Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pizza in Rome

Plastic tables on the sidewalk, paper place mat and napkins, a loud waiter, an arancino or a supplì as a starter, Italian beer or coke as a drink. No dessert, you get an icecream to take away in the gelateria around the corner later on.

And then a very very thin pizza, that almost melts in your mouth. 

This is the true pizza experience in Rome…

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

27 June

For our fourth wedding anniversary, we treated ourselves to a baby-sitter (and a romantic dinner on the Tiber river).

Happy anniversary to us!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A future Miró or a new street artist?

Childcare’s end of the year party

It seems yesterday that Leo crossed the threshold of the childcare, and, almost without realizing it, we are already celebrating the end of his first year at the Nido. With hindsight, we could not be more happy about this choice.

It’s true, between October and April he has been sick almost every other week. But, apart from the fact that - as they say - this contributed strengthening his immune-system (or we hope so!), he became more independent (he started eating by himself from the first day he was at the Nido), more disciplined, and, if not more sociable, certainly more used to stay with other children. He had opportunities to test himself with a multitude of activities and develop his skills (apparently he is good with music), and to relate himself with other kids and other adults. 

And next year we would need to start thinking to the 'materna' (the nursery school) !

Sunday, August 25, 2013


While everybody agrees on the fact that Leo resembles Mathilde, they also say that Tommy looks like me.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

As in an Almodovar movie...

The highlight of the night has been a typical Andalusian dance which involves a flamenco dancer and a rider on a horse.

Thrilling, touching, sensual. I felt as the main character of Hable con Ella listening to Caetano Veloso singing Cucurrucucu Paloma... 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tommy at Patty and Andrés' wedding

Smart and elegant, as it is suited to these occasions...

Tommy, only child for a week-end

Hard life that of the secondborns. From the moment they are born, and for the rest of their lives, they are and remain… secondborn. Simply, they have a brother or a sister with whom to share mum and dad. Dot. They may (or may not) have the bad luck of having an additional brother or sister (or more than one) with whom further sharing the parents later on, but they will never experience the thrill of having mum and dad just for them.

Against this irrefutable truth, Tommy had the unique chance of being only child for a week-end. Concerned by the logistics involved in bringing a twenty-two month-old child to a wedding 3,000 km far from home, we in fact decided to leave Leo to the trusty Claudia for the week-end, and leave with Tommy only. 

And as much Tommy may have enjoyed being only child for a week-end, we enjoyed being only parents of a three-month old child for a week-end. Not only Tommy slept during the two-hours-and-half flight to/from Seville, during the wedding ceremony, during the dinner, during the party, and until noon the following day - allowing us a freedom to which we were not used anymore, but, in the absence of his yelling brother, we had more time and space to observe and focus on him.  

And in fact we came back from Seville with the impression of having got to know him a bit better…

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Les M&M’s in Seville - a few more pics

Les M&M’s in Seville

There are several reasons why we decided to move to Rome instead of going to Fiji. Getting closer to our families (certainly). Moving back to Europe after having spent many years overseas (surely). But - at least as far as I am concerned - the three main reasons why moving back to Italy did not seem too bad as compared to discovering the exotic beaches of Fiji and of the other Pacific Islands were: 

(1)    To purchase a motorbike and spend our week-ends visiting the medieval villages of Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche; 
(2)    To go on a ‘settimana bianca’ (skiing holiday week) every year; and 
(3)    To visit a European city every month. 

The arrival of Leonardo obliged us (me) to suddenly change our (my) plans.  

Let me state it clearly: no regrets at all. But the motorbike of my dreams has been substituted by a less pretentious scooter, and I now spend my week-ends in the park below rather than zigzagging on the provincial roads towards Siena, Orvieto, or Urbino with Mathilde behind. Instead of going on skiing holiday weeks in the Dolomites, I content myself with sporadic, midweek one-day trip to the near Abruzzo. And except for our trip to London on the occasion of our eighth anniversary two years ago, we did not travel much outside Italy. 

Perhaps for these reasons, particularly the latter, our week-end in Seville has been as if we were brought by a time machine three years back. And for a week-end, it has been nice to be three years younger…

Monday, August 19, 2013

A week-end in Seville - A few more pics

La Catedral

Plaza de España - detalle

Un payaso por las calles del Barrio de Santa Cruz

A week-end in Seville

Patricia and Andrés’ wedding gave us an opportunity to spend a long week-end in Seville. Mathilde already knew the city; for me it has been a discovery. 

And I was charmed. Architectonically beautiful - natural contact point between the Christian Europe, the Muslim North Africa and the local Andalusian culture, Seville is a perfect melange of mudéjar, gothic, baroque and - after the Universal Exposition in 1992 - modern structures.  

But we liked it because it is also green, clean, tidy, organized. And with very gentle and welcoming people. And delicious gastronomy…

One regret only: three days are too little. But already planning to return soon…

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Patricia y Andrés se casaron también!

Another week-end, another wedding. This time it was Patricia and Andrés’, in Spain, in the beautiful setting of Seville. 

As in all self-respecting Spanish weddings, the program: ceremony at 7.30 pm, cocktail at 10 pm, dinner at midnight, and party from 2 to 6 am. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fratelli d’Italia

I don’t know how exactly it started, but Riccardo and I got the silly habit of offering each other the same t-shirt for our respective birthdays.

Although, in theory, it should not be difficult to distinguish a Danish from an Italian - in this particular occasion I thought it was practical, to avoid any possible confusion, to give a little hint…


To whom it may concern. 

This is to certify that on June 7-9, 2013 in Titignano (Italy), Prerna and Arndt practiced baby-caring taking care of Tommaso Marchisio (2 months and half old) - and that they successfully passed the test.

Les M&M’s

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Delhi reunion

Above all Riccardo and Tanja’s wedding has been an opportunity to meet our old friends from Delhi after long time - although, except from Shairi, no one is left in Delhi. Riccardo and Tanja are now in Beirut (but about to move to Bangkok), Arndt and Prerna in Singapore, Kaz and Mariko (and Hiro) in Tunis (or already in Abidjan?), Yvonne in New York, and Bruno in Islamabad. 

And for a week-end Todi seemed Jodhpur, Titignano Neemrana, and the Titignano castle’s hall Massi and Muna’s dining room. 

Who, by the way, we missed very very much…

Hurrah for the newlyweds!

Having had myself an ‘international’ marriage, I do understand the somehow inconvenient feeling in ‘international’ weddings where half of the guests laugh at the speeches pronounced in their own language, and the other half remain silent wondering what the hell is being said.
For this reason I accepted to say a few words in English to our Danish guests so that they could understand what we ‘Italians’ think and say.
Well, first of all ‘Velkommen til Italien’ - Benvenuti in Italia.
Then… well, I presume that most of our Danish friends do not know Riccardo very well, and wonder who their daughter, cousin or friend got married with. I can in fact imagine that when they first saw or met Riccardo - big, dark, bad… with these funny hairs on his chin - they may have thought ‘Oh my God, Tanja must have lost her mind!’
But who really is Riccardo, and what’s behind this ‘Mefisto-like’ look?
And well, the best way to answer to this question is perhaps to tell the story of when I met Riccardo for the first time.
That was when I moved to India. Before actually moving to India I wrote to a contact I was given saying ‘Hey, hi, I am moving to Delhi, could you help me in finding an accommodation?’. And this person forwarded my message to a mailing list saying ‘Hey, there is this new guy moving to Delhi, please keep your ears open in case you hear anyone letting or subletting his place’.
And a few days later I received a message from saying ‘Hey, I heard you are moving to Delhi and looking for an accommodation. I am currently out of India, but feel free to stay in my apartment as long as you want. The keys are here, my Vespa is parked there, and the name of my maid is Kulsum’.
That’s how I met Riccardo. And, interestingly, that’s how - with probably a few differences in the story - many people got to know Riccardo. Because, in my opinion, that’s what best describes Riccardo: generous, welcoming, open… someone you can always rely or count on.
So, my Danish friends: don’t worry. Tanja has not lost her mind. Behind the ‘Mefisto-like’ look, she actually found a very special person.
But if this is not enough to reassure you on the fact that Tanja actually made a good choice, let me then tell you another short anecdote.
When Riccardo first told me he was dating Tanja, I asked him how she was.
He answered: ‘She is the right one’.
That was two years ago…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

E anche Riccardo e Tanja si sono sposati (Riccardo and Tanja finally got married)

Big, dark, bad - to the extent that when we need to enforce discipline among our kids we use him as a deterrent (‘If you don’t finish your meal, we call zio Riccardo!’). How the hell a tall, blond, smart and cute Danish fell in love with him is a mystery. But that’s it: love is a mystery, and on June 8 Riccardo and Tanja got married.
It was a beautiful wedding, in the marvellous setting of Titignano - an old village in Umbria converted into an agritourism (a place that, should we decide to get re-married, we would choose for our weeding), and that, with families coming from two different countries and friends from all around the world, reminded us - in a way - our own wedding.
Dear Tanja and Riccardo, we wish you a long and happy life together. We were honoured to have been part on this very special day for you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ricomincio da qui (I start again from here)

Apologizes for the long silence: June and July have been, workwise, two rather tough months, which drained my time and my energies.
Full of events though: two weddings, a long week-end in Seville, our forth wedding anniversary, our summer vacations, and many other memories to keep and preserve.
Taking advantage of the fact that Mathilde and the boys are in Le Cap Ferret for two more weeks (while daddy is back to Rome to work), I’ll try, in the next few days, to recap the events of the last two months and update the Blog.
Smile, Les M&M’s are back!