Back row from left: Vivian Treves, Jenifer Mangione Vogt and Dr. Ilaria Serra. Front row: Sally Valenti, Giuseppe Battiston and Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg.

Back row from left: Vivian Treves, Jenifer Mangione Vogt and Dr. Ilaria Serra. Front row: Sally Valenti, Giuseppe Battiston and Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg.

The Italian actor Giuseppe Battiston, who is most well-known for his role as the bumbling and adorable detective in Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips), visited Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton for a week for the 2016 edition of the Pat Valenti Italian Cinema Series.  The series was created by Sally Valenti and her family to honor Sally’s late-husband Pat, who was a cherished member also of the Il Circolo family, after board member Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg and her colleague Dr. Ilaria Serra, expressed a desire to promote the treasures of Italian film in South Florida.

Mr. Battiston spent time with students in the Italian program at FAU, including leading an engaging workshop on Italian Theatre.  He also introduced one of his recent films, which was screened during his visit, Il Mio Nipote e Scemo (My Nephew the Idiot). Mr. Battiston is quite well-known in Italy and has appeared in numerous films that are considered classics of Italian cinema, including Roberto Benigni’s La Tigre e La Neve (The Tiger and The Snow) and Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds) with one of the most famous contemporary Italian actresses, Margherita Buy.

Il Circolo hosted a small, private dinner with the actor and Mrs. Valenti during which he shared stories about his life in the Italian film industry.  Everyone that met him was impressed by his warmth and humility. We were all delighted to learn a few weeks after he departed that his most recent film, currently in theatres in Italy and called Perfetti Sconosciuti (Total Strangers), won Italy’s equivalent of the Oscar for Best Film, the 2016 David di Donatello Award.