the historic center of Milan and offers a privileged view of the Duomo and the entire city. Always a protagonist of lifestyle and an icon of elegance and culture, the rooftop lounge in Milan reopened in 2018 completely renovated in terms of space and design. Terrazza MARTINI® is today a bright and elegant event location on the top floors of the Piazza Diaz skyscraper: with the Event Space on the 15th and the Rooftop on the 16th, Terrazza Martini offers a total of almost 500 square meters distributed over the two levels. Versatile and dynamic, it can be transformed for any type of occasion: parties, conferences, presentations, shooting sets, seated or standing dinners and lunches and much more.
The constant demand from the public to be able to experience the evening aperitif moment without the need to participate in an exclusive but open-access event may not be far away. The Team is working on the necessary requirements to satisfy our customers while respecting safety measures.
What does Terrazza Martini represent for the Milanese today?
The one in Milan was and is the Terrazza Martini par excellence, as well as one of the symbols of the Milanese city and a piece of history of Italian customs. It is difficult, and indeed impossible, to give an account of all the personalities who have crossed the threshold of the 15th floor of Piazza Diaz in sixty years of life: the list would probably overlap with that of the most prominent figures in cultural news, worldly, sporting or political from the 1960s onwards. Flowering between the end of the fifties and the first half of the sixties, the Martini Terraces are perhaps the emblem of Martini's particular way of communicating. Overlooking some of the most beautiful panoramas in Europe, the Terraces are places with a precise identity.
What will Terrazza Martini evolve in the short and long term? Will it go back to being the reality you thought it would be?
Terrazza Martini has never stopped looking to the future from its privileged observation point on the 15th and 16th floors. It has seen Milan grow and transform around itself and still today attracts the best companies and most representative agencies to inspire new communication concepts. We are working on new forms of openness to consumers in which both private and public events can coexist, perhaps dedicating the weekend to the latter. Currently, depending on the moment, Terrazza Martini is open exclusively for private events and shootings.