While Valentina Carluccio, President of the Italian Women Group (IWG), has lived in Singapore with husband Marco and son Dev (7) for the past four years, she remains very connected to her home country of Italy.
Where in Italy are you from? What do you miss about it?
I’m from the Salento region, near the sea in the south. I spent the last 25 years in Parma in Emilia Romagna where I completed my studies in law and ran my own law firm for almost 15 years.
I miss my family and my work. I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping the most disadvantaged and weakest in our society – women who are victims of violence, and juveniles. It’s something you have inside, like a vocation, and this is why I joined and feel so close to the Italian Women’s Group (IWG) in Singapore, as it allows me to help others and my country.
The IWG’s objectives include spreading awareness of Italian culture and welcoming Italian women or anyone connected to Italy in some way, and helping local charities such as HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), Willing Hearts, Breast Cancer Foundation, Assisi Hospice and Singapore International Foundation.
What brought you to Singapore?
My husband Marco was given the opportunity to work for a German company based here. I already had a lot of job satisfaction and we felt this experience would improve us as people; it was a decision inspired by love, I would say.
What has been keeping you busy in Singapore?
I’ve been President of the IWG for two years, following two years as Vice President. It’s a full-time job and I don’t think there is anything more noble than dedicating time and experience for the benefit of others and one’s country.
We’re supported by the Italian institutions in Singapore, especially the Embassy of Italy and by Italian companies such as Barilla, Ferrero, Sacmi, Ariston and others. After this wonderful experience, I will immerse myself once again in the working world, but will always remain close to the IWG.
Any particular surprises you’ve found since arriving, or things you admire?
Apart from the safety and cleanliness here, the best part is the integration of other nationalities. Seeing Indian temples next to Catholic churches, and public holidays for all religious festivals, really opens your eyes to other cultures. I adore Singapore because of its internationality.
What neighbourhood do you live in?
I’ve lived in Robertson Quay from the start and have never moved: it’s a beautiful green area next to the river in the centre of the city, and it’s rich with businesses and restaurants.
What do you do in Singapore when you’re not working?
I like going for walks, admiring nature in bloom or going for drinks with friends in fantastic venues, like the new Dolcetto Mercatino in the Regent Hotel, which is reminiscent of the real Italian “aperitivo”, or Osteria BBR in Raffles Hotel.
What are you looking forward to for 2023?
I hope that IWG continues to grow and improve in supporting those in need, and continues to maintain and expand its relationship with the local and expat community.
Quick questions about Singapore; what is your favourite..,
Casual restaurant? DOP Mozzarella Bar & Restaurant and Rosso Vino, both in Robertson Quay.
Date night restaurant? Basilico and Dolcetto in the Regent, and Osteria BBR at Raffles.
Local food? Violet Oon Satay Grill & Bar for satay, JUMBO Seafood for chilli crab, and Tiffin Room for Indian food.
Nature Space? The Botanic Gardens; the IWG organises nature walks every Monday and Thursday, and on Tuesday we go to the East Coast.
Things to do with visitors? The IWG tours! We organise one a month to discover the art, history and secrets of Singapore.
Nearby holiday destination? I adore Phi Phi Island and Bali
This article first appeared in the November 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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