At the weekend, during, my potter through the market for fresh fruit and vegetables, I stopped off for a macchiato. I couldn’t help but notice a bouncy conversation by three men in shiny suits on the table next to me. Here is a rough translation of their brisk meeting:


Man 1, 2 and 3, let’s call them Riccardo, Luigi and Leonardo.

Riccardo: Ciao! Apologies for the delay – I got caught on a call.

Luigi: That’s no problem – I just called you actually.

Riccardo: Ah! was on the other line –

Luigi: Yes I gathered, no problem.

Riccardo: And Leonardo?

Luigi: He just called, he’s on his way.

Riccardo: Great – did you read the email I sent you this morning?

Luigi: Haven’t had a chance yet. Let’s talk it over now?

Riccardo: Ah I see – I was going to call after you’d read it to see what you thought before we met this morning. But no problem.

Luigi: I’ll read it after this meeting if that is alright, then I’ll let you know?

Riccardo: That is a good idea – here is Leonardo now.

Leonardo: Ecco mi! Here I am!

Riccardo: Ciao!

Luigi: Ciao!

Leonardo: Tutto bene? Everything ok?

Luigi: Everything is fine. You guys?

Riccardo: Glad you could make it.

Leonardo: What a great sun today!

Luigi: Are you going back to your parents this weekend?

Leonardo: That is the plan! If I can get out of that meeting at 4pm. Come to think of it, I could attend via conference call. Or can catch up with the discussion after.

Riccardo: We could go though now what we are going to propose?

Luigi: Now?

Riccardo: Why not? We are all hear apart from Filippo but he will be on the call later.

Leonardo: I thought we intended to discuss the items for next week’s press release?

Luigi: I agree – that is more urgent.

Riccardo gets up: A caffè first.

Leonardo: Please – Let me offer you both one.

Riccardo: No let me. So kind! Thank you. Lisco for me.

Luigi: I will gladly have a ristretto, thanks

[Folders shuffled, pens clicked, I-Pads on the table, I-Phone’s buzzing, Luigi answers and speaks for a moment. He frowns and leaves the table. After a moment or so, he returns, despondent]

Luigi: It is with great regret I think I must leave – it appears Mario has had a run in with the Profilo clients.

Riccardo: What a clown! He should be able to manage that account.

Luigi: I don’t trust the man sometimes.

[Leonardo returns.]

Leonardo: Everything alright?

Luigi: The Banca Profilo clients – they have some problems [drinks caffè with a flick of his wrist]. I don’t know what to do – I think it might be best if we get together in a few days. I am sorry, guys.

Riccardo: We might have no choice [drinks caffè and lights a cigarette]

Leonardo: I may be away at the end of this week and early next – for a long weekend.

Luigi: I see.

Riccardo: We could simplify the situation and all align via conference call?

Luigi: Not a bad idea.

Leonardo: Agreed.

Riccardo: I can email across the details this afternoon.

Luigi: Ok, perfect. Get in touch if you need anything in the meantime.

Riccardo: Let’s get in touch later today then.

Leonardo: Thanks guys, see you soon!

Riccardo: I’ll be in touch later today.

Luigi: See you next time!

[Business meeting adjourned. Five minutes of chair scraping, cigarette exchanging and texting.]

I went back to my own business, worried that after all that, nothing much was achieved and confused as to the original aim of the meeting. (I can hear you say, was it my business at all? Essentially not, no but one can’t help but overhear – besides how else can one practise the language?)

Italian piazza in Padua, Italy in the sunshine.


2 replies on “Serious Business Meeting in an Italian Piazza

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