What is the Kermesse Italia of June 3 at the Rotušė about?

Kermesse Italia Vilnius

My key message is that the current geopolitical situation has brought us far beyond the old stereotypes and clichés such as North/South cultural and geographical distances’, Diego Ungaro, Ambassador of Italy in Lithuania, said.

The Ambassador continued: ‘Nowadays one must acknowledge the terrific integration results of the process of European Union common growth, from the Common market to the intense transfer of technology, which have been greatly accelerated first by the ability to react jointly to many challenges: the Covid epidemic threat, the recovery and resilience plans based on common funds available to invest in renewable energy, digitalization and green deal. Now we are much more united and determined than before as EU and NATO members, actively answering to the brutal Russian aggression in Ukraine, which makes us stronger in deterrence and defence and much closer and more coordinated than we usually think. And my point is that all this happens because we belong to a deeply established common culture – as the Kermesse Italia of June 3rd at the Rotušė demonstrates – and the values we share are ours not only since 2004 but from centuries before.’

Read an interview with Diego Ungaro, H.E. Ambassador of Italy in Lithuania.  

Ambassador, what is the Kermesse Italia ?

Diego Ungaro – Kermesse Italia is a feast, a great and unique event which the Embassy of Italy in Lithuania is happy to organize in Vilnius, at the Rotušė, within and in the whole square in front of it, for the whole day, from 12 am to 6.30 pm, on Saturday 3rd of June. Please come and see, as we intend to show you as many aspects as possible of the incredibly rich and intense relationship which exists between Italy and Lithuania.

Those that will come will have the possibility to make numberless experiences, starting from live music (three musical bands and one singer performing original music), four different exhibitions (on satellite high technology, interior and industrial design, the lyric opera I Lituani /

Ambassador Diego Ungaro and Prof Vytautas Landsbergis at the exhibition

The Lithuanians and historical diplomatic documents of 1918-22 and 1991), a dozen of different stands (food, olive oil, wine, books), dedicated corners and panels on military Italian presence in Lithuania (the Italian Air Force will be deployed again in Šiaulai air base in August), street food stands, such as pizzas and arancini, many kinds of luxury and ordinary vehicles, motorbikes and scooters, tourism, videos and much more, including some unexpected and astonishing surprises.

Why are you organizing such an event?

– Despite the war in Ukraine and to react to it on the common democratic values, we intend to celebrate joyfully with the Vilnius inhabitants and citizens the 77th Italian Republic Day: June 2nd is the anniversary of 2 June 1946, when a historic Referendum took place: Italy chose to become a Republic, abandoning the previous Monarchy.

The Embassy of Italy in Lithuania, along with other Italian institutions in Lithuania, such as the Italian Trade Agency, the Dante Alighieri Society of Kaunas, the Department where Italian language and culture is taught both in Kaunas and Vilnius Universities, is offering to the citizens of Vilnius a whole day of events, both inside the Rotuše, where a full series of activities (thematic panels on cinema, music, cuisine, cultural relations, innovation technology) will take place, as well as outside (pasta show-cooking, the arrival of corteges of classical Vespa scooters, powerful Ducati motorbikes, historical Alfa Romeo and Lancia, as well as a whole display in a show of the best contemporary Italian cars: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Fiat and motorbikes Vespa and Ducati.

Kermesse Italia, with Ambassador

You will also meet the vintage cars that will be on display, including the mythic original 500 Fiat, to be compared with the full-electric contemporary one.

All this demonstrates the intensity and wide variety of relations with Lithuania, not only for the relevant touristic flows to and from Italy, trendy Italian fashion, accessories and tasty, high-quality food – all aspects that of course, must not be by any means underestimated,, and which also have their consistent cultural and economic significance, but also much, much more: in every kind of music, be it classical or contemporary, cinema and documentaries, literature and translations in both ways, history, cultural and diplomatic exchanges, and even more: the relevance of Italian interior and industrial design, high technology for security and defence, aerospace and state-of-the-art satellite capacities.

– This list is really impressive. But can you make some more specific examples?

– Well, I am pleased to say that maybe you are going to be interested to enter into the Rotuš, seat down and participating actively in one or more of the many exciting discussion panels – which, I do repeat, will be moderated and opened by experts, many personalities of the highest knowledge and expertise have confirmed their attendance, but also open to the public. They are dedicated to the cinema (actually, there will be two different panels on cinema, one in English and the other in Lithuanian), music, literature and translation.  So, I do expect a very interesting outcome from each of them.

I also want to underline the large variety of the stands that will exhibit Italian books translated into Lithuanian, food, wine and olive oil specialities, the courses of Italian language and culture offered by the Dante Alighieri Society in Kaunas, the University of Vilnius and the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas; a corner with videos to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force, which is coming again in Lithuania. Also, the mounted Corazzieri have given the honours to President Nausėda when he was in Rome to meet with President Mattarella and his arrival to the Presidential Palazzo del Quirinale for the talks of the two Heads of State.

President Nausėda and President Mattarella, in Rome in April 2023 in an official visit to Italy, receives the military honours by the mounted Corazzieri.

– All this is very impressive! What else can you share with us?

– I agree with you. It is impressive! As a matter of fact, bilateral relations between Italy and Lithuania are increasing very fast. They involve growing political, diplomatic and military aspects, EU and NATO strengthening and developments, and a wide spectrum of cultural, scientific and technological activities. That’s why Kermesse Italia at Rotušė on June 3rd will be a landmark and deserves to be visited. I do not doubt that it will be a very memorable event.

And not the last one for this year, as we are already working to prepare the next one, which will be the first presence here of the Band of the Carabinieri as they are coming to Vilnius in August when they will attend the Vilnius Tattoo 2023.

Thank you, Ambassador Ungaro!

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