Melanie Hughes’ book War Changes Everything, based on a family archive, is the true story of two remarkable women.

Through their eyes we see the vibrant, often polarised Italian community in London in those turbulent times and its varied and profound impact on the world of ideas and political thought. The two bitterly opposed groups – Fascists, on the one hand, and diverse left-wing factions on the other – were very active in those years, holding meetings and rallies, publishing articles, newspapers and books, raising awareness of the struggle at home and abroad. Some even plotted assassination attempts.

As the 1930s drew to a close, the prospect of war became a terrible reality and the peace-loving majority were caught between two conflicting ideologies, two countries and their cultures. They found their status altered from valued members of society to “enemy aliens” – suddenly they were pariahs in the place where they had lived and worked for generations; they were attacked and vilified by those they had once called friends.

By contrasting the history with the particular – national events with personal recollection – Nadia and Melanie paint a vivid picture of these tumultuous years and those who lived through them.

Melanie Hughes was educated at the Lycee International de Londres, and trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama. She went on to act in theatre, television and films. She began writing for Ken Russell in the TV series Lady Chatterley and worked on further projects for him, the BBC, London Films and Union Pictures. Her first book was Mrs Fisher’s Tulip. Her most recent books are War Changes Everything and its sequel Midnight Legacy.

*** Click here to purchase a Kindle or Paperback edition of War Changes Everything

Nadia Ostacchini was born in London of Italian parentage and graduated from University College London with a BA (Hons) degree in Italian before training at The Academy Drama School.  She has worked as a professional actress, voiceover artist and corporate presenter.  

Nadia’s stage work has included several major national and international tours and she has featured in various corporate videos and commercials.  Nadia was the Narrator in Moving Dreams, an intergenerational heritage multimedia theatre project funded by Arts Council England in association with the ICA – The Fleet (Italian Community Association of Peterborough UK).

Nadia is the Artistic Director and Producer of Tricolore Theatre Company.  Un Bambino di Nome Porro, a bilingual English/Italian play for children premiered at The Pleasance Theatre in November 2019. Her forthcoming show will be about Joseph Grimaldi (1778 – 1837), the most popular English entertainer of the Regency era who transformed the role of clown into a star of pantomime.

www.tricolore.org.uk / nadia@tricolore.org.uk

If you wish to attend this event, please register by clicking the “book now” button. You will be redirected to our Zoom registration page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

PLEASE NOTE: we are not making any formal charge for participation in this event. But we strongly encourage all those attending to consider making a donation (we suggest a minimum donation of £5 per event) to enable us to maintain our programme of events and to support our other cultural initiatives.

If you are able to make a donation, please use the relevant button on the right or arrange a bank transfer to: 
The British Italian Society
Sort code:  20-36-88
Account No:  30197866

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Melanie Hughes                                                        Nadia Ostacchini

“Riva in the Movie” is the title of a short film, which was shown this year at the Venice Film Festival and which celebrates the indissoluble link between the Riva brand and the seventh art.
The film follows Pierfrancesco Favino, one of the most talented and internationally appreciated Italian actors, while he navigates his way, aboard an iconic Acquariva, through Venice’s famed locations in a dream-like journey. The co-star of the short film is Riva itself and its relationship with the cinema of every era. Riva boats, in fact, have been on screens around the world for more than seventy years.Michele Mariani will guide us through the creative process and the motivating force that inspired this project. The film is not just a celebration of the iconic brand, part of the Ferretti group, but a tribute to cinema in the city of cinema, a hymn to its marvellous imaginative power, to imagination and talent, an invitation to start again, to turn the spotlight back on, and to believe in dreams.
Michele Mariani is Executive Creative Director at Armando Testa Group, a member of the Board and responsible for a Luxury Unit. Michele has more than 20 years experience in the creative industries at international agencies such as FCB and J. Walter Thompson, as well as Armando Testa.  He immersed himself in the history of art while studying in the renaissance city of Urbino, developed his knowledge of advertising and design in Milan, studied cinema at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and cultivated a passion for graphic synthesis at the Armando Testa school in Turin.
In his professional capacity, Michele has been awarded projects by prestigious brands, such as Rolex, Heineken, Kodak, Campari, Pirelli, Barilla, Esselunga, FCA, Chiquita, Salvatore Ferragamo, Pomellato, Lavazza, Giorgio Armani and Riva.

Raffaele Reinerio is a Client Management Executive who has been working for more than 20 years at Armando Testa Group. He started in the London office, spent two years in Bologna, where he became the link between Max Information, an agency part of the Group, and the mother company, before moving in 2015 to Los Angeles, where he participated in the opening and setting up of the American office. In his professional career he’s been very lucky to work with great clients such as Lavazza, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Lines, P&G, Angelini Pharma, Poltronesofà, Baci Perugina, Montenegro, De Longhi and Riva.

The recorded talk, and the film, will be in Italian with English sub-titles. 

If you wish to attend this event, please register by clicking the “book now” button. You will be redirected to our Zoom registration page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

PLEASE NOTE: we are not making any formal charge for participation in this event. But we strongly encourage all those attending to consider making a donation (we suggest a minimum donation of £5 per event) to enable us to maintain our programme of events and to support our other cultural initiatives.

If you are able to make a donation, please use the relevant button on the right or arrange a bank transfer to: 
The British Italian Society
Sort code:  20-36-88
Account No:  30197866

Please quote: donation

 

In photo: Michele Mariani

We will look at Dante Alighieri’s portrayal of divine light (optical and spiritual) and the legacy of his Paradiso. This involves the direct impact of his extraordinary vision, and also the general diffusion of his literary portrayal of the extra-terrestrial realm of spiritual light. We will see Dante and the painters mutually striving to meet one of the greatest of all visual challenges. That challenge was how to describe extremities of divine light that were beyond the scope of our earth-bound sense of sight. The artists include Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and the Baroque painters of luminous domes and vaults.

Martin Kemp is an Emeritus Professor in the History of Art at Trinity College, Oxford University. He was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, London. His 30+ books include: The Science of Art, Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale), and The Human Animal in Western Art and Science (Chicago). He has published and broadcast extensively on Leonardo da Vinci, including the prize-winning Leonardo da Vinci, The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man and Leonardo (both Oxford). His Christ to Coke, How Image Becomes Icon (Oxford) looks at 11 representatives of types of icons across a wide range of public imagery. He wrote regularly for Nature, the essays for which have been published as Visualizations and developed in Seen and Unseen (both Oxford) in which his concept of “structural intuitions” is explored. Recent books include: Art in History (Profile Books), Mona Lisa with Giuseppe Pallanti (Oxford), Living with Leonardo (Thames and Hudson). In 2019 he published five books on Leonardo including a co-authored book on Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and an edition of the Codex Leicester with Domenico Laurenza. He has been a Trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. He has curated and co-curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, at the Hayward Gallery in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Barbican Art Gallery London.

He now devotes its time to speaking, writing and broadcasting.

If you wish to buy the book “Visions of Heaven: Dante and the Art of Divine Light Painting”, please click HERE

If you wish to attend this event, please register by clicking the “book now” button. You will be redirected to our Zoom registration page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

PLEASE NOTE: we are not making any charge for the participation in this event. But we are always grateful for donations, however small, to enable us to maintain our programme of events and to support other cultural initiatives.  If you would like to offer a donation, please use the related button on the right or arrange a bank transfer to:

The British Italian Society
Sort code:  20-36-88
Account No:  30197866

Please quote: donation

Credits: Marie Boyle

Professor Martin Kemp

Credits: Marie Boyle

 

The Medici Bank lasted for 97 years. It would become one of the biggest counting houses in Europe. But, as ever in life, it proved not to be plain sailing for the members of the Medici household. Jealous rivalries, serious health issues, murder and a forever changing economic situation proved that wealth and privilege can be taken away just as easily as it can be created. The talk is the true story of the rise and fall of the Medici Bank.

Ian Morgan is a private client solicitor and ex-banker. A member of the Arts Society and a frequent visitor to Italy, he is an avid reader of anything Medici related. Having completed 6 marathons (2 in Venice) he lives in rural Sussex with his wife, 2 children and 3 potted olive trees.

If you wish to attend this event, please register by clicking the book now button. You will be redirected to our Zoom registration page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Space is limited, please register well in advance.

 

Discover the lives and legacies of Italy’s “Renaissance Women” and those of several unheralded women who inspired some of the greatest artwork of all time.
An uplifting and thought-provoking program examining the evolution of the perceptions of women from antiquity and the middle ages through the Renaissance, the inflection point when our concept of today’s modern woman began to take shape. You will discover the stories of women such as Isabella D’Este, Vittoria Colonna and Artemisia Gentileschi whose lives and accomplishments can still inspire us today while you also gain fresh perspectives on some of the Renaissance’s most beloved artists and paintings.

Carla Gambescia is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Finance. Prior to her years in restaurant and retail operations (Ciao Bella Gelato Company, Via Vanti! Restaurant & Gelateria in New York), she founded and managed a new products consultancy and qualitative research firm specializing in the food & beverage and food service industries. She contributed to new product successes such a Frappuccino and Sun Chips and personally conducted hundreds of focus groups and facilitated dozens of ideation sessions for such companies as Pepsi, McDonalds, Starbucks, Frito-Lay, Kraft and ConAgra. Before the call of entrepreneurship, Carla was a New York advertising executive (Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, DDB&B), rising to the position of Executive Vice President, Worldwide Account Director. Carla is also curator of the popular photoblog Postcards for the Boot and author of the Silver prize-winner book “La Dolce Vita University – An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture”.

If you wish to attend this event, please register by clicking the “book now” button. You will be redirected to our Zoom registration page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.