Italians in London | Italians in London Stefano Potortì
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 Stefano Potortì

Photo and concept by © Rob Venom 2022

I was born in Sicily and moved to Calabria when I was a child. I grew up enjoying the beauty of a region, which is surrounded by two seas. I left Calabria when I was 18 to attend the university in Pisa and enjoyed my experience in Tuscany very much. Before moving to London I was working in the hospitality industry in Italy but I felt that something was missing. As I studied French at school I decided to go to London and learn English. I’m passionate about life in general. It’s a journey that takes us to many unknown and unplanned events and it’s up to us to make the most out of it. Also I like cooking, photography and enjoy playing tennis.
What do you do in your life in London?
I run two companies. One does consultancy for restaurants and promotes agri-food products. The other one specialises in work experience and trainings. Two completely different businesses that have one thing in common: they both rely on people.
In my spare time I like playing tennis and travelling. I travel quite a lot, both for business and pleasure with the family.
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
At the time I felt Italy wasn’t the right place to express myself in a business environment, so I decided to quit my job and bought a one-way ticket with Ryanair. I still remember the price of that flight was 1 euro including tax.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
I can’t say I had any bad experiences in London (except for my mobile being stolen twice from my hands but I would define it more annoying than bad). Everything has been part of a journey made of new situations, new people, new friends. A journey that is still going. Best experience so far is definitely my son’s birth.
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?
Greenwich hill as you can still see the London landscape but if you close your eyes you can isolate yourself from the rest of the world.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
Not really. As I mentioned before, every single day was an addition to my journey. Some days were better than others, but the whole experience was so rich of new inputs that it wouldn’t be fair to define some of them as problems.
What do you think about this project?
It’s an interesting one. It can contribute to promote the image of Italians abroad in a modern environment.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
I’ve been involved in supporting food start-ups opening in London and doing agri-food promotions for Italian products. I think it is a good way to promote our beautiful country.
Also I’ve been collaborating with the Italian Chamber of Commerce on several project for many years now, including the creation of a Master in Hotel and Hospitality Management that has given good career opportunities to Italians.