Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rocco Forte Hotels, has been decorated by the Italian Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona with the “Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Republicca Italiana”, which was conferred on Sir Rocco by President Ciampi.During the ceremony, Ambassador Aragona said that on the eve of his visit to the United Kingdom the President of the Republic had decided to bestow the highest Italian honour on Sir Rocco in recognition of his entrepreneurial merits and his continuing, strong links with Italy, the country of his origin.
Sir Rocco, who was previously head of Forte plc (a chain of hotels founded by his father, the Italian/English entrepreneur Lord Charles Forte), started his own hotel company in 1996 and it has since grown rapidly.Ê Rocco Forte Hotels currently has nine hotels in operation in Europe, with Brown’s Hotel in London under renovation and due to re-open in August 2005 and another four new hotels under construction.Ê
In Italy, Rocco Forte Hotels owns Hotel de Russie in Rome and Hotel Savoy in Florence; the company is also making an important investment in Sicily that will include a hotel, health centre, golf courses and villas.Ê It will open in 2007.
In recognition of the high regard with which Sir Rocco is held in Britain, in both the financial and entrepreneurial worlds, Her Majesty the Queen knighted him in 1994. Sir Rocco is also well known for his social and philanthropic merits.