NEWS Celebrating Italy in Israel

masadaBy Rossella Tercatin

At the end of April, the Italian flag, together with the European flag, was displayed in a very special venue; Israel’s Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. The occasion was an event celebrating Yom Hatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The event also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Italy. The conference commemorated Enzo Sereni, an Italian Jew who moved to British Mandate Palestine in the 20s and then returned to Italy to fight the Nazis during World War II. He was captured and killed in Dachau.
Two months later, it was time to celebrate again: this time the Italian Festa della Repubblica, The Italian Republic Day which was celebrated last week and was honored in Israel with a series of initiatives appealing to everyone’s taste.

On June 2, all Tel Aviv was invited to a very special concert at the Old Station: the group Arakne Mediterranea played a series of folk dances inviting everyone to join in, while during the day, the bilateral scientific gathering “Body & Mind: the Italian-Israeli Forum on Medicine and Health” took place. Among others, it featured Ruth Arnon of the Weitzman Institute of Science, Marta Weinstock Rosin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both laureates of the Israeli Prize for Medicine and Sami Sagol, founder of “Sagol Neuroscience Network”.

The following day, over 1,200 people gathered at Ambassador Francesco Maria Talò’s residence in Ramat Gan for a reception focused not only on the friendship between the two countries, but also on EXPO 2015, that is currently taking place in Milan.

Finally, the opera Tosca, by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, was chosen to open the Opera Festival at Masada on Thursday. Under a sky full of stars, hundreds of people enjoyed the passion and the torments of the tragic heroine in the Rome of 1800.

“Having days of celebrations is important, but what is really essential is the commitment that Italy and Israel show every day to build and reaffirm their friendship. The best part of our story together is the future,” said Talò, also inviting all Israelis to visit Italy and EXPO.