New Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri is enjoying the downtime before the preseason preparations start anew, but there’s no exotic holidays to farflung destinations for the 60-year-old.
Instead, Sarri is hidden away in San Benedetto del Tronto, a quiet enclave two and a half hours north east of the capital Rome where he is with his wife, son and mother-in-law enjoying the peace and quiet.
He agreed to meet with a reporter and photographer from La Nuova Riviera earlier this week and gave some quotes.
Sarri insists that despite being recognized everywhere, the people of San Benedetto mostly leave him alone.
“I feel at home and my wife and son have the same feeling . There is tranquility, people are positive and not suffocating.
“I don’t know why but I feel peaceful, I’m at ease. Perhaps everything is linked to the character of people.”
Despite being so close to the beach, the Sarri family always prefer to stay a little inland, at the villa Acquaviva Picena where the views of the ocean are even more stunning. He doesn’t venture into the town often, but when he does it’s mostly long walks to pick up books at the local library.
“I bought a lot of books, now I fix myself with the yellow ones.”*
*Not clear, is this a reference to the ‘___ for Dummies’ series of books?
Football is never far from his mind even though he returns to Vinovo on July 3rd with the players expected to start coming back on July 8th. The mayor of the town presented him with a book on San Benedetto and immediately Sarri is talking about the 1973-74 lineup of S.S. Sambenedettese, the local Serie C club (currently managed by Juve fan favourite Paolo Montero).
“As a kid I was fixated on the Serie C, the Samb was one of the teams I followed most along with another pair of Tuscan clubs such as Lucchese and Pistoiese.
“On Mondays I always inquired in the newspapers.”
Always by his side is his dog Ciro, who rode on the private jet from London to Turin with him for his unveiling last week as new Juve manager.
“I adopted him three years ago, he came every day to Castel Volturno (Napoli’s training grounds) and became the team mascot.”
His smoking habit is highly-publicized, and he admits he knows he’s smoking too much, though to his chagrin smoking has been banned on the beach at San Benedetto.
“I smoke sixty a day, a little too much. But how can you not smoke(on the beach), mayor!
“During the games I don’t feel the need, the need comes more than anything else afterwards.”
Back problems have been bothering him for some time now and he has a local physiotherapist who is getting him well again.
“Back problems have plagued me for weeks, now I’m fine.”
Sarri’s other weakness is good food, especially the fisherman’s stew that the area is so renowned for.
“I really like brodetto alla sambenedettese, although I have discovered that there are various ways to cook it.”
While they are still renting the villa, there is a plan to eventually purchase a second home in the area.
“There are three or four situations we are considering.”