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THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 2020 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 D id you know we have a neologi- sm dedicated to the father of the Italian langua- ge? We have the Dantedì, Dante's day, officially crea- ted by our Parliament to remember the famous author of the Divine Comedy on the day he, according to resear- chers, had begun his journey in the Otherworld. "Dante is Italy unified, Dante is the Italian language, Dante is the idea itself of Italy," says our Minister for Culture, Dario Franceschini while announcing the institu- tion of the feast, which will be celebrated for the first time on the 25th of March 2020, one short year before the country will celebrate the 700 years since Dante's death. Perhaps, there isn't a better way to begin the year when Parma is Italy's Capital of Culture, because the town, new urban symbol of our country's immense cultural patrimony, last year had already launched, thanks to its university, a special three-year-long event to remember Dante Alighieri, Parma per Dante. The tribute, which will end next year, in concomitance with the anniversary of Dante's death (1321- 2021), wants to show how powerfully his work — highest example of literature not only in Italy, but in the world — permeates Italy's cultu- ral fabric. This is it, you see: culture is a shared patrimony, is the common fabric underlying the whole of the country, is memory and innovation, tradition and modernity that belong to all. Parma is a marvelous postcard of Italy, a window for the country, but also a real piece of the country itself, of its culture and vitality throughout the centuries. Electing a different Capital of Culture every Happy 2020 to Par ma, the new capital of Italy's extraordinary culture From the director year is a benevolent honey trap, and we should all be happy to let our- selves by attracted by the sweet accents of Italy's Great Beauty — Mantova, Pistoia, Palermo, Matera yesterday, and Parma today —, to fall into the well of Italian culture, to be trapped in a net made of beauty. Italian cities, towns and villages are full of cultural signs of great relevance, of traces left by names who made the history of music, thou- ght, arts and painting. Being the Capital of Culture, then, means repre- senting our great and wonderful culture, recalling its icons, like Dante, showing the many layers making up our multicolored, rich and char- ming personality. Parma is filled with culture: its squares and monuments, its works of art and architecture tell us about a story that began in Roman times, went through the Middle Ages and the Communes era, all the way to the magic of Renaissance, up to the Bourbons and Napoleon's domi- nions, only to become a real protagonist of Italy's more recent history, from the Risorgimento to the Resistenza, to the years of Italy's econo- mic and social boom. We really only need a bunch of names to understand why Parma was chosen, and rightly so, as the city to represent the culture of a whole country: Correggio and Parmigianino, Niccolò Paganini and Arturo Toscanini, Giuseppe Verdi and Bernardo Bertolucci. Or just one, to cite the first national food company, world leader in the production and distribution of pasta: it was Pietro Barilla who, more than 125 years ago, founded the homonymous firm that, still today, brings around the world the most iconic product of Italian cuisine. Being the Capital of Culture 2020 is an incredible opportunity for Parma. An opportunity to be known, first of all. Because Parma is not only a great destination, far from the stressful itineraries of mass touri- sm, but also because it really has something for everyone, even when it comes to food: we only need to make one name, the famous Prosciutto di Parma. When it comes to museums and architecture, we should not only mention what we can see while walking in the streets, but also, for instance, the treasures kept in the Biblioteca Palatina, where more than 700.000 volumes, 3.000 incunabula, 6.600 manuscripts, 50.000 prints and codexes from the 11th and 12th century are kept. We could even talk about paranormal experiences, considering the amount of haunted castles around the city. Of novelty, because culture isn't motionless, immobile, a finished product. The child of creativity and confrontation, culture thrives in relationships and dialogue, it is generated by meetings and exchanges, it's fluid, eternally evolving, that is, it's something enriching those experiencing it, enriching Parma and Italy themselves. It creates, in other words, something new, it regenerates the old and elaborates the present. And let's not forget that culture is for everyone, it doesn't know boundaries. Just to give you an example, the painting school that developed in Parma during the 16th century — that of Correggio and Parmigianino, to make things clear — made of Parma an artistic treasure, but its lessons have benefited the art of the whole country and of the whole world. The slogan chosen by the city for this year's celebrations is original and quite significative: La Cultura Batte il Tempo, Culture wins over Time. As President Sergio Mattarella said during the opening cere- mony, culture is "the metronome of history. It's a key that allows us to understand the past, to interpret the present and plan the future. A key to consider history as our own and to make us protagonists of it." Neither should we forget culture is the motor of innovation and pro- gress. "By making us aware of the path we've walked so far, culture give us strength to go on together, as a community. Winning over Time — Italy's head of State continues — means this, too: facing modernity, being able to lead it towards more civilized goals and towards well being, towards an increasingly wider dissemination of knowledge that starts a virtuous circle where the baton of life and responsibility passes naturally from one generation to the next. Culture allows the younger among us to believe in their future and plan it without obstacles. It allows them, basically, not to be swept away by Time." The charisma of Parma, which has been a capital of culture for the longest of time, is evident. The invitation she sends to us all is, quite simply, to let ourselves be seduced by her beauty. Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 Please send correspondence to P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Subscriptions and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale DIRECTOR/EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Joel Mack, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Subscription: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003

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