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Blog tour day 3 – ‘Mad in Italy’ & discovering Kandinsky

Day three of my blog tour adventure started off with this very nerdy (and awesome) cappuccino with yes, that is my twitter name emblazoned on top with chocolate script. I almost didn’t want to drink it..

Luckily for us the hotel owner Andrea – a hilarious wise-cracking Pisan kept us constantly cracking up throughout the 4 days (and makes a damn good spritz) even we were running on zero energy. One afternoon while I was waiting in the lobby I happened to overhear an interesting phone call that he had with an elderly Italian woman which went a little like this. In Italian of course.

Him “Buongiorno

Her  “Hello yes, I was an old client of many years ago (has no idea when) and I need a room for my daughter, how much are your rates

Him “Our rates are 99 euros a night for a double bed but we are fully booked so I am sorry but we cannot accommodate her, here are some other suggestions..

Her “ My daughter only needs a single bed, I am sure you can find something especially if it’s an emergency situation

Him “no I am sorry, we really are… completely booked

Her “but… she only needs one “lettino” (single bed) for her and her three kids..you can’t find anything?

Him “Ummm…. I don’t think they (1 woman – 3 kids) would fit in one single bed, but anyway we are fully booked, goodbye.” 

Of course he said this in the most polite, pleasant Pisan way but nonetheless even HE was bewildered at this woman’s request. When telling us later we were all in tears laughing about it, I mean honestly – how he could have kept his phone-composure is beyond me.

Besides scenes like that to keep me entertained, we used the morning & afternoon to attend Internet Festival events around town at our leisure. Me and fellow blogger Festina (I was confused day one and two on her real name) went on our merry little way to check out the “Mad in Italy” conference located at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Despite the angry sounding name, the theme of the one-hour talk was fascinating. Namely, a project to help businesses survive & STAY in Italy, a country not-so-famous for its thriving entrepreneurship.


I have respect what they are trying to do and they caught both mine and Festina-Francesca’s attention with their power point slides displaying famous entrepreneurs in Italy constrained in straitjackets with quotes like “trova il sistema di fare sistema” – “find the way to make your way” or something along those lines. They showed a scene from the famous Italian movie “Amici Miei” where the four friends start a human “face-slapping line” striking any face that sticks their head outside of the leaving train to cheer up a friend. (This movie is awesome).

Why did they show this? Of course as a symbolic gesture – to essentially point out that, no you shouldn’t shake the hands of those who leave Italy in search of a better life and say “bravo – hai fatto bene” as so many Italians often do. Rather you should slap them because they are leaving, and with them goes the innovative new ideas that Italy so desperately needs.

We also popped in the Toscana In meet & greet located in a nearby room, unfortunately we couldn’t stay long but we did hear some discussions about facebook and how people use it, a subject that some have very strong opinions about. Obviously this is a topic that easily could be debated for hours.

After lunch at Restaurant Galileo, I had an hour or two to rest and enjoy a beautiful afternoon in Pisa before heading over to Palazzo Blu for our group preview of the Kandinski exhibit opening October 13th to the public.

They were still in the process of setting the exhibit up and I found the curator to be informative and interesting. He showed us the correlation between Russian artifacts and Kandinsky’s abstract works, clearly he was inspired by the colorful world around him.

To wind down the evening we all met in the upstairs breakfast/bar area of Hotel La Pace for a spritz & a mojito made by crazy Andrea – with some of the members of the social media team & speakers at the festival, like fellow blogger Antonio Pavolini. Of course after seeing the london phone booth – we decided that had to be the quintessential before-dinner photo-op.

Our restaurant for the evening was Schiaccianoci  or ‘Nutcracker’ and served a combination of seafood & Tuscan dishes. We devoured pasta with lobster, and tortellini with a nut sauce before moving in on various fish & meat dishes. Yeah I would say it was a yummy ending to a great night. Sadly, the last day was the next day and I knew I was going to miss the people around me, not just for their openness towards this pazza Americana – but also for taking just as many photos of their food as I do and not getting made fun over it ;-). Like-minded, I think so!

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