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Festa Della Republica, Italy’s national day, was celebrated by the Italian embassy in Israel on Tuesday night, May 31, 2022. The celebration of the reforming of Italy as a republic in 1946 was hosted by H.E. Ambassador Sergio Barbanti and wife Letizia at the ambassador’s residence in Ramat Gan, with dinner and a beautiful jazz Concert. Italy's Republic Day commemorates the day in 1946 when Italians voted in favor of a republic and against the monarchy.

The formal part of the evening opened with the Italian and European Union anthems and finally - Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem. Ambassador Sergio Barbanti began his remarks by marking the importance of the friendship between Italy and Israel that began its way in 1949 when the first diplomatic relations took place. Moreover, the Ambassador mentioned the importance of the Jewish community in Italy and the Italian community in Israel as the “beating heart” of the relationships between Italy and Israel as both communities help the ambassador fulfill his purpose as the Ambassador of Italy in Israel.

Ambassador Barbanti spoke about the beauty of Israel as the holy land, the land where people who believe in monotheistic religions feel at home, the land where he feels at home, since the first moment he arrived.

Aside from the celebration of the 76th anniversary of Italy as a republic, it was important for Ambassador Sergio Barbanti to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Yitzhak Rabin. Ambassador Sergio Barbanti sees in Rabin many qualities that in his opinion are essential for every political leader everywhere in the world who are engaged in sustaining the respect of the rights of the people and the peaceful collective systems between nations.

Unfortunately, the war between Russia and Ukraine is distancing Rabins vision for a better world and reality, said Ambassador Sergio Barbanti. Moreover, the Ambassador talked about the close friendship between Italy and the Ukrainian people and leaders. Italy is doing what is possible to help the Ukrainian people and government and to stop the war, said Ambassador Sergio Barbanti.

Ambassador Sergio Barbanti expressed appreciation to Israel for sending a team of doctors to Italy to help Italy win Covid-19, save lives and make this event possible in real life, in Israel.

While the Ambassador and his family spent time in Israel, the Ambassador noticed the variety of people and the bright future of Israel that lies in the pursuit of peace and in sharing. Moreover, Israel's contribution to technology development is outstanding, and many countries in the world benefit from the technology that was developed in Israel, in health technology and agriculture, said Ambassador Sergio Barbanti.



Guest of honor was Israel's Minister of Justice Gideon Sa'ar who spoke on behalf of the Israeli government. Minister Sa’ar stated that “bilateral relations between Italy and Israel have been and continue to be among the closest Israel shares with any country. These relations are given expression in a wide variety of areas, including economics, trade, science, technology, security, culture and many more.”

The minister recalled the Israeli medical delegation from the Sheba Hospital who traveled to Piemonte region in December 2020 to help treat victims of COVID, and the more recent resumption of senior level delegation visits from Italy to Israel. These include visits by the Italian Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Economic Development, with the Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Draghi, expected in the future.

Minister Sa’ar noted that Italy is a popular tourist destination for many Israelis, including the minister and his wife, who visited Rome just a few weeks ago. Thanking the Italian embassy in Israel and the Israeli embassy in Rome, Minister Sa’ar noted two key events held: an economic conference on the future of farming (Tech-Agriculture) in Napoli, with more than 100 Italian and Israeli companies participating, and the inauguration of a children’s playground in Rome named after former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. This was a gift from the State of Israel to the children of Rome in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Yitzhak Rabin. 

Following the speeches, a toast was held, and guests enjoyed dinner and a jazz concert featuring the finest Italian products. The Ambassadors’ residence was adorned with flags and flowers in tricolors, Italy’s national colors. The food stands included an Italian pasta stand, Italian pizza from a brick oven, Aperol spritz stand, award winning red wine, sparkling water from Italy, and an Italian Kinder stand with chocolate sweets. 

While the guests were eating and drinking, the band from Italy played amazing Italian music and original music. The great singer and songwriter Gaia Gentile performed with the amazing pianist and composer, Mirko Signorile and the last member of the band was the famous Jazz saxophone player and composer, Raffaele Casarano. 

The distinguished guest list included Gil Haskel, Chief of State Protocol at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Shmulik Bass, Political Advisor of the Minister of Justice; Oded Ben Hur, former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican; Uri Rothman, Director of the Middle East department; Matan Rotenberg, minister of Public Security; Members of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, including Dr Cinzia Klein, head of the Accademia and Vice Delegate Ms. Sabrina Fadlun; Mr. Roberto della Rocca, the Vice President of Israel-Italy Commerce Chambre; Amir Halevi, Former Director General of the Ministry of Tourism and his wife; Israel World Diamond Exchange president- Boaz Moldavski and his wife Ayala.

Among the companies and businesses supporting the celebration were Cafe Landwer, Fiat, Illy, Aperol Spritz, Pasta Rummo, Ferrero, Wine Fantini and more.  

The festivities continued the next day, with live performances on the Tel Aviv beach, made available to the Israeli public

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.

Steven Aiello
Photos by Silvia G. Golan
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