What's up with WTI: Editorial # 175

May 18, 2024 595

Dear friends,

Next June 4 will be a very important date. Exactly 80 years earlier, on June 4, 1944, troops of the American Fifth Army entered Rome, liberating it from Nazi oppression and war. The people of Rome took to the streets, finally free and happy, to celebrate, hug and thank the American soldiers. These are scenes of happiness that all us Romans have seen: few are now alive who have experienced them, but all of us born in Rome have seen those pictures at least once and smiled to think how grateful we are at the United States.

As you can imagine, we at We the Italians are not insensitive to this anniversary: quite the contrary. We will certainly remember it during our gala; but we also are partners of two beautiful initiatives that will happen here in Rome on June 4th, the first in the morning, the second in the afternoon/evening.

The first event is organized by the First Municipal District of Rome, together with John Cabot University, where we will gather to thank and celebrate the American soldiers who freed our Capital.

The second event is organized by the Centro Studi Americani, which will feature a photo exhibition, a conference and a song and dance party at the end of the day in remembrance of the friendship and gratitude that binds Rome and Italy to the United States.

Finally, we are a partner in a beautiful initiative that will take place in September: "Salerno - Verona. Storia della Quinta Armata Americana in Italia. Sulle strade dei combattimenti alleati per la liberazione" (Salerno - Verona. History of the American Fifth Army in Italy. On the roads of the Allied fighting for liberation.) It is a non-competitive bicycle ride that will touch on key places of the American campaign to liberate Italy, starting from Salerno in Campania, crossing Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna to arrive in Verona in Veneto. We the Italians will accompany the event with its Ambassadors in the regions involved, and by participating in attendance at the stops at the two American cemeteries in Italy, at Nettuno in Lazio and Falciani in Tuscany. We will never forget, we will always be thankful.

We the Italians is preparing the first ever project on the metaverse about Made in Italy and specifically dedicated to the Italian American community. We the Italians' IT-AM EXPO virtual exhibition hub is enabled by Extended Reality and Artificial Intelligence. It hosts exhibits dedicated to Italian Made in Italy sectors, districts, areas and production chains, including culture and tourism. Each exhibition event at IT-AM EXPO takes place in a specialized virtual environment consisting of two elements and modes of interaction: a high-impact 3D exhibition that includes infrastructure for meetings and conferences, and interaction with companies enhanced by artificial intelligence. Visitors are then offered two user experiences: 3D navigation in the virtual exhibition, in the form of avatars and also participating in events; and contact with exhibitors through the conversational interface, a specialized multilingual chat bot that allows them to find companies, discover products, and activate contacts. Stay tuned, this will be a We the Italians initiative that will change the way Made in Italy promotes itself in the United States!

Here at We the Italians everybody is working with great enthusiasm for our Gala, which will be held on June 17 here in Rome. The “We the Italians - Two Flags One Heart” 2024 awards will go to: Roberto Gualtieri (Mayor of Rome); Cristiana Dell'Anna (star of the film "Cabrini"); Matt Harvey (Italian American Baseball legend); Alma Laias (Senior Adviser of Public Affairs of American Chamber of Commerce Italy); Katia Da Ros (President Irinox North America). We will also award the State of Florida through its Italian American club "Il Circolo".

June 17, 2024 will include - in the morning - the organization of a conference at the Italian Chamber of Deputies with speakers from Italy and from the USA, dedicated to the Italian diaspora to the US. As speakers, I will have the honor to be joined by: Christian Di Sanzo (Italian Member of the Italian Parliament elected in North America); Robert Allegrini (President of the National Italian American Foundation); Delfina Licata (Curator of the Fondazione Migrantes’ Rapporto Italiani nel mondo); Marco Permunian (President of Italian Citizenship Assistance); Davide Ippolito (Co-founder of the Italian American Reputation Lab); Gilda Rorro Baldassarri (Chairwoman Emerita of the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission); Paolo Monea (ITALEA Project, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Antonella Brancaccio-Balzano (Italian Honorary Consul in Orlando, FL); Lorenzo Tavazzi (Senior Partner The European House-Ambrosetti). The moderator will be Mattia Iovane.

In the evening we will continue the winning tradition of a cocktail network, followed by the seated Gala dinner. Language of the event: English. Dress Code: Elegant. During the evening we will celebrate four talented Italian American musicians; we will launch IT-AM, the new immersive online experience dedicated to Made in Italy and the United States; we will announce the winners of The Perfect Pitch, a project in collaboration with Retimpresa and the Italian Consulate in Detroit; and we will thank the United States on the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Rome by the Fifth Army. It is the only event organized in Italy to celebrate and recognize the Italian American community!

Among the many dignitaries attending our Gala dinner will be three friends of We the Italians who once again represent the excellence of the diplomatic personnel the Italian Foreign Ministry sends to represent our country in the United States. Silvia Chiave, former Italian Consul in Los Angeles, is now Diplomatic Advisor to the Lazio Region; Cristiano Musillo, former Italian Consul in Miami, is now Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of Sports and Youth; Mario Bartoli will be from summer 2024 the new Italian Consul in Chicago, and We the Italians has already facilitated his meeting here in Rome with our Ambassador to Illinois, the wonderful Ron Onesti.

And speaking of Ambassadors of We the Italians, we are very pleased and proud to announce that my dear friend Nicola Vidali, our Ambassador to Georgia, has been as Managing Director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast - Georgia Chapter. Mr. Vidali brings over 35 years of experience leading various marketing and communication projects in the US. A resident of Atlanta since 1993, Nicola is deeply involved in educational, social, and civic initiatives. This appointment underscores the commitment of the Executive Committee to work for the development of a the Chapter in a state where the Italian business community has a strong relevance. Good job, Nicola! 

As mentioned before, we have established a partnership with an Italian tour operator, Micromegas, which will help us to offer you experience tours in Italy, with several new features and special contents.

The first tour we propose contains participation in our June 17 Gala, the only event in Italy that celebrates you, the Italian American community. The tour includes tours of Rome, Florence and Pompeii, and those who attend will also be welcomed by us at We the Italians at our gala evening. Please find more information about the tour and how to register here, and a description of our gala here. We look forward to seeing you in Rome on June 17!

Once again, let me remember the new yearbook of We the Italians is available. You can find a preview and buy a copy here. Finally, please check our virtual store, the perfect place where to buy gifts for your family, your friends and – why not – for yourself! You can find more than 20 products in different colors: t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, onesies, mugs, notebooks, pillows, totes, tapestries, pins, laptop and smartphone cases, magnets, stickers, masks. Buy We the Italians!

It’s all for now. Please stay safe and take care, and enjoy our magazine and our contents on our website. The future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades. A big Italian hug from Rome!

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