On February 10 and 11, Ambassador Jill Morris was in the capital of the North-Western Italian region -Liguria- for the second regional meeting planned for 2020. With these meetings, the diplomatic mission plans to expand the network of contacts and collaboration across Italy.
The UK has a historical attachment to the region of Liguria: the “Gulf of Poets” hosted renowned poets such as Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley, and writers such as DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.
Genoa was an essential transit stop in the time of the Grand Tour, which was so dear to the Anglo-Saxons. So much so, that authors like Joseph Conrad and Charles Dickens discussed it in their works.
Moreover, it was an Englishman who 125 years ago founded the Genoa Cricket and Football Club, the current football team of the city. The passion is certainly mutual, as the “Festival della Scienza” (Festival of Science) organised in Genoa, decided to have the UK as a guest country in 2020.
During her visit ambassador Morris met Genoa local authorities, academics and university students.
On January 10th she met the Prefect of police, Carmen Perrotta, and then visited Genoa University. At the university she discussed the strengthening of the ties between Italian and British universities with the Dean, Paolo Comanducci.
Afterwards, the ambassador talked to the students about the “Partnership between Italy and the UK in the fight against climate change” in the run up to COP 26 that will be hosted in Glasgow in November 2020.
Later the same day the ambassador met “Il Secolo XIX” Director Luca Ubaldeschi and then was given a guided tour of the exhibit “Bansky and Hitchcock” at Palazzo Ducale. Subsequently, there was a meeting with British citizens living in the Liguria region.
In the evening, the ambassador met Genoa mayor Marco Bucci. Later she hosted an event at “Loggiato di Palazzo Doria Tursi” to which representatives of the local institutions, businesses, and the academic world were invited, and even Liguria regional governor, Giovanni Toti, attended.
The two-day tour continued on 11 Feb with the meeting with Mr. Roberto Andolfi, President of Ansaldo, a corporation that boasts an excellent relationship with the United Kingdom.
This is thanks to both the British Embassy in Rome and the British Consulate in Milan that favoured Ansaldo investments in the UK. Ansaldo was then able to create Ansaldo Nuclear Ltd (ANL) in Wolverhampton, which has a major role in the civil nuclear industry in the UK and in the nuclear submarine programme.
The day continued with the “Italy-United Kingdom dialogue on the regeneration of urban areas through green and blue economy”, which ambassador Morris moderated.
The conference was organised by the British Embassy in Rome and by the DIT Italy in Milan (Department for International trade). During the event, organised with the Municipality of Genoa, British and Italian speakers compared the experience of the capital of Liguria region and that of the main port cities in the United Kingdom. They highlighted models to follow and best practices that might lead to new opportunities for cooperation.
The tour ended with the visit to the Rolls Royce plants in La Spezia.
Thanks to cooperation with the DIT, Rolls Royce opened the “Yacht Competence Centre” (YCC) and the “Yacht Customer Care Centre” (Y-CCC) in the North-Western region of Liguria in October 2019. With its famous MTU brand, Rolls Royce plans to expand in the yacht business, and to bring the company closer to its customers. The ambassador was a guest of the President of Rolls Royce for Europe and Northern Africa.