JUNE 2007 -The 61st Anniversary of the Italian Republic was celebrated in Washington, D.C. with a series of events at the Italian Embassy and with a Mass at Holy Rosary Church, followed by a reception in Casa Italiana. The Festa della Repubblica is a national holiday in Italy. It commemorates a key event in the history of contemporary Italy: It was on June 2, 1946, that a majority of Italian voters chose in a referendum to become a “Repubblica” rather than a “Monarchia.”
On Friday evening, June 1, 2007, the Embassy held a reception to celebrate the occasion. The event, held in “Piazza Italia,” as the main hall of the Embassy is often called, was attended by more than 1,500 guests, including numerous officials from Washington’s political, economic, scientific and cultural fields, as well as representatives from both the Italian and Italian-American communities.
Guests were welcomed by Ambassador and Mrs. Giovanni Castellaneta, General and Mrs. Mirko Zuliani and the newly appointed Deputy Chief of Mission Sebastiano Cardi.
In a speech, the Ambassador greeted his guests and stressed the excellent bilateral relationship between Italy and the United States. He also took the opportunity to recognize the Italian institutions working in the United States to support and further develop relations between the two countries, as well as to promote Italian culture and to assist Italians who live in the United States. (Please turn to page 3 for the full text of Ambassador Castellaneta’s speech.)
On Sunday, June 3, 2007, Holy Rosary Church celebrated Festa della Repubblica with a Mass celebrated by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Father Lydio Tomasi, Monsignor Claudio Cricini of the Apostolic Nunciature, and former Holy Rosary Pastor Charles Zanoni.
Among those who attended the Mass from the Italian Embassy were Ambassador Castellaneta, Minister Alberto Galluccio, First Counselor Marco Mancini, Military Attache General Zuliani, and a representation of uniformed military officials from the Embassy. Also attending the standing-room only Mass were representatives of local Italian American associations, as well as members of the COMITES.
At the conclusion of the Mass, Ambassador Castellaneta delivered brief remarks praising the Italian-American community and in particular the Scalabrinian Order for their assistance over the years to generations of Italians who have migrated not just to North America but throughout the world.
A reception followed in Casa Italiana.•
(Reprinted from Voce Italiana)