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An Italian sinologist's love for Rui'an

ALMS|Updated: April 11, 2022


Bonino Gabriella's book Rui'an Intangible Cultural Heritage was published in Italy a few months ago. [Photo/]

Bonino Gabriella, who goes by the Chinese name Tang Yun, is an Italian sinologist who has been working as a professor at the Wenzhou Business College in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, since 2017.

Though the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Wenzhou in early 2020 has forced Gabriella to press the pause button on her educational cause, she managed to shift her focus to a vacation to Rui'an, a county-level city administered by Wenzhou, where she spent 630 days touring the city, visiting over 60 inheritors of local intangible cultural heritage items and writing the Rui'an Intangible Cultural Heritage, a book of over 100,000 Italian words.

"Though some inheritors lived in remote areas and translating from the Rui'an dialect to Italian proved difficult, I enjoyed the process of learning and narrating," Gabriella said.

With the book finally coming off the press a few months ago, Gabriella said she was glad to see Rui'an culture becoming more accessible to her compatriots.

"Wenzhou and Turin are international sister cities, and many Rui'an people live and work in Italy. I want to write a book to introduce Rui'an culture to my hometown and promote Sino-Italian cultural connections," Gabriella said.

Gabriella first came to China in 1987 to further her studies due to her love for Chinese culture and art. Over the past 34 years, she has visited many parts of China, as well as Central and Western Asia, to learn about the history and culture, as well as the economic and social development of cities along the Silk Road.

Rui'an has among the largest populations of overseas Chinese in China, with more than 160,000 locals currently living in over 100 countries and regions, of which 50,000 are in Italy.

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