Summary of article in Billed Bladet #46, 2018.
Written by our man in Rome, Ulrik Ulriksen.
The trip was just as much about promoting Danish commerce and putting focus on Danish-Italian joint ventures as cultural exchange.
Italy has for decades (centuries perhaps!) been a favorite destination for Danes, but an increasing number of Italians have begun to discover Denmark and have a look at Danish culture - even Danish food! (The summers up here are more bearable than in say Rome, that's for sure!)
So accompanied by a couple of ministers and a trade delegation M&F were all over the place, looking fascinated at various product, sniffing away at mouthwatering dishes, hosting a gala dinner and have time for a little sight seeing in and around Rome. Rome of course being the place where Frederik popped the question.
The gala dinner took place at Hotel Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Resort with 250 invited guests. Among the guests were the good friends of M&F, Princess Camila and Prince Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles. - I didn't know they were friends, but judging from the photo in the article that is obviously the case. But of course Prince Charles de Bourbon is godfather to Josephine.
While in Rome M&F popped by the Vatican to say hello to the Pope, and they were received with the proper pump and circumstances.
Wearing a mantilla and with a clutch from Carlend Copenhagen and shoes from Gianvito Rossi Mary was appropriately dressed. That also applied to Frederik who dressed in a dark suit and an appropriate dark tie. No funny patterns this time.
Mary said after the audience: "It was a very big experience. It was a good experience and it was a very moving experience. We had a very good conversation and it was also cozy and we talked about many various topics, from the personal to the challenges of the world.
The Pope is a person who radiate curiosity. That you have to say."
Frederik: "Yes, we covered wide subjects. It is nice to talk with a very experienced man, who of course rests well within himself and of course also has an interest for where we are from."
At the end of the visit M&F were interviewed.
Q: What do You hope Denmark can achieve with this commerce offensive?
Mary: "It's important that we keep in mind that there is a lot of work that has gone before a visit like this. So we know that Italy is one of the largest economies of the world. There is a great potential for Danish businesses here in Italy, to it is hoped that the Italians will see some of the potential partnerships that can be established with Danish businesses."
Frederik points out that Italy is a huge market with more that 50 million people, also compared to Germany and France. So there is a lot of potential for Danish products.
Q: In what way do You think this commerce offensive is different other such visit You have taken part in?
Mary points out that Italy is different from the other major export-markets, which means other products and skills are being promoted here, which may not be of interest to other markets. Both but DK and Italy have similar ambitions in regards to green and sustainable energy solutions.
Frederik adds that Denmark has a reputation for being a very reliable trading partner, that can be counted on. "We are straight talkers and we show up on time." (*)
M: "And the Italians appreciate that."
Q: What do You think is the very best thing about being away on a business offensive like this to Rome?
Frederik points to the scenery and places like the villa they are in during this interview.
Mary points to learning something new and feeling proud when you realize that this and that we do well in DK.
(*) That's a trait criminals appreciate as well!
Back in the 80s a small Danish freighter was boarded by the US Coast Guard after a tip off, and a large amount of drugs were seized. The all Danish crew went to prison along with a number of other accomplishes who were behind the shipment of drugs.
The drugs had been reloaded at sea from a South American ship to the Danish ship and it turned out they had chosen a Danish ship, with a Danish (albeit amateur) crew, because they could be relied upon to be on the position on the exact time agreed.
But see the scans for yourselves here: https://app.box.com/s/2lgk2ej0o5fni1y6dnno2c97x0tltvge