The Institute of Culture of Caracas is the cultural office of the Embassy of Italy in Venezuela and, to all intents and purposes, branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It was founded in 1952 with the aim of promoting and improving awareness of the Italian language and culture. Over the years, it has become an important centre of cultural and academic initiatives, school of Italian language and culture and a space for art exhibitions. Its extensive library is a source of consultation for students and prestigious local institutions.
Specifically, the Italian Cultural Institute of Caracas offers the following services to the public:
- Courses in Italian language and culture in the building located in one of the city’s most beautiful and prestigious districts
- two annual sessions of exams for the Certificate of Italian Language (CELI) of the University for Foreigners of Perugia certifying proficiency in Italian as a foreign language
- a library open to students for the consultation and loan of Italian books, CDs, magazines, journals and newspapers
- information and documentation on Italian culture
- promotion of initiatives, cultural events and exhibitions
- support of initiatives for the cultural development of the Italian communities in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, aimed at promoting both their integration in the host country and the cultural relationship with the homeland
- support Italian and foreign students in applications for study grants offered by the Italian Government
According to its purposes, the Institute: organizes and promotes cultural events, such as exhibitions, film festivals, concerts, conferences, theatre and dance performances; promotes the participation of Italian artists in the main art events in Venezuela; ensures the presence of authors, publishers and books in international book fairs; promotes and develops inter-university relations and the cooperation of education systems.
For musical, theatrical, cinematographic and for all major events, the Institute works in collaboration with local and European educational and cultural institutions, such as the Universidad Central de Venezuela, the Universidad Monteavila, the Universidad Católica Andres Bello, the Delegation of the European Union in Venezuela, the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Venezuela and the Camerata de Caracas.