English Articles

L’Eccellenza Andrea Ferrari:
the face of Italy

TORONTO – It’s not every day that the official representative of [foreign]state comes for a visit to your premises. No disrespect intended toward Luca Zelioli, Consul General in Toronto (for Ontario and Manitoba as well). He has already proven himself dedicated to discharging his obligations to the diaspora, and to Italy, in as a professional and a sociable manner as one could hope to expect.

His Excellency Andrea Ferrari preceded his visit to the offices of the Corriere Canadese with meticulous attention to detail and protocol that we wondered whether our humble headquarters had been elevated to an institutional hierarchy to which we had not been made aware.

For our readers, it is important to reflect that this is how a “classy operation”, like Italy, operates, as it “meets the world”: with deference and respect for the host, regardless of its importance or size.

As a measure of the “level of care”, Mr. Luca Zelioli, the Consul General, made it his “personal mission” to ensure there would be no surprises, no obstacles to the conduct of business. He need not have worried.

His Excellency immediately made himself at home, disarming our staff with his openness, his charm and his desire to make all staff feel as if they were the focus of his attention… because they were.

It was an added bonus that he was accompanied by his gracious spouse, Maria Grazia Mattarella, whose mere presence would have been sufficient to put everyone at ease. She had brought along some friends of the family and of Italy, film director Marco Pontecorvo (see article by M. Policheni, December 1: Marco Pontecorvo si racconta, da ‘Pa-ra-de’ a ‘Per Elisa – Il caso Claps’) and his wife.

The initial intent of the visit was to explore the ways in which relationships between Canada and Italy could be “improved” … a noble and pragmatic goal under any circumstance, for which we would always be available. The most significant, though unstated, was a “get to know each” meeting which had been put off for much too long; Corriere’s fault.

His excellency’s timing could not have been more opportune: Italy will host the G-7 conference in 2024 and Canada the following year. We will have much to research, more to discuss and many political-economic agendae to explore and evaluate.

Andrea Ferrari, the consummate diplomat allowed that for a medium like ours (which reports on international affairs more than Canada’s other mainstream publications do) the themes might be more than enticing, given the economic conditions, the political uncertainties in the Mediterranean basin and in [our own] Western Hemisphere.

We will have ample opportunities for elaborating the Italian strategy to “meet the world” and assessing how Canada responds to the invitation and the agenda for the following year in Canada.

Thanks to Ambassador Ferrari, Italy has already started to test its game plan, the Corriere and Canada will have to show themselves no less able.

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