The Italian Almanac

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Vittoria Risi

Sex Festival in Milan

Famous porn stars are set to teach lessons in the art of striptease at the annual pornography expo Mi-Sex in Milan next month. Instructors from the Hard Academy will also give courses on ''sex for couples'' during the three-day event which runs March 7-9 at the Milanofiori Congress Centre with performances by hardcore actresses, lap dance shows and porn film premieres.

This year Women's Day (8 March), when Italian men honour their women by giving them bunches of yellow mimosa, falls in the middle of the expo. The day will be marked with a performance by the guest of honour, retired superstud and world No.1 male hardcore star Rocco Siffredi. ''Over the last few years we have had a lot more women at the events and this year we want to pay homage to them on their special day,'' organisers said.

Other draws on the programme include Vittoria Risi, a 29-year-old Venetian painter who turned away from her studies in fine arts to begin a career as a hardcore porn star. She will present her debut film at the event. The fair will also include a Stars of the Future section, the third annual Festival of Hard Trailers, and stalls selling fetish clothing and sex toys.