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Nottingham Dante Alighieri Society Annual Report 2015


Wednesday January 21 - AGM and Ricordi d’Italia

There were 30 people present at the AGM and the existing officers were re-elected. Wine and nibbles were served and we were treated to a very varied selection of Ricordi d’Italia from several of our members, including Italy from Beth Tate’s father’s experiences in WW2; an enchanting experience in the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa with Tony Keyworth; Inez Jezo’s description of the Italian Mission in Nottingham 1954-1994;  a brief review of the Italian experiences of Roy Boyles since 1950;  a glimpse of Italian Gardens from Stasia French and finally my account of my first and worst Italian holiday (Lido di Jesolo with a previous boyfriend). We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening so thank you to the contributors and to Fran and Maggie for coordinating the evening.

Wednesday  February 18 - Art and passion at the court of the Borgias with Valeria Passetti.

Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy in Nottingham, Valeria Passetti, gave us a fascinating look behind the scenes of life with one of Italy’s most infamous families.

Wednesday March 18 - Secret Venice with Tony Keyworth

Tony took us into some of the hidden courtyards and squares in Venice where the crowds don’t go and he shared with us the ancient secrets of these places and the people who lived there. This was an enjoyable experience for those of us who have been to Venice several times and had no idea these places existed and particularly for Elizabeth whose relatives lived in one of the hidden areas.

Wednesday April 15  - Florence remembers: Dante in his home town with Carolyn Pritchett

Sid and I spent a week in Florence ‘stalking’ Dante in order to give a Dante-themed tour of Florence showing how Italy’s greatest poet is still commemorated in the city of his birth. After visiting Dante’s house, Dante’s church, watching actors read Dante’s works, reading all the quotations on the walls in the city, finding every statue and also the empty tomb still awaiting his body, we also couldn’t resist bringing back Dante memorabilia such as t-shirts, small figurines, and several prints of Dante meeting Beatrice. We concluded that Dante is still alive and well in Florence!

Wednesday May 13 - Crime Scene Italy with Val Culley

Val Culley, as well as being one of our members is also a successful author herself with her first crime novel Death in the High City, set in Bergamo and  which she was able to promote in Bergamo itself with TV and radio appearances. Val gave us a very interesting overview of how some of the top crime writers use Italian settings in their novels. She gave us her top 10 titles which we were very keen to track down. Val’s own book is excellent so if you haven’t read it get hold of it straight away!

Sunday June 7 Film screening ‘Caesar must Die’

A group of us went to the Lounge in Broadway to see this excellent film in which the parts in a performance of Julius Caesar were played by serving prisoners. The talent these young men showed was outstanding and some did go on to follow an acting career after being released  After the film a group of us went over the road for a meal at Dolce.

Monday June 15 Social evening at Pizza Savai

 Fifteen of us had a very enjoyable meal at Pizza Savai in the centre of Nottingham.

Monday July 6

Four of us joined members of the Newstead Abbey Byron Society for a meal at Bella Mia in Hucknall

Wednesday September 16 - Renaissance Women with Gaby Neher

Recent historians have been re-evaluating the role that women, especially elite women, played in the Italian fifteenth century. Gaby Neher explored some of these finding in her usual very entertaining style.

Wednesday October 21 - Dario Fo: l’artista piu amato e contestato da sempre with Francesca Bratley

The life of Dario Fo, Nobel Prize for Literature (1997) and still controversially loved or hated was presented by our Honorary President Francesca Bratley. We were fascinated by the diversity of Dario Fo’s work and that of his wife.

Wednesday November 18 - Nottinghamshire Abroad: Grand Tour to Tourism with Ross Balzaretti

Ross had done a lot of research on English travellers abroad and talked to us about his forthcoming exhibition opening in May 2016, focusing on the process of designing and researching the exhibition and the final results. We discovered that there is a lot more involved in putting on an exhibition than we realised and we are all looking forward to visiting the exhibition next May.

Wednesday December 9 Christmas meal at La Capanna

Nineteen of us enjoyed a good meal in good company at La Capanna in Sherwood to complete our year of activities.

In conclusion I am encouraged by yet another successful year with a good variety of topics and attendances averaging 30. Once again thank you all for continuing to come and support us and also to the members of the committee for their support and hard work during the year.




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