The Italian Embassy in Israel celebrated the annual 73rd Festa Della Repubblica with a gala evening at the Ambassador’s residence in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. The crowd gathered in the lovely expansive garden, around the Mediterranean shrubbery and flowers and the sparkling fountain shooting up from a deep blue pool. Around the garden edges genuine Italian food was generously served with Italian drinks and deserts. All this - with a delightful parade of musicians and singers who performed on the balcony above.
Oded Ben Hur-former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, Gideon Meir - also Former Israel's Ambassador to Italy, Prime Minister's Office Tzach Braverman Cabinet Secretary, Nitza Raz-Silbiger - Director of the Israel Protocol Department, dignitaries from many embassies, military and church official were in attendance and Holy Land nuns.
His Excellency Ambassador Gianluigi Benedetti spoke about the long-lasting friendship between The Republic of Italy and the State of Israel, marking this year the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. His Excellency stated how these two young countries emerged out of the ashes of the Second World War, and with great strides, developed into vibrant democracies. He noted how both countries residing at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea have brought into this world an ancient culture that is adopted by the civilized world to this day. H. E. Benedetti reminded the crowd how the first major Jewish community outside Eretz-Israel settled in Rome thousands of years ago, leaving a positive mark on the glorious local culture. In modern Italy, said the Ambassador, the Jewish community has contributed to the Italian intellectual and cultural life, especially in literature. The Ambassador talked about the dark Holocaust years of the Jewish community in Italy and apologized for the atrocities committed. He mentioned The Jewish Brigade's contribution to pulling Italy out of that dark era and told the audience about the medals of valor awarded to some survivors who were in attendance this evening. He emphasized the need to combat anti-Semitism and the right of Israel to exist and defend herself. He mentioned the cooperation between the two countries on several levels and field. " In just 7 decades, we have made great strides, embracing democracy, diversity & respect of human rights, while becoming world leaders in many sectors. All of this thanks to our shared values, to our belonging to one of the main cradles of civilization: the Mediterranean basin", said H.E. Benedetti.
Israel's Minister of Communication Ayoob Kara spoke about the cooperation between the two countries in technology, the commerce of over $4 billion, and tourism (60,000 tourists have arrived in Israel from Italy just since January 2019). Israel is holding a special exhibition at Tel Aviv Port, to mark the 500 years in honor of Leonardo Da Vinci. Israel strives to cooperate with Italy in combating terror, and in bringing peace to the Middle East.
The food was an excellent sample of Italian cuisine. Pasta panna con funghi (cream and mushrooms) and pasta con Pomodoro represented the pasta family, while pizza Margherita made with original Caputo flour from Il mulino di Napoli was baked in an oven on site, right in the Ambassador's garden. The fritto misto (fried vegetables in batter Italian style) added a delicious touch. Drinks poured generously, Aperol Spritz is the flagship drink. Deserts included Ferrero Raffaello almond coconut candy, granita - flavored crushed ice, the classic Ferraro Rocher delectable balls, and at the departure table - Italian Tricolor sugared almonds flowers by Confetti Pelino Sulmona (dal 1783)
The Pop Ensemble of the "Giuseppe Verdi" Milan Music Conservatory entertained throughout the evening with Italian and world music. A string trio played variations of classical music, including The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. A vocal female quartet ended the formal part of the evening with the Italian and European national anthems and finally - Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Embassy of Italy, the Government and the people of Italy on his anniversary and offers best wishes for many years of success, growth, and strong bilateral relations.
Photos Stella Szpira