I am an Italian who was born in Africa because my parents’ occupation brought them to travel around the world. When we returned to Europe, we moved to Geneva. I was a kid and I fell in love with snow and skiing. Probably some ancestor genes woke up inside of me since Apollonio is a surname that has its origins in the Dolomites. Skiing and mountains are my passion since those early teenage Swiss days. Later, moving to Italy, my home country, I have studied (American university, Business Administration) and worked many years in the car business as a manager for Volvo, Toyota and Peugeot-Citroen. Nevertheless, I always managed to cultivate my passion for skiing. My son has followed this passion since he was six years old. I have accompanied him in his racing career from children’s to international FIS races. This led him to become a successful ski instructor, and member of the Sweden Snowsport Demo Team.
On my side, I compete in master ski races (I scored sixth in the Italian Cup this year) but I love all forms of skiing, freeride, ski-touring and freestyle. I like also to get people to discover “Ski-Mojo”, an innovative system that helps skiing with knee and back problems or simply skiing with less fatigue and more fun.
My studies, work and travelling got me fluent in English, French and Italian.
In my professional experience in multinational car business corporations, among my various responsibilities, I have been in charge of “Kaizen” (particularly at Toyota) which means continuous improvement of what is being done (products, processes, equipment, social and customer relations…). This has a lot to do with a state of mind, competence, preciseness, and good human relations. Well, I do other sports like cycling, canoeing, swimming ….but nothing gives me this feeling of endless improvement such as skiing. It involves a connection of mind and body, which stimulates self-esteem and satisfaction to the beginner as well as to the champion.
Why did you choose teaching?
This is why, when I had the opportunity to anticipate my retirement a few years ago, I decided to turn my long ski experience into the profession of “teaching my passion”. With the Slovenian system, I have undergone professional training and exams, which make my competence very up to date. I love the idea of transferring the joy of skiing to people; children and adults, beginners and advanced … seeing their progress. Sharing their satisfaction when they achieve some result or goal fills me with great happiness
Where is your favourite part of Zermatt to ski?
Zermatt has so many diverse ski areas and slopes that it is hard to choose a best one but if I have to, I would say right under the Matterhorn, around the Hirli chairlift. Great variety of challenging pistes and astonishing views.
What do you do in the summer?
Being based in Rome, Algarve (Portugal) and Cervinia I cycle (both road and mountain bike), travel, canoe, swim, hike with my dogs (Abruzzi Shepherds) and…do some ski training on the glacier.
What is your favourite restaurant in Zermatt?
Fluhalp is at 2620m, reachable skiing down piste n°19 from Rothorn. View is spectacular on the whole valley and Matterhorn. Personnel is very kind, service is quick and quality/price rate is optimal. It offers a great variety of Swiss and Italian specialties. Try the “lardo di colonnata” with marrons…super!
Why did you pick Zermatt?
I consider the Matterhorn the most beautiful mountain in the world. Then, having a flat in Cervinia, I know the resort very well. Working in Zermatt I have the chance to approach a wide variety of clients, coming from all over the world.
What handy tip do you have for anyone visiting Zermatt?
If you are in Sunnega one sunny day, drop a pair of trekking shoes in a locker. At the end of the ski day leave your skis and boots in the locker and, starting from the wolly park, walk down to Adler Hitta where you can have an aperitif or meal. Then you can hike down the path that leads down to Zermatt. After a few hundred meters there is a bench to sit on and admire the sunset behind the Matterhorn …you will see the sun gently sliding down the crest of this astonishing mountain. I have seen this spectacular effect at the beginning of March. I do not know in other times of the year but for sure, the view and light will be worth the walk, which will then take one hour to get to back in Zermatt.