As many of us enjoy a sausage and beer in the sunshine, Australians in Italy will commemorate January 26 in their own special way.
Every year, the Italia-Australia Association organises Australia Day festivities in the Belpaese.
The location of the event changes year to year, and previous editions have been held at the likes of CastelBrando, a striking medieval castle in Veneto.
This year the event will travel the north-eastern Italian city of Trieste, and the venue is as elegant and luxurious as ever: the Savoia Excelsior Palace.
The building is a historical four-star hotel which was one of the most imposing and luxurious hotels in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of its opening in 1912.
“We have found a location very unique to that corner of Italy, nestled between Austria, Slovenia and Italy, set against striking mountains and overlooking the sea,” the event’s organiser, Valentina Poles, said.
The theme of the 12th edition is “From Trieste to Australia...il viaggio in nave”, or “From Trieste to Australia...the journey by ship”.
Ms Poles explained that the title was inspired by the fact that Trieste once housed the Consulate and that many ships departed from its shores, destined for Australia.
Australian Ambassador to Italy Greg French is planning to attend the event on Saturday, January 27, in what will be his first visit to the city.
Other noted guests include the city’s mayor, prefect and superintendent, along with president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Artisanship (CCIAA) of Trieste, Antonio Paoletti, and president of the CCIAA of Treviso-Belluno, Mario Pozza.
A group of teachers from the University of Sydney will also attend the event, accompanied by Vice Rector of the University of Padua, Prof. Alessandro Paccagnella and in the presence of Rector of the University of Trieste, Prof. Maurizio Fermeglia.
Guests will be greeted in the palace’s Library Savoia, and will enjoy an aperitivo before a sumptuous gala dinner, accompanied by the magical sounds of the didgeridoo, courtesy of Florio Pozza.
Meanwhile, the Australian Embassy to the Holy See will also host an event for Australia Day, and a mass will be celebrated at Domus Australia.
Alongside his visit to Trieste, Mr French will also join Australia Day celebrations at Rome International School, playing his guitar and singing Australian songs with the students.
In addition to these official festivities, we have a feeling that many Aussies living in Italy will hold their own parties on January 26 in honour of their homeland.