In conversation with the hotel founder Andrea Camesasca on the case of the Lambro river, which is no longer polluted
In Merone, a little village a stone-throw away from Milan and in the province of Como, tucked away between the bifurcating arms of the Lambro river, is the rural resort of Hotel Il Corazziere. «The concept of Rural Resort stems from the belief that new hospitality means feeling good in a place that prioritizes health, cleanliness, and tidiness, integrated into the natural environment», says owner Andrea Camesasca.
Camesasca’s attention to the environment is the by-product of a childhood spent in Merone, known as ‘the town of cement’. There, he witnessed the earth being dug to extract marl, and industrial chemicals painting the river Lambro with a different color every day. This experience left him with new care for the territory around him, which turned into a mission to make the family business as sustainable as possible. «Our sensitivity to the matter led us to develop a new relationship with the environment and a new corporate social responsibility».
The tale of Il Corazziere starts way before Andrea Camesasca was even born. Originally a tavern founded in 1919, the site’s story likely gets told at every family gathering, in front of the fire and a glass of wine. «This place was created thanks to the sacrifices of four generations, starting from the founder, my grandfather, Il Corazziere Giuseppe Camesasca, up to my granddaughter Marta» Camesasca recalls.
Corazziere is the word for the national Italian police, a role Camesasca’s grandfather embodied proudly until he became the King’s Guard under Vittorio Emanuele III. «My grandfather finished his brilliant military career and fell in love with a beautiful Friulian girl he met during a hunting trip with the King. He returned to the banks of the Lambro river with her, and they founded L’osteria dei Pescatori». The ex-guard could not escape his military fame, and the place was soon dubbed Il Corazziere, a name that stuck for over 100 years.
Although the Camesasca family is no longer in the army, they are still on a mission to serve the country they call home. Its flagship structure is the Casa del Mulino, literally Mill House, which is energetically self-sufficient thanks to the redevelopment of an old mill. Camesasca tells us that energy sustainability is one of his passions: «I have always studied and invested in this segment. Nature teaches us that nothing needs to be wasted, and our hotel model is based on the three-R objective: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle».
On top of a completely water-powered building, Il Corazziere achieves heating efficiency as well, with a system of modular condensing boilers, and partners with facilities focused on the protection of the environment.
According to Camesasca, sustainability does not have to be complicated, and little efforts go a long way. «Our goal is to return to a harmonious relationship with the surrounding nature. We don’t need bombastic projects, but daily actions». For Hotel Il Corazziere, this includes keeping the banks of the Lambro river clean or collect the waste left nearby.
There is a lot of focus on the next generation as well: «We do environmental and didactic education with children and collaborated to the publishing of the book Mafalda’s River, by Marilena Luandi, to help the little ones get to know and care about environmental issues».
A farm to table approach. «We want to implement the production: we produce vegetables and small fruits that end up directly on the tables of our guests, with new cultures such as the black truffle». Camesasca explains. Amongst others, the zero-km products include homemade jam and local wine. They come from the eco-village of Baggero, and aid in supporting the local economy and ensuring food for whoever decides to stay at the resort.
But Hotel Il Corazziere is, first and foremost, a resort, even if a rural one. Offering high-designed rooms and experiences, the hotel presents itself as the solution for who is seeking wellness for themselves and the environment. «The concept of well-being has changed: it is no longer showing off what you have but rediscovering internal wellness».
«We have new ideas and initiatives in this sense, some already planned, others to be developed. We have created the Energy Island given that Baggero (the village where we live) is located on an island at the confluence of two rivers. According to Feng Shui, this is a place that releases energy. To make the most of these peculiar characteristics, we organize Yoga and Meditation classes for our guests».
Hotel Il Corazziere will soon include a team-building space for companies and bridges to make sure all the different structures on the estate are easily accessible. As these new projects come to fruition, Camesasca keeps working to make sure his family’s legacy is to be a beacon of positive change and innovation in the hotel industry.
Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 4