Italians in London | Italians in London Alessandro Pelliccia
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#34 Alessandro Pelliccia

I am Neapolitan born and bred. I studied in one of the oldest military school in the world, the Scuola Militare Nunziatella. It had a huge impact on my life and today I try to give back being an active member of the alumni international network. After a short experience in a chemical plant of an American multinational company, I have always been working in Banking. I travelled for work across Italy: I spent about 4 years in Milan, 1 year in my hometown and 3 years in Rome. I loved to see how financial system could channel money into the business sector boosting growth and international trade. There was a lot to learn and I was lucky enough to get easily a good job before the crisis kicked in.
My real passion is Neapolitan tailoring. I decided to transform this feeling into a business and two years ago, I set up my company Sartoria San Giorgio.
Our aim is to bring quality and beautiful design of Neapolitan tradition to London offices. It is a way to keep a strong tie with my origins, a good excuse to travel home and to spend time looking for the real beauty that master tailors are able to express.
What do you do in your life in London?
My main activity is still linked to financial sector, which keeps me really busy. I changed three banks since I moved here and met many people from all over the world. What I love of London is that there are so many interesting things to do: museums, theatres, opera, exhibitions. I like photography and try not to lose any of the main events hosted here. However, my favorite spot remains the National Gallery, with its collection of impressionists’ masterpieces.
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
After many years in the business, I realized it was time to take on a bigger challenge. I got many offers from Germany and UK, but at the time London was at the top of my list and I decided to take an opportunity and see what could happen. It is never a single reason that push you to leave you country. Maybe I was not enjoying the professional environment; the quality of life in Rome was dropping dramatically; I needed to prove myself that I could achieve more.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
Here, in London I had many good experiences. I have met people that had changed my life and have learnt a lot. Probably the best experience has been to set up my own business transforming a dream into reality with few pounds and an online application. In Italy everything is still so complicated and red tape is a brake on people’s desire to work and do more. My worst experience was to face the reality that London is not the magic place that you can think of when you live far away. You cannot stop a second because competition is behind the corner and there is always someone hungrier than you are.
I asked you to choose a place in London that you like or you are tied to, what was your choice and why you made it?
I would definitely say the Tower Bridge and St. Katharine docks. That bridge is simply amazing, something alive that changes many times during the day. Probably many tourists simply enjoy the view, but when you look at it for years, it becomes a metaphor of London: always changing but strong with its iron, granite and concrete base. Boats in docks remind me home and water gives you a pleasant sense of calm before starting a new day.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
I think the strength of this country is that it makes so easy for everyone to start a new life from scratch. Of course bringing a luggage full of experience and a good knowledge of the language make everything easier. Red tape is minimal, and with my Italian background, it was hard to understand how it could be so easy. I was thinking all the time that I was forgetting something important. I was shocked in receiving a tax reimbursement from HMRC without doing anything.
What do you think about this project?
Telling about people’s lives is always interesting, especially because we all moved here to look for something and often found something completely different. It is a way to learn and to understand and maybe it will be useful instrument for those that will follow to realize that this is a place where you have to do your best, because you are competing with the whole world.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
On one side, I think that it is a question of attitude. I will never stop promoting our country and our culture in every environment. With my tailoring business, I think I am doing my fair share to promote a particular aspect of our culture, trying to educate foreigners with our concepts of beauty and elegance.