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Italian Week 2012

Home > Brisbane > Free | Food and Wine | Festivals | Family | Competitions | Community Events | Charity | Markets | Music
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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What's not to love about Italy and Italians? We love them for their food, their history, their language, their music and their passion. You can share in the best that Italy has to offer during Brisbane's Italian Week beginning on Wednesday 23 May and culminating on Saturday 2 June 2012, Festa della Repubblica (Italy's national day). Okay, I know that's actually ten days, but I didn't say we loved them for their maths.

[ADVERT]The land that gave us spaghetti bolognese and spaghetti westerns also brought us Leonardo Da Vinci, Ferraris, ice cream cones, pianos, thermometers, Mussolini, and the Mafia. Let's face it, you can't get it all right.

The theme for this year's festival is "Sapori e piaceri" (literally "Taste and Pleasure"). Amazing how it sounds so much better in Italian. There's an action packed program with events centred on the Brisbane CBD but with some popping up in Woolloongabba and New Farm too.

Some events, including the official launch, concerts, food tastings and dinners are ticketed but most are free. You can view the whole calendar of events on the website here but I've listed some of the free highlights below.

Italian Week @ Jan Powers Markets

Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Brisbane City and at New Farm will have a bellissimo makeover and showcase Italian food, cooking and dance during the festival.

City Markets: Redacliff Place (between Treasury Casino and Brisbane Square), Wednesday 23 May from 10 am to 6pm
New Farm Markets: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm, Saturday 26 May from 10am to 6pm.

The Illumination

Treasury Casino and QPAC will be ablaze at nighttime during the festival with red, white and green, the colours of the Italian flag.

When: From Saturday 26 May to Saturday 2 June, from 5.30 pm.
Where: Treasury Casino and QPAC buildings.

Bands in the Square

Experience the music of Ol' Blue Eyes (Francis Albert Sinatra) presented by Brass Roots at Brisbane's Twilight Markets.

When: Friday 25 May from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
Where: King George Square, Brisbane

Brisbane International Waiters Race and the Waiters Race Party

The aim of this fun event is to raise money for the Hear and Say Centre. Waiters from a number of Queensland restaurants will race against each other while carrying cups of coffee on a tray. The winner is the first over the line without spilling a drop. Come along and cheer for waiters from your favourite restaurant. A free, everyone's invited, celebration party will then be held at Cloudland.

Waiters Race: Queen Street Mall, Friday 1 June at 3pm
Waiters Race Party: Cloudland, Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Friday 1 June from 8pm until late.

Experience Italian Language and Culture

The festival concludes with the team from La Bella Figura instructing you in the fine arts of Italian conversation and culture.

When: Saturday 2 June from 10am to 4 pm
Where: Queen Street Mall.

La dolce vita, Brisbane.
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Why? It's La dolce vita.
When: From Wednesday 23 May to Saturday 2 June
Where: Various venues around Brisbane.
Cost: Most events are Free. See event website for details of ticketed events.
Your Comment
after just coming back from venice last week, I can't wait to expereicne a little bit more of Italy <3
by bssri (score: 0|2) 2653 days ago
sad, sad, sad... went to brisbane today (2 hour trip one way) with the wife to check out the Italian Festival at: New Farm Markets: Brisbane Powerhouse, Saturday 26 May from 10am to 6pm" as stated on this site... and was told they changed the dates for the festival... i guess it never occurred to anyone to change the adverts... i guess that would be too much to ask for... whoever is in charge of Italian Week --you're an idiot and thanks for wasting our day.
by sel74 (score: 0|2) 2644 days ago
Elio's @ Underwood an Italian restaurant on the South side is offering 10% off to anyone who mentions 'Italian week' when booking in.
They are open for dinner Tues-Sun from 5pm.
Ph 07 3841 3666
by eatit (score: 0|2) 2644 days ago
Dear Sel74

The Italian Market event at the Jan Powers Markets at the Powerhouse advertised on our website was a new feature of Italian Week for 2012. We worked with the organisers of the Jan Powers Markets to bring Italian Culture to the Powerhouse markets and were advised from the organisers of the markets that the event would run until 6pm.

As such we organised ourselves around this information and promoted the event on our website. On the day of the markets, we were informed by the organisers that the markets would finish at 12 noon. As all of our team were at the markets we were unable to make changes to the advertised times on the website.

My Name is Alessandro and I am the producer of Italian Week and have been for the past 6 years. Over this time I have coordinated a small team of volunteers to produce and promote Italian Culture in Brisbane and around Queensland.

Over the past 6 years, this year included, we have focused our attention on fundraising money for the Hear and Say Centre for Children who are born deaf. Last year, through the efforts of Italian Week we were able to raise $10,000 for the Hear and Say Centre and a young girl named Amber went from being deaf to not deaf as a direct result of Italian Week and the promotions our team of volunteers undertook.

Now, I am not trying to shift blame and I personally accept the responsibility for the mistake in the advertised times. This situation left us in a very awkward position as we did not have control over the overall event. During the course of the morning, I spoke with the person in charge of the Markets at the Powerhouse and explained how this situation had created confusion and reflected very badly on Italian Week and would leave people disappointed. We explained that this was unacceptable would cause us to re-evaluate our further ongoing participation in the markets.

I explained that I have great respect for the work that Jan Powers has done and for allowing us to work with her organisation to fundraise for the Hear and Say Centre and promote Italian Culture.

Furthermore, I explained that whilst we are all human and subject to making mistakes, this situation affects Italian Week’s good reputation and leaves our supporters and people such as yourself disappointed if the information is incorrectly communicated to us.

Whilst I understand your disappointment and frustrations, I take exception to your comments that I am an idiot. I spend 6 months of the year working on the Italian Festival and do so as a volunteer, I do this because I am passionate about the country of my birth, the influence of Italian Culture on this country and to support a very worthwhile charity.

As I explained in our email to your wife Helen on the 28th of May (the Monday after the event, see a copy of the email below). We regretted the unfortunate misunderstanding and the inconvenience that it caused you and your family, however it was not done intentionally and certainly we are sorry for the problems that it caused you (see the email below).

Once again, this does not make me an Idiot and I am disappointed to see that you felt it necessary to publically attack me personally and more importantly to cast aspersions on Italian Week and the work of the volunteers that support it.


Dear Helen,

Thank you for your email and feedback.

Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding with the Jan Power's Market organizers the time was incorrectly advertised and the market didn't run as scheduled.

We really apologize for the inconvenience and we understand your disappointment because we were disappointed too.

Despite this unfortunate experience we invite you next Saturday to attend the events on the Queen Street Mall - a Motor Vehicle Exhibition in collaboration with Fiat Car Club QLD and an Italian Design Bicycle exhibition (from 10 am to 4 pm) which you and your family might enjoy. The same day in Woolloongabba at Pennisi Cuisine Distributors there will be a fundraising event for the children of the Hear and Say with a sweets tasting (from 9 am to 1 pm), $5 per plate 100% donated to the Charity.

Please let me know if you will come to the Queen Street Mall events and I will make available for your children an Italian bag with a series of accessories and an Italian Week t-shirt for you.

Apologies once again for the inconvenience,


The Italian Week team
by info (score: 0|2) 2636 days ago
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