A hundred years ago, Italy entered the First World War. Having declared a policy of neutrality at the outset of the war on 2 August 1914, the Italian government was eventually persuaded to join the side of the Allies on the 24thof May, 1915. Italy’s decision to enter the war was largely driven by the terms of the secret 1915 Treaty of London under which she had been promised large territorial gains at the close of the war at Austria-Hungary’s expense.
This is a famous and often reproduced photograph, used to exemplify the migration experience. Legions of viewers have wanted to project or inscribe their interpretations onto this photograph, with comments like: “Ferocious and affectionate mother”.
As many readers may know, Italy held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2014. It is now time for an account of what has been achieved. Our action focused on some key issues to enhance the political role of Europe and respond to the demands of European citizens and the challenges emerging from the international scenario.
Italy has been the cradle of modern and contemporary design since the beginning of the 20th Century. In the years preceding and immediately after WWI, our industrial design distinguished itself by its focus on replicating intricate details. In those times, the first pieces of furniture design were produced on a mass-scale and the luxury industry made its debut in Rome, Milan and Naples’ shop windows.
Those, in the English-speaking world, who have heard of Pier Paolo Pasolini, are most likely to know of him as a director of controversial films. However, Pasolini, who was born in Bologna in 1922 and murdered in the outskirts of Rome in 1975, started his creative life as a writer of poetry and prose.
June 2nd is the day when we remember and celebrate the powerful choice, which the Italian people made through a referendum, establishing our new form of government. Such an historical step was taken just after coming out of a tragic war, a repressive dictatorship and a foreign occupation.
I will always remember my first exam at an Italian university. I had barely been seven months in Italy. I had arrived on a scholarship from the Italian government, enthusiastic and fresh-faced, just after graduating in Italian Studies at Melbourne University.
When thinking about Italian art what comes to mind is almost exclusively art from the past. With fifty UNESCO sites, the largest number of World Heritage Convention protected sites, and more than 3,400 museums and 2,000 archaeological sites, Italy has the largest cultural heritage in the world, boasting great names that have influenced generations of artists.
My introduction to Italian art was in the form of an imperious and shocking painting that my mother cut out from a book of art she had brought to Australia from Italy in a shipping chest. My father framed it in a veined wood veneer all shiny and orange-brown.
Seventy years ago, Europe was being torn apart by its second catastrophic conflict in a generation, but in the lapse of a decade something changed, hopefully forever. On 25 March 1957, a Treaty establishing the European Economic Community was signed in Rome by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.
2015 marks the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri, the Sommo Poeta (Sublime Poet) as Italian students learn to call him from early on. His writings include profound essays and enchanting short poems; however, he gained enduring fame as author of the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), a masterpiece in Italian and European poetry.