NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(WASHINGTON, DC – May 22, 2006) Forty-five Italian American students have been awarded travel to Italy’s region of Tuscany from May 31 through June 10, 2006 to participate in The Gift of Discovery, an educational and cultural program sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF).

The Foundation’s all-expenses-paid program will increase the participants’ understanding of Italy and their Italian heritage. More than 600 Italian American college students between the ages of 18 and 23 applied to the Foundation’s Gift of Discovery program.

Now in its sixth year, the 10-day Gift of Discovery program includes a bike trip around the ancient walled city of Lucca; a tour of the marble quarries of Massa Carrara, where Michelangelo chose his marble to sculpt “David,”; a tour of the Pistoian countryside with an excursion to several olive oil mills; and a stop-over to the famed thermal springs in Montecatini. The trip includes a visit to an Arezzo art restoration laboratory and outings to fashion companies and wine factories. Students will enjoy cooking lessons at La Scuola Albergiera di Pistoia where they will learn how to make handmade pasta and pizza. Participants will also visit Florence and Pisa.

The package, which includes round-trip airfare between the U.S. and Italy, accommodations, meals, escorted tours, and transfers, is valued at more than $ 2,000 and financed by NIAF.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Americans of Italian descent. Visit our Web site at

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