Fun in RiminiSaturday October 26, 2008
The sun is shining on the little marina next door as we step out on our balcony this morning. Just a glance, then we're on our way to the convention center.
Today we got a little better at grouping appointments in the same part of the convention center instead of walking so much from one pavilion to another. We met Cyndi of Esperia Tours again today after lunch to catch up. She was in Bologna at Buy Emilia Romagna last April and we’ve been looking forward to seeing her again. She’s from Indiana and now lives in the area with her Italian husband.
Instead of waiting for the 6:30 PM bus that got back to our hotel at 7:15 PM, we finished all our meetings and jumped on the 4:00 PM commuter train and after a short stroll through the pedestrian center of Riccione, arrived at our beachside hotel before 5:00 PM... leaving time enough to enjoy the beautiful view from our window and relax a bit.
We met for dinner at 8:30 PM and arrived at another Rimini convention center around 9:00 PM. Tonight’s dinner is sponsored by the region of Sicily and is a lot more fun than Thursday’s sponsored by the Piemonte region. There were little breaded fishes we held by the tail, closed our eyes, and ate whole, lots of eggplant dishes, and wonderful salami and cheeses.
Also on the buffet table were some chocolate cannoli filled with cinnamon flavored ricotta and topped with a candied orange slice. I hope nobody was counting because several seemed to disappear from a plate left on our table.
Afterward a Sicilian group sang songs from their region with melodic influences of the Middle East and Africa.
There were some Sicilians who seemed to know how to dance to this music so eventually we all got up and tried to mimic them with varying levels of success. At one point we joined hands in a big circle but I’m not sure the Sicilians recognized that dance.
There were a lot of goodbyes, thanks for comings, and see you next years spoken from the podium, but at most Italian banquets, the speakers don’t ask for order and silence before speaking. Speakers just go up to the microphone and start speaking, adding to the din of dishes clinking and people shouting across the table to each other. Only the Americans try to make everybody stop talking and listen to the speaker, but no matter how insistent they are, they can’t hold back the tide and it’s impossible to hear over all the Italians talking and eating. The speakers don’t seem to mind, like senators entering their speech for the record to an empty senate floor, they say what they have to say, while the noise continues.
We finished the evening with a Sicilian digestivo made of artichokes that tasted a little medicinal. It did seem to be the perfect ending for all the Sicilian food. We got back to the hotel very late again but tonight is the end of Daylight Savings Time here so we get an extra hour of sleep tonight.
Sunday morning, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast with some new friends from Alexandria, Virginia then board a comfortable bus for what has been billed as a five hour trip to Fasano in Puglia. The schedule said we should arrive at 2PM but we’re informed after getting started that the 2 should have been a 7...Puglia is a looong drive south of here. We couldn’t leave when planned because the luggage compartment of the bus isn’t large enough to hold all our luggage. After much arm waving and head scratching they decided to move the people from one side of the back row of seats and put some of the luggage there. So we finally got going after 10:30 so the 7 now becomes an 8:30. Looks like another late night, By now we’re completely accustomed to things not starting when they’re supposed to and going longer than announced.