My dear mom was an extrovert. Being around people recharged her batteries, not that she needed them to. She was a perpetual motion machine. But as a child of hers, who came into the world as an introvert, the opposite happens when I am around a crowd. Thus, when I visited Vinitaly after a year’s absence, I imagined all the other people who might have to brave the endless pavilions of Veronafiere and are also introverts, and thought to make a plan for all of us.
That said, it was with some trepidation that I returned to Vinitaly this year. Two years ago I was pretty harsh about the state of the condition of the fair and was, for an introvert, uncharacteristically candid about it. It set off a firestorm in the Italian wine community. Way too much attention was aimed in my direction, and so I let the little bird free and backed away into my little corner of invisibility.
1) Get yourself registered early. Sometime around the first of the year, if you are in the wine trade (and really this is not a consumer event – there are those available which I will note later in this post). When you do get registered, make sure you download the ticket before the cutoff date. Save it as a pdf. Make sure you do it, because if you don’t you will have to go through some heavy machinations at the fair, waiting in long lines, to beg forgiveness for not following instructions. Introverts don’t like lines – they might have to talk to a stranger or worse yet, get jostled in the line.
3) Download the Veronafiere Vinitaly map. Those 18 buildings (yes, I said 18!) represent your world for four days. Make a plan. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes. Even if they look dorky. And try and find a way to not have to spend so much time traveling from one building to the next. Not an easy task, by the way. But there will be crowds, and among those crowds you will encounter:
• People strolling like they are in a park.
• People smoking, especially in the spaces between the halls.
• People in first stages of foreplay – advanced by not spitting their wine out.
• Crowds – and at times – SURGING crowds.
When you must walk from one building (called Pavilions) to another try and walk around the perimeters. This will prove to be less populated (also less smoke) and also offer the introvert a change to recharge in the light and the air and the relative calm of the fair.
4) If you plan to see producers, make appointments. If the producer is famous, try and make the appointment early (before 10AM) or later (after 4PM), avoiding folks who again, surge the booths around lunch time. Allow at least an hour for an appointment.
in another post, but I need to amend that piece. Last year Veronafiere and Vinitaly previewed new “Producer” bathrooms. The participants of the fair who exhibit have access to clean, quiet, uncrowded stalls. To an introvert, 2 minutes in one of those is like plugging a Tesla into a charging station for 20 minutes. Find a producer who will give you their access to those bathrooms. They are lifesavers.
|"What a pair!"|
• Speeches – and Italians don’t give short speeches
• More wine
• More people (and names) you will never remember
• And endless courses of food (with the wine) that will force you to make small talk at the table with people you will never see again in your life.
Resist. Get yourself a salad and a glass of wine somewhere, early, before you go to your room, to power down and recuperate.
|With huge thanks to another introvert - "grasshopper" - for his invaluable input with this post|
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