Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Given that our moving to Venice signed the turning point of our travel, I take a little break here for the events of last week, which was intense.

About monday and tuesday I wrote already. Wednesday was Susanne's 20th birthday (tanti auguri a te, tanti auguri a te...) and I had planned a dinner out, but we were so full still of african food that we postponed. So, having to improvise, I took her to an exhibition ("Italy - Brazil 3 -2") of an italian comedian called Davide Enia (left) which was taking place inside the yearly convention of the Italian Communist Party (my friends couldn't believe it when I told them, one actually warned me that they could had had some conservatives-detector at the entrance...). It was funny, but I'm not sure Susanne enjoyed it so much, being in italian with a sicilian accent.

Thursday we went to a concert organized in the cloister of Villa d'Este, a magnificent renaissance villa some 30 kms away from Rome famous for its fountains and "jeaux d'eau" (with not much display of fantasy, the concert was titled "Jeau d'art a la villa d'Este"). It was cool, in both ways. The concert, an ensemble of sonate and other pieces for piano, offered music by Mozart, Clementi, Chopin, Paganini, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. We arrived 10 minutes late due a traffic jam I couldn't foresee, which was bad and made us feel a bit uneasy, but nothing like the mobile phone of a lady which rung full force right in the middle of a very quiet adagio.

Friday was the day that broke my physical resistance. The whole week we had been out, meaning returning somewhat late, and I had to wake up early to go to work. Friday was no difference and I had already some troubles standing up. Work and everything, in the evening it was time for the bi-weekly VCN Happy Hour (again in the Cafè Oppio I wrote about a while ago) and then to fulfill a promise I had made to Susanne a while ago, taking her to dance. We headed to the Piper, kind of a legend among the discoes in Rome, and there we danced until well in the early hours of the morning, joined at some point by a handful of my international acquaintances in Rome. It was good, especially the latin music moments, and on the way back home I tried to have Susanne trying another of the legends of Rome, the "Sorchetta con lo schizzo" (left, a kind of croissant with cream, whipcream and nutella) in via Cernaia, but once home I basically passed out and I didn't recover ever since.

Saturday we should had slept, but my mobile accidentally left in Susanne's bag rung as usual at 7.20. Unknown by many, it was the first of the two "European Heritage Days". Unfortunately, the site of the Italian Culture Minister, which hosted the list of the hundreds of italian sites open and of the dozens of special events organized went down exactly on friday evening and didn't come back for the whole week-end. Eventually, we headed for two of the less known, and yet really interesting, roman Museums, the one in Palazzo Altemps and Palazzo Braschi. Afterwards, we met Liesbeth for an aperitivo and we were joined later on by Alessandro (my best friend) and Andrea. The atmosphere was nice (with Alessandro trying not so subtly to explain to Susanne why it is so important to learn italian... professionally, of course) and the drinks went on and the original plan for the evening (which saw a trip to a place where covers of the Dire Straits would had been played) was abandoned.

And Sunday came, the last whole day i would had spent with Susanne. Finally sleeping a bit, we left home around noon to take advantage of the celebrations for the 2006 vintage, which saw several of the larger or historical vineyards around Rome open, offering tours and a taste of the various wines. With little incidents here and there, we visited 4 of them, enjoying various wines and olive oils (it isn't a rare occurrence that places that produce wine deals with oil as well). At about 6 I took Susanne to Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence) and the best view over the wonderful Albano's lake (right) which peacefully lies in what was about 30.000 years ago the crater of an immense volcano. After that, we headed to Nemi where I offered her a dinner at this famous restaurant overlooking Nemi's lake (truth to be said, neither of us was very hungry with all the wines and little things we had during the day). At the end of it, as if planned, fireworks started over the lake.

Yesterday Susanne left. I took a half day at work to take her (and my brother) to the airport in the middle of a mighty storm that flooded totally the city. To get back home and finding it totally empty and quite was... well... not the nicest experience, I must say. Even falling asleep wasn't easy, despite the huge amount of sleep to recover I have, as something was definitely missing.

Today, news at work, which are changing every moment, and from friends: I sent a sms to a friend of mine (and my first international huge crush of all history, years ago) in Belgrade to wish her a happy birthday and I got one back with amazing news: over the last 6 months she got married and became a mom. What can I say... wow!

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