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Italian Confidential - Day 1

by Melissa Gielnik5 minute read

It’s day one and boy, am I exhausted!

I've just completed 25 hours of travel to reach one of the most beautiful destinations in the world...Venice.

I left Melbourne on Sunday night and arrived in Italy Monday afternoon.

Travelling half-way across the world is quite the adventure! In Dubai, I met up with all the other AFG top brokers and key lender stakeholders, which meant the second leg of our journey was just a plane filled with the who’s who of Australian banking – it was quite the sight!


Once we arrived in Italy, everyone then had to make their way to Venice. But how does one travel to the floating city? By water taxi of course!

Catching a water taxi from the mainland to Venice was an exceptional experience and one, if you haven’t done it, I would encourage you to put on the bucket list.

When you are travelling in the water taxi to Venice it is hard to imagine that this city was built so many centuries ago. The architecture is amazing. I was mesmerised and it is not even something I normally care about.

Before too long the water taxi ride is finished and we have reached our destination – ready and excited for the conference to begin. As they say, there is no rest for the wicked.

In true AFG style, the welcome function is magnificent from beginning to end. We are transferred to the function by gondolas.

As we sail past the streets of Venice, you could be forgiven for thinking they are simply the backdrop to a dramatic film. All the buildings seem deserted. By despite their emptiness, they are filled with an awe-inspiring beauty.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection plays host to the welcome function. The modern art museum was originally the private collection of the American heiress, Peggy Guggenheim, who began displaying the artworks to the public seasonally in 1951.

Among the artists represented in the collection are Dali, Duchamp and, my personal favourite, Picasso.

The night was perfect in every way. The lighting, the lovely rooftop deck that overlooks Venice, the Italian band and the wonderful Italian wine all combine to make for a spectacular night.

Honestly I can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store.

Tomorrow, the conference officially kicks off, with the sponsors delivering their various presentations.

It is always a great day seeing what the likes of CBA have planned for us over the coming year. I took so much away last year, it's all about learning and growing.

Now....I was listening to some of the guys from Macquarie on the plane, and it sounded like they were planning an awesome presentation. In addition, I heard a rumour that Ian Rakhit from Bankwest may be planning to sing for us.

Stayed tuned.... Ciao Melissa

melissa gielnik blog


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