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Posted: Thursday, 16 December 2021 17:43


From Archives (2006): Italians are here. The Italians are here!

Dec 16: If you had been at the Press launch of the one month long Italian Festival-named Festa Italiana at the manicured, designer lawns at Hotel Imperial, you might have felt that you were in Italy, or at least at a party at its Ambassador's residence. The unofficial evening of the language was Italian, though one could get by with English too.

Though the Ambassador himself was away to Rome , his deputy Paolo Tricholo was very much in attendance. The co-host of the evening, Giancarlo Lamio, the Italian Trade Commissioner seemed tense as the press kept on hounding for more bytes. On the other hand   Sergio Sgambato, secretary general of the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who had come specially for the event from Mumbai was more relaxed. In his short speech, the head of the trade-centric organisation  said, ' Italy isn't only about lifestyle. There's so much more we have to offer. So, only one of the six weeks will be dedicated to showcasing Italian lifestyle.

May be. But the face of the Festa seems to be the Lifestyle. Beginning on November 11th with the fabulous Opera group, Teatro Regio di Parma mesmerising the overcapacity crowd (there were about 5000 people vying for the 2000 capacity space) at the Old Fort, with its music, the soprano and the tenor, with the artistically lit fort behind, the stage  has been set for the  monthlong activities that include fashion, gastronomy, design, literature, cinema and of course business meets.

There was a chef competition today at the Italian Cultural Center . Tomorrow there is a special programme at the Center where a seminar on Italian wines has been organsied by the Italian Trade Commission in conjunction with the Indian Wine Academy . Dr. Marco Sabellico, a well known enologo and journalist has been specially invited from Rome to present the seminar. 'The Italian Wine Guide' compiled by the indianWine Acdemy will also be released by the Ambassador , H. E. Antonio  Armellini.

10-days of gastronomical treat awaits Delhites and Mumbaikers (Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore have also been aded now). About 25 restaurants have been roped in to serve specialised Italian cuisine of different regions and paired wines during the Festival.

The Festa, organised by the Italian Trade Commission and the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IICCI) with the Cultural Institute and the ENIT (the Italian Tourism Board), promises to give Delhi and Mumbai's cognoscenti a taste of  'Dolce La Vita'.

Many people wonder how Italian wines became so popular in India and took share from the French wines. They have been working hard for over 15 years/ This is but a glimpse of what they did in 2006-they had been active at least 4 years before that and have continued with the armory- editor

Subhash Arora



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