After my last visit to an InterNations Community led me to Athens, I continued my tour of Southern Europe with a trip to Rome – one of my favorite cities in the world, with its Mediterranean ambience, full of warm sunshine and easy-going people.
Though I used to live in Rome myself, I had never visited its InterNations Community before. Next to Milan, the financial and commercial center of Italy, Rome as the political and cultural capital is our biggest community in bella Italia, with about 15,000 members.
Lorenzo, our InterNations Ambassador, has been developing this important community for almost two years. An Irish national with Italian roots, he is the perfect kind of person to organize InterNations Events in la città eterna: enthusiastic and motivated, cheerful and funny, he is an expert at finding top venues for our get-togethers, which have attracted an increasing number of international guests.
An Apero on the Esquiline
The InterNations Spring Event was hosted on the rooftop terrace of the Radisson Blue Hotel. The venue is situated on Esquiline Hill, one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome, once the fashionable residential district of ancient Rome’s “upper crust” and now conveniently close to Stazione Termini.
Before the guests arrived on the stylish terrace, complete with pool, bar, and breathtaking views of the Roman cityscape, Lorenzo and I took the opportunity to discuss the chances and challenges for our InterNations Community. Unfortunately, Laura, an attorney from Argentina and Lorenzo’s fellow Ambassador, couldn’t make it to our apero. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to meet her in person during my next visit to this beautiful city.
Gradually, the attendees – over 300 of them, from at least two dozen different countries – began to arrive. I was very impressed with the smart and stylish dress code (Rome was really living up to its fashionable reputation), with plenty of people wearing something blue in honor of the location.
An Active Community Life
After food and drinks had been served and everyone was well fed, mellow and relaxed, it was time for my speech. As always, I wanted to thank our Ambassador team and our Group Consuls that keep the local InterNations Community going, the helpers at the event and our designated photographer (спаси́бо to Maria from Russia), and to tell our members more about InterNations in general.
Rome has a very active community life, with over 50 Activity Groups dedicated to a wide range of hobbies and interests, from wine tasting to art galleries and exhibitions. I actually met some of our busiest Group Consuls at the event.
Giuseppe doesn’t only run the art galleries group, but he also facilitates professional networking and introduces our members to the best pizza in town. Gianluca is in charge of another arts and culture group with a twist, the Art in Motion – Hike, Monuments and Bike, and Gerardo is part of a Groups Consuls team that both welcomes our new arrivals and invites our members to music events all across Rome.
In addition, we have a Volunteer Group in Rome that supports several local partner organizations. More than 350 InterNations members have already joined in order to help children, disadvantaged people, and the elderly. Mille grazie to everyone who has given some of their time or money to a good cause!
An Ambassador with Hidden Talents
When the casual networking part of the evening was over, the right moment had come to get the party started. But we didn’t just have a DJ to keep everyone on the dancefloor happy.
A little later, around midnight, we even got a live music interlude from our Ambassador himself: Lorenzo turned out to be a skilled piano-player who delighted the crowd with a couple of songs – the perfect note to end a perfect event on.
(Image credit: Malte Zeeck / InterNations)