Carla Fracci, Rosita Missoni (founder, with her husband, of the Missoni fashion house in the 1950s), Marco Tronchetti Provera (Chief Executive of Pirelli), Javier Zanetti (the footballer) and Italy's Women's National Volleyball Team were recipients of the prestigious Grande Milano (not to be confused with Gramilano) Award for being Ambassadors for Italy throughout the world.
Footballer Zanetti is from Argentina, but as vice-president of Milan's Inter football team, and he is also the most capped player in the history of Inter, he has been adopted by the Milanese and, as he said, “My three children are Milanese.”
Daniela Mainini, President of the Centro Studi Grande Milano, and Roberto Poli, The General Director, presented awards between courses of a meal for 500 in Milan's Marriott Hotel.
A favourite moment of the evening was the bizarre sight of seeing Carla Fracci (at 1.64 metres – 5ft 4in) together with three representatives from the Women's National Volleyball Team – Giselle and the Amazons.
Giusy Versace, a member of fashion's famous family, was named Ambassador last year, in 2017. When she was 28, she lost both legs in a car accident, yet in 2014, she was the winner of Italy's version of Strictly Come Dancing. With her skinny jeans and high heeled shoes, she gamely leapt on to a chair to be photographed with the three volleyball players. Fracci stayed on the ground.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.