The Italian Trade Commission and NIAF: Celebrating Italian Lifestyle Together
Lifestyle is the way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group. “When lifestyle became popular a generation ago, a number of critics objected to it as voguish and superficial, perhaps because it appeared to elevate habits of consumption, dress, and recreation to categories in a system of social classification. Nonetheless, the word has proved durable and useful.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
Among the most admired, and imitated, manners of living we find the Italian, of course not the one of the inefficient health system, of the ever so popular bamboccioni, or of the fleeting scholars but that of all things stylish, elegant and of quality in many areas such as fashion, design, food and wine... the fun stuff.
Italian lifestyle was celebrated at the 37th celebration of NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) in Washington DC, where the Italian Trade Commission presented the best of Made In Italy in the Italian lifestyle lounge.
“This is our fourth participation,” the Italian Trade Commissioner, Aniello Musella told i-italy, “When we first started we organized tastings of authentic Italian products, with a particular attention to cheeses, hosted by America experts (the likes of gourmand extraordinaire Lou di Palo of Di Palo Foods and wine lecturer Kevin Zraly). After the first two years we changed things a bit and we invited different importers, of cheeses, cured meats and wines among others, to participate and showcase their products. In our lounge, visitors are invited to explore the many facets of Made in Italy excellence.”
The lounge program featured a walk around wine tasting modeled after the Italian Trade Commission’s popular seminar series “Perusing the Peninsula. “ A rich selection of wine styles from Italian producers Banfi, Casa Cornoer, Antica Cantina di Canelli and Franco Todini were tasted to the joy of all guests. US representatives were on hand to discuss these wines and the wine regions they hail from including the Veneto, Piedmont and Umbria. On the topic of Italian grapes... Rosanna of Abruzzo in Tavola served up tasty bites of a regional specialty featuring Feudo delle Ginestre’s Confettura di Uva di Montepulciano d’Abruzzo made from Montepulciano Grapes native to Abruzzo. The confettura was served atop rich ricotta fresca, it was a mouthful of heaven. The seminar was presented in collaboration with Lou Di Palo.
The program also included Agriform’s Italian Cheese Road Tour presented in collaboration with premier e‐tailer igourmet.com. They presented a sampling of Italy’s premium quality PDO cheeses including Asiago, Piave, Valtellina Casera and Grana Padano.
But Italian lifestyle is not all about food, there is much more and so representatives from Officina del Tempo, a young and dynamic Italian watch house that offers a variety of models, all produced in a new state of the art design and manufacturing facility, were on hand to discuss what makes these sporty Italian timepieces tick!
“Consumers are always eager to discover new wines, specialty items and gifts to enjoy with friends and family,” Commissioner Musella added, “and to make the Authentic Italian Lifestyle experience even more special, we have been featuring the work of an artist. Last year we presented Zucchero's latest work, this year the lounge exclusively featured music from celebrated Italian singer Giada Valenti’s latest album “And I Love You So.”
“It is important,” he continued, “to keep up with times and feature what is contemporary. Lifestyle changes through the years, we eat differently, we dress differently, we listen to different music... and our mission is to bring this reality to the American, and in this particular occasion Italian-American consumers. Consumers just need to experience the products first hand and learn more to know that Made in Italy represents quality and adopt them as part of their everyday life.”
“NIAF is an exemplary organization whose commitment to advancing the Italian American relations and fostering Italian American culture and heritage is commendable. Members of the Italian American community are ambassadors of Made in Italy on the American territory and the Italian Trade Commission understands the importance of their role in the promotion of Italian lifestyle.” Mr Musella added, “The Italian Trade Commission was, and always is delighted to celebrate Italian Lifestyle together.”