On February 16 the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum was visited by Former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and Italian Consul General Francesco Maria Talo. Attending the event were officials of many Italian-America organizations including Order Sons of Italy in America, National Organization of Italian-American Women, the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the Garibaldi Guard and Casa Belvedere, as well as journalists and reporters from the international Italian press. During the visit, Professor Amato addressed students of La Scuola d’Italia and placed a wreath on the monument ofAntonio Meucci in front of the museum where Meucci’s ashes are buried. The visit was one of many special events that will take place this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
It was Giuseppe Garibaldi who, more than any other person, was responsible for the Italy we know today. As one of the leaders of the Risorgimento movement, Garibaldi’s participation in a revolution in Italy in the 1830s led to his exile in South America. There he took up the cause of rebels in Brazil, and formed the legendary Italian Red Shirts defending Uruguay against Argentina. Returning to Italy in 1848, his unsuccessful defense of the Roman Republic again resulted in his exile in 1850, this time to New York. There he was offered refuge by fellow-expatriate Antonio Meucci, the true inventor of the telephone, in his home on Staten Island. Though Garibaldi’s stay in Meucci’s home was brief, the men remained lifelong friends. Garibaldi returned to Italy in 1854, and in 1860, with one thousand men, he liberated Sicily. That victory led to the declaration of the Kingdom on Italy on March 17, 1861, which is being celebrated throughout Italy this year.
Professor Amato is President of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy Committee, and Vice President of the Convention of the Future of Europe. He twice served as Prime Minister of Italy and was elected to the Senate, representing Tuscany. Currently a Global Law Professor at the NYU Law Schooland part time Professor at the EUI in Florence, Professor Amato is also Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is owned and operated by the Order Sons of Italy in America.