di Davide Marchetta
(By Kate Carlisle) Rome, May 8 - A woman handling a ruby-red tomato as gently as a newborn, the Sicilian sky reflected in crystalline waters, the triumphant expressions of restoration artists as they admire a Giotto cross sparkling like new - these moments captured on film are part of a photographic journey capturing the beauty of Italy from top to bottom, on show in the United States for the 2013 Year of Italian Culture. Starting with a stint running May 11-25 in the Italian Embassy in Washington DC, the double-venue show organized by ANSA, Tour Around Italy, will also be shown in New York. "It is a show that fully reflects the spirit of Italian culture - a tour, a trip, to allow Americans to discover Italy," Italian Ambassador to the United States Claudio Bisogniero told ANSA. The exhibit was conceived to help visitors "appreciate not only our extraordinary artistic tradition, but also the Italy of science and innovation," Bisogniero said. While the selection of over 100 shots by ANSA photographers taken over the years was crafted to speak to all, organizers paid special attention to Italian Americans and their heightened sensibility to intricate details layered in each shot. The illustrated trip across the peninsula is divided into six thematic sections: arts and culture, style fashion and design, food and wine, science and hi-tech, green and energy, and travel and leisure, with thoughtful testimonials accompanying the images. Not only will the country known for its superb cuisine and fashion sense be presented, but shots from the news agency's highly experienced photoreporters will also spotlight Italy's tech-savvy and industry-driven side. "While creative and artistic Italy still holds a hegemonic position in the public's eye, when it comes to design, small-medium enterprise enjoys undisputed leadership," Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas said. Depictions of Italy on course towards a future promoting growth through innovative systems and especially products that are lesser-known abroad were chosen to give visitors an insight different from the usual historical and artistic circuits. A young and fierce generation of designers, engineers and trend-setters that represent the best of "Made in Italy" are depicted in photos like that of a child robot and his proverbial maker and glimmering rows of photovoltaic panels. "From the time of ancient Rome, Italy has traced the path as a teacher of art and culture and with its Renaissance view has shown the development of modern progress," Piedmont contemporary artist Michelangelo Pistoletto said. The second exhibition in the Tour Around Italy show will be held in the Italian institute for foreign trade (ICE) headquarters in New York, opening May 14 and running until June 2. "This exhibit is a vehicle for the promotion of the country, 'Made in Italy' and Italian culture abroad," ICE President Riccardo Monti said. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Embassy in the United States, as well as Milan Expo 2015. Partners in the initiative are ICE, car makers Fiat, national tourism agency ENIT, joint-venture financer Simest, the Egyptian Museum of Turin, Venaria Reale, the Regions Calabria, Campania and Piedmont, the Municipality of Matera, the City of Spoleto, chambers of commerce association Unioncamere Piemonte, the Centre for Foreign International Affairs, Universities Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Conte Collalto winemaking estates, Saras energy producers and Tiscali telecommunications providers. "The exhibition is not a 'holograph' of Italy. Photos on display show Americans a different country, less known and less obvious," ANSA Chairman Giulio Anselmi said. The exhibition can also be visited virtually by iPad with a free Apple Store application, to be released in the coming days.