As this pandemic grinds on, many of us italophiles grow increasingly anxious about our inability to travel freely to and from Italy. We look for various alternatives to keep the connection alive and vibrant: we practice our language lessons, we try out regional recipes in our own kitchens, and we watch enviously as Stanley Tucci gorges his way through the peninsula.
I discovered another Italian indulgence to add to the list: Mozzafiato.
What is Mozzafiato, you ask? Simply put, it’s an online hub that represents the largest collection of iconic Italian wellness and beauty brands assembled in one place. I’ll explain more in a minute, and you can catch the full audio version in my latest podcast episode. But first, let’s talk about that name!
The literal translation is “breathtaking,” but like much of the Italian language, direct translation only scratches the surface of the beauty beneath. The Italian dictionary definition comes closer. “Che suscita stupore, ammirazione, impressione; che fa trasalire violentemente.” (“That which arouses amazement, admiration, impression; which startles violently.”)
When I first encountered this website and its perfectly aligned branding message, it reminded me immediately of the opening scene from Paolo Sorrentino’s masterpiece, La grande bellezza (“The Great Beauty”).
For those who haven’t seen it, the opening scene is exactly this: a collective attack of Stendhal syndrome. A tourist beholds Rome from above, is overwhelmed by its great beauty, and then promptly dies on the spot. A modern-day operatic moment worthy of Puccini or Verdi.
Check out these products below... you've been warned!
The Italian Approach to Wellness and Beauty
In Italy, wellness and beauty are not just a luxury, but part of everyday life. They are necessities, priorities… not just an indulgence. Taking care of oneself, and how you present yourself to the world, are as important (or maybe even more important) than your job. Fare una bella figura…
Furthermore, "wellness" and "beauty" are not so far apart from each other in the Italian mindset. Good health is beautiful, and beauty is restrained, refined; never overdone or vulgar. It’s good for you; body, mind, and soul.
Forged out of the founder’s love of Italy’s unique approach to living a life of beauty, Mozzafiato provides an immersive, authentically Italian experience to the North American market, offering a wide range of products: fragrance, skin care, men’s grooming, bath & body, home, and gifts.
Brands selected to be part of Mozzafiato represent the best of Italy’s incomparable beauty culture. Their deep Italian heritage, stories, and quality offer everyone an opportunity to discover the generational knowledge, insights, and craftsmanship that only Italy can deliver.
And maybe that’s what I like most about this concept: the stories and the generational knowledge. To me, that’s what sets Italy apart from other cultures. Family, tradition, and a commitment to quality.
My guest on the podcast is Amy Parsons, the founder and CEO of Mozzafiato. During our chat, we discuss these notions of Italian craftsmanship, generational knowledge, and the challenges (and advantages?) of launching a company during the middle of the pandemic.
Before joining Mozzafiato, Amy had a 20-year career as an attorney and university executive, overseeing projects ranging from expanding and developing new campuses in the US and Mexico, to building large scale sports and entertainment venues.
The Mozzafiato mission is to reinvent the American beauty experience through Italian culture and spirit, with products ranging from ancient fragrances to clinical innovations, and a shopping experience that delights the soul.
Browse the website and admire the beautiful designs. The family stories. The commitment to quality that’s so lacking in our modern lives. And if so inclined, bring some to that old-world beauty and style into your own life. It’s been a long year. You deserve it.
(And Amy has been kind enough to offer a discount for my readers and listeners!!)
Amy has created a code for me: ZULLO10
A 10% discount for any purchases made on mozzafiato.com.
Click the link to check out other episodes and see my list of the best podcasts about Italy.