NIAF Official Delegation Meets in Sorrento and Naples, Italy


Contact: Elissa Ruffino, 202-939-3106,


*Mission to Italy to Build Cultural Bridges*

(Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2014) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) leadership, including Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso, President John M. Viola, and the executive committee, will travel to Italy June 22- 29, 2014.  The Foundation’s Mission to Italy will bring together board members, business leaders and local government officials to discuss key issues influencing cultural, economic and diplomatic relations between our two nations in Campania, NIAF’s 2014 Region of Honor.  NIAF also will hold its international board of directors meeting in Sorrento on June 23.

“In the spirit of friendship and solidifying lasting relationships with business, cultural and political leaders in Italy, we hope to strengthen NIAF’s role as the bridge between the United States and Italy during the Foundation’s official mission to the Region of Campania and the cities of Sorrento and Naples,” Del Raso said.

The seven-day itinerary begins on Sunday, June 22, in the city of Sorrento for three days. After Sorrento, the delegation travels to Naples for the duration of the mission which concludes on June 29.

Following the NIAF board meeting, the delegation and local Italian dignitaries will meet the participants of the 2014 Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program, now in its 15th 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 second consecutive year, participants are giving back to the Italian community with a service project in the city of Avellino, focusing on women and children in difficult situations. This project is being coordinated with HandsOn Network, a Points of Light Enterprise.

While in Sorrento, NIAF’s delegation will tour the ruins of the ancient Greek city, Paestum and visit a buffalo mozzarella farm and limoncello factory.  Later that evening, the board members will enjoy music and a performance of the tarantella, Italy’s traditional dance, at Teatro Tasso.

During the Mission, the NIAF delegation will travel to Naples on June 25. While in the Naples meetings with Hon. Stefano Caldoro, president of the region of Campania; and Hon. Colombia A. Barrosse, consul general to the United States in Naples, and local businesses are scheduled.  A visit to a Roman theatre in Posillipo are also part of the itinerary.

The final day of the NIAF Mission to Italy concludes with a tour of Casa Famiglia “Salvatore Rosa” in the city of Bellona in the province of Caserta. NIAF leadership will participate in a donation ceremony of its land at Casa Famiglia on June 28, 2014.

For information about the mission and events, contact Carlo Piccolo at 349-774-1791 or

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit