27 Jul A casual aperitivo with Italian soccer legends
The world has been collectively huddled around a TV during June and July, beers in hand, as the World Cup waged on. Grown men shed tears as Neymar and Messi showed they were merely demigods, not actual gods, and Brits and Croatians screamed over penalty kicks.
How much would you pay to hang out with your favorite World Cup player? Could you even put a price on it? Family-run Baglioni Hotels, a luxury Italian line, is banking on that fervor as it rolls out its new Assoluto Signature Programme—a set of VIP experiences that gives guests of select Rome and Milan hotels the chance to hang out with Italian soccer legends (along with a dozen other behind-the-velvet-rope-type outings). By checking into a Signature Suite at Baglioni Hotel Regina in Rome, pictured, or Baglioni Hotel Carlton in Milan (rates start at €2,500 for two nights), soccer fans have access to the Baglioni’s Rolodex (what’s the modern Rolodex—iPhone contacts?) of friends, starting with World Cup heroes Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero, who helped lead Italy to a FIFA world championship in 2006, and “beautiful Antonio” himself, Antonio Cabrini, who played on the 1982 World Cup–winning team. If you want to have an aperitivo in your suite with the guys, or play a round of golf, or check out Pirlo’s winery, Baglioni can help with that. (Price available upon request, but assume it’ll be more than your plane ticket over.)
The Assoluto experiences don’t stop at soccer—they also deliver access to artists, musicians, designers, and chefs. You can ask for a private concert by Italian opera-pop trio Il Volo, a look inside the Versace atelier in Milan, or a session with one of Italy’s oldest watchmaking families. You can even ask well-known portrait photographer Claudio Porcarelli how he got Harrison Ford to sit for him. The suites are no joke, either, complete with shades of cream and gold, chandeliers and chaises, and terraces perfect for a setting sun and a debate with legends over who’s the GOAT.
LAURA DANNEN REDMAN