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Italea at Toronto’s Taste of Little Italy to celebrate “roots”

Foto 4 I coordinatori regionali

Italea at Toronto’s Taste of Little Italy to celebrate “roots”

 A map of Italy that visitors could sign with the name of their place of origin attracted the attention of hundreds of Italian-Canadians

Toronto, June 16, 2024 – Italea’s mission in Canada was a success, providing an opportunity to showcase and celebrate Italian identity and promote Roots Tourism through culture, traditions, gastronomy, and music. The program to promote Roots Tourism, launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation within the NRRP project and funded by NextGenerationEU, was featured at the “Taste of Little Italy” Festival. This event, organized by Chin Radio/TV International, took place over the weekend of June 15 and 16 on College Street, the Italian district in Toronto.

The Italea project aims to attract Italians abroad and Italian descendants who are interested in discovering the places and traditions of their origins, providing a set of services to facilitate travel to Italy. “It is very important for us to be here because the Italian community has made a significant contribution to the growth of Toronto and Canada, and we want to thank the Italian-Canadians by offering them a roots journey to take them to Italy, to visit their homeland,” said Luigi Maria Vignali, Director General for Italians Abroad and Migration Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This enthusiasm was echoed by Giovanni Maria De Vita, the project manager for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “With our presence in Little Italy, we invited Italian-Canadians to return to their places of origin to rediscover their roots.”

Many authorities attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Italea area. In addition to Vignali and De Vita, the attendees included Luca Zelioli (Consul General of Toronto), Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada), Anthony Rota (Canadian MP and former Speaker of the House of Commons), Francesco Sorbara (Canadian MP), Mike Colle (City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Toronto), Salvatore Basile (ENIT manager), and Michela Di Marco (President of the Comites of Toronto). Representatives of various regions were also present, including Paolo Giuntarelli (Director of the Regional Affairs Directorate, Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport of the Lazio Region), Antonio Nicoletti (Director General of Apt Basilicata), and regional councillor Salvatore Micone with a mandate for Tourism and Culture of the Molise Region. Lenny Lombardi of Chin Radio was also in attendance.

With Italea, regional groups from Abruzzo, Lazio, Molise, Basilicata, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Sicily landed on College Street. Each group brought their own traditions to the specially set-up stands along the “Italian street in Toronto,” alongside many other operators. Italea was presented at a press conference at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, organized in collaboration with the ENIT. The project was a great success among the press, the business community, associations, and Italian descendants present at the event.

A map of Italy that everyone could sign with the name of their place of origin attracted the attention of hundreds of Italian-Canadians. Many of them proudly placed the name of the village or city in Italy where their roots lie, quickly filling the map located next to the main Italea stand in just a few hours.

Download the press release here