If there’s one thing that always comes back, in John Aiello’s stories, it’s the idea of family. The English expression used by Aiello (“I live and die for my family”) is much better than any Italian translation, which would sound more or less like “For my family I am willing to do any”. “We lived in Brooklyn with our grandparents,” Aiello said. My mother, on the other hand, was a housewife, originally from Ischia, but she grew up in America.
From two islands – Ventotene and Ischia – to a third island, Manhattan, to Brooklyn: a long way. And the Aiello brothers have come a long way: Michael, the eldest son, is a famous lawyer, while Joseph, the second son, has founded a construction company. “Michael is one of the most important and famous lawyers in all of New York, and not only,” John Aiello continues, business through mergers and acquisitions). acquisition, ed). Instead, Joseph founded the Broadway Construction Group, a construction company of which he is executive vice president.
“But all this would not have been possible without our family. Our parents always pushed us to improve, they took us to Manhattan, they allowed us to study. As an adult, I want my family to be involved in everything I do. “
Even in Cesena? “Of course. Whenever possible, my wife and I also take our children to the Romagna. We want them to get to know the city and get passionate. For me it would be impossible without them. Oh, and Robert Lewis is obviously part of “My family idea. He’s a family too.”
No country in the world is changing as fast as the United States. And New York is there to tell us: it’s a city that is constantly reinventing itself, always projecting itself upwards along with its skyscrapers. But it is also a city marked by huge inequalities: multimillionaires in helicopters and homeless next to the streets. The question is, is the United States still the land of opportunity? Aiello thinks about it and then answers without hesitation: “Yes, it still is. America is the only great superpower where everyone wants to live. “
But it is also a society in which tensions are very strong, starting with ethnic conflicts, just think of Black Lives Matter and the struggles for the rights of African Americans. “True, the problems exist and continue to exist. But I don’t remember a phase of my life in which there was no tension between ethnicities: when I was a child there were constant clashes. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, Jews and Italo-Americans, African-Americans and Jews … It’s America’s History. “
Objection: Didn’t Donald Trump cause even more problems? “It has taken to the extreme the problems that already existed, it has polarized the political and media scene. Unfortunately, we live in an age where American parties do not produce politicians up to par. It’s a pity, this country has so much talent, and the best are far from politics. “
Maybe it was just an American problem. But does it also apply to New York? Aiello argues: “The best mayor I’ve ever seen was Rudy Giuliani. By publishing. Forget about the last few years. The Giuliani of the 1990s cleaned up the city, solved the crime problem, and then allowed Michael Bloomberg to make New York the economic center of the world. Bloomberg is a businessman, but without Giuliani he would never have succeeded. “
How does the last mayor, Bill De Blasio, judge? “It’s better to forget,” Aiello said, “but there’s another mayor I like.” WHO? Enzo Lattuca. I met him, we work very well together. If I were a citizen of Cesena, I would vote for him.
Manuzzi Square Garden
It’s impossible to talk about New York without talking about New York sports. The Big Apple exudes passion on every corner: if other American cities have at most one or two teams, New York is truly a sports mecca. But who does John Aiello support? “Obviously for the Knicks in basketball. Then I like the Rangers (hockey) and the Jets (football). But in New York, the big rivalry is in baseball, between the Yankees and the Mets. When Robert Lewis and I met the Curva Mare boys we gave them Mets baseball caps. The Mets remember Cesena. The Yankees? Well … Bologna ».
Suddenly, Aiello’s iPhone rings: it’s a Condor Agostini WhatsApp video call. Aiello responds, speaks briefly, and then hangs up. “I have to remember calling Diletta Sarti (Cesena’s historic secretary, ed). She looked for me, I can ignore everyone but she can’t. Where were we? “
In the Atlantic differences between American and European sports. And to a fundamental question: many American businessmen are struggling in Italian football: from Rocco Commisso in Florence to Saputo in Bologna. Why should Aiello and Lewis do it in Cesena? “Because we have passion and clear ideas,” explains Aiello, “so far we have found many good people and only one enemy: the bureaucracy. It’s amazing how difficult it is to do business in Italy. So, some things are really incomprehensible: for example, why schedule weekday games when people work? It would be enough to change these little things to have a better product. But I am determined. I want to change Italian football, and I will. “
Sun in Manhattan
The talk with Aiello is almost over. At Bubby’s the place has been filled. Yellow taxis and riders carrying lunch pass outside. John Aiello is heading to Brooklyn on business. We drive down the road with your car to Battery Park, the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island. To get there, go through the World Trade Center. Where the Twin Towers once stood, it is still a splendid memorial. Aiello looks in that direction and brakes: “I remember 9/11 as if it were today. I was already working in the financial world and, like everyone else, I was right there that morning. I remember the shock, then the pain. That day changed everyone’s life. Forever”.