Valentino’s ateliers in the Eternal City could not be in greater contrast to groups of Kenyan women in an improvised workroom, creating traditional embroidery patterns inherited from Masai ancestors or the intricate crochet work handed down the female tribal chain. But these African women have been organized to create luxury products from designers such as Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood.

The Italian Foreign Minister, Guilio Terzi di Sant Agata, has emphasised the importance of using dialogue to bridge any cultural gap between the two countries. Speaking at the official reopening of the refurbished Italian Embassy in Tripoli, Terzi said that he supports strong cooperation between the two countries in a range of areas, most particularly the exchange of academics.

The name Adrian Dingli is usually associated with Sir Adrian Dingli (1817-1900), the celebrated Maltese jurist who became Chief Justice. Just as famous is his son, Major Dr Adrian Dingli.

The 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will host butteri, cowboys from Italy, who have their own unique poetry, music, gear and traditional techniques, but still have much in common with their counterparts in the American West and cattle cultures across the globe.

Jejomar Binay called for more opera diplomacy to improve and sustain friendly ties between the Philippines and Italy...."What we cannot achieve through the usual channels, I think opera might be a more viable and musical alternative," added Binay

The Chinese Culture Year, which ran from Oct. 7, 2010 to Jan. 14, was a very important cultural exchange event in the time since the two countries established ties more than 40 years ago, the Chinese ambassador to Italy said. "The event has a profound impact on the Italian people and laid a solid foundation for the healthy development of bilateral ties."

Some analysts see the strings of visits as a battle for influence in the region, a rivalry between those countries to exert soft power in the post-war country. "Strategically speaking, France is competing with Turkey. Both countries consider this region as a natural influence zone," Dorothee Shmid, a researcher at the Paris-based think-tank IFRI told Xinhua.