We The Italians | What's up with WTI: Editorial # 164

What's up with WTI: Editorial # 164

Dear Friends, for the second year in a row the We the Italians Gala dinner was held at the Circolo del Ministero degli Esteri on June 12, with guests of honor being the board members of the National Italian American Foundation, the most important association representing the 20 million Italian Americans. Photos and videos can be found here.

Despite the storm, the Gala was attended by more than 300 personalities from the world of institutions, politics, industry, managers and professionals, including the system of presence in Italy representing the United States in culture, academia, business and institutions. This is the only celebration in Italy of the Italian American community and the most important convivial event here in Rome to witness the friendship between Italy and the United States.

The evening, hosted by Valeria Altobelli, opened with a minute's silence asked by We the Italians President Umberto Mucci in memory of Silvio Berlusconi, followed by the Italian and American national anthems masterfully performed by Italian American singer Blaine Brown.

This was followed by brief greetings from Giuseppe Scognamiglio, Chairman of the Foreign Ministry Circle; Umberto Mucci, President of We the Italians; Luigi Maria Vignali, Director General for Italians Abroad at the Foreign Ministry; and Robert Carlucci and Robert Allegrini, Chairman of the Board and President of the National Italian American Foundation, who announced the donation by NIAF of $10. 000 for the restoration of Villa Farnesina here in Rome, and $25,000, the result of proceeds from the Italian American organization and donations from We the Italians readers, to Emilia Romagna, this year's NIAF Region of Honor.

Plaques for We the Italians' "Two Flags One Heart 2023" awards were then presented to four personalities who have distinguished themselves in improving relations between Italy and the United States: Giulia Silvia Ghia, Councillor for Culture of Rome's First City Hall; Dario Deste, General Manager of Fincantieri's Military Ships Division; Gioia Rau, astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; and Giampiero Massolo, Chairman of the Committee for Rome's candidacy for Expo 2030.

In addition, starting this year, the We the Italians gala will honor the Italian-American community of one of the 50 American states each year: this year it was the turn of New Jersey and the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission, represented by its Chairman Robert DiBiase.

Please find here below my speech at this Gala, hoping to see you all next year!


Good evening, and welcome to the 2023 We the Italians Gala Dinner! It is wonderful to see so many friends this evening. I am Umberto Mucci, founder and president of We the Italians. Our motto is Two flags, One heart, but tonight our motto is Two flags, more than three hundred and seventy hearts!

We, here tonight, all of us, are those who recognize, celebrate and promote the friendship between Italy and the United States and the relationship between two countries that are more than allies, two countries that are sisters. And as we all work together to further increase our cultural, commercial, academic, diplomatic, artistic, and business relationships between our two countries, we are also here to celebrate those who are, as they put it, "Made in America with Italian parts": the magnificent Italian American community represented again this year by our guests of honor, our friends who are members of the board of the National Italian American Foundation. Starting this year, We the Italians is happy to honor not only four outstanding Italians who give pride to Italy for their contributions to the United States, but we also inaugurate an award that will go each year to the Italian American community of one of the 50 states. Tonight we celebrate New Jersey, the Garden State.

Let me thank everyone who made this gala possible. Thanks to the institutions that honored us with their presence here tonight. Thanks to Fabrizio Fasani, Edoardo Colombo, Nicola Paglietti, Alma Laias, Giulia Vinci and Giovanni Vagnone. Thanks to Federica Sordi, Fabiola di Costanzo, Monica Di Napoli, Simone Cucuzzoli, Blaine Brown and Valeria Altobelli. Thanks to the Circolo del Ministero degli Esteri who is hosting us. Thanks to our partners NIAF, American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, Transatlantic Investment Committee and Amerigo. Thanks to Fondazione Scudieri, Destination Italia Group, EHT, PTS, Cioccolateria ORIGINE, GETRA POWER, Aeroporti di Roma, CUAMM Doctors with Africa, MovieItaly, KEFA Collection, John Cabot University, American University of Rome, ITA Airways, Verderame, Pixarprinting, Business Plus, Ninetynine, 3M, American Club of Rome, Studio Internazionale, All Food, La Marchigiana, Piemme, Petrone Group, Retro X. Sorry for the long list, but thankfully so many helped us organize this evening and we are very grateful to all of them. Let me also thank the 7 We the Italians Ambassadors from our network who are here tonight, representing us in America in California, Georgia and New Jersey, here in Italy in Campania and Tuscany, and among our thematic Ambassadors, in the sectors of tourism and sport.

Last but not least, thank you all, who confirm how important the alliance, better let me say the sisterhood between Italy and the United States is. As Frank Sinatra, the greatest entertainer in U.S. history, who of course was Italian American and born in the state of New Jersey that we celebrate today, sang, The best is yet to come!