Barbara Carli: doing business by changing the idea of fitness

In an industry where women struggle to find opportunities, legitimate space and leadership positions, a capable businesswoman stands out, the only female regional delegate in ANIF, owner of Area 4, a fitness club of excellence

The “mission” of a strong, prepared, serene and determined woman who makes her work a pleasure in life, with a staff that is “family” and with an endless desire to study and improve, always. All in the world of fitness, which is increasingly directed-with his great conviction-to physical health and being well, especially with oneself. Because for her “it is not enough to be just a gym!” All this, and much more, can be found in Barbara Carli, an extraordinary entrepreneur with so much desire to do and assert herself, always and constantly, in a world she loves and likes to promote with strength, determination and so much positivity. The epitome of her philosophy is her Area 4 gym in Assisi and her commitment as ANIF Delegate for Umbria.

Barbara Carli, center of photo, with Valeria Genova and Veronica Telleschi, active on the ANIF front, with an Italian representation in Cologne during EuropeActive initiatives

For a woman with a professional background in other fields and a history in local politics (former deputy mayor), how did the idea of setting up a fitness center come about?

Political activity and a career in law seemed to be a well-trodden path, yet I felt a sense of dissatisfaction upon me. The gymnasium was a choice that brought about a big change. In a moment of courage and truth, I decided to bring my gym idea to life. It seemed like I was abandoning something important for a leap of faith; I ignored any irony and dire predictions. Now, years later I feel I have won, I find myself answering questions from great professionals who are trying to remedy the neglect to which they have left their bodies and self-care. I am not one professional among many, but the creator of a unique and extraordinary project.

My kind enterprise” is a perfect summary of my professional credo

Can we say that your gym, Area 4, is the epitome of your entrepreneurial philosophy shared with part of your family?

Every job is made up of working people. Building an enterprise where each person feels fully valued and able to express his or her full potential is my inspirational philosophy at work. I have always had my family close by in the right way, proud of my project but without encroachment. The recent addition of my daughter Maria Micol to the team has resulted in the presence of a family member, however, with my partners, collaborators and frequenters both historical and recent, we like to call ourselves Area4 family: the concept of family does not only arise from parental ties but also from a core of affection and attention in which an individual feels embedded.

I am happy to see this continued evolution and especially proud to say that today my daughter is better than me

A mother of four daughters (a first given declining birth rates), an enlightened career woman manager, she has been able to value her entrepreneurial fitness business-the epitome of her professional beliefs.

“My Kind Enterprise” is a perfect summary of my professional credo. Balancing family life and work is tiring, but love and enthusiasm are engines that never make me feel tired, and this is true both in my experience as a mother and as an entrepreneur. My four daughters are wonderful women for whose esteem I strive to be better every day. Fitness is a unique, splendid industry; it gives an opportunity to spread a healthy lifestyle and, for those of us who work in it, to set a good example, just as a good parent should!

Area4’s management team

Full interview in the May/June 2023 issue of HA Wellbeing and on

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