36.000-member Facebook group ‘Friends of Iceland’ finally meets in person since COVID-19

The 36.000 member Facebook group, ‘Friends of Iceland’, has finally reunited in person since the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel. The event, which took place in Bologna, Italy, brought together fans of Iceland to discuss their love and enthusiasm for the country.

Organizer and Founder Maurizio Amato has previously arranged events in Italy and Reykjavík, but these events had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. On 16th October 2022, the hiatus was over with an event-rich day in Bologna.

The event’s schedule included a Q&A held by four experienced geologists and Iceland experts, a talk by Olga Clausen, Consul of Iceland in Milan, as well as a presentation of the new book “La Gabbia Divina” by the Icelandic writer and philosopher, Kristján Hreinsson.

The venue also contained three installations for attendees to explore. The first was home to a stunning and emotionally impactful photo exhibition; the second hosted some typical sweaters made in Icelandic wool; and the third welcomed whoever was willing to taste a well-known gin born and produced in Reykjavík by an Italian-Icelandic company.

Maurizio Amato explains about the group, “The group was first established with the idea of promoting the island by acquainting as many people as possible with the country’s key characteristics: from history to geology, culture, and tradition, and so on. We believe that by doing this, we contribute to generating interest in potential travelers and encourage them to visit such a wonderful land. Also, the group has no economic purpose, with its sole goal being bridging people that are, in fact, already connected by the same great, genuine passion.”