Bericht van de Italiaanse ambassadeur voor Dante Rotterdam

Op onze slotavond en mede ter gelegenheid van de Festa della Repubblica op 2 juni had de Italiaanse ambassadeur in Nederland, Andrea Perugini, een speciale video-boodschap voor de leden van Dante Alighieri Rotterdam. De complete tekst kunt u hier lezen.


Dear friends in the Comitato Dante Alighieri -Rotterdam,


I have been asked to register a short message for your “serata di fine stagione”, which coincides with a very important occurrence in the Italian calendar: on the 2nd of June we celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the Republic of Italy.


This year the traditional parade in Rome on June 2nd takes place under the motto “united for our country” and will be dedicated to the 100th  anniversary of the “Great War”. Our “Festa della Repubblica” has become  over time a moment  where we reflect over the fateful events that came after the disasters of World War Two and which brought about the approval of the text of the Italian Constitution, upholding  fundamental values such as freedom, justice, democracy, solidarity and the right to work.


As I mentioned days ago celebrating this event in The Hague, despite the challenges that Italy is facing, including the slow recovery from the deep economic crisis and the unprecedented wave of migration, these values are upheld by the Italian people both living in Italy and abroad. This is why our history and our identity make Europe an imperative choice. Europe has brought 70 years of peace, stability and many other benefits that should not be taken for granted.


Because of these shared values Italy is will remain an integral part of Europe, with its benefits and its commitments, of which, together with The Netherlands, we are  one of the founding members.


Italy is a country of excellence, tradition, history and culture, and in few countries there is a deeper understanding of this than in The Netherlands: every year around two million Dutch people visit Italy, renewing and deepening a relation that could be compared to a love story with our Country.


And among the many friends and admirers of  Italy in The Netherlands no one has a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the multi-faceted aspects of Italian culture and history than the members of the many Comitati Dante Alighieri active in every corner of this Country.


Today, I wish to pay tribute to the role of the Dante Committees in The Netherlands in cultivating this love story with Italy over time. And I wish to thank in particular for its dedication the Rotterdam Committee, historically one of the most active and with the largest membership. Your website, published in Dutch and Italian versions and constantly updated with a plethora of events related to Italy, is one of the best instruments in this Country to gather information about Italy and its presence in the Netherlands.


As  Ambassador of Italy, I am thankful for the love and dedication you show to my Country and for the time and volunteer work you spend to spread knowledge about the best aspects of Italy in the Dutch society.


On the 26th of May I took part at the “Giornata della Dante 2018” in the magnificent background of the Rolduc Abbey, in Limburg.


On that occasion I stressed how, with over 15 active committees and 4000 members, a majority of which Dutch nationals with a love for classic, renaissance and contemporary Italy, the Dante Alighieri network in the Netherlands remains one of the most wide-spread and active ones in Europe. 


These “Comitati” offer a wide range of cultural activities and language courses that all combine to achieve the goal that was set by the founders –-that is, promoting Italian culture and language around the world- and yet manage to achieve another very important one: to strengthen the ties between the Italian and the Dutch people.


The strength of the relation was confirmed by the successful State Visit of  Their Majesties the King and Queen of The Netherlands last year. It is my hope that these bounds can be further reconfirmed in 2019, when we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of our bilateral relations.


One key aspect of the celebrations will involve culture.


It is one of my key tasks and goals to spread knowledge about our language, our art, our science our lifestyle, what we call “Vivere all’Italiana”. In this monumental task I can count on the teams of the Embassy in The Hague and the  Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Amsterdam:  last year we set up an “Osservatorio della Lingua Italiana”, where a member of the Dante Alighieri sits, as a group of experts who can collaborate in identifying the challenges and opportunities in the teaching of Italian language. For the first time in many years, starting from October, a highly qualified teacher from Italy will be based in the Netherlands with the task of starting Italian language and grammar courses in several high-schools. A network of Italian researchers in the Netherlands (ION- Italiaanse Onderzoekers in Nederland) has been launched in April. Many other ideas are being put in place.


And yet the task is too big, the demand too wide, to fulfill it all by our institutional means. That is where I count on the ingenuity and the outstanding voluntary work of the many Committees of the Dante Alighieri for finding new ways to collaborate together where we share common goals.


Especially, may I say, from the Comitato of Rotterdam, a city to which I have a personal strong bond and has a solid and long-standing relation with Italy on many fields.


Thank you


Andrea Perugini


Ambassador of Italy to The Kingdom of The Netherlands




Dante Commercianti
Inge van der Kraan Jan Buijs Sylvia van der Male Stefano Campailla Sandrina Bokhorst Antonella Petrai Hans Tetteroo Margot Dullens