25 diplomats from U.S. Embassies stop by Federal Hill for lunch - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

25 diplomats from U.S. Embassies stop by Federal Hill for lunch

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By Chris Sheppard

csheppard@abc6.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/abc6news

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - U.S. Diplomats from countries around the world got a chance to sample the fine cuisine of Federal Hill Sunday, when their bus stopped for lunch in Providence.

The State Department said the embassy workers were on their way to Worcester, Mass. for a training session. They stepped off the bus at DePasquale Square around 11:30 a.m. "We actually were a lot earlier than expected, which worked out very nicely," said Royce Anderson, executive director for the International Center of Worcester. "The Federal Hill Association were wonderful, very hospitable."

The 24 diplomats split off into groups and sampled cuisine from many of Federal Hill's iconic restaurants, including Oyster House and Venda Ravioli, amongst others. Anderson said during their time on Federal Hill, Rhode Islanders got a chance to ask embassy workers about life in other countries, and how it compares to Rhode Island.

ABC6 News caught up with U.S. Embassy official Paola Derzoli, who works in the U.S. embassy in Italy. She compared DePasquale Square on Federal Hill to some of the sights she sees in Rome. "I like this place very much," DePasquale said. "It looks so much like little Italy, with all the little shops."

"I know that many Italians came here, so it's very moving for me to be here. The air here is a little chillier than in Italy, but the sun is the same."

Many of the diplomats are public affairs officers in their host countries. At a consulate, the public affairs department handles issues pertaining to the local population, media, and education.

Overall, the diplomats were all smiles when it came to Rhode Island's Federal Hill. "It's quite similar," said Algerian U.S. Consulate worker Hichem Melaksou. He said Federal Hill reminds him of parts of the country where he works.

The diplomats departed Federal Hill Sunday afternoon for Worcester, where they will receive training before they return to their host countries.

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