Rossella de Focatiis

Director RDF Communication – Communication & Events Agency – President Sapere Academy

Thirty years’ experience in the events and conference organisation sector.

Since 2005 she has been active on the most advanced topics of health, nutrition and well-being, involving a wide audience, raising awareness and loyalty.

President of “Sapere. Il Sapore del Sapere” and the creator of other successful initiatives, also in partnership with national institutions.

Rossella de Focatiis has therefore committed herself to spreading and disseminating information and training on topics such as complementary medicine, phytotherapy, nutrition and the progress of scientific research, in practical application and integration with the various therapies, involving the most accredited experts in each sector.

On 28 November 2011, Rossella de Focatiis took part in the ‘Peace and Prosperity – Founding Values of the European Union event in Brussels. The event concluded with the signing by the On. Gianni Pittella, Vice President of the European Parliament, Ambassador of Peace Prem Rawat and other representatives of institutions and non-governmental organisations of a formal declaration of “Solemn Commitment to Peace”; “Sapere. Il Sapore del Sapere” has also signed this Commitment.

In 2018, he gave birth to FruttAmaMi, a multidisciplinary Festival that gives space for debates, in-depth analysis and free thoughts among healthists, environmentalists and anyone who has adopted a lifestyle respecting Nature and for all those who follow a vegan, vegetarian, vegan-crudist, fruitarian, hygienist diet, but for those who want to know more:

Rossella de Focatiis

Health and nutrition expert for a long life



Rossella de Focatiis, from Milan, has perpetual motion on her – but there are parallel threads linking her to Salerno and Palermo, an added value of creativity – who, under the Madunina, is known as a promoter of events on natural medicine and nutrition; events which, in 11 years, have created a consolidated audience of aficionados. Such a long-running event, on a subject as innovative as “Sapere. Il Sapore del Sapere”, which is Rossella’s trademark, has no equal in Italy. In fact, it can be said, it was almost a precursor of the themes that were later the cornerstones of the Expo.

In the same way, there is no other network of doctors, naturopaths, and specialists in medicine emancipated from chemistry, such as the one created by Rossella in recent years. She has written the future, becoming, after following classical studies, a disseminator of new/ancient knowledge and a knowledge of nutrition that enhances healthy choices at the table.

In the same way, there is no other network of doctors, naturopaths, and specialists in medicine emancipated from chemistry, such as the one created by Rossella in recent years. She has written the future, becoming, after following classical studies, a disseminator of new/ancient knowledge and a knowledge of nutrition that enhances healthy choices at the table.


Rossella, when did your love of organisation begin?

Maybe from the first womb. My mother gave me a strong, combative name, inspired by the film “Gone with the Wind”. She still had Rossella o Hara in mind, her stubborn, impetuous, strong-willed character, and she gave me this name because she wanted a daughter like that. I satisfied her! Organisation was a passion for me. When they told me something was impossible, I wanted to do it. And I did it.


In short, all the “symptoms” of an overwhelming personality were there…

Even when I was the captain of my school’s volleyball team in the seventh grade, when we came second in the city championship, I was the leader. I’ve kept that, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve tried to learn how to be a team player, motivating those who team up with me. I love pure creativity, but also manual work: I like to touch the material, to know it and transform it. I had transferred this predisposition from having done ceramics and painting for years as a child. For a long time, I had a business producing promotional and gift items. Together with my younger sister, we made gadgets and personalised gifts for companies: we had a large and prestigious clientele, such as Snam, Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, Sip, Avon, Upim, Rinascente, Alemagna, Armani, Etro and many others. In particular, our leather goods, which I often designed or supervised, were very popular. I learned to have customised fabrics produced and chosen after my own careful market research. These were very good times in my life, where I had deep and unforgettable human relationships, the kind that remain in the soul.


Why did you focus on a different sector?

Because the promotional sector in Italy was plunged into spending review. Fewer and fewer companies were willing to invest in gadgets, while those who did continue were turning to less valuable products, importing them from countries where the cost of labour was negligible. I was faced with the alternative of going outside to produce or changing my core business. So it was that with my sister, having built up many interesting human relationships during the previous activity, we decided to embark on a new path, that of the communication agency, which had two branches, in Milan and Rome.


What did you do in those years?

My predisposition for creativity and weaving networks among people led us to organise very successful fundraising events, even in a temple of music such as the Auditorium di Santa Cecilia (now the Auditorium della Conciliazione), with Gino Paoli and Beppe Vessicchio, with the participation of the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra in favour of ABC, the Association for Children with Heart Disease. We had the support of major sponsors such as Conad, Sangemini, Averna, Pernigotti, Damiani, as well as the technical sponsorship of Radio Dimensione Suono. Perhaps all this was an omen, because afterwards, starting out on my own, the road to health was the one I took to develop new initiatives on topics that have always attracted me, namely everything that revolves around the health of the body and the psyche, including nutrition.


We have arrived at a new perspective that has allowed you to launch an unprecedented event in Milan (and beyond). How  “Sapere. Il Sapore del Sapere” was born?

We should make a premise. In 2000, we invented a Kermesse of meneghina cuisine for the City of Milan, which was so successful that it was repeated the following year: Rossella de focatiis “Risate e Risotti”. In the first year, 200 of the area’s most renowned restaurants were involved, offering a typical menu for a month, led by the yellow risotto. It was a great success: the Milanese themselves had probably lost the taste for real risotto, so much so that, the following year, in the wake of the results achieved, the event was repeated for two months, with the participation of over 500 restaurants. The promotion of the flags of typical Milanese food suggested to me, after my sister had dedicated herself to another activity, to develop an initiative, promoted by the Milan Chamber of Commerce with the Association of Bakers, “Panettone ieri e oggi” (Panettone yesterday and today), with Antonio Marinoni, president of the Milan and Province Bakers, a dear friend who, unfortunately, is no longer with us. The third edition of ” Risate e Risotti ” did not take place because, in the hinterland, many had tried to repeat similar events. So I decided to cut the bull’s eye and change everything in my life again, inventing a new format.


Creativity is always in your pocket. How did you articulate it?

I have a huge library, especially of titles on health and nutrition. They have been my source of continuous updating on the topics that intrigue me most since I was a teenager. I have always sought knowledge on the right keys that activate the body’s self-healing resources. Until then, my research had only been at the stage of personal cultural enrichment. I decided that it would be great to share all the latest research on health and nutrition with a wide audience by bringing people together with researchers, doctors, specialists, nutrition experts and naturopaths who were at the top of their profession. I wanted to dispel the myth of chemistry as a panacea against all illnesses, since, from personal experience, I have become convinced that chemistry, while healing on the one hand, can also create side effects, often unexpected. For this reason, I decided to organise a series of meetings absolutely free for the public, in prestigious locations (the Chamber of Commerce and the Union of Commerce of Milan, as well as the Auditorium of the Banca Popolare di Milano) and with institutional patronage at the highest level. I started off with a very full programme, with the participation of great luminaries from the scientific world.


Which ones, for example?

Just to mention a few names, the Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, Luc Montagnier; the physicist Emilio del Giudice, who is also in the running for the Nobel Prize; one of the pioneers of natural medicine, Professor Luciano Pecchiai. If you go to you can find all the protagonists of my meetings. At each new edition I also invite new researchers to my audience, so that the greatest ‘brains’ of the various specialisations can speak. In 11 years, I have organised more than 300 meetings that have attracted an audience of more than 23 000 people. In the last two years, a prestigious technical sponsor, Bennet, a major hypermarket chain, has increased our contacts and visibility. In addition, we are enthusiastically supported by important media partners such as the monthly magazine “L’Altra Medicina” and the quarterly magazines “Mediawellness” and ‘Scienza e Conoscenza’ and others.


What is your next frontier?

I am already fully immersed in one: the Expo. Thanks to our alliance with Farine Varvello, which has chosen us to organise meetings of excellence on health and nutrition, we will be organising around 40 events, some including show cooking, in the Cereals and Tubers Cluster for six months. Moreover, outside the Expo, we will be present with events in various parts of the city, always linked to the red thread of our ‘cherry’, on the themes that have won us the loyalty of our vast public. The latest news is the partnership with Canale Europa TV, one of the most important Internet TV platforms, directed by Roberto Salvini, who has created an ad hoc channel for us, “Sapere TV”, where it will be possible not only to follow the events in and outside Expo, but also to meet our speakers, with interviews and talk shows, including interactive ones with the home audience. In addition, the partnership with Innova will allow us to press the accelerator of communication on the web.

After the experience of past years with events on anti-aging by Named, with the support of MOICA, (Italian Housewives Movement) in 6 cities, the project I am looking forward to is to take Knowledge and Taste to other Italian and foreign locations. Furthermore, with a view to steering medicine towards avant-garde routes and spreading it among the people, I have founded, together with a group of researchers, doctors and pharmacists, Sanifutura, a cultural website to socialise what is new or coming in the field of health, with useful news on the most innovative discoveries for improving people’s health. I am already planning the post-Expo and 2016 events, with some exciting news for an “atelier of intelligences”, to support research, health and nutrition and more. In a broader cultural perspective, which triggers a great network between minds.


Annamaria Barbato Ricci