Rome Day 3 / Culinary Delight Continues

Still working today but it ended with a lot of fun! Meeting prep has been, as usual, early days at 6am working, working, working until 10pm or later when I literally can’t keep my eyes open. Fortunately I am working with a lot of wonderful people and the staff at the hotel are extremely attentive, especially compared to most European hotel staff. As our hotel manager said to me today, “We are all working for the same objective.” Italians tend to have the attitude that things just work themselves out. Apparently – at least in this case – they don’t fret over the details but they do take care of them when asked. I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to work on my meeting with me.

After working, Todd and I rewarded ourselves with a bit of playing. Our coworker Joe found a local favorite (non-touristy) restaurant by the river past the Coliseum called “Trattoria Lo Scopettaro”. We brought along two of our favorite members from Australia – Phil and Vanessa. When we arrived, the five of us were escorted to the basement down some marble spiral stairs. The room had many tables but we early Americans/Australians were typically early for dinner at about 7:30pm. There is no menu at this restaurant – our waiter Nino just brought food to us family style and we ate it. As Evelina at my tour agency said, the waiters in Italy are like grandmothers – they take good care of you and bring you many things that you didn’t necessarily order, but they know you will like.

We started with a meat plate (prosciutto, tongue and other dried meats) and some sauteed vegetables – mushrooms, olives and zucchini in separate bowls. The next course was a delicious pasta fagioli with homemade noodles (of course!). Next came some delicious cheese ravioli in tomoto sauce followed by our entrees, three choices of meats – pork, osso bucco and something in white sauce which I can’t describe – but it was good! Finally Nino brought out a plate of three small desserts for each of us. We finished the evening with shots of Lemoncello, Amaretto and some other clear beverage which I didn’t dare take (I was told it would remove my nail polish). The food was excellent and the company was even better – the evening could not have been more perfect!

When we returned to the hotel we stopped to have a few drinks (of course!) and met up with some of our members. We were slowly outnumbered by the Welsh rugby fans who apparently really enjoy singing to the piano, no matter what song is playing. I’ve had a lot of red wine this evening but don’t feel too buzzed at all – I think maybe because here in Italy the wine is so much higher quality than what I’m used to in the US. Well see how I feel tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, Terry will be joining me for a few hours. I hope he makes it here OK on the train. I’m a bit worried because he is not used to traveling alone, especially through strange foreign cities. His flight gets in at about 8:30 and he will take the train here to the hotel to nap and shower before leaving for Zurich tomorrow evening. Looking at the clock, 0.23 here in Rome, he’s not even on his flight in Philadelphia yet!

It is an early day for me tomorrow – as usual – and we have our first official meeting so busy, busy, busy! Ciao!

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