Off-METM activities 

Besides the main conference programme, we’ll be putting on some additional activities to help you settle in and make new contacts. So if you fancy a spot of informal networking or just the chance to chat with like-minded colleagues with similar interests, our Off-METM activities should be right up your street.

Stuck for a dinner date? Join one of our meal groups. We like to keep things simple, so we book the restaurants (don’t worry, we’ll give you directions) and then you split the bill on the day. Nice and easy.
The confirmation email you will receive after registering for the conference contains a link to the sign-up page.

If you have any questions, write to Off-METM organizer
Susan Frekko at


MET choir

Whether you’re a natural performer or just fancy a good old singalong, MET’s ad hoc choir is for you. No experience? No problem! We deliberately choose "doable" songs that anyone can sing. 

Keen to get in some practice? Watch a sneak preview of our chosen song: "Bella ciao" (recording and lyrics), listen to the soprano, alto or baritone audio files, and download the full score. Don't forget: practice makes perfect!

If you have any questions, write to our choir organizer Ailish Maher at
Rehearsals: Friday lunchtime and Saturday before dinner – see the programme for details.
Note: due to rehearsal scheduling, singers will not be able to sign up for Friday lunch groups.

Performance: Saturday at the closing dinner
No sign-up required. Just show up and don't forget to bring the score with you!

Wednesday 25 October

After-dinner drinks for early arrivals – If you're arriving early, then head on down to Belle Epoque on Wednesday evening to join your fellow METM17 attendees for after-dinner drinks. Group leaders: Marije de Jager and Michael Farrell
Location: Belle Epoque
Time: 21.30 until late
Booking required

Thursday 26 October

Thursday morning

Santa Giulia Museum Complex tour 
– Travel through time at the UNESCO-listed Santa Giulia City Museum, which showcases Brescia’s art, history and spirituality from prehistory to the present day. Evocatively set in the eighth-century San Salvatore monastery, the complex was originally built over the ruins of impressive Roman town houses, several of which have now been excavated and may be visited from within the museum. Join us for a guided tour in English. Group leaders: Mary Consonni and John Hynd
Location: Santa Giulia Museum Complex
Tickets: €19. Payment to be made in advance by PayPal or bank transfer. Any bank transfer fees will be borne by participants. More details will follow after sign-up.
Meeting place: 10.15 at the conference centre lobby (or 10.30 at the museum)
Time: 10.30 - 12.30
Booking required. Minimum: 15. Maximum: 60. Sign-up deadline: 28 August

Thursday evening

METM17 Translation slam
– Two of our finest wordsmiths, Laura Bennett and Oliver Lawrence,
 will translate a short passage from an Italian-language text. Join us at Signorvino Brescia to hear them compare notes under the watchful eye of our expert moderator. How will their translations differ? What will they have in common? How will our translators explain the decisions that shape their texts? Join us to find out. 
Moderator: Tim Parks
Organizer: Daniela Majerna

Location: Signorvino Brescia
Time: 18.45 - 20.00
Booking required. Maximum: 50

Thursday dinner groups (see restaurants on map)

Time: 20.30 - 22.30
Booking required. Maximum: 6 per group, except where noted.

Digital nomading – How to be a digital nomad? Hear firsthand from your group leader, who has had several animal-sitting experiences in France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, including caring for a horse due to foal. Heaven on earth – if you don't mind working too! Group leader: Ailish Maher
Restaurant: Al Fontanone. Address: Via Dei Musei, 47A

Brescia cuisine group – When in Brescia, eat as the Brescians do. How can you visit somewhere without digging into the local nosh? I casonsèi, al spèt, or even la polènta col bagòss… Come along and give your taste buds a treat! Omnivores only. Maximum: 12. Group leader: Michael Farrell
Restaurant: Trattoria Urbana Mangiafuoco. Address: Via Calzavellia, 3A

“Cork dorks” wine-tasting meal – Over a set-price wine-tasting meal (35 euros), we'll savour local cuisine and wines while we chat about the history of the viticultural area near Brescia and take a look at a few of the wines and regions. Suggestions for winery tours will also be shared. Minimum:12. Maximum: 15. Group leader: Karin Rockstad
Restaurant: Signorvino. Address: Piazza della Vittoria, 7

Tim Parks book club – Come and chat to Tim Parks about his work and life as an Englishman in Italy, and so that we’re all on the same page, read the amusing Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo. Group leader: Jeanette Hodgman
Restaurant: La Mezzeria. Address: Via Trieste, 66

Living with languages If you live in a house where two or more languages are regularly heard and spoken, this group is for you. Can you make sure your children are going to speak your language? Do relationships change depending on the language you speak? And how can you stop your own English deteriorating? Group leader: Simon Berrill
Restaurant: BIIF. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 15

My best mentor ever – In thinking about your career, who are you grateful to for their help/insight/advice? What did you learn from them? And what tips can you pass on to younger colleagues and other language professionals? Group leader: Jackie Senior
Restaurant: Locanda dei Guasconi. Address: Via Cesare Beccaria, 11H

Animal lovers – Are you a cat person? A dog person? A horse person? Do you have a special connection with an animal in your life? Join us to talk about our relationships with the animals we love. Group leader: Susan DiGiacomo
Restaurant: La Vineria. Address: Via X Giornate, 4

Feast-or-famine sufferers – Tired of the feast-or-famine cycle? Let's talk about strategies that can stabilize  and even raise  our incomes. Group leader: Mary Ellen Kerans
Restaurant: Osteria Vecchio Botticino. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 6

Teamwork for freelancers – Most freelancers like working alone, but liaising with colleagues can give us a boost. So if you think we might be able to help ourselves by helping each other, come along and brainstorm ways we can collaborate. Group leader: Rob Lunn
Restaurant: Osteria al Bianchi. Address: Via Gasparo da Salò, 32

Friday 27 October

Friday morning

Yoga session for translators, editors and interpreters  – This yoga class is suitable for people at any level. It does not matter whether you are an expert, back-bending yogi or whether you can’t even touch the tip of your toes… anyone interested in improving their physical and/or mental wellbeing is welcome! Please contact the facilitator prior to the class to let her know of any injuries and/or special requirements. No mats or special clothing required, though jeans are not ideal.  
Location: Centro Paolo VI, Sala 7
Time: 7.00 - 7.45
Instructor: Francesca Matteoda
Booking required.

Corpus guidance: updating and sharing – Breakfast table for people who've been using corpora to guide editing and translation decisions. Share updates on tools found, lost, or abandoned. Did you use to consult corpora but have drifted off? Come anyway! Let's discuss why we drift in and out of corpus guidance. Breakfast included for those staying at the venue; €9 for those staying elsewhere.
Meeting point: conference centre breakfast room
Time: 7.00 - 8.30
Group leader: Mary Ellen Kerans
Booking required

Friday lunch groups (see restaurants on map)
Time: 12.30 - 14.15
Booking required. Maximum: 6 per group

Working while moving – The challenges of staying on top of your core work and paperwork while moving home and home office. We’ll discuss problems, tips and tricks. Group leader: Mary Fons i Fleming
Restaurant: La Bersagliera. Address: Corso Magenta, 38

How does what you read influence your work? – Have you found unexpected connections between your pleasure reading and your editing or translating? Do you look for novels or other free-time reading matter that will tie in with your projects? Let's talk about how what we read shows up in our work. Group leader: Mary Savage
Restaurant: BIIF. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 15

Illustrious ancestors – Are you descended from the great and the good? Or are there some skeletons in the family closet? No matter whether you’re blessed or cursed in the genealogical stakes, come along to share your forebears’ feats, big or small, over a bite to eat. Group leader: Richard Lackey
Restaurant: La Bersagliera. Address: Corso Magenta, 38

What makes you unique – Come toot your own horn! You will deliver a one-minute presentation on what you have that others may not. First describe your target audience and then make your case for why they should choose you over the average Joe or Jane. Fellow diners will listen to these unique selling proposals and offer feedback. Group leader: Oliver Shaw
Restaurant: Osteria Nonna Mercede. Address: Via Fratelli Lechi, 17

Freelancers bringing home the bacon – Are you a freelancer and the sole or primary breadwinner for your household? How do you run your home on a variable income? Let’s trade stories and tips. Group leader: Susan Frekko
Restaurant: Vita. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 20

Life-changing trips – Have you ever taken a trip that changed your life? Maybe an extended holiday led you to uproot yourself and settle in the country that you now call home? Join us to swap travel stories. Group leader: Justine Sherwood
Restaurant: Ristosalumeria. Address: Viale Venezia, 2A

To brand, or not to brand? – Should we present ourselves as a company or brand? Or should we take a personal approach and introduce ourselves as individual experts and single points of contact? We can discuss the pros and cons and our experiences. Group leader: Elizabeth Garrison
Restaurant: Osteria Nonna Mercede. Address: Via Fratelli Lechi, 17

Social media meet-up – Active on social media? Or considering becoming active? Come meet other social media users to talk in person about tips and strategies. Group leader: Jason Willis-Lee
Restaurant: Arnold's. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 2

Our own worst enemies? – We've all made mistakes on the job, some of them embarrassing, some of them costly… Let's talk about our biggest goofs and what we learned from them. Group leader: Mary Consonni
Restaurant: BIIF. Address: Piazzale Arnaldo, 15

Friday evening

METM17 Welcome reception
Time: 19.00 - 21.00
Join us at local eatery Belle Epoque for a hearty apericena. What, you may well be thinking, is an apericena? The term itself is a portmanteau combining the words aperitivo (aperitif) and cena (dinner) – and it’s quite the thing in Italy at the moment! For us, it means a welcome drink, a buffet of hot and cold dishes, a selection of wines, and dessert. Plenty to fill our bellies. And we won't need to venture far: Belle Epoque is a short stroll from the conference centre, a mere 400m away, so just 5 minutes on foot.
Location: Belle Epoque
No sign-up required. Catering is included in the conference fee.

Saturday 28 October

Early-morning jog – Get your day off to a flying start with a quick jaunt up to the castle hill. Total distance: approx. 3.5 km (most of this is flat or downhill; about 550 m uphill). Check out this Google map and this description ("from Piazzale Arnaldo up Via Brigida Avogadro").
Meeting point: conference centre lobby
Time: 7.00 - 7.45
Group leaders: Thomas O’Boyle and Jason Willis-Lee
No sign-up required. Just show up!

Sunday 29 October

Group walkExploring Brescia, from tourist attractions to charming unusual sights – Slip on your most comfy walking shoes and join us for an itinerary that will take us past historic buildings, views of the past, and glimpses of a city tired of being thought of as just "the industrial capital of the north." At 11 am, we'll reach Piazza Duomo. For those who wish to, and for all those who want to join us there, we can take a classic break and enjoy a genuine Pirlo – the world-famous Brescian aperitif.
Meeting point: conference centre lobby
Time: 9.30 - 11.30
Group leader: Barbara Arrighetti
No sign-up required. Just show up!

Brescia Underground tour – This private English-speaking tour visits rivers running under the city centre and allows you to see now-submerged Roman and Medieval archaeological sites. Participants must wear trousers or jeans with a belt (no overalls), sweatshirt and/or lightweight jacket, kitchen or gardening gloves (no latex), two pairs of thick socks, and a flashlight (so remember to pack these things!). The organizers provide leggings and safety hats. Suitable for people aged 1465 without walking problems, excluding pregnant women.
Tickets: €13. Payment to be made in advance by PayPal or bank transfer. Any bank transfer fees will be borne by participants. More details will follow after sign-up.
Meeting point: 9.40 at the conference centre lobby or 10.00 at the tour starting place (crossroads between Via Annibale Calini and Via Fratelli Dandolo)
Time: 10.00 - 12.30 (approximately, with about two hours underground)
Group leader: Michael Farrell

Booking required. Minimum: 15. Maximum: 25. Sign-up deadline: 28 August