Yesterday and today I’m attending the HIMSS European Health IT Leadership Forum in Rome, Italy. We flew out from Miami Wednesday afternoon, despite Tropical Storm Nicole’s best efforts to delay things, and arrived in Rome Thursday morning just in time to kick off the conference. Tight scheduling at its best. This is my second time to Italy, first to Rome, and here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
- Our Alitalia (Delta codeshare) flight from Miami to Rome was direct, but the plane was old (a 767) with no movies, and only one working bathroom for all of Economy class. They also kept the barrage of cartoons and other horrible TV going the entire flight, and the sound was turned on in the cabin just faint enough so it would wake you up at times. All in all, one of my worst international flying experiences in quite some time.
- Immigration into Italy was bizarre. We walked up to the officer who glanced at Sara’s passport, and wave her on, and he didn’t even look at my passport (he could see I was a US citizen from the cover, maybe). I asked him if Sara could have a stamp in hers, but he said no and waived us on impatiently.
- I can see how the driving unnerves Americans, but compared to Asia it was pretty tame. Lots of tailgating and gesticulating, just like the stereotypes would lead you to believe.
- The coffee is truly amazing. I’m really surprised you can’t get something like it in the US.
- The food is similarly amazing, but it’s all carbs, so those of you who have a problem with it are out of luck.
- This feels true to most Americans about most of Europe, but in Rome you really can be walking around in the city and just find yourself next to a ruin that’s thousands of years old. This is a much more prevalent experience in Rome it seems than anywhere else I’ve been.
That’s all for now, we’ll post some pictures later.