ON JULY 29, the Philippine Italian Association will mark a milestone — 55 years of cultural exchanges between the Philippines and Italy.

Conceptualized and founded in Manila in 1962 by Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, Proceso E. Sebastian and Italian Ambassador to Manila, Eugenio Rubino, the Philippine Italian Association (PIA) has worked to foster mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries in the fields of culture, art, music, and language.

The PIA began with Italian language courses for children of Italians residing in Manila and today has cultural projects touching all aspects of music, art, language and culture. PIA has also engaged in bringing Filipino language, culture and heritage to Italy, benefitting not only the Italians but also Filipinos who have made Italy their home.

To honor the occasion, the PIA will hold a dinner-dance on July 29, 6:30 p.m., at The Peninsula Manila Ballroom. The occasion also serves to say goodbye to Ambassador Massimo Roscigno whose tour of duty ends in August.

There will be a silent auction of art pieces from Rustan’s Art gallery department as well as sculptures by Murano glass master Andrea Tagliapietra, paintings by Ramon Diaz, Al Perez, Paulina Luz Sotto, and sculpture by Benjamin Dailo. There will also be a live auction of a Ducati Monster 797+ and a miniature metal Ferrari car containing grappa friulana by Distillerie Buiese.

Lucky guests may win a round trip ticket to Italy from Etihad with VIP shopping package at Fidenza Village, among other major prizes, at a raffle.

Tickets are P2,500 per person which includes dinner and one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets for P500 will be available at the event. For inquiries, call PIA secretariat, Marissa Ronquillo at 815-1310, philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com, or visit https://philippineitalianassociation.org.