Italian Scotland SCIO - Scottish Charity Number SC044660













A New Italian Scotland

A major landmark in the development of the Italian-Scottish links was achieved last month with the birth of Italian Scotland as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation – a new legal form for registered Scottish charities. The new organization is the successor body to the CoCAIS and will continue to provide the same services – and hopefully offer new opportunities for the promotion of all things Italian in Scotland.

The principal advantages of the change of name and status are:

  • It helps the organisation to take advantage of and to conform to modern tax law.
  • It gives the organisation formal standing with the state/authorities.
  • It modernises the constitution in line with current expectations and circumstances.
  • The change of name makes the organisation more visible, understandable and attractive to members and friends of the Italian community.


At an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 17 March, the proposal to change the name from CoCAIS and adopt the new charitable status was passed unanimously. The new charity’s first trustees are Paul Verrico (President), Cav Adriano De Marco, Tina Stewart (Treasurer), Giuseppe Riato and Cav Ronnie Convery (Secretary).

The new organisation is open to all who have an interest in Scottish-Italian culture and co-operation. You can become a member (no joining fee!) and come along to meetings to help plan some of the traditional big events on the calendar or suggest and organise new ones. You can download the application form here and email it to the secretary at


Scampagnata 2014

La Scampagnata will take place on 22 June 2014 at Alva. The advertising brochure is being co-ordinated by Tina Stewart and 1,600 copies will be produced. The park has been booked, First Aid has been booked and Archbishop Conti has agreed to celebrate Mass. Sarti’s will once more organise a Barbecue. Bocce and the annual football tournament will also take place. Please spread the word and keep the date free in your diary!!!

Festa della Terza Età

The event at Sarti’s Renfield Street went well on Sunday, 16 March with 76 “senior” (in years!) members of the Italian Scotland community attending. Thanks to all who made it possible.


Requiem Mass for the Italian Community

This will be offered by Archbishop Tartaglia on Monday, 3 November and the Italian Ambassador will attend. Italian Scotland will provide the buffet. Once more please mark this date in your diary!


Befana 2015

The Befana next year will take place on 4 January 2015 at Pollokshields Burgh Hall. The cost will be £5 each and there will be a clown, a DJ and refreshments. Another date to remember!


Italian Library

Italian Scotland has launched an Italian Library (Biblioteca Italiana - West of Scotland) and now we have 178 Books, the best of Italian literature,narrative, history and children's bedtime reading.
The books are housed at Single-End Bistro - 265 Renfrew Street - Glasgow (Charing Cross End).
To register you only need to send an email to with your name, address, tel number and email address, and once you have confirmation, you can start to borrow the books (Only one at a time!) between 2pm - 5pm. Simply ask a member of staff to enter your name and book number on the log book.
The service is free of charge.
We welcome contributions of books in Italian, and Italian CDs and DVDs.


Flights to Italy

This month sees the start of a new range of flights to Italy from Scotland. Here is a handy list:

  • Easyjet
    • Edinburgh to Milan Malpensa - flights from 30 Jan to 25 Oct
    • Edinburgh to Naples - flights from 23 April to 19 Oct
  • Ryanair
    • Glasgow Prestwick to Pisa - flights from 4 June to 27 Sept
    • Glasgow Prestwick to Rome (Ciampino) - flights from 1 April to 25 October
    • Edinburgh to Bologna - flights from 1 April to 27 Sept.
    • Edinburgh to Pisa - flights from 1 April to 25 Oct
    • Edinburgh to Rome (Ciampino) - flights from 31 Jan to 31 Oct
  • Jet 2
    • Glasgow - Rome (Fiumicino) - flights from 3 April to 26 Oct
    • Edinburgh to Venice (Marco Polo) - flights from 4 April to 27 Oct
    • Edinburgh to Verona - flights from 14 May to 1 Oct
  • Thomson flights (Charter)
    • Glasgow to Naples - flights (on Fridays) from 4 April to 24 October


Italian Chapel at Orkney

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the completion of the Chapel which was built by Italian prisoners of war who had been sent to Orkney to work at building causeways between Orkney’s southern islands. The Italians requested a proper place of worship and Father Giacobazzi and Domenico Chiocchetti persuaded the then camp commandant, Major T. P. Buckland, to allow them to build a chapel on Lamb Holm. They were given two Nissen huts joined end to end to convert on the condition all work was carried out outside working hours on the barriers. So the foundations were laid for what has become Orkney’s most visited attraction.

This year there will be several celebratory events.

On May 18 Archbishop Mario Conti will celebrate a special Mass in the chapel in the presence of the relatives of those who helped in its construction.

A month later, on June 21, the Italian Ambassador will visit the chapel with Scottish Government Minister Fiona Hyslop and the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Dr Stefania Del Bravo, for a concert and the opening of an exhibition on the chapel as part of the St Magnus Festival. Italian Scotland has given a grant of £300 to help support this important cultural event. More details at


Italian Cloister Garden
The beautiful Italian Cloister Garden, next to St Andrew’s Cathedral is being further improved this spring. New decorative gates are being installed in time for Easter, and the seating (a gift of the people of Picinisco) has been upgraded to replace the wood which had degraded. Meanwhile the 200 year old Olive tree – gifted by the people of the Garfagnana – has had a good winter and is already quite healthy with leaves. And the plaques containing the names of benefactors and victims of the Arandora Star are being completed.

If you have not yet visited the Garden, make use of the better weather to do so. It is a little corner of Italy in the heart of Glasgow. More information at


Richard Demarco

That great Scots-Italian, Richard Demarco, has been awarded the prestigious “Edinburgh Award” for 2014. Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Donald Wilson said: "I am delighted to be able present this year's award to Richard Demarco, whose tireless work to promote and present art from around the globe has doubtlessly enriched the Scottish art scene.
"The Edinburgh Award is a chance to honour an outstanding individual who has made an impact on the city and Prof Demarco is a most deserving recipient."

Born in 1930 to an Italian-Irish family in Edinburgh, Prof Demarco went on to co-found The Richard Demarco Gallery in 1966 before establishing the Demarco European Art Foundation.
Appointed a CBE in 2007, the 83-year old, who has organised hundreds of exhibitions, plays and conferences has a collection of modern art by some of the most important figures in 20th century art and more than one million photographs.

Arandora Star Concert

Cwmbach Male Choir is visiting Glasgow during May of this year. They will be performing in concert on Saturday 3 May at St Andrew’s Cathedral at 7.00 pm to both help the Cathedral Organ Restoration Fund and the recent Helicopter Crash Clutha Appeal fund.
The choir has strong connections with the Italian community in South Wales, and has been significantly involved in commemorations around the sinking of the Arandora Star.
They will be paying their respects in song in the lovely Italian Memorial Gardens attached to St Andrew’s Cathedral, at 6.15 on the same evening, immediately prior to the concert.
If you are able, please come along - beautiful music in a beautiful setting.


Singing Nun

Sister Cristina Scuccia wowed Italians with her rendition of the Alicia Keys song, “No one” on Italian talent show, the Voice of Italy. The YouTube video of Italy’s singing sister has attracted over 28 million views.

Sister Scuccia, 25, literally stunned judges who were even more stupefied to discover the impressive voice they were hearing belonged to none other than a nun. Her voice caused the judges, numbering some of Italy’s best known pop singers, to gasp in amazement. Here’s Sister Scuccia doing her stuff, which is worth watching not only for the singing nun, but also for the stunned reaction of the talent show judges who were initially unable to see who was singing.



The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK would like to invite you to
“La Dolce Vita”
Chez d'Vino Club

An exclusive and inaugural event of dVino Club aimed at presenting some prestigious and exceptional Italian wines sourced directly from the suppliers. During this occasion, you will have the chance to sample an exclusive tasting menu with matching wines, all representing different Italian regions and traditions. Qualified Italian sommeliers will entertain you presenting the story and the personality of each wine; moreover, they will explain the wine-pairing with the dishes created ad hoc for this evening. The entire dinner will be accompanied by live music played on site by a classical orchestra.

“La Dolce Vita” is an interesting opportunity for all wine lovers to discover Italian fine wines and to meet Italian experts, indeed there will be the possibility to become a member of dVino Club and start a journey among monthly appointments with Italian heavenly wines.

“La Dolce Vita” will take place on Friday, 25th April 2014 at 7pm at the Trades Hall in Glasgow.
For further information on the dinner event please see the brochure attached and the online menu; for enquiries about prices and reservation feel free to contact us at +44 (0)141 331 6078 or If you are looking for information about joining the dVino Club, please visit their website at


Long Live Italy

Italians are increasingly long-lived. That's according to the latest census by ISTAT (National Institute for Statistics). The data showed an increase of 138% in the number of Italian citizens over 100 in 10 years. There are now more than 15,000 centenarians in Italy.

Life expectancy for women, constantly on the rise, is 84.5 years; the same can be said for men, who now have a life expectancy of 79.4 years. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the crucial role played in longevity by the Mediterranean diet, declared a UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Unfortunately, however, one of the effects of the economic crisis is that Italian households have had to cut down significantly on the purchase of typical products of the Mediterranean diet, especially fish (-20%), pasta (-9%), extra virgin olive oil (-6%), fruit and vegetables (-3%). See more at:


ItalianScotland on Social Media

In the era of Facebook and Twitter it makes sense to keep in touch via social media. Our Facebook page is updated almost daily with news and events or interest to members and friends of the Scots Italian Community. Just look up ItalianScotland on Facebook and click “like”.

We are now into the third year of our Facebook presence. It has just under 1000 signed up followers and reaches a different audience to the newsletter recipients - much younger, less likely to be involved in formal associations. One recent post reached 6000 people in less than
24 hours! Our Facebook page engagement activity in January 2014 has been 33,000, up from 9000 for the same period last year... more than 200 per cent increase, which shows the importance of us using social media to communicate.

Remember to follow us also on Twitter at @ItalianScotland



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Italian Scotland SCIO - Scottish Charity Number SC044660