September 19, 2020

Week of Italian Gastronomy opening

The Italian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Andrea Perugini, with Italian clarinetist Ms. Letizia Elsa Maula, Mrs. Mariska Perugini-Viser and Mr. Mario Rio, cellist.

By Tereza Neuwirthova.

An exquisite evening filled with quality music and delightful food, on Monday 18th November the Italian Residence in The Hague hosted the first of its events organised as a part of the “Fourth Week of Italian Gastronomy”, which is held from 18-24 November 2019.

The event saw the attendance of a number of Ambassadors, notably of China, Israel, Georgia, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Egypt, Belgium, as well as representatives from international organizations such Mr Andrea Angeli, from OSCE, or Mr. Consalvo Giandomenico from the Italian company Eccellenze Campane. In addition, receiving the invitation of H.E. Mr. Andrea Perugini, Ambassador of Italy, a special delegation from Italy’s region of Campania- the mayor of Controne, Mr. Ettore Poti was the guest of honour at the residence. Also as part of the delegation  Francesco Verlotta, Counsellor for agriculture and environment of the Municipality of Controne.

Ambassador Perugini with the mayor of the Italian city of Controne, Mr. Ettore Poti.

To begin the evening, H.E. Mr. Andrea Perugini welcomed the guests and explained:

“Today’s concert is one of the main events of the Italian Gastronomy Week, which is an initiative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held for historically the fourth time this year. In the framework of this tradition, more than one thousand events are held in countries around the world, at which the well-known delicacies of the Italian cuisine are served.” 

Ambassadors attending the opening concert of the 4th Italian Week in The Netherlands.

Mr. Perugini continued his speech by reflecting:

“What is remarkable is not only that the Italian gastronomy sector is one of the leading in the European Union in terms of reducing greenhouse gases emission, but also that Italy is the country with the highest number biological products in the world. The Italian cuisine represents a way of life, and is an essential element of Italy’s culture, and therefore we are here to celebrate this immensely important element of our lives.” 

The wife the Mayor of Controne, Ambassador Perugini, the Mayor of Controne and Mr Andrea Angeli, Press Adviser OSCE.

During his speech, Mr. Perugini also voiced his empathy for the city of Venice, and informed the guests about the opportunity to contribute to the Venice Water Emergency Fund , an initiative in which the Italian Embassy in The Hague, as many other embassies across the world, participates.

A voluntary contribution to Venice Water Emergency Fund can be transferred to the following bank account:

Name: Comune di Venezia-emergenza acqua alta

Motivation: Venice water emergency contribution

IBAN: IT24T0306902117100000018767


Thereafter, the Ambassador introduced the artists performing at the soirée- Ms. Letitia Elsa Maulá, who played clarinet, together with Mr. Mario Rio playing cello. The programme of the concert started with Beethoven’s early pieces, which were influenced by Mozart and Haydn, originally composed for a violin-cello formation. 

Letizia Elsa Maula and Mario Rio: together the Philia Duo.

A sonata by Mozart followed, which was also especially arranged for the duet, and thus created a unique melodiousness. Lastly, the performers played modern French music from the 20th century composed by Francis Poulenc and Guillame Connesson, whereby a piece by the latter was an extraordinary “Disco Toccata”, a connection of classical and modern music that represents the artist’s manifesto.

The concert finished with a great applause from the guests, and the musicians were given flower bouquets. 

It was then time to indulge in the delicacies served as a special degustation menu prepared by the Italian Residence chef, which collaborated with the organization Eccellenze Campane in preparing the dishes for the whole week of Italian Gastronomy. The guests were offered a great variety of Italian delights, among which the most traditional such as lasagna or tiramisú could not have missed. 

Photography by Catherine Dailey.

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