Expressing a sign of closeness and hope to Chile and the testimony of unity and pride of the Italian community at a time when the South American country is going through the most acute phase of the health emergency: this was the objective of the first Italian-Chilean Friendship Day, which took place virtually on June 11 on internet platforms and social networks, and which wanted to be a moment of revival, despite the limitations imposed by the quarantine, of Italian “public diplomacy” in Chile. A six and a half hour program called Maratona dell’Amicizia (Marathon of Friendship) was streamed on YouTube directly from the portal www.vai.cl (VivereALLitaliana). The contents ranged from cultural dissemination to “pop” entertainment, from the reaffirmation of the identity of our historic community to the recognition of the ever-widening Chilean public attracted by the Italian lifestyle. The showcase of VivereALLitaliana ended with a virtual gala attended by popular artists.
The turnout and participation at this “première” were very satisfactory with a total of 5,462 views and 3,941 individual users. Numerous were the testimonies of appreciation received from the Italian Embassy in Santiago and the Italian Cultural Institute, which led to replicate the Marathon on Saturday.
The date for the Italian-Chilean Friendship Day coincides with the death of Gioacchino Toesca, the famous Italian architect who designed the Cathedral of Santiago and designed the Palazzo della Moneda. Born in Rome in 1745, Toesca moved to Chile in 1780, where he died on June 11, 1799. It is considered a precursor of the role of the Italian community in Chile which, thanks to following waves of migration, has contributed greatly to the economic, political, social, and cultural growth of the country.