SBCC Italian club shares culture with students after 2-year hiatus

BRANDON DAVIS, Channels Staff

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The Italian Club was reestablished this semester after being on hiatus for two years due to the lack of students enrolled in higher-level Italian-language courses.

Global studies major Lorenzo Marchetti, a third-year international student from Italy, serves as club president. Marchetti is in charge of coordinating the club’s meetings along with Laura Gardinali, club adviser and associate Italian-language professor.

“I enjoy openly talking about where I am from and the Italian culture as a whole,” Marchetti said. “This is what the Italian club provides to students.”

Marchetti and Gardinali collaborated all Fall semester for the comeback of the club in the Spring.

“Two years ago we had interested Italian students,” Italian-language instructor Angela Ellis said. “Now they are hard to find.”

Club meetings take place every second and fourth Friday of the month in the Humanities Building Room 302. There are no requirements for the club and it is open to all students, regardless of ethnicity.

“The only requirement that you need to have is that you come ready to learn something about the Italian culture and to spend quality time with the people around you,” Marchetti said. “This club is created for students who have an interest in something they don’t thoroughly know about.”

The club has a total of 13 to 15 members who have already been involved in activities like promoting the 2017 Cinema Italiano Classico Film Festival, which was hosted March 11, 18 and 25 at the Fé Bland Forum.

Ellis, who serves on the board of directors for the Italian Cultural Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara, the host for the film festival, praised Marchetti and the club.

“Lorenzo is very active and has a lot of good ideas for the club,” Ellis said. “He is a very smart guy.”

Other club events this semester included a make your own pizza event, game night and Italian trivia night. In the most recent club meeting, students were introduced to a popular Italian card game called Briscola.

“Laura and I taught the students how to play,” Marchetti said. “They slowly began to catch on and eventually were playing by themselves without our help.”

Marchetti and Gardinali are currently working on collaborating with the School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management to host an Italian food fair to end the semester. Other possible ideas for upcoming meetings include a group trip to the movie theatres and a beach day.

Marchetti and Gardinali also want to introduce a new Italian game called bocce to club members. Bocce is played on the beach and the objective is to get a wooden ball closer to the target than that of opponents. This game is set to be played at the upcoming beach day event.

“The best way I know how to enrich someone’s life is to bring them what I know, being the Italian culture,” Marchetti said.

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