We started off the morning with a rainy walk to a big building for a lecture on the Verona Consortium. The Verona Consortium was founded in 2000 by the member companies. It is composed of 48 companies. The speakers explained that many of the companies were founded by an entrepreneur with a good idea after World War II. The businesses were then passed down through generations of the family, leading to a lack of organizational structure. These businesses generally need the consulting expertise that the Consortium provides. The Consortium does a lot to promote “Made in Italy” products, and get money from the Italian government because of this. I thought it was smart that the Italian government is working to emphasize the value of Italian made products. Our speakers explained that they cannot compete with Chinese wages. However they work to enhance their competitive advantage in quality of the products. They want each aspect of production to be made by Italian hands. It was great to learn about people working to enhance Verona’s image past Romeo and Juliet towards more profitable ventures. I also really appreciate how much pride Italians take in their regions. One speaker today said that although he realizes every Italian thinks their region is the best, Verona really is. This is different than a lot of places in the United States. I know that I would never actually saw that Pennsylvania is the best state, as I’m sure there are definitely some better ones.
After our lecture, we had a ton of free time to enjoy. We got pasta from Bigoi, a delicious takeaway pasta place, and headed back to the room to pack for our departure tomorrow. After our pasta, we got some gelato and went exploring through the city. I was so happy that the sun finally came out to warm us. Through some other group members, we found out about a great place to take in a view of Verona. We climbed a lot of stairs and saw the most beautiful view of the river and all the red roofed houses. We sat at a restaurant up on the hill in absolute awe of the beautiful sunset. We continued our sunset watching when we met everyone on the Plus 3 trip on a little beach area. We were all listening to music and taking pictures of the sunset. It was a great last night in Verona.