Nicola Pearsonwas born in London but now lives with her family in Manchester. She is 34 years old with 2 daughters and is the Marketing Director and Co-owner of her family’s luxury travel company, Bridgewater Travel.
Bridgewater Travel is a family owned and managed Italian villa rental company. Nicola’s parents first started offering villas in Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi – on the Tuscan coast in 19 73. Today the area known locally as ‘Versilia’ remains their specialist area but they also offer luxury villas and provide a concierge service in other regions such as Amalfi, Sicily, Umbria etc.
They appreciate that looking for your ideal villa rental can be a time consuming task and many of our clients are busy people. Their property sourcing service means clients contact them with their exact requirements and they find them a property to suit.
Every holiday they arrange is tailor-made which means we can craft a getaway with a special focus, such as golf, cookery and wine tasting, sailing, walking, horse riding, mountain-biking, or even driving a Ferrari through the Italian countryside! Whatever your interest, they can build it into your holiday, making it the sole focus, or simply one feature of a longer trip.
What is it that you do exactly?
A typical day for me starts with the school run and then home to check my emails and begin my working day which involves marketing the business, liaising with clients and owners. I’m lucky to be able to work from home and enjoy the flexibility of being able to look after my two daughters as well as running the business.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love working with my family (Motehr Christine and sister Lucy). I’m really proud of what we have achieved between us. I also love the fact that I get to travel to Italy meeting new people and discovering new places. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to help someone find their perfect villa rental – especially when they return home and feel compelled to thank you for an amazing holiday. Holidays are a precious moments for people and I feel privileged to have been of assistance – they will take home memories which last forever. I have organised several weddings in Italy which is amazing to have been part of making someone’s dream day come true!
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
The Albergo Pietrasanta – 4*L situated in a 17th Century palazzo. The ambience of the hotel and the attention to detail from the director and staff there is outstanding! Pietrasanta old town which is known locally as ‘City of art and artists’ – this is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy! The main piazza has a beautiful cathedral and mountain backdrop. Cobbled streets radiate off the main square and are lined with designer boutiques, art exhibitions and world class restaurants. The area is favoured by internationally rich and famous – fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, Flavio Briattore and the sculptor Fernando Botero to name a few.
The Hotel Byron – Forte dei Marmi 5*L – what can I say! This is only a small hotel which sits just opposite the beach in stylish Forte dei Marmi but the service is IMPECCABLE – the food is exquisite and the rooms are beautifully appointed.
The Hermitage – one of my favourite places in the world is the island of Nevis in the West Indies. This is a boutique, family run hotel. You can’t fail to relax when staying at the Hermitage. We were woken every morning by monkeys jumping from the roof of our house to the mango tree opposite to get the fruit. My sister Lucy and I climbed to the top of Mount Nevis accompanied by a local guide and the views were amazing! Breakfasts at the Hermitage are unforgettable and you certainly won’t need lunch! The beaches are most beautiful at Nisbet Plantation, Pinneys Beach and Lovers Bay.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
In Italy there have been too many to remember! My favourite restaurant is a family run trattoria in Pietrasanta called ‘Lo Sprocco’. Nothing luxorious about this place – it is run by a husband and wife team and it is real home cooked, traditional food. There is no menu and the only choice of wine is ‘red or white’. The price is whatever is written on the piece of paper presented to you at the end of the meal. Always the same no matter how much you eat and drink. We eat our way through the full antipasto, a pasta dish then roast beef with potatoes followed by tiramisu! My mouth is watering thinking about it…
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Flavio Briatore owns the beach club Twiga in Forte di Marmi and we’ve spotted him on several occasions.
Recently, My husband and myself spent 3 nights on the beautiful island of Formentera. We loved Playa Illettes and it seems so did Kate Moss and radio one DJ Nick Grimshaw who were on the same beach!
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
Southern Sardinia. I have stayed in the North – close to Alghero and visited Porto Cervo but the locals tell me that the beaches in the South are mesmorising! The sand is white like sugar and the water is bright turquoise. Southern Sardinia is next on our list for a family holiday by the sea.
Thank you for taking part in our interview, Nicola.
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