What's up with WTI: Editorial # 130

Aug 22, 2020 212

Ciao from Rome in this strange August during coronavirus times to all the friends of We the Italians.

Dear friends... once again: how are you? Are you taking care of yourselves and your families? Are you safe, and healthy? I hope you all are ok. We at We the Italians are fine, working and enjoying the Italian summer and the beautiful places our gorgeous country can offer, waiting for you all to be ready to come back here again. We miss you, Italy misses all the Italian Americans! You will be back, I know it and you know it too.

One of the projects dearest to us has ended in these days: the restoration of works of art saved after the recent earthquakes that hit central Italy. Thanks to the synergic action between the Italian American Museum, Cultura Italiae, Fondazione CittàItalia and We the Italians, it has been possible to restore, among others, the splendid 18th century wooden Eucharistic tabernacle, saved from the crypt of St. Benedict's Basilica, which a few weeks ago was finally returned, after a very delicate restoration work, to its legitimate owners: the monastic community of Norcia in Umbria. We are very thankful to all those who donated to the Italian American Museum in New York: we hired Umbrian restorers, great artists and connoisseurs of the area affected by the earthquake, to repair the works of art returned to the Umbrian community.

With the limitations due to covid, Americans are currently forbidden to come to Italy. But not everyone: those with Italian passports, like some of you, can come. A few days ago the New York Times published an article on dual citizenship, and also interviewed our partner, Marco Permunian, founder of Italian Citizenship Assistance. Here is a quote from the article: “We have seen the number of people who contacted us between May and now increase by five times from last year,” Mr. Permunian said. His team of 48 is overwhelmed. “We’re getting so many requests, we’re not even able to handle them all.”  The partnership between We the Italians and Italian Citizenship Assistance is currently on stand by, but we still advise all those interested to start the procedures to get Italian citizenship to follow us, we’re working on it. Meanwhile, here is the interview with Marco published on We the Italians last year.

Speaking of interviews, we particularly recommend those published this month, which you will also find in this magazine. The quality is always very high and the variety of people who are kind enough to give us their time and experience to talk about one of the thousand aspects of the relationship between Italy and the United States. This time we have a professor who lives in Italy, Maddalena Tirabassi, one of the most important and prestigious connoisseurs of Italian emigration, who tells us about the dynamics of Italian emigration to America after the Second World War; and a great leader of the Italian community in Chicago, Ron Onesti, protagonist of the promotion of Italy through sport, culture, entertainment, food, heritage.

Besides, we are very pleased to inform you about Corporate Aid Tracker, the initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy promoting the American Companies supporting Italy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very grateful to AMCHAM and to these companies, which confirm the great friendship between our two peoples and the immense solidarity towards Italy that has always seen the world of American companies as a protagonist. Thank you very much, on behalf of We the Italians.  

Wednesday 2 September WetheItaliaNews, the video and audio podcast of We the Italians about Italy during the coronavirus, is back! For the moment the new episodes will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, waiting for news that could arrive already during the month of September. Stay tuned

Last but not least, I've just heard about the closure of IAM Books, at 189 North Street in the North End, Little Italy in Boston: an address that has had a great value in these years. An Italian bookstore, full of love, pride, culture. That has organized hundreds of events, including the presentation of my book, with guests and participants in love with Italy. An exceptional work of my friend Nicola Orichuia, an extraordinary person, really a great Italian. IAM Books closes, the covid was fatal. But the activity continues online, and if there is someone who can take this thing forward, and maybe readapt it to the covid world, it's Nicola. I really thank him for what he did, and wish him luck. Italy from today is a little bit poorer, because it closes 189 North Street. A wonderful place, a real Italian embassy where adults and children have appreciated, loved and learned Italy. I loved this place: please, please, buy Italian books from IAM Books.

Once again, the recommendation always remains the same: please stay safe, please stay healthy. Do not underestimate this threat, take care of yourselves and your families. We'll get out of this, we'll make it, and we'll come back to hug each other as Italians love to do. Italy and the United States will not stop being brothers, allies, friends. I won’t gonna stop saying this: the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! Ciao from Rome

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