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Agreement supports ‘roots tourism’ initiatives in U.S.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has signed an agreement with Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) to collaborate on the promotion of “roots tourism” initiatives in America. The partnership aims to encourage Americans of Italian descent to visit the hometowns of their ancestors and connect with their heritage.

From left: NIAF President Robert Allegrini, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and U.S. Ambassador to Italy Jack Markell, the former governor of Delaware.

Perhaps the only thing which the Italian diaspora appreciates more than helping Italy is visiting Italy itself. The Italian government certainly understands that fact which is why it has declared the year 2024 the year of roots tourism and it is inviting the global Italian diasporas home to discover their roots in the land of their ancestors.

For this reason, at an October summit in Rome, NIAF President Robert Allegrini signed a historic accord on behalf of NIAF with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. This stipulates that NIAF will be the first Italian-American organization authorized to cooperate with the Italian Foreign Ministry in the promotion of the Roots Tourism Initiative in the United States.

NIAF will mobilize its social media following of nearly 250,000 and network of affiliate groups to spread awareness of Italy’s invitation for Italian Americans to rediscover their roots. The MOU is part of the Italian government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan and its upcoming “2024 – Year of Italian Roots” campaign.

“We are proud to partner with MAECI on this important work strengthening bonds with Italian Americans,” stated NIAF President Robert Allegrini. “There is so much opportunity to engage the community, especially youth, with the land their families came from.”

NIAF and MAECI share a mission of celebrating the lasting legacy of Italian culture and heritage globally. The agreement focuses on cultural, scientific and economic exchange to benefit both countries.

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