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VII Meeting Club Panerai - my personal report, part 4: club dinner and great final

May 24 2007 at 8:04 AM

Volker Wiegmann  (Login VolkerWiegmann)
from IP address

Hi all,

to close the report of the VII Meeting Club Panerai
in Viareggio / Tuscany, I'll write down the 4th part of
my personal report.

Last saturday, after we returned from the italian navy
commandos Com.Sub.In. near La Spezia, we went back to
the Hotel Club I Pini in Lido di Camaiore. To our surprise
we found a vintage Fiat parking in the frontyard, which
belonged to the Panerai family since 1936. Today's owner,
Luciano Rinaldi, came along to the meeting with this nice oldtimer:

The Fiat "Balilla":

Note the keyholder with the old Panerai logo:

Now that's a funky turn signal!

The "Balilla" was surrounded by our group...

...while I took the chance for some comparing studies between
the small Egiziano, ref. 6154 and my Luminor ref. 6152/1:

Later in the hotel bar we were talking about... guess what?

Clif's kind daughter Heather and Diego, both sporting Rolex ...?
had a good time too!

When the dinner was about to start, I took some photos of the
four long tables with the members of the meeting:

Claudio, the hotel owner, serving some delicious wine to Simona's daughter Benedetta and her boyfriend - a very sympathic couple!

The vintage group shot, a "must" on Piero's meetings:

Another old Panerai display with two compasses and one of the
latest versions of the depth gauges:

It was a long night and we had a really good time. The dinner
was - as always and once again - delicious, served by Claudio's
kitchen team. Belissima! That will cost me a few extra sessions
in the gym - LOL!!!

The next morning. Sunday. Brilliant view, while the frontyard
was still in the shadows. The "Balilla" was still there...

...but it was time to say "Arrivedierci!" to my mates Graham and Diego,
who was about to take a run on the promenade.

Soon later Piero arrived at the Hotel to say goodbye to the guests
as well. For this morning I had a very special appointment with a
good old friend which I know since my first attendance on
Club Panerai's meetings in 2003: Emilio Bianchi, the famous SLC veteran
who took part at the Alexandria mission in 1941. Emilio is 95 years
old. This is a photo of the moment in 2003, when Frank and I met Emilio
for the first time:

On last year's meeting he was not able to attend due some problems
with his eye and legs - we really missed him and so it was my wish to
try to get an appointment with Piero this year. Clif was joining us
too and I am sure that he enjoyed it also like Piero and I did.

I got him a little gift, a framed photo taken by Jay Pulli in 2005
when we were together with Emilio at the old farm house in Bocca di
Serchio. Jay - many thanks for providing me the image, it was just
perfect timing to get it framed before my flight to Pisa!

Emilio's kind wife got us a coffee and it was really wonderful to be
guest in their house. For me this was a really special situation as I
was more than happy to meet him, even at his home where we picked him
up in the past when we were starting our tours to Bocca di Serchio in
2004 and 2005.

At the Com.Sub.In. there was the chance to buy some "merchandise stuff"
and so I thought that it would be a nice move to send something down under
to our mate Hammer who was not able to be with us in person. During lunch
at the Marina Militare I let any member sign the crest of the Com.Sub.In.
including the Gamma veteran Omeris. Now it was the moment to fulfill this
gift by the signature of Emilio Bianchi. Piero explained Emilio who would
get this crest, why we signed it and where it would be sended to...

Now this is specially for you, Hammer - by us ...a noi!

I hope it will arrive at your place soon, mate!

One final photo before we returned to the hotel. I hope there is a
"next time"... that was just priceless! Thanks for making it possible, Piero!

Well, really excited about the 4 days behind, it was time to pack
my luggage and prepare for the return. Piero took me to the airport
but before we left Viareggio, we went to Piero's favourite
Pizzeria in town where we got a "little lunch snack" in form of
the typical "Margherita"...

Thumbs up, the VII Meeting Club Panerai was just great!

Thanks for looking.

Yours truly

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