By Edwin Muhumuza
The Embassy of Italy in Uganda has hailed the Uganda- Italian cultural similarities and called for the celebration of culture in both countries to promote tourism.
Italian Ambassador H.E Massimiliano Mazzanti, while launching the Italian Cultural and Culinary week 2020 noted that the activities highlighting Italian culture and its famous cuisine as vehicles of exchange, will be learning opportunities which will ensure exploration of commonalities between the two countries.
Unlike previous years, this edition will be held in a special way with most events held online according to the embassy.
The Italian Cultural and Culinary week, is expected to kick off on the 24th to the 29th of November with the launch of the Italian Cuisine on sustainable cooking and the Mediterranean diet at the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in Jinja.
According to Ambassador Mazzanti, the event will be carried out by the Chefs of the Consortium for training, innovation and Quality (CFIQ) of Pinerolo in Italy in cooperation with EnAIP Piedmont region.
Representing the minister of tourism, wild life and antiquities, Hon. Tom Butime, the permanent secretary, Bareiga Akankwasa hailed the event saying it would draw more Italian tourists to Uganda as tourism gets set to reclaim its global position in the global economy as well as in Uganda after COVID19.
‘This event is therefore very important to us as it feeds into our tourism promotion strategy as a country .Culture and food is closely knit with tourism and travel. There is nothing as good as traveling to a destination where you will find your culture and culinary tastes. It is in our best interest as Uganda to promote Italian culture and cuisine as an attraction for more Ugandans to visit the pearl of Africa.’ he said.
World Celebrity Chef Francesco Mazzei is special guest and joined by the CFQI chefs will offer masterclasses to professional chefs in Uganda with emphasis on sustainability through the use of food products often deemed not worthy.
Ugandans are arguably the most hospitable people in the world, and their mother-land is home to the snow-capped Mountains of the Moon; the Rwenzori. History has it that the first man that climbed it was an Italian, The latter peak was named after the Duke of Abruzzi, Luigi Amedeo Abruggio of Savoy, an Italian Royal, who led an expedition in 1906 for the first time in modern history and named the peak, Margherita in honour of the Queen of Italy.
Susan Muhwezi, Chairperson of Hotel Owners Association noted that the Italian week will kickstart the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and that both nations share in some aspects including the motorbikes as a means of transport and treasuring family, hospitality and being social.
‘One thing I liked about the program is the aspect of bringing in a chef for training and I believe we can build capacity for our chefs, waitresses through training so that we do not have to bring in other nationals to do such jobs’ she said.
Some of the events lined up for the week include; launching of the Italian cuisine training on sustainable cooking and the Mediterranean diet, a cooking master class dubbed ‘from chefs for chefs’, unveiling the city of seven hills, the extraordinary Italian taste ,and an Italian cooking class which will be hosted on Television.
On a lighter note, the week is highlighted by the use of comics in supporting bilateral tourism and will involve a comic tourism guide who happens to be Margherita, a wolf representing Rome, that goes to Kampala, another fictional character represented by a crested Crane to find inspiration, so the two guides visit both cities together to be inspired, by visiting the several sights and scenes in both countries ,according to the organisers.
The participants will also stand a chance to win some prizes from the event partners who include,Capital FM, City tyres, Equatorial power, Jumia food, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, and Uganda Airlines.