To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado presented a Proclamation from the City of Miami honoring Italy to Arthur J. Furia, National Italian American Foundation general counsel and a partner at Shutts & Bowen LLP.
Furia noted the significance of hosting the reception at The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami because it brings families of this community together and serves as the icon of Miami and freedom.
Hon. Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and a NIAF vice chairwoman, delivered the keynote address celebrating Italy’s historic and cultural ties to the United States.
Italy’s Consul General in Miami Marco Rocca joined Furia at the podium. Together they welcomed approximately 150 community leaders, business executives, notable Italian Americans and media professionals to the private reception hosted by the Foundation in conjunction with the Frank J. Guarini/NIAF Media Forums. The event also was sponsored by Miami Dade College and Shutts & Bowen.
During the celebratory reception, Furia presented Sister Lucia Ceccotti, executive director of The Marian Center, with a NIAF check of $10,000 to help the center further reach its goals of helping children with developmental problems.
In the main keynote speech, Patricia Harrison discussed Italy’s continuing influence throughout the world, in fashion, art, culture and technological innovation. Harrison said that this yearlong celebration provides everyone a chance to become part of the Italian family and identify shared values that inspire and connect us to one another.
Special guest and Italian tenor Roberto Iarussi performed the U.S. and Italian National anthems and closed with “Nessun Dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot at the reception. Guests gave Iarussi a standing ovation. Everyone received a complimentary copy of “Deeds of My Fathers” by Paul David Pope, whose parents Generoso and Lois B. Pope were the founders of Il Progresso—the first Italian American newspaper in the United States.
To see photos from this event, click here.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy. This historical event is also known as il Risorgimento, or Resurgence of Italy. Prior to the unification, the Italian peninsula was composed of separate states under different rule. The most famous face of Italian Unification was Giuseppe Garibaldi. As an Italian national hero, he led the Italian patriots in an effort to combine the states and territories of Italy into a unified country.
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org
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