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New York February 18—This year's GALA ITALIA was an even bigger success than anticipated. This 26th edition of the event took place on February 10th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan under the high patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Producers, importers, and journalists from up and down the Atlantic Coast of the United States crowded into the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis in record numbers to participate in this most prestigious celebration of "Made in Italy" which brings together the very finest in Italian fashion, wine, gastronomy, music, art, and design.
The host of honor of the GALA ITALIA was the noted television personality, Jo Squillo who was flown to New York by Alitalia for the express purpose of presenting the GALA ITALIA.
She entertained the audience with song and dance before introducing Christina Fontanelli, who has sung at the White House for the President. Ms. Fontanelli performed "Libian, Libiam nei Lieti Calici" from Verdi's La Traviata, "Con Te Partirò" the famous song by Andrea Boccelli, and finished with her rendition of "New York, New York" by the great Frank Sinatra in honor of the event.
Jo Squillo then introduced the spring-summer collection of the house of high fashion, Eredi Pisanò of Rome. Twelve models gathered at the center of the ballroom in order to display an exquisite collection that evoked much admiration. The musicians of the CJM trio of Luca Garacci accompanied them.
The spectacular part of the GALA ITALIA concluded with the opening of the great stage where 16 restaurants presented their culinary specialties to the very appreciative guests.
The GALA ITALIA opened with the Great Wine & Food Tasting that included some of the best Italian wines, including: Antinori, Astoria, Biondi Santi/Castello di Montepò, Biondi Santi/Il Greppo, Bellenda, Bellussi, Bertani, Bottega Vinaia, Cantina del Vermentino, Cantina S. Osvaldo, Cantina Valpolicella Casale Falchini, Castello di Albola, Castello di Fonterutoli, Castello di Querceto, Cavit, Citra, Col di Luna, Danae, Domodimonti, Duca di Salaparuta, Due Palme, Fabiano, Fattoria di Montecchio, Feudi Arancio, Feudi di San Gregorio, Feudi Principi di Butera, Furlan, Garlider, Gulfi, Lunetta, Livia Fontana, Marco Maci, Mandra Rossa, Piera Martellozzo, Pasqua, Planeta, Poliziano, Rocca delle Macie, Rocca dei Sanniti, Ruffino, Sella & Mosca, Tenute Sella, Scrimaglio, Toso-Tufidi, Vini Biondi and Zonin. Alitalia also introduced the wines that they serve in their first class airline, which incited much interest.
In the course of the five hours of the Wine Tasting, those present tasted more than 200 wines of 50 wine producers hailing from Italy's most distinguished wine-producing regions. More than 1,500 bottles were opened for more than 2,000 journalists and VIPs (in excess of 1,100 importers, wholesalers, and retailers from the U.S, along with 480 restaurateurs and 420 journalists and TV. representatives).
During the Wine & Food Tasting the wine producers received special certificates that identified their best wine selected by an American jury of experts.
The prestigious Italian restaurants who participated included: Barbetta, Barolo, Da Silvano, Epoca, Giano, Gusto Ristorante/Bar Americano, Il Riccio, I Tre Merli, La Masseria, Macelleria, Osteria del Circo, Perbacco, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Salumeria Rosi, Serafina and SD26.
The vital contingent of producers and importers of food and drink also participating in the event included: Rochetta/Uliveto (Water Sponsor of the Gala), Ferrero, Monini, Illy Caffe, I Love Made in Italy, Latteria Soresina, Marchese de Luca, Riso Scotti, Mutti, Ciro, Conca d'Oro, Forever Cheese, Poggetto di Mezzo, The Food Solution, Sullivan Street Bakery, Tom Cat Bakery. These companies' products demonstrated the importance of coupling wines with genuine Italian food products.
The four Vespa models presented by Piaggio in various colors and styles represent the great success of Italian design in America. Also, two beautiful Montante bicycles and a model of the AW 139 helicopter of Agusta Westland further completed the showcase of Italian design and technology in the Inted States.
An art exhibit titled called "Dynamic Cities", featured a series of innovative works by the artists Lisa Borgiani and Massimo Nidini, which arrived in New York, with the patronage of the Italian Institute of Culture, after a tour of successful exhibitions all over the world. The presentation of Italian art was completed with a second exhibition, "Dancing Angels" by the artist Francesco Padovani, who came to New York from Switzerland for the GALA ITALIA.
Of course, the GALA ITALIA continued the tradition and raffled off great prizes like the Vespa S 50 4V, by Piaggio, and a stay in Italy provided by the ENIT office of New York. The lucky winner of the Vespa was Mr. Ceferino Obecemea of Aquino Italian Wine Imports.
The GALA ITALIA distributed more than 4,000 copies of the color catalogue to guests, participants and representatives.
Shortly after the conclusion of the New York event, the Los Angeles Wine Gala, on February 15th, will extend this promotion of "Made in Italy" to the markets of California and the West Coast. The Los Angeles Wine Gala will be held at the famous restaurant of Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, and will be preceded by an exclusive luncheon for the exhibitors and the local wine press to introduce the distinguished wines.
"The 26th edition of the GALA ITALIA has succeeded as an event of great importance at the highest level," emphasized Lucio Caputo, president of the Italian Wine & Food Institute.
"The GALA ITALIA, which landed close to VINO 2011 completes the action in favor of Italian Wines," added the Italian Trade Commissioner, Aniello Musella, "strengthening the presence of Italy in all of the American markets." These initiatives, supported by the Ministry for Economic Development serve to increase Italian wine awareness in the great American market.
The next edition of the GALA ITALIA will take place in March of 2012 in New York with a new and more spectacular line-up that will continue to support "Made in Italy" in the USA. The GALA ITALIA will be jointly organized by the Italian Wine & Food Institute and the Italian Trade Commission under the high patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Washington with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Economic Development.
This comprehensive tasting of some of the best Italian premium wines will offer a panoramic view of the many Italian wine regions and the opportunity to meet the representatives of some of the most famous Italian wineries such as: Antinori, Astoria, Bellussi, Bellenda, Bertani, Biondi Santi/Castello di Montepò, Biondi Santi/Tenuta il Greppo, Bottega Vinaia, Cantina del Vermentino, Cantina S. Osvaldo, Cantina Valpolicella, Casale Falchini, Castello di Albola, Castello di Fonterutoli, Castello di Querceto, Cavit, Citra, Col di Luna, Danae, Domodimonti, Duca di Salaparuta, Due Palme, Fabiano, Fattoria di Montecchio, Feudi di San Gregorio, Feudi Principi di Butera, Furlan, Garlider, Gulfi, Lunetta, Livia Fontana, Marco Maci, MandraRossa, Piera Martellozzo, Pasqua, Planeta, Poliziano, Rocca dei Sanniti Viticoltori, Rocca delle Macie, Ruffino, Scrimaglio, Sella & Mosca, Stemmari - Arancio Estate, Tenute Sella, Toso Tufidi, Vini Biondi, Zonin.(list incomplete)
A large array of Italian gourmet specialties will be presented by prestigious food companies, with Rocchetta as the water sponsor: Azienda Agricola Poggetto di Mezzo, Ciro, Conca D'Oro, Ferrero USA, Forever Cheese, Illy Caffe', I Love Made in Italy, Latteria Soresina, Mitica, Monini North America, Mutti, Riso Scotti, Sullivan Street Bakery, and Tom Cat Bakery.
Also, top restaurants such as: Barbetta, Barolo, Epoca, Da Silvano, Giano, Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano, Il Riccio, I Tre Merli, La Masseria, Macelleria, Osteria del Circo, Perbacco, Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, Salumeria Rosi, Serafina, SD26 and others will exhibit their specialties to complement the outstanding selection of Italian wines.
The sponsors of Gala Italia 2011: Alitalia, AgustaWestland, Bradford Portraits, Ferrero, Italian Government Tourist Board, Luceplan, MSC - Mediterranean Shipping Company, Omnia Industries, Piaggio, Rocchetta/Uliveto and United Colors of Benetton.
A Vespa scooter as well as a week's stay in the 5-star hotel, Risorgimento Resort De Luxe in Lecce, Italy, in cooperation with Piaggio and the Italian Government Tourist Board of New York, will be raffled off among all the guests who pre-register for the Gala Italia.
Experience the performance of Cristina Fontanelli, the exquisite soprano, who will entertain the Gala Italia guests with her repertoire. Cristina Fontanelli has performed at the White House and with some of the most important orchestras of the world.
Jo Squillo, the Italian television personality and fashion journalist, will present the Gala Italia and will entertain the guests with a musical performance.
Eredi Pisano' started its journey almost forty years ago with the opening of its first single labeled store in the historical center of Rome. The approach to the classical tailored athletic fit was met with success, and soon this pattern of distinction was recognized in their line. Today a successful fashion label with several stores in the city of Rome, Eredi Pisano' continues the expansion of its line with the care, dedication, and detail. Designing, fabric texture, and styling are closely controlled by the owners and made locally in Rome. In 2001, Eredi Pisano' launched its label in the American market with a store on the exclusive Madison Avenue. The design, craftsmanship and price automatically drew customers with an appreciation for modern cuts, and athletic fits. Eredi Pisano' started the trend toward vibrant colors and textures in corporate attire long before others caught on. Eredi Pisano' has been well-received and successful on Madison Avenue since its American debut nearly ten years ago.
Admire an icon of Italian design, Piaggio Vespa Scooters, one of the great successes in the United States.
The 2 AW 139 helicopter by AgustaWestland used by the Los Angeles Fire Department. A model of this helicopter will be on view at the Gala Italia.
View "Dynamic Cities", an exhibition of paintings by contemporary Italian artists Lisa Borgiani and Massimo Nidini, whose artwork has been exhibited in numerous international art fairs and galleries in New York, London, Singapore, Dubai, Vienna, and Bruxelles. The exhibition is organized under the patronage of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.
Francesco Padovani, born in Naples in 1952, lives and works in Lugano Switzerland. He has always had a passion for photography, prisoner of the professional duties of an entrepreneur. Over the years he has developed very significant personal shooting techniques using almost sculpted elements to represent reality veiled by the symbolic expressiveness.