THE SECOND Dolce Vitaj festival of Italian culture in Slovakia started on June 1 and will last until the end of the month. This year the festival is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the re-opening of the Italian Cultural Institute in Slovakia and the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Italy, the TASR newswire reported.
“The aim of the festival is to create a harmony between Italy and Slovakia by connecting our cultures and creating a communication bridge,” the director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Teresa Triscari, said at the opening of the festival.
Dolce Vitaj encompasses more than 20 cultural and lifestyle events in Bratislava, Zvolen and Nitra. According to Triscari, concerts, exhibitions, seminars and conferences, film screenings, theatre pieces, opera and gastronomic events will take place during the festival as well as the awarding of the Elsa Morante Prize for literature.
The festival is the celebration of Italians living in Slovakia and they have chosen the month of June because they see it as the month of Italy, said Alessandro Villa from the Italian-Slovak Chamber of Commerce.
“June 2 is Republic Day, honouring the foundation of the Italian Republic in 1946 and therefore we see this month as the Italian month,” he told TASR.
According to Villa, the name of the festival is a play on words mixing Slovak and Italian.
“Dolce Vita is a very significant period of great development for Italy and it’s also a period of growth that we also wish to Slovakia,” he said. “And Vitaj means welcome. So, Dolce Vitaj is something like a common welcome to the sweet life.”
Dolce Vitaj is organised by several Italian institutions working in Slovakia: the Italian Embassy headed by Ambassador Brunella Brozi, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Office for Foreign Trade and the Italian-Slovak Chamber of Commerce.