Tokyo, 29th May 2016. The massive Italian festival “Italia, Amore Mio!” celebrating Italy in Japan, took place for the first time in central Tokyo and ended today. For two days, Saturday May 28th and Sunday May 29th, Roppongi Hills was filled with the best of Italy –luxury brands, tourism, food and the best of music, including the Italian singer Zucchero, who held a concert in Japan for his first time. The estimated amount of visitors was 25,000 people on Saturday and around 30,000 on Sunday.
The event was organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ICCJ) of Tokyo, with the patronage of the Italian Embassy and the cooperation of ENIT, the Italian Institute of Culture and JET (Japan Europe Trading). Over 40 sponsors had promotional stands in exclusive areas like “Oyane Plaza”, “66 Plaza” and in “Roppongi Hills Arena”, set up like an Italian market area. Over 40 artists performed in the Arena, starting from the concert of Zucchero and the Japanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei, that garnered an audience of over 5,000 people on Saturday evening. On Sunday, the concerts of the tenor singer Masafumi Akikawa and the two promising young musicians, Giovanni Caccamo and Marianne Mirage, took place after the presentation of the A.C Milan soccer school. Many cooking shows were organized, such as with Chef Andrea Tranchero, who entertained guests with an artistic cooking show, in collaboration with famed hair stylist Franco Curletto. Along with this were the aerial performances of Teatro del Fuoco and the many fashion shootings with Miss Italia 2014 and Miss Universe Japan 2016.
At the opening press conference, Zucchero declared: “I was positively surprised by the generosity coming from Hotei and from the Japanese people. I fell in love with this culture and I hope to return the warm welcome I received.” He will perform at the Arena of Verona together with Hotei during his next tour starting this September.
Apart from the artists, the event became an occasion to enhance the Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites that participated: Sicily, represented by the regional council members; Matera and the Basilicata region that led the Mirabilia project, together with the cities of Bari, Chieti and Taranto; the city of Turin together with the Piedmont region and the provincial administration members. They were all represented in the Arena square and they organized press conferences, food and wine tastings and institutional meetings.
Ms. Kuniko Fujinami Weeks, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, declared: “Italia, Amore Mio! was the first big event organized by our Chamber of Commerce, usually involved in promoting the affiliated companies and Made in Italy products. This was the first event directly addressed to a large public audience. Thanks to the good weather, the event went off better than expected, many people came and it had a remarkable impact on the public. I think about all the Japanese people who came to visit us, and all the Italians living in Tokyo. Additionally, all of this would not have been possible without involving the Embassy and other institutions like ENIT and the Italian Cultural Institute, all our sponsors, the staff of the Chamber, all the cooperators and the volunteers. I would also like to thank all the artists for their exciting performances.
And after the great success of this year, we move on and we are already thinking about the next edition.”
Patronages: Italian Embassy in Tokyo, Enit, Italian Cultural Institute, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
In collaboration with: JET - Japan Europe Trading.
Sponsors of the event: Bulgari, Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group, Magniflex, Spumante Ferrari; Alitalia – Italian Flying Company, Automobili Lamborghini, Barilla Japan; Anteprima, Fabe, Intesa San Paolo, MSC crociere, Orobianco, Pirelli, Rigoni di Asiago, Yanmar; Biobalance, Campari Japan, Carpigiani Japan, Desertika, Di Giorgio, Eataly, Elio Locanda Italiana, Guala Closures, Illy, Italiakara, Monte Bussan, MS Japan Service, Pizza Salvatore Cuomo, Roots Trading, Vespa Piaggio; Gucci, Interior Keikaku, Marazzi Japan, Vodafone Automotive.
Insitutions connected to the participating UNESCO sites: Sicily Region; Matera Chamber of Commerce, Mirabilia Network of UNESCO sites, Basilicata Region; City of Turin, Turin Tourism and Province, Piedmont Region; Cortina Tourism; City of Bari, City of Chieti, City of Taranto.
(Photos: Zucchero and Hotei: CHARLIE.AKI, all the other photos: Mina Kitano, Hotter than July Inc.)
Event official page: www.italia-amore-mio.com
Organizer: Camera di Commercio Italiana in Giappone, www.iccj.or.jp