Haikou presents a taste of Italy

HAIKOU, China: Delicious Italian cuisine, soulful Italian melodies and exquisite Italian fashion… The Italy Day event held on Friday in Haikou, capital of south China’s Hainan province, offered an authentic Italian ambiance that enchanted both locals and tourists.

Chef Alessandro Galimberti, who owns an Italian restaurant in Haikou’s famous Italian-themed market, had a very busy day preparing delectable Italian sausage sandwiches for customers.

BUSINESS AND CULTURE This aerial photo taken on Aug. 19, 2022 shows a night view of Haikou, south China’s Hainan Province. The Italy Day event held on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Haikou, offered an authentic Italian ambiance that enchanted both locals and tourists. XINHUA PHOTO

BUSINESS AND CULTURE This aerial photo taken on Aug. 19, 2022 shows a night view of Haikou, south China’s Hainan Province. The Italy Day event held on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Haikou, offered an authentic Italian ambiance that enchanted both locals and tourists. XINHUA PHOTO

“Sausage sandwich is popular fast food in Italy,” he said, noting that the market offers an excellent opportunity to promote not only his restaurant and cuisine but also other authentic Italian products.

“This is one way that people can taste and see what Italy can offer the world,” he said. “Italy has a lot of famous products from wine to food, clothes and cars, and more Chinese will be interested in Italy through this event.”

“We love China and want to promote the relationship between China and Italy. We hope in the future we can have more such events, and the two countries can have a closer relationship,” Galimberti said.

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Local resident, Qing Zi, was visibly delighted to taste Italian wine and food at the market. “The market presents Italian delicacies and the most representative products, which allow the locals to experience the Italian food and culture more closely,” she said, adding that it’s like a bridge to better understand each other’s cultures.

According to Qing, Italian cuisine has become increasingly popular in Haikou.

Valerio de Parolis, consul general of Italy in Guangzhou, attended Friday’s Italy Day event in Haikou. “It brings me always an immense joy to be here in Haikou that I visited in the last six months three times,” the diplomat said, speaking at the opening ceremony of the event.

He noted that Italy attaches great importance to the exchanges and cooperation with Hainan, which shares a lot with Italy in many aspects like long coastlines and beautiful climate.

The consul general said he hopes to see deepened exchanges and cooperation between Italy and Haikou as well as Hainan, in general, in economy, trade, culture and art through important platforms like the China International Consumer Products Expo.

“I’m confident that the resurgence of international tourism since the beginning of this year would fortify the social, cultural and economic exchanges between Italy and China,” he added.

Lu Min, vice mayor of Haikou, said hosting the Italy Day event plays a positive role in enhancing Haikou’s international atmosphere and openness, and can help promote cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between Haikou and Italy.

“We look forward to welcoming more Italian friends to visit Hainan for sightseeing, investment and business, and jointly promote cultural exchanges and business cooperation between China and Italy,” Lu added.