The celebratory cocktail event was held in the hall at St Brigid’s precinct, in Fitzroy North.

Special guests included representatives of Comites Victoria and Tasmania and the Consulate General of Italy in Melbourne.

Others in attendance included members of Italian clubs and associations, media representatives and public figures.

Introduced by Comites treasurer Ubaldo Aglianò, the Consul General of Italy in Melbourne, Pierluigi Trombetta, made a compelling speech which involved all of those present.

Opening with a football reference, Mr Trombetta mentioned the respect that the entire Italian population has for the nation’s emigrants.

He went on to proudly highlight the contributions that Italian migrants have made to the Australian community, as well as in other nations across the world.

“You have truly built this city,” he told his audience.

“The skyscrapers out there aren’t made of glass, concrete and steel, but of the sweat, tears and ingenuity of Italians.

“This city, this nation, is indebted to you Italians and your commitment and courage.”

Mr Trombetta then made reference to the referendum of June 2, 1946, which gave birth to the Italian Republic, illustrating Italy’s role and importance within the global community.

He then turned his attention towards the new and future generations of Italians in Australia, saying that they are fortunate to enjoy what their predecessors have provided for them.

“These young people are the future of our community, but being the future doesn’t mean being the same as the past,” he said to former generations.

“We can’t expect that the youth today love what you loved, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t love Italy like you did. Maybe they just love it in a different way.”

Mr Trombetta concluded his speech by thanking the community, adding that its members have made a name for Italy in Australia.

Comites president Francesco Pascalis then said a few words, followed by the event’s organisers who proposed a toast to both Italy and President Sergio Mattarella, and Australia and Queen Elizabeth II.

What followed was an evening of fun and frivolity!