Friday, July 13, 2018

LM Martin Horn Meets H. E. Pietro Benassi

Yesterday afternoon, Oberbürgermeister Martin Horn met Seine Exzellenz Pietro Benassi, Italian ambassador to Germany, and Red Baron had an invitation. The reception took place at the historic Gerichtslaube (courthouse), Freiburg’s oldest townhall where in 1498 an imperial diet was held.

Flying the flags of Europe, Italy, Germany, and Freiburg
 in front of Freiburg's  Gerichtslaube
When I arrived in time I was shocked at finding only a few people. Two friends of mine, Ms. Gisela Strahlendorf, former president of Freiburg’s German-French Society, and  Professor Horst Buzello, president of the German-Italian Dante Alighieri Society, comforted me.

I had just started a conversation when the two protagonists arrived. The newly elected Lord Mayor greeted the Italian ambassador insisting on the significance of Freiburg’s Italien relations. In fact, Friburgo is so loved by Italiens that the city hosts an Italian consulate.

Horn addressing the ambassador and the "crowd"
Following his reply to Horn's speech, the Italien ambassador signed Freiburg’s Golden Book.

A smiling Martin Horn is watching Pietro Benassi writing a lengthy text

As the Italian ambassador, it is an honor to be in this beautiful city. Freiburg is a city of young people for young people. A city that respects its tradition, but at the same time is open to innovation and research!

Many thanks to Lord Mayor Horn for this invitation!

Pietro Benassi

Suddenly I felt very old.

When ambassador Benassi asked to see Pope Benedetto’s signature - the pontiff visited Freiburg in 2011 - Red Baron profited from the rare occasion shooting a photo of the page.

My offhand remark, “It's time for an Italien pope,” H. E. Benassi answered with a diplomatic smile.

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