November 22, 2007

ESD XXVI Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an American holiday; I'm not American, so I get to interpret it pretty loosely. It's about being strangers in a new land, being welcomed and helped by the people living there, about sharing with friends and family, and even strangers, about expressing gratitude for whatever we have, and for helping those who may not be so fortunate. It's a concept that resonates strongly with me--I'm a stranger in a new land, I've been helped by the the people living here, and I'm extremely grateful to my new friends and family for welcoming me in Friuli. I think everybody can find some part of this holiday to celebrate--surely we are all grateful for this wonderful life we have.

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving here is a list of things to be grateful for on Thursday night. To Fra Jacques, who blessed the meal and was in turn grateful for the groceries brought by ESD members to be given to less fortunate members of his parish; to Lucio Degani who serenaded us with improvisations on his violin; to Joe Pennello, grateful for his second chance at life and success of his book launch, "The Penny Drops"; to Matteo Burani, who brought along the gorgeous wine from Felluga (see; to Mark Waters, who brought along music and goodies from the base at Aviano; to Betti Paron who provided nibbles; to Gianguido de Carvalho, Giovanna Pontelli and Kerry Hall who prepared the piece de resistance of the evening--the turkey along with all the delicious vegetables; to Penny Heysen for the sweets. And of course to Luigi Deciani, for being such a generous host of these ESD events this year, opening his home and heart.... Last but not least, to all ESD members who have shown their support, and have embraced this concept of sharing experiences and cultures on Tuesday evenings with enthusiasm. Thank you one and all!!

Remember--keep checking this blog for information about future ESD events.

Penny Heysen

November 13, 2007


Funny thing about these dinners--no matter how many familiar faces there are, there's always someone new. This Tuesday's dinner was no exception. We welcomed the Gasparis to their first ESD, and welcomed back some friends--Roberto Pirzio brought his mother Fey to delight us all.

And the Visconti Puglnigs excelled themselves with the simple menu at this ESD. The roasted pork and zucchini parmigiana warmed us all, and the homemade apple strudel from the talented Maria went down a treat. Good honest fare for a cold November night.

A special mention should go out for Grazia Massa, who brought along a selection of books that she had written and in some cases even illustrated. The evocative landscapes and their accompanying poems served as a reminder that summer is never all that far away.

Penny Heysen

November 6, 2007

ESD XXIV Cosy nights by the fire...

When the wind chills your cheeks, and the damp night seeps into your bones, the best thing to do is gather yourself up, and head for a warm hearth and the company of friends. I love the summer, and the coming winter always makes me a little melancholy, but last night's dinner with old and new ESD friends banished the gloom of winter, even if just for the night.

Fra Jacques gave us a brief history lesson on the Middle Eastern problem, and when talking of his life in Palestine, you could almost feel the sandy heat blasting from the desert (or maybe that was Luigi who had just thrown another log on the fire...).

And the menu itself also lessened the heavy weight of the coming winter, with a risotto made from the first radicchio di Treviso--reminding us that the cold winter also brings us some joys--red chicory, chestnuts, steaming bowls of soup, nights by the fire, and the cosy company of friends.

Penny Heysen

October 30, 2007

ESD XXIII The Court of Count Dracula....

They say that putting on a mask or costume frees a person to behave in extraordinary ways. That was certainly true this Tuesday, when over half the guests at the special pre-Halloween party turned up in masks, cloaks, witches hats and other ghoulish disguises. There was dancing, there were horror stories, and brains, worms, and other gore galore--it wasn't your usual calm dignified Tuesday ESD. Also lots of scary new faces--or maybe they just seemed new--I didn't recognize them because they were in costume.

They also say that we choose costumes that are the opposite of what we normally are. And so there were wicked witches, devils, demons, a crazy paranoid chick, and of course, Count Dracula. Oops, well so maybe Luigi was pretty close to his costume character Count Dracula, just not mortally dangerous.

There was a special Halloween inspired menu too--ending with roasted chestnuts and ribolla to ward off the shivers and chills of the night. What better way to welcome the coming winter than cosying up to the fire with a coven of witches and whatnot?!

November will see the last three ESDs of the year, finishing with a special Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday November 22 (instead of the normal Tuesday). Please book your place soon for this special American holiday--space is limited. Hope to see you there!

Penny Heysen

October 23, 2007

ESD XXII A Real Multicultural Crowd

This week we had an authentic middle-eastern cultural meeting: Mustafa and Fra Jacques, an old ESD friend just back from the Holy Land, spoke intensely in various languages (including Arabic), attracting the attention of most of the participants. Among the new guests, we were glad to welcome an old friend Guido, a famous ecletic artist.

So it was a nice dinner even though Luigi wasn’t with us. We know that despite his absence (the lucky guy—he was escorting his daughter Margherita around Ireland), he was present in spirit if not physically in his usual place at the head of the table. We look forward to hearing all about his trip and the new ideas he might have collected abroad.

Gio Pontelli

October 16, 2007


Last night’s ESD was extra special: not only because of meeting Mark and Carol, who came from Aviano with their colleagues from the US Base Serge and Louise; not only for the send off Tiffany and her friends wanted to give Deborah--going to work in north America (good luck and have fun, Deborah!!); not only for meeting old and new ESD friends like Taira and Giulio who came with Alison, not only for having Kerry who drove from Verona to be with us… but also because it was Penny’s birthday!!! Happy Birthday, dear Penny, from all of us.

The home made style dinner offered by the Visconti Pugelnik family in front of the fireplace created a cosy and familiar atmosphere, and the Vin de Ville with labels taken from the Deciani family photo album carried on the homemade theme. Nice chats in front of the cast iron stove led to an Italo-Anglo-American agreement for the next big event: a Thanksgiving dinner to be held on Thursday 22 November with the help of our friends from Aviano. Places will be limited, so let us know soon if you'll be joining us for the traditional turkey dinner. Just send an email to

And remember to break out your scariest costumes for Halloween--this year we'll be celebrating it a bit early, on Tuesday 30 October. Treats will be given for the best costume, and scariest ghost tale. So come along for what looks to be a fun night!

Luigi Deciani

October 9, 2007


Our ESDs have settled into a nice rhythm. Some regular attendees confessed that at first they felt awkward speaking in English, but now have gained a lot more confidence--which is great--one of our goals is to provide a place to use those all important language skills. I guess a lot of that must be due to the warm, accepting atmosphere--everyone is so friendly.

And even those who don't need to practice their English get a lot out of the evening. Many have taken the opportunity to bring their friends and family when they're visiting Italy--no more language barriers, or having to translate the whole menu to people unused to the Italian style of ordering! So it was that Alan Munford brought his mother Iris, who was over from England for a visit--now I see where Alan gets his charm from!

So whatever your reason for coming we hope to see you again soon.

Penny Heysen

October 2, 2007

esdphotos' ESD XIX October 2 photosetesdphotos' ESD XIX October 2 photoset

Another enchanting evening at the Villa Deciani--this time held in the evocative ballroom. A wonderful atmosphere created thanks to the magical touch of Glauco Venier, an accomplished international jazz pianist who has collaborated with some of the most outstanding contemporary musicians.

Appreciative talk of the evenings at the Villa has obviously reached such far flung countries as Iceland, giving us the pleasure of the presence of the rare beauty Erla. David, another new guest and entrepreneur who lives in Thailand, was so impressed by the evening he has decided to change his itinerary in order to be present for next Tuesday's dinner. The effect these dinners have on people!!

The appetizer was nice and light; a crispy local "frico" and a delicate herb mousse served with an equally crisp white wine. This was followed by a fine risotto with herbs, which complemented the Tocai Friulano. We then went on with a "tagliata di manzo " (slivers of tender local beef) which was accompanied by a Cabernet Franc selected by the friendly wine producer Paolo Comelli, Vignaiuolo di Nimis. The supper ended up with a fresh fruit salad perfectly combined with a sweet Ramandolo.

We would like to give a warm thank you to our new guests, Gunther and Markus from Munich, who we hope will put in another appearance at future dinners and naturally to the regular guests who contribute to the great success of the ESDs.

Gio & Ali

September 25, 2007

ESD XVIII Rule, Britannia!

Villa Deciani became an outpost for the British Empire Tuesday night, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of a group of visiting ladies and gentlemen in our ESD. The Italians were completely outnumbered by visiting and resident Brits (more than fifteen!!), and were almost outnumbered by their Austrian neighbors. The British visitors, led by the delightful Dorry Friesen, completely captivated their Italian hosts with tales of their travels and adventures, and Gemma Foa enchanted us all with her own stories.

Supper started with a humble Casatiello, and a variety of breads (homemade by Betti Morgante) with salami, served with a fresh Ariis Brut Prosecco. The Visconti Pugelniks, catering for us again, showed a bit of spirit by serving bowtie pasta with broccoli and olives (bowties for Englishmen!). But the simple dish worked perfectly with the fruity Sauvignon Blanc offered by Max di Lenardo. The Visconti Pugelniks then showed high courage in the face of the British invasion, serving Roast Beef all'Inglese--really a bit cheeky of them, but a winning combination with the excellent Cabernet from the di Lenardo vineyard. To see more on his range of wines, go to:

We hope our British guests enjoyed their stay in Friuli, and that they'll be back next year with more stories and laughs for our ESDs. They certainly conquered our hearts on Tuesday night!

October also looks to be interesting, with a special Halloween event at the end of the month. Come and celebrate autumn's harvest with us--space will be limited so book your place early by sending an email to: See you soon!

Penny Heysen

September 18, 2007

ESD XVII Neither rain nor hail....

'Neither rain nor hail, nor sleet nor snow shall stop ESDs from putting on a show!' Okay, so it's badly paraphrased from the US Postal Service, and even further from the original of the Greek historian, Herodotus. But the idea is the same. The huge storm that blew over upper Friuli may have delayed a little but couldn't stop us from having our weekly meeting, especially as this time we were honored with a special performance by the ladies choir of Aviano. These lovely ladies (and their lucky director Emanuele Lachin on the piano) sang us a selection of Broadway tunes, showing off the acoustics in the ballroom at the villa.

We started off the evening Italian style, with flatbread pizza and a superb Tocai from the Bastianich Vineyards. The weather cleared enough for the rest of the choir to arrive from Aviano, and we enjoyed their spirited performance of selected songs from some of the more popular shows of Broadway. After the concert we continued the 'Americana' theme at dinner, with jerked chicken wings and a crisp Zinfandel from California. The main course, a spicy Creole Jambalaya with ratatouille on the side, worked well with the Mexican beer, and there was a Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon from California for those who preferred wine. Dinner ended on a rich note with a trio of chocolate brownies, carrot cake and apple pie. The whole dinner was, as they say, 'as American as apple pie!'

We'd like to thank all those who braved the elements to join us on Tuesday--especially those who travelled so far through such awful weather. The choir from Aviano boosted the numbers of Americans present--making them by far the largest group of foreigners, though there were also quite a few Austrians, some who had made the drive from Graz in terrible conditions, and Canadians, Brits, Kiwis, Aussies, and of course Italians--all in all about 70 people--our largest gathering yet!

Given that the night was so successful we hope to hold more of these special evenings--if anyone has any suggestions for entertainment please drop a note below in the comment box. Otherwise, hope to see you at another ESD soon. Please reserve your place by sending a note to: as early as you can--advance notice helps us organize the catering better.

Penny Heysen

September 11, 2007

ESD XVI Reunited, and it feels so good...

Reunited...and it feels so good.

"It was really a very pleasant evening" said a shy Arigo Gobessi, probably still jet legged from his long flight from Vancouver to be reunited with his brother. He was surely surprised to find such a cosmopolitan ambience in the village that he had left over 50 years ago to emigrate to British Columbia, where he now lives with his wife Rosemarie and family. Similarly surprised was Ermes to be reunited with his childhood friend from Graz, Eva, who is presently living in Kenya!

It was the same nice, friendly atmosphere created by an international crowd, with German as a second language alongside Friulano.

All the better to appreciate the tasty home cooked dinner prepared by the Visconti Puglenik family, which was well matched with the wines of several good ESD friends: Coos and Zacomer, Vignaioli di Nimis, and Toniatti Giacometti, who is an important horse breeder, just to mention the locals. We also got to try an interesting Tuscan rosè from the cellars of Conti Spalletti which nicely set off the delicious maccheroni alla napoletana, a family recipe from Antonio Visconti.

ESD will continue with other interesting gatherings; next week the girls of Aviano will be bringing us a bit of Broadway.

Hope to see you all soon!

Luigi Deciani
ESD Committee

September 4, 2007

ESD XV September 4 "Not even in New York..."

"Not even in New York!!" These were the words of one of Tuesday night's dinner guests, amazed by the diversity of the people that were gathered to meet and chatter happily over fine wine and food. This distinguished journalist, along with her husband and two Polish colleagues, was a guest at Villa Deciani, and along with some representatives of the Friuli Venezia Giulia tourism board, witness to the merry band of ESD members who meet each Tuesday to share ideas, small talk, and just enjoy each other's company. Maybe she'll set up her own branch of ESDs back home in Greenwich Village??

We certainly were pretty cosmopolitan on Tuesday, with people from Sweden, Poland, the United States and United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, and Australia. All united by a common language--English. And united by a common desire to learn something new, whether it be the philosophical theory passed on by Luigi Deciani on the five levels of pleasure in life, or why Irish singers sing the way they do, or just the name of a new software guaranteed to make communicating between computers easier. Something for everyone, and as Eleanor Callanan put it, everyone brings something, everyone in some small way can contribute to the joys of the evening.

Of course Dario Coos and Roberto Toniatti were particularly generous with their contributions, giving us all chances to sample and compare their sauvignons and refoscos. Thank you, and may your harvest go well again this year so that we can enjoy your fine wines another time!

So come along and bring something--bring a friend, bring an idea, bring an open mind and a smile--any and all of these would be great gifts and always welcome at our weekly ESD Tuesdays. See you there!

Penny Heysen
ESD Committee

August 28, 2007

ESD XIV August 28

Maybe it was the full moon. Maybe it was driving into the car park at Villa Deciani only to find a horse and a herd of pure white goats roaming free. Whatever the reason, there was magic in the air Tuesday night, at the fourteenth edition of the ESD.

The menu was simple, homecooking at its most honest. The quiche Lorraine quickly disappeared as we sipped spumante under the pergola, watching the light fade from the sky. Moving indoors the buffet style of the dinner helped the relaxed feel of the evening, as people merrily mingled and changed seats between courses. And Dario Coos' wines paired perfectly with the gorgonzola risotto and stracotto, especially the robust Refosco.

But the fine wine and food can't take all the credit for the success of the evening. That must surely be due to the happy mix of people, some regular attendees, and a few fresh faces, all keen to swap stories, catch up with old friends, or make new friends. Or listen to the sweet voices of Irene and Eleanor, who gifted us with a few tunes before dessert. "Wine, women, and song"--all the elements necessary for a merry evening!

Hope to see you again next week!

Penny Heysen
for the ESD Committee

August 22, 2007

ESD XIII August 21 End of summer

We had a quiet and intimate ESD for the last spurt of summer to welcome several new ESD friends. The guests this time were mostly local with the exception of the visiting Gemma and Erika, the Styrian friend of Ermes, but, as usual, all very actively speaking in English. The cosy atmosphere soon became bubbly helped on by the aperitivo of Spumante Spalletti, kindly offered by Giambi.

The meal was excellent: a delicious pasta with courgettes and saffron, magisterially done by the great cook Elda, followed by a very yummy stew with juniper berries, eggplant and potatoes. The food was accompanied by tasty wines supplied by the friendly Dario Coos, one of the distinguished winemakers of Nimis. The dessert was a very appreciated pie done by Frau Maria with apples from the farm and served with the Il Longhino di Ramandolo, a famous sweet wine, flagship of the estate.

Next appointment on Tuesday 28 August, when we expect many will be back from holidays and we hope to organize pleasant ESDs with more and more interesting people.

Do not forget to book, by sending an e-mail to:

Look forward to hearing from you,
Luigi Deciani
ESD Committee

August 7, 2007


It could have almost been a German Speaking Dinner, yesterday in Montegnacco, due to the large participation of Austrian Guests! 10 people, some accompanied by the good old ESD’s friend Karl drove from Carinthia but some came from Vienna as well. Also a few Slovenian friends, Adis & Katia, decided to cross the Soca Valley to be with us, whereas Ricky, the Canadian MD of Chinese origin, came to visit us for a couple of days. The British Community yesterday was not as large as usual but extremely qualified: besides Alan, the charming math professor of Exiter University, we had – as said before – other unique guests ...
And if the food was probably not as exciting us usual – due to a not optimal choice of the menu and probably the absence of the wine producer – our souls were extremely relieved by a very interesting and fascinating recital of a very unusual duo, who performed for us after the dinner. In a spectacular candlelit ball room, we had an unforgettable recital. With a Shakespearian English, the Londoner Gemma, enchanted us with the narration of the “Ghost of the Villa”, the spirit of the XVIIth century composer Arcangelo Corelli, whereas the Viennese violinist Katherina with delicate notes, played the music, both offering us a terrific show. Through the vibrant notes of the instrument, beautifully and mysteriously played above on the balcony you could easily feel the spirit of the artist and run with your fantasy to the old time when the house was built and things like that happened.
Was it a novel of Oscar Wilde? Was instead something true? … One might wonder…

What’s next? We’ll see on Tuesday 14.8, maybe a true midsummer’s night dream…

July 31, 2007


End of July’s ESD set the record of participants: more than 50 people attended the pleasant reunion, with enlarged international community and few new guests from Australia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Cameroun... who added to the usual friends from UK & USA. The Italian group of people was reinforced by the participation of friends from Milano and Bergamo, on top of the local guests. Among them we had the pleasure to welcome also well known dignitaries of the Province of Udine, who suggested to introduce also the Friulano among the foreign languages often used in the ESDs!!!

The give to the dinner an additional international flavour, the spanish menu based on Gaspacho and Paella was perfectly accompanied by excellent wines of the Toniatti Giacometti estate, well represented by the charming Roberto.

Bruno’s birthday was celebrated first with a precious piece of Rachmaninov wonderfully played by the very talented pianist Eleonora from Trieste. Than, at the very end of the soirée, the irish-australian Eleanor performed with her beautifully voice a lovely song of her own composition, the poetic “Une bujnòre di Maj” in Friulano!

Next appointment, the coming Tuesday, August 7th, with the exclusive participation of our friend Gemma, just arrived from London, who will be pleased to answer to any question about all aspects of English life & culture (not only about the weather, but also about politics, literature, Royal Family etc…)

For obvious organizative needs, please email me ( ) or call (tel. 349 7469230) to confirm your attendance.

The ESDs will continue as usual, every Tuesday, even in August, so please bring along your friends and family who might be visiting during this period and we will be happy to warmly receive them.

With many thanks, the ESD Team

July 10, 2007


Those who thought that it would be difficult to for the ESDs to be successful every time – starting with myself – were in for a big surprise yesterday night: the number of participants almost exceeded the capacity of the room! Hopefully in the next few weeks – if the weather allows it – we will be able to dine outdoors.

After last week’s ESD we enjoyed an enchanting concert by Lucio Degani and Ferdinando Mussutto. Last night we had another excellent performance by the charming couple, Matteo Andri, pianist, and Paola Crema, Soprano. We heard some marvellous piano pieces by Bach (Concerto Grosso italiano) and Liszt (a Sonata inspired by Dante’s Divina Commedia) and Lieders sung in different languages (Schumann, Rachmaninov and Respighi), just to mention few.

The dinner was prepared by the talented Marco Facini and included an exquisite Fillet of St. John with a delicate ratatouille. It was accompanied by a precious selection of wines of the Valle Aziende Vinicole di Buttrio: the delicious Araldo and Roldi fine wines were wonderfully and very professionally presented by fluent English speaking Ivana!

But above all, there was once again a magic atmosphere and this is due to the very special people who attend these evenings: people coming from very different environments, cultures and professions but who are happy to share time and their experiences with others…; people who very often have never met before – even if living in the same place – but who seem to have something more than the simple language in common…; people who believe in a community with no barriers.

The international character of the evening was confirmed by the large anglo-saxon community present, although an increasing number of French and/or French-speaking participants (among others Valerie, Stéphanie, and their partners) would appear to suggest that we could start a French Speaking dinner as well! We will see….

UK guests were, as usual, the majority. Apart from habitués Alan, Paul and Keep, the group included Leo with his wife Antonella and Liz,an assistant at the Keeptalking School. The second largest group was the US one and it included Wayne, a New York Sommelier with a long blond pony tail who talked at length with Kerry, the newcomers Diana, from California (but living in Udine), and Enrico, who lives and works between New York, Milano and the beautiful Castle of Chiavari. Enrico was here in Montegnacco accompanying his wife who is attending a residential yoga seminar at the Villa.

Austria was represented by Britta who is married to an Italian and lives near Palmanova, and Angelika, who deserves sincere admiration for coming every week to Friuli from Carinthia!

Among the local guests, we had also a great number of newcomers: just to mention a few, we had the pleasure of meeting the Chief Commander of the Montian Regiment (8° Alpini), Colonel Antonio Panizzi in a smart uniform with all decoration of the campaigns in Bosnia, Middle East etc. He was accompanied by his assistant, Cpt David and their respective wives. His group also included a “Top Gun”, Andrea, member of the Acrobatic patrol “Frecce Tricolori” (the Red Arrows).

It would be impossible to mention all the guests, but I would like to cite here only Mariapaola, finally with us in Montegnacco, just in time to celebrate her (second) degree with top marks. Congratulations!

My warmest thanks to all those who contributed to making the evening such a great success. I look forward to seeing you again. Do bring your friends along and spread the word!

July 3, 2007

Dear Friends,

If you missed Tuesday’s ESD, you indeed missed a very exciting evening: an ever increasing number (almost 40 this time!) of very interesting guests from all parts of the world had the unique opportunity to experience (and this is the only word to describe the emotion provoked!) an amazing concert performed by the extremely talented and local fellow ESDers Lucio Degani, first violinist for the Solisti Veneti, and Ferdinando Mussutto, worldwide renown pianist. This, in addition to the wonderful company, tasty food and friendly atmosphere, as well as a few new changes, made the evening even more memorable!

Despite not having the company of our Austrian friends who will join us again in the coming weeks, we had the pleasure to meet an interesting couple, Larry and Sherry, from Houston, Texas, who spend their summers in their house in Venice and who stayed in the Villa for the night.

Our dear friend Frere Jacques was with us again and to our great pleasure blessed the dinner and reminded us how lucky we are to gather together and have good food on the table. Frere Jacques spends his time divided between Palestine and the Association Arco della Pace based in Udine and we announced that 10% of the fee for the dinner will go to this Association.

Dinner supplied, as usual, by the always efficient Marco whose menu, was based on a really delicious pasta with shrimps as well as exquisite lamb cutlets, accompanied by a very refined selection of wine, kindly supplied by the very well-known wine estate PERUSINI di Gramogliano. This was the introduction of another change to make the evenings even more interesting: Inviting well know and up and coming wine producers to present their wines paired with the food. During this dinner, the young representative of the family, Carlo, the son of Resi and Giacomo De Pace, made a short but very effective presentation of his wines and property and really charmed all of us.

But the major attraction of the evening was surely the magnificent concert by Lucio and Ferdinando. Both just back from their concert tours, one in Germany, the other in South America, they played in the magnificent Music Room of the Villa challenging and romantic pieces by Brahms, Kreisler, Rachmaninov, and De Falla, just to mention a few. The concert ended with a wonderful Gershwin piano piece played passionately by Ferdinando.

The program will continue next Tuesday. We cannot say now what surprises await us. For sure the fun will continue, with the usual good food (the menus will be carefully studied to give the best combination of quality and healthiness) and even more good wine, which will be offered by a new supplier.

All this will be possible if we can count on your support, not only by participating but also by promoting the initiative among other like-minded friends. We particularly thanks the institutional support of Renata Capria d’Aronco of the Unesco Club di Udine and Kip and Angie Kelland of Keep Talking.

So, the next appointment is on Tuesday July 10th, same time same place, but always open to new friends who might enjoy an evening speaking English with people from all around the world. We hope to be able to continue this initiative and to enlarge the number of people interested in spending some time in good company with no communication barriers.

Please see below for details. Invite a friend and let us know if you can join us.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

The ESD Team

June 26, 2007


Dear Friends,

Yesterday's ESD, held only a week after the previous one, was again a very exciting evening, not only because of the number of guests ( nearly 30), but also due to the quality of the participants and the friendly atmosphere.

The presence of the Austrians was really appreciated: Angelika came from Villach with her Styrian friend Helga and Karl brought Susanne, his wife, a very interesting American lady living in Vienna! Other foreign guests included Alan from the U.K., as well as the friends of Laura, Brian and Esmè, who had just arrived from Sheffield. Another very interesting company was Frère Jacques, who enchanted all the crowd with his great sense of humour blending the French accent with Middle-Eastern charm… Concluding the list of the foreign partecipants, Roberto and his charming Malaysian fiancée Nardya, just arrived from London to celebrate their wedding here at the Villa with their international group of friends.

Among the local friends, Paolo honoured us again with his presence and brought Roberto, his doctor. The category of doctors was also represented by Paola and Nerina, the most active students of the Wall Street Institute. Alberto brought two very nice young girls, his daughter Giulia and her school friend Manuela. They assisted Marco with the catering and enjoyed the company of Matteo. The list of the usual guests included also Pierfrancesco and Amilcare, with his customary sense of humour. Orio and his colleague friend Daniela, both working for RAI in Trieste, who have shown an interest in the ESD initiative, while Renata and Flavia, first time guests, showed their enthusiasm to participate again not only to improve their English but also to contribute, in association with the Unesco Club, with cultural, artistic programs.

The conversation was very lively and friendly, and it was interesting to talk to so many people with such different backgrounds and yet finding something in common.

All this was possible thanks to the efforts of the organizers Luisa, Kerry and Luigi and participants and we hope that this will lead to a confirmation and improvement of the initiative.

The fun continues next week on Tuesday July 3rd, same time and same place, but always open to new friends who might enjoy an evening speaking English under the stars with people from around the world. We hope to be able to continue this initiative and to enlarge the number of people interested in sharing time in good company with no communication barriers.

Please see below for details. Invite a friend and let us know if you can join us.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

June 19, 2007

Even the 4th ESD turned out to be a great success: more than 30 people attended the wonderful dinner outside under the jasmine pergola and besides the affectionate friends who come every time including those from the Wall Street Institute, we had the pleasure to welcome quite a few newcomers to the group. Other than those from Udine and the surrounding area, we had 5 guest drive from Austria just to be able to attend the dinner including Angelika from Villach who has attended several times, and 4 friends from Carinthia who stayed the night in the Villa. The internationality of the group is growing with many countries represented: Italy, Slovenia, Austria, UK, Canada, Thailand, USA, Brazil and, to top it all off, two friends who use to live in the French Polynesian Island Bora Bora! Who would have ever imagined to find this combination of people in Friuli!

The fun continues next week on Tuesday June 26, same time and same place, but always open to new friends who might enjoy an evening speaking English under the stars with people from around the world. We hope to be able to continue this initiative and to increase the number of people interested to share time in good company with no communication barriers.

Please see below for details. Invite a friend and let us know if you can join us.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards

Luigi, Kerry & Luisa