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Japan: the ‘I borghi più belli d’Italia’ Association in Tokyo

An event entitled ‘I borghi più belli d’Italia’, organised by the Italian Embassy and the tourist agency ENIT, was held in the Terrada Art Complex, on Tennozu Isle south of Tokyo as part of ‘Italia, amore mio!’, the largest festival dedicated to Italy in Japan, promoted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ICCJ). The ‘I borghi più belli d’Italia’ Association showed the Japanese audience 281 Italian hamlets, located throughout the peninsula, out of an initial selection of 800 municipalities. “We want to narrate an essential component of our history, of our culture and of the timeless dimension of the ‘Italian way of Life”, explained Italian Ambassador, Giorgio Starace. He added: “It is a model capable of stimulating cultural, culinary, healthiness and environmental interests, that I hope will constitute a point of reference also for Japan.” The Ambassador also gave Takayuki Terashima, the producer of a successful TV programme dedicated to the Italian culture that has been running for ten years titled ‘Chiisana Mura-no Monogatari Italy’ (History of Italian Hamlets), the insignia of Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy conferred on him by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. “Our goal is to narrate to the world the beauty of small Italian villages, the historical narrative of hundreds and thousands of years of art, history, culture and tradition within defensive walls,” explained Fiorello Primi, the president of the Association, to a large audience. The Association is now supported by an economic network that includesh a specialised tour operator, created in partnership with ENIT and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the support of Italian Embassies and Cultural Institutes.