The Italian Embassy in Israel opened its annual Festa Della Repubblica celebration with a gala evening at the Ambassador’s residence in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. World class jazz music by Italian performers and a menu featuring pasta, pizza, gelato, and imported Italian chocolates, cheeses, and wines were enjoyed by a diverse guest list.
The Ambassadors’ residence was adorned in Italy’s national colors, with flags and banners, and as the sun set, red, white and green colored lights. After ample time to enjoy the reception, elegant music, and ambiance, Mr. Massimo Sarti, the Director of the Tel Aviv branch of the Italian Institute, opened the ceremony, welcoming the distinguished guests before calling on the Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Gianluigi Benedetti to make his formal remarks.
Ambassador Benedetti began by noting that both the modern states of Israel and Italy shared the distinction of being founded in the ashes of World War II, and on bedrocks of much older cultural and historical roots. In that regard, this was a joint celebration of 70 years of impressive achievements on a range of fronts: economic; technological; cultural; social.
The ambassador remarked on the contributions of Jewish Italians to the success of Italy. He thanked particularly those who had fought the Nazis as part of the Jewish Brigade, who were recently awarded the Medaglia d’Oro al Valor Militare by the Italian Parliament.
Moving on to modern geopolitics, the ambassador stressed Italy’s role in the European Union, its status as the third largest economy in the Eurozone, and 8th largest in the world. Ambassador Benedetti pointed out that Italy is a great place to live as well, ranked the healthiest in the world by the Bloomberg Global Health Index.
Ambassador Benedetti mentioned that Italy and Italians have also contributed to Israel’s success in a variety of areas, from helping develop drip irrigation technology, to serving in UN missions on Israel’s borders. Israeli-Italian cooperation ranges from trade to culture, to defense, with the most recent high profile example being the Giro d’Italia biking competition that incorporated an Israeli route for the first time.
Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, spoke on behalf of the Israeli government. Offering his congratulations, Minister Steinitz remarked on the long history of the Jewish community in Italy, as well as the current strength of Israeli-Italian relations. He singled out two prominent examples of bilateral cooperation. Firstly, the use of Italian training jets by the Israeli air force shows the great trust that Israel has in Italy and Italian technological innovation. Secondly, the still in the development plan to construct a Mediterranean pipeline transporting gas from Israel to Italy, that would eventually be the world’s longest.
After hearing the national anthems of both countries, guests continued to enjoy the Italian cuisine and live music performed by the Saxophone Ensemble of the National Jazz Orchestra of the Italian conservatories together with guest pianist Danilo Rea. Alitalia, Italy’s national airline and one of the evening’s sponsors, raffled off several airline tickets. On their way out guests also received candy decoratively arranged in the form of a red, white, and green flower. The festivities would continue the next day, with live performances by the Saxophone Ensemble of the National Jazz Orchestra on the Tel Aviv beach, made available to the Israeli public.
The annual Festa Della Reppublica celebration was executed by Yahav Sadan Concept events, and included Italian sponsors such as: Alitalia; Alfa Romeo; Alma Aviva; Arte Glideria; Elt; Ferrero Rocher; Hakerem; Italian Aperol; Iveco; Lualdi; Monini; Nutella; Petti; Piaggio; Rummo; Scavolini; Sparkle, and Torteroloere. The distinguished guest list of diplomats, business, political, civil society, and religious leaders, and Italian expatriates and others with Italian ties included Massimiliano Guido, the head of the Italian Trade Agency; Alon Netah, Alitalia country manager for Israel; Dr. Cinzia Klein, the president of the Israeli branch of the Italian Academy of Cuisine, and Vice Delegate Sabrina Fadlun;
Diplomacy.co.il wishes the Italian Embassy congratulations on Festa Della Reppublica
Photos by Silvia G. Golan