(photo by Nicolò Minerbi)
What a landmark day for Italian-ness — italianità — in the United States! In a testament to how profoundly linked our two countries are in matters past and present, representatives from both nations congregated across the country to herald the coming 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States. After Minister Terzi and Ambassador Bisogniero celebrated with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, across the expanse of the North American continent, Mayor Edwin Lee, State Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, President of Board of Spervisors David Chiu and the leaders of the Italian-American associations in the Bay launched this year of cultural exchange at San Francisco City Hall.
Expect much in 2013. Already Michelangelo’s Apollo-David is gracing Washington DC. You can also look forward to a Caravaggio masterpiece paying a visit to the Bay. On the musical front, notes of Verdi will emanate from the great hall of the San Francisco Opera in 2013…on the 200th anniversary of the eminent composer’s birth. Italian craftsmanship will also arrive on American shores with a mesmerizing jewelry exhibition from the Bulgari Heritage Collection, as well as a cutting-edge Italian design week. And, of course, as Italy further deepens her influence in high technology, we would be remiss to not showcase the amazing contributions Italy is making to the global technological revolution…Italian Innovation Week 2013 is firmly on the docket.
In a sign of optimism for the year to come, San Francisco City hall was illuminated like the Italian flag last night. Many thanks to the Bank of the West for making that possible. As we exited City Hall to go celebrate the historic evening at the Italian Cultural Institute, many stopped in Civic Center Plaza to take in the blindingly beautiful tri-colored City Hall. Italy, distant geographically, was shining her creative spirit and there, in full color, it lay upon the elegant angles of City Hall, mind you, a building inspired by classical architecture. I’m filled with great optimism for next year. That on top of a cultural exchange already so robust, we can supercharge a special twelve months of reinvigorated mutual exploration and admiration. Full steam ahead!