Monday, July 30, 2007

Dinner with Fausto

Editorial note: This is an Xtina "gossip rag" exclusive, filed shortly after our return last night from the dinner party of the summer. All legal inquiries should go straight to her.

Our most aristocratic friend, who bears with nonchalance a double surname and counts as part of his inheritance a XVIII century portrait of an ancestor beheaded by the Borbons for supporting the Republican Revolutionaries in Naples at the end of 1700, finally got married. Blood aristocracy in Italy, following the disgraceful end of the worst European royal families, turned out to be a powerful networking system Sunday night producing diplomats, bankers, intellectuals, business people and some politicians at a fine soirée in Roma Nord. Our friend's celebrated uncle gracefully threw the dinner party, in his posh-neighborhood garden house. From the photos and posters on the walls we argued that this party, even if full with celebrities, ranked pretty low on the board -- for sure, way below the dinner party for Nancy Kissinger's birthday in '94.

Back to the invitees, all the above-mentioned categories were very well represented around the dinner table, in the most bi-partisan fashion.
Politicians you've read on the morning papers insulting each other, were kindly sharing mozzarella and sipping -very understated, indeed- wine, next to their young -or rejuvenated- female partners. Fausto B., the Italian equivalent of Nancy Pelosi, a very charming former union leader - maximum, current idol of the variegated Italian no-global galaxy - that spans from late followers of the Red Brigade dreaming to erase injustice from the world by killing labour law professors, to the Franciscan brothers of Assisi - chatted the whole night with his new best friend, Marina, the queen of Italian jet-set in the '80, a cross between Jane Fonda's glamorous political engagement and Brigit Bardot's extenuating anti-fur fervor.

Probably nobody informed Fausto that two passionate Berlusconi supporters (and one current MP) were seated on the other side of the table. During dips in the conversation, the right-leaning power couple (he of indeterminate, but unquestionably fine Northern Italian stock; she, a Teutonic beauty that could inspire a propogandist to his finest work) explained to me and my friend her political philosophy. Once arriving in Italy a sweet, unblemished sight no doubt, she immediately took to the intelligent and truly genuine politician that is Berlusconi. And how does she feel about Prof. Prodi, Berluconi's nemesis? He's artificial and awkward looking, she informed. How was it possible that living for 4 years between Dubai and London she didn't get an exact picture of the charismatic and powerful Berlusconi from the international media? Ah, yes of course, that was a plot loomed by the E-communist!

Unfortunately, Fausto didn't pay too much attention to our Frau pundit. He was busy listening to the Buddha-looking, wannabe next mayor of Rome, junior senator Goffredo B. The king-maker that crowned Rutelli first prince of the new-swinging Rome, the architect of Rome's cultural Renaissance, was probably unveiling secret strategies to pull the carpet under Prodi's feet by 2008...Fausto could give precious suggestions, having knocked down the first Prodi cabinet and nearly delivered his supporters a BIS last autumn!!

Unfortunately, we don't have a detailed account to offer our readers. We were too busy deploring the Italian banking and political system together with this gracious Milanese-americanophile gent and his wife, who turned out at the end of the night -courtesy of Bernhard's mobile Internet connection- to be the vice-president of one of Tronchetti Provera's companies. Bernhard dashed inside to wash his Italy we have a saying to describe this behaviour, you don't spit on the plate where you are eating, well...ehm, just metaphorically, but this is what we have been exposed to during this dramatic dinner affair.

I have to say that my personal take at the end of the night was fully positive.
Fausto greeted me twice (due to the wine, the age, or the low-cut dress, I cannot say); his diamond-shining wife shared with me her love for Umbrian hilltowns. As for the location, I would like a private tour some day, a close-up glance of the original Andy Warhol's and even a Morandi. And the 8cm heels I walked on for 4 hours brought me back home without breaking any ankles.

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