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Who We Are

The Club was established in 1967 by a handful of visionary women (American, British and Italian) who saw the need to help English speaking newcomers to Milan settle into their new home. It remains a self-governing, nonprofit, apolitical, non-commercial organization that depends on the time and creativity of its membership to thrive. Currently, our membership is over 300 women from about 50 countries, however through the years thousands of women have enjoyed the Club’s hospitality during their stay in Milan. There are many good reasons to contribute your energy and effort to the Benvenuto Club of Milan, lots to do and enjoy; check out the rest of the website, then come find or contact us.



Ivana Borac

I am a Serbo-Canadian, textile artist with a specialization in weaving, and I have had the unique experience of being a global expat for more than 20 years. Throughout my travels around the world, I have developed a deep appreciation for different cultures and artistic traditions, which continuously inspire my work.
For over a decade, I have been a proud member of the Benvenuto Club, an organization that has become an integral part of my life. The club has not only provided a platform for me to share my passion for textile arts but has also been a source of meaningful friendships and support. I have had the privilege of meeting many wonderful women through the club, and these relationships have enriched my life immensely. Women supporting women is a value that I hold dearly. The camaraderie and mutual encouragement I have found within the Benvenuto Club exemplify the importance of fostering a community where women can empower each other. This supportive network has been instrumental in both my personal and professional growth, and I am committed to contributing to and nurturing this spirit of solidarity among women as your new president working together with the new board.
Vice President

Iva Cattapan

Born and raised in Veneto, my journey has taken me across Europe, from Portugal to Germany, before settling in Milan in 2015. Along the way, I’ve cultivated a deep love for travel, books, and sports. As a former semi-professional basketball player, I learned to balance athletics with academia, supporting my pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Modern Languages at the University of Padua. Married to a Swiss gentleman, we’ve joyfully raised two young men who are currently immersed in their studies in Germany.
Over the course of 15 years, I thrived in my role as a project manager in a prominent Italian business school, where I dedicated myself to teaching and organizing activities and seminars for foreign managers and entrepreneurs. As a consultant, I offer my expertise in various topics, including self-presentation, job interviewing techniques, public speaking, and the organization and management of meetings. I have recently founded a startup offering beach volleyball and cultural camps for young American athletes and their families in Italy. This endeavor not only fulfills my entrepreneurial spirit but also provides an opportunity to share my passion for sports and cultural exchange on an international scale.
What drives me is “Give your best when you do something. Your commitment reflects who you are and how much you care.”
Membership Director

Giovina Di Giacomo

Hello everyone! I am Giovina Di Giacomo. I joined the Benvenuto Club about four years ago, but it is only recently that I have moved to Milan on a permanent basis. I am thrilled to get started with new projects in this beautiful city. I grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, surrounded by Italian traditions brought by my father’s heritage. Italy was always a destination for our family vacations and a venue for memorable moments. I graduated in the US and worked for 30 years in an international business consulting firm, assisting clients with major company transformations. I worked primarily in Latin American countries, as well as in the US and Spain.
Since joining the Benvenuto Club, I have had the pleasure of getting to know a fantastic group of women who have always welcomed me. The club has become a place for me to make new friends while participating in a variety of wonderful activities. I am delighted to be joining the Board of Directors and am very enthusiastic about my new position, which will provide me even more opportunities to further connect with this amazing community of women. I look forward to meeting you all soon.
Newcomers Director

Silvia Feltrin

Hello, I’m Silvia! I’m originally from Rome, but for 10 years, I’ve had the privilege of living in various corners of the world. My husband’s job took us to Germany and South Africa, where I soaked up the diverse cultures and landscapes. During this time, I’ve shared my love for art by working as an art teacher. Whether at my children’s school or with individual students, I’ve been able to encourage their creativity and help them discover their unique artistic talents. I still enjoy teaching art from time to time, but now that my kids are in university and I’m an empty nester, I’ve dedicated my time to being a relocation agent in Milan. Drawing from my own experiences of moving frequently, I assist families in navigating the complexities of relocating to a new country, from bureaucratic matters to finding the perfect apartment for their needs.
Communications Director

Elisabetta Pisa

Milan-Toronto-Milan. These are the main legs of my “journey” so far, which made me who I am today. I am Elisabetta Pisa, an Italian with a Canadian twist, as I like to say.
I started my career as a print journalist in Italy, then shifted to video journalism/video making in Canada, where I moved in 2014, following my husband taking on a professional opportunity in Toronto. After almost 8 years on the other side of the ocean, in September 2021 we came back. Now I realize that I see things differently, desiring to live my new Italian chapter without giving up on the international and diverse context I have become used to. That’s why I decided to be part of the club. This is my story so far. Stories are my thing: I really love to hear and tell people’s visual stories, in addition to being fascinated by kindness, bright minds, curiosity and originality.

Maritza Morales

Hello! My name is Maritza, and I am from Puerto Rico. Over the years, I was fortunate to have international roles at four multinational companies which gave me the opportunity to visit many countries and work with diverse cultures and ethnicities. Following my university studies in Finance & Marketing, I moved to Chicago to start my career in the telecom and tech industry. When I met my Italian husband, we lived and worked in Florence for five years. We then relocated to the US, living in Miami and Houston, before moving to Milano in 2019. As we were getting to know the city, the pandemic arrived… Two years later, I was blessed to find Benvenuto and decided to join! Being part of the club has been energizing because I get to share stories and experiences with women of similar international perspectives. I am excited to join the new board and look forward to teaming with our enthusiastic group to advance the organization’s
mission. In my day-to-day, I provide executive coaching and leadership acceleration labs to clients globally in English, Spanish and Italian. When I am not with clients, I enjoy oil painting, crafting suminagashi art, wine degustation, tennis, cycling, ballet and lyric opera. Being from the Caribbean, I also love music, nature and the ocean. I look forward to meeting you soon!
Special Activities Director

Gisella Garbagnati

Born and raised in Milan, I met my Finnish husband during my postgraduate studies at LSE in 1995. I then spent the next 25 years as a lawyer and academic researcher in London, Brussels and Luxembourg, where I worked with a number of EU institutions. I moved back to Milan with my family in 2021. I am currently focusing on start-up ventures in various fields – from music distribution in Africa to French luxury leather goods.
PR Event Director

Lussi Fioretti

My name is Luciana Fioretti but everyone calls me “Lussi”. I am Italian and an Italian teacher. I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Italian language and literature and a Masters in teaching Italian as a foreign language from the University of Siena. In addition I also have a Masters in Image Consulting. I’ve lived abroad for 25 years: Puerto Rico, USA, Canada, Turkey,
Egypt, Thailand and now Milan for the last seven years. I speak Spanish, English, and Italian and have studied Turkish, Arabic, Thai, and French. I love interior design, the arts, photography, traveling and parties. I have a daughter who is 18 years old.
I understand the difficulties people face in a new country and culture. And I love to help people. I began in Benvenuto by coordinating the lovely group of Parliamo Italiano! And for the past two years I have been the Newcomers Director. Inclusion is my philosophy of life, and I enjoyed helping people connect and form friendships through aperitivi and the drop in cafe. My new role is as director of events where I hope to continue to unite Benvenuto members in a fun way.

Tzu-Yu Lin

Born and raised in Taiwan, I’ve lived internationally across the U.K., Singapore and France before moving to Milan. For years I worked in international business and public relations before shifting to the field of strategic branding.
Outside of work, I very much enjoy traveling, art, design, craftsmanship and cultural exchanges.
I look forward to having you join our community and connect with members of Benevento Club of Milan.
Community Services

Yesim Çelebi

I was born in Ankara ,Türkiye. I have lived in Milan since 2021 with my Italian husband. I graduated in mathematics, and I’ve been teaching maths for over 20 years to high school students in Ankara. Now that I live in Milan, while I am still improving my Italian, I do volunteering teaching at the Portofranco Association.
I am also a creative drama teacher, which means I use improvisation and other techniques to support educational learning and build confidence in students. I am very interested in healthy diets, natural lifestyles and in my spare time I like to cook recipes from different countries. (Lately I am into Indian food.) I combine my passion for different cultures and food with traveling abroad as well as across Italy. I love reading, doing sports and in particular, yoga.
Magazine Editor

Aliona Rezvanova

I’m a Moscovite, business adviser, personal brand expert, coach, traveler and painter. After a career as a top manager in multinational companies - ABB, Oracle, SAP, Symantec, Adobe and that of an entrepreneur - I opened a kids’ fitness, in 2018 I moved to Italy with my two teenagers. My work online creating business and personal brand strategies for entrepreneurs and professionals allows me to manage my time, travel and work from different places.
I joined Benvenuto last year, taking on the role as Editor. It allows me to combine my previous experiences, creativity, networking and management skills in aid of the club. I’ll be continuing in this role next year.
Fundraising and Sponsorship Director

Ilaria Moretti

I am a tax consultant, a Chartered Accountant and mother of two children aged 7 and 9. I have been living in Milan for several years now but before I lived in Turin, and I had several experiences abroad. Having a grandmother who lived in England for 40 years, and En- glish cousins, has made it nat- ural for me to stay with foreign people and get to know distinct cultures. I was lucky enough to also study in England as an exchange student during high school and then in Glasgow during university. After graduating in Economics and Legislation for Business at Bocconi University and a postgraduate course in International Taxation, I worked for tax and legal consultancy firms in Milan. Some years ago I started my consultancy firm with a specific depart- ment dedicated to the fiscal regimes of foreign in- vestments and new residents. I am extremely excited to be part of the Board in the role of Fundraising and Sponsorship and to make the club and its amazing activities known to companies that can be potential sponsors.

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    Mailing Address:

    Benvenuto Club Of Milan
    c/o Circolo Alessandro Volta
    Via Giuseppe Giusti, 16
    20154 Milano