After his second son finished high school and did his military service (in the infantry, Brigade de l’Aquie, 1902−1903), Felice Clerici sent his son to England, to learn the language necessary to conduct business, and learn to live away from home. Porky, fascinated by the maritime biography of his uncle Emilio Menada, especially because he imagined this maritime life as a free movement around the world in search of new experiences, among new people and countries.
And here he is in Great Britain. England was not quite what he had imagined, but he liked the country overall, and he was especially happy to be in the heart of the international economy. The atmosphere was fascinating. It was especially exciting for a young man who came from a decent family, but from a distant province.
Alfonso quickly learned English. He moved to Wales and settled in Cardiff, one of the centers of the world’s shipping systems. In Wales, Alfonso was welcomed with open arms. On top of that, one day, lightning quick and unexpectedly, he met his love there as well. Her name was Violet Grace-Wolfe, and she was wonderfully young and just as good-looking. A few months later, on August 19, 1908, they were married in the same Cardiff. Meanwhile in early 19 007 Felice Clerici passed away so Alfonso now 24 years old returned to take care of his family.
Upon his return, after the family, his mother and brothers, met his young wife; reception was not the most cordial, in particular because no one in the family had been made aware of their marriage, so Alfonso left Valenza and looks for an apartment in Genoa. Alfonso immediately goes to visit his beloved Uncle Emilio in Genoa. That, which over the years had become a stronghold of industrial shipping in Liguria, would lead Alfonso to the company Navigazione Generale Italiana (Gruppo Raggio), where Emilio was then a member of the Board of Directors.
This is where Alfonso’s work in large maritime entrepreneurship began. He was able to use all the knowledge that he had acquired in Cardiff, and day by day he grew professionally, equal to the strict rules of one of the largest industrial groups in Genoa.