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Italian National Day 2024

Festa_Repubblica01899June 04, 2024

On 4 June 2024 the Italian institutions in London celebrated the 78th National Day with an event jointly organised by the Embassy, the Consulate General, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Trade Agency, with the invaluable support of numerous sponsors, Italian companies that operate in the UK.

Ambassador Inigo Lambertini welcomed the 1,800 guests in his residence in the heart of Mayfair, as is tradition, but this year for the first time the celebrations also extended to Grosvenor Square, one of the most charming and prestigious squares in the British capital.

Italian refreshments were servied in the residence and the gardens. There were also performances by the brass band of the Guardia di Finanza, which celebrates the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the corps this year, and the orchestra of the Nicola Sala Conservatoire of Benevento, which came to London specially for the occasion on the initiative of the Italian Cultural Institute and its director, Francesco Bongarrà.

The event opened with a ceremony in which the seven Italian and British citizens were appointed to the Order of the Star of Italy in recognition of their contributions to the Italian Republic.

In his welcome speech the Ambassador referred to the success of the tennis player Jannick Sinner, who became no. 1 in the world ranking precisely a year earlier. He continued: “Italy and the UK are close collaborators in key sectors such as green industries, digital technologies, life sciences, creative industries and artificial intelligence. This year, as Italy holds the presidency of the Group of Seven, our National Day is an opportunity to celebrate the values shared by Italy and the UK, which both support Ukraine and adopt a shared approach to all the most urgent international challenges, including the current crisis in the Middle East.

“Bilateral relations between the two countries have been further strengthened in recent months thanks to numerous official visits and the launch of large-scale joint projects. The Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2023 by the two heads of government intensified the collaborations between our countries. I would like to highlight one collaborative initiative in particular, the Young Leaders Programme, which aims to foster relationships between talented young Italian and British people. The Young Leaders selected for the pilot programme, which is currently in progress, are present at these National Day celebrations.

“On this day, a special one for all Italians, particularly those living far from home, my thoughts and my gratitude go to the Italian community in the UK, which numbers almost half a million people, making it one of the largest foreign communities in the country. I am proud of their invaluable contribution to the progress of British society and together with the Consul General, Domenico Bellantone, I dedicate the celebrations this year to them.”

Photographs of the event can be seen in the gallery below. Videos are available on the Embassy’s YouTube channel.