BACKSTORY: Italian consul-general to SA Marco Petacco
We question Italian consul-general to SA Marco Petacco
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
Juventus FC reaching and winning the Champions League.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read?
Currently on my bedside table I have The Girl Who Smiled Beads, by Clemantine Wamariya, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; and a book I believe everyone should read is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
I can’t say, as it is a rude Italian word.
On what occasion do you lie?
Despite the common stereotypes about diplomats, honesty is usually my best bet.
What is your biggest regret?
My biggest regret has to be not embarking upon a career in medicine, despite having passed the admission exam into medical school.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Batman — I am an avid fan of the graphic novelist Frank Miller.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
The Marabi Club in Maboneng is one of Joburg’s greatest gems and Isicupho, the signature dish of the incredibly talented resident chef Vusi Ndlovu is a must.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Investing in developing technologies.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Playing the piano. I have tried but have never been able to become an accomplished pianist.
Is there such a thing as "enough money", and if so, how much is it?
Money is a means to an end. "Enough money" is the amount necessary for you to achieve your next goal.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
None of them, they all hold meaning for me. The one I am currently struggling with is temperance, as self-restraint is not my strong suit.
What was your first job?
I became a bartender at a beach bar during the summer in my hometown in Italy. I was so proud of myself for earning my own money, and being able to buy myself a motorbike.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Badly cooked pasta, and running out of espresso.