In the 1950’s scores of Italian women were encouraged to come to work in textile mills in Bradford to alleviate a labour shortage. But, because  of one of the many side effects of Brexit, they have been informed by the Home Office that they will have to apply for the right to stay in the U.K. after the end of March this year.

Many of the women decided to remain and make their life in Bradford and elsewhere in the U.K: they were previously issued with paperwork giving them the right to stay. Now, as was the case with some of the “Windrush” residents they are being asked for proof of prior residence and feel unsure of their future.



Dozens of two storey homes in the hilltop town of Sambuca in Sicily are on the market for 1 Euro. Local councillor Giuseppe Cacioppo reassures that this is not a publicity stunt as the council owns the properties and a trouble free purchase is assured. The only caveats are: that a 500 Euro returnable deposit must be paid, and that the new owners must commit at least Euro 15,000 in the first 3 years to refurbishing the house. G. Cacioppo hopes that the offer will ameliorate the depopulation and preserve part of Sicily’s Arab heritage. Full story at:



This year’s September holiday will be to the northern city of Trieste. Trieste has much to  offer those who want to explore on foot and is also well connected by bus, train and boat to nearby towns and cities. The fascinating Slovenian city of Ljubljana is about 1.5 hours away by coach and there are also connections to Venice and Croatia. Details of the dates and flights will be published as soon as they are finalised.


CAUTIONARY NOTE: if you are interested in travelling and your passport expires this year, check its validity for travel after March 29. For this the Home Office has an easy to use web page, go to:



In line with this year holiday destination, we recommend the splendid “Trieste and the meaning of nowhere” by Jan Morris.

Jan Morris (then James) first visited Trieste as a soldier at the end of the Second World War. Here, her thoughts on a host of subjects – ships, cities, cats, sex, nationalism, Jewishness, civility and kindness – are inspired by the presence of Trieste, and recorded in or between the lines of this book. Evoking the whole of its modern history, from its explosive growth to wealth and fame under the Habsburgs, through the years of Fascist rule to the miserable years of the Cold War, when rivalries among the great powers prevented its creation as a free city under United Nations auspices, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere is neither a history nor a travel book; like the place, it is one of a kind.

Leonardo da Vinci – La Scapigliata

La scapigliata is widely known as The Female Head. In Italian, la Scapigliata means “Woman who is uncombed”, which explains the ringlets flowing down around her neck.

Oil on wood 24.7 cm × 21 cm Galleria Nazionale di Parma.

The Queen owns the world’s largest collection of Leonardo drawings. To celebrate the

500th anniversary of the death of this genius and polymath, selected works are being loaned for exhibition in public museums and galleries around the U.K. Some  are on view in the Southampton City Art Gallery. Details available at:


February is the month of the “FESTIVAL DI SANREMO”. The FESTIVAL DELLA CANZONE ITALIANA is the most popular Italian song contest and awards, held annually in the town of Sanremo, Liguria, and consisting of a competition amongst previously unreleased songs. IL VOLO, with the song “GRANDE AMORE”, won in 2015, listen at :


Struffoli – Italian pronunciation: [ˈstruffoli] – is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of sweet dough. The dough is formed in to balls about the size of marbles. Crunchy on the outside and light inside, struffoli are mixed with honey and other sweet ingredients and formed into mounds or rings. There are many different ways to flavour them: the traditional way is to mix them in honey with diavulilli (nonpareils sprinkles), cinnamon, and bits of orange rind. Naming varies by region: in Calabria they are also known as scalilli, and in Abruzzi cicerchiata. They are often served at Christmas and Carnival and are sometimes served warm. See SAIS website for the full recipe.




On February 15th a member of SAIS, Kay Price will give talk on Joanna Queen of Naples, this is a fascinating story not to be missed. Details on flyer attached.

On March 1st Film Night “Pane e Tulipani” details to follow.

On April 6th trip to Romsey for a guided tour led by Andrew Negus. Details in next bollettino.




The income from the raffles at our meeting help to keep the Society solvent. If you have any suitable items left over after Christmas, or after decluttering, please bring them along to a monthly meeting. Thank you!




A presto