“Passione Italia” by Fabiana Romano, professor of international marketing at the University of Minnesota, was published. The book is edited by Mondadori with the support of the Italy-USA Foundation with an introduction by Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, and a preface by the President of the Italy-USA Foundation, Rocco Girlanda. We anticipate the preface written by the president of the Italy-USA Foundation.
For some time Italy and the United States have exchanged cultures, goods, influences, and traditions; one could say that without the contribution of one, the other would be different from how it is today and vice versa. To describe the relationship between the two countries is fascinating but at the same time very difficult: nations change, populations grow and evolve, and relationships reflect the times. Today, the United States and Italy are two places linked together by strong relationships; the first being culture. The book ‘Made in Italy’ allows you to understand the Italian influence in America, but also, the American influence in Italy. Both of these sides are not vastly known by a majority of Italy, and this book looks at reality, without a bias, in order to understand the United States for what it really is without political and ideological filters. There is no doubt that Italian customs, which to us sound Italian have contributed to the essential idea of an American way of life in regards to food (pasta and pizza), quality beverages (wine and water), and coffee (Starbucks comes from the idea of the Italian cafè as a meeting place and has been adapted to the American style.) Fashion is another example in which Italian creativity is expressed at the highest level, and has had since the 80’s a strong tie with America, who first decreed the success of Italian Fashion with the by now historic cover of Time dedicated to the “King” Giorgio Armani. Many other myths about Italian Fashion have found their dedication in the United States: in the 70’s the young and unknown sisters Fendi left for New York with their revolutionary furs in their trunks and conquered Neiman Marcus. While an American such as Tom Ford was, in the 90’s, the author of a sensational rebirth, the most historic and known of Italian brands, Gucci. I remember a funny incident that happened to me some years ago at an American friend’s home in Manhattan. Their son had just come back from a short study trip in Northern Europe, and happy to be back in the United States saw the pepperoni pizza that his mother was serving at the table and said, “Finally some American food!”. I believe that in this expression, only appearing unimportant, there is the true success of “Made in Italy”. We have transmitted our culture, our tastes, and our traditions in such a strong way to make them become part of the American culture. The young man eating the pizza is thinking, rightly so, that eating “American” is truly the proof of the osmosis in cultures between the two countries, the confirmation of a common course that can tie Italy and the United States together more than history has done up until now.