Italy's bouquet to Boston

The Italian Risorgimento and the American Revolution were both inspired by the same concept: that of national independence as a means and guarantee for the freedom of the individual.

This common inspiration is indeed something unique to our two revolutions, I would say unparalleled. The historians have repeatedly stressed the derivation of the French Revolution from the principles of the American one. But let me point out that America and Italy were the only two countries where the problem of national independence arose together with that of individual freedom and where a same answer was given to both.

It is for me particularly rewarding to be able to evoke this deep-rooted similarity in the birth of our two nations, in this very city of Boston which can be well deservedly considered as the cradle of the American nation and which still represents for Italy a unique landmark in her relationship with the United States: in this city, in this very area of the North End, as well as in the whole state of Massachusetts, the ties between our two nations become blood ties , friendship becomes brotherhood, thanks to a large group of Americans and Bostonians who are of Italian origin.

Boston is, moreover, in the hearts and minds of the Italians since it is a city which, in addition to the lantern of liberty, has always kept burning another, equally important torch: that of intellectual endeavors, of scientific research, of primacy in culture and humanities. And there again, the ties between Boston and Italy stand as special and exemplary. In a somber hour of Italian history, Boston gave shelter to one of our great geniuses, Enrico Fermi. Salvemini and De Bosis, homeless and exiled, both found in Harvard a peaceful and friendly environment where they were able to continue their praiseworthy studies. At present, countless are the fields in which the cultural cooperation is developing and constantly growing based as it is on the special, common platform of academic relationship between your prestigious universities and ours.

The generosity and love shown by the Bostonians toward such cities as Florence and Venice are largely reciprocated by the admiration shared by all Italians for your famous institutions, such as Harvard or MIT and these mutual, strong feelings do not reflect only a ''state of mind''; they do not stem from an intellectual and abstract attitude, but translate into a constant flow of men and ideas, the best men and the best ideas in Italy and in America.

For all these reasons, cultural, economic as well as human, and therefore I would say - lato sensu - political, the relationship existing between my country and the city of Boston epitomizes the broader relationship of friendship and alliance existing between Italy and the US.

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