Elegance, Passion, and Creativity on Board
Pier 88 on the Hudson River. A cruise liner from the MSC fleet hosted over 400 guests who were pampered in Italian elegance and luxury during an event promoted by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in New York with the crucial support of ENIT, the Italian Government Tourist Board.
The ship christened “Poetry” is the pride of MSC cruise fleet, the industry leader that has transported more than one million passengers over the world’s seas.
A series of events took place throughout the day last Saturday, October 2. Four hundred guests were invited to tour the ship and live the good life in Italian style while enjoying a concert and fashion show.
The event was seamlessly coordinated by ENIT New York, the regions of Sardinia and Piedmont, designer Raffaella Curiel, and Maestro Salvatore Moltisanti, who oversees the Gran Premio Ragusa Ibla classical music competition.
Before entering the lavish ship, guests admired prominently displayed Vespa, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi motorcycles, and after showing their passports they were warmly welcomed and pampered by the ship’s staff and chefs.
From the porthole windows guests enjoyed the sun and the Hudson River as well as breathtaking views of nearby Manhattan.
Soon after, guests were presented with a quintessential Italian aperitivo. After an introduction by Consul General Francesco Maria Talò, there followed a presentation about two extraordinary areas in Italy: Sardinia and Piedmont.
Director of ENIT North America Riccardo Strano described the regions in words and images, highlighting their natural attractions, music, cultural history, as well as their local food and wine.
Fabrizio Di Napoli coming from Piemonte presented his region, and Riccardo Strano greeted the audience on behalf of Sardinia's Regional Commissioner for Tourism, Sebastiano Sannitu.
Each region had two journalists as testimonials: Manos Angelakis for Regione Piemonte, and Cindy Bigras for Regione Sardegna.
It was a real taste of what the bel Paese has to offer, which is preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of its unification with celebrations beginning in Piedmont and continuing throughout Italy.
The dinner menu was particularly memorable, with Sardinia and Piedmont showcasing the best of their authentic dishes and local wines. The ship’s dining room impressed its guests by combining innovative and refined presentations accompanied by impeccable service.
After dessert, guests made their way to the ship’s theater for a concert with performances by several winners of the Grand Premio Ragusa Ibla, a classical music competition conceived and organized by Salvatore Moltisanti. Performers included tenors Michael Barino and Adalberto Riva, composer David Cieri, pianists Oliver Betz, Chie Sato Roden, and Terri Eder.
The day ended on a glamorous note, with a fashion show inspired by traditional Japanese costumes created by designer Raffaella Curiel. The beauty outside of Italy was reinterpreted through the eye of an historic fashion house in her haute couture fall/winter 2010-2011 collection which featured colors, fabrics, and designs focused on the mysterious and exotic Far East. The collection centered on precious fabrics enhanced by exquisite accessories designed by Gigliola Curiel, Raffaella’s daughter.
Highlights of the collection included kimonos reinterpreted in bright colors and other extraordinary costumes worn by models that moved like aristocratic ladies.
Raffaella Curiel was sought after by the event’s organizers for her ability to synthesize true Italian spirit, genius, elegance, craftsmanship, creativity, love, and passion in her creations. She chose to dedicate her latest collection to the mix of cultures that New York represents. It was the result of a long period of time spent studying Japanese decorative arts as well as learning how to balance the colors and lines of the kimono and observing the posture of aristocratic ladies.
Claudio Bozzo, President of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce and MSC America, beamed with pride at the end of the lively day, and said that he was pleased and happy to have found the key to organizing such a dynamic and successful event.
“An Italian ship was the perfect place. We depicted Italy by touching each of the senses. I certainly think that anyone who did not know our country before has now been inspired to learn more about our beautiful country up close.”
Director of ENIT North America Riccardo Strano, who coordinated and led the tourism portion of the event, noted that “it is important to promote tourism through our own brands like MSC Cruises. It’s definitely a job well done, thanks to the cooperation which made all the difference. It’s an event we look forward to repeating.”
Francesca Verga, proud to be one of the minds behind the event, said that the event was “a dream come true. It made me proud to share the best of my country with others. It’s a way to help the Italian community here in America as well as to transport the Americans on board to Italy.”
Among the many guests in attendance, the following dignitaries were also present: Vice Consul Marco Alberti, Directors of the Italian Trade Commission in NY , Aniello Musella, Baronessa Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò, the founder of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (NYU) and President of IACE Berardo Paradiso.
At the day’s conclusion, Consul General Francesco Maria Talò expressed great appreciation for the Italian spirit – the genius, elegance, creativity, and passion that came together on the MSC cruise ship: “It is a demonstration of what it means to work together within Sistema Italia.”