While Italy's super-rich like Silvio Berlusconi make no secret of their billions, the richest women of Italy behave much more discreetly. Fashion plays a big role in this rich ranking - probably differently than you think...
Some of these ladies make real money with fashion. However, you don't see much of this wealth, the collections of paintings and skin couture in public. Especially not on Instagram & Co. Italy's billionaires are very discreet and photo-shy. We googled every name: The results are few...
Here are the top 10 of the Forbes 2022 list of super-rich Italian women:
Rank 1 with 5.4 billion US dollars
The richest woman in Italy is also one of the most shy. She is virtually invisible in Italy's high society. Together with her family, Massimiliana Landini Aleotti (80) lives far away from the spotlight and the flurry of flashbulbs.
After the death of her husband Alberto Aleotti in 2014, she inherited his pharmaceutical company Menarini together with her children. The pharmaceutical giant has its headquarters in Florence, Tuscany. Today, her daughter Lucia is chairman of the group, her son Alberto Giovanni is vice-chairman.
Alberto Aleotti had started at Menarini in 1964 and bought the company in the early 1990s.
2nd place with 4 billion US dollars
Miuccia Prada (73, born Maria Bianchi) is one of the Italian self-made billionaires in the ranking. She first studied political science at the University of Milan, where she subsequently completed her doctorate. She also studied acting and pantomime with Giorgio Strehler at Milan's Piccolo Teatro. During the 1970s she became involved in the Italian Communist Party and the women's rights movement.
At the age of 28, Prada takes over the family business of manufacturing luxury leather goods in Milan. She turns the family business into a world-renowned fashion label. Miuccia Prada decides on various innovations, including the production of clothing. The international breakthrough comes with a collection of black bags made of fine nylon (a patented fabric of her own design).
History of the Group: The company was founded in 1913 by her grandfather Mario Prada, then continued by her mother Luisia. The mother marries Luigi 'Gino' Bianchi in the 1940s. The couple have three children: Alberto, Marina and Maria (Miuccia). Miuccia Bianchi takes her grandfather's surname (or her mother's maiden name) in the 1980s.
She and her siblings Alberto and Marina, as well as her husband Patrizio Bertelli, are the majority owners of Prada. She is the creative head of the company and develops, among other things, the second line Miu Miu, named after her nickname.
Today, Miuccia Prada is also a world-renowned art collector and expert.
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Rank 3 with 3.8 billion US dollars
16,000 people in 29 countries work for the third richest woman in Italy. Amplifon has a total of 11,000 hearing aid branches on all continents. Italian-British billionaire Susan Carol Holland (66) has been Amplifon's chairwoman since 2011. She owns 44.9 percent of the group through her family's holding company.
CareerSusan Carol Holland studied psychology and sociology at Keele University in the north of England, then graduated in speech therapy at the University of Milan. From 1982 she works as a speech therapist in Milan. In 1988 she joined Amplifon as a member of the Board of Directors.
history of their group: Her father Algernon Charles Holland, a trained radio technician, suffers a blast trauma in a plane crash over Italy. In his sickbed, the British-born father searches for technical solutions. This is where he meets his future wife Anna-Maria. In 1950, he and his wife founded the Amplifon company in Milan. The first branch is a converted bus with a mobile sales service for Amplifon hearing aids. In the 1960s, the company becomes Italy's market leader.
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4th place with $3.1 billion
Absolutely shy of publicity. Italy's fourth richest woman Alessandra Garavoglia (62) is a board member of the Campari Group, one of the world's largest alcoholic beverage companies. The concert's brands include Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey, Aperol and Campari.
Garavoglia holds an estimated 24 per cent of the group, which will be listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2001. She inherited her share from her parents. Her late father, Domenico, was a long-time employee before the last remaining heir of the Campari family passed the company on to him. Her brother Luca Garavoglia (53) is president of the Campari group of companies.
5th place with 2.8 billion
Italy's fifth richest woman is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Since 2002, Isabella Seràgnoli (77) has been the president and sole shareholder of COESIA, a worldwide group of companies for industrial and packaging products. The group consists of 21 companies, with about 80 production sites. She also holds shares in several investment companies.
CareerSeràgnoli started working for the family business after graduating from high school. She studied economics in Bologna and then graduated in dietetics (nutrition) at the University of Chieti in Abruzzo.
History of the Group: The company group emerges from the motorbike manufacturer G.D, founded in 1923, which is taken over by its father Enzo Seràgnoli at the end of the 1939s. After the Second World War, the company shifts its focus to packaging, mainly for the confectionery and soap sectors, later also in the tobacco industry. Today, G.D. is the parent company of a holding company that has been called COESIA since 2005.
Seràgnoli supports various social and medical-scientific activities and has also established her own foundation.
6th place with 2.7 billion
The woman who comes to billions with knitting needles. When their father dies early, Giuliana (85) and her brother Luciano (87) have to contribute to the family's upkeep. She knits jumpers for a local clothing company, he sells shirts in textile warehouses.
From 1955 onwards, the siblings begin to sell Giuliana's colourful, self-knitted jumpers themselves through local shops. They buy second-hand knitting machines to increase production; brother Carlo (†74) is responsible for maintenance. Together with their fourth brother Gilberto (†77), they set up a knitwear manufacturing company in 1965.
The family's holding company, Edizione is now an empire. It is also active in real estate and agriculture, controls the textile group Benetton, 18 per cent of the German construction group Hochtief and, through the listed infrastructure company Atlantia, various airport operators (Rome, Nice, Cannes), motorway service areas and motorway companies.
Giuliana Benetton is married and has four children.
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7th place with 2 billion
Maria Franca Fissolo (83) starts out as a young woman as a secretary and interpreter for the confectionery company Ferrero. She falls in love with the entrepreneur's son Michele Ferrero. In 1962 the wedding. Their marriage lasts 53 years until his death in 2015. Under Michele Ferrero, the family business develops into a global corporation. The breakthrough comes in 1964 with nutella.
Little is known about her private life. She has two sons with Michele Ferrero. Son Pietro (†47) died in a bicycle accident in South Africa in 2011. Today, her son Giovanni (58) is the third generation to head the company. Ferrero is entirely family-owned.
Fissolo lives in Monaco.
8th place with 1.7 billion
The eighth richest woman in Italy lives an extremely shy life. Marina Prada inherits from her grandfather a share in what was then a family business for luxury leather goods. She is not involved in the management of the company, holds about 12 percent of Prada.
9th place with 1.5 billion
Two billionaires share ninth place in the ranking with a fortune of 1.5 billion US dollars: Marina Caprotti (44) and her mother Guiliana Caprotti.
Marina Caprotti (44) is the only daughter from Bernardo Caprotti's second marriage. Today, she is the managing chairwoman of Esselunga. After her father's death, she inherits 70 percent of the company together with her father's second wife, Giuliana Caprotti. The last third of the company shares go to the two children from her first marriage. After a long inheritance dispute, Giuliana and Marina buy out these company shares in 2020 for almost two billion euros.
Actually, the Caprotti family is active in the textile and cotton industry. When US entrepreneur Nelson Rockefeller founded the first supermarket chain in Italy in 1957, Bernardo Caprotti (†2016) joined in. In 1962 Caprotti buys the majority of the chain, which is named Esselunga. Over the years, a chain with more than 150 shops and a number of large food distribution centres is created, all of which are centrally supplied.
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Rank 10 with 1.4 billion US dollars
Sabrina Benetton is a daughter of Gilberto (d. 2018), one of the four siblings who founded the Benetton fashion label in 1965. Together with her sister, she inherited part of her father's fortune when he died. She is a member of the board of directors of the largest family business, Edizione Srl.
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