Forty-one Irish dancing students from Italy travelled to the west of Ireland, to take part in their very own ‘Gathering’. The students – whose visit was supported by Tourism Ireland – are from the Gens d’Ys Academy of Irish Dance, which provides Irish dancing classes to around 500 people in eight different schools around Italy.
One of the highlights of the group’s time here was a visit to the world-famous Cliffs of Moher (where they enjoyed some spontaneous Irish dancing!). They also enjoyed a special evening of traditional Irish music and céilí dancing at the Clybaun Hotel in Galway.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Italy, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to support the visit of these Irish dancers from Italy, so they could experience at first-hand some of what the west of Ireland has to offer. For many of them, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our magnificent scenery, the variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
“Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in markets like Italy to highlight Ireland and The Gathering. As well as directly targeting the Diaspora, we are also engaging with Irish clubs and associations around Italy, encouraging them to promote The Gathering to their networks and to encourage members to organise their own ‘Gathering’ in Ireland this year. Our message for Italian holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”