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Brisbane, Australia: start of the Giro d’Italia through Queensland



Brisbane, Australia: start of the Giro d’Italia through Queensland

The Giro d'Italia through Queensland officially started on 22 November in Brisbane, a project listed among the best consular practices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote “root tourism” and encourage collaboration opportunities between the Italian territories and the different areas of Queensland, where a large Italian community historically resides.

The first stage of the event regarded Abruzzo and took place, at the Brisbane Abruzzo Club, in compliance with local anti-COVID measures, with the participation of about 80 guests, who tasted a menu prepared by Abruzzese “nonne” and “mamme” based on typical products food and wine of Abruzzo.

Mr. Chris Sarra, Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Queensland Government, was among the keynote speakers. The son of an Abruzzese man from Miglianico and an Aboriginal Australian woman from Bundaberg, Mr. Sarra, founder of the Stronger Smarter educational Institute and 2016 Person of the Year, NAIDOC Awards, stressed his strong emotional bonds with Italian culture and with his paternal family members still residing in Abruzzo. Sarra told of his travels to Miglianico, through the places and events that marked his family history, including visiting the spot where German soldiers killed his grandfather during WWII. He expressed his commitment to learning Italian language, which he is studying for more 1700 days with excellent results, and a strong sense of belonging to his Italian culture in the same manner like his aboriginal Australian identity.

Luciana Masci then spoke of her passion for Abruzzo which led her in her spare time from her professional activity to set up a tourist agency, Touring Club Abruzzo, which aims at getting Australians to know the most beautiful places in the Region that are often not included in traditional tourist routes. Football Queensland CEO, Robert Cavallucci, spoke about the natural beauties he had the opportunity to visit in Abruzzo, from the mountains of Roccaraso to the seaside resorts and the rich gastronomic and cultural traditions of the inland villages including Ari, in the province of Chieti, from which his family traces its origins. Cavallucci also illustrated the exponential growth of football in Queensland, played today by 180,000 people - many more than those who play rugby – for reasons that Cavallucci partially ascribes to the influence of Italian and other foreign communities to Queensland. The event Master of Ceremonies was businessman and former model Tony D’Arienzo who has ties with Brisbane City Football Club, a club founded by the Italians that plays in National Premier Leagues Queensland nicknamed “The Azzurri” that has the Italian flag as its emblem.

The many more testimonies that were collected during the event will be uploaded to Giro d’Italia’s website – both the ones of Italian pioneers in Queensland (Comm. Reggi, Camillo Masci, Cavallo, Masci, Tarraborrelli, Antonelli, Marinelli families), and those of people like Walter Antonucci, President of the Brisbane Alpine Association and Stefano Pantalone, from Pescara, President of the New Italian Generation, the association of newly arrived Italians.

Consul Salvatore Napolitano, promoter of the initiative, illustrated the contents of the project which aims both to collect the stories of the Italian community of Queensland and to promote the increased interest of the Australian population, also not of Italian origin, for small Italian villages and territories. During the event, the Consul presented the first volume of the Guide to Italian Roots "A journey following the footsteps of your ancestors" dedicated to the regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Emilia-Romagna and Puglia and outlined the program that will cover all the Italian regions. The attending guests watched a promotional video on Abruzzo by the Italian National Tourism Agency, which supports the project through the Sydney office, and the brochures “Bellissima-Your complete guide to Italy” and “Italia-a beauty to treasure mini guide”.

The Tour of Italy through Queensland is a project of the Consulate of Italy in Brisbane in collaboration with the Comites Queensland and Northern Territory and associations of the Italian community, such as the Brisbane Abruzzo Club. The Queensland Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also supports the project.

The Ambassador of the Tour of Italy through Queensland – appointed at the Abruzzo event - is Damien Anthony Rossi, TV Presenter / Socials Editor & A-List Confidential for The Sunday Mail.

speakers grace napolitanto

Robert Cavallucci, Luciana Masci, Grace e Chris Sarra, Salvatore Napolitano

joe dercole cav. filippo darro emilio and tina lamonaca mariangela satgnitti salvatore napolitano

Joe D'Ercole, Cav. Filippo D'Arro, Emilio and Tina Lamonaca, Mariangela Stagnitti, Salvatore Napolitano


MC Tony D'Arienzo

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Camillo and Josie Masci

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Adriano Corrado, Stefano Pantalone, Walter Antonucci, Comm. Antonio Reggi, Salvatore Napolitano, Mariangela Stagnitti

damien anthony rossi salvatore

Ambasciatore Giro d'Italia attraverso il Queensland Damien Anthony Rossi e Salvatore Napolitano

lamonaca reggi napo

Emilio Lamonaca, Comm. Antonio Reggi, Salvatore Napolitano

ma and guys

Adriano Corrado, Ermano Nobilio, Paul Antonelli, Mariangela Stagnitti, Gino D'Arienzo, Sandro Cavallo, Luc Corrado

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