Celebrating the Italian Republic Day 2015
The gracious hospitality of the Honorary Ambassador for Italy, Francesco M. Talo and his wife Ornella , at their elegant Ramat-Gan residence, was a fitting background to a diplomatic cultural evening of guests, cocktails, food and music on that evening of June 3rd 2015. The motivation and rationale behind the very pleasant evening was to honor the Italian Republic day.
More than 1000 guests had the opportunity to greet and chat while enjoying a buffet of snacks and an open bar. In the background the music, singing and dancing of “A Racne Mediterranean” - national folklore group from south Italy, added to the atmosphere.
The Italian Republic Day, also known as Festa della Repubblica in Italian (Festival of the Republic), is a national holiday in Italy on June 2 each year. It celebrates the day when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy in 1946 so their country could become a republic. Republic Day is a day off work for many people in Italy. Events include: Official ceremonies, Military parades, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Altare della Patria in Rome.
Outside Italy, many Italian diplomats in embassies celebrate this day worldwide.
On the wide lawn of the Ambassador's house, Mr. Francesco M. Talo, gathered hundreds of guests to celebrate the occasion. Among them were the diplomatic community members, the guest of honor, Minister of Construction - Retired General Yoav Galant, Tal Brody - an American-Israeli former basketball player, and current Goodwill Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Gideon Sa’ar - a former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Likud party between 2003 and 2014. He also held the posts of Minister of Interior affairs and Minister of Education - and his wife Geula Even, a famous encore woman for the Israeli television. Mr. Efi Shtenzler – the World Chairman of the Jewish National Fund, Mr. Itzhak Eldan – former Israel’s head of ceremony, and the President of the Diplomatic Club, and many other dignitaries.
The official part of the event, started with the announcement of Michal Ansky – the ceremony moderator, in Italian and English. After the three national anthems were played (Italian, the EEU and Israeli) and sung by the students of the Rishonim School in Rishon Le’tzion and Roma Club Jerusalem. Ambassador Talo held a short speech praising the close and strong ties between both countries.
The Ambassador congratulated the audience in Hebrew, and said that everyone is welcomed to an Italian house in celebrating the Italian national holiday. He mentioned that this is the 3rd year he is hosting this event in Israel, and enjoy the feeling of unity with the Israelis. The Ambassador will never forget this day one year ago, when the three kids, Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnaped and killed by barbaric terrorists. He remembered visiting the families a few times, and said that he will never forget the integrity and kindness of the families during these hard times. He said that only united we will survive; Working together to overcome differences in a respecting dialog.
The Ambassador remembered World War one, 100 years ago, and the 2nd World War, with the holocaust – the lowest level of inhumanity. He mentioned the Jewish Brigade heroes, who participated in the liberation of Italy and thru Italy returned to Israel. Italy and Israel share mutual history, and the best part are the younger generation of both countries, who share the future of science and technology, music and culture. Yesterday and today some science and technological conventions took place, and tomorrow the opera Tosca, by Puccini, will be played in Masada.
He believes in the peace process, and everyone should work for it without neglecting security. Italy and Israel are cooperating in security issues, but we are here to plant a new future. The Ambassador approached the Chairman of the Jewish National Fund, Mr. Efi Shtenzler, and said that we will plant trees for the Expo in Milano, which will have 20 million visitors, and Israel will have a respectable booth there. In regard to “feeding the planet”, the two countries are partners that can build a future for themselves and the rest of the world. This is why the Minister of Construction and Infrastructure is here…
His speech was followed by the warm words of the Israeli Minister of Construction and Infrastructure, Mr. Yoav Galant, who welcomed the dignitaries and the international community in Israel. He said that there is a common history to Italy and Israel. The Jewish community in Italy has been there since the demolition of the Second Temple. His father, a holocaust survivor, had fled the Nazis through Siberia and Italy, spent 2 years in Italy before coming to Israel. 40 years ago, the Minister joined the Israeli Navy Seals, and the equipment and the methods were Italian. The Minister thanked the Italians for educating the young generation against evil and their help to denounce this phenomenon.
In this national day of Italy, Israel thanks the Italian people for the support. He blessed the Italian Government and people for the strong friendship between the two countries.
After Minister Galant, the President of Israel, His Excellency Reuven Rivlin gave a video message honoring the Italian Republic Day. The President spoke about many years of friendship between the two countries, strong diplomatic relations in areas of tourism, technology and research. Israel participates this year in the Expo 2015 in Milan, were we will demonstrate the Israeli achievements in many fields of technology and agriculture.
After the President speech, the Commissioner of the European Union, Giuseppe Sala, promoted Expo Milano 2015 under the title of: "Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life", mentioning the importance of the Israeli pavilion, one of the attractions on the Expo 2015 exhibition.
After several songs by an Israeli youth quire, followed by jazz music, the singer Einat Saruf organized public singing. The guests could enjoy the fine tastes of Italian food and wines. The wine and Parmesan cheese were brought from Italy especially for this event. Waiters served hot Pizza, Lasagna and Antipasti. There were counters of Illy Espresso and Italian chocolate and delicious ice cream.
I would like to congratulate the Italian people on this important and enjoyable celebration, and to thank the Italian Ambassador and his wife for their gracious hospitality.
Photos Silvia G Golan
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