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Alassio - The English town

Jacqueline Rosadoni è la bibliotecaria della English Library di Alassio: una biblioteca fornitissima, di opere inglesi! In questo video Jacqueline ci mostra la biblioteca e sul numero di Speak Up in edicola non perdetevi il racconto della sua divertente e romantica storia personale con l’Italia… e con un italiano! By Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Jacqueline Rosadoni (Standard British accent)

This was the British Club in Alassio, the  Silver Jubilee dinner in 1935, and there must have been at least 200 people there. They had wining, dining, music, dancing, theatrical, pantomimes.

This was the famous Miss Lamport, that she fought with the Hanburys for years over who was going to possess the library, and she built a beautiful building for the library on her own land, out of her own pocket. That was a beautiful building, octagonal building with a big glass roof, and it had a tea room inside. And, amazingly, this little girl here... four or five years ago, a very elderly lady came to see me, a lady in her 90s, and told me that she was this very little girl, that she used to live here as a child, her father was an ambassador and they had a house here, and she... they... they had an actual school here, an English school, that there were so many children, they had their own school.

Here we have all the geography section, and there are some beautiful books here; very... very, very old, and very, very rare. We have some modern ones as well, of course, but some of these are extremely rare. In Italian universities they give young students lists of books that they have to find, that they’re practically unfindable, and quite often they come to me and I have them, which is something that really pleases me, when I manage to help these young people because they look on (the) internet, and they can’t find the books anywhere, and here they are.

A great amount of history books as well. Here there is all the history of South Africa, the story of the war in South Africa, From Aldershot to Pretoria. This was when there was the Boer War. Lord Milner’s work in South Africa, 1897-1902. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fiction. We have medical books, household tips, lots of magazines, household magazines.

Richard West came from Dublin. He was a university teacher, he... he was teaching in Fettes College in Edinburgh. He came to Alassio for a short holiday, and absolutely fell in love with the place. So he went back to England, sold up everything and came to live here. This is up at Santa Croce, this is a church, and here is the old Roman road, and there are still some Roman bricks and some Roman tombs as well. This runs along to Albenga, you can walk, it’s quite a nice walk, about 11 kilometres.

After a couple of years he was here, he married the vicar from Bordighera’s daughter, and then he used to pedal around on a bicycle. Painting was his hobby, he was never taught, he taught himself, and he pedalled around on an old bicycle, and painting all the local scenery, and he went even quite far away, painting, pedalling. We have 76 of his paintings here, which is practically the whole collection. Unfortunately, he died quite young, when he was only 57; he went to Fiesole to see a friend and caught pneumonia and died there. And his friends, two years later, built this kind of... it looks like a little chapel, actually,  but it was built especially to house all his paintings, and they stayed here until the war broke out, and then they were put into a garage and then you... Richard West’s daughter Kay, when she became a very old lady, she was going back to England to live, and she donated all of these paintings to the town of Alassio. So the town hall have put them all here in our library, and it’s a permanent exhibition, and we get really... hundreds of people come to see them.

(Jacqueline Rosadoni was talking to Mark Worden)

The interview continues in the August issue of Speak Up, click here to listen to it.


Silver Jubilee dinner. Una cena (nel 1935) per celebrare i 25 anni del regno di George V, il padre di George VI (quello di The King’s Speech, Il discorso del Re). Elizabeth II invece ha festeggiato il suo Silver Jubilee nel 1977: la Jubilee Line (della metropolitana londinese) è stata inaugurata due anni dopo.

Wining, dining. Mangiare bene, fare una bella e lauta cena o anche invitare a cena qualcuno (letteralmente bere vino e cenare). Di solito si dice to wine and dine.

The Hanburys. Una famiglia ricca inglese che abitava ad Alassio.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fiction. Centinaia e centinaia di libri di narrativa. Fiction in inglese vuol dire narrativa: non è “la fiction” della TV italiana! Da notare che sarebbe più corretto dire hundreds of works of fiction.

Fettes. È un collegio a Edimburgo, il cui allievo più famoso è Tony Blair (ma si pronuncia “Fett-es” e non “Fetts”).