Florence, November 2015

Back in 1992 I was obviously one of the millions who went to see Basic Instinct. But if anyone had told me that I would be escorting Sharon Stone to Palazzo Vecchio in 2015, I would have said that he was joking - or crazy. Well, that is actually what happened the star was entrusted to my care for the second edition of Andrea Bocelli's Celebrity Fight Night. It's one of the things that happen in our incredible profession and that makes us love the work we do in spite of all the unforeseeable events, the effort, the delays and the problems. The Fight Night lasted through five sparkling and - we have to admit - tiring days with lots of events within the event. The supporters were just as fantastic as the event: Peak6, Cartier, Officine Panerai, Ermanno Scervino, Stefano Ricci, Jeep, Marchesi Antinori, Nikki Beach, Ca' del Bosco, Mapei, 100%Capri, Richard Ginori 1735, Palazzo Gondi, Tearose, Alessandro Biagini, Hotel Imperiale Forte dei Marmi,...... The amount of work we put into it was amazing, but it was a huge success as was the amount collected for the "Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center" and the "Andrea Bocelli Foundation": around 12 million dollars.

AMAZON has opted for Florence for the presentation of their new marketplace dedicated to the excellence of Made in Italy craft goods. With the launch of the new Made in Italy "store", Italian craftspeople can open the doors of their workshops and offer their products to Amazon's 285 million customers around the world. There are already five thousand items to choose from: clients can find information about each product, images and descriptions of the workshops where they are made. The Made in Italy brand is one of the best known and most sought-after throughout the world - in the words of Francois Saugier, the EU Amazon marketplace director - and we want to offer our international clientele more access to it. Now Tuscan and Italian artisans have a new channel for promoting their outstanding wares and this will contribute to the growth of Italian exports. VIDEO: Gli artigiani italiani sbarcano su Amazon

The conference of the SOCIETA' FRANCOFONA DI GENETICA OFTALMOLOGICA coordinated by Dr. Andrea Sodi was held in Florence - again. After two days of working sessions, a whole afternoon was devoted - as customary - to meetings with patients' families. The Florence school of ophthalmology has always focused on the treatment of diseases of the retina, and that means the more clinical aspects of the issues. Once again, the conference was held in an unusual venue, this time it was the beautiful headquarters of the Istituto Geografico Militare in Florence which is actively becoming part of the Florentine congress network with its fine facilities and a keen awareness of congress needs. The institute's magnificent library was the setting for the group photo of the speakers who, at the close of the congress, were taken on a private tour of the Galleria degli Uffizi.

Lyon was the location for an CET / FICPI this past October. It is a fine congress destination with its beautifully restored historic center, outstanding - to say the least - food and a delightfully relaxing atmosphere. We opted for a venue in the Presqu'ile area of Lyon, the peninsula set between the Rhone and Saone rivers. It is the historic center of the city with the cathedral, the Hotel de Ville (City Hall), the Place des Terraux and above all, countless little streets where you can find the bouchons, little restaurants serving the best food in the world. There couldn't be a better place for holding a congress that is always intense, but wants to offer relaxing breaks to become acquainted with the destination city.

Flight tests in the piazza: How many years has Florence been debating about the "new" airport. And how many Florentines - and others - actually know about projects and plans for the airport's future? We, at ENIC, were given the assignment to create a "demo" structure in Piazza della Repubblica. For a whole month people could enter (departures side…) learn about plans for the future airport and exit (arrivals side…) knowing a great deal more about what's going to happen. There was a flight simulator, an in-depth video, a large scale model, and information about environmental impact along with more traditional materials. There was also a comic strip with characters speaking for and against the new runway. The project was brainchild of Toscana Aeroporti - that comprises Florence and Pisa, chaired by Marco Carrai, and of Corporacion America Italia, one of the world's major airport management firms whose president is Roberto Naldi. The month was filled with meetings, debates, and seminars to interest professionals and curious visitors as well.

The organizing committee of the International Mass Spectrometry Conference 2018 met at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. The meeting was chaired by Gianluca Giorgi, professor of organic chemistry at the University of Siena and president of the Mass Spectrometry Division of the Società Chimica Italiana. After the participants toured the congress venues, they were shown the logistic-organizational plan for the conference that will be attended by 2000 participants in the plenary and sub-sessions: the conference setup will include a large exhibition area and an important poster area. Our city's candidacy was presented by the Firenze Convention Bureau, with ENIC providing organizational consulting.

The Global Mayors Conference (Unity in Diversity) was held in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence and was dedicated to promoting policies for peace and dealing with wars. The Forum takes its inspiration the meetings called by Giorgio La Pira, Mayor of Florence in from different era – the days of the cold war and the iron curtain. During the four days of the meeting, culture was deemed the main instrument for promoting peace and cooperation among the peoples of the world. In addition to the mayors, there were the Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman and Wole Soyinka and world-renowned figures who are active in their projects: HRH Princess Haya Blint Al Hussein of Jordan, peace messenger for the United Nations, actor Forest Whitaker who sent a video about his Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative; and Tim Robbins who spoke about his Prison Project. The participants discussed a wide range of issues from migrations to religious violence to illiteracy. And the collateral programs extended from a photo exhibition in the city to the Instragram prize in schools. The Forum was actively promoted by Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence and coordinated by the Commissioner for International Relations, Nicoletta Mantovani Pavarotti. VIDEO

Translation by Julia Hanna Weiss