Meet the team

>Meet the team
Meet the team2018-06-26T13:41:00+00:00

Andrea Grisdale Chief Executive

Tel +39 031 952059     •    Email

Andrea Grisdale spent her formative years in England’s gorgeous Lake District, before embarking on a career in the travel industry in the 1990s. After traveling the four corners of the world as an overseas representative for a British tour operator, she ended up in Northern Italy as a guide and tour manager in the Dolomites and Lake Como. Just before the start of the new millennium, Andrea decided to strike out on her own and form IC Bellagio, a travel company providing Italian experiences for high-end travelers ranging from villa rentals and exclusive guided tours to luxury hotels and wedding & event planning. Since its founding, IC Bellagio has gone from strength to strength, winning coveted awards from such prestigious organizations as Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure, Virtuoso and Luxury Travel Advisors for several years running. Always conscious of giving something back, IC Bellagio offers student internships and work experience opportunities as well as supporting a wide range of social programs and charities. Andrea is a very vocal advocate of the travel industry, inspiring students at colleges and universities to follow in her footsteps with her many speaking engagements. She is also very conscious of the role inspiration plays for her staff as well, encouraging ICB staff to travel abroad and offering exciting career development opportunities. Andrea’s vision for IC Bellagio is to remain a small boutique destination specialist that is not only the best company to travel with, but the best company to work for, too.

Steff Rau Hospitality Executive

Tel +39 031 914628    •    Cell +39 380 6866887    •    Email

Born to a Swiss-German mother and a Sardinian father, Steff Rau spent most of his youth in Hong Kong before attending the prestigious Ecole Hôtelière in Lausanne. With worlds of experience in the hospitality trade and a life spent traveling the globe, Steff is uniquely qualified to make the Palazzo welcoming for guests from near and far. Ever sine he and his wife (and his dog!) came to Lezzeno looking for a quiet lakeside retreat, they have become proud – and active – members of this community. Steff looks forward to bringing his industry expertise, fresh ideas and diverse background to making the Palazzo a well-known and well-regarded destination for discerning travelers.

Chiara Cermenati Guest Relations Assistant

Chiara Cermenati, a native of the hilltop village of Civenna above Bellagio, is our Guest Relations Assistant. Always quite a people-person, Chiara knew she wanted to work in the tourism trade from a very early age. She fell in love with travel during her semesters abroad in Spain, Germany and England during her language degree and started her career at a local front desk. Whether it was a lakeside hotel in the summer season or a hotel catering to businesspeople traveling during the winter, Chiara has used her work experience to hone her hospitality and customer service skills! In her free time, you can find Chiara reading, swimming or cuddling with her guinea pig Buffy. She is also always on the lookout for new places to enjoy Italian food and wine with her boyfriend and looks forward to sharing her insight on the local restaurant scene with Palazzo guests. 

Giovanna Pezzatti House keeper

Giovanna Pezzatti, a native of nearby Bellagio, is the heart and soul of the Palazzo’s housekeeping operations – our resident “Mamma”, if you will! Thanks to Giovanna, the Palazzo’s guestrooms and public areas are always spotless and the breakfast table is always teeming with beautifully presented delicacies. Her caring nature and can-do attitude help make the Palazzo a real home away from home for our guests. In her spare time, you can find Giovanna cooking up a feast for friends and family – like her world-famous gnocchi – or tending to the flowers in her gorgeous garden – which can often be found on display in the Palazzo.

Natalia Kusnir House keeper

Natalia Kusnir, originally from the Ukraine, is a valued member of our housekeeping department, acting as Giovanna’s right-hand woman and filling in for her on her day off. A lot has changed since Natalia arrived in Como town at the turn of the millennium. Her then infant son is now taller than she is and instead of taking care of children for a local family, Natalia has turned her detail-oriented attention to the Palazzo and our guests. And although Natalia was a pretty ambitious basketballer up until a few years ago, she prefers to ‘hit the floor’ with gentler forms of exercise these days like Pilates and yoga.

Jagath Chandana Butler

Jagath Chandana, originally from Sri Lanka, is the resident Butler at Palazzo del Vice Re. His infectious smile and passion for personalized service makes him a perfect fit for this demanding role. With his own living quarters on site, Jagath is available 24/7 to attend to our guests’ every need – big or small! He loves to wander through Lake Como’s picturesque towns when his busy schedule allows, and uses modern technology to keep up with friends and family back in Sri Lanka – including streaming any and every cricket match he can find!

Owners of the Palazzo

The Palazzo del Vice Re was the birthplace of Laura Martinelli, the current owners’ (Alessandro, Cristiano and Paolo) mother. Her family ran a traditional Locanda in the palace with a restaurant and a few guestrooms until the early 1960s. When her parents passed away, Laura inherited the property along with some other family members and eventually ended up becoming sole proprietor in the early 2000s. Alessandro’s older brother Cristiano, who was studying architecture at the time, made the palazzo and its restoration the subject of his final thesis. And today, after twelve years of painstaking restoration involving expert craftsman from across Northern Italy, the family heirloom shines in its former glory. Laura’s dreams of welcoming guests once again to the Palazzo and supporting her beloved native Lezzeno have finally come true.

Bruno Pertusini

Laura Martinelli

Alessandro Pertusini

Cristiano Pertusini
Brother / Architect

Paolo Pertusini