Italians in London | Italians in London Pasquale Padalino
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# 21

Pasquale Padalino

Photo and concept by © Rob Venom 2022

I was born in Foggia in the South Italian Region of Apulia. I have always lived permanently in my city even though I had many opportunities to travel.
Before coming to London, at my tender age of over fifty, I spent six months in the Marche Region, to prepare myself for the new venture: to break the patterns and habits of my previous life.
I left all my working past – even if it gave me many satisfactions – to accept new challenges.
I’m a creative, curious guy, I love family and friends and they say I’m eclectic
Work is my passion ……. and my favourite sport as it gives me the opportunity to walk a lot because of the hectic London life! It’s my holiday because it allows me to travel and find entertainment, it’s my hobby because I always find something new to experiment. In short, I always have the opportunity to spend pleasant, relaxing time with my customers, who often become friends.
I also enjoy cooking, I like to keep in touch with what happens in Italy: I follow politics and science, I love nature and when I have the opportunity I like playing tennis.
I would like to resume riding, paradoxically since I’m in England I haven’t managed to do that !
What do you do in your life in London?
I have an agency of Marketing and Promotion of Food & Wine, specializing in services to support Italian producers who want to enter the English market.
I am a creative person and I like to be innovative. So much so that I just realized one of my biggest dreams, a consortium of Italian producers (unique in its kind), based juridically in England, , that began the distribution without intermediaries a few weeks ago .
The rest of my time I spend it with my partner Zena and my thoughts going to the rest of my family in Italy, especially to my son and my mother.
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
England and Scotland in particular, have always attracted me since I was a child, but to tell the truth I find myself in London almost by chance. One evening a friend of mine who was interested in opening an activity here told me that he was booking the flight and I took the opportunity I was waiting for.
Fate has it that I am still here after 5 years, instead my friend went back to Italy….
The main reason for my relocation is that in Italy I could no longer feel myself accomplished.
I have always put passion and innovation In my work; I have always created alternative companies, I have also been Vice President of one of Apulia’s most important Associations of Traders and Artisans and I have held positions in the Chamber of Commerce of my city. I always enjoyed networking among companies creating numerous consortia to try to help improve the territory and my city.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
As an entrepreneur, as far as I am concerned, there are no negative or positive experiences, paradoxically even negative ones I find positive because they teach you to learn from your mistakes and consequently are also helpful in everyday life.
Also in my private life I have never had big problems and I can also say the same for my son, who has worked for more than a year in London as an IT engineer.
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?
London I find it extraordinary everywhere: there are many places that I like but, after 3 years, I choose to move to a nearby town, where my partner lives, similar to my Foggia, because at night I found London to noisy.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
London is not an easy city, it fascinates you but if you decide to live there, it disorients you and you need some time to understand where you are and what is happening to you.
Well, surely the language was a barrier…, it was not easy for a person who was not as young, who had learned English in school more than 40 years ago, but I have to say that I found a lot of tolerance, maybe because 66% of London inhabitants are foreigners, everyone has the same little problem.
The only thing I can say that annoyed me was not finding a house at an acceptable price and finding that it is normal to share it with other people.
On a positive note, for a short time, I felt like a student, because I was in contact with many young people.
What do you think about this project?
Immediate and clean in its format. Your choice of publishing in black and white reveals the life stories for what they really are.
I also find it very important because it spreads the culture, the operativity and the genius that distinguishes Italians in a modern key.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
Surely by proposing to the Anglo-Saxon culture of businesses and food and wine making, as I am doing, events that introduce and present the best of Italian excellence and cuisine.
Also I really like to involve my English friends, not only talking about our beautiful country, but also inviting them for a tour next summer. In fact I’m planning to take 2 dozen “ Inglesi”on vacation with me.