During a recent two-day visit in Boston, Italian Ambassador to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero, met with representatives of the Italian and Italian American communities at the Dante Alighieri Society in Cambridge on June 18.“It is a great pleasure to be here,” said Bisogniero, after an introduction by Dante Alighieri Society President Spencer Di Scala and Comites President Maurizio Pasquale.
During his visit in Boston, Bisogniero held meetings with community leaders, as well as with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, State House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Governor Deval Patrick.
During the meetings, there was great appreciation for the increased visibility of Italian culture and heritage in Massachusetts, according to Consul General of Italy in Boston, Giuseppe Pastorelli. “There was a chance to strengthen economic and scientific ties with Italy,” said Pastorelli. On Bisogniero’s agenda, in fact, were meetings with members of the academic world and various business leaders, especially in the clean energy and biotech sectors.
Bisogniero was called four months ago to replace Giulio Terzi, who was nominated Minister of Foreign Affairs for Mario Monti’s government. Bisogniero knows the American political and cultural landscape well, having lived and worked in the United States for eight years and having recently served as Vice-Secretary of NATO.While in Boston, the ambassador also put particular emphasis on the promotion of the Italian language in the United States. “It is a high priority endeavor for the embassy and for me as ambassador,” he said. “Our target is to achieve 2,500 exams of AP Italian by 2016. We are on track to achieving that. Today, we have more than 2,000 students taking the exam.”
All of this would not be possible without the contribution of the community, Bisogniero said. “The Italian and Italian American community is a fundamental support for the efforts of the Italian embassy,” he said.
One of the biggest and most visible efforts that the embassy will soon undertake is the Year of Italian Culture in the United States, which will fill most of 2013 with many Italian-related events. “We are organizing a series of initiatives, exhibitions, seminars, conferences and concerts, all around the United States throughout the year,” said Bisogniero.
“Italy has an outstanding cultural tradition. We should be proud of our heritage, and we will showcase our culture next year.
“It is important that the Italian and Italian American community remain united in strengthening the visibility and recognition for what Italy represents globally,” Bisogniero said during his speech at the Dante.
“Italy is a close ally to the United States. We operate side by side with the United States in the most challenging international security situations and we feel that we are deeply respected because of these efforts.”
On the local level, the ambassador praised the work done so far by the Italian Consulate in Boston. “A special greeting to the Consul General of Italy, Giuseppe Pastorelli, for the outstanding job he is doing,” said Bisogniero.
In closing, Ambassador Bisogniero once again thanked everyone for their efforts and contributions. “Your help, your support, is fundamental,” he said. Bisogniero recalled the success of Italianissimo!, the fundraising event held by the Consulate General in Boston on June 1, thanking all those who participated and made the event possible.
“These initiatives are important because they unite all the different components of the Italian presence in Boston and Massachusetts.
“You have a lot to proud of already, and we are going to make sure that the efforts behind the initiatives of next year and of the years to come will have that pride in our great country, in our great history and our great culture. Viva l’Italia!”