The First Centennial of the Dante Alighieri Society

Message from the Prime Minister

The Dante Alighieri Society is 100 years old. This is an accomplishment of great importance and meaning.

In this century, outstanding changes have occurred in Italy and the world as a whole. The Dante Alighieri Society should be proud of having played such an important role in the promotion and the growth of Italian culture, having the ability to keep in pace and adapt itself to the new needs, and maintaining, at the same time, strong ties to its own history and traditions.

In these one hundred years, The “Dante Alighieri Society” has been the image of Italy in the world.

Overlooking the new millennium, with the views that are open for Europe and all of humanity, the Society must continue, more than ever, to be a reference point for those who identify themselves with the Italian civilization and culture or for those who want to deepen the knowledge of them.

The European process of integration, in fact, demands a greater and greater valorization of traditions, cultures, languages and histories of each population. The political and economic construction of Europe requires and, rather, urges the rediscovery of national and local values.

The action of  the “Dante Alighieri” goes beyond the European ambits and—as it already happens today—it will continue to spread all over the world. The rediscovery of the Italian language as a language of culture imposes a renewed propulsive role of diffusion also on the Dante Alighieri. Among our countrymen now firmly resident and well integrated abroad, the desire to keep a firm connection with the language and culture of their homeland appears to grow more and more. But also the interest in our language and our history by foreign universities, scholars, and researchers is growing.

In this context of a great and quick transformation, I am convinced that the work that the “Dante Alighieri” will be able to continue to manage will contribute not only to the further diffusion of the Italian culture and language, but also to the rapprochement of people, thanks to the knowledge of the respective histories and traditions.

Giulio Andreotti, Rome, 1989

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