Southend on Sea is a pleasant and attractive seaside town with good weather, good sailing, an independent spirit and an outlook on the wider world beyond the shoreline. It is on the East Coast close to France, Belgium and Holland. It is home to many fine people, both British born and from overseas, who have come to enjoy its lifestyle. There are many Italians amongst others from all over Europe.
Southend, Westcliff and Leigh on Sea have a great deal of interest in Italy and an Italian Society.
We suggest that you also make contact with the Anglo-Italian Circle. It is the only Italian Circle located in the southeast of Essex. The next nearest are in Colchester and in London.
You will find that the Southend Anglo-Italian Circle offers monthly lectures and discussions about Italy, mostly given in the Italian language.
The Southend Anglo-Italian Circle exists to serve Italian nationals, Italian speakers, students of Italian and all those interested in Italy, its language, culture, literature, art, cuisine and history.
The Southend Anglo-Italian Circle has members from all over Mid and South Essex who attend to listen to the lectures. Most are from Southend on Sea, Westcliff on Sea, Leigh on Sea and nearby areas. Many come from Chelmsford, Basildon, Thurrock and Maldon Districts in addition to the members mainly from Southend on Sea Borough, Castle Point District and Rochford District.
The Southend Anglo-Italian Circle has speakers who come from far and wide to talk about Italy. Others come to perform - to sing and play music. The speakers come from local areas, from London and from more distant cities. They include academics and specialists in Italian art, culture, literature, music, history, tourism, cuisine, fashion and manufactured products.
Mid and South Essex comprises of Southend-on-Sea Borough, which includes Southend-on-Sea and the towns of Westcliff-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea, Thorpe Bay, Shoeburyness and the suburbs of Belfairs, Bournes Green, Chalkwell, Eastwood, Eastwoodbury, Milton, Prittlewell and Southchurch.
Rochford District includes the towns of : Rochford, Rayleigh, Hockley, Great Wakering and the ten smaller villages nearby.
Castle Point District includes the towns of : Hadleigh, Thundersley, South Benfleet and Canvey Island.
Prominent features in this area are : Artists in abundance in Leigh-on-Sea; C2C National Express Train Terminus and Depot at Shoeburyness; Essex University; Leigh-on-Sea's Historic Harbour and Fisheries; London Southend Airport; Olympus KeyMed the Endoscopy Manufacturer; South East Essex College; South East Essex Sixth Form College; Southend University Hospital; The Foulness Island Military Testing Area; The Baltic Wharf Sea Port; Wallasea Island Marina; And, the site of the Saxon ruler's grave whose abundant contents will be moved from London Museum to Southend-on-Sea Museum as soon as facilities are provided; The hull of Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle is resting in the River Roach near here.
In recent years, the outstanding ultra-modern new building for South East Essex College was built near the High Street. A brand new building for Essex University was built on the High Street in the middle of Southend-on-Sea. In 2011, a stunning new multi-coloured, multi-level student accommodation building was built in a futuristic colourful "Lego" block style. The entire "golden mile" sea-front was rebuilt removing car-parks, laybys and unattractive buildings and was replaced with a beautiful long extended piazza of wide marble and stone promenades with sculptures, fountains, palm trees and shrubs, thus restoring the area for the benefit of promenading visitors to better enjoy the sea-side. A beautiful new library called The Forum has been built in 2013 beside the campus of the University and the College. Along the sea-front cliffs in Westcliff-on-Sea, a new city museum will be built into - inside and under the cliff gardens, the gardens will be restored over the building when completed. A new art gallery has been opened in the old library to replace the Beecroft Gallery and an expanded Passenger Terminal was opened for the very successful London Southend Airport where you can fly to Venice in Italy, Paris and many other cities in Europe.
Not far from here are : Chelmsford, which is the "Birthplace of Radio" and where the Italian born Anglo-Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi started his radio communications empire there in 1897; BAE Systems at Basildon and Chelmsford and their Research Centre at Great Baddow, which are mostly ex Marconi; New Holland Tractors in Basildon are one of the largest tractor manufacturers in the World, they are owned by FIAT of Italy, they used to be Ford Tractors. Ford Motor Company's Research Centre is at Laindon; Selex - Finmeccanica, the Italian owned Military Electronics manufacturer; Essex and Suffolk Water at Hanningfield Water; The new Thamesport at Shell Haven; The Tilbury Forts and Port; The Wind Farms off the coast near Maplin Sands; Nearby on the Rivers Crouch, Roach, Blackwater and Colne are some of the finest shellfish including the famous Colchester Oysters and Maldon Oysters known locally as Paglesham and Walfete Oysters. Also, near us are the second largest vineyards in the UK at New Hall, Purleigh near Maldon producing some of the finest English wines.
There are hundreds of restaurants and cafes in Southend, Westcliff and Leigh, more per square mile than in London. Amongst them are several very fine Italian restaurants in this area, mainly – Bella Italia, Da Vinci, Flying Pasta, Il Gattopardo, Il Pescatore, Irma's, L'Ancora, L'Azzurro, La Romantica, Mamma Mia, Mario's, Piccolo, Sambuca, Santa Lucia, Spaghetti Junction, Tomassi. More details on other Italian restaurants follow on another page.
Website Administrator : GLEN DRYHURST