The widespread use of technology has facilitated worldwide communications. Technology has hence provided many with the chance of reconnecting with Italy. However, more can be done: we can, for instance, further strengthen our bond with our country, our culture, values and affection, and even think of shortening further our distance. Can we think of expanding this experience even further, and to its fullness? Maybe we can. Maybe we can think beyond the geographical borders of Italy, and imagine a new map of our country, one which has greater potential.
This was what Giovanni Maria De Vita, Counsellor of the Italian Embassy and Coordinator of Roots Tourism, discussed with the members of Comites NY, with Consul General of Italy Fabrizio Di Michele and MP Fuchsia Angela Fitzgerald Nissoli in a Zoom meeting in the morning of May 14th, 2022.
What emerged was a shared commitment to supporting Roots Tourism. Roots Tourism aims to facilitate the connection between two countries by embracing the descendants of Italian emigrants abroad as well as in Italy. Roots tourism offers the opportunity to promote the teaching of the Italian language in the countries of residence and funds will be allocated to train Root Tourism operators who will set up a targeted offer for Root Tourists; genealogical research will also be facilitated.
The work will be managed by 300 regional coordinators, fifteen per region. Here are some of the projects to be carried out:
Train personnel to be ready for Roots Tourism;
Improve transportation and service centers;
Facilitate cadastral and genealogical search;
Create IT tools to organize travel already from the countries of residence; create IT services providing information on the country of origin;
Offer accurate information about Italian emigration and highlight it as an integral part of Italian history and social studies; give emigration even more space in school curriculum by putting it into context since elementary school.
Comites NY has enthusiastically responded to the project. The role of Comites in this context is to understand what the needs and expectations of Americans of Italian heritage are in the area of competence and to establish relations with the various Italian communities.
(editing by Stefania Puxeddu Clegg)