The Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, visited the Long Room in College’s 18th century Old Library building, accompanied by College Registrar Professor Paula Murphy and College Librarian and Archivist Helen Shenton. He was also shown the Book of Kells.
Professor Murphy welcomed the Italian President, noting that College has a “long history of Italian studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for the last 240 years and has played host to thousands of Italian students. We are especially honoured by this visit which goes to strengthen our relations further with Italy.”
Mattarella viewed the Library’s collection of Italian books and manuscripts, including works of Ariosto, Virgil, Plutarch, and most notably 15th and 16th century editions of Dante’s La Divina Commedia. As a student of Italian and French, Samuel Beckett’s notes on Dante in preparation for an Italian examination in 1926 were shown to the Italian President.
18th century maps of Italy and Sicily from the Dutch Fagel collection were displayed for the presidential visit. Mattarella is the first Sicilian to hold the office of Italian president.
Concluding his visit to Trinity, the Italian President met with Italian students in Trinity and academic staff of the Italian Department.
Mattarella is conducting a two-day state visit to Ireland. He received a Civil Reception yesterday in the Mansion House after visiting Áras an Uachtaráin. In his speech at the Mansion House, the Italian President emphasised the importance of cultural bonds between European countries. “Italy and Ireland have an age-old friendship,” said Mattarella. “Our cultural bonds are very strong.” He added that “Italy always looks forward to facing Ireland when it comes to rugby, because we always have a lot to learn.”
In 2017, President Mattarella bestowed knighthood on Professor Stefano Sanvito, Director of the CRANN Institute and Principal Investigator in Trinity’s School of Physics and the Science Foundation Ireland funded centre Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER). The title was awarded to Sanvito in the Provost’s House by the Ambassador of Italy to Ireland.