His Excellency Pasquale Terracciano, Italian Ambassador to the UK, along with Dr Federico Bianchi, Head of Press, Media and Cultural Affairs at the Italian Embassy, visited the University recently to meet students and staff from our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS).
Coinciding with the 17th annual ‘Week of Italian Language in the World’ – an initiative to promote Italian as a great language of classical and contemporary culture – the trip was an opportunity for the Ambassador to find out more about the Department’s unique methods of combining language studies with contemporary politics and culture.
As part of his visit he was greeted by President and Vice-Chancellor, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences and Head of Department. He also met teaching and research staff and students from PoLIS, before delivering a guest lecture to a packed room on ‘Anglo-Italian relations from the Roman Empire to Brexit.'
On campus he spent time with Dr Elena Trincanato, whose teaching position within PoLIS is fully-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her role is to create links for students and staff with Italian institutions and to promote the study of Italian language and culture abroad. As one of only a few UK universities to have been successful in the scheme, Dr Trincanato is Bath’s fifth ‘Italian Lector’ since its establishment in 2004.
He also saw the latest photographic exhibition ‘Domitiana’, displaying in The Edge, which depicts different forms of organised crime affecting daily life in Naples with images from Italian photographer Giovanni Izzo. The exhibition was organised by Dr Felia Allum, whose research into the Camorra and Mafia activities has generated global media interest as a result of her award-winning book, ‘The Invisible Camorra’.
The visit was arranged by Senior Lecturer in Italian from the Department, Dr Adalgisa Giorgio.
Commenting on the visit, President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell said: “We are keen to ensure that partnerships with our European neighbours are strengthened and enhanced following the Brexit referendum. It was a great honour to welcome His Excellency to the University and share with him the outstanding work that is taking place.”
Italian Ambassador, His Excellency Pasquale Terracciano said: "In visiting the University of Bath, I wanted to ensure that I met with professors and students of the Italian studies programmes to see in person the great effort that is being made at this University to foster the learning of Italian language, history and culture in general. I was very glad to see the growing number of students of Italian and the vibrant programme of Italian studies offered at the University. I was most impressed by the wonderful campus and the high quality courses offered to British and international students alike."
Dr Nick Startin, Head of the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies added: “There are a number of Departmental initiatives currently which cement our long-standing research and teaching relations with Italy. The Ambassador’s visit was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase some of these to him and his team.”