The Embassy Celebrates Italian-German Cultural Relations
The Embassy of Italy in Berlin hosted the cultural event Villa Romana: Through the artists’ eyesOctober 10th, 2019
Italian-German relations are highly intense in every sector of bilateral cooperation; political, economic, commercial and cultural. The event hosted at the Italian Embassy is an example of the intensification of cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Germany and Italy are strongly interconnected countries. They shared experiences throughout their historical development. Geographically positioned in the heart of European continent, they both vitally contributed to the deepening of the integration within the European Union, as well as their membership with NATO, OSCE and the Council of Europe.
The economic relations are also traditionally very close. In 2018, total bilateral trade was worth more than 127 billion euros, with a trade surplus of some 11.2 billion euros in Germany’s favor. Germany is Italy’s most important trading partner, while Italy is Germany’s fifth ranked among importers of German goods and sixth as a supplier to German goods. In 2018, German foreign direct investment in Italy amounted to approximately 33.2 billion euros. Conversely, Italian direct investment in Germany was worth approximately 36.7 billion euros.
What makes German and Italian bilateral relations unique, is definitely their intensive cultural exchanges. Often supported by Italian and German governments, a whole series of associations, commissions, institutes and research centers promote initiatives to strengthen cultural and scientific cooperation. Villa Romana in Florence is one example between four other houses providing scholarships for artists. Founded in 1905, Villa Romana is a place of contemporary artistic production and international exchange. Between the main German initiatives in Italy there are also five scientific/academic institutions, such as the German Archeological Institute founded in 1829 in Rome, two major Goethe-Institute branches and three German Schools.
By hosting German artists who won the Villa Romana Prize at the Italian Embassy, H. E. Amb. Luigi Mattiolo showed how important it is to promote bilateral cultural relations. Intercultural dialogue makes it possible to highlight the innumerable artistic contributions within a society. It is also a diplomatic strategy to encourage socio-economic integration between Germany and Italy.