#Together200: Florence’s US Consulate General

Anniversary initiatives now underway

Editorial Staff
May 7, 2018 - 17:23

On May 15, 1819, the first U.S. Consular Agent was appointed to Florence. His name was James Ombrosi and he was tasked under mandate from the U.S. Consulate at Livorno. Nearly 200 years on, the U.S. Mission in Italy is gearing up to celebrate this special anniversary of American diplomatic presence in Florence in 2019.


#Together200 photo challenge

The winning photo at Florence Military Cemetery by Harding_ABMC

As the first event in the lead-up to the 200th anniversary, the U.S. Consulate General Florence held a competition for students called the #Together200 Photo Challenge. Students from nine different U.S. universities participated in the contest, submitting dozens of photos highlighting their appreciation of and contributions to the communities in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and San Marino in which they live and study.

Consul General Benjamin Wohlauer explained, “American study-abroad students embody the dynamism of U.S. friendship with the people of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and San Marino that has existed for more than two centuries. These images put faces on the theme of 200 years of American partnership and service here.”

The judges for the photo contest represent the diversity of the consular district: Sandro Mencucci, CEO of ACF Fiorentina professional soccer team; Marzio Fatucchi, journalist at Corriere Fiorentino; Beatrice Fraboni, delegate for international relations at the University of Bologna; Francesco Belais, Livorno city councilman for culture; and Helen Farrell, editor in chief of The Florentine.

Consul General Wohlauer and the judges presented the award to the best photograph at a ceremony hosted at the U.S. Consulate in Florence on May 3.


One runner-up: a class situation by OU in Arezzo.


Get involved!


Beginning in 2019, the U.S. Consulate General in Florence will commemorate 200 years of U.S. diplomatic presence in Florence with a calendar of events taking place across the consular district, which comprises Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and the Republic of San Marino.

The events will highlight important aspects of our shared history and values. There are many such aspects, including the Consulate’s historical presence in the district; individuals who have contributed to strengthening U.S.-Italy bilateral bonds; and our shared experience during World War II. These commemorative events and related information will be highlighted on the Consulate’s social media platforms with the #Insieme200 (#Together200) hashtag.

But we need your help! If your organization has an idea for a 200th anniversary commemorative event or wants to get involved with the events being organized by the Consulate please let us know: [email protected].

To receive updates on the Consulate’s 200th anniversary and more, join the Consulate’s community by liking its Facebook page @USCGFlorence or following on Twitter!



Florence Memorial Day Ceremony

Ph. American Battle Monuments Commission


Every year, Americans around the world pause on the fourth Monday of May to remember all those who have fallen while serving in the U.S. military. This day of remembrance was formally known as Decoration Day, as it grew from the longstanding tradition of decorating with flags and flowers the graves of those who died in battle. These observances gained momentum in the late 1860s after a devastating Civil War in which two percent of the population died in battle, of disease or in captivity. No community survived the war years unscathed.


Today, in the United States, the day remains one of ceremony and contemplation, but also of parades, cookouts and the annual running of America’s most famous auto race, the Indianapolis 500.


In Florence, Italians and Americans come together every year at the Florence American Cemetery to pay their respects to the 4,399 men and women buried there and the 1,409 names of those still missing in action. It is a moving event that reminds all of us of the shared history and sacrifice that bind the United States and Italy together. Memorial Day is a time to remember, but also a time to look ahead and be thankful for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said in an 1884 Memorial Day speech, “Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death – of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring.”


Please join us at the annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 28 at 11am at the Florence Military Cemetery. Participation in the ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information and directions, head here.



Absentee voting

With the 2018 mid-term elections on the horizon, US citizens eager to remain engaged in the political process stateside have a number of resources at their fingertips for absentee voting. Learn more here.


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