Tag Archives: italy

A party in a dome in Rome.

Ciao folks!

After Munich, I headed almost directly south to Rome for a few days full of intense business activity. For there was a lot going on down there for KL…

First and foremost it was our Italian office’s tenth birthday! What? Already? A decade? Where did that go? So, of course, it was celebration time: we gathered together our partners, favorite customers and old friends for a jubilee jamboree, and it was just great!

Many happy returns KL Italy. Here’s to the next 10 years! Saluti!

Read on…

Rome: layer upon layer, added over millennia.

I’ve long been used to extended business trips, sometimes taking me right round the world, sometimes lasting months. The template goes like this: suitcase packed > car > SVO (sometimes DME) > destination No. 1 > destination 2 > destination 3 … 10+ > MOW (doesn’t matter which airport; main thing: I’m back) > car > home. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me that my first business trip of 2018 turned out to be a simple and super-quick one: Moscow (SVO) > Rome (FCO) > Moscow (SVO), and all in two days!

Eh? What was that? A business trip? Surely not?…

I mean, if you’re going abroad on business you need to really go – and go, and go plenty more. All this go-and-come-straight-back lark: nope – not for me. (So I hope those who organize my multinational toing-and-froings are reading this:).

At least – that was my initial reaction to this micro-business-trip before it happened. But then it did happen. And I found out to my surprise I liked it. A lot. But of course I did: it was to Rome. What’s not to like?…

Read on: Rome! The Eternal City!

A Sardinian Inn You Should Stay In. 

Our north-to-south-to-north tour of Sardinia was coming to its logical end. But one final thing I really need to tell you about is the hotel we stayed at on our last night. It was the Hotel Cala di Volpe, situated in the bay of the same name – here.

First – disclaimer! In a post that will be published on Friday, I say that I ain’t bothered at all about where I stay on my many trips around the world – just the basics are sufficient. Er, oops. It’s not that simple. For sometimes I do fully appreciate get carried away by the digs we stay at – especially when they’re as good as those on our last night in Sardinia!…

Cala di Volpe – yes, it’s posh. But also very interesting – for different reasons.

For example: here you can learn a lot about (up-)market segmentation and creating and increasing the interest level in a place for a targeted demographic. Next door is Porto Cervo village. From a distance it looks like just another humble fishing village. But on closer inspection, it turns out to be one of the world’s most expensive, exclusive resorts! Once a few millionaires started moving there, a whole load of other millionaires followed them, turning the whole area into a prestigious playground of the rich, which in turn attracted more and more ever-posher things like shops, hotels, services, whatever…

But back to the hotel…

It’s architecture is unique: never seen anything like it. Its labyrinth bends and twists make you lose your mind bearings, and you can find yourself at the same spot you passed just five minutes ago – going the other way!

The hotel’s design is real nice. Its swirls and squiggles and asymmetry are all fairly bonkers. Like. It’s so different to what everyone’s used to: straight lines, straight walls, straight staircases, straight everything! Not here!

Oh my gym!

Read on: Fully relaxed, rested, rejuvenated…

Sardinian Summer Scenes.

I was getting into this Sardinian trip…

Two hours of scaling down cliff faces and into (stagnant) pools; strolling about the picturesque countryside in the summer sun; visiting a winery we really didn’t want to leave…

Next up…

A commercial break! Time to chill a bit. Therefore, herewith, just photos of the sensational Sardinian scenery…

Sardinian scene No. 1

Read on: 2,3,4…

In Sardinia, Even I Like the Vino.

I’m no fan of vino. Even good wine leaves me cold. I mean – even to the extent whereby if there’s good wine on offer and also plain old water – I’ll go for the plain old water every time. There are exceptions though. For example, sometime in the early 2000s I was bowled over by some Italian Chianti – in Italy itself, but since then, every attempt to recapture the experience outside Italy failed miserably. I don’t know why. Maybe it just doesn’t travel well, or maybe it needs to be super fresh? But what about the ‘older is better’ thing with wine? It’s all a mystery to me.

There was one other wine I recall I really liked – some port in Portugal. Oh my grape! Now you’re talking! A magical drink – again, if purchased locally where it’s produced, in this case in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. And again – if you get some outside the country, it’s some kinda plonk, no matter how expensive and fancy-looking the bottle.

I like my grapes in their original form, not fermented. A freshly-picked, freshly-washed grape – yum! Even grape juice I find a bit too sour – I always add water to it. I should maybe start adding water to my wine too if served it, but isn’t that frowned upon as a faux pas by some folks?

But I digest (grapes). But I digress…

The other day in Sardinia I had my third ever wonder-vino experience. And if you fancy yourself as a bit of a sommelier – or just like wine a lot, I recommend you get to where I had it (or maybe even move there:). For it’s here where I found myself actually asking for second helpings of the stuff.

All righty. I’m talking about the wine that’s produced in the ‘Saddura’ winery. Woah – just looked: no website and hardly any mention at all on the net. Underground! Exclusive! Unspoiled! The genuine item!…

Actually, there are a great many small wineries like Saddura in Sardinia, but that doesn’t make them all any less cool. There are also plenty of honey farms, but today we’re talking vino – Saddura vino:

In the very neat building here the locals tell us all about wine-making – its history and the details of the manufacturing process, including the growing of the grapes in the vineyards – how they’re tended and watered, etc., before being picked quickly all of a sudden once it’s deemed the right time (if picked too late they’ll be overripe). A mere 20+ workers (plus automation) manage to pick the lot – tons and tons – in a few days, and they’re all turned over to the fermentation-production facilities to eventually wind up in nice-looking bottles to be sold for a pretty penny.

Aha. Modern art too. Modern kunst and wine – what a pleasant combination :).

Oh no! Time to leave…

Sardinian vineyards and wineries – check. Next up: Sardinian archaeology…

Back tomorrow folks!…

 

Torrentismo in Sardegna.

I’d heard so many good things from different people about Sardinia, the magical Italian island in the Mediterranean, but never been there myself. The sun always shining, clear blue sea, the tastiest grapes, cool cliffs, incredible islands along the shore… I should have made it here long ago, but it was never to be – until last week. So after we were done with business we had did a spot of tourism…

The sun is hot here, but you get an occasional and very welcome respite therefrom in the form of white cotton-wool-ball fluffy clouds floating by overhead…

Read on: Picture-postcard villages and rocky outcrops dotting the hillsides…

The Vatican: A Pope’s-Eye View.

Rome. Without a doubt – one of the most… significant cities in the world; 100% must-see. I’ve been to the city many times, toured the different parts of the center on foot several times, prodded, tasted, tried on, and took lots of pics of practically everything. And ‘practically everything’ of course includes St. Peter’s Square, including pics from the top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, taken on three or four separate occasions. But this was the first time I viewed the square from this angle:

And seeing this person in the flesh – that was also a first!

Read on: Palm trees and monuments…

An Obvious Formula. Monza 2016.

And now, boys and girls, for the main course – a very hot dish!

Formula One racing in Monza. It’s a cult place for the motorsport crowds, and it’s not far from Milan. It’s all about the cars, bikes, racing loud techno, global gathering and loads more! That’s why I’m here.

The place is so motor-oriented that even the ‘carabinieri’ have their Lotus out front at one of the entrances (there may have been more of them I didn’t see).

DSC02417

Before the race, however, I have a feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Read on: Something was different about the paddock…