On the occasion of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano's visit to New York, a short private ceremony was organized at Casa Italiana. This was the first time an Italian President visited 24 West 12th Street. Napolitano, who had just returned from visiting Ellis Island, was greeted by Casa's director Stefano Albertini, and the founder and chairman Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò. Also present were the head of the Department of Italian Studies Prof. Virginia Cox, part of Casa Italiana's Advisory Board, as well as the Department's Faculty and Grad Students.
The Baroness reminded everyone of the 20 years of Casa's history, filled with hard work and success, while Prof. Albertini explained how the students are immersed in the studies of Italian literature, history, and art history, covering every historical period.
The Baroness bestowed the President with the Casa Italiana medal, for his commitment in supporting the arts, science and culture.
Giorgio Napolitano spoke about the beauty of the history of the Italian Unification. "From the Unification we must gather a reason to trust each other so we may carry on the work that awaits us in further consolidating our national unity to allow Italian democracy and society to move forward."
After the brief encounter, the President, accompanied by the Baroness, moved on to the NYU Law School, for a lecture about the State of the European Union.