To commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and Malta, Italian Ambassador Giovanni Umberto De Vito launched a publication entitled Villa Bel Air: The Residence of the Ambassador of Italy to Malta at the Italian Cultural Institute, Valletta.
To mark the occasion, Joseph Cassar, Malta’s former ambassador to Italy, and Giovanni Bonello, former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, offered their personal insights.
The publication is a tribute to the special relationship between Italy and Malta. It traces the history of the villa, which was home to all the Italian ambassadors and served as the Italian diplomatic chancellery for almost a decade during the significant period when Malta was striving to assert itself as an independent nation.
It was on December 1, 1964, that the first Italian ambassador presented his credentials to the governor general, Sir Maurice Dorman.
Italy was the first country to establish a diplomatic mission in Malta and the first to appoint a resident ambassador after Malta achieved independence and became a full member of the UN.
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