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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 I edition April 2024

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La Mezza Stagione

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25 April


16 May


18 May



Chamber's Note


La Mezza Stagione

La mezza stagione, the middle season, is a period of transition, neither too hot nor too cold, that takes place around the two equinoxes of the year.  They are the more temperate corridors between solstices, which resemble extremes. Several major religious holidays take place during this middle season period, including Ramadan, Pesach and Easter.


The Roman god Janus who simultaneously faces the past and the future, is the deity of transition and threshold. January, the corridor into the new year is thus named after him. However, it is only since the Edict of Roussillon (promulgated in France in August 1564) that the new year was determined to no longer begin on Easter. This spelled the origin of April Fool’s Day, the fools being those who still believed it to be the beginning of the year. 

These ancient holidays, which take place during the middle season, have everything to do with the world of work. Spring is the time of the planting of crops and autumn is the time of harvest. The legacy of these holidays and how their role as punctuation marks in the cyclical world of work sustains today as we plan our years around age-old feasts. The recent Easter holidays signal a brief pause from productivity at the end of South Africa’s financial year.

Within transition, the line we say we cross in order to reach something new, is imaginary. Thresholds such as pass marks or deadlines are man-made and when judging life in a broader sense, it is not necessarily clear when we have truly arrived, and there are times when neither the origin nor the destination are within view. And in these times perhaps we can be sure that our task is to keep walking.

This may apply to family life, work life or spiritual life. There are times for harvest and times for laying the ground for something new. There are also times for consistency, patience and reflection. In the natural world everything is within transition, always. Whether it be through ageing, growing, learning, or overcoming, how we navigate change is a key skill. During this mezza stagione, whether in the Northern hemisphere’s spring or the southern hemisphere’s autumn (or indeed travelling between the two), we wish you strength and wisdom with bridging the changes. 

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Emperors Palace is about to unleash the culinary experience of a lifetime at the return of
The Johannesburg World Festival of Food and Drink, an unparalleled 11-day extravaganza
of international food and drink festivities, happening on Level 5, Emperors Palace from
Thursday the 25th of April to Sunday 5th of May 2024.

Tickets for this extraordinary event start from R150 and can be booked at TicketPro.



Adventure into Brewer's Lane, which will boast the best local brewing culture and find
favour with beer, gin, cider and mead enthusiasts.
Then there is the What's Trending exhibition, introducing our food lovers to a beautiful
range and diverse selection of what's current in food, drink and prep gadgets and


This groundbreaking event offers your company unparalleled exposure and benefits,allowing you to demonstrate, activate, and sell your goods and services to an anticipated 30,000 visitors.

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If you are interested in booking a stand to exhibit, book through ItalCham.

 Contact Giulia:


The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries has been organising the Business Excellence Awards annually since 1999 as a Charity Gala Dinner. In its 25th year, the BEAs 2024 will again provide recognition of the ongoing efforts and extraordinary achievements of the Italian Business Community. The ItalCham BEA 2024 will take place 


Date : 16 May

Venue: Sandton Hotel (JHB)

Time: 18:00 till midnight

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This year the following categories will be awarded:


Business Person of the Year

Enterprise of the Year

Best SME from SMILE Network

Lifetime Achievement Award

Click here for table bookings and individual bookings: 

Giornata Della Ristorazione 2024  

"An initiative for Italian Restaurants abroad"

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Goal: to strengthen Italian catering and gastronomy around the world

Date : 16 May 2024
Who: Italian Restaurants abroad
Cost: FREE

After the great success of the 2023 edition, which earned recognition from the Italian President and global participation, the FIPE (Italian Federation Public Establishments) has once again announced the “Giornata della Ristorazione”, an important initiative aimed at enhancing the role of Italian catering and gastronomy globally.

This initiative offers the opportunity to celebrate Italian cuisine and to foster a feeling of community among Italian restaurants all over the world.  

High-quality and authentic Italian restaurants are invited to take part in it. 
Participation is free and will allow restaurants to appear in the list of establishments joining the event and in the Federation’s app. In addition, the restaurateurs may send a promotional video that FIPE will post on its social media. 

More information and a link for restaurants to register for free at:


A Step Forward for Marche Region's Fashion and Footwear Export to South Africa

In terms of Italian exports, the Marche Region stands out for its excellence in the fashion and footwear sectors. On Tuesday, March 26th, ItalCham presented the results of recently conducted research into the state of these sectors in South Africa. This made for an unmissable online event dedicated to Marche-based companies, offering valuable insights into the opportunities offered by the South African market.


The webinar, organized by LINEA – the Special Agency for the fashion and footwear sectors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Marche Region as part of the SEI ProjectSupport for Italy's Export, garnered significant interest among industry professionals of the Marche Region. The success of the initiative was tangible, with active participation from companies showing a keen interest in future prospects in the South African market.

The participation of distinguished industry experts enriched the event, providing Marche-based companies with the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of the South African market and understand the fundamental role of Made in Italy products in this country. Therefore, a sincere thank you to Errica Iacopini, an expert in the South African fashion sector and Brand Manager for the BOYDE brand; Giuseppe Di Lembo, an expert in the leather goods sector and Director of SA Crocodile Investments and SA Crocodile and Exotic Skin Agencies; and Simone Zanetti, a digital marketing and AI expert, and co-founder and CEO of Stone in the Shoe, as well as a partner of ItalCham through ItalChannel, the digital marketing brand born from our collaboration.

ItalCham wishes to express sincere thanks also to LINEA and all Marche-based companies that participated in this event which demonstrates a strong interest in developing their presence in the South African market.

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If you are an Italian resident abroad registered with AIRE, Trenitalia has reserved exclusive benefits for your travels in Italy: 

•    Discounts up to 80% with the Speciale Eventi offer when travelling on Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca trains;
•    40% discount on the purchase of Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, and Frecciabianca tickets for groups of at least 10 paying passengers travelling together 
•    Possibility to purchase a Trenitalia Pass to visit Italy 


These discounts are valid for travel until 31 December 2024.

Do not miss out on this valuable opportunity to explore Italy at a reduced cost. For further information and details, please visit :



MOAT (Advantages.Strategies.Project Management) is dedicated to establishing strategic partnerships aimed at attracting and retaining highly productive talent, fostering profitability, and creating economic opportunities, with a special emphasis on empowering women. Their vision is to create an inclusive and sustainable economic landscape, characterized by active participation from all sectors of society. As a company wholly owned by Black Woman entrepreneur Nthabiseng Yvonne Thabeta, Moat is committed to economic emancipation and participation. Notably, Thabeta was recognized as the Top Young Entrepreneur in South Africa by the esteemed Mail & Guardian Newspaper.


Moat offers a range of services including:

Project management,

Business consulting (including recruitment and training facilitation), 

Business support (including corporate gifts, PPE and workwear, branding, and travel management).


At its core, Moat demonstrates a profound commitment to community welfare, as evidenced by the launch of the ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL Non-Profit. The objectives of the non-profit include fundraising for education initiatives, improving living conditions for child-headed families, providing entrepreneurial training for unemployed youth, and facilitating access to education and economic opportunities for rural communities.

Contact Details:


Website: www.

Cell: +27 87654509




The Directors of Valref (Pty) Ltd are South African-born Italian entrepreneurs with 30 years of experience in the hospitality, food manufacturing; FMCG, Iron, Steel, petrochemical and mining industries.


Valref has represented Italian companies in South Africa for the last 18 years and has a good understanding of these markets. Valref aims to assist Italian companies expand into these or similar markets in South Africa.


Valref services include a hands-on approach, exposing your products and services to the end users of these industries.

Valref can assist in:

• Arranging trials and tests of your products with in-depth knowledge of the industry requirements.

• Vendor applications, quotation methods and payment regulations for these sectors

Contact Details:



Tel: +27 164233889



Job Board

There is one new job vacancy on the SMILE Job Portal:​


Executive Head Chef - Ciccio’s


You will find where to apply on the above link.

View this and other job vacancies on the SMILE website via this link - CLICK HERE

If you are currently hiring, please take a look at SMILE vetted candidates HERE




Alla prossima!

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