This morning I woke up well before my alarm went off (which is a seldom occasion), too excited to sleep in anticipation of my first overseas tour with PNB!!! Upon waking to foggy views of Elliott bay, Italian sunshine could not come soon enough. After ironing out the last details of the trip and zipping up my suitcase I was out the door, headed to the Phelps Center to catch the shuttle to Sea-Tac International Airport… which proved to be a complete zoo! I have never been in the airport when it has been so busy. 

I had a little bit of anxiety for the flight, as our first leg went straight from Seattle to Amsterdam. Spanning 11 hours, this was definitely the longest flight that I had been on to date. The flight was fairly uneventful. Many of the PNB dancers tried to sleep, but I think I was too excited for that. The one really odd thing was that although we left on the 1st and arrived on the 2nd of July, it never got completely dark outside because of the time difference. We were chasing the sun in more ways than one!

Once in Rome we headed into the central city for some sight-seeing and a company dinner with Roberta Guidi di Bagno, the scenery and costume designer for Coppélia. It was truly amazing to see the colliseum from the taxi on our way to the Spanish steps. Once at the Piazza di Spagna, we sat down for a snack before setting off on foot for the Trevi Fountain. While there, we met up with another group of dancers, took many photos, and then set off for piazza del popolo on the via del corso to the area where we were having dinner.

We ate dinner at Babette, per Roberta’s recommendation. It was nice to enjoy the authentic Roman food in the calm and peaceful inner courtyard of the restaurant surrounded by lime trees and great company. It was a truly memorable day to kick off PNB’s Italian tour. Tomorrow we are off to Spoleto and one day closer to the performances!

PNB Dancer Benjamin Griffiths at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy with his husband, former PNB Dancer Jordan Pacitti.

Benjamin Griffiths
PNB Soloist