Republic Day at the Italian Embassy

di Joe Volpe del 7 June 2019

TORONTO - I’ll bet he was happy with the turnout.

He, being Claudio Taffuri, the host and the Ambassador of Italy in Canada. The occasion: celebration of Italy’s Day of the Republic. The location: the sprawling gardens of the official residence for Italian Ambassador.

It is a beautiful place. Built as a personal domicile by a former Lumber Baron in Aylmer Quebec, when the logging and lumber business turned many an entrepreneur into multi-millionaires. It is now Italian territory.

His Excellency, like others before him wanted to showcase the essence of the Italian “being” to Ottawa’s Diplomatic Corps and to those who inter-act with Italy. It was an event “by invitation only”. One wonders what would have been the attendance had it been open to the public.

People waited in line while security leafed through a tenpage, four columns per page, single spaced, alphabetical listing of invitees. I’ve been to several of these celebrations.

This is the closest I’ve come to a comizio in Piazza Del Popolo, I thought.

His Excellency - “Claudio, I insist” - Taffuri had concise messaging. Italy, he said is a friend of, and acknowledges the obligations of friendship to, Canada.

“We are a nation that defines itself through a culture of performance and achievement of what has always mattered and ’humanized’ mankind. We can proudly, but without arrogance, point to the fact that we are the premier European country in agricultural diversity and quality of products and second in technological design, development and export of same,” he added.

“Music, Arts, Thought and democratic values have always been essential to how we define ourselves. Please enjoy some samplings of the Italians ’system’”, he said in closing after duly recognizing representatives of the Canadian government present: Minister David Lametti, Minister Filomena Tassi, Parliamentary Secretary Marco Mendecino, MPs, Francesco Sorbara and Lloyd Longfield.

Musicians, performers, a taste of numerous cheeses, a pleth-ora of Italian wines, brioches of prociutti, Porchetta and the Ferrari/ Maserati that greeted everyone at the entrance – the Ambassador either had super competent, well organized staff or he has the respect of the local and Diplomatic communities.

Maybe both. I used to receive invitations from many Embassies. With yesterday’s event, Ambassador Tauri did credit to Italy’s Day of the Republic.

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