‘Where do you call home?’ In Nice

Wednesday 27th April 2016

Talk About Town came to Nice…

This debate was first held in Italy in October 2015, and now the same question came to Nice: ‘Where do you call home?’

The subject of the debate, ‘Where do you call home?’ was inspired by the fact that when I speak or listen to expats, I always hear them say: ‘When I go home…’ and very often these are people who already live in this region permanently.” says Anna Fill.

So the debate discussed the subject of ‘home’ and what it actually means. We uncovered some of the many reasons people choose to live away from their homeland; work, sunshine, lifestyle, food, wine, love…

The debate was held at the Forum Jorge François, in rue Cronstadt, almost adjacent to the Negresco. Right in the heart of Nice, this venue is in fact the crypt of a large church, but inside it turns out to be a warm, comfortable, well-equipped and surprisingly spacious place with a thoroughly modern theatre able to seat 150.

We started in the foyer/restaurant area with drinks and a few appetisers; time to chat with friends and meet new people before going into the theatre. The debate was lively, with frequent contributions from the audience. Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell and many were both revealing and amusing. Then we returned to the foyer for more wine plus a grand spread provided by Jill Pirdas. The evening passed all too quickly; even at 10:30 there were still a few groups of people chatting and in no hurry to leave.

Here are some photos taken at the event.



Anna Fill is a born communicator and has always been passionate about giving people a voice. She created The Riviera Woman website as a platform to promote women living and working on the French and Italian Riviera. Anna studied theatre, music and drama. She spent over 3 years as a sports presenter with the BBC in London and then created her own entertainments company. Anna was UK’s first female mobile DJ and ran a local radio station serving the community in North London.

Presently, as well as The Riviera Woman and Talk About Town, Anna runs the expat group Vivaitalia in Italy.

You can always email Anna at:

Our Panel:


Petra Hall, Editor-in-chief, of Riviera Insider (Former Riviera Times) – Petra Hall created the only monthly newspapers in German and English for the South of France, Monaco and the Italian Riviera. She has been the publisher of the Riviera Côte d’Azur Zeitung since 1992, and has served as publisher of The Riviera Times since its launch in 2002. Since 2015 she is the editor-in-chief of the bimonthlys RivieraZeit and Riviera Insider. Petra Hall is a pioneer of this innovative European, cross-border publishing concept. As a passionate journalist and connoisseur of the region between Marseille and Genoa, she is a central figure on the Mediterranean media scene. She is member of the board of the Monaco Press Club and of the Club de la Presse Méditerranée 06.

Ms. Hall was born in Hamburg. She grew up in Germany, and studied at the universities of Hamburg and Munich. She then moved to Milan, Italy, where she worked as a freelancer for some of Germany’s top newspapers, including Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Welt. After 23 years in Italy, Ms. Hall relocated to Nice. She has been living and working on the French Riviera for the past 20 years.

Petra Hall speaks fluent German, French, English and Italian.


Burton Gintell, President of the American Club of the Riviera and a Board Member of Sophia Business Angels. Born in New York City, he has lived in Europe for 38 years – more than 20 of which in the South of France. Burton has formed / headed companies in seven European countries, operating within corporate environments and as an entrepreneur in consumer products and media. From his youth in New York, Burton Gintell retains a passion for music and art.


Simon Verity, With over 25 years as a Financial Planner, Simon has been giving advice to French resident ex pats since 2002 from the Blacktower office based in Nantes. His responsibilities include helping clients with their financial needs in France as well as expanding the existing French team. He gained his UK qualifications in 2001 and spent 15 years working for various UK institutions and banks and latterly as an Independent Financial Adviser running his own business before making the move to France. Simon has also recently taken a course on Wills writing and cross border Estate Planning.

Special Guest: Carol Drinkwater


Carol Drinkwater, Writer, Actress, Filmmaker, Best known for award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the television adaptation of the James Herriot books, All Creatures Great and Small(1978–85), which led to receiving the Variety Club Television Personality of the Year award in 1985.One time member of the National Theatre Company under the leadership of Laurence Olivier and acted in numerous television series and films including the highly successful Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Chocky. Won a Critics’ Circle Best Screen Actress award for role in the feature film Father playing opposite Max von Sydow. Amongst many other film and television series, appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) and the film adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge’s novel An Awfully Big Adventure, directed by Mike Newell. See full details here.

Carol has written a number of books titled The Olive Series, My Story series and many children’s books including her first, The Haunted School, which was produced as a television mini-series and film. Bought by Disney, it won the Chicago International Film Festival Gold Award for Children’s Films.

Photo credit: Michel Noll





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Thank you also to Rob Harrison from Riviera Radio for additional publicity on his Breakfast Show.

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