My business is Arezzo was just that, with conferences and meetings, and there was some fun as well. We were also treated to nice wines and performances in the main piazza and had a chance to see this wonderful city. The hotel, for the record, was nothing special, but it served it purpose. The focus was on business and meeting with new potential business partners and re-connecting with others. In the end, it was a good conference and then we were off to various post conference experiences. I chose to go to Lucca as did about 9 others, albeit 12 were to go. We had a good group from many places, including one other from America, from Argentina, Lebanon, Lativia, Hungary, India, Spain, and Czech Republic, but both were originally from Italy. And, and, and there was another Italian, but not Rosa. It was a good group, and we enjoyed some guided experiences in Lucca, saw the Puccini Museum, went to winery, and made and ate pasta. We also went to the little town of Monte Carlo very near to Lucca. Even though I had been to Lucca last year, this was a different experience.
Parting ways, I ended up back in Florence, shared a ride with a colleague, hung out is a coffee shop and awaited Rosa who drove up from Roma. She did not initially want to drive up and she could have taken the train and we rented a car, but in the end she did. From where I was waiting, I ended up taking a taxi to meet her and that was fine. The weekend was here, and business was on hold at least in part as really it is never on hold, but I promised her I would minimize it much as possible. Our destinations for the weekend, Modena, Parma and Ferrara and we accomplished all of them, at least in part and that was the plan. The shortest distance, but we took a more scenic route through the Apennines, so a few hours later we were there, checked in and off to try a little balsamic and then into the town itself, both very nice experiences and after the balsamic factory tour, we also went to a cheese factory and a classic car museum. As it was a Friday, night, most places were booked, so we chose to eat at an open market and had some good stick to your rib’s food and nothing fancy.
In the end, we were both tired, so had a late morning, but before leaving Modena, went to the Luciano Pavarotti home and museum and, while opera is not my genre of choice, truly enjoyed the experience. In exploring his home, found out he really was a very down to earth man. There was a quote that went something like this: I am not a very disciplined person, but I am very devoted…. I can certainly relate to that. It is truly apparent that he had a passion for what he did, and I gained a greater appreciation for the man and his music. He also seemed to have connected with many people on many different levels and so, the stop here was absolutely a pleasure. It is out in the countryside of Modena as was the Balsamic factory we went too, and both were very nice experiences and have good memories of both.
The last day, yesterday, after leaving Parma, we headed off to Ferrara, which is a good drive of a couple of hours, we went to the Jewish Museum, the castle, and the Palazzo Diamante, sorry no diamonds there, just part of the architecture, and simply wandered around the city. It was a nice morning and part of the afternoon. The drive back to Roma yesterday, was about 4 ½ hours and Rosa did all the driving. Lots of beautiful scenery along the way. I have taken the trains in this area, but never driven, so it gives a different perspective. Before heading back to our place, we stopped at momma’s as it was here birthday and also, for the record, on the 27th of September, Wandering Puffin, my travel company started its 17th year in business, so it was a good week overall with new experiences and new friends and colleagues and time with Rosa, just she and I.
Next week, this time, I will be stateside, and doing the last of my housecleaning from Minnesota to New Hampshire. As I said in the beginning, I am not happy about having to leave, but I will be returning sooner than later and getting closer to permanent residency here in Rome by next year. Ciao for now and as always, I want to thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin