I recently returned from Ventotene, an Island some 40 miles west of Naples, where I attended a very pleasant conference on Manifolds and Groups. I have several mathematical thoughts on the conference, but for today I will content myself to a brief description of some of the extra-curricular activities related to spending a week on an Italian Island. The participants of the conference were scattered over 5 of the Island’s numerous hotels. My particular hotel, the Hotel Borgo Cacciatori, had the feature that it was roughly a mile walk from either downtown or the conference center (the Island itself is not two miles in length). This was good for two reasons. First, it provided the more sedentary amongst us to get some exercise, secondly, being near the highest point of the island, it afforded a nice view of the ocean:
Finally, on the two evenings with no cloud cover, the walk back to the hotel provided a spectacular view of the Milky Way.
The food options included all manner of interesting melanzane based dishes, some good antipasti:
and, of course, some very tasty pork with crackling:
The end of the week saw the start of the feast of Santa Candida, the Island’s patron saint, which included the ceremonial release of a balloon (of which I have a wonderful video which can not be embedded in this post). Some number-theoretic Proustian character was also notable…