SUPERB GALA EVENING AND THE HANDING OVER OF THE FLAG
Such has been the tradition over the 25 years that Christmas in Europe has been running: on the last night the organising School offers its guests a gala dinner in order to end the event in style. And so it was in San Benedetto del Tronto, in the restaurant that had become familiar to everyone over the five days we had spent together.
As an introduction to the proceedings we were shown a video summary of the photos taken by Giovanni Voltattorni providing a detailed résumé of all the phases of this Christmas in Europe. The show was loudly applauded by the audience.
The decoration of the tables had been particularly carefully done, and the guests, meeting together for this final convivial gastronomic gathering, were wearing their finest attire or their school uniforms. A festive menu put together by the chefs and students, table service that was once again attentive and smiling, and a relaxed atmosphere – such were the elements of the success of these festivities.
And of course there were speeches: one from School Director Manuela Germani and one from AEHT General Secretary Nadine Schintgen who presented a gift to the former. Both speakers wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
As you may imagine, the ‘hug therapy’ session caused more than just smiles!
It was followed by the parade of the kitchen and restaurant brigades, who were loudly applauded in a long and richly deserved standing ovation.
Then finally came the ceremony of handing over the AEHT flag from San Benedetto del Tronto to Fatima, to whom falls the task of organising Christmas in Europe in 2017. It was a solemn but relaxed moment, accompanied by the European anthem sung unaccompanied by Silvia Ulpani. And last but not least, Silvia formed a duet with Pascalino Piunti, the mayor of San Benedetto del Tronto, for a performance of Italian carols. A truly beautiful way to end the evening!
We should mention that every evening, thanks to Silvia Ulpiani, the diners were treated to masterly musical entertainment provided by a whole series of performers. Just like tonight, for example.