This conference turned out to be quite the shindig, and perhaps one I ought not to have attempted without an entourage. The featured singer, Anna tarina Antonaccie came with one. She has a, a pianist, a few fans, some sort of handler. I luckily had a talented friend with me who was able to mend the tights I ripped at breakfast the morning of my paper. My getup might have made me at least approximate European chic had my little knee not been poking out all day. The paper was fine. I had a panic attack at two in the morning based on the idea that I had decided to give the wrong paper. The cultural mix has provided some hilarity. Trying to herd a group of Academics through a conference, when half of them are on German time, and the zone is clearly Italian makes for some cultural dissonance.
The event included tons of food. Most notable was an incredible banquet in the palazzo that was bought by JP Morgan in 1920's. Dinner was preceded by basically a house concert in the music room of this 17th century palazzo. The singer, one wit the entourage, is an amazing Italian operatic soprano. I know that's how they heard music in the 19h century but I've never heard that kind of voice in that kind of space. It was truly a ravishing assault on the ears. The whole room vibrated with her sounds. The only comparison I could think of was when our friend Kathleen let an aria rip in Rebecca and Jonathan's room when they were babies which stunned them out of their 13 month old fits. The dinner was a sort of five course affair and a nice older waiter looked out for my nut needs, which involved making from scratch two pasta dishes. The hotel was also ironically exactly the site of my worst running accident ever. The day before we left Rome in 2005 I went for a run and tripped on a hanger on the cobblestones and fell face forward hitting my head and a knee cap. Since I spent the entire next day on the plane the whole leg swelled up like a balloon.