Last week, on November 8th from 2 to 6 PM, after months of planning, the ICBIE presented a high-profile cultural event at the historic São Marcelo fort, perched above the port of Salvador. Celebrating the five-hundredth anniversary of the first use of the word “America” (not the “Indies”) to describe the New World, the Exhibition-Conference marked the first formal collaboration between the ICBIE and the Italian Institute of Culture of Rio de Janeiro, besides involving important people from the Italian Embassy in Brasilia. By placing a spotlight on Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered Salvador and the All Saints’ Bay, the event served to underline the integral rapport that has always linked Italy and Brazil, nurturing the artistic and social development of Brazilian culture.
The conference consisted of speeches by esteemed scholars and historians. Riccardo Fontana, an Italian professor residing in Brasilia, presented a paper entitled Brazil: the America of Amerigo Vespucci; Marli Geralda Teixeira, a professor at the University of São Paulo, offered The Brazilian Lands Seen by Amerigo Vespucci; and Andrea Lombardi, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro spoke on the subject America: a Literary Interpretation.
This event permitted the ICBIE to collaborate with many of the protagonists of Brazilian cultural life. The impressive list includes the City of Salvador, the national tourist agency Emtursa, the Federal University of Bahia, the Italian Embassy in Brasilia, the Italian Consulate in Salvador, and the Geographic and Historical Institute of Bahia.
After a very pertinent question from our faithful reader Mary, I’m adding a photo of the São Marcello fort, which has protected Salvador’s port for five hundred years. It is said to be modeled on the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome!
(foto by S. Amaral)