NIAF Official Delegation Meets In Italy’s Region Of Piemonte


Contact: Elissa Ruffino,202-939-3106,

*Mission to Italy to Build Cultural Bridges and Stronger Economic Ties* 

(Washington, D.C. – May 26, 2016) The National Italian American Foundation Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso, President John M. Viola, the Foundation’s executive committee and the members of the Italian American Leadership Council (IALC), will travel to Italy June 5-11. The “Mission to Italy” will bring together NIAF board and IALC members and business leaders to discuss key issues influencing cultural, economic and diplomatic relations between our two nations, in Piemonte, NIAF’s 2016 Region of Honor.

“NIAF’s leadership will strengthen the Foundation’s role as the bridge between the United States and Italy during its official mission to the region of Piemonte,” Del Raso said. “Together with regional executives, we will solidify lasting relationships with business and cultural leaders in Italy.”

The seven-day itinerary begins on Sunday, June 5, in Torino for four days. After Torino, the delegation travels to Santo Stefano Belbo for the duration of the mission which concludes on June 11.

During the NIAF mission, the delegation will meet the participants of the 2016 Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program, now in its 17th year. Twenty university students of Italian heritage are participating in this year’s program dedicated to strengthening their understanding of their rich cultural heritage, and introducing them to their ancestral homeland and the many contributions Italy is making to the world. For the fourth consecutive year, participants are giving back to the Italian community with a service project. This year, the students will work with school children under the care of the Salesians of Don Bosco at the Mother House, known as Valdocco, in the city of Torino.

While in Torino, the first capital of modern Italy, the delegation will visit the Restoration Center of La Reggia di Venaria, one of the residences of the Royal Savoy Family, and the Basilica di Superga, the burial place of the Savoy Family. Private guided tours of the National Museum of Cinema, the Egyptian Museum and lunch at Eataly, are part of the itinerary in the city. They will also visit the Church of Gran Madre di Dio, a neoclassical-style church located in front of Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The steps of the Gran Madre appear twice in the 1969 film, “The Italian Job.” The delegation will meet entrepreneurs at several events, including a gala at the Venaria Royal Palace and a private dinner at Esperia Rowing Club.

At FIAT Chrysler Automobiles S.p.A. in Torino, the delegation will visit the Abarth plant, FIAT’s racing division, and test drive a FIAT 500 Abarth. They will visit ALTEC S.p.A., an aerospace logistics and engineering company that works with the International Space Station and supports future robotic and manned planetary exploration.

At the Museum of the Holy Shroud, the delegation will view the museum’s display of historical artifacts depicting The Shroud of Turin through literature, art and theology.

Before leaving Torino, the delegation will meet executives at the Unione Industriale of Biella and visit the city of Biella, known for the Sanctuary of Oropa, site of religious pilgrimages.

During the final days of the NIAF Mission to Italy in Santo Stefano Belbo, the delegation will gather for a meeting on June 10. The following day it will tour the Langhe area, known for its wines, cheeses and truffles, particularly the white truffle of Alba.  The delegation will also visit the Guarene Castle (Castello di Guarene), an 18th century palace overlooking the Langhe hills with Italian-style gardens.

To schedule an interview, contact NIAF’s Director of Communications Elissa Ruffino at For information about the mission and events, contact  NIAF International Relations Liaison Carlo Piccolo at (349) 774 1791  (Italian); (202) 487-5579 (U.S.) or

 The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit