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AITI, the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Section of Associazione Italiana Traduttori Interpreti, met recently for an ‘Open Evening’ aperitivo at La Salumeria, via Giolitti, 53 to welcome 27 new members.
The purpose of the ‘Open Evening’, which normally takes place once or twice a year, was to provide an opportunity for new and current members to meet; in particular to ask questions about the new law passed in January of this year: Legge n. 4 del 14 gennaio 2013, pubblicata nella GU n. 22 del 26/01/2013, which, for the first time in Italian history, officially recognises translators and interpreters as bona fide professionals, and provides them with an official register. Unsurprisingly, since the new law was passed, there has been an increase in interest in membership.
Katherine Clifton went along to the event, her last as President of AITI, a position she has held since 2006. Alessandra Tarozzo, previously vice-president, is now the interim President until new elections in February 2014. Katherine said that being a member of AITI has been invaluable for her and she has obviously been a much appreciated President, as evidenced by the warm wishes that came from the members present at La Salumeria.
Another member, Simonetta Priveato, translator for English and Italian, heads the Training Commission and is responsible for organising training sessions. Next month she presents a software course for translators. Other courses cover topics such as marketing, time management and fiscal issues. Under the new law each member needs to accumulate 30 credits per year to maintain their status as a ‘Socio Ordinario’. In order to achieve this status they also need to take an exam. On the contrary, to be a ‘Socio Aggregato’, members don’t need to sit an exam but they do have to present documents and qualifications to demonstrate that they are working as translators.
I asked what the benefits are to becoming ‘Socio Ordinario’ instead of ‘Socio Aggregato’. Katherine explained that, in broad terms, a ‘Socio Ordinario’ would have more experience in the field and they would also have the benefit of coming up first in the list of translators and interpreters on the searches via the website www.aiti.it. Katherine also explained the status of ‘Soci Onorari’, those people who have given a special contribution to the profession. Luisa Giacoma, who recently co-wrote the German dictionary, ‘Il Nuovo Dizionario di Tedesco’ published by Zanichelli/Klett, is ‘Socio Onorario’ of the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Section of AITI.
So how do members go about finding work? I was curious to know how things work. I spoke to Rossana Testa, who specialises in computer sciences and translates English, German and Italian; sisters, Nicole and Nadia Maina, who translate Italian and German, and Montse San Miguel, translator and interpreter for Spanish and Italian. They confirmed what I had suspected, that word-of-mouth works best. However, Nadia added that it is also good to find work through the official associations which ensure that the translator is fully qualified in their professional field. There are also web forums and specialist sites that provide platforms for work searches too.
Nadia highlighted though, that despite translating being a seemingly rather isolating profession, it is essential not to cut yourself off; it is important to keep up a public profile by going to the technical and specialist trade fairs and congresses associated with your areas of expertise; that way you can get your name out, do plenty of networking and leave business cards, for example.
This way of finding work is also a sign of the times. In the past, it would probably have been sufficient to work for the translators and interpreters’ agencies but now, even the clients realise, that to guarantee a top quality job, it is better to work directly with a professional, even if this means paying a little more than agency rates.
Born in Doncaster and brought up in Burghwallis, an idyllic village with medieval origins, in the UK, Katherine Clifton was nevertheless fascinated by seductive, glossy portrayals of Italian lifestyle and culture. Katherine came to Turin in 1977 and started working as an au pair, in the days when learning English was the de rigueur fashion among the wealthier Turin residents, and increased travel abroad meant that dreams could come true for a young English woman, simply by hopping onto a plane.
The end of the 1970s and through the 1980s, were periods of fun, excess, luxury and optimism in Italy, that gave affirmation to the unstoppable economic growth of the past decade, and saw the country establish itself firmly as an industrial and service oriented economy, with the cities of the north riding on the wave of the boom, as designers, artists and fashion gurus gave the world the ‘Made in Italy’ brand that still lives on today.
This was the backdrop against which Katherine worked, leaving her job as au pair for a job as an English teacher for a local language school. Life was good and travel opportunities were plentiful around Italy and beyond. A year out of Italy in Singapore saw Katherine living and working at Raffles Hotel, where cosmopolitan elegance meets lavish design and opulence, to teach English to Alitalia airline staff working on the Singapore-Melbourne-Sydney haul; returning to Turin in 1979 for another stint at English teaching, teaching in-company courses in the days when everyone from the cleaning lady to top managers were offered English tuition. Katherine told me that some people became practically bilingual, such was the emphasis on professional development; and not only for in-company staff but also for the teachers, who were highly trained professionals working in the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) field, writing and publishing course books for local publishers at the same time.
It was a chance meeting with a local editor that led Katherine to the next step in her career – as a translator, for whom she translated and edited books for nursery up to secondary school level and eventually learnt how to be a desk editor. She loved it and later became commissioning editor for another local publisher for whom she set up their ESP series of materials. As a translator, Katherine specialised in a wide range of fields from legal, philosophy and sociology to books, journals, articles and non-fiction, becoming the President of the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Section of AITI (Associazione Italiana Traduttori Interpreti) in 2006, and finally closing the lid on her laptop in 2013 to start a new chapter in her life.
Another chance meeting through friends in Sardinia, led Katherine to embark on her latest project: Tenuta Calcababbio, a vineyard, conference centre and Bed & Breakfast in Pietra De` Giorgi, lies just over the border from Piedmont in an area of Lombardy which was historically once part of Piedmont. As Sales and Marketing Manager for the Tenuta, Katherine is responsible for promoting and overseeing events that take place in the old, recently renovated farmhouse and the new wing that opened its doors in February 2013: for conferences, book events, art exhibitions, wine-tasting and more…
It is also a Bed & Breakfast with six bedrooms and restaurant facilities. The antique and period furnishings are Italian and the luxurious fabrics used throughout come from Como and Tuscany. Excellently positioned for visitors coming from Turin, Genoa, Pavia, Piacenza and Milan, visitors are surrounded by the cosy warmth of long wooden tables, open fireplaces, balloon back chairs, buttoned pouffes, lace curtains, wall candle lights, jardinieres, period paintings, velvet sofas, homely kitchens and cosy reading corners, including a library with over 200 books on cooking, wine, food, herbs and herbal medicines - and the collection is still growing…
This is all surrounded by hectares of vineyard that produce Buttafuoco O.P. DOC and Sangue di Giuda O.P. DOC; wines which are relatively unknown outside the Oltrepo` Pavese area. Barbera O.P. DOC, Bonarda O.P. DOC, Croatina, Reisling Italico O.P. DOC, Moscato and Pinot Spumante are also produced there. What could be better than popping over for lunch and spending the afternoon reading with a glass of wine? The fare at the restaurant is prepared by their own in-house cook and is as organic as you can get, with herbs, vegetables and fruit grown, for their seasonal recipes, in their own kitchen garden. They also have their own chickens and organic eggs and an agreement with a local farmer to supply pork salami. In the future they want to produce their own sauces, chutney and jams too.
For one of the first events, Katherine has organised a photography competition, ‘Vino e Dintorni’, which invites budding or professional photographers to send in their favourite wine themed snaps. To participate you can contact Katherine at email@example.com and to find out more about the Bed & Breakfast and vineyard you can check out the website at www.tenutacalcababbio.it and their Facebook page.
As Katherine’s life and career moves to span not only Turin and Piedmont but also Lombardy, we wish her all the best.
The Fringe Torino Jazz Festival from 26th – 30th April, runs parallel to the main events. Organised by a group of dedicated local musicians, technical experts, video makers and web communicators including Ivan Bert, Francesco “Pisti” Pistoi, Ugo “Hugo” Basile, Furio di Castri, Mauro Battisti, Emanuele Cisi and Alessandro Tannoia; the 2013 programme promises to be one to remember following on from the huge success of last year’s first Jazz Festival in Turin. “It will be amazing - anything but cheap and cheesy…,” says local jazz trumpeter Ivan Bert.
Ivan tells me that the inspiration for the Fringe events is a reflection of the beliefs held true by our local musicians from the underground jazz scene, whose passion for jazz, improvisation, sound mixing, innovation, experimentation, and the hypnotic weaving of emotions and tales through instruments, brings together an eclectic mix of local, national and international artists with an emphasis on giving an equal voice to young talents as well as older ones.
The five day musical journey and sets, were originally scheduled to take place in the suitably atmospheric bars and clubs of Murazzi, as last year, with the river Po being the central focus for the opening ‘Urlo dei Murazzi’(Music on the River Po). Jazz soloists on saxophone, double bass and trumpet play a five minute set from a spot-lit, floating platform in the centre of the river, every evening at 11pm. However, this year, due to the recent closure of many of the Murazzi nightspots, Fringe organisers were forced to throw a plan B into action at short notice and with a vastly reduced budget.
So, this year’s hotspots for jazz imbued evenings will still feature the atmospheric ‘Urlo dei Murazzi’ and chart a journey along Murazzi that will include Magazzino sul Po (Giancarlo 2), a specially erected stage, ‘Fringe Stage’, on the right side of Murazzi, accompanied by catering sponsor ‘Marachella’, famous for its freshly prepared, slow food inspired fare that will be on hand to refuel the musicians, organisers and public alike. Societa` Canottieri Esperia, on the opposite side of the river will also be home to a series of sets.
The journey then progresses into Piazza Vittorio Veneto and the streets around via Po, in bars and clubs, in a reflection of the places where many of the local musicians play sets on a regular basis. These include: Lab (Piazza v. Veneto, 13), La Drogheria (Piazza v. Veneto, 18), Café des Arts (via Principe Amedeo, 33), Café del Progresso (Corso San Maurizio, 69), Blah Blah (via Po, 21) and Museo di Scienze Naturali (via Giolitti, 36). There will also be live music and marching bands each evening in Piazza Vittorio Veneto.
Fringe in the Box, a new feature of the festival and innovative project and brainchild of locals Ugo “Hugo” Basile and Francesco “Pisti” Pistoi (who is also the organiser of the internationally acclaimed Vertical Stage Sessions), will also be in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, in an apartment above Bar Flora. Sampling and remixing fragments of notes and a patchwork of parts of personal sounds from around fifty musicians featuring at the festival, Ivan Bert will also be on hand to interview the international mix of DJs and music producers from cities such as, London, Berlin and New York, for a music and video documentary. Ivan explains that, “Fringe in the Box is a multi-media export concept featuring live electronic dance musicians and producers working in collaboration through performance, video and photography; a ready-packaged brand that can potentially be unpacked and ready to go as an integral or linking feature of annual music, cinema and arts festivals around the globe.”
I asked Franceso “Pisti” Pistoi, “If it rains over the next five days, what is the backup plan for the outdoor sets?” The reply – “…umbrellas..!”
English Theater Torino (ETT) is hosting a recruitment drive for its next, big stage production on Wednesday 13th March at Teatro Salesiano, 25 in the Crocetta district of Turin. Doors open at 19.30 for those with a good command of English and a burning desire to tread the boards. But, it’s not only actors they’re looking for: Previous theatre experience is not essential and ETT is looking to entice anyone, male or female, with the energy and ambition for acting, costume design, make-up, directing, finding and managing props, painting, set construction, lighting, sound, backstage help, crew, choreography, PR, graphic design, prompting and more…
ETT was founded thirteen years ago in Turin by Connie Quercetti and a group of women associated with the International Women’s Club Torino (IWCT), which partly sponsors the group. The amateur theatre group members are a diverse mix of people from many different backgrounds and countries. The three things they have in common are a love of theatre, a good knowledge of the English language and an open arm approach to new members.
ETT’s last production was ‘Only Yew’, an original script by Sally Rava and co-directed by Colleen Sharkey. It was performed last December, at Teatro Baretti in the San Salvario district, to a full house and great local acclaim. The black comedy tells the story of a weekend reunion in the English countryside, in the summer of 1968, during which the three female guests discover their male host and best friend’s husband has had affairs with each of them. They plot their revenge, hoping to poison their host with yew berries from the garden, only to discover that their plot has backfired when they realise the housekeeper has inadvertently dished the berries up for their lunch; they each risk a grisly death…comic confusion ensues…
ETT also performs short plays for school children in and around Turin. These are great fun to get involved in, to test the waters and get experience for tackling the bigger, annual production. Two of the more popular, short plays are “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The three Little Pigs” which provide great fun and entertainment for children and even the adults.
For the recruitment drive on Wednesday 13th March, aspiring actors are invited to bring along their favourite piece of script for the auditions; otherwise ETT organisers will provide a selection of scripts to read from.
More information can be found on the website at www.englishtheatertorino.com which features news, events, information about past performances and useful links. The group meets regularly on Mondays 11.00-13.00 at the Shenker Institute, via Bertolotti 2, just around the corner from Piazza Solferino, in Turin. When rehearsals are underway they meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings 19.30-22.00 at the Oratorio Salesiano, Ground Floor, via Piazzi, 25 where the recruitment drive will also take place. Follow the signs to the theatre on the first floor…
So, it’s now the week after the detox…I’ve continued with the breakfasts, as I said I would. The fresh fruit, bran, natural yoghurt and egg choices make for excellent variation and are truly delicious. All the foods on the detox plan have been chosen by Colleen for their low GI properties; which means the energy they provide can easily be stored and slowly released into the body. This helps to maintain optimum blood sugar levels and to feel full for much longer without any feeling of bloating after a meal. Low GI also explains why you are forced to eat more slowly – you can’t just gobble your food down in ten minutes. The foods force you to take proper time out to eat and enjoy your food but this doesn’t mean to say you have to deny yourself other types of foods.
I have reintroduced my ritual morning cup of tea but only one daily cup of espresso, and I have continued with the herbal teas to sip on throughout the day.
Apart from the breakfasts and drinks I’ve also continued with the fish. Colleen advises two servings of oily fish and as many white fish meals a week as you want. Fish is so quick and simple to cook; I don’t know why I wasn’t doing this before…
Meat was not on the menu during the detox but I have reintroduced that this week. I always enjoy vegetarian meals but meat for me is a must – in moderation, of course. Colleen suggests one serving of lean red meat a week, as a source of protein, which also provides essential vitamins and minerals. These are more easily converted by the body than with a strict vegetarian diet, which involves more balancing to get full protein and all the essential nutrients.
Overall, I can say that I had a very positive experience doing the detox. It taught me how important it is to have variety and to try for low GI as much as possible. It helped to emphasise how important it is to take time out to enjoy healthy meals, and organize freshly cooked foods into portions, that can be frozen in freezer bags and air-tight container, which can make our daily lives easier.
Many of us have full time jobs and family responsibilities so there just simply isn’t time to be slaving away in the kitchen. But there is time to defrost portions of soup and heat them up…The same can be done with the rice and daal dishes, meat, fish and fresh veggies. I’ve been living along those lines this week and it’s been so easy to get home in the evening and prepare something fully nutritious that can be on the table in 20 minutes.
In fact, Colleen and Tony stress throughout the detox plan that these six days can be a catalyst for change. It can be experienced as an education and they both hope that people will use it in this way and make permanent changes, with a view to eating better and taking care of themselves. One thing that did surprise me during the detox was the fact that I was eating far bigger portions than usual, and I still lost 1 kilo in six days. But as Colleen points out, it’s not necessarily the portion size; it’s what foods are included in that portion that counts. Although, obviously we shouldn’t be going over the top with portion size either…
I have made other changes too. As well as having the freezer stuffed full of portions of last week’s recipes, I’ve bought another loaf of whole meal bread and, perhaps surprisingly, continued to have the carrot, celery and nut snacks during the day!
In addition to the foods, the Lymphatic Drainage Massages form an integral part of the six day detox programme and you really do feel the system start to work efficiently again on day three. This is also the point during the detox that any excess weight starts to be lost. The long term benefits of this type of massage, done over a period of time, is that it helps to protect the body against colds and flu, and it is also said to have a positive effect on skin problems, for asthma sufferers and people with low energy levels and sedentary lifestyles. For maximum benefits, Tony recommends courses of six massages over a two week period, along with a healthy eating regime, of course.
On a final note, a friend of mine who suffered from continuous colds and coughs last winter has been positively radiating good health recently, and when I commented, she told me that she has been having lymphatic drainage massages while following a healthy eating plan!
Job almost done! Today was a breeze. Did have to take a tupperware of rice salad to work with me though as there was no chance of eating lunch otherwise, until about 3pm, and that meant risking a pizza slice on the last day which would have been a pity – to have come so far… After that, it was off to Colleen’s for a weigh in and final consultation. I had lost 1kg over the six days which quite surprised me. Colleen says that this and any weight loss can be easily sustained if you are willing to continue with a healthy eating plan. That doesn’t mean to say you have to deny yourself anything but it does mean to say you have to control how often you have the treats and the processed foods, salt and sugars.
I have to say that I hadn’t felt so energized for a long time. I will definitely continue to use Colleen’s recipes from the plan as they are so simple to prepare and so tasty to eat; I will continue to drink the herbal teas as well as my regular brew and will make a conscious effort to make more time for preparing and eating food, eat more healthy snacks and make sure that there is far more variety in my daily diet. Basically now I’ve done this, there are no excuses!
The afternoon and evening passed by contentedly with my last white fish meal with boiled brown rice combined with red peppers, onions and celery and a spinach side dish. I’m feeling well and have a great sense of satisfaction that I didn’t give in along the way. Although, of course, as I have already said, there were moments of weakness, especially on days one and two, when it seemed like there was no point in putting myself through it all. But, as the days progressed and the sense and logic behind the plan, the foods, the recipes and the Lymphatic Drainage Massages became clear it was evident that I may as well get on with it and eat this one out to the end. I may just have benefitted!
Other breakfasts to add to the list – poached egg, or mashed banana and walnuts on toast! Felt really full of energy in the mornings; not a twinge or ache or dull head to be found. However, I’ve found this feeling has worn off slightly during the day on days two, three and four and I’ve needed the snacks to keep my energy levels up.
I was starting to realise the reasoning behind the fibre, whole meal and complex carb food stuffs on the menu for the final two days. These foods help the body’s energy levels reach their peak. I could feel the energy flowing in with every mouthful at lunch and at dinner!
Felt quite sleepy in the evening though. Last day tomorrow! I had said, at the beginning, that I would have given up before now. But as the days went by I thought to myself – ok, just another one…and it became a personal challenge to see if I had the willpower to resist to the end. It got easier as the detox progressed: my stomach was much flatter and I didn’t have that bloated feeling you get after eating processed foods such as white bread, pasta and rice. Felt nice and clean and refreshed so I didn’t want to ruin it all at the final hurdle.
Really enjoyed preparing and cooking the dinners and made extra portions of the soup, rice salad and daal to freeze and keep for the week after too. Colleen’s recipes really are so simple to prepare, and there’s so much variety. However, I do intend to go back to espressos when this is over; I won’t give up eating pizza once in a while or an occasional croissant and glass of wine, but will make sure I eat more varied meals, more whole meal foods and more fish and will cut down on the number of coffees and the amount of salt and sugar I use. I’ve never considered myself to go over the top in adding salt and never use it in cooking soups, vegetables or boiling potatoes but by having none at all, even on salad, just goes to show how it conspires to mask the fresh and good taste of what we are actually eating.
Second Lymphatic Drainage Massage day. Felt relaxed, but less relaxed in some ways than the day before as had one of those afternoons that had to be organized with military precision, if I was going to get everywhere on time, and fit everything in. I knew that I had to be out of there at 11am to rush back home, get the car, with no time for lunch at home, and all with the knowledge that crunchy salad was in the boot to be grazed on between appointments. Grazed on walnuts and raw carrot DURING appointments as still felt carb and caffeine cravings at times.
I was starting to really understand the importance of mealtimes; to not only appreciate the food, but also how important it is to allow yourself to digest properly and allow the body to function as efficiently as possible, which in turn makes us feel calm, relaxed and improves concentration. Of course, I think that most of us know these things already, but it’s surprising how other life commitments, such as work, can cause us to lose sight of the importance of looking after our own health.
Home to a white fish dinner with broccoli and green salad, avocado, spring onion and tomato. Note to self to buy different varieties of fish on a more regular basis and also to always buy veggies from the local produce market; taste is so much better than supermarket veg.
Herbal mint tea again before bed. Consulted menu for the next day as some exciting new recipes for the next two days coming up…!
Woke up feeling fresh as a daisy again, and was looking forward to the first Lymphatic Drainage Massage. Great new breakfast! There are two options: chose the All Bran cereal topped with banana, blueberries and low fat natural yoghurt. I never thought I would ever sing this combination’s praises but it was really yummy. In fact, so far, I will continue with the breakfast options, even after the six days.
On the way, as the No. 4 tram snaked down Via Milano towards Tony and Colleen’s, we passed a Piadina shop and visions loomed in my mind’s eye of delicious ham and cheese wrapped in a flatbread; it had never been so enticing. There’s nothing for it, I’ll have to give in to temptation and get one on the way back…
Once inside and after we’ve taken some photos for the blog posts, Tony takes me through the massage process once again and sets to work with a gentle massage that stimulates the body’s lymphatic system. As Tony says, “…the lymphatic system collects and cleans up the fluid not collected by the blood’s normal circulatory flow and transports it into large veins to return it to the heart”. This system can easily become blocked as a result of foreign bodies and toxins, typically ingested through processed foods, caffeine, salt and sugars etc…, which impact the immune system and contribute to that feeling we all know, of sluggishness and lethargy.
The massage was great and I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I could almost feel my lymphatic system kicking back into life once more, like a well oiled engine: unblocking those pesky toxin filled tubes and flushing through the goodness from that two day stint of fruit and veggies, flowing to all the right organs as quickly and efficiently as they could. I also felt very relaxed afterwards (for me!) and strolled home without a care in the world…past the piadina shop…for a vegetable soup lunch. I just felt too healthy to give in at this point.
Tony had warned that I might find myself having a few more loo stops in the afternoon and that I may have some sniffles but this would be normal. All signs that things are fully functioning.
Work in the afternoon so made sure had plenty of snacks; chomped on more nuts and raw veg, which I was actually starting to see the benefit of. Now the idea of a croissant wasn’t quite so appealing…
I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to the evening meal though! The knowledge that a slice of whole meal bread and a salmon steak was awaiting me at home got me through the afternoon. It was truly delicious – best I’ve ever tasted. So, was that because I’d been deprived of salmon for two whole days previously (hadn’t actually had a salmon steak for years), or because my taste buds were actually starting to work properly with this no salt, sugar, carbs, alcohol - detox (all things that help to suppress real taste)? Mmm…, hard to tell…
Fruit salad for dessert; how simple was that – and so tasty and refreshing. I’ve never made a fruit salad in my life before. I have been known to have a piece of fruit after dinner especially since coming to Italy, where this is par for the course, but still…fruit salad rocks! Will definitely be doing this one again…
Wow! Woke up Tuesday morning feeling surprisingly refreshed, sparkly and alert but also calm, unruffled and without a care in the world. How can it be possible to be calm but full of energy at the same time? It was almost disturbing…Breakfast went down well and I managed not to slip on the packed ice outside as I did some errands: took the car in for repairs, post office etc; usually the sort of things that are bound to get me wound up but that skipped along this morning without a hitch. Started writing notes for my blog posts but again feeling cravings only an hour or so after breakfast, and get geared up for snacks. More carrots, celery and red pepper…but preferred the walnuts this wintery morning.
At least this week, I was going to be able to eat lunch at home most days. I chomped through the salad in stages again and thanked God that this was the last obligatory salad day. Felt cravings come on again in the afternoon so I was glad to have the snacks yet again to keep my energy levels up. At this stage, I was getting a bit sick of them to be honest. Later that afternoon had a potentially more serious coffee situation to resolve - had to chuck it down the sink, when kind person who had made it wasn’t looking, with the excuse that I was going to add some water to it. Although, in retrospect, it might just have been easier to confess to my detox plan and avoid the antics!
Soup again in the evening and a final cup of herbal mint tea for an undisturbed sleep and then bed; relieved that the next day I would be able to have something other than a cold lunch and soup.
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