Day 7 started off with another mediocre breakfast at the Intercontinental De La Ville.
Our first appointment for the day was at the US Embassy in Rome. We met with Thomas Moore, the Counselor for Commercial Affairs. He brought in several of his colleagues to speak to us about U.S and Italy relations, economic and US business prospects in Italy. It was interesting to learn about how many American companies are doing business in Italy and some of the challenges and rewards of the business landscape.
In afternoon, we met with the CEO of Bvlgari, Francesco Trapani. Francesco has overseen an enormous expansion of the Bvlgari brand.
The amazing thing about Bvlgari is there attention to detail and their upper echelon line of jewelry. They have begun to branch out into handbags, perfumes, and even hotels. In 2001, they created the Bulgari Hotels and Resorts in a join venture with Marriott with locations in Bali, Milan, and Tokyo.
Has anyone stayed at these properties? I’d be interesting in knowing how they are.
During his presentation, he showed us some of their very high end pieces including a watch that sells for over 600,000 Euro.
After the presentation, we walked to Via Condotti to view their two retail stores. It is simply amazing the prices that they can command for the higher end items. They have certainly done an excellent job in brand management.
Later that night I went to Trevi Fountain and walking on the way back, discovered a pizza vending machine. This was the weirdest most disgusting idea I can imagine. Why in the world would anybody purchase a hot pizza slice from a vending machine?
If you happen to be going to Rome and are looking for authentic Gelato, I would recommend Blue Ice. You will see that there are dozens of gelato shops everywhere in Rome. Having sampled just about every single one of them as the extra 10 pounds on my frame can attest, I can recommend Blue Ice as the best tasting, most authentic Gelato.