‘Matera, A Hidden Gem’ – Tuesday 18 January, 2024

Matera – A Hidden Gem

This event will take place on 18 January 2024 at 7:30pm via ‘Zoom’.

Members will recieve a link and instructions on how to join the meeting via our monthly ‘News’ email


Speaker: Daniela Centonze

Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is stunningly beautiful and has a fascinating and remarkable history. Why was this oldest city in Italy and in Europe overlooked for so long?

Daniela Centonze

About the Speaker

Daniela Centonze studied at Pescara, “Gabriele D’Annunzio” University and then gained her Masters at the University of International Studies (UNINT) in Rome. She took part in the Erasmus Programme, spending six months studying in Russia. She is currently teaching English.

Daniela is a native of Matera and her family have lived there for generations. 


How to donate: If you’d like to make a donation of £5 towards the costs of the evening, please send your payment via BACS transfer to: the Friends of Ravenna (Barclays Bank) Sort code 20-20-62 a/c 73194604. Please put your name and ‘Matera’ in the reference area when you make the payment

If you prefer to pay by cheque Please send  it to ‘The Treasurer’, 9 Dolphin Court, Bognor Regis. PO21 1TP

A Musical Christmas Celebration, Tuesday 5th December

Jon Grave, Jon Grave BMus (Hons), MA Tenor, Pianist, Director & Conductor

Tuesday 5 December 2023 at 7:30pm.

A Christmas Celebration with music

We look forward to welcoming all our friends to an evening of delightful Italian and English music and singing to celebrate Christmas, with a glass of wine and festive snacks during the evening.

Our Musical Guests

Jon Grave, Jon Grave BMus (Hons), MA Tenor, Pianist, Director & Conductor

Jon Grave. Tenor, Pianist, Director & Conductor, University of Chichester, accompanied by Kiera Smitheram-Roberts, Loula Weller, Carmen Kew, all highly accomplished musicians from the University of Chichester Conservatoire.

Described by Classic FM as ‘one impressive tenor’ with ‘something special in his beautiful voice’, Jon has performed for the Royal Family and in many world famous concert halls. Jon has lectured since 2009 at the University of Chichester Conservatoire in Italian, Opera & Operetta, Music Theatre, Acting for Film, Voice and as a Choral Director.

Kiera Smitheram-Roberts

Loula Weller

Carmen Kew







Kiera is a soprano, actor, saxophonist, and writer. She is also a trained music technician and music teacher. She works extensively in Cornish Academia, specialising in History, Culture, and Musicology.

Loula recently graduated from the University of Chichester Conservatoire, and is working towards a Masters in Music Teaching. She works within the Stroke Association’s Involve Network and is developing a study in the potential benefits of instrumental music playing as a form of neuro-rehabilitation. Her focus is the recovery of fine motor skills in people who have experienced stroke at a young age.

Carmen is a third-generation musician. Women in her family have been singing, plucking harps and fiddling about on violins since the early 1900s. Since moving to the United Kingdom from America, Carmen produced a ‘Melodies of the Great War’ concert in Storrington to coordinate with centennial celebrations.


Prices: £10 members and £12 for non-members

Va-Va-Voom: Personality and Practicality in Italian Transportation Design – 14th November 2023

Tuesday 14 November 2023 at 7:30pm.


Professor Greg Votolato will reflect on the brilliance of Italian design found in different modes of transport. 

When the words ‘Italian Design’ are capitalised in print, they typically refer to the world of stylish consumer goods, mostly those used in the home. Occasionally a car or scooter slips into the canon of products deemed to be great as do certain iconic buildings as architecture forms the basis of design education in Italy.

In this talk, Greg will focus on how the brilliance of Italian transportation design reflects those same traditional relationships between personality, practicality and the technological. 

Architect, curator, teacher and writer on design, technology and culture, currently Greg Votolato is Course Director at the Victoria & Albert Museum. 


Prices: £10 members and £12 for non-members