A Recap from Bologna

It took me two weeks to recover from my whirlwind trip to Bologna, Italy, but now I finally get the chance to post some pictures and videos from my event at the Teatro Duse. It was a blast! This really was a rare event, since I don’t tour internationally. I happened to be in Bologna taking an Italian course, so I agreed to do a public signing with my Italian publisher Mondadori. I am very glad I did!

Before the event, I got to meet some VIP fans who had won a chance to have a private Q&A with me.

Me with the gang.

Chatting and answering questions (or trying to) in Italian. Come si dice “I am sorry I killed your favorite characters”?

Signing books (and getting a hug) from a Italian demigod who grew up dyslexic. Such an honor to meet him!

Me backstage with the wonderful folks from Mondadori and the brilliant Italian writer Fabio Geda, who was so kind and gracious as my interviewer.

The crowd in the theater. They had to open up the top tier of the theater, filling it to total capacity of 1200 people. Unfortunately, 600 people were still waiting outside and were unable to get in, but I don’t think anyone (including me) expected this kind of turnout. We had people come from as far away as Palermo.

If you want to see the crowd reaction when I first arrived on stage, check out this video. Many thanks to my agent Marietta Zacker from the Nancy Gallt Agency for taking and sharing these pictures and videos.

My interview with Fabio Geda. I was very glad to have my Italian interpreter to my left, but even happier than I didn’t need to ask for her assistance very often.

Want to see the entire interview in Italian? You can watch it here.

After the event, I signed books for as many people as I could, until the police had to shut the doors because the theater needed to close. (They were very nice to everyone though.)

I got lots of gifts and hugs from fans. There were tears (I hope of happiness) and so many wonderful moments meeting my Italian readers. Truly — it was a magic evening, and a great reminder of why I am a writer. This is what books are all about! Thanks again to my agents at Nancy Gallt and my publisher Mondadori for arranging the event, and especially to Fabio Geda for conducting the interview!

Rick Riordan