From Italy to Cambridge
Gabriele, reflecting on his remarkable journey at Trinity Hall, said: “I started at Trinity Hall in October 2016. It was my eighth month since arriving in England. I come from Italy: I was born in Santeramo in Colle, a small town located close to Bari (the main city, in the Puglia region), which is an ancient part of Italy called ‘the heel of the boot’. For about 5 years, I held the role of food and beverage assistant.” He progressed over the years, from Junior Butler to Deputy Butler, finally achieving the coveted position of Trinity Hall Butler in late 2023. “A nice climb! It was really tough but I had fun,” he added.
First impressions: fascinating and friendly
Upon arriving at Trinity Hall, Gabriele was immediately struck by the history and friendliness of the College: “The people were kind, helpful, and professional,” he recalled. Embracing the opportunity to work with individuals from diverse nationalities, he found it to be an incredible location to work in: “I also liked being able to work in a place with so much history behind it. I had never visited a college before, so I was fascinated by it.”
Wine cellar visits fuel a passion
The seed for Gabriele’s aspiration to become the Butler was sown during his tenure as a Food and Beverage Assistant. “When I was a Food and Beverage Assistant, on the rare occasion I had spare time, I spent time in the wine cellar alongside the previous Deputy Butler, Simon, and the Butler at the time, Sara,” he said. His curiosity led to a profound connection with the wine cellar, and his aim became clear: “My goal was to become the main keeper of this beautiful place. Since wine is my main passion. I have fallen in love with it in a short time.”
Defining high-quality service, and a unity of purpose
“For me, high-quality service means meeting everyone’s expectations and needs every day by being extremely attentive to details,” Gabriele emphasized. “My team and I are perfectionists. I think this is our philosophy. Attention to detail is paramount, ensuring that each student, Fellow, and guest experiences something unique.”
Describing Trinity Hall as a unique team, Gabriele appreciates the synergy across different departments, all pulling in the same direction. “My team and I are like brothers. We fight, we suffer, and we succeed together. One for all and all for one,” he states. The camaraderie reflects a shared ethos that he values most about the College.
Learning from the best
Gabriele’s preparation for the Butler position involved years of guidance from his mentors. “In recent years, my predecessor Sara had the patience and willingness to explain to me the various facets of this role,” he acknowledged. Learning to navigate the complexities of what being a Butler means required patience and willingness. “I tried to always learn from every person I worked with and I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of trust and professional training from all my current managers and also managers I have had in the past.”
The excitement of new challenges
“I’m very excited about this role. I am excited for it because it is a challenge, a responsibility, I’m curious to test myself,” Gabriele said. With a passion for the position and a commitment to giving his best, he looks forward to evolving into a seasoned and accomplished Butler over time. “Moreover, I’ll do what I am mostly passionate about. I will give my all to become a good Butler with time and the right determination.”