Just as the Ambassador promised earlier, Nigerians and the diplomatic community were treated to great evenings of fanfare, tasting Italian art in its cuisine, cinema, music and naval display.
According to the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Massimo Baistrocchi, “this year, the event will take place at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja and in this occasion, gastronomy will be the main aspect of the programme; in fact the Luigi restaurant of Sheraton will prepare typical Italian dishes which will be digested with Italian wine.”
The week which marked the celebration of Italian Culture in various manners as well as her National day, started with an art exhibition organised in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art (NGA). This saw Abiola Idowu, Oladimeji Olaniyan and Muyiwa Akinwolere as first, second and third prize winners respectively in a competition. Also, there was a poetry contest entitled ‘Friendship between Italy and Nigeria’ with Ebuenyi Ikenna Desmond, Anthony U. Chukwuka and Chitzi Ogbumgbada emerging as the winners.
Nigeria’s Soprano opera singer, Omo Bello took centre stage later in the night as she thrilled the audience with her voice with the perfect harmony of the piano played by Valeria Suchova.
Present at the National Day celebration was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hirse Bagudu who acknowledged and commended the efforts of the Ambassador towards promoting relations between Nigeria and Italy through active participation in the culture and visual arts sub sector.
Entertaining guests on day three of the celebrations were the group, Nuovo Trio Parsifal of Barbara Castelli, violin Laura Pierazzuoli cello and Anna Paola Milea, piano who gave a most astounding musical concert overwhelming the guests present.
With the last musical performance provoking hunger for more Italian artistic delicacies, the Festa Della Marina Italiana (Italian Navy Day) did justice satisfying their hearts and stomachs with a splendid display of the Italian Naval acts which usually comes up on the Anniversary of the feat of Premuda. Premuda was one of the most brilliant and daring naval action of the World War 1.
The beautiful experience of watching a movie together with family and friends was reenacted when the Nigerian and diplomatic community sat through the entire 120 minutes of the Italian movie ‘Questa notte è ancora nostra’ (The night is still ours), with eyes glued to the screen and anxious minds impatient to see the climax.
An exhibition of Baistrocchi’s works and those of 10 other Nigerian artists organised in his honour by the NGA will take place today at 4pm at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.