The display of Italy’s best bling – Ferrari, Masserati and Lamborghini - with pride of place at the entrance to the embassy’s residence was a hedonistic reminder that many a sensual pleasure is the product of this country. We the guests shuffled past the cars, the men visibly enjoying the display and the women just a little lustful, to walk the red carpet and be greeted by the newish Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo and his stylish Ukraine born wife Svetlana Sharapa Zazo to the reception for the Italian Republic Day.
It was a ‘full-house’ of an eclectic mix of locals, especially representative of the big Italian born community instrumental in much of Canberra’s early building, a Neopolitan opera singer with an appreciative circle of fans despite the chattering crowd in the back stalls, a couple of Italian/Australian MP’s, Nick Scali, his daughter Yvonne with Luisa Pastrello the GM of Etihad Airways in Australia and New Zealand and too many more to count.
So lost in the crush I did find Joe Giugni and his wife Chunchai. She was catching up with Thai friends to get the latest on that country’s political unrest while Joe boasted a new battery for his pacemaker and feeling better since a slightly problematic heart flutter. Carolina Sanchez had news of a new restaurant opening in Braddon soon and Joseph Falsone is pleased and on track with changes to Gorman House.
So I got to thinking about all things Italian to love and lust for besides the cars, the parmesan, the mozzarella and a ragout or two and can’t go past Armani, Emilio Pucci, Tod’s and sometimes Versace and D&G. But always am transported back with memories of a perfect pizza, a peach gelato and that view to Vernazza from the Cinque Terre where both were enjoyed, as well as Lucca my favourite town where men are men and women are meant to ogle.