The NIAF Sponsored 80 Student Exchanges To Calabria, Italy


Contact: Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(WASHINGTON, DC — June 10, 2003) Eighty Italian American students participated in The Gift of Discovery: Learning Exchange, Italy and America, an educational and cultural program, sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF).

The Foundation’s all expenses-paid program increased the participants’ understanding of Italy and their Italian heritage. Over 500 students between the ages of 18 and 23 applied to the Foundation’s Gift of Discovery program.

Two groups of 40 Italian American students each traveled to the region of Calabria, in the southern part of Italy, to participate in the program between May 26 and June 8, 2003.

In its third year, the 10-day Gift of Discovery trip included: meetings with teachers and students at the University of Cosenza; receptions with local officials in various cities; a tour of the museum in Calabria to see the famous Bronzes of Riaci; and a briefing with representatives of the editorial office of RAI-3, Italy’s radio and television system. Visits to a 5TH century BC Ionic temple in Locri, a Roman necropolis and a preserved Greco-Roman theater were part of the trip’s itinerary. Students also trekked on the Aspromonte, the last spur of the Appennines mountains on the tip of Italy’s boot.

The round-trip airfare between the U.S. (Newark) and Italy, accommodations, meals, escorted tours, and transfers (valued at $1,500) are financed by the NIAF with sponsorship from the region of Calabria.