Successful Elcano Event in Angera Highlights Spanish Exploration

Elcano Magallanes Conference

The Angera City Hall played host to a remarkable event that celebrated the spirit of Spanish exploration. The event “Embracing the world. 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the Globe”, which took place last September 21, was a resounding success, drawing around 90 enthusiastic attendees. The event, primarily conducted in Spanish, showcased a fascinating journey through history, commemorating the remarkable expedition led by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan and completed by Juan Sebastián de Elcano in the early 16th century.

One of the highlights of the evening was the vibrant atmosphere in the packed venue. Attendees filled the room, reflecting the keen interest in the subject matter and the dedication of those involved in organizing the event. Guests could taste a small but delightful assortment of Spanish delicacies, enhancing the overall experience. In addition to the culinary delights, eight panels with informative text and captivating images were on display, providing insights into the historic journey and its significance. These panels are now in the capable hands of Spanish professor Cristina López Reboso from the European School of Varese. She is in the process of preparing a unique theatre activity related to the same theme, scheduled for October 12th, ensuring that the legacy of this exploration lives on through the arts.

The evening began with the screening of a video from UNED, immersing the audience in the world of the Magellan-Elcano expedition from the outset. Following this captivating introduction, the Mayor of Angera, Dott.ssa Marcella Androni, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. The Councilor for Culture, Archit. Giacomo Baranzini, expressed gratitude for the initiative of the Spanish Semester at CCI-Ispra, emphasizing the event’s significance within Angera’s cultural calendar.

Miguel-Ángel Serra, one of the key organizers, conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the support from his fellow colleagues in the Spanish Semester Organizing Committee, both from JRC and the European School, as well as the Institute Cervantes. He also introduced the historical significance of the commemoration.

The event’s program included a captivating talk by the esteemed writer Tony Gratacós. Gratacós delved into the challenges and historical context surrounding the epic voyage, highlighting how various historical, political, social, and economic obstacles played a role in shaping the journey’s preparation, execution, and outcomes. He also highlighted the important role of historians, such as Pietro Martire di Angera, who collected the data of the expedition members and wrote the chronicle for the king.

Captain José Ramón Vallespín added to the intrigue of the evening by offering a detailed exploration of the nautical aspects of the expedition. He emphasized the importance of maps and winds in navigating uncharted waters and provided insights into the life on board during the voyage. Vallespín also shed light on the roles played by key figures such as Magellan, Elcano, and Gómez de Espinosa.

The event concluded with an engaging Q&A session, with over a dozen interventions from the audience, further emphasizing the depth of interest and curiosity surrounding this historical exploration. In response to public demand, you can find the UNED videos below and the link to Tony’s book, which he graciously signed for his readers present at the event, was made available.

The event in Angera was a testament to the enduring fascination with exploration and discovery. It served as a reminder of the indomitable human spirit that has driven adventurers throughout history to explore the unknown and push the boundaries of human knowledge. As the evening concluded, attendees left with a deeper appreciation for the historical significance of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, as well as a sense of connection to the rich tapestry of exploration that continues to inspire us today.

  • UNED: “La armada española de la Especiería”
  • UNED: El gran viaje de Magallanes y Elcano
  • RTVE: La gesta de los pioneros

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