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November 19, 2009

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Italian ball: food to motorbikes

ITALIAN glamor and elegance were showcased on Saturday when the Italian Chamber of Commerce held its annual ball for more than 300 guests at the new Peninsula Hotel.

The gala was the first event of its main sponsor Ducati, which will bring its cutting-edge racing motorcycles to China for the first time.

The event in the hotel's glittering ballroom was a chance for Italy's business community to enjoy an evening of great food, Italian culture and wonderful entertainment.

Guests enjoyed a traditional selection of Italian antipasto plates before heading to a buffet of the finest Italian cuisine.

"We had great feedback on our new format, with people saying it allowed them to get up, talk and meet people," says Elena Tosana, general manager of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. "They also could have a dance when they wanted to."

Speaking at the event, Italian Consul General Massimo Roscigno says the ball was a celebration of what he described as the "beautiful Italian lifestyle."

"We love glamor and we love charming ladies and style, and for some people this may be a cliche," he says. "But in many cliches there is truth and there is much to be proud of in our country and in our beautiful Italian lifestyle."

In addition to Italian fashion, sponsor Ducati showed its latest models of high-performance motorcycles that will go on sale when they open their first showroom in China, in Shanghai.

Other sponsors of the ball included Lufthansa, which offered a first prize in the lucky draw of two round-trip tickets to any European destination, worth 20,360 yuan (US$2,982).

Costa Crociera provided the second prize, a VIP cruise to Taiwan for two people valued at 11,600 yuan. Pirelli offered the third prize, a full set of tires valued at up to 26,000 yuan.

The dance floor was packed as guests enjoyed the talents of a local jazz band. Guests were also treated to a few impromptu singing performances from one of the chamber's VIP guests.

Pop singer and a judge of China's version of "American Idol," Shen Xiaocen sang Italian favorite "Oh Sole Mio."

Shen is a former Gold Disk Award winner.

Singer Li Jing wowed guests with the Chinese pop song "Kang Ding Qing Ge" ("Love Song of Kangding"). Opera aria was performed by Zhang Feng who sang "Nessun Dorma."

More than 30 VIP guests attended, including Yue-Sai Kan, the businesswoman behind a major Chinese cosmetics brand, businessman Jerry Wu and social celebrity Cindy Tai.


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