Ezio Peraro, Cultural Attaché of the Italian Embassy and director of the Italian Vito Grasso Institute in Bucharest, talked with Business Review about the projects that Italian Institute has in Romania and also about how Italian culture is implemented for Romanians.
By Oana Vasiliu
What are the cultural institute’s major projects this year?
The most important one is Festitalia – a little bit of Italy in Bucharest. An outdoor festival for the public, it will be held on the lawn in front of the Pescarusul restaurant (Herastrau Park). This second edition will take place from June 25-July 1, as we celebrate together the beginning of the Italian presidency of the European Union. Festitalia aims to familiarize the Bucharest public with Italian culture, traditions, cuisine and folklore and promote shared knowledge between Italians and Romanians, as often happens in Italy, where Romanian folk festivals have become a real tradition.
Besides Festitalia, the institute’s cultural program includes annual events such as book presentations, seminars, exhibitions of contemporary Italian artists, concerts by both up-and-coming and established performers, theater plays and film screenings. Moreover, we have Cineforum, through which recent Italian films are screened every Thursday at the Institute.
How many students learn Italian at the institute?
The Italian Cultural Institute organizes ongoing general Italian courses for any level, once there are 10 requests to form a new study group. For example, last year over 500 people attended our courses, some of whom were enrolled in several modules, at progressive levels. Certification exams take place in two sessions a year, based on agreements with the University for Foreigners of Perugia and Siena.
How developed is cultural management in Romania?
I think it is quite developed. Since I came to Romania, we have found that there is, especially in Bucharest and in other cities like Cluj and Sibiu, intense cultural activity, clear evidence of an extremely varied range of cultural events. For me, culture means promoting excellent products made by a civilization, which are worthy of being held up as examples, and cultural management is the ability to make them known to a larger number of people.