Italian National Republic Day. “Bike to the Future” on June 2
The team of Italian institutions in New York was nearly finished at the office of the Italian Consulate. Consul General Francesco Maria Talò and three directors, Riccardo Viale of the Italian Cultural Institute, Aniello Musella of the Italian Trade Commission, and Riccardo Strano of the Italian Tourist Board for North America, together presented to the press the planned programs to celebrate Italian National Republic Day on June 2.
“This year we have again tried to involve the many communities present in New York and take advantage of the richness that comes from working together synergistically,” Talò began.
By definition Italian National Republic Day is meant to be an occasion to unite all of the institutions participating in Sistema Italia to celebrate the republic of Italy with Italians, Italian Americans, and all other friends who live in this region. “Coordinting the Italian presence in this country is our institutional duty. It is a specific mandate from the Government,” said the Consul General, adding that “cooperating with private firms has become a reality, especially as a way to share expenses. Mobilizing all components that may contribute independent resources, that is the final step.”
The region of Sardinia has been fundamental in supporting the celebrations. “It is present in 360 degrees. Culture, science, economics, and tourism cannot be separated,” asserted Talò. This year it is Sardinia’s turn to take advantage of the large audience attending the June 2 celebration. In 2008, National Republic Day was organized with sponsorship from Sicily and Tuscany. Last year sponsorhip came from Puglia and Veneto.
“Thanks to individual contributors,” Talò remarked, “in the last few years the June 2 event has been taking place in one of New York’s premier landmarks, the ballroom at Cipriani Wall Street, and not in a boardroom as it was the case before"
The initiative also plans to highlight the importance of authentic Italian products while educating consumers to eat “the Italian way.” The food, of course, will be Italian, and there will be also be Sardinian specialties offered in the abundant buffet.
Aniello Musella also added: “With over one thousand attendees, it will be a singular opportunity to promote authentic Italy. This is the mission of the Italian Trade Commission in the U.S. There will be authentic Italian products, the basis for creating Italian cuisine. The creative chefs at Cipriani begin with those and go from there.”
At the end of the month (June 27-29), the Italian Trade Commission will also coordinate the Italian presence at the Fancy Food Show, an occasion to fight the growth of Italian-sounding products in the US.
Riccardo Strano underscored the initiatives focused on tourism, especially Sardinia. “It is an imporatant time for this region. It is ever-present, and has organized events in the U.S. for the last three years.”
The region’s Commissioner for Tourism Sebastiano Sannito will arrive one hour before the reception to introduce the island of Sardinia to insiders.
The message will be amplified because it is directly related to the next event, the reception with over one thousand attendees.
A scientific convention to present Sardinia’s excellence was organized by the Consulate, the Italian Cultural Institute, as well as ISNAF.
As part of the National Day's celebratios, the Italian Cultural Institute directed by Riccardo Viale introduced the exhibit which will begin June 1 at the Italian Cultural Institute with works will host an exhibit dedicated to American Cinema through the works of artist Mimmo Rotella that will be inaugurated on June 2. Finazzer Flory, the Commissioner for Culture of the City of Milan, will also be present at the opening.
“We think that this show fits in very well with the cultural and artistic spirit of New York that is closely tied to the city of Milan,” commented Talò.
“Bike to the Future” is the slogan for this year’s Italian National Republic Day that will accompany the celebrations on June 2. It stems from the creative mind of Deputy Consul Marco Alberti and thematically refers to the important role the bicycle has played in the development of sustainable transportation, as well as an obvious invitation to purchase Italian bicycles.
In passed years the Consul General arrived at the reception driving an Italian vehicle, a Vespa Scooter in 2008 (“I still use it a lot!”) and FIAT 500 in 2009. “Over the last two years, the Vespa has become increasingly visible in New York and the recent agreement between FIAT and Chrysler guarantees that it soon be on American roads everywhere,” he said.
This time, however, he won't be able to carry on the tradition that he himself inaugurated because of a recent accident.
Consul Talò is confident that Italian bycicles will conquer the American market. “US cities and streets will soon be jammed with Vespas, 500s, and Italian bikes. They are environmentally friendly and therefore is supported by Italian institutions.” The bycicles are provided by a small-scale Italian producer. “It’s called ‘Montante’ and I’m told it manufactures the best recreational bicycles around.”
The emblem of this new, ambitious strategy is evident on the invitation, created by an ad agency: it presents Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the symbol of perfection of the human body, surrounded by a bicycle wheel.
“Obviously all are invited to come to Cipriani Wall Street on a bicycle on June 2.” Smiling, Consul Talò concluded with the hope that next year’s celebration, which will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, will enjoy the participation of all the Italian regions participate.
The reception on June 2 can also be followed remotely. Like last year, i-Italy along with Italics and CUNY TV will hold a live web broadcast of the event.