EMBA travel diaries from Italy – Tuscany

Sirpa-Liisa Hast
Day Night A Journey to Renaissance
”Wisdom is the Daughter of Experience” Leonardo da Vinci 4th April 2017 –
Deep Dive into Renaissance Upon arrival in previous evening at our lodgings Poggio de’ Medici Golf Club in the heart of Tuscany, Scarperia village, our group got the first experiences of Italian renaissance surroundings. We were welcomed by Spring verdure in all its shades, hilly landscape, cypress columns, rustic villas and 20 plus degrees C. The best possible lay-out for a fruitful study journey.

The organising team FUTOUR, led by Paolo and accompanied by Monica and Orsola we had met already in the Aeroporto di Firenze. Their invitation to dinner at the hotel’s oldest building, Medici hunting villa was more than welcome, flight services being what they are nowadays.

Delicious dinner had a surprise dessert arranged by Paolo and his team to honour Finland’s 100 years of Independence: the dessert cake (mille-feulle) covered by image of Finnish flag in marzipan was brought in accompanied by our national anthem. Later we were told, that the first version of the cake was covered with Swedish flag. Luckily the blue marzipan could be used in the right version. Surely the hotel’s patissier remembers by now our blue-white flag.

2 4th of April opened sunny and pleasant. Some early birds enjoyed jogging on empty golf course. The morning hours were programmed for introduction of methods and tools to the Deep Dive into the Renaissance.

Creativity and innovation techniques were presented and discussed in groups. One of the methods used was Digital Mosaic (MODÌ) of Futour, a facilitation approach stimulating creativity, decision making and development of ideas. This was followed by experimental leadership building activities followed using another lead building activity namely LEGO™ Serious Play ™. We also had a look ”through the Johari window”. Our facilitator Paolo of Futour explained their role, which was to act as an intellectual brain catering tool. After a delicious renaissing lunch the groups gathered with mentors to discuss and reflect the morning session outcome: feelings, learnings, experiences.

3 4 The afternoon program started with a company visit to a high-end manufacturer of handcrafted espresso coffee machines. The company La Marzocco is producing its worldwide known and respected machines in nearby village of Scarperia. Company was founded by two brothers in 1927, so they are celebrating 90-years of succesful manufacturing of coffee machines for professional use. Today Marzocco coffee machines are available in 5 continents and they export to over 80 countries, employing 230 people, mainly skilled craftsmen from surrounding region. The key words in company presentation were: high quality raw materials combined with excellence in execution, both technically and design wise. Every member of our group had a chance to have a short but intensive barista training on top of the production facility tour. We were priviledged to witness the visible pride of company culture, high respect on handcraft skills, and striving for excellence. Good and educational experience.

5 Next stop in our deep dive day was a chance to experience to us a rather unknown and different culture – The Art of Falconry.in its most original surroundings. Our journey led us to Poggio Bartoli, a Medici villa from mid 15th centrury. We were welcomed by Antonio Lippi, the owner of the villa since 2011. He was quite an impressive figure sitting on a horseback, holding on his arm a trained hunting falcon. In collaboration with villa owner Lippi, an experienced bird trainer and a great lover of wild animals, Alessio Galli created an company called ”Gentilis Florentiae”, the business idea of which is the breeding of many species of birds of prey, training birds of prey for hunting and for demonstrations to the public. It was interesting to hear that an important market for these birds lie in Arab countries, among the upper class. After the interesting hunting show we gathered in the main hall of the

Medicean villa to enjoy Renaissance dinner with all our senses- The meals served were skillfully arranged, following renaissance cookery art from start to end. Following the experience approach, the hosting Futour team had added an extra twist to our menu; everybody was obliged to ”open” every meal served, enjoy its contents and reflect feelings in connection of tasting. The recipe book was handed over to everybody in our team as a home experiment tool for us cooking enthusiast. So had a long days experience journey into night come to its end. Buona Notte.

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