In the unique setting of Gardens by the Bay illuminated with the colors of Italy, thousands of visitors won over by the Pizzica and the Trulli.

The Orchestra of the Notte della Taranta, official ambassador of the pizzica in the world, among ancestral songs and overwhelming Salento dances, gave the Singaporean audience a fascinating sonic journey into the romantic and welcoming Puglia, in an all-Apulian setting among Trulli, traditional ceramics and typical products.
"Rose Romance," the grand event held from today until July 16 in the iconic Gardens by the Bay, symbols of the City-State, was inaugurated on Republic Day, in the presence of Minister Indranee Rajah, Italian Ambassador to Singapore Mario Andrea Vattani, Vice President of the Puglia Region Raffaele Piemontese, representatives of the Italian community, international diplomacy and local authorities. This is the flagship event of the Italian Festival, promoted by the Embassy of Italy and organized in collaboration with Pugliapromozione.

"It is an honor for the Region of Puglia to be present in Singapore on the occasion of the Republic Day celebrations with a leading role," says Vice President Raffaele Piemontese, "Being here opens up prospects for international relations with this very interesting area of the world. The atmosphere in Gardens by the Bay is all Apulian, with the trulli of Alberobello, our ceramics, the overwhelming warmth of the Notte della Taranta, the tasting of typical products, the images of the territory from Gargano to Leuca, thanks also to the collaboration of Pugliapromozione. 300 thousand people are expected at this event, this makes us understand what opportunities can be opened to promote our land, our companies, the excellence of products and services made in Puglia. I thank Ambassador Vattani for such a prestigious institutional collaboration."

"Today is our national holiday and here in Singapore we celebrate it with Puglia, with the trulli and with Singaporeans," says Ambassador Vattani. "Singapore is not only a City-State of 6 million inhabitants, a smart city known worldwide for its technology. Here we are inside a greenhouse that reproduces not only the climate of the tropics but also our Mediterranean. And right here we are visited not only by Singaporeans and tourists visiting this region, which is currently experiencing the greatest global growth: 15 million people arrive every year to visit these beautiful greenhouses that we have peacefully occupied with trulli and all the explanatory panels about what Puglia is and how to get there. For all this we are truly grateful to the Puglia Region and Pugliapromozione because they have been able to grasp where you need to be at this time in the world, when all of tourism is starting to take off again; and especially to introduce one of the most beautiful regions of Italy to tourists from this area of the world."

"The big event on June 2 in Singapore opens the new strategy for promoting Puglia in Southeast Asia," says Tourism Councillor Gianfranco Lopane. Our sights are set on Italian Cuisine Week to be held in Tokyo in November and then in Osaka in the fall at TEJ, Japan's National Tourism Fair, and finally Expo Osaka 2025. We are working to revive the strong international interest in the luxury segment, in tourism products related to art, Apulian food and wine and the offerings of our masserias, which until 2019 had led to a steady growth in tourist flows from Southeast Asia and Japan and an increasingly strong awareness of the regional cultural heritage. Suffice it to say that between 2018 and 2019 the increase that Puglia recorded from Southeast Asia was +37 percent for arrivals and presences, while tourist flows from Japan were increasing in the order of +2 percent annually."

According to Pugliapromozione's data, long haul, long-haul air traffic has resumed since 2021 for the United States, while for Japan and other Southeast Asian countries only starting in the fall of 2022, along with the disappearance of Covid-related restrictions that have severely affected extra-regional travel by Asian audiences.

"A strong rebound, already underway, of flows from Asian countries, especially from Southeast Asia and the Far East, is expected - says Francesco Muciaccia in charge of Non-EU Markets Pugliapromozione - to the benefit of European destinations, including Italy itself, which is going to be among the most sought-after destinations. Investing in the promotion on these markets, means encouraging the seasonal adjustment of flows, one of the main objectives of the Strategic Tourism Plan: specifically, then, it should be remembered that Singapore is a market characterized by a high-spirited public and a sophisticated cultural profile, a real window on Asia and the whole world because of the many expats from 5 continents who work in the City-State."

The Notte della Taranta Orchestra will perform in Singapore until June 4, with singer Consuelo Alfieri, musicians Gianluca Longo - mandola, Giuseppe Astore - violin, Nico Berardi - woodwinds, Carlo De Pascali and Gioele Nuzzo - tambourine, and dancers Serena Pellegrino, Mihaela Coluccia, Stefano Campagna and Mattia Politi.

"Our goal," says Foundation President Massimo Manera present in Singapore together with Board member Graziano Vantaggiato, "is to promote the cultural excellence of our region in sectors ranging from those best known to the Singaporean public - culture, fashion, food and wine - to those of technology, energy and scientific research. A better understanding of Puglia's cultural potential will support the growth of tourism presence in our region."

The rose in folk music is a symbol of woman but also of purity and youth. Among the most beautiful folk verses are those sung by Niceta Petrachi known as "La Simpatichina": "I loved you like a rose, like a rose the kindest, and like a flower that in April passes the time and goes."