Monday, January 31, 2011

Keep your fingers crossed

Quick update on my house-hunting: if you wish to come to visit us in this nice apartment, keep your fingers crossed…

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Manchi solo tu, Mathilde!

I’ve been in Rome for two weeks only and have already received four visits! After Chiara and mamma, today I met Agnes and Xavier, a French-Belgian couple who moved from Brussels to Parma last year, and came to Rome for the week-end.

And while planning where we could meet next - Gubbio or Siena, Assisi or Lucca - we felt only Mathilde was missing today.

So, Mathilde, come soon so that we can start planning our new life in Italy!

Viva la mamma (2)

Risotto zucchini and philadelphia cheese; risotto tomato and taleggio cheese; broccoli sauce; zucchini sauce; bolognaise sauce; cream and mushroom sauce; aubergine sauce; vegetable soup (blended and not blended); roast veal.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Viva la mamma

Call me ‘mammone’. Call me ‘bamboccione’. I don’t care. On the contrary, I am proud of being it.

Directly from Milan on the Frecciarossa of Friday night, la ‘mamma’ came to Rome for the week-end to take care of her ‘bambino’.

And not only she helped me in my house-hunting, providing invaluable (and free) counselor services, but - just because she had a couple of hours free and she didn’t know how to fill them - she cooked me for the whole next week!

Ah, mums! If they didn’t exist, we should invent them*...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

La casa di Craxi

Almost as stressful as moving out, settling in can be a very exciting moment though. While it’s true, you are under pressure to find in a relatively short period of time a new house in a new city, and to take a number of critical decisions with a limited amount of information, house hunting is however a unique opportunity to familiarize with the new city and discover its secrets.

And as far as the secrets of Rome are concerned, a few days ago it happened to me to be brought to see an apartment in via del Colosseo, a sixth floor just above the Colosseo, beautiful apartment with an amazing view on the Fori Imperiali, furnished like the maison of a whore-monger.

The legend says that in the 80s that used to be the ‘pied-à-terre’ of not less than Bettino Craxi, who used to bring there his… [censorship].

Years go by, governments follow one another, but our political leaders behave surprisingly similarly...

(Anyway, this won't be our new home).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My first day of school

The first day of work is a bit like the first day of school: you never know what is awaiting you*.

At 9 am sharp I was at the Security Office of my new work place. 9.05 at the Human Resources, and at 9.15 I was accompanied to my Division and handed over to Mahri, the Division’s Assistant, a sweet Iranian-French that speaks Italian with a funny roman accent…

A few minutes of greetings and at 9.20 Mahri started bringing me around to introduce me to my new colleagues.

- Ron, may I introduce you Mr. Marchisio, the new Country Program Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan?


- Marie, may I introduce you Mr. Marchisio, the new Country Program Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan?

(Afghanistan??? Wasn’t it supposed to be Pakistan only???)

- Tian, may I introduce you…


At 9.45, by the time we had finished my first round of introductions, what initially was a slight doubt had progressively become a frightening suspicion.

At 9.50 I was brought to the Director of the Division:

- Oh, Matteo, welcome on board. We were waiting for you. Please, come in, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts I had in the past days regarding your role and responsibilities…

The first day of work is a bit like the first day of school: you never know what is awaiting you…

(*) See also: - My first day at the Bank.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And the winner is…

Chiara!!! who came to Rome yesterday eve (even though her victory could be contested as she came while Mathilde has not yet arrived, and so she met Matteo only).

So the competition is still open: who will be the first to come to visit les M&M’s in Rome???

Monday, January 17, 2011

And so be it Rome

Fiji, Johannesburg, or Rome*?

This dilemma tormented us for the past months, but after weeks of meditation, hesitation, humming and hawing, les M&M’s finally opted for Rome.

Matteo went ahead and reached the capital yesterday eve to begin scouting; Mathilde will join Matteo in February.

Give us a couple of months to settle in and we’ll open the bookings to stay at our place.

We really wish you could come to visit us, and we look forward to having you 'chez nous' here in Rome. But hurry up: there is actually a bet going on between me and Mathilde on who will be the first friend (or relative) to come to visit us…


Sunday, January 16, 2011

La pacchia è finita (Fun is over)

La pacchia è finita, fun is over. With the ski excursion of Friday and the climbing excursion of yesterday I concluded a probably unrepeatable six weeks of vacation, the longest vacation I had since summer 1993 - the summer of my high school graduation.

And have to say I took advantage of every single minute of this period: I squeezed the past six weeks ‘til the last drop.

But as I said, fun is over, and starting from tomorrow I’ll be back to work. But excited to open a new chapter in our lives...

Friday, January 14, 2011

The positive aspects of climate change (2)

The Garlate Lake and, beyond, the Po Valley from Lecco Lake’s cliffs…

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The positive aspects of climate change

Climbing on January 13th on the Lecco Lake, Italy, without a t-shirt...

Oggi Mistero Buffo

Today ‘Mistero Buffo’, by Dario Fo, a series of satirical monologues inspired by traditional popular ballads, medieval fabliaux, and some passages of the gospels, and played in a jester-like style in a language that is a mix of dialects and onomatopoeic sounds.

Written more than 40 years ago, but still surprisingly topical.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Un Italiano a Parigi

Est-ça un Donatello? un Bernini? un Michelangelo???

No, c’est un Mattéo…

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Les M&M’s à Paris

Promis, ça va être le dernier post en cette pose-ci…

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mathilde e i Faraglioni*

(*) I ‘Faraglioni’ (in the background) are a group of three rocks raising from the sea just off Capri.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Romantic city (ville romantique).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our last day in Rome

Tomorrow departure, direction south. Destination: Amalfi Coast.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Les M&M's and their Guardian Angel

(Who said that guardian angels are blond and cute?)