The Italian Quarter, the events arm of FABItalia Lifestyle, celebrated their first ever Italian Quarter Festa on 29 September 2018.
The event was packed with all things Italian such as music performances, art exhibitions, wine tastings, and lucky draw. It lasted from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m..
Here is a list of events, food, and drink that were offered to the guests on the actual day:
- Pasta and bruschetta lunch that comes with a choice of tea, coffee, and juice.
- Peroni beers.
- Obvara fire pottery exhibition and demonstration by Steven Low Thia Kwang.
- Nagomi pastel art exhibition and workshop by Alena Chow (Touch-Art-Peace).
- Wine appreciation session by Claudio Nuti (Cellarmaster Wines).
- Talk; Origins of Rome: Myths and Legends by Fabrizio Righi (FABItalia Lifestyle, The Italian Quarter).
- Malay heritage talk by Maria Mahat from (Ungu Pen).
- A recital of Italian arias by Phoebe Chee.
- A performance of Italian madrigals by Cappella Martialis
- Violin performance by Andrei Slobodyanyuk.
- Lecture; Eastern influences on Boccaccio’s Decameron by Dr Frank Passani.
I was one of the invitees for the IQ Festa. Let’s dive into how the festival goes!
Photo: GESSI Singapore
I was quite mesmerised as I entered the event venue: GESSI Singapore. GESSI, an Italian brand specialising in bathroom fixtures and accessories, set up its Singapore branch in 2015 at this iconic colonial house along Penang Road.
Here are examples of their stunning interiors:
Upon registration, I received this lovely door gift; a tote bag with the Karina&Friends logo on it! This eco-friendly bag is made of very strong fibres. They are much stronger than the usual tote bags, and I have been taking this along to work and for shopping. I hear that FABItalia will be launching an online store to sell them very soon. So don’t hesitate to buy them once it is out!
The rationale behind the brand is that Fabrizio used to work with Caritas, a humanitarian organisation, in various parts of Europe. While on duty in Serbia, he saved a stray dog from an oncoming car, and he decided to name her Karina. He then brought her back to Rome and she has been living with his family ever since. Unfortunately, Karina passed on a little while ago. Fabrizio decided to start the brand as a way to remember her, and she has since come to represent friendship and love. As such, he plans to include more designs contributed by artists within his circle of friends to celebrate the friendship that he has found since settling down in Singapore.
Back to the event proper, the day started out with a Nagomi pastel art workshop by Alena Chow. She is a certified Nagomi artist and instructor, and she encouraged us to find our inner artists with applying the pastels to paper with our fingers. The workshop was really enjoyable as the process was very therapeutic. The beautiful pastel colours and the inviting ambiance of the room helped too. Everyone seemed to enjoy the workshop, and the variety of the final art works was really interesting.
I was a little hungry after the workshop and I went over to the food and drinks counter. There were bruschetta and two choices of pasta on offer. I tried both portions of pasta and a bruschetta with oregano and tomato. The plates of pasta were full of creamy flavour, and I could not resist finishing every morsel. The bruschetta had a pinch of garlic with chunks of tomato—absolute magic. A couple of Italian candies and drinks (even Peroni bottles) were there for the guests, which I appreciated as I like to eat some sweets after my main meal.
One of the main surprises of the event is Andrei Slobodyanyuk playing the violin. Despite being quite young, he is already so talented. His performances have been highly prized in Poland, France, and Singapore. I really did not expect this young boy who was roaming about the venue to suddenly get up and play such beautiful music.
Overall, I was very happy to be part of this event. Fabrizio has been organising a lot of themed events where he incorporates the colours and diversity of the world within his own Italian tradition. In these events, attendees could savour the finest Italian cuisine while immersing themselves in a variety of artistic programmes. The Italian Quarter Festa is one such event.
His past events include speaking about the origins of Rome at the National Library and Italian cuisine and language classes at various community centres across Singapore. He has also set up a social group for those who are interested in all things Italian, and we meet once a month to socialise, plan events, or rehearse songs to sing.
Mami has been living and working in Singapore full-time for the past two years. While not blogging, Mami likes to learn a couple of foreign languages, cook different dishes from all over the world, and participating in dragon boat racing at Marina Bay.