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2013 — The Year of Italian Culture in America

This just in, from the brilliant and wonderful Dianne Hales:

Cari amici,

This is the year to discover Italy—without even leaving the United States.

The government of Italy, under the auspices of its President Giorgio Napolitano, has declared 2013 the “anno della cultura italiana negli stati uniti” (the year of Italian culture in the United States), designed to “reveal today’s Italy, its brilliance, and its excellence, anchored in the present and driven by an unparalleled past.”

Few cultures have contributed as much to the United States and to the world. Italians gave the name “America” (a tribute to the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci) to Americans; created the first universities, law and medical schools, banks, and public libraries; taught diplomacy and manners to Europe; split the atom; produced the first modern histories, satires, sonnets, and travelogues; invented the battery, barometer, radio, and thermometer; and bestowed on the world the eternal gift of music.

To me Italian—la bella lingua—is no less a part of Italy’s rich cultural heritage than Petrarch’s poetry, Michelangelo’s sculptures, Puccini’s operas, Fellini’s movies, or Valentino’s dresses. This year I will expand the focus of my blog to include various aspects of la cultura italiana.

Planned highlights include commemorations of the 700th anniversary of Boccaccio’s birth, the 500th of Machiavelli’s writing of The Prince, and the 200th of Verdi’s birth. Masterpieces of Italian art by Michelangelo, Veronese, Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi will be on display at museums around the country. Many orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Metropolitan Opera of New York, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater, will be performing Verdi works.

Other events range from a reading of his translation of verses from Dante’s Inferno by the former poet laureate Robert Pinsky at New York University, to conferences on Italian writers such as Italo Calvino, Primo Levi and Giacomo Leopardi at various colleges, to an exhibit of Italian yachts and luxury vessels in Fort Lauderdale. Italian wine-makers and chefs also will be showcasing the tastes of Italy at dozens of sites around the country.

Click here for detailed information on programs, places, and dates.

I hope you enjoy this special Italian-flavored year in the United States—and I wish all of you “Buon Anno“!

Con affetto,

Dianne

How spiffy is this? The year we’ve decided is the year to focus on Italian language and culture, hopefully as prelude to Rome approving my application, happens to be the year that Rome has decided to trumpet Italian culture! Score! We’ll keep you posted on our particular Italian adventures here…

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