Long flowing hair, exquisite earrings, and an elegant floral blouse greet me with a huge smile and a just-threw-this-on, tousled appearance that only super models can get away with. Veronica Bocelli, manager and wife of Andrea Bocelli, has a whirlwind life that was built by her grace, determination, and constant willingness to lend a helping hand to others.
She is beautiful, and her kind, radiant energy is gravitational. I compliment the accouterments dangling from her lobes and she jokingly responds with a gracious phrase about how traveling with the kids, dog, rest of the family, and other people can be exhausting, but one gets used to it and learns how to stay looking put together through it all.
“Thank you so much for having me here today,” she finished. The pleasure, of course, is all mine, and we depart on a conversational journey that opens the window to the inner workings of the mastermind behind Andrea Bocelli’s past 20 years.
Gracefully Poised: Family Matters
Mrs. Bocelli is in charge of everything from managing her husband's musical career to managing their family — and she does it all while gracefully maintaining exquisite beauty and elegance.
In fact, the United Nations once invited her to speak on the subject of life, harmony, and feminine empowerment on Women’s Day, telling her, ‘We would love for you to tell us how you make everything happen!’ To which she responded, ‘Listen, I don’t think Wonder Woman exists. Of course, we can do our best.’
Bocelli maintains that there are differences in where and when one can apply the skills they have. Different environments (work, motherhood) require different skill sets. “If you are a mom, a business woman, or whatever else, you can never do everything at 100 percent,” she explained. “It’s impossible! You’re doing the best you can, so you have to be sure that you prioritize what will make the most difference each day.”
To Mrs. Bocelli, motherhood is one of the most important jobs of all, one she affectionately calls Job Number One. By her example, if a mother has a full time job in addition to motherhood, somebody is doing her Job Number One, taking care of her children, while she is at work. The conviction by which Bocelli explains this fact is part of what makes her so charming. She has room for everyone in her heart, a feature I discover in her throughout our time speaking together.
“It's a matter of how precise you want to be, where you want to excel, and your top priorities. My family, which is my heart, is part of everything, so it's just a matter of how you move around and capitalize on the possibilities and the network that you have around you.”
Self-Taught Wonder Woman
The wife and manager of Andrea Bocelli does it all, for certain, and it seems to me that she must have learned her skills from someone, a mentor perhaps. She doesn’t skip a beat as she answers my question about how she learned to do what she does so well, launching into the story of how she first met her husband.
Mrs. Bocelli was just 20 years old when she met Mr. Bocelli at a party. She was a guest there, and arrived early, “as usual,” she said. There was a stressful air of hustle and bustle when she arrived, the party organizers were working hard to get everything ready before the other guests arrived.
She reminisced, “I was watching all around me and I thought, ‘I can’t stand here and do nothing,’ so I decided to try to be helpful. At first I had no clue what everyone was doing, but after five minutes everyone was relying on me and thought I was the head organizer.”
There was a bit of a debacle when the sound engineer misplaced an entire piano and Veronica helped him find it. To thank her, he introduced Veronica to Andrea that night.
“I walked up to Andrea, shook his hand, told him it was an honor to meet him, and we have never been apart since.”
The two celebrated 20 years of marriage on May 8th, 2022.
When they first got together, Veronica and Andrea were inseparable. Veronica finished her studies by his side, completing coursework on planes and trains. Eventually, he asked her to come to the United States with him.
“I said yes, of course,” Mrs. Bocelli said. “But with one caveat; I did not want to be a burden. I wanted to be helpful.”
Mrs. Bocelli said that her father taught her to be that way. ‘There are only two kinds of people,’ he taught her, ‘People who want to solve problems and people who create problems. You want to be part of the first group.’
The lesson here? Mrs. Bocelli follows a select few admirable role models in her life, and leads by her own honorable example in kind.
For the few years of their marriage, Mrs. Bocelli took care of the housework at their large estate. After that, Andrea asked her to become his official manager.
“I freaked out!” she said, “I was like, ‘Do you understand that you are putting your entire life in somebody’s hands who has no skills, no expertise?’ That is how I felt, but he saw something in me.”
Though she found the idea ridiculous, Mrs. Bocelli recognized that there was no one better to do the job. She was 23 years old, with nobody around her to guide her, and she took over with a steadfast determination to succeed.
“We were starting a new page for the future,” she said, “I asked when I needed help, but mostly I did my best to do everything the very best way it could be done. You have to teach yourself and learn by trial and error in those situations. You have no choice. You are either a zebra or a lion. If you’re a lion, you wake up and run.”
Mrs. Bocelli knew that if something needed to get done, she was going to be the one to do it, and she would do it in heels and looking amazing as well. This habit would soon turn into her current full time job, running the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.
“The Foundation is My Heart”
In addition to managing Andrea Bocelli’s career, which she says she can only do for him because her husband is ‘the easiest human being to deal with in the whole world.’
According to Mrs. Bocelli, her husband was ‘born with a Yes! inside.’ He is a positive man, who wants to give a voice to those who do not have the means to protect themselves. He has integrity and treats every fellow human being the same. He does not like to say no to people, rather preferring to find an alternate solution before having to utter the two letter word.
“He tries to make all no’s become yes’s,” Mrs. Bocelli said. “Whenever you live this way, you tend to say yes and collaborate with a lot of different people. So we began to focus on a mission for us, something that we both really feel close to our heart.”
She shared that the pair were sitting with a friend 11 years ago, who advised them to start their own foundation. “Andrea didn’t want to put his name on it because he believes ‘the right hand doesn’t have to know what the left hand does.’ In other words, you don’t have to be loud about what you are doing. You can do it in silence. He wanted to do our charity work as we had been doing it before: Quietly.’
But the friend challenged him, telling him he was wrong to think that way. He explained that Mr. Bocelli was in the rare position to be an example to other families and artists. Putting the Andrea Bocelli name on the Foundation made perfect sense after that.
“The Foundation is my heart,” Mrs. Bocelli said. “I eat, sleep, breathe the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.”
Some of the Foundation’s efforts include building schools, and hiring teachers for those schools, in third world countries, along with clothing, feeding, and caring for the students therein.
“When I die, I want to die knowing that I did all my best to help and support this Foundation, because not only does it bear the name of my family, but I know that I can be a network and an important asset,” Mrs. Bocelli powerfully told me. “I would rather die than say no to someone in need.”
As far as plans for the future, Mrs. Bocelli plans to keep doing what she does best, which seems to be everything. She loves the life she created for herself and will continue to represent the Bocelli name with such grace and glamor.
As for the musical component, Mrs. Bocelli did share that the family is planning something special that will involve multiple family members. It will be released soon, and the rest, she told me, is a secret.
Speaking with Mrs. Bocelli was a refreshing reminder of the power that one determined woman can wield. She is clearly the force that holds her family together, and she does so with such poise. Veronica Bocelli is the example of charm, hard work, and charisma that women can look to in 2022 and beyond.