Villa Reale di Marlia — an abandoned estate in Toscana, Italy, that was at one point on the verge of disappearing. Today the Villa is owned by the Groenberg family. It has caught the couples’ fancy, and they took it upon themselves to bring Villa Reale back to its former glory. There are already four museums open on the territory. Tourists and general public are welcome to visit the park. Charity concerts, guided tours, picnics and dozens of other events are held there. The Villa also hosts children’s schools and joint activities with art, historical, garden and music foundations.
- The founders of HEMMA Group
- Villa Reale di Marlia — a dream project
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The founders of HEMMA Group
Both Marina and Henric Groenberg have a lot of experience in management and investing. At one point they decided to create something meaningful and valuable that they could leave to their children. That is how HEMMA Group appeared. In fact, the name of the investment fund is an acronym for the names of Henric and Marina and their daughters — Matilda and Amanda. In addition, “Hema” means “house” in Swedish. The couple of investors care about the environment and see great potential in promoting green technologies, and their fund is just about that. Thus, the establishment of the Group was a logical step in the development of the Groenbergs, both professionally and as a family.
Running a family business can be exhausting and challenging, so Henric and Marina Groenberg follow strict principles that help them split their working and family life. According to the spouses, one of the most important things is to allocate roles and areas of responsibility in advance and to agree on the rules from the start. Workwise, it is crucial to overlook minor mistakes and to accept the fact that each person has a different approach and style, and ideally to abstract from personal relationships as a couple. Of course, as a result of managing a family business the Groenbergs never really have rest, since they discuss work at home, while driving, over dinner and so on. However, as they are genuinely interested in their business, it does not irritate them, much rather, it complements their relationship and makes it even stronger.
“It is extremely important to respect and fully trust each other, to praise for successes and not to flaunt failures, and to always be ready to come to the rescue and sometimes — just to listen to each other!”
— Marina Groenberg
Such an approach allows the Groenbergs to successfully manage the family business, take on extra projects and live in harmony with each other.
Villa Reale di Marlia — a dream project
Marina and her husband are currently restoring the historic villa along with its park in Tuscany, formerly owned by Napoleon’s sister. They have already opened four museums situated within the area of Villa Reale. So far, apart from the museums, only the park is open to the general public. Despite this, there is a lot to do there: a large number of events take place in the estate, including cultural performances, historical reconstructions, public picnics and many others. Meanwhile, the Villa itself is still going through renovation.
Visiting Villa Reale di Marlia and its park will send you back a few hundred years in time. It was first constructed in the Middle Ages. What we see today is the result of numerous transformations that Villa Reale underwent over time, and this concerns not only the Villa. The surroundings have been changed almost just as much as the architecture has. These developments took several centuries and were managed by figures and royal dynasties of great historical importance. One such person was Elisa Bonaparte, the sister of Napoleon.
Villa Reale had caught the fancy of Henric and Marina Groenberg and got their hearts. In 2014, it was sold to the Groenbergs in a very poor state and became one of the assets in the portfolio of HEMMA Group. The couple is currently working on its restoration and making it completely available to the public. Their wish is to make it possible for everyone to enjoy the treasures that the villa has in store. A huge amount of time and effort has been put into bringing the villa and the park into the proper form. However, there is still a lot of restoration work to be done.
The couple of investors consider Villa Reale di Marlia to be one of their special projects. The reason being is that, on the one hand, they consider it as a global goal to protect cultural heritage. On the other hand, they just do it for the soul.