In Italy he was called the lawyer, he was a man of extraordinary charm. A Man and a great industrialist, today we could define him as the testimonial of the brand Italy, not only of Fiat.
The friendship with Kissinger and the Kennedy during the years of the Dolce Vita, the sailing cruises, the evenings with Grace Kelly and Prince Ranieri, the glamor, his greed and the joy of living even after the car accident prevented him from doing the more daring sports.
Between one meetings and another he could find time to do a skiing in the Dolomites maybe after a lunch on board the Agneta in Capri.
His closest collaborators had serious problems returning to normal life after spending days with him, he was called a James Bond, he was a fearless man, he wanted to control all aspects of his life. He personally drove all his cars with his personal driver always close to him. He drove Fiat vehicle as a good Fiat President but the curiosity was that most of his cars inside had Ferrari engine. The center of his life was the company, the chivalric sense of duty, and the vanity, which he himself invented.
He was a great esthete, everybody tried to imitate him, the great designer Valentino admitted it considering him the top-class in the world. In Turin many people even without knowing him personally, including his workers, went to sleep peacefully only when they heard the noise of his helicopter back in the city.
He was loved and this only thanks to his savoir faire. He loved to walk in Via Roma among the people, called the fifth avenue of Piedmont by the Anglo-Saxons. Some close friends were woken up by his phone calls at dawn to simply ask what was going on in Monte-Carlo rather than in New York and to get opinions of any kind or simply to make fun of them for the victory of their Juventus.
He always said that to become really rich, you have to know that he was the teacher. He also had a snobby and cruel side, he enjoyed making some pranks: once he invited a prime minister of Italian Republic to lunch with him and had his chef Giulio prepared the testicles of bull and to his objections answered “When you invite a jerk you need to know how to treat him Giulietto”.
For Gianni, the car was the symbol of man’s freedom in movement. Instead he and his family over the years became the symbol of what was to be done in the world.
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