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Italy's National Day 2020

2 June 2020
A message from Mr Paolo Cuculi,  Ambassador of Italy to South Africa

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow us to celebrate Italy's National Day worldwide, as we would have loved and were used to.

Photo: Ambassador Paolo Cuculi with Oriana Cuculi at the celebration of Italy's National Day in Pretoria in 2019

Notwithstanding the impossibility to host a proper reception, I am glad to share with all the distinguished South African Authorities, Colleagues, Friends and Italian Fellows the links to the e-book "(In)visible Squares", an overview of 20 among the most beautiful Piazze in Italy, portrayed over the last two months of lockdown by Italian prominent artists.

Those squares are all empty, as the health emergency required, and somehow deprived of their main historic function as spaces created to facilitate and promote socialization.

Indeed, as the Italian author Italo Calvino wrote in his book "Invisible Cities" (that inspired this collection), "whenever we enter into a square, we are in the midst of a dialogue".

The architectural beauty of these monuments – that remains unspoilt, even in the absence of people – is a testament to the richness of Italy's cultural heritage.

My most sincere wish is that you may soon be able to visit and fully enjoy them in person again. In the same vein, I look forward to having Italian officials, tourists, entrepreneurs and scientists back to South Africa in the nearest future, thus contributing to further enhance the already excellent political, economic and cultural relations between our two great Countries.

In perfect Italian lockdown style, the link below will offer you the Italian Anthem expressly performed for this occasion by the orchestra and choir of the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, with the participation of 108 teachers and students.

For the traditional Italian food and wine, on the other hand, bear with us a little longer...




February/March 2020

















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