Oronzo Cilli from the Italian Tolkien Society writes:

The Italian Tolkien Society is organizing a series of events aimed at arousing italian fans’ interest as well as foregneirs’one all over the world. On 24th of april, the ambassador of New Zealand in Italy, Peter Bennett, met in Rome the President of the Italian Tolkien Society, Paolo Paron, together with the ITS Manager of Foreign Relations Oronzo Cilli, and the Cultural Executive of the Embassy of New Zealand, Angela Giovanardi. This meeting gave birth to some important initiatives.

‘The Embassy of New Zealand will back any suggestion by the Italian Tolkien Society about the promotion of Tolkien and New Zealand’, said Bennett. The most attractive among these initiatives is the planning of a two weeks journey in New Zealand at low prices on february 2004, with the collaboration of the travel agency ‘Nuova Zelanda Viaggi’ of Rome. For the trip, the ITS is trying to get the support of several italian institutions. The departure is scheduled from Rome, with stops in some other european countries in order to enable foreign Tolkien fans as well to join our journey. The package will include the return flight, board and lodging, as well as guided tours to LOTR sets.

Besides, the Embassy of N.Z. in Italy will sustain some it’s initiatives, such as ‘Verso la Contea’ in Trani and the 10th ‘Hobbiton’ in Udine and both of them will be honoured by the presence of the Ambassador. Cultural exchanges will be also possible between New Zealand and italian young people as well as a twinning with the New Zealand Tolkien Society.

Moreover, the Italian Tolkien Society is organizing an outstanding exhibition for 2004 in Brussels, for the fiftieth anniversary of the publishing of the two first books of LOTR, in collaboration with the english Tolkien Society and with the involvement of the other european Tolkien Societies. An entire week will be devoted exclusively to the great english writer, hoping that one of Tolkien¹s sons will join some of the scheduled initiatives. The event will be introduced at the European Parliament of Brussels, as occurred this year in march for the celebration ‘Verso la Contea’.

For further information about these initiatives and to join the trip, please contact the promoter Oronzo Cilli at his mail address: tolkien@email.it