ATHENS – President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Saturday paid a visit to the Greek-speaking villages of Apulia, in the Salento region of southern Italy, at the invitation of the president of the Union of Communities of Grecia Salentina Roberto Casaluci, in order to attend festivities marking the 20th anniversary since the Union’s foundation.
The Greek president, accompanied by Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni, met with a warm reception from the residents of Apulia, who greeted her with songs in the local Griko dialect and traditional dances. She highlighted the Greek roots of the local residents and their “brotherly bonds” with Greece.
She visited the villages Castrignano dei Greci, Carpignano Salentino, Melpignano, Zollino. Her tour will also take in the villages of Calimera, Martignano and Sternatia.
During her visit to Calimera, President Sakellaropoulou will be declared an honorary citizen of Grecia Salentina.
Upon her arrival in Brindisi on Friday, Sakellaropoulou spoke on the telephone with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, expressing her thanks for the hospitality extended to her and stressing how deeply moved she was to be visiting the Greek-speaking villages of Apulia.