Italy has long suffered from a string of stereotypes - of being a land of pizza makers, gesticulators and latin lovers - with apparently little else to show for itself.
Now the Italian government has come up with a new way to change its image, by boasting about its business prowess and heritage.
In less than three minutes, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development throws up eight stereotypes and knocks down each one.
“Food enthusiasts?” the video asks, showing a woman inspecting pasta. Quite right, but with good reason: “Italy exports €40 billion a year worth of goods in the food and drink industry and related technologies”.
Italians are also reputed for their passionate following of football, but according to the ministry they’re just as keen on culture. “It is the country with the greater number of [Unesco] World Heritage Sites,” don’t you know.
The image which appears from the video is of a country rich in resources, talent and business clout. Italy is a world leader in manufacturing, construction and architecture, the video declares proudly. It’s also shown to have a strong scientific community, whether it be exporting pharmaceuticals or aerospace technologies.
The video has been praised by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said the clip shows Italy as “a great producer of technological goods and the second [largest] exporter in Europe in the mechanics and automation sectors”.
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