VICENZA, Italy- March 8 is known in Italy as the "Festa della Donna" celebration or International Women's Day. To mark the occasion, more than 100 women from the Vicenza Military Community gathered for the annual combined Italian-American organization Ciao Conference, enjoying a variety of classes and cultural opportunities at Dai Gelosi, a restaurant in nearby Valproto. Participants spent the day taking part in the conference, which included transportation, classes, luncheon and participation in prize drawings.

"We had 13 classes and I think this was the most fun year, with a lot of participants," said Kym Price, who served as the event organizer for the third time.

Classes included wine tasting with representatives of the Le Pignole and Maculan wineries, cooking with Lucas, which featured the proper way to prepare pasta carbonara, photography tips and tricks with Erika Saari Williams, and the art of entertaining with Aly Rohling, among others.

"This is the first time I have attended this event," said Amy Morell, a newcomer who has been in Vicenza since September of last year.

"It is a great opportunity to know more about Italy and meet new people. I attended the wine tasting, the olive oil tasting and the living in Vicenza classes. They were all really great and the lunch is really good," said Morell.

It was the second year in a row of participating for Sarah Costello, who said, "I like it all. I enjoy meeting new people and spending time with friends you already have. This year, I did the yoga and meditation class, the olive oil, the non-invasive beauty technology and the photography classes. I like to learn something new every year."

Roberto Cisco, one of the presenters, said the event gave him a good chance to meet with many members of the American community.

"This is a great experience and an opportunity to talk about the Living in Vicenza website, which is a new tool that can help anyone in the community find out about events in the Vicenza area, and tourists who speak English visiting our area," he said.

At the end of his class, Cisco formed four groups for a fun quiz about the Veneto region with a final prize for the winner.

"Participants appreciated the quiz and getting to know more about this area," he said.

"It is so much fun to watch everyone going from workshop to workshop and talking about what they learned," said Price. "It makes me proud of the job the committee did to put together a great event for the community. The feedback that we have had from the participants has been nothing but positive."