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President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday became the first Italian head of state to visit Vinitaly, the world's biggest international wine trade fair, now in its 44th year.
During his tour of the Verona trade fair complex, where the annual event is staged, Napolitano said "I did not come here to make speeches but to do a little tasting and bring you my best wishes".
"I also came to congratulate you all for the wealth and culture you have created, because wine is culture. By doing this you have helped to make Italy great and together we can work to see our country grow," he added.
Napolitano was met on his arrival by Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia, who is about to step down following his election as governor of the northeast Veneto region, Verona Trade Fair President Ettore Riello, wine industrialist Gianni Zonin and local government officials Vinitaly opened its doors on Thursday and showcases not only wine but also the best in quality olive oil, the latest winemaking technology and a vast array of Italian culinary delights.
Some 4,200 exhibitors from all over the world are taking part in the event which is expected to attract over 150,000 producers, importers, distributors, caterers, restaurant operators, sector experts, opinion leaders and accredited journalists from around 50 countries.
by S. C.
10 april 2010, World News > Italy