Quadrilateral 2019 in Tivoli - 30 May to 2 June
Our group of 17 arrived in Tivoli from various directions: Lindsey and John by car from France; Gurdip and Sati by train from the Italian Lakes; Jim and Judith from Sorrento. Tony and Cathie, Mary, Peter and Lin, Sean and Pippa, Anne and David, Eileen and myself arrived conventionally by air at various times. Sadly, due to family problems Barry and Jacqui had to cancel at the last minute. This year was unusual due to problems with hotels in Tivoli, so most of the visitors were in B&Bs. Fortunately our Maidenhead party were accommodated very centrally in the old town.
The welcome party was held at the restaurant Sibilla which many of our club will know overlooks the Temple of Sibilla. The welcome reception at Quadrilateral is always a joy as we greet old friends and are introduced to new. The theme for the evening was the Grand Tour and many amusing hats were issued and on display. Entertainment was provided by two delightful young dancers and traditional music.
We experienced (for Tivoli) most unusual weather as it was chilly and rained every day. The mornings would be beautiful but slowly the clouds would build up resulting in rain in the afternoon, which caused some problems.
Above: The Sanctuary of Hercules
Below: Lunch on the terrace
Below: Lunch on the terrace
Above and right: The Villa d'Este
The main visit was to the Roman Sanctuary of Hercules which is below Villa d’ Este and further down the hill on which the town of Tivoli sits. Some of you will recall a Quadrilateral meeting when the reception was within these excavations and the theme was Bandits & Robbers. Since those exciting times a great deal of renovation has taken place and it was an interesting tour followed by a very welcome open-air patio lunch with much delicious food and more than enough wine. Most of the group walked back up into the town via the beautiful gardens of the Villa d’Este, dodging the rain, while the Presidents’ meeting took place.
The evening saw the original objectives of Quadrilateral come into its own with dinner parties in Rotarian homes. It is always fascinating for me to see how the host nation lives and eats, and their etiquette.
Saturday was free time and many of our group who had not been to Tivoli before decided to stay in the town and explore. Eileen and I chose to go to Rome to an excellent newly renovated museum Palazzo Altemps. It had the most fantastic collection of statues and frescoes. Lunch was most convivial spent with our friends from the Bonn club in a typical Italian restaurant.
We returned exhausted from Rome to prepare for the black-tie gala dinner. The gala was held about half an hour’s drive from Tivoli in Palestrina at the Palazzo Colonna Barberini, an archaeological museum. Set upon a hill with magnificent views, fortunately the weather was kind enough for us to stand outside for aperitifs before dinner. A short tour of the museum was laid on before dinner for those who were interested. Unusually for Quadrilateral there was no dancing but we had some very nice musical accompaniment and a short and wonderful opera rendition from Enrico Chianca, one of the members of the Tivoli club. Our President Anne did a great job with her speech, always a most nerve-racking experience for any President. We returned to Tivoli late and tired and in our case to bed at 02:30 due to the fact that our host suggested a whisky!!
Our final morning saw the sun shine brilliantly and we experienced the weather usually expected in Tivoli. We were driven out to Trebula Suffenas, a most beautiful private garden and a home which is in fact an archaeological site. It was stunning.
Finally came the sad time when we had to say goodbye. It was quite a complicated organisational problem for the Tivoli club as many people dispersed in different directions and at different times. Seven of our party returned straight to the UK on the early flight. On the way to the airport I got an urgent telephone call asking if we had two bags in the van that were not ours. A quick look over the back seat confirmed we had two of the German club bags, by that time we were at the airport!
I was delighted that within our party of 17, we had 11 who had not been to Tivoli before and of those 11 nine had not been to an overseas Quadrilateral. Judging from their enthusiastic comments and conversation I am sure this Quadrilateral will not be their last. The Quadrilateral provides the opportunity for us to meet and develop closer friendships not only with our friends in the link Clubs but most importantly of all within our own Rotary Club.
Below: Museum of Palestrina (Palazzo Colonna-Barberini), and Trebula Suffenas