Cuba attends Milan's International Tourism Stock BIT 2020

With its most varied tourist offers of nature, history, culture, health, event and hospitality of its people, Cuba is participating on Monday in the 40th edition of Milan's International Tourism Stock, BIT 2020.

The major event in Italy dedicated to showcasing the best offers of the local and global tourism market, dedicated to tour operators and with broad public participation, is open until Tuesday at the Fiera Milano City, in the Italian financial capital.

Madelen Pardo, Tourism adviser at the Cuban Embassy in Italy, told Prensa Latina some details about the large delegation from her country that attends the BIT that brings together more than 43,000 visitors, chaired by Barbara Cruz Rodriguez, director General of Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism.

The official stressed that Milan's BIT is the best scenario to attract Italian tourism and said that among the representatives of the sector in Cuba are the travel agencies Cubatur, Havanatur, Gaviota Tours and Cubana de Aviacion, along with the hotel chains Cubanacan, Gran Caribe, Gaviota and the Marlin Nauticas and Marinas Company.

The hotel chains associated with the Cuban tourism sector Iberostar, Barcelo, Melia, ACCOR and Blue Diamonds are also participating, she said.

During this Milan's BIT, we also call on its participants to join us in the celebration of the 40th edition of the International Tourism Fair, FitCuba 2020.

This year, FitCuba will take place from May 4 to 9, at Varadero resort in the Plaza America fairgrounds, this time Russia will participate as a guest country and the tourist product will be Sun and Beach destination.

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Italian institute cooperates with Cuba in training restorers

Matanzas, Cuba, Feb 5 (Prensa Latina) Experts from the Italian-Latin American Institute (IILA) are giving lectures here to train and update professionals, teachers and students in the preservation of the heritage in this three-century-old western city.

On this occasion, the first two-week phase on timber work concluded and will continue in March at the Daniel Dall'Aglio Trade School, attached to the Office of the City Curator of Matanzas, school officials announced.

These courses are theoretical and practical and deal about treatments to eliminate parasites, and the assembly of chairs, tables and cupboards, as well as the restoration of the original values of antique furniture, leading professor and collaborator Jose Manuel Macias noted.

The IILA donated modern equipment to the trade school, which was named after Italian architect, engineer and stage painter Daniel Dall'Aglio, who designed and executed the architectural jewel that is the Sauto Theater (1863) in this city.

The school is the sixth center of its kind operating in Cuba, as there are others in Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos (center-south) and Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba (east).

According to the academic program, classes are taught in masonry, carpentry, general restoration, ceramics, blacksmith's, tinsmith's and historical archeology.

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Turin to host 2020 Volleyball Nations League men's finals

Turin will host the 2020 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) men's finals, it has been announced.

It means top-class action will return to the Pala Alpitour venue in the Italian city, which hosted the final of the Men's World Championship last year.

The 2006 Winter Olympics city will become the third host of the event after Chicago this year and Lille in 2018.

Six countries contest the final after qualifying from round-robin play across the world, with Italy given a host nation berth. 

"I am pleased to announce that the next round of VNL men's final will take place in Turin, Italy," said International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) President Ary S. Graça.

"Italy is a country with a strong tradition in volleyball, and I am happy to see that this tradition is thriving.

"After witnessing the supporters' passion at last year's Volleyball Men's World Championship, and naturally the wonderful finals of the World Beach Volleyball Tour in Rome earlier this year, it is clear that a growing number of volleyball fans in Italy are eager to attend live competitions."

Poland beat Brazil in last year's Men's World Championship final at Pala Alpitour ©Getty Images
Poland beat Brazil in last year's Men's World Championship final at Pala Alpitour ©Getty Images

Russia have won both editions of the Nations League played to date.

In Turin, the organising partner of the tournament has been confirmed as RCS Sports and Events.

"The Italian Volleyball Federation is pleased to know that the VNL 2020 men's finals will be played in Turin, as the FIVB informed us today," said Pietro Bruno Cattaneo, the Italian Volleyball Federation President.

"I am sure that the Piedmont capital and Pala Alpitour will be worthy of this event. 

"Indeed, we all carry in our minds the extraordinary success with all the fans at the Volleyball Men's World Championship in 2018."

Chinese city Nanjing is due to host the 2020 women's VNL finals for the third-straight year.

Dates for both events still have to be finalised. 

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Belgium top FIFA World Rankings for second successive year

Belgium have been named the men's FIFA World Ranking’s Team of the Year for the second successive time.

They have retained top spot ahead of France and Brazil with England climbing one place to fourth and Uruguay taking fifth place.

A total of 1,082 international A matches have been played in 2019 - an all-time high since the rankings started in 1993.

Belgium, who also earned this award in 2015, won all 10 of their international A matches and in the process qualified for UEFA Euro 2020.

Last year’s World Cup winners France and Brazil have retained the positions they held at the end of 2018.

World champions France remain in second place ahead of Brazil in third, the positions they held in Argentina and Colombia are also in the top 10 - respectively ninth and tenth - at the expense of 12th-placed Switzerland, who have dropped four places, and Denmark, who have dropped six places to 16th.

The ranking’s Mover of the Year, meanwhile, is Qatar.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts gained 138 points over the course of a year in which they won the Asian Cup, beating Japan 3-1 in the final, and made a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers.

Besides accumulating the biggest points haul, Qatar have also jumped a year-high 38 places to 55th, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria, who have moved up 32 places to 35th, and Japan, who have climbed 22 steps to 28th.

UEFA, the European Federation, has lost three places in the top 50 compared to the end of 2018, and now has 28 teams, whereas the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, the Asian Football Confederation and the Confederation of African Football have all gained one spot apiece.

The next FIFA World Ranking is due to be published on February 20 next year.

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Cuba attends FAO council session

The 163rd session of the Council of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) started in Rome, Italy, where Cuba attends as an observer state, the Cuban embassy to that European nation reported on Twitter.

The agenda of the event includes discussion on important issues such as the need to strengthen the consistency of FAO's work in supporting small island developing states, least developed countries and the landlocked developing ones.

In this first working session, the creation of the agency's Office of Innovation, which seeks to strengthen FAO's innovative character and the application of modern science and technology, has also been submitted for the consideration of participating countries.

At the opening session, Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, referred to some initiatives undertaken by the organization during his mandate, such as the launch of the "Hand in Hand" project, aimed at accelerating agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development with a view to eradicate poverty and put an end to hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

Side events include the celebration of World Soil Day, next December 5, and an event devoted to innovation through personalized nutrition on December 6.

FAO is a UN specialized agency responsible for fighting hunger, and with more than 194 member states, it works in more than 154 countries around the world.

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Cuban scientists conclude productive visit to Italy and South Africa

Cuban scientists Maria del Carmen Perez and Concepcion Campa returned to the island on Wednesday after carrying out a working trip to South Africa and Italy, described as intense and fruitful.

Perez, general director of the Sierra Maestra Science, Technology and Innovation Entity (ECTI), and Dr. Campa, in charge of the Moringa program, arrived in Rome on Friday from Pretoria, where they participated in the II International Symposium on Moringa, recognized as a 'Tree of Life.'

The event brought together experts from 24 countries, whose aim was to extend the knowledge and use of the plant, native to northern India and which, in addition to being nutritious, benefits health due to its high content of proteins, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. We arrived in Italy, 'taking advantage of the trip to South Africa' to hold meetings with experts from the Biodiversity, Climate and Water Climate division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Campa told Prensa Latina.

She particularly detailed the meeting with the Emergency Division that accompanies the Moringa project, which emerged after the passing of Hurricane Matthew that devastated coconut, cocoa and coffee plantations in Guantanamo, eastern Cuba, crops that take one decade to recover. Moringa appeared as an alternative for reforestation, food and nutrients, a source of employment and income.

They also held an important bilateral meeting with executives of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, with whom they talked about the five ECTI projects, particularly Moringa and 'we received suggestions of searches for new projects.'

The outstanding scientist offered details to Prensa Latina about the production of that prodigious plant in Cuba, which is sold in more than 60 pharmacies in Havana, a project that emerged under Fidel Castro in 2011.

ECTI develops those five projects and the same number of productive bases with extensive areas to produce all those plants, she said.

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Italian Culture Week in Cuba announced

The 22nd Italian Culture Week in Cuba will celebrate the Cuban capital’s 500 years with a broad representation of different art forms Nov 6/24, organizers announced. The week will open with the performance of singer-songwriter Carmen Consoli, a representative of feminist Italian music, along with Cuba’s female chamber orchestra Camerata Romeu at the Teatro América.

At a news conference Italian Embassy’s Counselor to Cuba Samuelle Fazzi stressed the importance of the event that, through culture as a unifying element, joins celebrations for the Cuban capital’s 500th birthday. About the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci, the exhibition El Genio Da Vinci will be on display at the Santo Domingo de Atarés Castle, with the attendance of the Mayor of the town of Vinci and Havana Historian Eusebio Leal. The launching of the Colombo project stands out among the week’s activities, considered the first baroque music opera dedicated to the Christopher Columbus, which will have its world premiere at Havana’s Grand Theater Alicia Alonso during 2020.

Also on the festival’s agenda: a celebration in the downtown Avenida Italia (Galiano), which will invite passersby, Havana residents and visitors to taste traditional dishes, such as pasta, children's games and live music. The event will include multiple cultural actions, such as the launching of the second anthology about Italian poets; the opening of photo exhibit that will connect Havana with Italy; and the Italian film showcase about moviemakers Gillo Pontecorvo and Valerio Zurlini in the Multipurpose Infanta Theater.

The week is expected to close with the performances of Sicilian jazz player Mario Biondi and his quintet, accompanied by Cuba’s César López, at the Martí Theater and at the Cuban Art Factory, on November 22 and 23, respectively. The initiative is aimed at increasing the ties of friendship between the two countries with a fruitful cooperation in the field of culture for several decades.

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Italian tour operators hosted by Cuban Ambassador

H.E. Jose Carlo Rodriguez Ruiz, Cuban Ambassador to the Italian Republic, hosted a delegation of Italian tour operators. This delegation represented Cuba operators and the country’s largest hotel chains. He hosted the event in his Roman residence at the peak of a roadshow. Meetings were scheduled in Salerno Foggia Pescara and Rome cities.

In the short welcome speech to a large audience of travel agents, the Ambassador highlighted the attractions of Cuba. He also talked about the historical values that unite Cub with Italy. This included the architecture of some of the most famous buildings projected by Italian architects: Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi. The Italian tour operators in attendance were reminded of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana still in progress. This will end with great pomp in the coming month of November.

And the beat goes on

After all, the ambassador said, this event will be repeated in another 5 centuries!

“We have chosen to repeat this year the formula ‘Cuba presents itself’ for several reasons,” said Madelén Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez, Councilor of Tourism of the Embassy of Cuba in Italy in her speech. “First of all it is an appreciated format, recognized and effective, but above all it has allowed us to reach Italian cities normally outside the main roadshow circuits.

“The delegation of the roadshow that will culminate at the TTG Travel Experience in Rimini represents a very important meeting point with the operators of the sector and the travel agents, to whom we want to give a clear message, of optimism and confidence: Cuba is there!”

Fiesta time!

Both the Ambassador and the Councilor gave brief introductory speeches which turned into a “fiesta” with songs and dances. This was accompanied by a tasting of Cuban culinary specialties and by drawing some trips offered by the Italian tour operators.

The Fiesta Cubana will continue also in Rimini on the evening of October 10. Then it will celebrate the success of the commercial promotion put in place for a greater presence of Italian tourists in Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba
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