On June 2 2015, Italians celebrated their Republic Day ‘in the sky’.
On June 2nd, the Italian Consulate-General led by Mr Antonello De Riu hosted the Italian National Day celebration at Central Plaza Sky Lobby.
Distinguished guests included FS John Tsang, LegCo President Jasper Tsang, SED Eddie Ng, Deputy Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry Song Ru’an; representatives of foreign missions; as well as business and community leaders in Hong Kong.
In his welcoming speech, Mr De Riu praised the progressing ties between Rome and Hong Kong, stressed Italy’s status as the world’s cultural hub and suggested that the latter can learn from the history of his country.
“Albeit in the first Republican years a sizeable segment of the Italian people was holding different views on the newly established Republican institution, Italy managed to develop a consensual approach.” He said.
John Tsang, the Guest of Honour, displayed his usual high quality oratory on stage, mentioning a wide range of Hong Kong Italy connections and even some personal passions including Italian wine.
A conferral of Italian honours was held after the speeches. Ms Judy Yu, President of luxury goods distributor CARSAC, and Mr Ugo Conta, a musician and event organiser who has devoted to cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and his hometown in Italy, Mantova, for more than three decades, were honoured the Order of the Star of Italy.
Guest were then served with appetizing Italian cuisine, but there was not a pizza in sight. Wine, fresh meats and vegetables, all prepared by a range of Italian food and wine importers and some of the city’s finest restaurants!
On June 2nd, 1946, the Republic of Italy was established after a referendum by its people to dispose of the unpopular monarchy, which had supported Mussolini’s dictatorship.