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Articles by: I. I.

  • Art & Culture

    Waiting - a Documentary by Cristian Piazza

    WAITING is about Second Chances. Being an Immigrant implies a resetting in habits: a new language, a new culture and dealing with circumstances differently. At first you are exhilarated and in awe because everything is new, until you realize that the past, and all things familiar, are pretty much a memory and nothing else.

    New York has always been considered an Island of opportunity; it has been home for many generations of Italian immigrants since the late 1800’s. It’s a place to prove and confront yourself in every possible field. I was at a crossroad when I conceived this project. I challenged my fear of failure, the idea of Home, Identity and Family.

    Filming this documentary showed me that most decisions come from a very intimate place: call it individual crisis, turning point, or passage to adulthood.  I was first interested in knowing how people become aware of it: how can they see their way forward and use that awareness to change their lives. Choices are what define us as human beings. These are stories that humanize immigrants.

    Collaboration is always a matter of trial and error in this business. I found amazing people who have been determined and passionate and helped me to complete this documentary. Anything that helps to increase the spirit of collaboration is always a plus.

    Three Italian Immigrants aim for a second chance in life in New York City.

    Floriano Pagliara is a Professional Boxer looking for self-validation. After a crushing defeat back in Italy, he needs to regain confidence. His career is his Identity. He finds a new trainer and a shot at a World Title against an American Champion. What will do it for him? Going the distance or winning the title?

    Paolo Buffagni is a former Actor without any musical instruction. He reinvents himself as an Opera Singer at 30 after moving to New York. With little support for its new venture, he is constantly hesitant about his real potential and talent. His first major role is in Verdi’s Traviata. He’s looking for the recognition he couldn’t get back home.

    Paolo Inferrera ultimately wants to open a restaurant in New York. His former family lifestyle and his entitled way of living fell apart with his parent’s divorce. He is an aspiring entrepreneur that falls short, hitting rock bottom. He acknowledges addiction and fights against it. He realized that the outside stimulation was a fence to his inner development. He tries to redeem himself in order to find his true Identity.

  • Ideas. Where to Stay and Eat in Gargano

    Where to Stay: Relax and Enjoy

     
    B&B Casanita

    Via Simone Vestano 16

    Vieste (Foggia)

    ◗ www.bbcasanita.com

    On the rugged coast-line of Vieste, with white walls overlooking the sea and lush greenery, you will find some of the most popular tourist properties in Gargano. Not far from the lively historical center, situated right in front of the Castello di Federico II, there is a B&B with only four rooms and two spacious terraces, from which you can enjoy spectacular views. B&B Casanita will provide a rare experience due to the particular attention it has paid to conserving the typical architectural characteristics of the town.

    Zia Nì

    Localita Valle Sant’Elia

    Peschici (Foggia)

    ◗ www.ziani.it

    Mario and his wife, Lynse, are the owners of the Zia Nì B&B, a countryside villa with four contemporary-style rooms. Located amongst six hectares of olive groves and orchards, Zia Nì features a charming swimming pool surrounded by olive trees and a splendid view of the Foresta Umbra, the thousand-year old oasis in the heart of the Gargano National Park. Here, luxury is combined with a respect for the neighboring nature.

    Locanda della Castellana

    Località Valle Castellana

    Peschici (Foggia)

    ◗ www.lalocandadellacastellana.it

    With its little white houses, Peschici is best discovered by taking your time; wandering through the narrow streets and stopping to admire panoramic views. We recommend visiting La Locanda della Castellana, just a little over half a mile from the town center; fifteen apartments with all the necessary comforts, a small but well-equipped fitness center and a restaurant. The cuisine is authentically Pugliese with local products collected by Signor Mario.

    Where To Eat

    Trabucco: a gastronomic experience not to be missed

    The ‘trabucco’ is an ancient construction designed for fishing, typical of our coasts. Its name derives from the Latin, “Trabs-Trabis”, or rather beam or timber. Indeed, the trabucco is built entirely with wooden beams supported by steel tie-rods. We suggest that you visit these two:

    FOR LUNCH

    Trabucco di Monte Pucci

    Località Montepucci

    Peschici (Foggia)

    ◗ www.trabuccodimontepucci.com

    The restaurant opened in 1970 when Biagio Fasanella – a grandfather – would spend his days on the trabucco with his family, and then began to grill the fish he caught to allow passers-by to sample. The outdoor room, mounted on the beams of the trabucco, is surrounded by the sea and offers a charming view of Peschichi to the east with Calenella and Rodi Garganico to the west. The indoor room, more sheltered and ideal for cool evenings, looks out to the west in the direction of Rodi and is set on the smaller trabucco, offering clients marvelous ocean sunsets.

    FOR DINNER

    Al Trabucco Jazz da Mimì

    Localitá Punta San Nicola

    Peschici (Foggia)

    ◗ www.altrabucco.it

    Before becoming chefs, the Ottaviano family were master carpenters, one of the oldest families of trabucco builders in the entire Gargano promontory. Today they own a restaurant nestled on the rocky cliffs of San Nicola, just over a mile from the white town of Peschici. The outdoor patios are made from the beams of old trabucchi, poles that have held through winter storms and logs that are contorted and sculptured. It is further decorated with buoys, fish traps and nets, while the interior room resembles a small sea museum – filled with memorabilia, old tools and photos of successful catches. We particularly recommend visiting in the evening, when you will almost certainly have the fortune of dining with music, since this is also the home of Trabucco Jazz Live.

  • Events: Reports

    On the Subversion of Opacity

    Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space presented on June 10th On the subversion of opacity [About Practice#3], a two-person exhibition of recent work by Arianna Carossa and Beatrice Glow, curated by Alessandro Facente.
     

    Through site-specific installations, including sculpture and digital prints on silk, this exhibition considers the ways in which artists provide an indirect view of reality, representing it as a fictional mythology drawn from its facts, forms, or histories, but never reflecting them directly.

    Even as a fiction, this mythology is able, perhaps even more so, to reveal the original reality at its core; an inner essence not beholden to its usual context, interpretation or common understanding. Instead, the new work behaves as autonomous form; an expanded field that is both in balance and in tension with the one from which it has been originally generated.
     

    By investigating the ways in which reality can become dissociated from recognizable forms and ordinary knowledge, the exhibition considers the manual labor, or craft, within an artist’s practice and its potential to modify, shape, overturn, and radically change an existing object, shape or event (historical or current) in the process.

    Estranged from their original context, the former lives of these objects and histories become transparent, yielding their political, social or practical nature to an intimacy between the viewer and the visual experience where the form is observed without additional interpretation and description, nor the mediation of “what we add to it from the outside.”
     

    In his 1988 essay “Lightness,” published in the compendium Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino likens the writer’s creative act to an indirect gaze on the world; just as Perseus defeated Medusa by following her movement in the reflection of his shield, the strength of the literary imagination is in a writer’s ability to wade through the opacity of our literal world through the transformation of fact into fiction; subverting what Calvino describes as the “petrification” or “the weight” of ideas through the lightness of mythology and its visionary language.
     

    Similarly, Arianna Carossa and Beatrice Glow’s works aim to experiment with personal formalism, creating new worlds that encourage the viewer to exceed their own assumptions within an exhibition space.
     

    Across her entire practice, from site-specific projects to sculptures to land art, Arianna Carossa strives to create work that emerges from the environment in which she is called to realize a project, aiming at searching for situations or moments where the design of an object itself can relate to everything around it. For many years, at the center of her research there has been the object: intended as raw material to be reinvented through different forms and expressions. Her process is strongly rooted in Arte Povera, but completely reinterpreted through a language which is profoundly personal and carefully aimed at investigating new materials, such as found objects, pieces of furniture, ceramics and paintings reassembled as a reflection on universal themes.
     

    On the occasion of the show, Carossa exhibits a new body of organic/animal-like-shape sculptures made by using expanded foam, colors and found objects, whose interaction in the limits of both the piece and space, offer viewers mixed feelings, based on a balance between opposite forces, including dirty and clean, hard and soft, bright and opaque, weight and light.
     

    Beatrice Glow uncovers invisible and suppressed stories that lie in the long geopolitical shadows of colonialism and migration. Her practice comprises sculptural installations, trilingual publishing, lectures and participatory performances. To counter divisive discussions of political and cultural borders, Glow meditates on how all ethnospheres are, like islands, connected beneath the surface. Her research mines the relationship between Asia and the Americas, investigating transpacific economic and cultural circulations, as well as persistent, romanticized notions of the exotic “other.”
     

    Glow’s installation at Cuchifritos consists of a new body of work that tells the social history of spices as a bloody continuum of exploitation, extraction, and land dispossession. She created a series of digital prints on silk drawing upon historical depictions of the spice trade combined with her own drawings that are inspired by botanical research to illuminate the transhistoric weight of spices, silks and colors that have propelled forward countless caravans and ships in the birthing of globalization.

    The artist considers these silk prints as objects that sit between the resemblance of Mantones de Manila and oriental rugs, objects that embody a long history of trade, cultural circulations and mystique. The transparent and weightless quality of silk evokes the ghosts of history that invisibly shape our present while starkly contrasting historical gravity.

  • Arte e Cultura

    LʼEleganza del Cibo arriva a New York

    Dopo lʼinaugurazione avvenuta al Museo dei Mercati di Traiano nel Maggio 2015, la mostra
    LʼEleganza del Cibo approda a New York.

    Dal 24 Giugno al 4 Luglio, una selezione di oltre cinquanta capi e accessori scelti dai curatori Stefano Dominella e Bonizza Giordani Aragno saranno esposti al Chelsea
    Market, meta culinaria prediletta dei newyorchesi, con lʼobiettivo di esplorare la contaminazione tra le culture dellʼalimentazione e della creatività Made in Italy.
    Presentata dallʼICE, Italian Trade Commission in collaborazione con Unindustria, LʼEleganza del Cibo proporrà abiti, accessori, immagini fotografiche e video, attraverso un
    percorso creativo contemporaneo dove la tradizione del “bello e ben fatto” Italiano si mischierà a suggestioni gastronomiche, a dimostrazione di quanto la moda ha saputo trarre ispirazione dal buon cibo.

    In mostra abiti-opera ma anche accessori realizzati con materiali inconsueti, dalle forme e disegni scaturiti da una ricerca innovativa, originale e soprattutto ironica.
    Gli abiti realizzati dai più grandi stilisti, dal 1950 ad oggi, insieme alle creazioni di designers emergenti, racconteranno la storia inedita del connubio seducente tra “moda” e “gusto”.
    Tra le creazioni in mostra, alcuni delle quali mai presentate prima dʼora, lʼabito Privè di
    Giorgio Armani che si ispira al bambù, pianta delicata e robusta al tempo stesso, sempre più
    in voga nellʼindustria ecosostenibile.

    Etro fa suo lo slogan “We are what we eat” (Noi siamo ciò che mangiamo), così le meravigliose stampe della Maison si animano di pasta e crostacei crudi, in composizioni grafiche create con immagini digitali in cui i pranzi, italianissimi nella loro rappresentazione, si trasformano in un caleidoscopio di colori e “sapori”. Gattinoni, cheha dedicato unʼintera collezione di alta moda al cibo, eʼ in mostra con il “bread dress” ,composto di bustier scolpito con vere spighe di grano e pantaloni in juta ricamati con biscotti e salatini glassati e cristallizzati.

    Il giovane designer Tiziano Guardini sceglie vere radici diliquirizia per realizzare il suo abito “Natural Couture” eco-sostenibile. Salvatore Ferragamo, pioniere nell'utilizzo di materiali poveri come sughero, rafia e canapa, ha scelto di esibire  alcune delle sue calzature più famose tratte dal prezioso archivio storico della fondazione a lui dedicata. Immancabile Moschino, che da sempre ha trattato il cibo con ironia e come strumento di denuncia sociale. In mostra anche Ken Scott, il giardiniere della moda, colui che tra i primi ha scelto di inneggiare al food attraverso le vivaci stampe dei suoi abiti: asparagi, piselli, carciofi, mele, diventano “meraviglioso orto” da indossare.

    “Mi sono interrogato spesso in questi ultimi anni circa il parossismo che sta focalizzando la
    nostra attenzione - dichiara il curatore Stefano Dominella - Da una parte lʼedonismo, la cura
    del corpo, lʼessere magri ed in forma ad ogni costo, dallʼaltra il “tam tam” mediatico e  pubblicitario sul cibo, sul gusto e sulla golosità in genere che scaturisce unʼansia alimentare.
    E la moda? Raccoglie e assorbe tutte queste sollecitazioni e le interpreta con ironica creatività. Da sempre. Eʼ in questo clima da “Dolce Vita” dellʼalimentazione che ho maturato lʼidea di una mostra che coniugasse moda e cibo. Per sorridere di questa “Strana coppia”, ma anche per approfondire e sensibilizzare le mille sfumature legate ad essa, non per ultimo il rispetto per la natura e per lʼambiente.”

    “LʼEleganza del Cibo”, aggiunge il Direttore dellʼUfficio ICE di New York e Coordinatore della
    Rete USA Maurizio Forte, “rientra nel Piano Speciale che il Governo Italiano ha lanciato per
    promuovere e supportare la filiera della moda e quella agroalimentare negli Stati Uniti. 

    Questa mostra offre lʼopportunità di presentare, per la prima volta negli U.S.A  la relazione imprescindibile tra due degli aspetti più importanti della cultura Italiana. Anche da un punto di vista commerciale, il comparto moda/agroalimentare rappresenta oltre il 25% delle esportazioni italiane in USA e risulta in crescita di circa il 16% nel 2015 rispetto al 2014” 

    Orario: tutti i giorni dalle 10:00 alle 19:00
    Luogo: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York NY 10011
    Ingresso gratuito

  • Fatti e Storie

    “Food in Focus”. Evviva l'italiano !

    “Non solo la diffusione della cultura italiana, ma anche la promozione dello studio della lingua italiana e’ molto importante: vogliamo far capire agli studenti americani che sapere l’italiano e’ sia piacevole per gustare meglio le opere e i prodotti made in Italy, sia utile per trovare lavoro e fare carriera con le molte aziende italiane presenti negli States e attive nei business del cibo, della moda, del design e della tecnologia”. 

    L’ha sottolineato con passione il console generale italiano a New York, Francesco Genuardi, durante la cerimonia di premiazione degli studenti che hanno vinto il concorso fotografico “Food in Focus”, lanciato dallo IACE (Italian American Committee on Education) insieme a Eataly. 

       L’evento si e’ svolto sabato 18 giugno nella Scuola Grande di Eataly, dove si tengono regolarmente corsi di cucina e di cultura culinaria.
     

       Il giudice del concorso era il fotografo Francesco Tonelli, famoso per le sue immagini di cibo & cucina pubblicate su libri come “The Tucci Cookbook” di Stanley Tucci): il tema era catturate immagini rappresentative della cucina italiana con un particolare “appeal” per l’appetito. Fra le centinaia di foto arrivate, Tonelli ha scelto di assegnare il primo premio (cena per quattro al ristorante Manzo di Eataly) a Samantha Pugliese della Manhasset High School; il secondo premio (tour personalizzato di Eataly con degustazioni per quattro persone) a Hennessis Veras della LaGuardia High School; e il terzo (un cesto di prodotti tipici italiani) a Gilian Marino, ancora della LaGuardia High School. 

       L’iniziativa fa parte della collaborazione fra Iace e Eataly, iniziata quattro anni fa, per incoraggiare gli studenti americani a scegliere l’italiano come lingua straniera in classe e appassionarsi della nostra cultura e del Made in Italy, a partire dalla nostra cucina sana e appetitosa. Ogni anno centinaia di studenti da scuole di New York, New Jersey e Connecticut visitano Eataly con il programma IACE: due ore di “lezione” su come fare la spesa nel mercato e come cucinare, imparando insieme un po’ di vocabolario italiano.

       “Grazie a queste e ad altre attività lo studio dell’italiano sta avendo un grande successo - ha spiegato il presidente dello IACE Berardo Paradiso -. Circa 100 mila studenti seguono corsi di italiano nelle scuole degli stati di New York, New Jersey e Connecticut supportate dallo IACE. Per questo siano riusciti a raggiungere in anticipo sulla scadenza prevista l’obbiettivo di 2.500 studenti delle scuole superiori impegnati a sostenere l’esame AP (Advance placement) di italiano, cioè la soglia necessaria per mantenere vivo questo test, che e’ importante per ottenere credit all’università”. 

       Per il prossimo anno scolastico la partnership fra IACE e Eataly si allargherà al nuovo megastore che Eataly ha in programma di aprire questo agosto al World Trade Center.

        Il console generale Genuardi ha anche anticipato la notizia che il prossimo ottobre, in occasione della settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo, Eataly ospiterà una grande iniziativa “a sorpresa” per promuovere lo studio dell’italiano. 

  • Art & Culture

    Karl Lagerfeld’s Photos Take Over Florence


    Karl Lagerfeld
    ’s “Visions of Fashion” exhibit takes over Palazzo Pitti on Tuesday, June 14th as contemporary fashion takes over Florence. The exhibit opens on the first day of the 90th edition of the Pitti Uomo men’s wear trade show and runs through October 23rd.

    The trendy designer’s exhibit consists of photos shot throughout his iconic fashion career, showcasing 200 shots, including photos published by international magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Numéro, and V Magazine.
     

    Curated by Eric Pfrunder and Gerhard Steidl, the exhibit will officially turn Palazzo Pitti’s Costume Gallery into a fashion museum. The exhibit kicks off a round of events on contemporary fashion to take place over the next three years in Florence.
     

    The photos were made with varying techniques, including daguerreotypes, platinum prints, Polaroid transfers, resinotypes, screen-prints, and digital press.  Many photos on display were inspired by classic mythology, including Lagerfeld’s series “Le Voyage D’Ulysse” and “Daphnis and Chloe”. “Today, photography is part of my life,” Lagerfeld said.  “I can’t see life without the vision of photography.”

    The German fashion designer, artist, and photographer began his career in 1955 when he won a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat and was hired as Pierre Balmain’s assistant.  After leaving Balmain and joining Jean Patou, Lagerfeld introduced a series of low-cut skirts and dresses to the Paris fashion market, which did not win over the fashion critics.   He reached international fame in the early 1980s and is currently the head designer and creative director of Chanel, Fendi, and his own label.
     

    Lagerfeld, who is known for lying about his age, debuted as a photographer in 1987 with his first press kit for Chanel at the request of Eric Pfrunder, the brand’s image director.  He produced “Visionaire 23: The Emperor’s New Clothes”, a series of nude pictures of models and celebrities, and also personally photographed Mariah Carey for the cover of V magazine in 2005.
     

    “I look at the world and at fashion with the eye of a camera,” Lagerfeld explained.  “This enables me to maintain a critical detachment in my everyday work, which helps me more than I could ever have imagined."
     

    The event kicks off three years of contemporary fashion events in Florence, an initiative that was created through a joint cooperative between Pitti Immagine Discovery, the Uffizi Gallery, the ministry for economic development and Italian trade promotion agency ICE, and the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana (CFMI) -  Florence’s center for Italian fashion.  CFMI is co-funding the initiative with an annual 50,000 euros over the 2016-2018 period, said CFMI’s president Andrea Cavicchi.

  • Events: Reports

    Jazz Concert: Francesco Cafiso Quartet


    Amazed by Francesco’s qualities, Marsalis took him along with his septet on his European tour 2003, where Francesco performed in prestigious theaters in Europe. From that moment on his career has been a crescendo, both in Italy and abroad. He has been awarded several important prizes and has been performing with a long list of musicians.

     

    In 2004, he participated as special guest in the Sanremo Music Festival. In 2005 the Swing Journal, the authoritative Japanese jazz music magazine, presents him with the New Stars Award, a prize reserved to the emergent foreign talents. Immediately after,  Top Jazz, of the Italian Music Jazz magazine, recognizes him as the best new talent of the year.

     

    Since 2008 he has been Artistic director of the “Vittoria Jazz Festival” in Vittoria his native city. On January 19, 2009 he played in Washington DC during the celebrations in honor of President Barak Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. day. On July 17, 2009 the Umbria Jazz Foundation named Francesco “Ambassador of the Italian jazz music in the world.”

     

    In September of 2012, during a long stay in the United States, he has held a series of master classes in Saxophone at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In June 2013, at the behest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consul General of Philadelphia, in collaboration with the American Secretary of State John Kerry, Francesco was chosen to represent Italy  during the celebrations of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States.



    On February 20, 2014 Francesco, received in New York the “Grand Award of Merit” by the “American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit”, for the  contribution to Sicilian jazz and the development and diffusion of jazz music in the world.

     

    In March 2015, the ambitious musical work called "3" (Alfredo Lo Faro Productions) was released. It consists of three albums which are profoundly different from each other: “La Banda", "Contemplation" and "20 Cents per Notes.” Published simultaneously, the three albums see Cafiso in the role of composer, arranger and performer.


    About the Artist:

    Francesco Cafiso (born in Vittoria, Sicily on May 24, 1989) is an Italian jazz musician who plays alto saxophone. He began playing at age nine and premiered in 2001. In 2003 he toured Europe with Wynton Marsalis. In 2005, at age sixteen, he won Italy's version of the Golden Django. He has recently received a diploma for flute.

    On 19 January 2009 he played in Washington DC during the festivities in honor of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. day.


    Thursday, June 9th

    Italian Cultural Institute, 686 Park Avenue (at 68th st.)

    6:30 pm
    RSVP

    Produced by Enzo Capua

  • Fatti e Storie

    Festa della Repubblica: 1946 - 2016

    IN ENGLISH >>>

    E’ con grande piacere che rivolgo i miei saluti alla collettività italiana e italo-americana degli Stati Uniti in occasione delle celebrazioni per la Festa della Repubblica. Colgo l’occasione per ringraziare i nostri connazionali, gli Americani di origini italiane e quanti, a diverso titolo, si riconoscono nell’Italia, per la straordinaria collaborazione offerta in ogni occasione all’Ambasciata e alla nostra rete consolare.

    Ricorre oggi il 70° anniversario della nascita della nostra Repubblica, fondata il 2 giugno 1946 dopo il referendum istituzionale che vide il suffragio universale con l’estensione, per la prima volta, del voto alle donne. 

    La Repubblica Italiana si basa sui valori della libertà, della democrazia, dell’uguaglianza, dei diritti umani e della pacifica convivenza tra i popoli. Sono gli stessi valori che ci uniscono profondamente alla grande Nazione che ci ospita.

    L’Italia e gli Stati Uniti sono Paesi amici e alleati. Condividiamo l’impegno a promuovere un futuro di libertà, di prosperità e di pace. Collaboriamo fianco a fianco nei campi della sicurezza internazionale, della tutela dei diritti umani, della crescita economica, della protezione dell’ambiente e nel sostegno alle Nazioni Unite. Questa forte alleanza si rinnova ogni giorno e si sviluppa nei campi dell’innovazione e dell’alta tecnologia. La lingua italiana registra una forte domanda e rappresenta uno strumento straordinario per promuovere la conoscenza del nostro ineguagliato patrimonio culturale e di quanto di più nuovo accade in un Paese proiettato verso il futuro.

    Il 70° anniversario della Repubblica è la Festa di tutti noi e ci offre l’opportunità di celebrare la nostra identità di italiani e di italo-americani. Viva la Repubblica Italiana. Viva gli Stati Uniti d’America. 

    Armando Varricchio

  • Italian National Day: the 70th anniversary of the Italian Republic

    IN ITALIANO >>>

    I am very pleased to extend my warm greetings to Italians, and Italian-Americans, in the United States on the occasion of Italy’s National Day.

    I would like to thank all of our fellow citizens, our American friends of Italian origin and all those who recognize themselves - in their different ways - in Italy, for their outstanding and steadfast cooperation with the Embassy and our consular network.
     

    Today is the 70th anniversary of the birth of our Republic, founded on June 2, 1946, with Italy’s constitutional referendum. That day, for the first time, women were able to vote in Italy’s unprecedented universal suffrage.
     

    The Italian Republic is founded on the core values of freedom, democracy, equality, respect for human rights and peace among nations. Values which we share deeply with the great country which hosts us, the United States.
     

    Italy and the US are friends - and allies. Together, we strive to promote a future based on freedom, prosperity and peace. We work closely on matters of international security, protecting human rights, promoting economic growth, safeguarding the environment and supporting the work of the United Nations.
     

    This enduring alliance is enriched daily with culture, innovation, and high-tech. Our language is a powerful tool which promotes Italy’s unparalleled cultural heritage and, at the same time, enhances our Country’s natural propensity to creativity and inventiveness – in short, to the future.

    The 70th anniversary of the Republic is a celebration for us all, and is another welcome opportunity for us to take pride in our own identity as “Italians” and “Italian-Americans”.

    Viva la Repubblica Italiana. Viva gli Stati Uniti d’America.

    Armando Varricchio

  • Facts & Stories

    How an Italian law for the protection of the sea was born in Washington at the NIAF convention

    Mr Giugni would you tell us the peculiar story of this new Italian law and its relationship with the Italian American community?

    Last October, at the invitation of i-Italy we { Marevivo} had the pleasure to participate to the annual convention of the National Italian American Foundation in Washington and to meet some leading representatives of the Italian-American community. Among them were the President of NIAF John Viola and its Executive Vice President John Calvelli. 

    After exchanging a few words with Mr. Calvelli I discovered that we had many things in common, in particular the constant battle for the protection of our beloved sea from the invasion of plastics — in Italy Marevivo has been in the frontline of this battle for 30 years. And, most importantly, Mr. Calvelli introduced us to the problem of the microbeads.

    What are the microbeads?

    They are tiny particles of plastic that can be found in thousands of personal care products sold around the world. Hardly visible to the naked eye, they flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why, ultimately, they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads and that’s how they are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the seafood we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove. We were shocked by this problem and started looking into it more closely.

    Isn’t there any legal protection against the use of microbeads in cosmetics products?

    In the U.S. there is! Mr. Calvelli’s organization managed to put together a legislation that bans the microbeads from all products sold in the New York State and at the end of last year president Obama made it a federal law! Mr. Calvelli sent us the blueprint of the U.S. law as well as the media and scientific background that was put together by his organization.

    This made us understand the importance of raising awareness on this issue in Europe, where no such law exists. So, back in Rome, we put together a team of experts, legislators and scientists — the Blue Factory of Marevivo — to study the best way to propose a law that would ban microbeads in mass market cosmetics in Italy and hopefully all Europe.

    And what came out of all this?

    In a few months the  Blue Factory, led by Prof. Ardizzone of the University La Sapienza of Rome, drafted a law proposal inspired by the American law. It will be officially presented in Naples at on June 29. The event will take place on board of the Italian Navy boat Amerigo Vespucci. The president of the Environmental Committee of the Italian Parliament Ermete Realacci will be present together with the undersecreatry for the Environment Silvia Velo and the undersecreatry for Justice Cosimo Maria Ferri. With such an authoritative backing that will be the kick-off event to our European-wide campaign to raise awareness on the impact of plastics on our sea. 

    So that encounter in Washington proved really important...

    It was of paramount importance! It allowed us to focus on a very important aspect of the struggle for the protection of the sea and I want to thank Mr. Calvelli for opening our eyes and helping us to pave the road to this new crucial battle. 

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