- Who is Paola?
I am a bestselling author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, host and activist with a passion for empowering women and families from all walks of life, to encourage and support them in the fight for gender equality. I achieved a BA in Political Science and an MA in Institutional Relations from the University of Bologna before probing into the world of Italian politics. As somebody who has faced many challenges growing up in Italy, a nation still somewhat archaic in their views towards female empowerment and independence, I know all too well how it feels to be oppressed and silenced. The difference is, silence is never something I have bought into and as such I have made it my mission to champion equal rights and empowerment. My book, Saving the World. Women: The 21st Century’s Factor for Change was a bestseller in Italy before releasing in the UK last year. The book adopts a sociological and historical approach to assessing the origins of oppression – providing a uniquely pragmatic approach to finding solutions.
Outside of this, I am the proud mother to two beautiful grown up children for whom my world revolves. Family life was challenging for me as a child, but this has led me to cherish my family in the present day more than I could have ever imagined. We now live in London together, a city rife with multi-culturalism and opportunity, where we enjoy our time spent together as a tight-knit household. My company, the Diana Group, operates from London and Rome and works in the luxury lifestyle management sector.
- Why have you decided to support Give Us Time?
Give Us Time is such an important cause supporting families who sacrifice so much for their country. Family time does so much for a person’s mental welfare – it gives them peace, love and makes them feel safe. I have been touched by the case studies I have read of and I think it is an all round great initiative.
- What would you like to say to military families who are going through tough times?
I would say that it is their compassion which gets their loved ones through the toughest of times. They should be proud of what their loved one is doing and the support they are giving them.
When times can get lonely or stressful, it’s family which gets you through it. You are the ones who provide the safety and familiarity of home – so continue being there for those who need you, you’re doing a great job!
- What is your favourite family holiday’s memory?
I have so many amazing memories with my kids. In particularly our trips to New York City and to Tanzania. We were always discovering something new and having a lot of fun together.
- Why do you think quality time away from everyday life can improve wellbeing?
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can make you forget about all the stress and troubles you have faced. It provides you with a period of reflection and appreciation for things you may have previously taken for granted. You instantly feel more positive and it helps bring you closer to family as you are spending more time with them than you would when at work. This re-connecting is essential in the development of both yourself and for your loved ones whilst also improving other aspects of our lives. For example, it may encourage you to do other things like become more active which brings with it more positives to our physical and mental health. I feel that the best way to maximise such quality time is to switch off technology and go outside and explore, you would be surprised what is out there and it will bring out something in you that you never felt before. Reconnect with mother nature is the key of wellbeing, I encourage everyone to get out and be active, as much as they can.
- Sea, mountain, countryside or city gateway?
I like to getaway from the city and indulge in a trip that is excluded and cut away from the rest of the world. Both the UK and Italy are home to some beautiful countryside’s which are peaceful and separate from the tourists so they are the perfect places to go and relax. There is something special about waking up to the sound of nature and it immediately has you feeling energised and more positive. I feel it allows me to break away from my daily routine and relax and that is the most important thing to do when on any getaway.
- Describe what family means to you in one sentence
To put it simply, it means everything.
- What would you say to hoteliers to encourage them to donate their spare accommodation to Give Us Time?
“Hotels pride themselves on providing the ultimate, relaxing and family-driven experience. Therefore, why not help by giving it to a cause that helps those who truly deserve it. It is the perfect opportunity for them to give something that will be met with a huge rewarding feeling that they are helping create an experience. It does not matter if it is for a week or weekend or is a luxury suite or a smaller room, the experience they will provide a family will be priceless and live long in the memory.”
Thanks for what you do for these families. Everyone can make the difference and you are definitely making a huge one!