The Dante Society has run an Italian Trivia evening in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. Some committee members asked that we run a similar event this year but at the Italo-Australian Club to try and involve a broader range of participants. It was then decided that this event could follow the pattern of the Cinepizza (that we co-organised) held in May, June, July and September. In other words, participants would enjoy a pizza meal first and then exercise their brains.
The event took place on 25 October and attracted over sixty participants sitting at eight tables. About a third had booked through the club with the rest being our faithful Dante members. Among those present, there was the president of the club Board Claudio Ciuffetelli, and our own president Franco Papandrea.
The about-to-depart First Secretary of the Italian Embassy Alessandro Giovine and Francesca Foppoli were the judges who scrutinised answer sheets and allocated marks; Catharina Koopman and husband Orlando Di Iulio collected the answer sheets and kept the score on a whiteboard, and I read out the questions and answers – a totale of 86 – which I had put together with some suggestions from Alessandro Giovine, Pierluigi Simonetti and Francesca Foppoli.
The questions were sorted into nine categories: History, Geography, Art/Architecture, Literature, Sport, Entertainment, Music, Food/Cuisine, and Miscellanea. There was also a ‘Who am I?’ question to allocate a prize made available by the President of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina Raffaele Iannizzotto.
The winning table (named ‘Non lo so’) was composed of Franco Foppoli, Janette and Phil Gray, Julia Church, Tina Bain, Sue Hancock, Carmen Zanetti and Alistair Drake. They won by 2.5 points. Each participant won a $25 voucher from the Italo-Australian Club to use at its restaurant.
However, the moral winner of the evening was another table – ‘Super Mario’, mostly comprising students in my conversation group. The table comprised Susan Reye, Tamsin Hong, Sophia Talotta, Antonia Curcio, Catherine and Daniel Caruso – six people only, almost all young, and not a single Italian among them! Technically they would have won the second prize if there had been one. An Italian couple was meant to join this table but had had a medical emergency that afternoon and so could not make it. Susan and Co: you would definitely have won if the other two had been able to join you. Bravissimi!
Anne-Hélène Kabucz, who is Alessandro Giovine’s partner, was the first to correctly identify the mystery person described in the ‘Who am I?’ question and therefore won the Accademia prize. However, given that she’s about to leave Canberra, she kindly donated it to another participant who will make use of it.
Thanks to Alessandro, Francesca, Catharina and Orlando who greatly contributed to the success of the evening. There were even protests and counter-protests that we had to sort out!
The feedback has been very positive: people enjoyed the challenge and also learnt a few facts on the way. Many participants stayed on quite some time to talk about the questions and socialise.