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BRIAN KILMEADE Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld “The Games Do Count”



33rd Award Gala Vol VI /Iss XVII/08/09


Mario ExclusiveInterview Interview with b ata l i Exclusive With NATIONAL ITALIAN-AMERICAN LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Brian Kilmeade “The Games Do Count” Pg. 8-9 Life in the Troop Carrier Command Porgy and Bess Pg. 28-29



Lyric Opera Season

Editorial + Dr. Ciongoli Memorium........................1 Mario Batali Exclusive Interview............................2-3 Legendary Romans Marty Russo Congressman............................................ 4 Five Centuries of History................................................ 5 NIAF 33rd Anniversary.............................................6-7 Pg. 18 Brian Kilmeade Fox News.......................................8-9 n n i v e rs a r y 33rd Torre Cannes to the Sea.................................................12 NIAF Celtic Execs ......................................................13 Sardinia.....................................................................14-15 Awards Travel Tips John Coneena............................................16 Pg. 6-7 Italian American writers Puzzle...................................17 NATIONAL Legendary Romans.................................................18-19 RESTAURANT REVIEW Gina’s Bistro review...................................................47 Giuseppe review...........................................................20 “Louie’s List” Mario Batli Italian Grill recipe................................21 Pg.20 Abellimento + Nona Lina’s Kitchen..........................22 2008 national Nona Lina’s recipe.........................................................23 restaurant guide Comites + Officio del Sindaco....................................24 Basilico Restaurant Review......................................25 Tutta Pasta Review New Jersey..............................27 Pg. 45-46 Life in Troop Carrier............................................28-29 Dr. Isadore Health tips...................................................30 Taylor Street .............................................................34-35 Oakley Ave......................................................................36 Pg.13 1950 World Cup + Dominic Gentile....................38-39 Ringside Report by Chuck Giampa... 40-41 Pg. 16 Sicily Marble Partnership ...........................42 T r a v e l T i p s Gershwin Porgy & Bess by John Rizzo JOHN CONEENA 43 Benetton ....................................................................44 Amici Journal Coming Soon ! Exclusive Cover story interview with Deana Martin Pg. 43

Memoriable Holiday.........10

Deana Martin



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Copyright © 2003AMICI JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 Founders; Terry N. Geraci; Andrew Guzaldo; Salvatore Terranova; Joseph Nugara, Sr. Publishers Amici Journal Publications Inc. Editor/CEO - Andrew Guzaldo Chief Staff Writer - John Rizzo Photographer - Writer Joe Cosentino Creative Designer - Teresa Rozanacki Production Layout -Andrew Guzaldo Publishing Consultant - Joseph C. Nugara, Sr. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission of Amici JournalPublications All information contained herein is deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and to change of price or terms without notice.

Editorial A



s the clock winds down for the year of 2008, with the recent historical election of choosing a new President for the next 4 years, it does not matter what political party one is affiliated with. One cannot deny the fact that this was without question the most important election in our Nations lifetime. Between the economy, national security, aside from a number of issues, it gave the American people much to think about before that lever was pulled. However America will prevail in the end, we are a nation that when things get rough, we stand together. Amici Journal and staff wish our readers a most Joyous Hoiday season and healthy and prosperous 2009 . In thinking back of the year 2008, we have lost a number of prominent Italian Americans that were of great loss to our heritage and culture. Those individuals that strive so hard to demonstrate, who and what the Italian Americans stood for. They will be missed, and will be in our prayers always. In this edition we have the world renowned, culinary chef and author, Mario Batali. With it we bring a number of exciting articles. As we normally feature a culinary chef in our magazine, we are pleased to have for the first time a culinary chef grace our cover. With a very interesting interview from Batali, it is a must read! We will bring to you, as we have in past editions our interesting stories of Michael Ingrisiano and his eyewitness stories of the WWII heroic stories. Therefore, we will continue to share these legendary, historical memories of those who not only contributed to our shared heritage but to the heritage of the world. These are the stories of true heroes, those that fought for our freedom, against daunting odds, some say evil itself. These heroes gave of themselves to us many years before we realized the pain and anguish they endured. We have an added addition to our staff, and I would like our readers to know something about him. He is Louie Giampa, born and raised in Chicago, at Taylor and Bishop St. He moved to Las Vegas in the early 70’s, there he accepted a position at Caesars Palace. It was the only place he could find work at the time. He worked in Las Vegas for 30 years, and became Director of guest services. He was also a critique in restaurants around the Las Vegas area, after he retired from the corporation; he began to work for La Voce Italian American, newspaper in Las Vegas. He is now a part of the AMICI magazine, and we are glad to have him on board. Please read his restaurant reviews in this issue, he will be giving you a number of wonderful restaurant reviews on a national level, and he looks forward to doing so. He will bring to you new restaurants and all services and products they have to offer for your leisure and eating pleasure. Here we bring to you new restaurants and all services and products they have to offer for your leisure and eating pleasure. We know this information can help you find that particular restaurant of your choice as you travel to enjoy the great neighborhoods in our circulation, accomplishments for our heritage beyond our origins throughout this great country of the U.S.A. Amici Journal is honored to be amongst those that will continue to preserve and promote our Italian American culture and our shared Italian American Heritage. PleaeSend all correspondence to Amici Journal Publications, Inc. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 or email Look for AMICI JOURNAL in your local stores or order direct at 773836-1595 or call for information on our distribution available program! Sincerely Andrew Guzaldo Executive Editor Amici Journal




ttribute to the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Board of Di-

rectors “NIAF has lost a great leader, the world has a lost a great man,” John A. DePasquale, a member of the NIAF Board of Directors said. The National Italian American Foundation Board of Directors is deeply saddened by the death of our chairman, Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli, who passed away today at his home in Burlington, Vt., after battling cancer for more than a year. All who worked with him during the 18 years in which he served as the Foundation’s president, vice chairman, and member of the Board of Directorswill feel the loss of his leadership and dedication. Ken was admired and respected by Italian leaders, the Italian American community and all ethnic groups. A warm, generous and loving man, Ken believed deeply in his heritage. He was a tireless champion in the fight against ethnic stereotyping of any individual or group. A prominent neurologist, Ken’s dual commitment to heritage and science defined his career. In 1980, he was appointed senior medical officer of the United States Olympic Team for the Lake Placid, New York games; fittingly, more than 25 years later, he returned to the Olympics in 2006 – this time as part of a delegation of prominent Italian Americans appointed by President George W. Bush to represent the United States in Torino, Italy. The many projects that he championed, including NIAF’s annual Roman Roundtable conferences in Italy, the establishment of the Gay Talese Writers Series and his support of education through “NIAF Visits the Ivies,” a program examining why Italian-Americans are underrepresented at Ivy League institutions, will serve as his legacy. His love and passion in life was to challenge young Italian Americans to step up and move the Foundation’s mission forward. His unique leadership and inspiration will be greatly missed. In commemoration of his life and spirit, contributions can be made to TheDr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli Colloquium Endowment at the National Italian American Foundation.Washington, DC .

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans.

Visit .

Michelangelo : “Death and love are the two wings that bear a good man to heaven.”

Winter 08/09 / AMICI 1

Celebrity Chef

His Passion-

“When I talk about a great dish, I often get goose bumps. I’m like, wow, I’ll never forget that one. Italians are like that. It ‘s not about the food, it’s part of the memory.”

atali Mario B


By: Louie Giampa

ario Batali is a busy man. He is constantly traveling, writing cookbooks, and managing a restaurant empire. Amazingly, Batali, who enjoys golf and swimming, finds time … or rather makes time … to cook breakfast for his family. “I enjoy spending my time with my family in my home in northern Michigan,” said Batali. “I also enjoy cooking breakfast for my two sons, Benno and Leo. Their favorite is eggs in the basket. They also like when I make soft boiled eggs and toast. “How ironic, my mother use to make the eggs in the basket and my Uncle Rocky use to make us the soft boiled eggs, put them in a coffee cup break them up, add salt and pepper and we would just dunk the toast. I guess great minds think a like.” Batali is a great mind and a great cook. He has authored seven books, “Simple Italian Food”, “Mario Batali Holiday Food”, “The Babbo Cookbook”, “Molto Italiano - 327 Simple Classic Italian Recipes to Cook at Home”, and “Mario Tailgates Nascar Style” “Mario Batali - Italian Grilling” and most recent publication “Spain A Culinary Road Trip”. Additionally he has won several awards including the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award.

Mario Batali

When Batali was asked what influenced him in becoming a chef, he replied “ I went to college and decided that Finance is not what I wanted to do. I decided to do what I like to do, being around food. This is where it began.” An apprenticeship with London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White and 3.5 years of intense culinary training in the Northern Italian Village of Borgo Capanne - (population of 200) gave him the necessary skills and knowledge to return to his native United States. Being I am from an Italian family, it was always a natural; “I once had the opportunity to work in Italy. And in doing so this was a great experience for me. My goal was to take that bit of Italy wherever I went, and it started in the East coast.” Together with his partner, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, have created a thriving restaurant business. He operated seven New York City venues, including Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca and Del Posto – two wildly successful restaurants that each have been awarded three stars by Frank Bruni of the “New York Times”. Additionally, he is the chef/owner of five very successful restaurants in New York City, Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, and Otto Enoteca Pizzaeria. His restaurant empire stretches from New York to California. He has three in Las Vegas, B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian Resort and Casino, and his newest is the Carnevino, an Italian Steakhouse in the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. And their most recent endeavor the Tarry Lodge Restaurant in Port Chester, New York. Mario Batali

is bringing a trattoria experience to this very historical Tarry Lodge. The Lodge has been designed with spacious environment to add to your eating pleasure. “When I talk about a great dish, I often get goose bumps,” said Batali. “I’m like, wow, I’ll never forget that one. Italians are like that. It’s not about the food, its part of the memory.” Born in Seattle, Washington, Batali attended Rutgers University where he graduated in 1982 with a double major in Spanish Theatre and Economics. His father is Armandino Batali, owner of Salumi in Seattle Washington. Batali went to high school in Madrid and then studied business management and Spanish theater at Rutgers University. After graduation he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London but quickly dropped out to cook his way through Europe and North America. During college, Batali worked as a dishwasher and a line cook. He worked his way through the kitchens of London, Paris, and San Francisco before taking over the kitchen in the Four Season’s Biltmore Hotel’s La Marina restaurant in Santa Barbara. At 27, he was the highest paid young chef in the company. In 1989, inspired by the cooking of his grandmother, Leonetta Merlino, he began his culinary training in Borgo Capanne, a village in the northern part of Italy. He served an apprenticeship under London’s legendary chef Marco Pierre White, who gave him the necessary skills and knowledge to bring home. “My favorite dish was ravioli,” said Batali … My grandmother made it stuffed with Swiss chard, calf brains and chicken, it was also made with an ox tail sauce.” Batali was the featured chef on the Food Networks’s Iron Chef America. He is also starring in a PBS series with Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols, featuring Spanish cuisine. The 13-episode series is titled “Spain … On the Road Again”. This will be the first of a series of shows that will be developed for PBS over the next several years. Their is also a companion book “Spain...A Culinary Road Trip (Ecco 2008)” which was released in October of 2008. “I like to cook the foods from all of the different regions in Italy, and other countries,” said Batali. “Every region is different. The best dishes are the simple ones.” “I like anything homemade from all countries,” said Batali, “but my favorites here are hamburgers and lamb chops.” Mario believes “Flavor is most important, but presentation is necessary.” “Sometimes many will over do it when it comes to the presentation, they will try harder to make it a work of art, rather then a delicacy that is pleasing to eat. It is much better to keep it simple and flavorful. He his wife, Susi Cahn, and their sons Benno and Leo, live in New York City when they are not spending time in their northern Michigan home. Batali enjoys cruising around New York on a Vespa wearing his trademark shorts and orange crocs. “I spend little on gas in a week,” said Batali. “I save hundreds of dollars a week in cab fare.I miss riding my Vespa when I am away from the city. It is a very delightful, and relaxing escape for me ” To sum it all up, how does a man like this,

A Cu SPAIN: lina MAR ry Road Tr IO B ip With Gwyn ATALI et www .ecco h Paltro book w

take the time to talk with me-from airports to Spain to fund-raisers to Celebrity shows and now the Amici Journal, – I guess that’s just Mario Batali!!! His last words to me were. “ I am proud to be an Italian American, it gives me great joy to share this with everyone I meet. Everyone should have pasta once a week-keep the tradition” We were lucky enough to get a simple way of making pasta dough, and we share that with our readers as well! Bravo! Please read on page 21. Amici Journal is honored to have had this interview with Mario Batali, Ciao Mario and see you soon!

All books Available in most book Stores and



n an office in mature, moments like Washington, D.C., the these with friends that walls display pictures we haven’t seen in of former US Congressman, many years are true Marty Russo, with Former blessings and should be Presidents of the United States, current and former cherished. US Senators and Congressmen. However, the picture (Marty Russo that he is most proud of is placed in the center of is CEO & Senior Vice one wall directly under the Seal of the United States Chairman of Cassidy Congress. That picture is of his mother and father & Associates in taken at a Presidential Inauguration when Marty was a Washington, DC. He US Congressman. was elected to Congress How I came to be sitting with Marty Russo as part of the class of recently in his office exemplifies the benefits and values 1974 and served to that many of us who were fortunate to experience 1992. His tenure was growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood. That distinguished by his experience was the same whether that neighborhood involvement in a broad was in New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Ohio, California range of public policy Marty Russo & Chuck Giampa or any other such neighborhood across the USA. issues facing America’s I went to grammar school and high school with businesses. These issues Marty and his brother, Angelo. Angelo is one year older and Marty is included tax policy, federal budgets, health care, energy and environmental one year younger than I am. I had not seen Marty since I graduated high policy, transportation, crime, immigration, trade, telecommunications and school and have recently just seen Angelo again for the first time just a small business issues.) couple of years ago. I was attending a conference in Washington, DC recently when Angelo Russo called me on my cell phone. When I told him I was in DC for a conference, he told me I had to call his brother, Marty. I told him that I would love to but I haven’t seen or talked to Marty in over 40 years and he probably wouldn’t even remember me. Nonsense, Angelo told me, as he gave me Marty’s phone numbers. I called Marty and offered to take him to lunch. He told me that he would love to see me for a few minutes but he already had lunch plans. The “few minutes” lasted over an hour. It was as if we had just spoken a few weeks ago instead of many years ago. In my interviews, I try to avoid the clichés of only focusing on the “Sunday Italian dinners JOEL GOULD & ASSOCIATES with family” or what we ate on the different holidays. Treasured moments to be sure; but, this visit with Marty after many years is just as important, if not more so. • One of the greatest values and benefits growing up in our ItalianAmerican neighborhoods is the bonds, friendships and experiences we • shared with so many of our friends, families and classmates. And many of those bonds still exist after all these years. • Sure, Marty and I brought each other up to date since we last saw • each other. Sure, we talked about the values instilled in us by our loving parents, family, nuns and teachers. But it was amazing that we could • relax in each other’s company and just simply talk and reminisce after not seeing each other for such a long time. I could list Marty’s many accomplishments: his personal relationships with Presidents of the US, his visits to the White House, Camp David, etc. And I am proud of him for all of those and for the accomplishments I don’t even know about. 205 W. Randolph But most important, aside from whatever accomplishments we Suite 1550 each achieved, we were still just two neighborhood friends, hanging out, 5839 W. Belmont Ave. talking, laughing, and sharing each other’s company like we did over 40 Chicago, IL years ago. To me, that is one of the unmentioned values of our fortunate childhood. I know that the world is constantly changing and those Tel: 773.281.8744 We also speak Polish neighborhoods are not exactly what they were many years ago. But as we

L AW O F F I C E S ATTORNEY AT LAW Civil Litigation Medical MalPractice DUI Criminal Law

4 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Richard Capozola’s

“Fred Couples” (Frederick Coppola), one of the most colorful and top players on the PGA tour, is born in Seattle, Washington. Couples also rands 4th in all-time money winners on the circuit.

“William Morgan” (Willie Mitrano), who fought the Germans and Japanese behind enemy lines during WWII, sees his exploits published in “The O.S.S. and I.” He later published The O.S.S. and I (1957). From 1947 to 1957 he created tests to examine new recruits and employees for the CIA.

Vince Lombardi, sings on as head coach and general manager of the lackluster Green Bay Packers. Lombardi goes on to rack up an astounding 6 conference titles and 2 NFL championships in nine years.



Singer/actress “Madonna Ciccone), is born in Michigan. At the height of her popularity, “The Material Girl” is arguably the best known women in the world. Madonna has been dubbed “one of the greatest pop acts of all time” and dubbed “The Queen of Pop” by some media.

Detective Lt. Mario Biaggi, injured 11 times in the line of duty, receives the NYPD’s highest award, “The Medal of Honor.” He becomes the most decorated police officer in the nation with 27 citations. Later, Biaggi seves for 20 years as U.S. Congressman and is nomitated for a Nobel Peace Prize.


Marie Torre, a television personality who appeared on KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania between 1962 and 1977. Television columnist, is jailed 10 days for refusing to reveal her news source during a libel suit initiated by actress Judy Garland. Torre becomes the first woman reporter to gain national attention defending freedom of the press.

Joshep Bellanca, 74, dies in New York. Bellanca, “Father of the Monoplane,” introduces the air-cooled engine, retractable landing gear, closed cabin, and sends the first radiogram from am airplane in 1928 to Marconi in London and David Sarnoff at RCA.

National Italian American Foundation’s H o s t s 3 , 0 0 0 G U E S T S , AT Their Annual Gala!


n n i v e rs a r y

Awa rds

By Andrew Guzaldo (Courtesy of NIAF) (WASHINGTON, D.C. -- October 22, 2008) Screen icon Gina Lollobrigida received a standing ovation from the 3,000 guests attending the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 33rd Anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday October 18, 2008 at the Hilton Washington. George DiCaprio, father of 2008 honoree actor Leonardo DiCaprio, accepted the NIAF award on behalf of his son, he read a handwritten note from the Golden Globe winner, who noted, “I am so humbled by this prestigious honor. My ancestors traveled from the ‘knee of the boot,’ Naples, to have their sons and daughters live the American dream.”   Lollobrigida and DiCaprio each received NIAF Achievement Awards in Entertainment at the black-tie gala.  Barbara Sinatra, wife of entertainment legend Frank Sinatra, and Speaker of the U.S. House of  Representatives Nancy Pelosi presented their awards respectively. Lollobrigida noted in her acceptance speech that the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award was “a little premature” as, “I have a lot more work to do.” This year’s  NIAF Special Achievement Awards in Business were awarded to Mark T. Bertolini, president of Aetna, and Joseph DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. Vincent Viola, a NIAF vice chairman, and Michael Andretti, a 6 AMICI / Winter 08/09

noted Formula One driver, presented their awards respectively. Gianmario Tondato da Ruos, CEO of Autogrill, S.p.A., received the NIAF U.S./ Italy Friendship Award, which honors prominent Italians who, as a result of their position or talent, have created a greater bond between our two nations. Former Mayor of New York Rudolph W. Giuliani, who received the Foundation’s 2007 Achievement Award in Public Service, presented the award to Tondato da Ruos. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society, came to the podium to receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in

Franco Nuschese, president of Georgetown Entertainment Group. Comedian Tom Dreesen was this year’s master of ceremonies. The evening included a performance by Peppino Di Capri, one of Italy’s popular singers, songwriters and pianists.  The Naples-born artist sang Comme È Ddoce 'O Mare” (“How Sweet is The Sea”), and other famous Neapolitan hits. Earlier on Friday at a noon luncheon, Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and World War II prisoner of war, gave the keynote address.  His autobiography, “Devil at My Heels,” details Zamperini’s life and experiences. A film based on his life story-starring actor Nicolas Cage is under development.

manitarian Service, presented by fellow Connecticut native and friend, U.S. Representative Rosa De Lauro. To underscore the importance of the NIAF award, Pacelle quoted philosopher Mahatma Gandhi, saying, “You can judge a society by how they treat their animals.” During the evening, NIAF Vice Chairman Jerry Colangelo introduced a NIAF video tribute to Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli, NIAF chairman, for his years of outstanding leadership and service. NIAF’s National Executive Director John B. Salamone received the Republic of Italy’s Order of Merit “Commendatore,” the country’s

           The weekend also featured Friday evening’s “Salute to the Martini” with a performance by Patrizio and a special tribute to Frank Sinatra in addition to two public policy conferences, “The Presidential Candidates’ Perspectives on the Future of Healthcare in America,” and “Energy: America’s Challenge of the 21st Century.” The open forums featured surrogates from the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain, and Senator Barack Obama, who communicated their candidates’ healthcare and energy policy messages to prominent Italian American business and community leaders. Other events included NIAF’s celebrity auction and luncheon in addition to the Foundation’s Council 2000/Youth Networking Breakfast.  The breakfast included a presentation of the sixth annual NIAF Teacher of the Year Award to Rosa Motta, who teaches Italian at Maury High School in Norfolk, Va.  NIAF guests also enjoyed Piazza d’Italia, a two-day best of Italy exhibition, featuring Maseratis, a Lamborghini, luxury sport vehicles, a wine bar showcasing the best of Luca Maroni’s Italian wines, and a cooking demonstration by Filippo and the Chef at the Snaidero Kitchen Display.  Speaker Pelosi discussed her latest book “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters” with Sam Donaldson, ABC news correspondent, which was followed by a book signing at the Piazza on Saturday. Italy’s Region of Campania was this year’s sponsoring region from Italy. Proceeds from the weekend events will benefit NIAF’s scholarship and education programs.  NIAF Vice Chairman Joseph R. Cerrell thanked guests for their support, and looks forward to seeing them at their 34th Anniversary in 2009. He then closed with chorus of “ God Bless America”.

highest honor, from Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Giovanni Castellaneta. At the gala, NIAF President Salvatore J. Zizza introduced one of Italy’s highest ranking officials, Hon. Ignazio La Russa, Italy’s Minister of Defense. Other notables in attendance included Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., Yankee great Yogi Berra, actress, singer and daughter of the late Dean Martin, Deana Martin, singer Jerry Vale,  former NFL players Franco Harris and Vince Ferragamo, President of Georgetown University John J. DeGioia, and

NIAF is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit

Abbia un Buon Natale e Nuovo Anno Felice Winter 08/09 / AMICI 7

Before joining FOX News Chanel Kilmeade worked as a feature reporter/ anchor for Newsport-TV and was a sports anchor/director


Alisyn Camerota, Steve Doocy,

rian Kilmeade does the same things as most fathers in his at WLIG-TV in New York. Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade With all the news and community; he goes to work and rides the early train home so he can coach his children’s basketball and soccer teams. That’s sports shows on the radio and where most of the similarities end. Unlike other dads, Kilmeade is a co- television, viewers get news host of the FOX News Channel morning show, “FOX & Friends” from 6 in many cases seconds after it happens. Kilmeade notes to 9 a.m. “It’s perfect for a parent,” said Kilmeade. “The only thing I sacrifice what fuels the appetite for this onslaught of reporting. is sleep.” “It’s the analysis,” said Kilmeade grew up in an Italian and Irish family. His grandparents were born in Brooklyn in the early 1900s but settled in to Massapequa, Kilmeade. “You don’t want to wait until the six o’clock news Long Island, NY. “The whole neighborhood followed them,” said Kilmeade. “Half my to find out what happened. You want to be able to see things in neighbors were from Brooklyn.” During his youth, he was taught the family values about working longer form. I think the story hard, making time for your family, doing well in school, making eye lines are fascinating. Rarely are contact when you are speaking to someone, and most importantly, treating you done with a news story in a week or two. Look at what’s adults with respect. Aside from the family values, his Italian and Irish sides of his family coming out on Wall Street, that’s Brian Kilmeade not going away for a long time. were very different. “Fundamentally, it’s the same reason why you watch television, only “Irish and Italians are totally opposite,” said Kilmeade. “The Irish keep to themselves, (which is) somewhat of a mystery. The Irish side of this is the first reality show. Your reality show is what’s really happening my family would come over and not say a word. The Italian side would in the news.” Despite the quickness of the visual news medium, Kilmeade doesn’t just dominate. They were the ones who were outgoing, gregarious and fun to be around. They were very interested in what you were doing. The Irish see the end of the printed news. “I can’t imagine walking around and not finding a newspaper to buy,” side was interested, but just not as flagrant about it.” Although Kilmeade’s dad passed away when he was in ninth grade, his he said. Kilmeade has written two books, the New York Times bestseller, “The mother, Marie (D’Andrea) cared and supported him and his two brothers. “She always stuck up for us,” said Kilmeade, about his mother, who Games Do Count” as well as “It’s How You Play the Game”. He found is now in her seventies. “She was our biggest advocate. She took bad news interesting perspectives from those who played sports but did not excel. “I realized the important people that I talked to, who were athletes, worst than us. She was dedicated to me and my brothers.” Kilmeade went to Long Island University and had only moderate learned a ton from their experience in sports,” said Kilmeade. “So I started talking to people from success as an athlete. He soon discovered President Bush to John Kerry. In the first he liked being in front of people. He book, I had 73 of the most important people couldn’t sing or dance and didn’t want to around talk about what they did in sports and be an actor, but always like to talk. how it helped them in life.” “I had a real interest in the news,” Kilmeade describes how insignificant the he said. “I loved social studies, political final score or even winning a championship science and history.” was to them. They talked about things that Kilmeade got his first job with normally would have been forgotten since SportsPhone in New York. SportsPhone most of it happened when they were younger. was a 24-hour sports information line Even though some events were negative, the accessed by telephone. It began in the experience and learning aspect remains with 70s and also had offices in Detroit and them to this day. Chicago. It proved to be a great training “I wanted to prove that there is really ground for Kilmeade. Brian & President Bush on the White House lawn 8 AMICI / Winter 08/09

no difference between “The Rock” items don’t make the news show but, in (wrestler/actor Dwayne Johnson) and some cases, they could be posted on the what he did in sports and what Cal Internet. Ripken did in sports,” said Kilmeade. “There are certain things you just “I talked to them about the moments talk about and certain things you expand in life that taught them values and on,” said Kilmeade. instilled character.” One of the highlights this year for Kilmeade points out that anyone Kilmeade was a visit to the White House entering the news business should with his family. President Bush regularly think before they react and never schedules T-Ball games for children on underestimate from where an idea or the White House lawn. Kilmeade and a source will come. He makes it very sportscaster Tim McCarver were asked clear not to be dismissive of anyone to do the play-by-play. Following the when building a contact list. games, Kilmeade and his family had “An intern for a congressman in an opportunity to spend some personal Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, & Brian Kilmeade your area could be, in three years, chieftime with President Bush and tour the of-staff for a presidential candidate,” White House. notes Kilmeade. “When news breaks and the contacts know you and trust “When you walk through the White House and they point to places you, you become valuable in the business. When you prove that you can that still have burn marks from the war of 1812 and your children say, keep things confidential, they will feel comfortable talking to you.” we went over that in school,” said Kilmeade. “That’s the best part of this “FOX and Friends” is mostly unscripted. The objective is to be job.” knowledgeable, approachable and humble on the air, and communicate “You get an opportunity to meet some very important and famous that to the viewers. Kilmeade, together with Gretchen Carlson and Steve people. People you want to meet, not the Britney Spears’ or Paris Hiltons Doocy, move the show along while playing off each other between news of the world, who are famous for no reason. You meet accomplished, reports. That’s when things get serious especially when breaking a news successful, knowledgeable, and powerful people. When you are able to story. meet them and introduce them to your family, that’s very rewarding.” “This is a competition,” said Kilmeade about the existence of rivalries Currently, Kilmeade has no plans to write another book, but things with the other news agencies. “It’s about winning, doing things better and have a way of just coming up. beating them.” “The good thing about the world is – it doesn’t stop,” he said. “People Kilmeade always has his eyes and ears open for news and perspectives. ask what’s next. I tell them to just wake up tomorrow, there will be He is constantly in touch with people, whether on the train commuting something happening.” to and from work, or at soccer games. He says the news team at FOX He’s been married to his wife, Dawn (DeGaetano) for 15 years. The weaves through all kinds of news items. Decisions have to be made. Some couple has three children, Bryan, 11, Kirstyn, 7, and Kaitlyn, 5.


A Memorable Memorable Holiday Holiday for for All! All! A

By Louie Giampa


…a favorite holiday to many, we tend to overbuy, overeat and over decorate. Yet we do the same year after year, Christmas Eve is my favorite. We celebrate it by eating fish of all kinds. I can almost visualize my mother at the kitchen table cleaning the calamari and clams. As a young boy it was not the most appetizing thing to see while they cleaned the many types of seafood over the kitchen sink. (Today you can buy the calamari and other seafood’s already cleaned.) After hours of cleaning she would stuff each and every one of them. She would then bake them and put them in her fish sauce, along with some mussels and clams. Her second pasta dish would be shrimp scampi over linguini. We would also have a bowl of lobster tails, plenty of shrimp cocktail, baked clams, raw clams and we can’t forget the garlic bread. Mom would make a scungilli salad with lemon juice, and garlic with a dash of red pepper. Then flour and fried smelts this is a four-inch fish with the heads on. I didn’t care for them, but it was there every year – it was our Italian tradition no doubt. Well, this one year I was dating this girl (non-Italian) and invited her over for Christmas Eve dinner. The setting was festive, there was a beautiful Christmas tree, lots of presents and the house was decorated inside and out. We sat down to eat this wonderful presentation of fish of all sorts. There she sat with a smile on her face, but an empty dish. I asked her to eat something and she said, “I don’t eat fish.” Well, our mouths dropped opened from this remark.



Buon FISH Natale


Fresh & Frozen Seafood or Fried & Grilled Seafood Shrimp-Mussells CARRY OUT Clams-Squid & DELIVERY Octopus-Salmon Mediteranean-Seabass Lobster Tail And Much More

But thankfully there was always a separate sweet table. There was plenty of homemade cookies and cannoli’s. Whenever family or friends would come by they would leave their delicious homemade desserts, and cookies would join the others on the table. There was no meat on the table, not even a meat ball in sight. But we needed to hold out for Midnight Mass, after that we had an array of meatballs, sausage and peppers waiting for us to feast on. This is the happiest and most colorful holiday of them all. Let’s not forget THE true meaning of Christmas. We all have different religions and ways of celebrating holidays, and this was mine. Enjoy yours, and Buon Natale e Anno Nuovo a tutti P.S. To Carla, Joey, Dominica and Isabella- “I’ll be home for Christmas”

Fried Calamari Ingredients 1/2 to 1 pound calamari sliced into rings ,1 cup flour ,1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper ,Enough vegetable oil to fill bottom of heavy skillet to 1/2” Directions 1.Clean calamari and keep chilled. 2.Mix flour, paprika and cayenne in shallow bowl. 3.Heat oil to 375 degrees. 4.Toss a handful of calamari with flour shake off excess. 5.Fry for 3 or 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt to taste.

A mici d’ italia italian american association The purpose and eligibility of

Amici d’ Italia (Friends of Italy) is dedicated

to the promotion of the Italian American heritage.


JOIN US! So together we can make a difference WE CAN ALL GIVE TOGETHER TO OUR ITALIAN COMMUNITY, AND PUT OUR IDEAS TO WORK! “A Country is not a mere territory; the particular territory is only its foundation. The Country is the idea which rises upon that foundation; it is the sentiment of love, the sense of fellowship which binds together all the sons of that territory.” Quote: Giuseppe Mazzini

Yearly Membership Only $50.00! Additional Family Members $25.00!

Fabio and Tony are pleased to serve you!

All Deliveries after 4:00pm viamarefishmarket@comcast. 7601 W. Addison



Mail your application and we will send your yearly membership card and certificate Amount Check or Money order Name:


Address: City:



Telephone: Sponsored by: amici d’ italia association, p.o. box 595, river grove, il 60171





Venuti’s Ristorante and Banquets Wishes You

Happy Holidays !

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Warm Setting and Fine Italian Cuisine Dining Indoors Or on the Patio Restaurant Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00am - 11:00pm Sunday 12:00am - 9:00pm

Phone: 630-376-1500 Fax: 630-376-1503

Lavish Accommodation for Up to 1000 Guests Three opulent Bridal Suites Quaint Chapel For up to 100 guests Dramatic marble Double Staircase And Giant Dance Floor

Day 17 torre


to The Sea!

By Jeremy "Dario" Mele



fter a lazy morning, which in our family is a fresh morning start at 7:30 am, the day started with our standard breakfast of regional cold cuts and cheeses, fruits, and a bowl or two of Italian off-brand Coco Pops thrown in for good measure. After being 6 km from the Pugliese coastline for over 3 days, it was time to even out our farmer tans and dip our tired hill-climbing legs into the amazingly azure Adriatic Sea. We piled into our EconoVan look alike and traveled east. It is one thing to travel the Umbrian and Tuscan countryside in the equivalent of an extended Lincoln Navigator Basilicasm with less than adequate suspension and pick-up but an amazing turn radius, but traveling through the back beach country of Puglia's east coast in our passenger tank is downright traumatic. After a couple of failed attempts to reach the coast, heading in reverse down obviously un-marked one way streets...although the line of cars trying  swing around us to head to the beach make me think twice about that assumption. We finally pulled into one of the many privately owned beach areas, Lido Verde. As we pulled into the parking area the attendant acted as those we must be foreigners as we did not have a reservation, we told him how many people we had on board the bus and asked if we could enter, looking as perplexed as ever, he said OK after paying 10 Euros. We were able to park right up front and proceeded to the Cassa to rent chairs and umbrellas (you even have to pay for a shower, a euro extra for a hot shower). The cabana boys found us a prime spot, unfolded the six lounge chairs we had ordered and placed them in a row along the front line of their prime beach zone. We corralled our posse and gathered all of gear and sat down admiring the stunning colors on display before us “both of the adriatic and the bathing suits!)...special Advisory Note to all travelers heading to the southern adriatic coastline, be prepared, very prepared, to observe every shape and size, male and female bodies stuffed into the tiniest swatch of cloth that some former stand-up comedian turned store owner in a small Italian village in the middle of nowhere dared to call a swimsuit, and a fashionable one at that. While you will run across a few european works of art, the majority of the population will make you laugh 12 AMICI / Winter 08/09

at the fact that you tried on seven different bathing suits at home before deciding on one that you felt covered all the right parts. After we had our fill of fun and sun (and sand) on the Adriatic, we headed to one of the many local fish shacks nestled along the coastline in Piazza della Rotonda nearby Torre Cannes. We had received a local's recommendation as to the best fish shack in town, La Rotonda. We headed to Torre Cannes passing shack after shack, continuing to head north along the coast. We actually left the city limits of Torre Cannes and were ready to turn around when the next shack appeared down the road. There were a few more cars in the parking area than most that we had past and we eagerly approached knowing that it must be our target (hoping that it would be as we were all extremely hungry by this point in the early afternoon). We parked the van under the shaded parking area and headed inside, taste buds flinching in anticipation. We passed the shack's mainstay barbecue as we entered and the old Nonno manning the grill appeared to have eons of experience etched into his wrinkled face (I can see it now Bobby Flay vs La Rotonda's BBQ Nonno on the next episode of Iron Chef). He carefully tended the fire he had recently started, and casually joked with my father as we passed. We sat down in the corner of the outdoor terrazzo, approximately 25 feet from the adriatic lapping at the outdoor edges of the rocks the restaurant was built on. The single super waitress manning the entire shack, strolled by dropping off bread and taking our drink orders (our standard lunch time drink order for our week in Puglia was: una bottiglia di naturale, una gassata, e un litro di vino biancho - one bottle of non-gassy "naturale" water, one bottle of gassy water, and a liter of the house white wine that is always served ice cold - rocky mountain cold). Another commonality to our lunch time routine was taking the servers recommendations to try the house antipasti, which were typically comprised of a myriad of fried and fresh fish and shellfish - that could only be fresher if they were still swimming on our plates. Fresh anchovies, mussels cooked in broth, baked stuffed mussels (a local, not to be missed delicacy), marinated octopus salad, and calamari (yes, these tasty fried morsels are found on this side of the pond as well) all flew onto our table from the hidden kitchen within. We followed that fresh salty tasting feast with a few secondi to share, including: frittura mista (mixed fish fry), polpo al bracce (barbecued octopus that has a char flavor that could easily rival a Ruth Chris rib-eye's sizzling crust), and triglie fritte (small, fried red mullet - an acquired taste as they contain a plethora of small bones that can be painstakingly removed or, more appropriate for the setting, crunched through as part of this tasty treat). We finished off every last morsel of the crustaceans and other aquatic delights, and took a few photos of the kid running across the rocks with the Adriatic backdrop and an Italian "Marriacci " band playing in the background. We returned to the villa/Castello/Trulli and aimlessly passed the afternoon hours as any good Italian family, lounging on the couches and communal dinner table reading, writing, and most importantly napping with fully satiated bellies, dreaming of what delicacies dinner would bring (although as any connoisseur would know, we had already decided to return to the Ostuni pizzeria Notte Bianche at lunch, how could you ever leave the lunch table without a clear plan for dinner.!!! Â

WASHINGTON , D.C. Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 33rd Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Pacelle received a NIAF Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Service on October 18, 2008 at the Hilton Washington & Towers. The black-tie event reception was followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Pagliuca, Lucchino, Zizza, Guzzi


t Boston ’s Fenway Park, NIAF hosted a special prepress event prior to the Foundation’s panel discussion and luncheon, “The Impact of Sports on Business.” During “Meet the Panelists” local print and broadcast media met Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence Lucchino, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, Stephen Pagliuca, managi+ng partner and executive committee member of the Boston Celtics and managing director of Bain Capital, LLC and NIAF officials including Salvatore J. Zizza , NIAF president and Charles Conte, NIAF area coordinator for New England.  The journalists asked questions and interviewed the panelists.  More than 70 guests attended the luncheon at Fenway’s EMC Club.  Guzzi moderated the roundtable discussion.  Panelists, Lucchino and Pagliuca discussed the following topics: the impact of sports on business; key ingredients in becoming a successful sports franchise in today’s business age; and the role that Italian American heritage played in their success.  NIAF Chairman Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli concluded the event by thanking everyone for attending.

The NIAF gala is one of the premier annual events in the nation’s capital, attracting more than 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy . As with most election years, the Foundation anticipated the attendance of the 2008 presidential candidates. Honorees joining Pacelle Wayne Pacelle included Mark T. Bertolini, President of Aetna , Joseph DePinto, President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., legendary actress Gina Lollobrigida and Gianmario Tondato da Ruos, CEO of Autogrill, S.p.A. Honorees joining Lollobrigida included Mark T. Bertolini, President of Aetna, Joseph DePinto,President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States and Gianmario Tondato da Ruos, CEO of Autogrill, S.p.A. Comedian Tom Dreesen served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. NIAF guests were joined by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., Italy ’s Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Giovanni Castellaneta, U.S. Ambassador to Italy Ronald P. Spogli, Yankee great Yogi Berra, amongs many others. Winter 08/09 / AMICI 13

Focus on Italy


marvelous regions OF italy


ardinia has been inhabited for many thousands of years. In 1979 human remains were found that were dated to the 150,000 BC. In 2004, in a cave in Logudoro, a human phalanx was found that was dated to circa 250,000 BC. In prehistory the inhabitants of Sardinia developed a trade in obsidian, a volcanic glass used for the production of stone age tools, and this activity brought Sardinians into contact with most of the Mediterranean people. Dried grapes, recently found in several locations, have been DNA tested and proved to be the oldest grapes in the world, dating back to 1200 BC. The Cannonau wine is made from these grapes and may therefore qualify as the mother of all the European wines. Sardinia is the 2nd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Medieval Arab map of SardiniaFrom Neolithic times until the Roman Empire, the Nuragic civilisation developed on the island. There are still more than 9,000 Nuraghe extant. It is speculated that, along with other peoples, the Shardana people from the eastern Mediterranean settled in Sardinia. The Shardana had joined the Shekelesh and others to form the coalition of the Sea Peoples, but were defeated by Ramesses III around 1180 BC in Egypt. The Shardana and Shekelesh were also called by the Egyptians “the people from the faraway islands”, suggesting that the Shardana were already resident on Sardinia at the time. This assertion may hold some truth; it has been claimed that most of the tombe dei giganti have a tombstone shaped like a ship vertically sunk into the ground, bearing witness to their sea traveling activities. In truth, only those ‘tombas’ found in the north and middle of the island bear this feature, the southern examples bearing a definite Mycenaean style of architecture. Evidence of early trade and contact with other Mediterranean cultures exist; for example, fine ceramic products of ancient Cydonia on Crete have been found at Sardinian archaeological sites. According to some linguistic studies, the town of Sardis (in Lydia) would have been the starting point from which they would have reached the Tyrrhenian Sea, dividing into what were to become the Sardinians and the Etruscans. However most theories regarding the original population of Sardinia were formulated prior to genetics research and in the traditional framework of east-west movements. Genetic studies show that the population of Sardinia is quite distant from their neighbors. This is partially due to genetic drift due to isolation, though other reasons, such as ties with pre-Indo-European Neolithic peoples, may also have contributed to this distance.

Contact John Coneena at Venus Travel, for more Information call tel: 773-637-1110

“Travel Tips” from

By John Conenna


As we end the year of 2008, and the holiday seasons ap-

proaches, there is no better time to think of travel plans for the year 2009. It is usually right after the holiday season travelers begin to make their traveling plans. Whether it be for business or just that leisure vacation. So many people after the beginning of a New Year like to plan that one BIG TRIP in their life. Whether it is a cruise to the USA, Mexico, or Europe itself. My recommendations for this coming year of 2009 are ITALY. With the economy status we are in today, travels to Italy have a lot of options to offer. You are probably saying that maybe I do not know what I am suggesting and why Italy? Well why not? After all it is Europe that has so much to offer from its regions, north to south, or just the great traditions Italy has to offer you for an everlasting experience. There are so many different itineraries to facilitate the region you would like to visit. In the years of selling travel abroad, this is still the one trip that I would like to take north to south. Yes, I have been



to Bari Italy. This is the region where my father is from. I have the opportunity to travel to Bari numerous times; just imagine a 21-day tour of Northern Italy, seeing Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, or going to Naples, Calabria, Abruzzi, and Bari. Then winding it down to Sicily near Taormina or Cefalu. There are so many interesting and unforgettable sites to see, great beaches with spectacular views. As I have said so many times before, in planning this type of vacation, you need a professional to do it right. Again, there are wholesale companies that deal with professional travel agents to make your trip the very best. With these types of vacation packages, air transportation, lodging, insurance, transfers, and meals are included. When thinking about that big trip abroad, something different with family or your spouse, Italy from north to south could be the hottest ticket for 2009. You will definitely be pleased but its culture, history, and serenity, but most of all, you will be surprised by it value.

Family Owned For 40 J O H N F. C O N E N N A

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Email: 7418 WEST BELMONT AVE. CHICAGO, IL 60634-3496 TEL: 773-637-1110 or 637-2211 FA X : 7 7 3 - 6 3 7 - 2 8 0 5

16 AMICI / Winter 08/09

“The World is Our Speciality”

Italian & Italian American Writers

ACROSS 2. His novel Empire Falls, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 6. One of the foremost Italian poets of the 20th century. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959 for his poetic works dealing with social and political reform. 8. His greatest work, La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy), is considered one of the last and greatest literary statements produced during the Middle Ages, and one of the first of the Rinascimento (Renaissance). 11. Born Salvatore A. Lombino in New York City in 1926, this author is well known in the police/mystery genre. Police series started with Cop Hater in 1956. . 12. Italian novelist and writer of short stories, saw his most famous historical novel (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis) turned into a motion picture and received an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. 13. He wrote for The New York Times in the early 1960s and helped to define literary journalism also known as New Journalism. His two most famous articles are about Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra. 16. Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934. 19. His novel White Noise (1985) was selected for The All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels list by TIME magazine, since they began publishing their magazine in 1923. 22. Academy Award winning screenwriter for Gladiator. Other noteworthy screenplays include: King Arthur, Amistad, and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. 23. A poet and literary historian, he was the first Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He received the award in 1906 for Hymns to Satan and Barbaric Odes. 24. Italian-American writer who reached great popularity with his first novel Christ in Concrete, which was published in 1939.

REAL WORK Tony goes to see his supervisor in the front office. “Boss,” he says, “we’re doing some heavy house - cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to pick up the kids from school, go shopping and then help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.” “We’re short - handed”, replies his boss,” I can’t give you the day off.” “Thanks, boss,” says Tony “I knew I could count on you!”

DOWN 1 In his best selling novel, this Italian novelist and medievalist wrote of murder in a 14th century monastery. 3. He is best known for his world-wide bestsellers of romance and adventure. Three of his novels were made into notable films, The Sea Hawk, Scaramouche, and Captain Blood. 4. Born in Boulder, CO in 1909, this Italian-American writer became one of the highest paid scriptwriters in Hollywood. One of his classic American novels, Ask the Dust, is considered by critics to be on a par with The Great Gatsby. 5. Italian satirist, playwright, theater director, actor, and composer. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997. His methods are of the ancient Italian commedia dell’arte. 7. Children of an Italian poet and political exile living in England, the daughter became one of the outstanding poets of the Victorian era. 9. Author of The Devil’s Own, The Kiss of Judas and her most recent work The Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938. 10. Described as one of the few obvious “true masters” of the last fifty years of Italian literature, this Italian poet, prose writer, editor and translator was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975. 14. A political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright, he was a key figure of the Italian Rinascimento (Renaissance). 15. Italian poet, writer, novelist, dramatist and military hero. He combined in his work naturalism, symbolism, and erotic images. An ardent Italian nationalist. 16. Beautifully written and insightful, The Fortunate Pilgrim is considered one of the finest novels about Italian-American colony life. Identify the author, whose first novel, The Dark Arena, was published in 1955. 17. Italian scholar and poet, he is often popularly called the “father of humanism”. This Rinascimento (Renaissance) writer is credited for perfecting the sonnet, making it one of the most popular art forms in literature. 18. Author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, The Decameron (a collection of 100 novellas) and poetry in the vernacular. 20 .Born in Sardinia, she is best remembered for her novels about the life of Sardinian peasants. 21. Italian writer better known as the author of the novel with the story of Romeo and Juliet

Winter 08/09 / AMICI 17

Legendary Romans The history of Rome, according to legend, began on April 21,753 BC, when two foundling brothers, Romulus and Remus, founded a small village that Romulus called Rome. During the course of the next 1,229 years, the village devel­oped from a puny settlement above the marshlands of the Tiber River into the mightiest empire known in the ancient Western world. Hammered by barbarian invasions, the Ro­man Empire died with a whimper in AD 476. ROMULUS And REMUS

Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, traced their ancestry to Aeneas, the Trojan prince whose escape from the Greek destruction of Troy was narrated by Virgil in the Aeneid. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, had been forced by her uncle to become a vestal virgin, the equivalent of a nun. However, she had an affair with Mars, the god of war, and became pregnant, giving birth to twin boys. The newborns, like Moses in the Bible, were set adrift in a wicker basket in the River Tiber. Cast ashore, they were first suckled by a shewolf and then by a shepherd's wife, who reared them. After they became adults they learned their true origin, slew their wicked uncle, and ventured to found a new city, Rome. Romulus got into a dispute with Remus over the cities boundaries and killed him. At his death, Romulus was al­leged to have been taken to the gods' heaven by his father Mars.

AGRIPPA Around 494 BC, the poorest citizens of Rome, who in a seem­ingly republican-democratic system did not share power equally, decided to go on strike. They left the city en masse and held a permanent assembly on one-of the hills surround­ing the city. Soon everything came to a stop in Rome, and the ruling upper class, the patricians, were forced to send negotiators to attempt to resolve the outstanding issues. One of the negotiators, Menenius Agrippa, told the strikers a simple parable: various body parts went on strike since they thought that their work only benefited other body parts, not themselves. Thus the hands refused to bring food to the mouth, the teeth would not chew, the legs would not walk to procure food, and so on. Non cooperation then led to the deterioration of the entire body, while it was clear that the contribution of each was vital to the well being of the whole. The parable had its intended effect: the strike ended, and the lower classes obtained a share of the political power.

CORIOLANUS In 493 BC, when Rome faced a serious famine, a patrician named Coriolanus proposed in the Senate that imported grain be withheld from the lower classes unless they agreed to relinquish their newly acquired political rights. When ri­ots ensued and the Senate declined to act on his proposal, Coriolanus fled and joined Rome's leading enemy, the Volscian tribes, even leading their army against Rome. Un­able to defeat him, Rome sent his mother and his two small children to his camp, to see if he could be convinced to desist from his treasonous behavior. Coriolanus went out of the camp to greet his mother, but she spurned him saying, "Am I coming to my son or to an enemy?" Coriolanus's love for his mother and children convinced him to withdraw his troops, and he said to her, "Mother, you have saved Rome but lost your son." The enraged Volscians put him to death soon after. 18 AMICI / Winter 08/09

CINCINNATUS This is the Roman leader after whom the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, is named. Cincinnatus was a Roman consul, one of the two elected "co- presidents" of Rome, who, after his term of office ended, returned to his farm. When Rome was once again in military trouble with another competing tribe, the Aequians, the Senate recalled Cincinnatus to duty and ap­pointed him "dictator" for six months. Cincinnatus quickly raised and organized a new army, which surrounded and defeated the Aequians. He then returned to Rome, refused any honors, resigned his office, and made his way back to his farm, a fulgid example of civic duty, simplicity, and modesty.

HORATIUS COCLES Rome's continuous drive for expansion always resulted in wars against its neighbors. Once Porsenna, the king of the Etruscan city of Clusium, marched up to the very walls of Rome, capturing one of the seven hills and threatening the city with invasion. Only a wooden bridge across the Tiber, which was guarded by a few Roman soldiers, stood between Rome's survival and disaster. As the Etruscans started for the bridge, Horatius and two others volunteered to keep the invaders at bay while their fellow soldiers destroyed the far side of the structure. They were successful and thus Rome was temporarily spared invasion and destruction. Horatius's feat is celebrated in a famous poem, "Horatius at the Bridge," written by English poet Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59)

SCAEVOLA King Porsenna, failing in his efforts to take Rome, laid siege to it. The city's food supply was diminishing quickly and would soon lead to starvation. Then another heroic Roman soldier, Caius Mucius, made his way to Porsenna's camp under disguise, entered the king's tent, and killed his coun­selor, whom he believed was the king. Porsenna, in a rage at this daring, threatened to have Mucius burned alive; but the Roman, to show his fearlessness and disdain, punished himself by putting his right hand in a burning brazier, un­flinchingly burning it. Porsenna was impressed by Mucius's bravery, particularly as Mucius told him that three hundred other Romans had sworn to do the deed if he failed. Mucius was then freed, and subsequently Porsenna lifted the siege and signed a peace treaty with Rome. Mucius, who returned to Rome in honor, was then nicknamed Scaevola, or "Left-handed" in Latin.

CAMILLUS In 396 BC, Furius Camillus, a Roman general, conquered the last Etruscan city still resisting Rome, Veii, by secretly digging a tunnel and draining a lake bordering the least pro­tected side of the city. Six years after, in 390 BC, the Gauls, a tribe from what is now France, successfully invaded Rome. Their king, Brennus, demanded a ransom of a thou-

struction. While the gold was being weighed, he threw his sword on the weights on the scale, saying, "Woe to the losers!" However, Camillus, who had raised a new Roman army in the coun­tryside, entered the city and stopped the ransom payment, saying, "Rome is not ransomed with gold, but with steel!" He then challenged Brennus to battle and defeated him.

DUILIUS A land power, Rome realized that to challenge its foremost rival, Carthage, for dominance of the Mediterranean basin, it had to become a naval power. As Romans had no practi­cal knowledge in naval construction, they started by copy­ing a beached Carthaginian ship and using shipwrights "bor­rowed" from coastal cities. To maneuver ships in close com­bat, they trained thirty thousand farm boys on stationary land-based rowing benches, and in 260 BC, they fielded a 120-ship fleet. The ships then left for Sicily under the com­mand of Adm. Caius Duilius, lumbering slowly along the coast, until they reached the harbor of Syracuse. There, an unknown Roman soldier came up with the idea of outfitting the ships with a device named corvus (crow), a 36-foot­long, narrow drawbridge with an iron spike at its end, which would be suspended from a pole capable of swiveling from the prow of each ship. When the Carthaginian fleet met the Roman one at Mylae, the poorly oared Roman vessels amused the Carthaginian admiral with the strange device on their prows. But when the Romans gave battle, his amuse­ment turned first to amazement and then to despair. The drawbridges came crashing down on his ships, the spikes embedded themselves on their bridges, and Roman sol­diers poured over them to fight his sailors. By the end of the day, the Carthaginians had lost forty-four ships and ten thousand men. Duilius was given a victory parade in Rome and a monument decorated with the anchors and the prows of six Carthaginian ships was raised in commemoration. The monument is still around 2,260 years after the event.


After winning the naval battle at Mylae, the Romans decided to bring the war to Carthage and sent an army of thirty thou­sand under the command of Consul Atilius Regulus to North Africa. Regulus won at first, but then the Roman army, fight­ing in an unfamiliar territory, was defeated and utterly destroyed. Regulus, taken prisoner, was then freed and sent back to Rome to convince the Senate to conclude a peace. Instead, he did totally the opposite and counseled continua­tion of war. Honor-bound by his promise to return to Carthage with Rome's reply, he then did so. Carthage then put him to death by nailing him shut inside a wine cask with protruding iron spikes and then rolling the cask down from a hill.

JULIUS CAESAR Caesar is not a legend, but a real historical figure. Born about 100 BC, he was murdered in the Senate in 44 Be. Caesar is reputed, along with Alexander the Great, to have been the greatest general of antiquity. He defeated the Gauls and con­quered France, mounted an expedition to Great Britain, humbled German tribes on the Rhine, and vanquished Pompey the great his rival for, supreme power, with Pompey gone, he virtually became Rome's dictator, spelling the end of the republic. He was a known womanizer, and his soldiers sang a bawdy song, advising husbands to lock their wives inside when he was in town. Cleopatra was one of his lov­ers, and the mother of his son, Caesarion. A superb, matter­of-fact writer, Caesar wrote books on his military campaigns, including the civil war against Pompey. His personal integ­rity and the truth of his narratives have been confirmed by other contemporary sources.

Winter 08/09 / AMICI 19

Midwest Dining

Giuseppe’s La Cantina Italian Tradition with Family

By: John Conenna


Gino Marino Outlet store High quality men’s fashions at great prices! A large Selection of Lino Terrana Sport Jackets & SuitsFeaturing Long Sleeve Dress Shirts, Slacks & Sweaters Also Featuring George Baroni and many other outstanding Italian designers.

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ince 1963 the story of two families came together to create Nick’s LaCantina. Hard working, countless hours and dedication, have made this Des Plaines restaurant a treasure. Located at 1062 Lee Street, in Des Plaines. The restaurant, which opened in 1963, still stands to this day. The original owner, Nick Amelio, and Giuseppe Brunetti, had a dream of a small restaurant. The restaurant started off as a small pizzeria, and grew into a large restaurant, with five dining rooms plus banquet facilities. By the late 60’s and early 70’s, the fruits of their labor began to pay off. If you ever lived in Des Plaines in those days, the line was wrapped around the building. People waited in hour-long lines for the mouth watering La Cantina menu. To this day, their pizza that is their trademark is second to none. The menu, which has changed over the years, has always had the finest qualities. The original recipes of this fine establishment are still used to this day. The success of this fine eatery has been hard work and dedication 365 days a year. After a split in the early 90’s, the restaurant changed its name to Giuseppe’s La Cantina. The Brunetti family consists of Mary Tomasello, Vito Brunetti, Antionette Demma and Joanna Brunetti, and they have never stopped working. The restaurant to this day is in the same spot 45 yrs. later. This is a huge accomplishment in the restaurant world of today. The growth of new restaurants, competition, of all shapes and sizes, the growth of Rosemont Illinois with hotels and new eateries, food cost, plus the expansion of down town DesPlaines, Giuseppe’s LaCantina, has stood the test of time. To the original days of Nick’s La Cantina to the Giuseppe’s of today, the restaurant is a Des Plaines landmark. It truly has that Italian style, from pizza to pasta. It has a relaxing feeling when you walk in. A day does not go by where the Brunetti families do not put a thought into their preparation of the menu. To this day, Giuseppe Brunetti’s wife, Domenica Brunetti, has to stay in tune as to what is going on in the daily operations of the restaurant. The Brunetti family knows service and quality and that is what has put them on the map since 1963. Let’s face it, we are in the era of fast food, and we are on the go, no doubt. If you are ever in Des Plaines and have a taste for any kind of pizza, and I do mean “ Chicago style”, like when you were a kid. You may want pasta, a veal dish, or attend a banquet event, or even try their catering menu, then come to Giuseppe’s La Cantina, and you will be treated like family. Giuseppe Brunetti left us a great tradition of a family restaurant that has never stopped serving family, friends, and customers. I know for a fact Giuseppe Brunetti would be proud of his family and what he started. His legacy and hard work live on. For other fine features and menu items for Giuseppe’s La Cantina, please visit their website at

From Left: Mary Tomasello, Vito Brunetti, Domenica Brunetti, Giuseppe Brunetti, Antionette Demma & Joanna Brunetti 20 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Mario Batali quote: “As they say in Italy, Italians were eating with a knife and fork when the French were still eating each other. The Medici family had to bring their Tuscan cooks up there so they could make something edible.”

Recipes from


4 1/2 quarts water 1- cup kosher salt 1 cup packed brown sugar 12 black peppercorns 4 bay leaves 6 pork rib chops 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips 3 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips 8 bulb onions, trimmed and quartered, or 2 red onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 - inch -thick slices l/4 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste 2 tablespoons small capers, with their brine 1 cup dry white wine Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN, combine 2 cups of the water, the salt, and brown sugar and heat over high heat, stirring, until the salt and sugar dissolve. Pour into a large deep bowl or another container large enough to hold the pork and the brine, add the pepper­corns, the bay leaves, and the remaining 4 quarts cold water, and stir to mix well. SERVES 6


1 ½ cups toasted bread crumbs 4 ounces thinly sliced salami, cut into 1/4- inch wide matchsticks 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano 1 bunch mint, leaves only, finely chopped 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley Grated zest of 3 oranges 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil Twelve 1/2 -inch-thick slices boneless pork shoulder (about 2 1/2 pounds) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 oranges cut into wedges COMBINE THE BREAD CRUMBS, salami, pecorino, mint, parsley, and orange zest in a large bowl and mix well. Add % cup of the olive oil and mix well with your hands or a spoon. Set aside. Cut twenty-four 10-inch-long pieces of kitchen twine. Using a meat mallet, pound the pork pieces very thin. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread a thin layer of stuffing (about 1/3 cup) on each slice of meat. Starting from a long side, roll each one up like a jelly roll and tie with 2 pieces of the twine, making a little packet. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Brush the rolls lightly with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the rolls over medium-high heat and cook, turning occasionally, until deeply marked with grill marks on all sides, about 15 minutes. Turn off one burner if using a gas grill, and move the rolls to the cooler part of the grill; or move them to the cooler perimeter of a charcoal grill. Cover the grill and cook, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 185 ° to 190° F. Transfer the rolls to a platter and serve with the orange wedges.

My friend from Las Vegas Jay Franken entrepreneur, requested this recipe. And Mr. Batali was kind enough to give it to us. Here you go Jay compliments of Mario Batali!

2 cups of Semolina Flour 2 cups of all-purpose flour 1-1 ¼ tepid water   Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until the dough is formed. The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when ½ the flour is incorporated. Start kneading the dough with both hands using your palms.  Once fully formed remove from the board and scrape up the dry bits.

Lightly flour the board, and continue to knead for about three minutes. It should be sticky at this point, so dust your board with a little flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form to the pasta as desired.  


By Jamie Williams hen you walk into the new beautiful ABBELLIMENTO store in Lake Geneva, you’ll feel at home. That’s because owner, Kathy Francke, welcomes you with open arms into her new intimate boutique for fine tabletop, stylish home décor and unique heart-felt gifts.  ABBELLIMENTO carries the famed Italian Vietri collection of beautifully handcrafted and hand-painted tableware; drink ware, vases and more.  Francke brings Vietri style to the table, but she also brings her warmth, creativity, hospitality, and passion, along with it.  A mother of four and grandmother of five, Francke believes that the table is the heart of where family and friends connect and is the center of importance in today’s busy world.  It’s where stories are told, laughs are shared and memories are made.   “My best memories are cooking and sitting around the kitchen table with my family,” says Francke.  “I love creating a home that is comfortable, charming and stylish- and for me, Vietri has been a big part of that.”  ABBELLIMENTO, like the Italian Vietri line she carries, brings family


of and friends together to celebrate life, heritage and irresistible Italian style. Starting this January, ABBELLIMENTO will carry the new Vietri Poppy tableware collection.  Its fresh style will add fun and elegance to any table!  This year, Vietri celebrates its 25th anniversary.  However, the story of how Vietri began is a fairy tale.  It’s a story about a mother inviting her two daughters on a long-planned trip to Italy.  “Momma” Lee Gravely and daughters, Susan and Frances- fell in love with the colorful handcrafted dinnerware at the famous San Pietro Hotel on the Amalfi coast.  They hired a driver to take them to the factory an hour away along the curving coastline.  When they saw all of the patternswhimsical, colorful, artistic- they knew this was it!  With their driver as the interpreter, they worked for three days with the factory owners and left with a metal suitcase full of Italian dinnerware and big dreams!  Little did they know that a mother’s invitation and the magic of Italy would change their lives in such a dramatic way.  The rustle of fishing nets unloaded with the day’s catch; the joy in family and friends; the romance of the gorgeous country, beautiful people; rich culture, art and craftsmanship touched each of them, and they wanted to share it forever.  On that first trip, they chose the name Vietri.  How perfect it seemed.  Reversing the syllables, “Tre Vita” in Italian means “Three Lives.”  Vietri sul Mare is the town where their first dinnerware pattern, Campagna, was produced.  They knew their lives and that village were about to be bound together in new ways as they began an importing company.  Little did they know that Vietri- pronounced, “vee ay tree”- would become synonymous with beautiful, Italian products from all over the country.  Located in the heart of Lake Geneva at 728 West Main Street, ABBELLIMENTO sells Vietri and can be reached by telephone at 262-2481900 or  Vietri’s complete line of products may be seen at and ordered through ABBELLIMENTO.

La Cucina Della Nonna


was inspired to write about this subject as my Mother-In-Law’s yearly visit approaches. She will spend most of her week’s vacation with us, bustling about my kitchen, filling my freezer, pantry and refrigerator full of Italian specialties. I will follow her around, pad and pencil in hand trying to figure out exactly how she creates each of her dishes. I will have to nag her to let me measure the ingredients in order to get an exact record of the recipe so I can replicate them in the future. Throughout the week, my house will be bursting with a multitude of amazing aromas as a result of this experience. Carol Field describes "la cucina della nonna" in her book In Nonna's Kitchen as the tradition of a grandmother handing down all of her family's special recipes to the next generation. This generation of Italian cook rarely has her recipes written down, and when asked how she makes a particular dish, she will give such vague instructions as un pugno (handful), or to pour al ditto (by the finger). They measure by all’occio (by eye) and judge how a mixture should feel rather than by exactly measuring each ingredient that goes in to it. Italian women all seem to share a passion for food, which is probably why life in Italy has always revolved around the kitchen. An Italian grandmother can throw together a meal at the drop of a hat, and often out of just a few ingredients, sometimes even leftovers. They use the freshest ingredients they can find, which is why Italian cooking is so seasonal. Even today there are women who go to the market each morning to see what is fresh before planning their evening meals for their families. I feel they express their love for their families with the food they prepare to fill their stomachs, which is probably why they always seem to be chasing family members around encouraging them to eat. It seems that no matter when you stop by an Italian household, you are brought to the kitchen or dining room, and then offered first a beverage, and then some type of food. Often dish after dish is presented, regardless of the time of day. It amazes me that even for unexpected visitors, they always seem to have a vast selection of food to offer. I’m afraid even though I consider myself a good cook, if someone dropped by my house unannounced, it would be a scramble as I tried to round up something nice to offer him or her. I feel it is important for all of us to continue learning the traditional recipes from our mothers and grandmothers so we can then pass them through to the next generation. I have tried to collect many of these recipes over the years and in fact have passed my love of cooking on to my son and daughter who both make many of their Nonna Lina's recipes. And....., when my grandchildren are old enough, I will take them by their hands, and lead them into my kitchen to carry on the tradition of "La Cucina della Nonna".

Buon Appeti to!

Serves 4-6 Nonna Lina’s recipe for tomato sauce with meatballs is a staple in her house. She uses this sauce to top almost any kind of pasta, gnocchi, and polenta. The trick to this recipe, as in most Italian cooking is to use the best ingredients you can find. Although Nonna cans her own tomatoes from her garden, good canned, chopped tomatoes imported from Italy work just as well. Pomi is one brand that is now available in grocery stores, and is particularly tasty. The choice of meat is up to you, but it is good to add a piece of both sparerib, and beef to the sauce, and beef and veal, or beef and turkey for the meatballs. Here is the recipe;

For The Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 1 Small Onion, Chopped Fine 1 Stalk of Celery, Finely Chopped 2 or 3 Small Pieces of Meat (Pork, Beef, or Chicken) Salt & Pepper 1/4 Cup Chopped Basil 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Thyme 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional) 2 (6oz) Cans Tomato Paste 1 Large Can Pureed Tomatoes ( I use 1 (26oz) box Pomi Tomatoes) About 5 Cups water 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 Pound Of Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice

Serves 4-6 Nonna’s meatloaf recipe is great hot or cold, and if you think meatloaf is bland, you haven’t tasted this one. Try serving this meatloaf with a dish of sauteed greens, and garlic mashed potatoes. This dish also freezes well, so you might consider making two of them, and freezing one for later. 2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef 1 Pound Ground Pork 1/2 Pound Frozen Spinac Cooked, Squeezed And Chopped Fine 1/2 Pound Mushrooms, Cleaned And Sliced 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 1 Egg, Beaten 2 Cups Soft Bread Crumbs 1/2 Cup Provolone Cheese, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Dice 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 1/2 Cup Red Wine 4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese 1 Cup Cooked Ham, Cut Into Dice 2 Tablespoons Oregano 1 Tablespoon Basil


Salt & Pepper Sauteّ ½ the mushrooms in the oil until golden. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. mix the remaining ingredients together, then place in two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, covering with foil if needed the last 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then serve.Variation: Try a coating of prepared tomato sauce during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Brown the meat pieces in the oil until well browned. Add the garlic, onion, and celery and sauteّ ½ until tender. Add the paste, tomatoes, water and herbs, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to your own personal taste. Turn mixture down to a simmer, then drop the prepared meatballs into the sauce. Do not stir for the first 15 minutes or so until the meatballs begin to firm up. Continue to cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, and adding extra water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. This sauce, with or without the meatballs can now be used over your pasta of choice. Though most people would choose spaghetti, personally I prefer rigatoni or penne. Serve over pasta cooked al dente, and offer a little more parmesan cheese at the table. With the addition of a nice mixed salad and some crusty Italian bread, this pasta dish would easily make a complete meal. I would choose a robust Chianti wine to accompany this meal.


1 lb. Ground Beef 1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Veal Salt & Pepper 1 or 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 Egg 1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs 1/2 Cup Milk


Add bread crumbs to1/2 cup of milk to moisten. Mix all ingredients togehter with the bread crumb mixture. Shape into golf ball sized balls, and gently drop into simmering sauce. Serves 6-8 This pie of Nonna Lina’s is delicious, and has become a family favorite after Sunday lunch. Tender, cinnamon flavored apple slices are used to fill a light, pastry crust.

Pie Crust:

1 Cup Room Temperature Shortening 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour 2 Tablespoons Sugar 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1/3 Cup Ice Cold Water Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut in the shortening until you have pea sized pieces. Start adding a little water at a time, stopping as soon as the dough begins to come together in a ball. Try not to overwork the dough, or it will become tough. Divide into two parts and cover with plastic wrap until the filing is prepared.

For The Filing:

4 Cups Thinly Sliced Apples 1 Tablespoon Flour 3 Tablespoons Sugar 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cinnamon Toss the apples with the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Roll out one ball of dough thinly, to fit an 8 inch pie pan. Spoon in the apple slices, and even out. Roll out another layer of dough, and place this one on top of the apples. Seal the edges, and prick the top with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees F. until the crust is golden, and a knife slices through the apples easily, about 45 minutes.

Journey of

The Italians In America to Italians living in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Journey of the Italians in America traces the evolution of the Italian immigrant of the 1800s into today’s statesman, scholar, movie star, Supreme Court justice, or businessman. As much a history of Italian influence on America, this work is also a history of American influence on Italians.

Vincenza Scarpaci was born in Brooklyn, New York. The daughter of a Sicilian immigrant, Scarpaci grew up in an Italian-speaking household. After graduating from Hofstra University with a degree in history, Scarpaci received her Ph.D. in U.S. history from Rutgers University with a specialty in immigration history


carpaci’s book is the product of years of painstaking

research into the history of the Italian experience in the United States. Italians have influenced American life since the beginning of the new Republic. Thomas Jefferson adapted the classic Italian architecture of Andrea Palladio in designing his home and the University of Virginia; discussed agronomy and political philosophy with his neighbor, the Italian-trained physician and merchant Philip Mazzei; signed the Declaration of Independence along with William Paca of Maryland; and invited Italian musicians to form the first marine band in Washington D.C. Since then, millions of Italians have immigrated to the United States. Scarpaci takes a photographic approach towards unraveling the history and legacy of Italians and their presence in America. Photographs from settings as diverse as a canning factory in Salerno to an Italian family’s kitchen garden in Kellogg, Idaho,

Ufficio del Sindaco Oggetto: COMITE Comunicazione Come da precedenti contatti con la Vostra struttura. Che racchiude nello Stato dell’ Illinois il ponte di di collegamento tra gli emigrati ed il Consolato Generale d’ Italia a Chicago, siamo lieti di comunicare che, nella persona del Presidente, dott. Angelo Liberati, si puo procedere alla ricerca di tutti quegli elemnti che possono contribuire a costruire un percorso culturale di scambi tra la nostra Citta ed I concittadini che vivono a Chicago e nel suo hinterland. Rimaniamo fermamente convinti che un lavoro sinergico tra tutti coloro che si occupano di emigrazione posso tenere vivo il legame storico, culturale ed economico che unisce indissolubilmente la terra di Sicilia con gli Stati Uniti. Rinviamo ad un possimo incontro la stesura di un protocolio d’intensa che, al di la degli aspetti politici, 24 AMICI / Winter 08/09

possa racchiudere in sintesi I’idea di collaborazione tra il Comune di Bagheria, il COMITES ed il Consolato Generale d’Italia, nella persona del Console dott. Alessandro Motta. Pertanto, pregihiamo il Presidente Liberati di contattare gli Enti che possano essere interessati a qualsiasi forma di collaborazione con la nostra realta.

ll Sindaco Biagio Sciortino

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By Louie Giampa

keep passing this restaurant, this time I decided to take my niece Dominica for dinner. Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly hostess and the sound of 2 piece Jazz combo. It just so happened, this was their 1st night performing. The new owner, Jim Wigg, is thinking of doing this on a regular basis. I wouldn’t think twice about this decision. Their music was wonderful, it added to the ambience of this nice comfortable restaurant. The ceiling was unique with its painted lighted panels. The waiter approached to explain the specials of the evening, all sounded wonderful. But we wanted to order off the menu. I noticed a lot of fish on the menu so I decided not to order the usual pasta. For an appetizer we ordered the fresh Calamari salad and Shrimp Marsala. The calamari was tender on a bed of lettuce with onions, green peppers and celery, drizzled with a light vinaigrette dressing. The Shrimp Marsala was smothered with mushrooms. What I liked about this dish was that you actually tasted the large shrimp. Good choices so far. For dinner, I ordered the Veal Braciolina Di Vetello. This was veal

rolled up and stuffed with prosciutto and fontina cheese. Three large pieces! This was covered with a tasty mushroom sauce. It was excellent! My niece ordered the 8-finger cavatelli in a delicious vodka sauce. This dish also was wonderful. My side salad was cold and crisp as it should be. Jim (the owner) insisted I try the Sea Bass Franchise, their special of the evening. I did and am not sorry one bit. It was the best I’ve tasted. It came with a side of angel hair pasta with an oil and lemon taste. We did have the homemade Terramasu for desert. I actually ordered it for my great niece Isabella, she is 5, and I thought she would just love it. But the lady that she is, she passed it up and said she is not allowed to have too much sugar. So guess who ate the whole thing? What more can I say about Basilico, located at 4701 N Cumberland Ave, in Norridge. They have 2 banquet rooms that seat 50 each, a great place for a private party. Great food, comfortable surroundings and attentive service, you must give it a try, even if it’s for a drink and some appetizers. Let Jim know that, Louie from Amici sent you. You won’t be disappointed. Just a footnote, Jim is also the owner of Mama Mia’s Pizzeria across the street, at 4638 N. Cumberland Ave. This place is opened till 4am. No need to go hungry in this neighborhood. He also owns the Café Il Cortile, 8445 W. Lawrence Ave. Jim has his hands full, but with his excellent staff and unbeatable and devoted chefs, he will do just fine. Ciao, Louie

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Pasta T

here are many fine Italian restaurants in the New York area. The problem is choosing which one to go to. If you’re staying in Manhattan, and all those teeming crowds and exorbitant prices are getting a bit old, why not take a break from all that intensity and have a high-quality, reasonably priced Italian dinner in a more laid back atmosphere on the “Joisey side.” If that sounds good, take a quick, inexpensive PATH subway from 6th Avenue and 32nd Street to Hoboken and visit Tutta Pasta, just four blocks from Frank Sinatra’s old dwellings. My wife and I dined there on one of those rare “Injun Summer” nights when it was warm enough to sit in the restaurant’s inviting outside patio and take in the vibes from Washington Street, the “Restaurant Row” of Hoboken. There were plenty of people out that night, but it was still a pleasant change from the packed swarms on the other side of the Hudson River. efore dinner, we were welcomed by the owner, Fortunato DiNatale, a very gentile and friendly man, who treated us like royalty and clearly respected our magazine. Fortunato is a hardworking businessman who has happily exploited all that the American dream has to offer in the 42 years since he came to our shores. At one point, he had 17 restaurants on the East Coast. One of these, located in Manhattan’s financial district, had to close because of the adverse effects of 9/11. All the rest have been sold except for one other in Brooklyn. But Fortunato is still a big force in the Italian restaurant business. That’s because he now sells the same homemade pasta that is featured in his restaurants to distributors and foodservice companies that cater to restaurants and hotels throughout the country. His son, Jerry, is most active in this side of the business. Fortunato’s latest enterprise is in the early stages, namely mass-producing his authentic Neapolitan pizzas. This concept is being test-marketed in South America now. aving had a cocktail with the lively conversation we began our dinner with a couple of appetizers. The first was a stuffed eggplant that was simply outstanding. Jam-packed with ricotta and spinach, it was baked perfectly and covered with an extraordinarily hearty, tasty red sauce (or “gravy,” as they call it back East) that made the trip worthwhile right there. For the other appetizer we did something different, and ordered one of Fortunato’s napolitan’ pizzas – basically a traditional Margherita with sausage (the East Coast version is more like the Midwest’s pepperoni). It was melt-in-your-mouth succulent and spicy, yet thin and small enough so that we had plenty of room for more. s you would expect, Tutta Pasta provides an excellent selection of Italian and American wines, very inexpensively priced compared to Manhattan! We chose our favorite, a Chianti Classico. This time we ordered a Ruffino, tan label, which goes good with anything or can be enjoyed on its own. We opted for the soup, and both had cups of a memorable pasta fagiol, thick with tasty beans and al dente noodles. hen Enrico Caruso became a superstar tenor, but before he settled in New York, he was booked for an engagement at the San Carlo in his home-town of Naples.





He had really looked forward to returning home as the conquering hero, but he failed to bother with paying respect to some individuals who considered themselves the arbiters of public taste at the opera house. (And why should he?) As a result, his performances were disrupted and his Naples appearance was a flop. Justifiably angered, Caruso vowed never to perform in his native city again and to return only “to eat spaghetti con vogole.” To get the real deal, from a real Napolitan,’ and to take advantage of the fresh seafood from this part of the world, we split a full order of linguine con vongole for our pasta course. Tutta Pasta serves the large fresh, juicy clams in the shell for its version of this famous dish and it’s absolutely outstanding. Not too much oil, but plenty of garlic with the pasta cooked just right. Mmmmm! ow it was time for the main course. We had two entrées. Still having a yen for fresh seafood we split an order of assorted seafood (shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops, squid) with black linguini, the pasta strips soaked in calamari ink. This is a real southern Italian treat and one that is very, very rare west of New Jersey. This was so good that it’ll be a while before I get any kind of Italian seafood anywhere else. I was convinced by now that Tutta Pasta had great seafood, but what about my very favorite, veal parmigian’? It was the best I ever had, I kid you not. Two layers of tender cutlets, each delicately breaded, covered with melted mozzarella, swimming in that heavenly red sauce that we had a taste of with the eggplant appetizer. The portions were such that we took some back to our hotel and I revisited that veal in the middle of the night. It was so good that I was dreaming about it and had to have some more right then! utta Pasta, besides being an excellent Italian restaurant, also offers sparkling entertainment at its upstairs Comedy Club every Thursday. It is also a favorite hangout for the likes of Danny Aiello and Tony Lip. It’s definitely on our list of must-places-to-go from now on whenever we visit the Big Apple!



Buon appetit! Pasta 200 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030 201-792-9102

Life in the Troop Carr or

A Treasury of Twice-Told Toilet Tales by Mike Ingrisano


oining the military in World War II was a life changing experience for me and thousands of other Americans. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and in the Depression years of my youth I did travel a little with my family, although not much beyond Washington, DC, and the eastern seacoast. But military service would take me and the other recruits on a great journey, to other countries, and other customs. After completing my radio operator/mechanic course at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, I was assigned to and in March 1943 joined the 72nd Troop Carrier Warren D. (‘Tex’) Squadron then forming at Alliance Army Air Force Base in Nebraska. Actually I was part of the new cadre. We Rayburn had no planes and few personnel. So I was then sent for advanced training in Kansas City, Missouri. I returned to Alliance in early June 1943, and was assigned as a RO (radio operator) air crew member. I flew quite frequently with a young 2nd Lt., Addison Agle. So much so that we struck up a close relationship. It was not long before Agle was given his options, one of which was overseas duty. He opted for that and asked if I wanted to join him. We arrived at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in early July to await the arrival of a new C-47 and to form a team which was to go overseas as a replacement unit to some then unknown squadron.

News flash: it’s the amenities

By August 3, we had a new plane and a new crew, and off we went with another replacement crew for parts known only to Agle and Harold Bailey, the pilot of the other plane. Our course took us through the northern route – Maine, Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, and on to Belfast, Ireland. It was there that the first toilet tale happened. We remained over night in Belfast. But for this replaced Brooklyn boy, the trip over had some devastating effects on his body system. Gently noted, I was suffering from acute constipation. Since we were to remain in Belfast for the night, we took the occasion to visit one of the local pubs. Before I could finish half of my Guinness Stout, I felt the urge and hastened to the bar toilet. Before I could be about my business, much to my chagrin, I found that there was no toilet paper. I went back out to the bar maid and, quietly and delicately, asked her for paper. She reached under the counter and pulled out a copy of the “Belfast News” (or whatever it was), and loudly exclaimed to all the regulars, “Here, Yank, this ought to do the job for you.” It did. Not quite as comforting as at home, but in a small way it made me realize I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, as they say in the movies. And fortunately, we left the next morning for southern England.

Hold on tight

Our next leg took us to Marrakech in west Morocco. There we found that some military unit or maybe it was the American Red Cross had taken over what was formerly a classy night club. Creature comforts, I thought. This would be 28 AMICI / Winter 08/09

heaven for it would give us a chance to clean up and to take care of normal body functions – the second lesson in toiletry for this RO sergeant. In this part of the world I learned it was not unusual that the booth had no seat. Just a hole in the floor, with positions to put one’s feet, and a bar on the door to hold on for dear life. Since I was wearing a one-piece coverall, I thought that for cleanliness sake and for convenience, I had better divest myself of this cumbersome garment. So Julian A Rice Pilot I stripped down to nature’s skin and held on for 37th Sqdn 316th TCG dear life. Incidentally, our “room” for the night was under our aircraft wing under the African sky. Shoes, of course, were tied to the plane’s aileron locks so that scorpions did not invade our privacy. The next day, we were off for Algiers, and thence to Castel Benito, Tripoli, where our education continued.

New gadgets

In this part of North Africa we were billeted at a rather nice hotel. As we looked over our rooms, and particularly the bath room, Harold Bailey, a tall North Carolinian and former school teacher, now C-47 pilot, noted this low standing receptacle, next to the toilet. It had a knob which when turned would eject water from a three-hole outlet. Remarking that it was strange to have such a low water fountain, he got on his knees to get a drink. He then realized why the location and then its use. Harold and the rest of us became acquainted with our first bidet!

Ah, the great outdoors

Eventually, after passing through El Adem, Torbruk, and Heliopolis, Cairo, we landed at El Kabrit, Egypt, our new home with the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron, 316th Troop Carrier Group. For the time being my education with comfort stations remained at a neutral basis. Tent life in Egypt was comfortable. And when I was not flying, and that was not too frequently, we were right on the shore of the Great Bitter Lake where swimming was a joy. But our joy did not last that long. In October 1943, we moved to El Aouina, Tunis. Our tent area was right at the end of the runway. We were supposed to dig fox holes, but the Tunisian terrain was so rocky that, even fortified with lousy native wine, we could barely make a dent in the “earth.” Fortunately, we never had a bomb scare. But life wasn’t easy. Our shower was a B-24 bomber gas tank rigged with a spray nozzle. BUT, all we had was cold water. And winter in North Africa is COLD. So before showering, it was normal to tap the wine cooler for a little internal warmth, at the least. Your hero RO unfortunately had the misfortune of contracting a virus that led to excessive diarrhea. The trudge to the open-air latrine, a series of used 50-gallon gasoline barrels topped with a circular toilet seat, was a real chore. Because of the weather and the illness, it was necessary to put on a winter flying jacket, and shoes, but no pants. Too cumbersome. So off to the latrine in civvies (under shorts) and winter gear. No privacy. The latrine was in the flight path, and so, one sitting at his ease could wave to the passengers in the planes that were taking

Mike’s one-piece coveralls

rier Command off into the wind. Might as well smile nicely, while the body was going through its healing phase.

One last flush

On to Sicily, right after Thanksgiving. Wet, cold, sunny Sicily where life for the GIs was again the four-man tent in an olive grove. Our planes were parked at Borizzo, an unused RAF field, close to the western coast of the island. (Borizzo as a named location no longer exists.) At one point in our life in Sicily, a new replacement RO joined us. Unfortunately, he arrived late at night, was given quarters but not directions to the nearest latrine. He suffered the same malady that this RO had in Tunis. The next morning, after a windy, rainy night, we woke up to find used toilet paper decorating many of the olive trees in the tent area. But his was not the worst toilet tale. The squadron officers were billeted in a Count’s castle. He, an ardent Fascist, his wife and daughter lived in the basement area while the officers laid claim to the rest of the castle. The aforementioned RO’s pilot, Lt. Julian “Bud” Rice, also a new replacement, tells his story: “I settled my gear neatly in place, then went into the small adjoining bathroom to relieve an overloaded condition. Finished and feeling ready to tackle the war, I pulled up my pants and I tried the toilet handle. The toilet would not flush. I looked around and saw the ‘Jerry’ cans (a five gallon can so called because it was a German invention, which the Allies smartly copied. It was used variously for water, wine, or petrol--its original use). I heard voices and footsteps on the stairs. Hurriedly, I grabbed the lid off the can and dumped a big slug into the toilet. It flushed all right, but too late, I smelled the strong odor of 100-octane airplane fuel. Quickly I departed the scene. I headed down the stairs and passed a Capt. [Elias Guterman] with a walrus mustache and a cigarette butt hanging from his lips. I paused at the foot Capt. Elias Guterman of the stairs and wondered if I should say something. But at that moment of indecision, there was sort of a muffled, windy-type (whooshy) explosion coming from the bathroom area. The good Capt. had flipped his cigarette butt into the wrong place at the wrong time, and we lost a very good toilet. Realizing that discretion was the better part of valor, I high-tailed it out to the airfield and hung around there for a couple of hours. Then I went back to the Villa to give myself up. It didn’t turn out tooo bad. The Capt. gave me 10,000 words (unprintable), but his big mustache survived OK, so he didn’t throw me into the slammer. But, we did lose a good toilet! Incidentally, on my behalf, I must say in no way did this retard the state of the War.”

‘The Villa’ Sicily difficulties, I stood up and motioned to my zippered fly. “Oh,” he said, “u cabinetto.” This was “foreign” to me. You see Pop came to the U.S. in 1896, and Mom in 1907. At any rate, when my Pop was working as a bricklayer, he learned quite quickly that the cabinetto on the job was the “back house.” Italianized, this became u baccasa, even where there was indoor plumbing. I never remember hearing the “proper” Italian word. Some 50 years later I learned how wide spread the Brooklynese version was. I was on a tour of Sicily, revisiting the ruins of Agrigento which I first saw in early 1944. At one point, fellow travelers from Brooklyn nudged each other and pointed to the neighboring backyards: “u baccasa!”

Now hear this

Life in our home away from home, the C-47 was a tad different. The toilet “can” was in the rear of the plane. My crew chief had a very hardnosed attitude about its use. “You use it; you clean it.” And I even heard him tell that to a very reserved British general who had the fortitude to fly on our aircraft. Up in the cockpit area, the “relief” tube was located under the pilot’s position. But that meant that any other crew member would have to disturb the skipper to use the tube. So, rather cleverly, our crew chief (as did all the others) bored a hole in the bulkhead immediately behind the pilot’s position, ran the rubber tubing through the hole to a normal standing height, attached a cone-shaped rubber funnel to the tube, and set this into a clamp which held the device in place. A very ingenious solution. But ours had one interesting side effect. On a flight from Sicily to Naples, we were carrying some nurses to a change of station. One nurse was particularly very curious (actually nosey) about our plane and the crew’s quarters. She asked all sorts of questions: what about this, what about that? Then she happened on the relief tube. She tapped the skipper on the shoulder and asked what this unit was used for. “Tex” (Warren D.) Rayburn, a tall good looking, former staff sergeant pilot, quick with the humor and wit, told her that this was part of our intercommunications system. All she had to do was pick it up, speak into it and she could be heard from and talk to every member of the crew. So dutifully she followed the instructions. But when she got the nozzle close to her mouth and nose, she detected a strong odor. Realizing that she had been tricked, in a none too lady-like fashion, she told “Tex” where to go, and stomped out of the Translating from Brooklynese Born in Brooklyn of Italian immigrants, I grew up quite bilingual. compartment and pouted for the rest of the flight. Alas! So the twice-told toilet tales end. We moved from Sicily to English was primary for me, as it was for my businessman Pop, but Mom and my grandparents relied almost entirely on their native Italian. In Sic- England in February 1944, to prepare for the invasion of Northern Euily and Italy during WWII, my attempts to communicate in Italian were rope. We had the good fortune of being stationed at Cottesmore RAF base roughly 50 miles north of London mostly successful, giving me a good bit of until our departure for the Zone joy and some advantage. Interestingly, the of the Interior (HOME!) in May natives were able to detect that my dialect 1945. Life at Cottesmore, the was Napolitano. equivalent of our Randolph Field, Because of my limited linguistic eduTexas, was the height of civilizacation, however, there were times when I tion: no tents, no outdoor living, had difficulties. On one flight to Italy, we and no outdoor privies (except in over nighted in Bari. There I was able to some of the British pubs, but that have a long “talk” in English/Italian with never bothered us)! We knew we the hotel concierge, who had relatives in were lucky guys, and life was oh “Pittsaberga.” After a few glasses of wine, so much easier than that of the I needed to use the bathroom. So I asked brave boys in the Infantry. Pietro where the baccasa was. He looked at That was part of life in the me a bit oddly: “qui che u baccasa?” what On the can Troop Carrier Command. Quite is the baccasa? Realizing the linguistic an education for a Brooklyn boy! Winter 08/09 / AMICI 29

Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld on Colds and Flus The Best Way To Prevent A Cold


Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld has had a long lasting relationship in the Italian American community. He was honored by the Foreign Minister of Italy, who conferred these honors to the Doctor as“Commendatore and Grand Uficiale della Republica Italian”

t’s long been believed that the increased frequency of colds in the wintertime is not due to the outside temperature but the fact that we spend more time indoors in closer, prolonged contact with others who may be sick. The viruses that make you ill are airborne, but they land on virtually all hard surfaces where they can live for up to two days. One study by the University of Virginia found that hotel guests contracted the rhinovirus a day after an infected person had checked out. You touch something—a doorknob, a tabletop, a tap—and the viruses move to your hand. Then, when you touch your mouth, eyes or nose, they settle in—and you catch a cold. Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, then wash your hands and get rid of any used tissues. Short of wearing rubber gloves to ward off illness, your best bet is to wash your hands frequently with soap—before and after eating or using the toilet. Regular soap is fine. You also should carry a travel-size hand sanitizer in case you don’t have easy access to running water.

What’s the difference between the flu and a really bad cold?

Influenza is caused by a specific virus not related to any of the hundreds of different ones that cause colds. Flu symptoms are different from those of a cold. They usually come on suddenly and are accompanied by general malaise and fever. The flu can make you very sick—some strains are fatal—while a cold is only likely to cause relatively mild upper respiratory discomfort.

Get Your Flu Shot!

If you haven’t yet received a flu shot this year, get one!

Everyone, except those who are allergic to chicken or egg protein, should be vaccinated every year, starting at 6 months of age. Why? Here’s one piece of evidence attesting to the value of the flu shot: In studies involving approximately 150,000 subjects vaccinated against influenza, there was a 30% reduction in hospitalization for pneumonia or flu. That’s not all—there was also a 19% reduction in hospitalization for heart disease; 23% reduction in hospitalization for stroke; and a 49% reduction in the overall risk of death from any cause. Other important facts to keep in mind: • There’s plenty of vaccine available, so don’t selflessly opt not to get the shot to ensure that Grandma will be covered. • The strains of the virus change, and new vaccines are formulated to combat them, which is why you should get a shot annually. • If fear of needles is keeping you from getting the shot, the vaccine also can be administered through a nasal spray. It’s approved for use in healthy people 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. • Many people think that if they haven’t been vaccinated by Thanksgiving, they shouldn’t bother. In fact, peak flu season usually begins in February. So you still can get one even after the new year if the virus hasn’t hit your area yet. • Every child between the ages of 6 months and 59 months should receive a flu shot, according to a recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And those children who are receiving the shot for the first time need a double dose.

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A time, a place and a people that were and will never be again

Writers of the Italian American Experience By Vincent Romano


Beyond Family Values…Beyond the Work Ethic…Beyond Demograph-

accepted the offer to participate in this conference of Italian American writers because its stated objective was to revisit the Italian American experience with the fresh insights and new perceptions that our changing society now affords us. The theme of the conference is to employ those new ways of looking at things to the writings of the past. Discarding old perceptions of writers of the Italian American experience in favor of new realities. Understanding human behavior; attempting to explain how it is that we become what we become and why we behave as we do has been the elusive mission of writers as far back as Homer’s Iliad. As writers, we report on human behavior. As writers, we also attempt to explain that behavior. That explanation is often based upon the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of our day. That journey has taken us from the determinism of the Homer’s Gods who ach day determined whether it would be the Trojans or the Greeks who would triumph at the end of each day’s battle on the plains of Troy, through the breakthrough of the Freudian paradigm, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, past Erickson’s stages of development, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, to the various socio-behaviorist theories currently in play. Ironically, C. O. Wilson’s Pulitzer prize book on sociobiology suggests that we have come complete circle. Wilson theorizes that the behavior of all animals has been genetically coded. Our phylum is no exception. Perhaps Ahab was correct in justifying his obsession to pursue and kill the white whale, when he told his first mate, Starbuck. “It was written a billion years ‘ere these oceans ever rolled.” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick.) He further extrapolates that the ethnic groups to which we identify are also uniquely coded by a biological determinism. Mario Puzo sensed the chemical determinism that was uniquely Italian long before C.O Wilson’s Pulitzer prize winning book. What could be more Italian than then these quotes from his Godfather Trilogy? How uniquely Italian is Mario Puzo’s descriptions of the Italian male. “And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots.” How uniquely Italian is, “If you do not give, then I must take.” A statement “I don’t apologize… “ “I refuse to be servant…” “I hope that someday my children might be ..and they would be the one’s pulling the strings.” That is not justice your daughter is still alive. That's my life I don't apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Something. I don't apologize to take care of my family. Women and children can be careless but not men. How's your boy? But I never wanted this for you. I live my life, I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man. A man to be treated with respect but I must say no to you and I will give you my reasons. It's true, I have a lot of friends in politics All of these traits described by Mario Puzo were heavily imbedded in my Taylor Street. We took what the establishment would not give. 34 AMICI / Winter 08/09

We refused to remain servants to the American Dream. If the new frontiers of human behavior are to be applied to the writings of the Italian American experience, we must, by definition, re-examine and possibly discard, obsolete perceptions. Perceptions that have inoculated us against applying new perceptions of the Italian American experience…therefore distorting our understanding of the Italian American experience. These are the three important points I will try to touch on today, time permitting. Hopefully, snippets from the Taylor Street Archives will achieve this goal without offending anyone. 1.We, as writers, should not hide behind the oft-repeated mantras of family values and the work ethic. Limiting ourselves to those mantras will leave unexplored and unexplained the important message of the Italian American experience; i.e., the psychological genocide of a people and the power of the media to orchestrate that holocaust. 2.We boast about writing our own story of the Italian American experience. However, we allow others, those who control and have access to those media outlets that will survive us, to report our history to their liking. Those media outlets should include our schools and our universities. One of those important media outlets that control the history of Chicago’s Italian Americans—specifically, the port-of-call for Chicago’s Italian Americans-- is the Jane Addams’ Hull House Museum. The web sites that they control is void of any reference to Taylor Street, the social laboratory upon which Hull House elite based their theories. The inner core of the Hull House Neighborhood, (See page 6) 3.Redefining the Italian American experience must, by definition, include redefining the gangsterism that has become synonymous with the male figure in Italian American culture. We must revisit the Godfather, GoodFellas and the Sopranos to explore how new theories of human behavior that explain the Fates of Societies and their subcultures…how new theories of human behavior that explain the destinies of individuals within those subcultures apply to us. As writers, we acquire, by default, the role of social behavior engineers and social behavior theorists. As writers of the Italian American experience, we have the obligation to apply these new theories, these new ways of looking at things, to explore, explain and more accurately explain this Italian American phenomenon. “We have gone all the way to the moon and back again…and yet we cannot guarantee the development of a single human being.” The Italian American experience I’m most familiar with is the east end of Taylor Street… the Taylor and Halsted neighborhood. Like other first generation Italian Americans, my identity was, in-part, the creation of that neighborhood…its people and its institutions. Everyone feared the establishment. Come Election Day, no one believed there was a secret ballot. There was never any consensus, during the summer evening debates, as to whether or not Mussolini was good for Italy. All I recall from those heated debates was that Mussolini did get the trains to run on time. As first generation Italian Americans kids, we learned quickly that our world was far removed from that of the major culture. It did not

take long for us to sense that we were a subculture within a dominant culture that was very different from us. There were books written about blackboard jungles, asphalt jungles and mean streets. One would be hard pressed to find a street more reflective of the combined theme of those novels than Taylor Street. We had our share of profound failures prophesized by our sociological soothsayers. Jared Diamond’s best seller, Guns, Germs and Steel, provided us with an explanation on how physical geography determined the Fates of Societies. The physical geography of Taylor Street had little or nothing to do with our Fate. It was the social geography, framed by the media and implemented by the larger society, that determined our FATE. Willard Motley’s best seller, Knock on Any Door, was a treatise, of sorts, on how social geography determined the fates of individuals within the subcultures of a larger society. Willard Motley picked the right place, Taylor Street, to do his research and expound upon his theory. His main character, Nick Romano, was given an address on Peoria Street. Peoria Street, buried deep within the Taylor Street matrix, has to be in the top stanine of streets whose alumni are serving prison time. We have at least two Peoria Street alumni currently serving life terms. How prophetic that both were teenagers at the time Willard Motley wrote his best selling novel. They would not only have been neighbors with his ill-fated character, Nick Romano, they would likely have belonged to the same Social Athletic Club. Social Athletic Clubs, like fiefdoms, proliferated the neighborhood. They were really gambling parlors. We bet horses, played pool, shot dice, and played cards until the wee hours of the morning. You were more likely to be identified as a member of one of those clubs than you were with the school you attended or the street you lived on. In the Taylor Street Archives is a statement made by the sister of one of our club members. I quote: “You guys are so much alike, you would think you all had the same mother.” That statement pretty well summarized growing up in the legendary Taylor Street’s Little Italy. It pretty well summarized what it meant to be Taylor Street bred. “You guys are so much alike, you would think you all had the same mother.” Apparently it was the perfect mix of heredity and environment. Winter 08/09 / AMICI 35

By Lee DeMar

The History of Oakley Avenue


this Ordinary Sunday in Ordinary Time, we come to an out of the ordinary event. As we celebrate Mass here for the last time, let us enter with full hearts into Thanksgiving for the gifts of God and the grace of this place.” Father Todd spoke these words on Sunday, November 23, 2003. It was the last Mass at St. Michael Italian Catholic Church on West 24th Place between Western and Oakley Avenues in Chicago. The event was really not out of the ordinary as more and more ethnic Catholic Churches and their schools closed due to neighborhood succession. But the adjective “extraordinary” could certainly apply to this particular parish. On another Sunday back in August of 1903 Father Dunn spoke more encouraging words, as this Church had its first Mass in what was then the basement of an unfinished Swedish Lutheran Church purchased for $11,000. There were three other ethnic Catholic churches within short walking distance of 24th Place and Oakley Avenue. The Lithuanians had Our Lady of Vilna, St. Paul for the Germans and St. Steven for the Slavs. These are huge spiraling edifices in great contrast to St. Michael’s, which sits in the middle of the block without the expected parking lot. In fact, aside from the stone cross on top, it’s almost indistinguishable from the other buildings that line both sides of this residential street. This Little Church, destined for an epic struggle, was the culmination of the dreams of the Italian immigrants who began settling in the area around the late 1880’s, drawn here by available jobs at the nearby McCormick Reaper Plant that became International Harvester a.k.a. “the old tractor works”. Things progressed well until 1906 when the storm called Il Fascista began to arrive. Now, Socialists, Anarchists, Communists, etc. were nothing new to Chicago and the rest of the country. Authority had been threatened with profound and deadly consequences. Kindred recalcitrant were involved in the assassination of President McKinley in Buffalo, New York in 1901, the murder at the Communion rail of Father Heinricks during Mass in Denver in 1908, and in Chicago, the Haymarket Affair in 1886. On Oakley Avenue the goal was to strike a blow for their ideals of “No God, No Government, No Gold”. The Fascist rallying cry “Rispetto Umano” (Human Respect) hung in the air. First came the verbal bombardment at work sites, especially at the McCormick Works where most of the neighborhood men made their livings, then in the neighborhood clubs, outdoor gatherings, and also in the locally printed Socialist newspapers. Things worsened for St. Michael’s after World War I when an influx of fanatical adherents of Mussolini arrived from Tuscany. Mass attendance, baptisms and church marriages began to decline. Notable men of the community who were involved with the church from the beginning now denied any connection. By 1922 the pressure increased when the followers of Il Duce actually stood in front of the only entrance to St. Michael, physically intimidating parishioners who nervously turned away. The red flag was paraded up and down Oakley Avenue with impunity while “Bandiera Rossa Trionfera” was sung, “Red Flag will prevail it, Red Flag will prevail it, evviva the Socialism and the Freedom.” Things went from bad to worse and it appeared the church would close, but as often happens in history, a special person arrives onto the scene to restore balance, and for St. Michael’s in 1923 that person was the new pastor, a Scalabrinian Priest, Rev. Caesar Molinari. Bishop Scalabrini who founded the order to provide missionaries for immigrants had organized the Scalabrinians. The more than 25 million Italians who migrated cut out their work for them mostly to America in little more than one hundred years. Scalabrini’s model was St. Charles Borromeo, whose emblem of the words “humility crowned” is still the motto of the Order today. Father Molinari studied the problems and began to organize parish groups such as Sodality of the Madri Christiane, later known as St. Anne Society, and Sodalities of St. Agnes and the Children of Mary to counter the socialists who, in an odd fashion were similar to the hated Catholic Church in that they too had their ideology for what is best for mankind, hymns, and even feast days such as May Day. Father Molinari then organized a Holy Name Society. The members set 36 AMICI / Winter 08/09

straight out to sponsor youth activities such as sports, dramatics, and outings. In fact, the enthusiasm of the younger people seemed to renew the spirit in many an older person. As Father Molinari’s efforts began to reach prodigal souls, his next step was to put out the call, and forty men volunteered and proudly marched in their own parade up and down Oakley Avenue under the Holy Name Banner. These men were then joined by those who had previously succumbed to the red pressure, including some who were at the first Mass and Blessing in 1903, swelling the ranks of marchers, courageously professing faith rekindled. The time had come to fully reclaim the area. The neighborhood tradition of the parish festival was resumed, and in later years evolved into the well known “Italian Music and Pizza Fair” featuring popular headlining Italian entertainers, brought about by the talents and efforts of the charismatic Fr. Louis Donanzan, pastor of St. Michael’s in the 1950’s and early ‘60’s. In a handbook commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Saint Michael there is only a small mention of these dark years stating, “So St. Michael, the Great Archangel again, as in the first moments of creation, had to wage war against those whom the angel of darkness had cleverly lured into his power.” Statistics from this booklet indicated that as of 1975 there were 3,943 Baptisms, 2,676 First Holy Communions, 2,507 Confirmations and 1,451 marriages. In addition are the thousands of students who attended St. Michael Grammar School, started in 1951 when Sisters Augustine, Antoinette, and the other Missionary Sisters of St. Charles broke ground adjacent to the church for a convent and school. Sister Antoinette died in a tragic fall in this school where she had taught the Kindergarten class for more than 25 years. Sister Augustine spent the next 50 years of her life there as Principal until it closed. Il Fascista was still visible in the neighborhood for some time. In fact, in the late 1950’s Sister Augustine was subjected to vile words and forced from Anzilotti Bacigalupo Funeral Parlor as she attempted to pay her respects at the wake of a student’s father. So now over a century has passed, the socialists are gone and so is St. Michael’s Church. How will history judge the outcome? No traces of the red flag are to be found versus the thousands of Sacraments performed. All those souls inspired, comforted and encouraged because of this humble building on West 24th Place. If further proof is needed as to who held lasting sway in the neighborhood,just look to the street signs between Western and Oakley Avenues on West 24th Place. They read “Sister Augustine Cutrara Drive,” not Benito Mussolini Avenue. Father Molinari studied the problems and began to organize parish groups such as Sodality of the Madri Christiane, later known as St. Anne Society, and Sodalities of St. Agnes and the Children of Mary to counter the socialists who, in an odd fashion were similar to the hated Catholic Church in that they too had their ideology for what is best for mankind, hymns, and even feast days such as May Day. Father Molinari then organized a Holy Name Society. The members set straight out to sponsor youth activities such as sports, dramatics, and outings. In fact, the enthusiasm of the younger people seemed to renew the spirit in many an older person. As Father Molinari’s efforts began to reach prodigal souls, his next step was to put out the call, and forty men volunteered and proudly marched in their own parade up and down Oakley Avenue under the Holy Name Banner. These men were then joined by those who had previously succumbed to the red pressure, including some who were at the first Mass and Blessing in 1903, swelling the ranks of marchers, courageously professing faith rekindled. The time had come to fully reclaim the area. The neighborhood tradition of the parish festival was resumed, and in later years evolved into the well known “Italian Music and Pizza Fair” featuring popular headlining Italian entertainers, brought about by the talents and efforts of the charismatic Fr. Louis Donanzan, pastor of St. Michael’s in the 1950’s and early ‘60’s.

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1925 - Frank Borghi was born April 9, in St. Louis, Missouri. Played as a goalkeeper for the US National Teams. 1948 - 1950 - He won U.S. Open Cup medals.  1955 - He was appointed as the Most Valuable Player by the Missouri Soccer Commission  1976 - He was included in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. After retiring from sports, he became the director of a funeral home in St. Louis Other St. Louisans include Frank Borghi, second row center (different shirt), Charlie Columbo (left of Frank Borghi), Harry Keough (right of Frank Borghi), and Gino Pariani (almost directly in front of Frank Borghi). The man to the right of Gino Pariani is Joe Gaetjens who scored the winning goal.


a sweltering late afternoon in Brazil nearly sixty years ago, a rag tag squad of Americans stunned the international soccer world by defeating the heavily favored team from England 1-0 in the opening rounds of the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The win was so shocking that English newspapers assumed the score was a typing error and edited their publications to reflect an English victory of 10-1. Helping to secure the win was a group of five young players from the Italian section of St. Louis, known as The Hill. As with the other members of the U.S. team, the St Louis quintet of Frank Borghi, Gino Pariani, Charley Colombo, Harry Keough and Frank Wallace had little


ated by his teammates than the fans," World Cup teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Walter Bahr said. "Always reliable, always gave a good game - you could depend upon him to do his job well." Both Borghi and Pariani would eventually earn induction into the United States National Soccer Hall Of Fame. Surprisingly, the team qualified for the 1950 World Cup, and found themselves facing Spain, Chile, and England in group play. Borghi feared the English most of all, calling them the “fathers of soccer.” His primary concern was not a win, but to “keep [the score] down to four or five goals.” The English squad was formidable and widely considered the world's best, with a post-war record of 23 wins with only 4 losses and 3 draws. The same odds makers that refused bets on the long shot Americans rated the English as 3-1 favorites to win the Cup. Group play began with the English edging Chile 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro as Spain 3-1 bested the Americans after an early lead provided by Gino Pariani's goal. The squads would face each other a few days later on June 29 at Magalhaes Pinto (Minerisao) Stadium in Belo Horizante, Brazil. A crowd of just over 10,000 arrived, unaware that they were about to witness World Cup history. Generoso Dattilo, an Italian assigned to referee the match, welcomed the team captains and tossed the coin. England kicked off and quickly attacked with Stanley Mortensen, regarded as the best player of his era, sending a cross to Roy Bentley. His crisp shot was barely pushed aside by Borghi. Encouraged by their play, the second half opened with another scoring opportunity for the American team, but failed to capitalize. As the final whistle blew, the Americans celebrated while the dejected English team stood about, jaws agape, wondering what had just occurred. Years later, Borghi would recall the cordiality of the English team (L-R) Gino Pariani, Ed Sousa, Harry Keough, Walter Bahr members of the original 1950 American World Cup Soccer Team in a upon seeing the scene from “THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES”. Americans at the An IFC Films release. Rio de Janeiro airport after the match. The athletic after-effects wouldn't last for the Americans, however, as they lost their last group play game to Chile. Perhaps still stunned by their epic failure, the English squad also lost their final game, and both teams failed to qualify for the elimination round. The World Cup was ultimately won by Uruguay on July 16, 1950. Frank Borghi would continue as the National Team's goalkeeper through the 1954 World Cup qualification rounds. He retains greater pride in his accomplishments with the Simkins-Ford semi-pro team that won the U.S. Open Cup in 1948 and 1950, and his election into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Many others disagree, however, and consider Frank's greatest moment was his shut-out against England in Belo Horizonte. It remains arguably the greatest highlight of American soccer to this day.

World Cup

or no professional experience. They were not novices, however, with many playing for St. Louis's Simpkins-Ford amateur club which won the U.S. Open Cup in 1948 and 1950. Their World Cup training was limited to only 10 days prior to traveling to Brazil, with their uniforms arriving just before departure. So unimpressed were the odds makers that most would not even accept wagers on the 500 to 1 American team. One of the more interesting players on the squad was the goalkeeper, Frank Borghi. Born in St. Louis to Italian parents in 1925, he served as a field medic during World War II. Initially drawn to baseball, Borghi was talented enough to spend two seasons in the minor leagues. Wishing to keep fit in the winter, he decided to try soccer, then a winter sport, and tried out for the powerful Simpkins-Ford team. Borghi, however, simply could not kick a ball. Utilizing his large hands and hand-eye coordination, he moved to goalkeeper and quickly excelled at the position, enough to merit a call-up to the national team in 1949. The Italian influence on the U.S. team was not limited to Frank Borghi. His teammate and Dagget Street neighbor, Virginio (Gino) Pariani, also was born to Italian immigrants. Pariani was so talented that by the age of 15, he was playing in the country's top amateur division, eventually earning league MVP honors. "Gino was probably more appreci38 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Dominic Salvatore Gentile:

Ace of Aces


ariously called "a one-man Air Force," "Captain Courageous," and "the Ace of Aces," Captain Dominic Gentile had few peers when it came to air combat. Along with his close friend and dedicated wingman, John T. Godfrey, their lethal partnership so plagued Hermann Göring's Luftwaffe during World War II that they earned the epithet, "Debden Gangsters." In early 1944, Gentile shot down his 27th enemy fighter, surpassing World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker’s record of 26 combat victories. He would earn three more victories before war’s end, along with a host of military decorations including the Distinguished Service Cross (both American and British) and the Silver Star. Born in tiny Piqua, Ohio in 1920, Dominic became fascinated with flying as a child. His obsession grew from playing with model planes and kites that during his high school years, his father provided Dominic with his own plane: an Aerosport Biplane. By the outbreak of war in 1941, he deeply believed his flying skills would be of service to the United States Air Force. While the U.S. military required two years of college for its pilots, the Royal Air Force did not and Gentile joined the legendary Eagle Squadrons based in England. Flying a Spitfire, in a ten-minute span, he downed two German planes over France on August 1, 1942, earning the British Distinguished Flying Cross for his astonishing accomplishment. A month later, he transferred into the U.S. Air Force and in 1944, he took part in one of the great aerial combat missions of the war. After downing two German planes, Gentile was attacked by two more Luftwaffe planes intent on avenging their comrades. Turning and diving to avoid them, Gentile managed to squeeze off his remaining rounds of ammunition but to no avail. They followed him relentlessly, leaving him with the rather forlorn hope that they, too, would exhaust their ammunition if could manage to evade them long enough. Eventually, their ammo also spent, the German planes turned away and Gentile returned to his air base physically and mentally drained, but alive and intact. By mid-April of 1944, and after three more air victories, Gentile’s tour in Europe was completed, but not before he suffered a minor

By L. Solomine

flying mishap caused by a bout of showmanship. While demonstrating the maneuverability of his plane - a Mustang named "Shangri La" - he crashed but emerged unscathed. Captain Gentile returned to the U.S. where he and other war heroes participated in War Bond drives. When the war ended, and in the era before commercial airlines, pilots had few options that allowed them to continue flying. Remaining with the Air Force as a test pilot among other duties, he was stationed at Wright Field in Ohio until 1946 when he received an honorable discharge. Later that same year, however, he was recalled to active duty and served in both the Fighter Gunnery Program and Air Tactical School. In June of 1949, Gentile enrolled as an undergraduate – studying military science - at the University of Maryland. While piloting a T-33 jet trainer in late January of 1951, Captain Gentile’s plane crashed in Forestville, Maryland. Both he and a passenger perished. Perhaps in consideration of his courage and dedication, the U.S. Air Force honored him with a posthumous promotion to the rank of Major. Only 30 years old at the time of his death, his wife, Isabella, and their three sons survived him: Don Jr., Joseph and Pasquale (Pat). Dominic Salvatore Gentile died but he left behind an extraordinary legacy. The then-unconventional air combat tactics employed by Gentile and his wingman, Godfrey, were later used In Vietnam by U.S. fighter pilots. For his war record of 30 kills and combat advancements, he was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. He is remembered today as one of America’s great combat aviators: ‘The Ace of Aces”.



n the European Theater, ETO, the U.S. Eighth Air Force started bombing Germany heavily in 1943. In that year, the first American Fighter Groups - the 4th, 56th, and 78th arrived, and their fighter pilots flew P-47 Thunderbolts. They shot down many enemy aircraft, and when properly handled, the "Jugs" more than held Winter 08/09 / AMICI 39



Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini Boxing is a great sport and I have met many wonderful people associated with it. Since my path has crossed Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s several times in the past 26 years, both personally and professionally.


moved to Las Vegas from Chicago in 1980. Although I was an avid boxing fan, at that time I was not yet a professional boxing judge. I was appointed to the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a professional boxing judge in October 1984. In 1980, I was a fan attending all of the boxing cards in Las Vegas, particularly at the Silver Slipper, the Showboat, Caesars Palace, and the Dunes. One night in the summer of 1980, I attended a fight in the old Sports Pavilion at Caesars Palace. I happened to be standing next to a fighter, whom I recognized from articles in boxing magazines, Ray Mancini. He told me that he was 19 years old and had a few fights scheduled at the Silver Slipper that summer. He said that his father was a former, number one contender in 1942. However, his father was drafted in World War II and never had the opportunity to fight for the championship when he returned home after the war. Ray stated that he “has put everything on hold for the next few years and was concentrating solely on boxing” and that he “was going to win a championship for my father.”


ay was born March 4, 1961 in Youngstown, Ohio to Lenny and Ellen Mancini. He was the youngest of three children. He has three children of his own: a daughter, 18, and two sons, ages 14 & 10. He is proud of his heritage. In fact, his mother, who is of Irish descent, was the first non-Italian-American woman to be elected president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Sons of Italy in Youngstown, Ohio. After a great amateur career, he became a professional boxer in 1979 and fought until 1992. He won the North American Boxing Federation Lightweight Championship in 1981. Also in 1981, he challenged the new world champion, Arturo Frias, for the WBA Lightweight Title. It has been described as one of the most spectacular first rounds in history. Frias shook Mancini with a right to the chin 15 seconds into the first round. After another combination by Frias, Mancini sustained a cut over his eyebrow. Mancini weathered the storm and knocked down the champion with a spectacular combination. Although dazed, Frias got up and 40 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Mancini attacked him the moment the referee brought them together and trapped Frias against the ropes. After many unanswered blows, the referee, Richard Green, stopped the fight. As he predicted, Ray Mancini had won the championship for his father!


recently had lunch with Ray Mancini in Santa Monica, California for this interview.

CHUCK: Ray, I’ve read several stories about how you came to be known as “Boom Boom”. Can you clarify it? RAY: My father was the original “Boom Boom”. He was given that name in 1939 when he boxed at the old Broadway Arena in New York. A promoter said, “Look at this guy; he does nothing but throw punches all the time….boom, boom.” I was known as Little Boom Boom or Boom Boom Junior. My mom was Mrs. Boom Boom. I was Boom Boom even before I was a fighter. Even when I played Pop Warner Ball, I was called Boom or Boom Boom. CHUCK: Why did you become a fighter? RAY: People thought I wanted to be a fighter because of my dad; but he tried to talk me out of it. But when he saw that I was determined to be a fighter, he set me up with the best amateur boxing trainer. When I decided to turn pro, Angelo Dundee and Lou Duva passed on training me; they said I was too small. Lou Duva was training two brothers, good fighters. Later I told Lou, “Yeah, I was too small, right, and what happened to those two brothers. Look where I’m at! CHUCK: Murphy Griffin was your trainer for your entire career, a rarity today. How did you get together with him? RAY: He took an interest in me at the very beginning. My father told me, “This guy is calling you; he’s interested in working with you. I never had anybody do that for me. This is your career; this is your choice. He’s concerned about you; he’s showing a genuine interest in you.” I had to move to New York with Murphy Griffin when I was 18. I lived with Murphy in his apartment; I slept on the couch. I had no other jobs but boxing. I lived from fight to fight. Eventually I sub-let, former heavyweight contender, Duane Bobbick’s apartment in the same building. Murphy also was one of Joe Frazier’s trainers. In Joe’s last few fights, his trainers were Eddie Futch, George Benton and Murphy Griffin. All great trainers. CHUCK: You were noted for always being in condition. Do you still work out? RAY: Yes, I still work out. I tell my kids that there are two things in life: Discipline and Focus. Discipline determines your life style; the foods you eat; everything in moderation. When I was 8 years old I did push ups at home between two of my mother’s chairs. I did pull ups on the door frames until I got older and started to crack the wood. Today I work out 5 times a week and study yoga. I do a 40 minute work out:

treadmill for 15 minutes; 80 push ups; jump rope for 10 minutes; another 80 push ups; shadow box with 3-5 lb. weights for 5 minutes; hit the bag for 10 minutes; then finish with 80 or more push ups. CHUCK: What did you get out of boxing? RAY: Boxing made me the man I am. It’s the best character builder I know of. It gave me enough income to live a good lifestyle. I live a privileged life. I’m able to take care of my kids and my future. So I’m blessed in that way! It also gave me a notoriety; it gave me a name; a certain amount of fame that I never could imagine. Sometimes when I talk to young fighters I ask them, “Why do you want to become a fighter?” I’ve heard: “To meet girls!” My answer is: To meet girls? Get a personality! I’ve heard: “To be famous.” My answer is: Fame lasts about 10 minutes, if that! I’ve heard: “To make money” My answer is: Get a job! The percentage of fighters making a lot of money is so low. I believe that only about 10% of the fighters are able to sustain a living without having another job. CHUCK: I know that you’re an independent producer in the entertainment field. I understand that you’re also a motivational speaker? RAY: Yes, I’m also a motivational speaker. I talk about HOW TO GET UP AFTER GETTING KNOCKED DOWN. I use the analogy from boxing, of course. I speak at meetings for large companies. How to stay hungry; have respect for your business; have respect for your job. It’s one thing to be a champion; it’s another thing to be a well respected champion. It’s hard to be a champion. It’s harder to maintain being a champion. CHUCK: Who were or are your heroes besides your dad? RAY: Jim Thorpe, Red Grange, Babe Ruth, Joe Di Maggio, Tony Canzoneri, Henry Armstrong, Carmen Basilio and Rocky Marciano. I’m proud to be an Italian-American and I’m proud of who I was and what I was. CHUCK: I see in you today the same determination, discipline and focus that I saw in you back at the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion when I first met you in 1980. You’re a credit to all Italian-Americans and to the boxing profession. You have certainly maintained being a champ. I want to thank you for sharing your time with me. RAY: It is my pleasure. God Bless you. Note: Ray Mancini’s professional boxing record is listed as 29 wins, 5 losses, with 23 knockouts. However, he is quick to tell you that his actual record is 30 wins, 4 losses, with 23 knockouts. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, our paths have crossed several times during the past 26 years. This difference in Ray Mancini’s professional boxing record will be the subject of another article that I will share with you in the near future.

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Held October 21-24 2008 By Andrew Guzaldo Courtesy of ICC


he Region of Sicily’s Stone Project was aimed at finding new ways to present the Sicilian economic-productive industry in international contexts The aim of the “Country Partnership Project” is to focus the promotional programs of the Region of Sicily on the Regional economic sectors and geo-economic areas that are strategic for the Regional Administration. In Sicily the stone industry, along with agricultural food products, are the sectors most extensively exported! The Stone industry is at the top of the major cut stone exporting regions, especially with regards to the Middle-East markets. The marble industry encompasses a vast range of production types, from very rough-cut pieces to the most prestigious finished marble for decoration and restoration. Various industry products are on the market: Rough material (marble and granite), Processed material - cut stone (tiles, mosaics, cubes), Simple processed pieces (small blocks, paving stones, kerbstones), and Slate. The first institutional mission took place in Chicago, from July 22nd until July 25th, 2008. The Sicilian delegates met with local institutions, managers and owners of private companies, as well as architects and interior designers who had expressed an interest in the project. Come visit us at Florence in a Box, a Florentine based, on line artisan home and gift ware Internet store featuring authentic and unique handcrafted Tuscan products. We provide a truly high quality on line shopping experience and , help people discover and acquire the finest gift ware and handcrafted items available in Tuscany. Florence in a box offers exquisitely designed items in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles. All products are the highest quality and produced in Tuscany by experienced craftsmen with century old techniques. Wonderful items for your home and for gifts.

42 AMICI / Winter 08/09

The trade mission took place in Chicago this October was a success, the year of 2009 holds much more to be seen from these Sicilian Marble Companies. Dates and times of the 2009 project have not been determined as of yet. However early summer or fall are in prospect. The following 20 companies from Sicily participated in the October 08 Event: Consorzio Perlato Sicilia, Iovino Marmi, Santoro marmi, Consorzio Ceramiche Desuir, Calandra marmi Sas, Nuovo art spa, CIMA srl, Pellegrino Francesco and group Pellegrino IMPORT-EXPORT srl, Alfa Graniti, Italia Lithos srl, Gieffevi, TREEMME dei F.lli Micelli, SICILIANA INDUSTRIA LAVORAZIONI MARMI, lavorazione Industriale Marmi e Affini-LIMA, SANTANGELO MARMI, Settipani, AVOLA LUCIANO di AVOLA GIUSEPPE, Oddo marmi Srl and ORO marmi. These companies are part of an association, working in combination, with businesses and financial institutions, which deal exclusively in the extraction and commercialisation of marble production. These companies vary in their types of marble, from lava stone to ivory. Such as tiles furniture slabs, blocks and bathroom fittings with a large assortment of types and uses. These Sicilian companies are greater than average, in size and very distinguished, with many years of experience; their products are exported throughout the Globe on a daily basis.

By John Rizzo


Italian Italian


or many years I believed that opera, Morenike Fadayomi, Bess as a living, breathing art form had Photo by Karin Cooper died with Puccini, and I expressed this sentiment in writing many times. It’s never fun to admit that you’re wrong, but now’s as ensembles and choruses are usually expressions of emotion. This is exactly good a time as any. I had based my opinion on the case in Porgy and Bess. Interestingly, some famous operas of the past the so-called operas that I was aware of, pieces (non-Italian ones), like Faust, Carmen and The Bartered Bride, initially that I still believe have little to recommend were produced as singspiels, with the arias or musical numbers alternating them in true creative music or drama. Then, with extended passages of spoken dialogue. When it was noted that these several years ago, I saw a video recording of works had the potential to be very successful, the Italian opera model Porgy and Bess in its original operatic version was copied, with musical recitatives replacing the spoken parts. Porgy of 1935. I had always respected the genius and Bess initially suffered the opposite fate, with Gershwin’s beautiful of George Gershwin and I absolutely love melodic recitatives being transformed into plain speech. Fortunately, with his songs and have had the honor to play in the current intense interest in this opera (it is being performed by a number the orchestra for his Rhapsody in Blue and of major opera companies this season including those of Chicago, New Concerto in F. In my view, he is the greatest York and Baltimore) the prospects look good that all of Gershwin’s music Gordon Hawkins, Porgy, American composer, bar none. But I never for this piece will be heard regularly from now on. thought of him as an opera composer. Other Italian musical devices also abound in this opera. For example, Photo by Karin Cooper Of course I was aware of the wonderful tunes each principal is associated with a brief melodic theme that derives from from Porgy and Bess, like “Summertime,” “I one of the character’s arias – not one of those longwinded leitmotifs of got plenty o’ nuttin’,” “Beth, you is my woman now,” “I love you Porgy” Wagner that supposedly is rife with psychological implications, but a and “It ain’t necessarily so,” but I didn’t know the whole piece as an opera. I reference to a particular character that holds chiefly melodic interest, ala grew up knowing Porgy and Bess from the Cheryl Crawford 1942 musical Verdi or Puccini. Then there is the use of the ritornello, a repeated melody version and the Samuel Goldwyn movie of 1959. As a musical it was just played by the orchestra, not sung, which connects certain vocal passages so-so compared to others. I paid no attention to the Houston Grand Opera and usually establishes some kind of dramatic mood. Gershwin also production of 1976, nor even to the Metropolitan Opera premiere of 1985, anticipates his arias with melodic fragments, and when an aria is sung, assuming that they were revivals of the musical. This was a grave failing it is often followed by a chorus and then sounded again. Perhaps most on my part and I regret it deeply. When I finally experienced the work as importantly, all the characters (except for the white characters, who only Gershwin conceived it, I was flabbergasted by just how brilliant a piece speak and never sing) sing in the traditional Italian bel canto style. could have escaped public acclaim for so long. I also noted how genuine Also following in the Italian opera tradition is the presentation of American music could be incorporated so perfectly into an unmistakably inventive and fresh music, and here Gershwin supplied music that was so Italian style. creative and compelling that it was taking the world by storm. American Clearly, Gershwin was thinking about traditional Italian opera when music could only have come from America. Here and nowhere else the he composed Porgy and Bess. Like so many operas it is based on a syncopated African rhythms blended with traditional European dance novel (1924), then a play (1927). The writer, and subsequent librettist, rhythms to produce an irresistible beat. At the same time the African Dubose Heyward (Ira Gershwin also collaborated with the lyrics) was a pentatonic scale merged with the European diatonic scale, resulting in very prosperous insurance and real estate salesman from South Carolina the distinctive “blue notes” that characterize jazz and popular American who had a decided literary bent and was fascinated by African-American songs. Much of this process occurred in New York’s fabled Tinpan Alley, culture. When Gershwin began composing, he lived in Charleston, S.C., where George Gershwin worked for years as a song plugger. His music so he could observe the African-American community there, much as literally throbs with the new American sound. As a matter of fact when he Mascagni did with the folk of the heel went to Europe to “study,” no less a master of Italy while working on Cavelleria composer than Maurice Ravel refused to rusticana. Compositionally, Gershwin give him lessons. Noting that Gershwin follows in the footsteps of Puccini was making a huge amount of money for (think of the second act of La bohème his songs and shows Ravel suggested that or the third act of Manon Lescaut, or Gershwin give him lessons. countless other Puccini moments), Thank you, Lyric Opera, for putting this using lots of parlando, employing truly great opera on your stage. I have no an eclectic potpourri of distinctly doubt that it will soon be in the standard recognizable harmonic approaches repertoire! and offering a kind of continuous song that occasionally transitions into wellPorgy and Bess performances defined arias, ensembles and choruses. at Lyric Opera: The most common Italian feature of November: 18, 21, 23, 26 this opera is Gershwin’s use of recitative December: 3, 5, 9, 12, 15, 19 and aria. Traditionally, the musical speech that is recitative is the vehicle Lynch, Fadayomi, Porgy and Bess Photo by R. Millard. for development of the plot, while arias, Winter 08/09 / AMICI 43


Fashions 2008-2009 2008-2009 Gwen Stefani Designer

Berlin Fashion’s

By Andrew Guzaldo - Courtesy of Benetton


enetton Genoa,most prestigious megastore in Liguria opened October 3, 2008 in Genoa in the magnificent setting of the former, Orfeo Cinema in Via XX Settembre. This fine building, which is protected by the Fine Arts authority, opens to the public once more after a period of major restoration during which the original façade was carefully preserved. Benetton’s new 2,000 m2 store is in the commercial heart of the city, on the corner with Ponte Monumentale and overlooked by the ancient church of S. Stefano. An provocative blend of the brand’s commercial modernity and the city’s ancient beauty. The new store occupies two sizeable floors filled with the styles and appeal of the Benetton world. Benetton Man and Woman collections and the Accessories range are on the ground floor. The first floor is devoted to mothers and children. Each collection is distinguished by its own display concept. The flexibility of Twins fittings creates a new, engaging look for the Benetton Woman and Man displays. System was designed to enhance the two main children’s collections (Baby, for newborns and 1-5-year-olds, and Kid, for 612-year-olds) and the range for expectant mothers. Lastly, Frame is an elegant accessories display concept, which plays on the contrast between copper-coloured metal and the crisp white of the store interior. The four imposing windows looking onto Via XX Settembre lead into the warm, colourful Benetton world which this winter offers its customers a wide range of apparel with great style, glamour, originality and fashionable looks. This major flagship store in Genoa further consolidates Benetton’s strong presence in Liguria, where the group has some 80 stores in the main towns. Benetton’s sales network expansion plan for the region continues at full pace with numerous new openings in the coming months, notably in the provinces of Genoa and Savona.

2008-09 national italian restaurant guide Email us for info on CHICAGO & SUBURBS, IL 3 Olives Restaurant / Twist Lounge 8318 W. Lawrence Ave. Norridge, IL 60706 Phone: (708) 452-1545 Agostino’s Ristorante 2817 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL (773) 745-6464 Amalfi Ristorante 298 Glen Ellyn Rd. Bloomingdale, IL 630-893-9222 Capri Ristorante Italiano, Inc. 1238 W. Ogden Ave. Naperville, IL 60563 Phone: (630) 778-7373 Custom House 500 S. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL 60605 Phone: (312) 523-0200 Gioacchino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria 5201 St. Charles Rd. Bellwood, IL 60104 Phone: (708) 544-0380

Stars Restaurant Review Rating!

La Piazza 410 Circle Ave., Forest Park, IL Phone: (708) 366-4010

Giuseppe’s La Cantina 1062 Lee St Des Plaines, IL Phone:(847) 824-4230

Carini’s La Conca D’oro 3468 N. Oakland Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53211 Phone: (414) 963-9623

Osteria via Stato 620 N. State St. Chicago, IL 60610 Phone: (312) 642-8450

Victoria in the Park 1700 S. Elmhurst Rd. Mount Prospect, IL Phone:(708)456-1575

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria 1769 W. Sunnyside Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 Phone: (773) 878-2420

BOSTON, MA Bacco Ristorante & Bar 107 Salem St. Boston, MA 02113 Phone: (617) 624-0454

NEW JERSEY Tutto Pasta 200 Washington St. Hoboken, NJ Phone: (201) 792-102

Venuti’s Ristorante & Banquets 2251 W. Lake St. Addison, IL 60101 Phone: (630) 376-1500 Via Carducci 1419 W. Fullerton Chicago, IL 60614 773-665-1981 Vince’s Italian Rest. 4747 N. Harlem Ave. Chicago, IL 60634 Phone: (708) 867-7770 Cafe Zalute & Bar 9501 W. Devon Rosemont, Il Phone: (847) 685-0206

Fiorella’s 187 North St. Newton, MA 02460 Phone: (617) 969-9990 Sorento’s Italian Gourmet 86 Peterborough St. Boston, Ma, 02215 Phone: (617) 424-7070 MILWAUKEE, WI Alioto’s 3041 N. Mayfair Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53222 Phone: (414) 476-6900 Buca di Beppo 1233 N. Van Buren St. Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: (414) 224-8672

LAS VEGAS, NV Gina’S Bistro

4226 S. Durango Dr.

Las Vegas, NV 89147 Phone: (702) 341 1800 NEW YORK, NY Tarry Lodge 18 Mills St.

Port Chester, NY 10573 Phone: (914) 939-3111 Carmine’s 2450 Broadway New York, NY 10024 Phone: (212) 362-2200

Massimo al Ponte Vecchio 206 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012 Phone: (212) 228-7701


PHILADELPHIA, PA Dante & Luigi’s 762 S. 10th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 922-9501

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Kuleto’s 221 Powell St. San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 397-7720

ST. LOUIS, MO Favazza’s 5201 Southwest Ave. St. Louis, MO 63139 Phone: (314) 772-4454

Concetta’s Italian Restaurant 600 S. 5th St. St. Charles, MO 63301 Phone: (636) 946-2468

Dolce` 241 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 Phone: (215) 238-9983

Mescolanza 2221 Clement St. San Francisco, CA 94121 Phone: (415) 668-2221

John Mineo’s Italian 13490 Clayton Rd. St. Louis, MO 63131 Phone: (314) 434-5244

Ricardo’s Italian Cafe 1931 Park Ave. St. Louis, MO 63104 Phone: (314) 421-4833

Mama Yolanda’s Italian Restaurant 746 S. 8TH St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 592-0195

Puccini & Pinetti 129 Ellis St. San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 392-5500

Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant 5257 Shaw Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110 Phone: (314) 772-8272

Carrabba’s Italian Grill 10923 Olive Blvd. Creve Coeur, MO 63141 Phone: (314) 872-3241

Mio Sogno Italian Restaurant 2650 S. 15TH St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 Phone: (215) 467-3317

46 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Ristorante Umbria 198 2nd St. San Francisco, CA 94105 Phone: (415) 546-6985

Tony’s Restaurant 410 Market St. St. Louis, MO 63102 Phone: (314) 231-7007

The Old Spaghetti Factory 727 N. First St. St. Louis, MO 63102 Phone: (314) 621-0276

Las Vegas Dining

Amici Journal Publicatiohns invites you to join us in our Italian-American Restaurant Guide

Gina’s Bistro By: Louie Giampa


he other night, my nephew Joey and I went to have dinner at this cozy, 30 seats, Italian restaurant, called Gina’s Bistro. Located at 4226 S. Durango Dr., owner Gina Linzi greeted us with a sincere “Buon Giorno”.” She is from Roma (you can tell by her accent), and has been in the USA for about 8 years. She managed Il Fornaio in New York New York Hotel-Casino for 5 years and was the General Manager of Lombardi’s in Planet Hollywood for two years. She finally decided to follow her own dream, a little bistro with authentic Italian cooking. She surrounds herself with 2 creative and talented chefs, Chef Alfredo Trapani, a Sicilian from New York, and her close friend, Chef Johnny Belisto from Italy. Chef Johnny brings with him his famous recipes from Rome and was once the owner of the 4-Diamond Award winning restaurant the Il Posto, in Detroit. So famous are his recipes that while in Italy, Pope John Paul II became a fan of his cooking. Another guest of his was the infamous Luciano Pavarotti. Whenever Pavarotti would visit the Chef, he would have to bring a gallon of one of his sauces to Pope John Paul II. Now, that is not just a compliment that is an honor. Back to my tasting – I was served a pasta called Strozzapreto, in a light Norcina sauce. I took my first bite, and I started to hum. I just looked at Gina and the chef and said, “ What is in the sauce?” They both just laughed and said, that was the favorite of the Pope and Pavarottti. Well, this explains the humming that was the tenor coming out. We also tasted the stuffed pork chops with a delicious mushroom sauce, and Chicken Sorrentino, with eggplant and mozzarella. Both dishes were light and flavorful and were served with a side of spinach and potatoes. What can I say – these chefs are amazing – go visit them and tell Gina that Louie from AMICI sent you – guaranteed you won’t be disappointed. Open at 11 am, they also have a wonder selection of sandwiches, Panini’s salads and a variety of luncheon specials. But please try that Strozzapreto for dinner. You will feel like you died and went to heaven! Speaking of – when it is my time to leave this wonderful world of ours, I will be approaching those pearly gates with a gallon of his famous sauce. Now I know that Pope John Paul II is there, but Pavarotti will have to sing for his supper, so move over St. Peter, I am coming in!!! Traveling - Entertainment - News - Sports - History


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