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Articles by: Camilla Santinelli

  • 8) Città tropicale, Dolce & Gabbana
    Life & People

    Welcome to Your Own Tropical Paradise

    Tired of hectic working hours, busy schedules, and deadlines? Is a good summer break everything you’re looking for? You’re not alone and let’s be honest, a getaway to an idyllic exotic destination is everyone’s dream. That’s why – whether you’re planning an actual visit to the tropics or you just want to feel in your best summery mood everywhere you go – we thought you would enjoy a good selection of ideas from which choose the best summerish pop-up to your outfit.

    Tropical-inspired patterns and accessories have been a prominent presence of the runways for a while now, but this year more than ever Italian fashion designers decided to focus on their pleasing appeal, dedicating in some cases even entire collections.

    From footwear to beachwear; from evening gowns to dining sets – there’s no denying that parrots, wild flowers, and exotic fruits work well pretty much in every combination. We attempted to make a various selection of garments and accessories that cover a wide range of different features, uses, and even prices – because everyone tastes need to be satisfied. Are you ready to begin your trip to your own tropical paradise?

    1.Tropical modern

    Max Mara

    www.maxmara.com

    The spring/summer 2017 MaxMara collection is a true tropical fashion fest. Not only it can be considered a tribute to Tropicalia, the avant-garde cultural movement that arose in the late 1960’s in Brazil – to which designer Bo Bardi is personally connected and influenced – but it is also a celebration of a bold, intelligent and audacious woman with a vision years ahead of her time. This is why, besides more elegant and feminine items, the collection also includes super-glamourous silk twill jumpsuits that recall a vague military aspect, just like this one. For modern women with big aspirations.

    2. Happy feet

    Valentino

    www.valentino.com

    Long strolls in the summer heat call for these amazing creations – which will keep your feet comfortable and trendy in a unique, ‘Valentino’ way. These calfskin flat sandals with a laser-cut contrasting tropical decoration on the front are just the perfect item if you want your look to be focused on your feet. Already being stunning themselves, they would look great combined with a quite basic outfit – like a total black or white soft long dress and a few accessories that match the predominant colors.

     

    3. Tropical mix

    Pinko

    www.pinko.com

    Pinko’s new collection is all about urban-chic, and this sensational tropical-patterned shirt made of light cotton is perfect for everyday outfits in the name of freshness and fun. The flowing texture, the design, and the colors merge with the fabric striped hem in contrast, which makes the shirt endowed with an even more unique and young appeal. Available in two colors – black and green – it’s perfect from morning to evening occasions.

     

    4. Fresh pineapples

    Tezenis

    www.tezenis.com

    Not only pineapples are one of the most refreshing and succulent summer fruits, but they can be found in almost every tropical pattern, too. From clothes to design objects – they look great pretty much on everything. This super-cute Tezenis swimsuit is composed by a pineapple gathered padded bandeau with white and pink stripes bikini top and a tie-bow brief bikini bottom, which together form an exquisite combination to be shown off at your best beach and pool parties.

    5. Wild backpack

    Gucci

    www.gucci.com

    This medium-sized backpack with leather details and the iconic green and white adjustable shoulder straps could be your summer travel companion: a comfortable carry-on item to take with you everywhere you go. Made in GG Supreme Tian Canvas, it features the new Gucci Tian print, which includes a contemporary floral motif inspired by 18th-century Chinese tapestries and screens. Flowers, birds, and insects are all represented through light and quick brushstroke-style graphics, with a three-dimensional effect printed on the famous GG canvas. Already on your wishlist?

    6. Giant parrot

    The Attico

    www.theattico.com

    Launched in February 2016, The Attico is a newborn Italian brand formed by the combination of the vastly different aesthetics of Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio – with the intent to push the boundaries of specialty couture in the creation of standout pieces whose rich color patterns, lavish materials, and ornate embroideries draw inspiration from interior design and vintage furniture pieces.

    This white, peignoir-like dress with a giant parrot embroidered on it is just a vision. It’s not just its clean lines and the colors arrangement. The fact that can be worn in a variety of ways – alone or overlapping a shorter dress – makes it even more special. Do you agree?

     

    7. OPS! Tropical

    OPS! Objects

    www.opsobjets.it

    If funny, colorful, and resistant accessories are your go-to for laid-back summer days spent at the beach or whatever you like, take a look at OPS! Objects selection of bracelets, watches and much more. This young Italian brand – loved both from young girls and adults – followed the seasonal trend and created a ‘Tropical’ capsule collection featuring its traditional heart-shaped charms bracelets plus watches adorned with flamingos, parrots, and hibiscuses – in order to be able to feel the heavenly atmosphere of the tropics everytime, everywhere.

     

    8. Città tropicale

    Dolce and Gabbana

    www.dolcegabbana.com

    The Dolce and Gabbana spring/summer 2017 ‘Tropical City’ collection is a celebration of sun and joy… at the tropics. Funny pineapples on a bright millennial-pink background cheer up short and long dresses, bags, and even shoes. This triumph of colors and vivacity recall a tropical-like atmosphere and set you in the right mood to live your summer at its very best. The Dolce and Gabbana’s unmistakable style and aesthetics do all the rest.

     

    9. Club Tropicana (BOX)

    Villa d’Este Tivoli

    www.villadestehometivoli.it

    Someone said ‘dinner at the tropics?’ Yes, of course. This Villa d’Este Tivoli dining set seems to be designed to give your summer meals a little taste of tropics, too. Made of fine porcelain and china, this beautiful set is composed of 18 pieces – that can be combined in a variety of ways for always unconventional and refined arrangements – and fits for 6 guests. The materials guarantee practicality and resistance, while the decalcomania and the enameled decorations convey fun and sophistication. Each seat is conceived to be different from the others, as “each guest contributes in a different way to conviviality” (using the brand’s words.) So now, what are you waiting for before inviting your friends over for dinner?
     

  • 1) Miu Miu, Blugirl
    Art & Culture

    This Italian Season Winter Cravings

    Here is a selection of style ideas (as well as gi suggestions) featuring the two big trends of the season - velvet and knitwear - in both casual and more sophisticated looks, because everyone’s taste needs to be satis ed. We think they’re just perfect for you and for your loved ones to stay comfy and classy while enjoying the most special season of the year. What do you reckon? 

    1) MIU MIU MARY JANE

    Miu Miu

    ◗ www.miumiu.com

    Who wouldn’t want these Miu Miu shoes on their feet for holiday parties? Whether you decide to wear them with dark or glittery tights or barelegged, they will bring a touch of glamour to every look, and that’s for sure. Not only do they look great because of the peculiarity of the heel and the exquisite proportions - but the combination of velvet and the jewelry on the back make them the shoes of every lady’s dream...You will not be disappointed. 

     

    2) ENGLISH RIB

    Brunello Cucinelli

    ◗ www.brunellocucinelli.com

    We all know Brunello Cucinelli’s precious cachemire is a guarantee in terms of quality, softness, and resistance. The fact that it is used to make such superb items makes us eager to have it even more. This red English Rib turtleneck sweater is exactly the unavoidable “passe- partout” companion you need to have during Holiday season (and all year long). 

     

    3) VELVET COUTURE

    Fendi

    www.fendi.com

    Here’s a case in which velvet is the protagonist, and it’s further confirmation that we clearly won’t get over it this season. This dark velvet embroidered dress could be the perfect substitute for the traditional little black/red dress everyone normally wears on New Year’s Eve - just to give an example. Feel free to match it with the shoes and the accessories that you want, but we think it would look great with a pair of over-the- knee Parisian stockings and velvet sandals in contrast. 

    4) POSH PAPILLON

    Armani

    ◗ www.armani.com

    We love velvet to the point that we thought it would be fair to suggest it also for a male accessory. What do you think of this velvet and satin bow tie? We think that Mr. Armani didn’t disappoint our expectations once again, creating one of the most elegant accessories a man could pos- sibly wear. And just in case you are wondering: yes, we’ve seen velvet used in every possible way this sea- son, and yet... we’re not sick of it. 

     

    5) CHRISTMAS FLOWERS

    Blugirl

    www.blugirl.it

    Knitted sweater; plus fluffy shirt; plus red, green, and white roses. Are you still not convinced that this is the perfect Christmas outfit? We suggest copying the entire look, but if the pat- tern/color game is too much for you, feel free to combine the floral pants with a simple black or white sweater, or combine the sweater with a basic pair of pants. Regardless, the result will be stunning, promise! 

     

    6) LUCKY RINGS

    DODO

    www.dodo.it

    If you want to buy someone a cute present and to wish them luck at the same time, we think these Dodo rings are perfect for you. Both of them are made of 9kt rose gold, and they feature the iconic symbols of good luck: a little enamelled ladybird and a precious four-leaf clover made of white diamonds. Simplicity and refinement have always been Dodo’s most relevant characteristics - but it is only when they are worn by a be- loved person that these tiny precious jewels disclose their own magic. 

     

    7) TARTAN BOUCLÉ

    Luisa Spagnoli

    www.luisaspagnoli.it

    Tartan and its shades alone al- ready recall a Christmassy atmo- sphere, let alone when it’s combined with this soft bouclé fabric. Both the cut and the colors of the coat confer a young and fresh attitude to a timeless garment - and we think it would look great combined either with an elegant dress for a special night, or with a pair of black/dark blue jeans for a more low key-look. 

     

    8) Furla Metropolis Bolero, Contemporary Icon

    Furla

    www.furla.com

    The traditional Furla Metropolis has been reinvented, and the result is a true contemporary icon. The Furla Metropolis Bolero can indeed be considered as a “creative laboratory”, where creativity, expertise and advanced technology lead to new dimen- sions and to a new art of craftsmanship. With this new model, materials are developed and enriched with an elaborated laser embroidery, as well as with rivets and eyelets that well match with the traditional Furla golden latch. What makes this bag unique are the laser cuts, made possible by an avant-garde laser- cut technology which adds 3D effects and creates kaleidoscopic patterns that confer a sophisticated and a rock appeal. We are already obsessed with it, and the only doubts left are the ones concerning the right color and size to choose. 

  • Life & People

    This Italian Summer: Shades of Yellow, Ocher and Gold

    This summer, following the seasonal trend, Italian designers seem willing to boost our mood bringing the shades of yellow, ocher and gold to a whole new level. Here is a selection of the items we fell in love with, so have a look and shine with us!


    1) Going to the beach
    Verdissima
     www. verdissima.com
     

    Of course summer means heat. And hot temperatures mean a get- away to the seaside. This is the right time of the year to show off some skin and let the sun rays kiss our pale, escape-from-winter bod- ies. What better than this lovely green, floral swimsuit to do that? (Match it with a simple yellow or violet sarong for a sensational beach outfit).
     
     

    2) Precious feet
     www.gucci.com

    These “Willow” Gucci sandals look like a real treasure, don’t you think? The pearls perfectly coordinate with the golden leather strips creating an unique combination of brightness.

    Whether you match them with a total black/white outfit, or with other golden accessories, people will not take their eyes off of your feet. What is more, there’s also a flat version of them.
     
     

    3)  Italia is love
    Dolce e Gabbana
    www.dolcegabbana.com

    We cannot think of another col- lection that can depict the Italian essence and love of the Bel Paese better than this one.

    The stunning Spring/Summer 2016 runway is a triumph of bright colors, showy accessories and precious dresses displaying the most iconic Italian locations. A real tribute to Italy, making the concept “Italia is love” a real “statement, a mental attitude and a declaration of love.”
     
     

    4)  Italy in the City
    Mariana Antinori
    www.marianaantinori.com

    Mariana Antinori’s shop sells bags, jewelry and accessories all characterized by a distinctive Italian taste and signed Made in Italy.

    Among other things, we find this resin, brass and Swarovski stones bracelet particularly captivating and able to give that glamorous touch every summer outfit needs. Find this and other cre- ations at 1242 Madison Avenue, New York. You will not be disappointed.
     
     

    5) Sophisticated Appeal
    Fendi
    www.fendi.com
     

    Sophistication plays a strong game here. This short cottonsilk fil coupé dress intrigued us, and its Bird of Paradise print did the rest. Although it may not be to everyone’s taste, it cannot be de- nied that it is perfect for a cocktail party in the City.

    We plan to wear the whole outfit, but we would imagine it looking great also with a pair of flats and hair tied in a pony tail, for a fresher and more low-key look.
     
     

    6) Simplicity at its best
    Alberta Ferretti
    www.albertaferretti.com
     

    Here it is another demonstration of Alberta Ferretti’s love for simple but beautiful things. Lace and em- broidery are the protagonists of this dress.

    Its transparencies beautifully balance the simplicity of the shape, creating a linear but sophisticated item of clothing which we think will look great on tanned skin and it is perfect for both day and night events.

    And while the dress plays its part, the choice of shoes, accessories and hairdo is totally up to you!

    7) Summer-TIME - Designed by Studio Job
    Alessi
    www.alessi.com
     

    This is just one of the products of the collaboration between the Alessi studio and international designers, that led to the creation of five unique clocks. This one is Comtoise by Studio Job, who cooperated with the Italian brand for the first time this year.

    The Amsterdam-based duo decided to reinterpret an old item in modern key of a pendulum clock from the 17th century.

    It is entirely made of white latten: a light material that creates a nice contrast with Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel’s typical neo-Baroque graphic, characterized by a notable prosperity of symbolism. At this point we can’t help asking ourselves: How many hours until summer?

  • Fighting to Protect Our Sea and its Resources

    Two important eco-friendly events are scheduled for next week, and both of them are organized by Marevivo and UniVerde Foundation: two influential Italian associations for the safeguard of the earth and the sea.

    The first one will be on Tuesday, 31st May 2016 at 6:00 pm at the South end of the ConferenceBuilding of UN headquarters, and the second at the General Consulate of Italy in Park Avenue.

    The captivating title of the first event will be “Mission Earth - The sea: the blue lung of the world” – and will be about the important role the waters and the sea life play for our world, as well as their protection and conservation.

     
    The second one, which is scheduled on June, 1st at the General Consulate of Italy in New York at 5 pm - will focus on the terrestrial side rather than the marine one, and will underscore the importance renewable energies represent for the future of our islands and territories in general.

    “Sun, wind and Sea: renewable energies for a sustainable future of the islands” - this is the title of the event - will cover a topic which is very close to our hearts as Italians.  
    Italy, in fact, with its 4800 miles of coastline and with more than 800 islands is very much involved in tackling the impact that climate change and pollution have on those territories, and that is why is so keen in exploring new solutions based on sustainability and renewable energies.

    The Italian islands are not only wonderful destinations for vacation and a truly important part of our cultural and artistic heritage, but it is important to keep in mind that they are also essential actors in confronting world trends on climate change.

    Marevivo is an organization that carries out matters of biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, enhancement and promotion of marine protected areas. It is also very concerned about environmental education, in combating pollution and illegal fishing. Marevivo’s actions are characterized by a fair balance between environmental protection and economic and social development, and by proactive positions in line with its mission.

     
    Fondazione Univerde, similarly, aims to promote the diffusion of the knowledge and the awareness of the ecologist culture and to promote a change of life habits in order to live harmoniously with the natural environment as well as a sustainable future.

    This is another important example of how both the United Nations and the Consulate General of Italy always put remarkable effort in order to rise the awareness regarding serious problems and about the world and our Country, dwelling upon the importance of our existence as Italian and world’s citizens.

    ----

    Marevivo was founded in 1985. Since then the Association has been tirelessly fighting to protect our sea and its resources.

    Thanks to its "impartial" role, free from any political influence, and to a strengthened image of intellectual honesty and independence, over the years Marevivo has created a well-structured network of relationships with institutions, citizens and sector groups, on national and international level.

    In carrying out its activities in Italy and abroad, Marevivo is supported by a scientific commission and a legal one, itsterritorial delegations, a diving division and a widespread network of volunteers and members of the Association.

    Marevivo’s activity, its projects and campaigns to protect the marine environment are carried out with the voluntary commitment of its members and with the support of institutions and private companies and aim to arouse public interest and general consensus, also through a powerful and effective communication which allowed the Association to influence decision-making processes and policies.

  • Facts & Stories

    XII Magna Grecia Week: “From America to the Rediscovery of Mezzogiorno”

    This inaugural meeting was presided over by Nino Foti, along with Institute Director Giorgio Van Straten and the Consul General Francesco Genuardi. 

    The event included on Foti’s bestowal of the International Prize of Magna Grecia to Professor Mario Fratti
    in order to pay a tribute to his noteworthy role as a writer and playwright, in addition to marking his contributions to reinforcing the cultural, economic, and social relationships between Italy and the United States.

    Hon. Daniel Nigro, Commissioner of the NYC Fire Department, also received the International Magna Grecia Award and spoke before the appreciative audience, thanking all the members of his department and Mayor De Blasio for wanting him back as a commissioner after his retirement.

    During the ceremony, several personalities addressed the gathering, among them Joseph Sciame, Chairman Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Presidents and Professor Francesca Cangelli, assessor of the Matera municipality, who also presented the “Matera, Capital of the Culture 2019” project.

    Her remarks focused on the importance of the achievement gained by this little-known yet astonishingly beautiful small southern town and how, despite the difficulties it had to face to attain this well-deserved recognition, it has been chosen as the capital of culture among other cities and proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    The Magna Grecia Week events continued at the Italy and America Chamber of Commerce and at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, on Wednesday, with another gathering titled “From Magna Grecia to Mezzogiorno: the reasons of a non-existing development.” 

    This evening was moderated by the Calandra Insitute’s Dean, Anthony Tamburri, who warmly welcomed the guests and thanked them for being present at such an important manifestation of the Italian-American connection.

    He began with saying that the so-called “Southern question” is something still alive and vibrant, in addition to being extremely significant for us today. 

    The floor was given to Hon. Nino Foti, the founder of the Magna Grecia Organization. He made a speech about how important the tradition and the civilization of this part of Italy has been – and still is – for everyone, not only for Italy, since many immigrants from there spread all over the world, making Italian culture known everywhere. “It is a heritage that must be anchored, updated, reintegrated, and restored to its former value,” he argued. 

    Angelo Caliendo, the directive councilman of Euripse—a private institution working in political, economic, and social research since 1982—explained how Euripse has become internationally renowned for being a bridge between international and Italian institutions of higher education. “As a result of the collaboration between Eurispes and Fondazione Internazionale Magna Grecia, we have started a new platform named LABSUD—Laboratorio Sud, which brings together both public and private sectors,” he said. “The primary goal of LABSUD is to revive the concern for politics in the Southern regions of Italy in order to revitalize the economy of these territories.”

    Following him, Gaetano Cipolla and Mario Fratti gave their considerations on this topic. Professor Cipolla, a Sicilian, proudly presented what he, as an editor of Arba Sicula (the non-profit international organization that promotes the language and the culture of Sicily and also provides of a unique Sicilian/English book that focuses on literature, art, history, cuisine, and folklore of Sicily) has accomplished during many years of activity in order to promote this wonderful region. Fratti focused more on the concept of dialect and language, affirming what an important tool this can be from many points of view.

    The final presenter was the Minister Antonio Morabito,  the Promotion of the Sistema Paese and Coordinator  for Communications and Cultural Tourism  for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who further underscored the importance of Southern Italy, defining it as “an ancient world, a land of generosity, and of workers.”

    He briefly described the reasons that prevent the south of Italy from being the most developed and emancipated portion of Italy, such as immigration that deprived this region of a lot of potentiality, the Mafia, and the educational, economic, and general gaps that divide this region from the North. 

    Despite this, wanting to conclude his speech with a message of hope, he insisted that we, as Italians, and in particular the people from the South, have an important cultural heritage, a land of sea, of beauty, and tradition, a “land blessed by God,” that is appreciated worldwide and that has to be valorized using all means possible. 

    In this spirit of optimism and the exaltation of Italian beauty, the meeting came to an end, after a warm and spirited interaction between the audience and the speakers, making it clear that this initiative represented an important occasion for everybody.

  • Fatti e Storie

    L'Ambasciatore Armando Varricchio incontra la comunità italiana di New York

    Una sala gremita di ospiti ha accolto l’ambasciatore durante la visita in Consolato nel corso del suo soggiorno newyorkese, il primo ufficiale dalla sua entrata in carica come ambasciatore italiano Negli Stati Uniti lo scorso marzo 2016.

    Ad introdurlo è stato il console generale Francesco Genuardi che, visibilmente felice di avere l’ambasciatore presente in consolato, lo ha accolto con un caloroso benvenuto, elencando brevemente gli impegni e la sua “busy schedule” di questi giorni di visita in città. 

    Oltre all’incontro con il sindaco De Blasio,  il console generale ha menzionato anche la visita di Varricchio alle varie istituzioni del settore scolastico, della cultura e dell’economia (tra cui Casa italiana Zerrilli-Marimò, Whitney MuseumCenter for Italian Modern Art e Centro Primo Levi), tutti avvenuti in un clima di grande amicizia tra l’Italia e New York, per poi ringraziare i presenti, ospiti e amici italiani, italo-americani e americani, accomunati dalla passione e dall’amore per l’Italia.

    A prendere la parola è stato quindi l’ambasciatore, accolto da un fragoroso applauso da parte di tutto il pubblico.  “Questa è casa mia, New York è casa mia”, ha esordito Varricchio. “È un luogo che sento fortemente legato al nostro cuore di italiani. Come ha detto il sindaco de Blasio, New York non sarebbe la stessa senza l’italia e gli italiani”.

    Con queste parole, cariche di significato, l’ambasciatore ha tenuto a sottolineare il forte legame che da sempre lega Italia e Stati Uniti, sia dal punto di vista politico-economico, che di  storia e amicizia. “Gli italiani adorano New York” – ha proseguito – “C’è sempre stato un rapporto strettissimo, sentimentale, emotivo che noi sentiamo molto forte. Tale rapporto è avvertito dagli italiani presenti qui a vario titolo: italiani che da molti anni vivono qui, che hanno contribuito con il loro lavoro e passione al successo di questa straordinaria città, gli italiani che da meno tempo sono qui per lavoro, studio, cultura e passione e i nostri amici americani che sentono un rapporto stretto con i nostro paese per varie ragioni.”. 

    Varricchio ha inoltre precisato quanto intensi sono stati i suoi primi mesi negli Stati Uniti e di come, dal 2 marzo 2016 in poi, data in cui ha presentato le sue credenziali al Presidente Obama, si sia costantemente impegnato nel ruolo di promozione dei rapporti di amicizia con gli Stati Uniti, portato avanti da lui e dai suoi collaboratori. 

    Una speciale menzione è stata fatta all’eccellente lavoro svolto dal console generale Francesco Genuardi e dai suoi collaboratori in consolato, così come a tuti coloro che lavorano nel mondo dell’economia, della cultura, della stampa e dei media: tutti partecipanti della grande squadra Italia presente in USA.

    Non poteva mancare anche il riferimento al governo americano e di questo particolare momento che sta vivendo, definito come “una grande democrazia che si rinnova”, in vista delle elezioni presidenziali del prossimo novembre. “Chiunque verrà a Pennsylvania Avenue 1600 - sede dellAmbasciata - sarà considerato un vero amico dell’Italia, non ci sono dubbi su questo”, ha precisato l’ambasciatore.

    In fase conclusiva, un importante riferimento è stato fatto anche alla situazione economica italiana, e di come, nonostante le difficoltà incontrate negli ultimi anni, i dati odierni siano tornati ad essere positivi e rappresentino una “base” per una nuova partenza e un nuovo sviluppo. “È un momento importante anche per il nostro paese” ha precisato Varricchio. “L’Italia ha ripreso a correre. Lo dicono le cifre. Siamo usciti da tre anni di difficoltà, di crisi che ha attraversato tutta l’Europa. Dall’anno scorso la cupola dell’economia ha ricominciato a salire, i dati sono incoraggianti. Siccome siamo italiani e non ci accontentiamo, guardiamo sempre alle prospettive del futuro, sappiamo che questa è una base di partenza per fare meglio, per riformare la nostra economia e istituzioni”.

    Concludendo il suo intervento, l’ambasciatore ha infine ribadito l’importanza e la sua personale gratitudine per essere presente a New York una città “carica di emozione e passione, di forti sensazioni”, prima di passare la parola a Kathy Hochul, Vicegovernatore dello stato di New York e Joseph Esposito, Commissario del NYCEM (The NYC Emergency Management).   Entrambi, con grande entusiasmo, hanno sottolineato a loro volta  l’importanza e l’orgoglio nei confronti del legame che tiene uniti questi due Paesi e di come tale legame permetta ad entrambi di arricchirsi a vicenda, sotto tutti i punti di vista. 

  • Life & People

    Italy's Ambassador to the US Armando Varricchio Meets the Italian Community in New York

    An overcrowded room welcomed Ambassador Armando Varricchio on his first day in New York. It was his first official visit since the Italian government appointed him the new Ambassador to the United States last March.

    The meeting was opened by Consul General Francesco Genuardi. After welcoming him warmly, Mr. Genuardi went on describing the busy schedule of this official visit.

    Besides meeting with mayor De Blasio, Ambassador Varricchio visited  several cultural and educational institutions that help strengthening the bond between Italy and New York: NYU's Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, the Whitney Museum, the Center for Italian Modern Art and Centro Primo Levi, among others. And everywhere he went he met Italian, AMerican and Italian-American guests eager to share their passion and love for Italy.

    After this, the Ambassadorbegan to speak, accompanied by a thunderous applause by the audience.  "This is my home, New York is my home”, Varricchio started off. “It is a place that I feel strongly close to our hearts as Italians. Just as mayor De Blasio told me, New York would not be the same without Italy and the Italians”.

    With these emotional words, Ambassador Varricchio underscored the robust bond that has always tied together Italy and the United States. “Italians love New York” – he went on saying – “There has always been a very strong, sentimental, emotional relationship that we feel very vividly. Such relationship is perceived by the Italians of New York. By those who have been living here for a long time and who, with their work and passion, contributed to the success of this extraordinary city; and by those who who moved here more recently to study and work. And last but not least, this bond is perceived also by our American friends who feel strongly connected to our country for its culture and for many other different reasons”.

    Amb. Varricchio also highlighted how intense his first months here in America were and how, from the day he presented his credentials to President Obama, he and his collaborators have constantly been busy promoting Italy's friendly relationship with the United States.

    A special mention was made of the excellent job carried out by Consul General Francesco Genuardi and Vice Consul Isabella Periotto, as well as by all those who work in the economic, cultural, press and media sector—the big “Italia team” in the US.

    A reference was also made to this particular moment in American politics, when “a big democracy is renewing itself.” Referring to the presidential elections of the next November, Amb. Varrichhio concluded that  “Whoever goes to Pennsylvania 1600 will be considered a true friend of Italy, there is no doubt about that.”

    In concluding his speech, the Ambassador shifted is attention to Itay's present economic situation. The latest economic data have been positive and encouraging, despite all the difficulties the country had to face in the last few years. A new beginning and a new development is in sight. “This is an important moment also for our Country” Varricchio said.
    “Italy started to run again. That's what the figures say. We emerged from three years of crisis that affected all Europe. Since last year, the economy started growing again, and projections are encouraging. Given that we as Italians are never easily settled, and we are constantly looking to the future, we do know that this is a starting point: we are beginning to grow again, to do better, to reform our economy and institution."

    Then Armando Varricchio renewed his personal gratitude to New York, a city “full of emotion, passion and strong sensations”, before giving the floor to Kathy Hochul, Lt. Governor of the State of New York and Joseph Esposito, Commissioner for Emergency Management.
    Both of them  underlined their pride for the bond that connects these two extraordinary Countries, a bond that allowed them to enrich their life experience, from all points of view.

    It was indeed an exquisite afternoon, during which i-Italy also enjoyed the privilege to be granted an exclusive televised interview with Ambassador Varricchio, which will soon be broadcast in our TV show on NYC Life (Ch 25) and then posted online. So, stay tuned for more.

  • Art & Culture

    Celebrating Fellini and His Inimitable Style at Casa Italiana

    On April 18th, 2016 NYU’s Casa Italian Zerilli-Marimò proposed the screening of La Strada, a film by the Italian director Federico Fellini, co-written with Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano, in a restored version made possible by the Criterion Collection.
     

    The special guests of the evening were Valerio Magrelli, Italian poet, writer and teacher of
    French literature from the University of Cassino – and Antonio Monda, professor at the department of cinema and television at NYU, president of the Festa del Cinema di Roma and also collaborator of the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”.

    After introducing the guests and welcoming the audience, the “master of the house” Stefano Albertini began his speech by stressing the importance of having Professor Magrelli who, as a poet, could allow the audience to interpret Fellini’s work with a poetic gaze.

    After the film screening, began the proper conversation about it.
    The first to speak was Antonio Monda who, after a brief overview on Fellini’s works as a director, explained a few things about the movie. Released in 1954, after two big fiascos (The White Sheik and I Vitelloni) Monda said that La Strada was welcomed by a harsh critical reaction just after its release, before being fully appreciate later, especially by the American audience, and before winning the Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film in 1956.

    Monda went on explaining the meaning of some crucial aspects of the movie plot and in particular, he underscored the meaning of the concept of grace and redemption that the movie conveys. In this movie, in fact, we see how Zampanò (the protagonist) is saved in the end by the sacrifice of Gelsomina, the little girl who accompanies him in his adventures as an itinerant street performer and who is portrayed as an ancilla domini, as a servant of God.

    The movie was destroyed by the critics when first came out, because it was seen as a sort of a betrayal of neorealism and social issues. Later, the film gained success and it is now considered one of the best films ever. The Professor also pinpointed the fact that the movie is full of moments of genius, and that how even an apparently simple scene can hide an extremely profound meaning, as well as being plenty of Fellini’s characteristic elements, such as religious figures and, of course, the city of Rome.

    Professor Magrelli, who even had the chance to meet Fellini in person, despite saying that this movie is not his favorite one, recognized the director’s ability to combine the presence of American famous actors, like Anthony Quinn and Frederic Crawford and the Italian landscapes, as well as the incredible effect that this kind of collusion creates.

    Magrelli also mentioned Fellini’s sentimental side and how, as a film director, he always managed to convey the deep commotion of some scenes through refined cinematic techniques.
    He also added that even though this was not a huge film, it is an important one, because it makes us understand that Fellini was about to become one of the great directors of all times.

    Another important aspect that both Professor Magrelli and Monda touched, was the fact that Fellini, being a self-taught rather than an erudite man, used to rely mostly on the strength of his imagination and sensibility as a man to create and shape his great characters and movies. In this sense, according to Magrelli, Fellini belongs to a different dimension, and for this reason can be considered as a sort of “shaman”.

    An interesting reflection was also made when the Professor concluded that probably this movie can be regarded as Fellini’s most poetic one. From this perspective, it can be said that the poetic component of the scenes comes out when there is a sort of “suspension” of the useful narrative, such as the story and the facts that happened and instead we have these magical moments of pure poetry and magic: it is in those specific moments that Fellini has the ability to make us dream.

    Thanks again to professor Magrelli, Monda, to Stefano Albertini and to the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò for giving us once again the possibility to commemorate one of the best representatives of the cinematographic culture of our country.

  • Art & Culture

    Fashion Helps the Duomo - Get Your Spire Campaign

    In October 2012, due to the high costs of the restoration of the 135 marble spires and along with the urgent structural works that had to be done, the Veneranda Fabbrica launched the “Get your spire: engrave your name in history” campaign, an initiative that allows donors to choose and “adopt” a spire from the cathedral itself.  
     

     In line with the spirit of enthusiasm and initiative that has always been an important aspect of the institution’s identity, in conjunction to the will to present the Duomo in all its glorious splendor to visitors and worshipers from all over the world – the Veneranda Fabbrica has now decided to expand their project.

    This new chapter relies on a form of art that more than any other represents the strength and excellence of Milan and Italy in today’s world: fashion.

    Thanks to the patronage of the Camera Nazionale della Moda, and the support of Tiffany & Co. and the English auction house Christie’s – “la Moda aiuta il Duomo” is an initiative that is possible thanks to the collaboration of some of the most renowned Italian and international brands. 

    These brands have generously decided to donate selected items from their collections to be auctioned off during the gala being held on Tuesday, April 19th 2016 starting at 7:30 pm at the “Sala delle Colonne”, which is located within the Duomo Museum. 

    All proceeds from the action will go towards the fundraising project of “Get your Spire”, to help restore the Duomo of Milano.  

    Many World-renowned brands have decided to support this initiative. They include: Giorgio Armani, Brunello Cucinelli, Cividini, Corneliani, Costume National, Diesel, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo, Genny, Gucci, Isaiah, Krizia, Loriblu, Martino Midali, Missoni, Moncler, Moreschi, Prada, Emilio Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, Tod's, Trussardi, Neighbors, Vivienne Westwood, Tiffany & Co.

    The general public will be given the opportunity to view some of the items that were selected for the auction. Starting from April 14th, visitors of this exclusive exhibition at the Duomo Museum will be able to view these articles of clothing along with jewels chosen by Tiffany & Co. for this special occasion. This exhibition allows visitors to admire the unique combination of fashion and architecture, as well as ancient and modern shapes. 

    For further information about the initiative and the donations >>> 

  • Remembering Natalia Ginzburg at the Italian Cultural Institute

    Last week, the Italian Cultural Institute in New York opened its doors to a celebration of the best of Italian Literature, remembering, this time, one of its major representatives, Natalia Ginzburg. The event was also an opportunity to commemorate the centenary of her birth.

    The event was a bit different than usual, its guest of honor was the Italian actor/director Nanni Moretti who, in a solemn and evocative tone, has seasoned the evening with readings taken from Caro Michele, Ginzburg's epistolary novel dating back to 1973.

    Nanni Moretti, extremely focused on his reading, seemed extremely taken by an overall familiar feel that was captured in his latest film, Mia Madre, a film centered on the relationship between mother-son and family.

    After a brief introduction by the Institute's Attache for Cultural Affairs - Language and Literature Donatella Baldini, where she described the writer's awareness for the social dimension of language  and how language is an effective tool to create and mold social relations, the evening continued with speeches by two other guests: Stefania Lucamante, Ordinary Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and Valerio Magrelli, poet and Professor of French Literature and the University of Cassino.
     

    Stefania Lucamante's topic of discussion was the delineation of Natalia Ginzburg within the society of her time and how society deeply influenced her writing. 

    Born in Palermo, but raised both in Turin and Rome during the years of the war, Ginzburg had to face complex and difficult times that didn't, however, affect the thematic, stylistic and intellectual continuity of her writing.

    Family life was an incisive part of her approach, therefore Professor Lucamante also mentioned the passion that sprang from family events or relationships and how the writer used them to shape the plots of her stories.

    Professor Magrelli also analyzed the concept of family and how the family context inspired the title of one of her most famous novels (Lessico Famigliare, 1963) but also her whole life.

    Born in a large family, the daughter of a famous scientist, (here a parallelism with Italo Calvino is inevitable) Ginzburg, who has been considered by some a Naïf writer, was always been able to use her “literary intelligence” to compose extraordinary novels, creating energetic and peculiar characters who made her unique.

    The evening ended with one last reading by Nanni Moretti from La mia psicoanalisi. It was the perfect ending to a very intense gathering.

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