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 ( info@deciani.it ) 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