Tours of Tuscany

Tours of Tuscany
Join this small group tour and immerse yourself in the current of sensation for a week of food, wine and culture in Tuscany.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Media Release 17th December 2009

The Australasian Commedia dell’Arte Festival will be officially launched today
in its home town of Gympie, Queensland.

This inaugural festival is being staged from the 28th to the 30thMay, 2010. Commedia artists from all over Australian and Italy will converge on Gympie and the Cooloola Region for thisthree day celebration of a living theatre tradition, including performances, workshops and discussions.
Headlining the event is internationally renowned Italian Commedia artist, director and teacher, Antonio Fava, who will perform his world premiere of “PulcinellataNera” (Black Comedy alla Pulcinella)

With its roots in 16th century Italy, Commedia dell’Arte boasts a colourful history of artistic innovation, political controversy and above all, pure entertainment. This 3-day festival celebrates this living theatre tradition and promises to recreate the magic and mayhem that is Commedia.

The festival will take place at the Gympie Civic Centre and include daytime workshops, presentations and discussions with evening Commedia performances being staged in the beautiful Heritage Theatre. A special Drinks, Chalkboard and Dinner is also being held on Saturday afternoon of the 29th May at local Italian venue, Raffinati’s Restaurant& Bar.
To signify the closing of the festival on the night of Sunday 30th May, the Noosa Botanical Gardens in Cooroy will host MrFava’s World Premiere performance of “Pulcinellata Nera”. This performance, a little opera in words, lazzi and music in the style of the Neapolitan Commedia dell’Arte, will beheld at the stunning Lake Macdonald amphitheatre, Cooroy.

The festival is the brainchild of highly creative performer/director, Tony Kishawi, a Gympie local andex NIDA teacher. With a commitment to the world of Theatre, Tony explains, “I want to share the rich cultural legacy that is Commedia in Australia. And what better place to hold the festival but in Gympie, on the doorstep to the Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.”

To be an active participant in the festival and get “inside the mask!”, 3 day festival tickets are now on sale, with early bird discounts available for those purchased by the 30th December, 2009. Special discounts are available for students and emerging artists. Tickets are limited so book early.

Separate performance tickets are also for sale from February 1st 2010, for those wishing to attend the night performances or the World Premiere of “PulcinellataNera”. Performance tickets range from just $25 per adult, $15 concession for the evening performance program and $40 per adult and $30 concession for the World Premiere.
Visit the website for a sneak preview of the lineup. For more information call Lightwire on (07) 5408 2137 or go to the festival website.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update for Italian Week 2010

Hello friends of Italian Week!

Well, we are well into planning and organizing Italian Week 2010 and thought we may update you on progress.

In order to grow the event and continue with the high level of cultural activities and production, we started as soon as the 2009 Italian Week finished. So on the drawing board for next year, we have a major National retailer collaborating with us and this will add great value – we will reveal the sponsor in due course however, this is a significant opportunity for us to gain commercial collaboration on a large scale from an organization which sees the potential of Italian Week!!

Over the past 6 months, we have had the good fortune to have Sir Llew Edwards mentoring and assisting with strategic planning and development and Sir Llew has discussed Italian Week with the Lord Mayor, who is pleased to assist.

We are working with the Hear and Say Centre, who is our official charity and who has assisted us with various grant applications. Including the Brisbane City Council, Multicultural Affairs, Creative Sparks and a number of others.

Entertainment is the focus for 2010 and we have a great lineup under way – we are looking to collaborate with as many organisations as we can and have already established a great connection with many great orchestra’s, choirs and musicians.

Once again we have the support of the Italian Motor Clubs and we are planning the Italian Motor Expo for the 3rd edition.

Our major partners and sponsors are back on board again for 2010 and the Queen Street Mall will be one of the main focus points for Italian Week 2010 along with a couple of other locations we are currently negotiating with.

Italian Fashion Week is planned once again for next year and we have some strong interest from a leading designer which we hope will produce a signature collection specifically for Italian Fashion Week.

That’s the news so far – more details in due course – in the meantime – ciao! A presto..

Best Regards
Alessandro Sorbello
Executive Producer, Italian Week

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'Tastes of Italy' part of Brisbane's 150th anniversary

On the 6th of September, as part of Brisbane's 150th anniversary Italian Week hosted the stand 'Tastes of Italy' as part of the festivities and we raised funds for the upcoming Italian Week in 2010.
Thanks to Aladino Pozzebon from Dolci Sapori and Di Bella Coffee for the support once again.

2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Brisbane. Celebrating this exceptional moment in our history Brisbane City Council will present awe inspiring events all over the city with exhibitions, a wide variety of performances, activities and events highlighting our city, its history and its people.

In 1859 the residents took Brisbane’s future in their hands, successfully petitioning the Governor of New South Wales for Brisbane town to become a municipality. Later that year the first council was established and Brisbane became the capital of the newly formed colony of Queensland.

150 years ago the vision for our city started to take shape by the people who knew it best - its residents.

As we reflect on our past, the present and imagine our future, 2009 will be a year long celebration.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Italian Week 2010 Promo film clip

Italian Week is the Official celebration of the Festa della Repubblica (Italian National Day), an initiative of the Consulate of Italy in Queensland and Northern Territory, in collaboration with New Realm Media , The Pellegrino Scholarship, produced by Alessandro Sorbello with support of the Italian institutions, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.

The Four Seasons - The Queensland Orchestra Special appearance by an ensemble from The Queensland Orchestra – your state orchestra’. The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723,

Three Tenors - Pavarotti Viva Take three likely lads: one from Ingham, one from Brisbane and one, originally from Naples

Fatima Scialdone performing at the Launch of Italian Fashion Week Direct from Italy and supported by the Italian Embassy in Canberra, Italian Week is proud to present Fatima Scialdone, Jaider De Oliveira performing at the Opening of Italian Fashion Week Jaider De Oliveira, singer, producer, performer, guitarist, percussionist, teacher and entertainer. Roberto Nobilia performing at the Opening of Italian Fashion Week Australian born Roberto Nobilia Robert has written and recorded many albums, including the work of ‘Stark’ which is the collaboration between himself and musician/producer Lindsay Askew

Pasta and Gelato tastings - Angelo's Fresh Pasta Products Join one of Brisbane’s best-loved Italian family businesses, Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products for Pasta and Gelato Tastings. Angelo Cazzolato Italian Motor Expo in Reddacliff Place Italian Motor Expo 2009 Queen Street Mall and Reddacliff Place Italian Motor vehicles, the Italian Motor Expo Alex Ranieri 16 year old Alex Raineri currently studies piano performance with Leah Horwitz, OAM at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and also studies composition with Gerard Brophy.

Raffaele Pierno and Dominique Fegan performing a Tribute to Puccini Raffaele Pierno is a graduate of the Conservatorium Domenico Cimarosa in Avellino, Southern Italy. Dominique Fegan, Dominique has performed with numerous operatic societies in south east Queensland and in the UK. Highlights of Romeo and Juliet. Radio 4MBS in conjunction with Italian Week presents highlights of Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare most famous ‘couple’

Italian Fashion Week - Elio Moda - For over 20 years Italian born designer Elio Marzullo, owner and creative director of the label Elio Moda Peroni Italian Waiters Race Waiters and waitresses representing Italian restaurants in Queensland

Marco Evans in concert Marco Evans grew up in a very musical household. His grandmother, father and his aunt are all singers, musicians and performers. Marco is multifaceted; he is foremost, a singer/songwriter/producer working on his debut album.

Paolo Diotti in concert Pianist, composer, arranger and producer, Paolo studies music since age 5 and has arranged and composed music for theatre. Lisa Hunt in concert Lisa Hunt began singing in that great African American tradition, the gospel church, there was laid the foundation of her soulful singing style. 'A Night in Sardinia' at Cosi Ristorante Italiano Presenting A Night in Sardinia in conjunction with Angelo’s Fresh Pasta at Cosi Ristorante Italiano 699a Sandgate Road Clayfield. Part of 'A Taste of Italy'

Book Launch and Sicilian Dinner at Spizzico Restaurant Barista Course at Di Bella If you are a coffee enthusiast and want to learn more Di Bella Coffee will be running “The ultimate coffee experience” coffee appreciation courses.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Highlights of Italian Week 2009

Sir Lew Edwards to Mentor Italian Week Producer

Sir Llewellyn Edwards, CEO of World Expo 88 in Brisbane Australia has generously agreed to mentor Alessandro Sorbello and support Italian Week. We are deeply grateful for the wealth of experience Sir Llew offers and his valuable assistance. Thank you once again Sir Llew

Sir Llew, a Senate member since 1984, and Chancellor since 1993, is a distinguished graduate of the University and a former Deputy Premier and Treasurer of Queensland.
Born in Ipswich, he was educated at Raceview and Silkstone State Schools and Ipswich Grammar School.

His first qualification was as an electrician in his family business and he then studied medicine at UQ, graduating with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. He worked as a Resident Medical Officer and as a Surgical Registrar in Queensland Hospitals before overseas postings in London, Edinburgh and Wales.

Sir Llew was a General Practitioner in Ipswich until 1972. During this time he served as President of the Australian Medical Association (Ipswich Branch), President of Ipswich Grammar School Old Boys Association, member of Ipswich Blue Nurses Council, and member of the Ipswich Hospitals Board.

In 1972 he was elected to the Parliament of Queensland as the Member for Ipswich representing the Liberal Party. He was appointed Minister for Health in 1974 and in 1978 became Deputy Premier & Treasurer of Queensland until he retired from Parliament in 1983.

He was then appointed by the Federal and Queensland Governments as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of World Expo 88, the major bicentenary event in 1988, and remained in that position until 1989. It was one of the most successful events held in Australia and attracted 18 million visits over six months.

Sir Llew then entered corporate life becoming Executive Consultant to Jones Lang Wootton, Australia`s leading property company, now Jones Lang LaSalle, and remains with that company.
He has served on many Boards: Chairman of Como Properties 1990-1994, Australian Japan Foundation 1990-1996, Chairman Multi Function Polis 1990-1997, Chairman of Greyhound Pioneer Pty Ltd 1994-1998, Director of Channel 10 1990-1993, AGC Ltd 1989-1996, Chairman of Micro-medical Industries 1994-1996, Westpac Banking Corporation from 1988 to December 2004, James Hardie Industries 1989 to 2001, Telecom New Zealand (Aust) Ltd 1994 to1998, RT Edwards & Sons Pty Ltd from 1974 to present time, Chairman of Pacific Film and Television Commission (the Queensland Government Film Body) from 1990 to present time. He has been Chairman of the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation, Amaca Pty Ltd and Amaba Pty Ltd since 2001.

He was also a member of the Forde Foundation Advisory Council, appointed by the Queensland Government, for 3 years from 2001. He has chaired UQ Holdings Pty Ltd since 1998. He is Chairman of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum and a Director of Uniseed Pty Ltd.

Sir Llew was awarded a Knight Bachelor in 1984 for his services to the people of Queensland, a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1989 for his services to the people of Australia, Queenslander of the Year 1988 and many other awards. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of The University of Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Italian Week at B150

Italian Week will be present at the upcoming celebrations of Brisbane on the 6th of September. Our sponsors Di Bella Coffee and Dolci Sapori will once again support us as we run one of the food stands - come visit us at 'Tastes of Italy' and try some great Italian Food and coffee.

All proceeds from Sales of Di Bella Coffee go directly to Italian Week. Thanks to Phillip Di Bella for the support once again.


I am writing to invite you to celebrate an important date in the history of our city.

On September 6 150 years ago, Brisbane was declared a municipality and gained the power to carve its future and shape its own identity.

Sesquicentenaries do not come around too often, that is why on this major anniversary I want the whole of Brisbane to celebrate.

Come Celebrate will be a free outdoor party for families, friends, the young and the old across 2km of South Bank Parklands, City Botanic Gardens and the Goodwill Bridge.

Cultural performances, food stalls, a music stage, sports celebrities, history storyboards, dancers, 19th century actors, prize draws and a passionate debate pitting northsiders against southsiders will make this a great day out.

Festivities will kick off at 9.30am and run till 3pm, but live music acts will continue at the Riverstage until after 8pm.

I hope this will be an occasion for people to come together, think about our history and recognise the many achievements that have shaped us into the great city we are today.

In 1859, Brisbane residents took the future of our city into their own hands, successfully petitioning the Government of New South Wales for independence.

On that same day in 2009, I’m asking today’s Brisbane people to help make Come Celebrate a significant and unforgettable day.

See you there.
Campbell Newman
Lord Mayor

Three iconic Brisbane landmarks – City Botanic Gardens, Goodwill Bridge and South Bank Parklands – will spring to life on Sunday 6 September for the city’s 150th anniversary party.

More than 2km of free festivities will be on offer for patrons to enjoy themselves at the free Come Celebrate event.

An exciting array of entertainment, art, sport, music, theatre and delicious food will ensure there is something for everyone’s taste on the first weekend in Spring.

Following an Indigenous welcome to country, Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman will officially open the event followed by a welcome from the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AO at 10am.

At 11am the Goodwill Bridge will become a huge public square with a fiery celebrity debate on whether it is better to live on the Northside or Southside of Brisbane, hosted by Channel Nine’s Andrew Lofthouse.

Music will entertain from four stages throughout the day:
The Riverstage will host an emblematic Brisbane concert showcasing the formation of Brisbane’s music culture. This concert will offer entertainment from Brisbane’s rising stars along with well known bands creating a playground of musical richness. Intercooler, The Gin Club and leading act The Cat Empire are not to be missed performances.

The Gardens of Origin stage at the entry to the Botanic Gardens will provide visitors with a glimpse into Brisbane’s history with a trip down memory lane featuring historical storyboards, penny farthing bicycles and re-enactments of historical events. A multicultural concert will also showcase Brisbane’s international heritage and local Indigenous artists will perform traditional songs and dances.

South Bank’s Rainforest Green Space will host the Arts on the Green series of concerts and feature a cultural banquet from an eclectic group of Brisbane’s best local talent including writers, local choirs and singers.

The Suncorp Piazza in the middle of South Bank will echo to the large and loud sounds of Brisbane’s best bands. A rolling program from big bands and more than 100 barbershop singers will keep the audience toe-tapping.

Sports fans can meet their heroes and enjoy all that is sporty at Sports Central. Stars from football, swimming, netball, surf lifesaving, hockey and other sports will be signing autographs, chatting with fans and posing for photos while enjoying Brisbane’s special day on Picnic Island at South Bank.

Celebrating Brisbane’s multicultural makeup, there will be a cornucopia of exotic food and drinks from a wide variety of international mini restaurants and outlets spread through out the Gardens and South Bank. Choose from a Burmese special rice dish, Pacific Islander fish, an African meat speciality or a Cambodian curry and finish with Austrian pastries –or be adventurous and try every thing on offer!

This will be a day to remember. So bring the family and grab your friends to come celebrate Brisbane’s 150th birthday in true Brissie style at the Botanic Gardens and South Bank on Sunday 6 September.

Picnic Island, South Bank Parklands 11.30am – 2pm

Brisbane has a long history of producing sporting greats so here is your chance to get up close and personal with your favourite sporting personalities.

Mingle with athletic heroes from football, hockey, netball, cricket, soccer, Olympic and Commonwealth Games at Come Celebrate as well as stars of Channel 9’s The Shak.

The Queensland Firebirds are Queensland’s elite netball team playing in the Trans-Tasman competition, the ANZ Championship and will be looking forward to celebrating the city’s 150th birthday and catching up with their many fans.

Coached by local hero and netball legend, Vicki Wilson, the team train and play home games in Brisbane and have been one of Brisbane’s most successful teams.

Grab an autograph from Netty’s Australian superstars, captain Peta Stephens, Clare McMeniman and Janelle Lawson and pose for a pic with their Firebirds’ team mates before feasting on Brisbane’s biggest barbecue.

More than 1000 buns and sausages will be thrown on the barbie as Lions and Rotary prepare the city’s biggest ever sausage sizzle to raise money for charity.

City Botanic Gardens 10am - 3pm

Brisbane is now an international melting pot with people from countries all around the world making Brisbane their new home. Our new citizens bring with them a wealth of entertainment, ethnic culture and exciting traditions.

Check out more than 20 song and dance performances that showcase this rich multicultural heritage at Come Celebrate, ranging from local Indigenous artists to Bollywood and Celtic dancing.

Zhiva Voda is just one act sprinkling an ethnic flavour on the Gardens with their performance of Bulgarian traditional music and song for Brisbane audiences.

Inspired by the beauty of their home land’s traditions, Reni Pavlova-Bojilov and George Gaydov join with Australian-born Ann Bermingham to create soaring solos, spine-tingling harmonies and virtuosic instrumentals, underpinned by exciting rhythms, and universal stories of love, longing and everyday life. Since forming in 2002, Zhiva Voda’s performance honours the authentic music of Bulgaria, while also celebrating its continuing life and relevance in 21st century Brisbane.

Celebrate Brisbane’s diverse cultures and check out songs and dances you may never have experienced before from the city’s multicultural residents at the Gardens.

Rainforest Green Stage, South Bank Parklands 11.30am - 2.30pm

Among the swaying palms of Rainforest Green, enjoy the best of our city’s vibrant and diverse arts scene with some of Brisbane’s leading performance groups, including the Brisbane Writers Show.

The cultural stage brings Brisbane’s literature to life in a highly entertaining theatrical creation using poetry, song and prose. Brisbane Writers Show tells the fascinating story of Brisbane as captured in the words of its great writers- Steele Rudd, David Malouf, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Thea Astley, Hugh Lunn and more!

From the convicts’ lament ‘The Ballad of Moreton Bay’ to Estelle Pinney’s pair of likely lasses during World War II on the lookout for Yanks, Brisbane Writers Show is a masterly mix of moods, genres and character transformations.

Brisbane Writers Show is presented by Playabout Productions, the brainchild of award-winning actors, Therese Collie and Tim Mullooly.

Add this performance on the Come Celebrate to-do list for anyone with a love of literature and live theatre.

Riverstage 11am - 8pm

Nine hours of an eclectic program of music will pump across the Riverstage soundwaves at Come Celebrate, culminating in a one-hour set from one of Australia’s most popular bands – The Cat Empire.

Just after stepping off the plane direct from their European tour, The CatEmpire has announced they will be playing a special show for their Brisbane fans at The Brisbane River stage on 6 September.

The Empire have been dying to get back to Brisbane audiences and jumped at the chance to head the celebrations for Brisbane’s 150th anniversary at the Riverstage, which the band packed out for their 2008 concert.

The Cat Empire’s European Summer tour saw them play sold out shows through the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and France for the European release of LIVE ON EARTH, their live double album which was released in Australia earlier this year. Their Empire continues to grow overseas, with the tour sold out to massive crowds six weeks in advance of the bands arrival.

The band will return to their native Melbourne later this year to focus on writing material for a new album, to be released in 2010.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see one of the country’s best bands perform for free at Come Celebrate on 6 September.

Goodwill Bridge 11am

Where do you prefer to watch the footy – Suncorp or the Gabba?
Is the steak and beer tastier at the Story Bridge or the Brekky Creek Hotel? Are the leafy surrounds of New Farm Park or Captain Burke Park the better place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon?

These and other not so serious but all consuming life decisions will be argued in a heated debate over whether it is better to live on the north or southside of Brisbane’s river. Channel Nine’s Andrew Lofthouse will chair the debate as we find out which side of Brisbane reigns supreme.

Everyone attending Come Celebrate can enter a competition to win a fantastic Brisbane based tourist package for four people, including one night’s accommodation at the Hilton, dinner at award-winning E’cco Bistro and discounted tickets to tours and attractions across the city. Check out how you can win on our website:

Suncorp Piazza, South Bank Parklands 10.30am – 3pm

Suncorp Piazza will come alive with the brass and drums of Brisbane’s best military bands and the harmonised voices of one of Brisbane’s biggest barbershop troupes.

Since Expo ’88, big bands and barbershop have been favourites at Brisbane events, injecting their very own flair and big personalities into all your favourite tunes.

Make sure you are at Suncorp Piazza to enjoy a rolling program of our best bands and to hear Brisbane’s 100-strong barbershop chorus ‘The Sunshiners’ perform a special tribute for Brisbane audiences as part of Come Celebrate.