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Italy-Belarus, 20,000 people at Minsk’s Friendship Festival

Mimes and stilt-men, folk and opera music as well as fashion, tourism and food and drink attracted 20,000 people last Sunday at Minsk’s ‘Gran Italia Fest’, the Italy-Belarus friendship festival now at its third edition.

The integrated promotion event for culture, tourism and commerce was organised thanks to the financial support of the Italian Tourism Agency ENIT and was opened by the Italian Ambassador in Minsk, Mario Baldi, together with the Executive Director of ENIT, Giovanni Bastianelli and the Mayor of Minsk, Andrei Shorets. The Festival scheduled the performance of dozens of Italian and Belarusian artists in an artistic marathon:  the Tamburellisti di Otranto folk band, the Belarus Dudaryki band, opera singers Alessandro Mikhniuk and Irina Kuchinskaya from the “Bolshoi” Opera Theatre of Minsk, young musical talent Raffaele Papadia, and the versatile Italian pianist and singer Matthew Lee. These alternated with theatre performers like Olga Radetskaya, the ‘Carro dei Comici di Molfetta’ puppet theatre, stilt-men, mime Andrea Fedi, a fashion show by Max Mara, a show by the Italian National Team of Acrobatic Pizza-makers and by hair stylist Antonio Boccadamo.

Another visitor attraction featured the nearly 30 stands of Italian and Belarusian retailers who dedicated part of their space to offer food and drink, tourism activities (Costa Crociere), sports (Inter Camp) and language courses. Present at the fair were also the official importers of FIAT, Ferrari and Maserati, De Longhi, and Illy Caffè, in addition to the representatives of the local Confindustria on behalf of Italy’s whole business community.