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Spring 2007

JOURNAL Bracco Wines

A Brief History of Sicily “And They Came To Chicago” The American University of Rome A Look At The NIASHF Partnership Growth U.S. Mission to Italy 2007 Restaurant Guide



$2.50 US Spring 2007

Actress, Writer and Businesswoman



CONTENTS Amici Journal Editorial...............................................................................1 Autism Awareness Day Proclamation.........................................................1 Italian Immigrants and Chicago..................................................................1 Lorraine Bracco Story, her Book and Wines...........................................2, 3 Le Meridien Gallia Hotel in Milan, Italy.....................................................4 The American University of Rome...........................................................5,6 Gia M. Amella - Writer and Producer..........................................................7 Ronald P. Spogli - U.S. Ambassador to Italy.............................................10 The American International Club of Rome...............................................10 Partnership Growth, U.S. Mission to Italy.................................................11 Giovanni Castellaneta - Ambassador of Italy to the USA.........................12 The Story of Easter Seals..........................................................................14 The Village of Melrose Park Neighborhood Focus..............................15, 16 Chicago Ave. Movie Memories - Alamo Theater................................18, 19 World War II Love Letters...................................................................20, 21 5 Centuries of Italian-American History...................................................23 Top Collector Asked to Relinquish Artifacts........................................24, 25 A Brief History of Sicily............................................................... 26, 27, 28 Linda Stasi 2006 Woman of the Year........................................................30 The Rags-A-Line Man and Other Sounds From Taylor Street............30, 31 Spacca Napoli Restaurant Review.............................................................34 Easter Recipes from Italy.....................................................................35, 36 We Love Radicchio!..................................................................................38 Luca D’ Angelo - CEO of Fratelli La Bufala’s Parent Company M6USA......39 Roberto’s Ristorante Review................................................................................41 Restaurant Guide 2007..........................................................................................42 Vino Etichetta Selvaggia (in Italian)....................................................................42 Lyric 2007 Season Italian Operas - Cosi Fan Tutte.............................................44 Poet’s Corner - Poems From Our Readers...........................................................45 Cup Of Coffee, Comparison to Life.....................................................................46 Learning Italian in Puzzle Form............................................................................46 Vito Zatto Entertainer............................................................................................47 The Rosselli Cantata: A Brief Family Chronicle..........................................48, 49 Stories by Grandpa...............................................................................................50 Remember When..................................................................................................51 Don’t Miss Events................................................................................................52 Sports - A Look at the NIASHF, Chicago Avenue Golf Outing........................53 Understand Your Health Issues........................................................................... 54 Ralph Capparelli - Caring For The Community.................................................55

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Copyright © 2004 AMICI JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 www.amiciorgit.net Publishers Terry N. Geraci & Salvatore Terranova Executive Editor Andrew Guzaldo Creative Designer Dana Rohacova Publishing Consultant & Production Director 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 Publisher. All information contained herein is deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and to change of price or terms without notice. Printed by Sutherland Companies


Benvenuti, Amici Journal truly welcomes all its readers. Amici Journal, like many other wonderful organizations, was founded with the simple goal to accentuate the beauty and richness of the Italian American Experience while at the same time detract from the negative stereotyping that haunts the Italian American community. With this goal in mind, we hope that you have enjoyed “Amici Journal,” at least once, since we are sure that you will be compelled to return. This issue’s cover is graced by the image of Lorraine Bracco. Actress, writer and businesswoman, this cover story is sure to inspire and awe you. We also update you on the latest events surrounding the Easter Seals Foundation and their Therapeutic School for Autism Research. As always, we remember the past, its reflection in the present, which can only allow us to look forward to the future. We learn from various stories of growing up in Chicago’s Little Italy, the legendary Taylor Street neighborhood. This is a neighborhood that is accredited for containing the roots of over 50% of the Italian American community, which migrated from Italy to Chicago. The story of Taylor Street brings to life a time and a place where many became of age along with their parents, family and friends, all who call this a legendary street home. Many groups and organizations have recently grappled with the identity crisis of honoring its past while trying to present a better image. Amici Journal believes that you can’t disregard our heritage, good or bad, it is our past nor can we disregard the tremendous donations made by the Italian Americans with this it is quite obvious that the good outweighs the bad. It is what we do with the knowledge of the past here in the present and now which will forge a better future for Italian Americans. How we conduct ourselves now will be the measuring stick for later. Every individual may have a different approach and solution. Success will come as we reach across the aisle and agree that reasonable people can disagree on the approach to a common goal. To characterize our heritage solely with a negative stigma is tantamount to a psychological genocide of people and their children who are in the process of forging their identities. This cannot possibly be the heritage of the Italian American Experience. This is certainly not what those immigrant mothers and fathers of the many Italian Americans who lost their lives during WWII thought. Alistair Cooke in his “Letters to America” announced to the world the bravery of the contributions made by the Italian immigrants to America during WWII. ”People, when they first come to America, whether as travelers or settlers, become aware of a new and agreeable feeling: that the whole country is their oyster,” he said. “Those brave Italian Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice or survived these ordeals in some way or another suffered great loses. There is no prosthetic for such a loss as this. Yet this should not diminish their contributions.” Amici Journal strives to showcase exceptional people that make up the world we all know. Our goal is to continue to support all wonderful organizations such as NIASHF, JCCIA, NIAF, FIERI and OSIA to name a few. We all share our common goal, to expand the interest and love of our “Italian American Experience.” We invite you to actively collaborate in our experience by sending in your letters and comments. Also check our website, where we can interact and collaborate together. So please read and enjoy the wonderful contributions from so many exceptional individuals and share our Italian American History. Please send all correspondence to Amici Journal Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 595 River Grove, Il 60171 or email us at amiitalia@sbcglobal.net. Please look for AMICI JOURNAL in your Local stores or order through the Internet on Amazon.com or call 773-836-1595 to receive your copy. We look forward to our continued exchange, as we become “family” within our “Italian American Experience.” Sincerely Andrew Guzaldo Editor Amici Journal

MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY HAS PROCLAIMED FEB. 25, 2007 AUTISM AWARENESS DAY IN CHICAGO Whereas, Autism can be a severely incapacitating developmental disability resulting in significant impairment of an individual’s ability to learn, develop healthy interactive behaviors and understand verbal, nonverbal and reciprocal communication; and Whereas, Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in the nation, affecting over one million Americans; and Whereas, Autism is a complex disability that requires increased research to one day find a cure and improve treatment, and ensure that all persons are accurately diagnosed and appropriately treated throughout their lives; and Whereas, Robert and Sandy Waters have been producing the radio show “The Candy Story” as a tribute to their autistic daughter Candace and as a support for other families affected by autism; and Whereas, on February 25, 2007, Robert and Sandy Waters will be performing Cure Autism Now “An Evening with Stars” to raise funding for more autism research: NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD M. DALEY, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim February 25, 2007 to be AUTISM AWARENESS DAY IN CHICAGO, and encourage all Chicagoans to be aware for the need for funding for autism research. Richard M. Daley Mayor

ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS AND CHICAGO Many Italian Immigrants that came to Chicago in the early part of the 20th century were men who planned to work for a number of years before returning to Italy. Those who ended up staying formed the largest ethnic group in the Near West Side neighborhoods by the 1920s. The area around Taylor Street is Chicago’s Little Italy.

Immigrants 1,277,341 20% Poland 13% Germany 11% Italy 8% USSR 7% Ireland 41% Others

Spring 2007 AMICI 1



ave you ever run into anybody at the mall or the supermarket and thought you knew them and went up to them and started talking familiarly with them, only to quickly realize that it’s not who you thought it was? Embarrassing for both you and them, right? One person who’s definitely not embarrassed by this kind of mistaken identity is Lorraine Bracco, who is often hailed by total strangers as Doctor Melfi, the psychiatrist she portrays so convincingly on The Sopranos. Like any other actor would be, Lorraine is tickled pink that viewers would make the “transference,” as she calls it between her and her character. It means that she has achieved a kind of credibility in her performance that only a truly talented dramatic artist can attain. Now, like many performers, Lorraine will modestly tell you that it’s mainly the product of hard work and experience that she can do this and, of course, she’s right that it certainly takes time and effort to do anything as effectively as what she does on TV. But the truth is, there are plenty of hardworking thespians that have toiled for many years that never make it to the big time. Lorraine Bracco is simply a natural, a genius. When confronted with the possibility that audience identification with her as a single character like Dr. Jennifer Melfi could harm her career (and it could – look at what happened to Bela Lugosi, to give just one example – he always had to wear that Dracula cape!), Lorraine just shrugs it off. “Heck, a lot of people still think I’m Karen Hill,” she quips, referring to her role in Goodfellas. This is just another example of that special kind of individual that confronts life head on and, Spring 2007 AMICI 2

consciously or not, lets her destiny play itself out. Lorraine Bracco’s destiny to become a movie star began to work when she was in seventh grade, and caught the attention of her school’s English teacher and drama coach, Artie Horowitz. In most peoples’ lives there comes an influence that at the time may seem ordinary and unimportant, but in retrospect marks a critical turning point. For Lorraine it came in the person of Artie Horowitz, who encouraged her to participate in the school plays. Several years later, when Lorraine expressed a desire to be a model, this same man personally drove her into Manhattan where a couple of interviews with modeling agencies were set up. The first one at the Ford Modeling Agency was a dud. “Too heavy…needs a nose job,” declared the owner. Undaunted, Artie then drove Lorraine to Wilhelmina, another top New York agency that agreed to represent her on the spot! The overwhelming majority of people are terrified by just the thought of being on display for an audience of any size. Even being the subject of a family snapshot can be a traumatic experience for many. It takes a special kind of person that can show their self to the world, proud and unafraid. And of the few, rare individuals that can do this, to be successful, the camera must like them. What makes some people photogenic and others not is truly a mystery, as is any kind of talent. But whatever it is, Lorraine Bracco has it, a talent that started to emerge when she and some school chums pretended to do high-fashion shoots in the backyard while others were “hanging out in the bowling alley.”

In 1973, Lorraine moved to Paris where she worked for the Wilhelmina sister agency. Amongst jet setters and fashion trendsetters she spent most of her twenties in a whirlwind of parties and glamour. She even had a personal encounter with artist Salvador Dali in Barcelona. On this occasion Lorraine and another female model posed clothed in a bathtub covered with snails (a typical Dali concept). Thinking back on meeting Dali, she “would have been happy to pose for a nude” by the famous artist. It was during this French period of her life that Lorraine did her first bit of film acting in something called Duos sur Canapé (1981). Interestingly, this did not come naturally to her and she recalls that “I didn’t like it.” It was also in France, shortly before this, that she got married for the first time to hair-stylist Daniel Guerard, with whom she had her first daughter, Margaux. Unfortunately, this marriage didn’t work out, so in 1983 Lorraine returned to New York with her daughter. Soon she moved in with actor Harvey Keitel, another person who had a huge impact on her life. Stung by the failure of her first marriage, Lorraine at this time was leery about making another mistake, and although it’s fair to say that Harvey Keitel was the greatest love of her life, she then felt that marriage “was just a piece of paper.” She “wanted to be loved…and no piece of paper could guarantee that.” So she and Keitel were never married, but they lived together for ten years and had one daughter, Stella, born in 1985. Through her relationship with Keitel, her acting career began in earnest. She worked as a production assistant on Falling in Love (1984),

Italy: Lorraine in the vineyards which starred Robert DeNiro and then, at Keitel’s suggestion, studied acting with Stella Adler at Actors Studio. Note that countless aspiring actors would give their right arms to study at Actors Studio, but only those few deemed the most very talented are ever accepted by the prestigious school. Keitel also introduced Lorraine to film director Ridley Scott, who cast her in a very prominent role in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987). It was partly her success in this film that steeled her to brush aside the disappointing rejection for the

For the full, exciting story of Lorraine Bracco in her own words, go to any book outlet in person or online for her outstanding and hard hitting memoirs, On the Couch (Putnum, 2006).

lead in Working Girl (1988) and being fired from the TV series Miami Vice. Then Lorraine got her big break as a Mafia soldier’s wife, Karen Hill, in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster, Goodfellas (1990). For this outstanding work, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. None but a handful of the most talented actors are ever nominated for an Oscar of any kind, and only a very few play leading ladies opposite Sean Connery as Lorraine did in Medicine Man (1992). Around this time she split up with Harvey Keitel and married another actor, Edward James Olmos, in 1994. By the late ‘90s, as the poet said, “The outlook wasn’t brilliant…” for Lorraine Bracco. She had been in a few films and made some TV appearances, but these were not significant. She was deeply in debt and was virtually paralyzed by depression. But Lorraine is a fighter and she fought her problem by seeking help through psychotherapy. She thinks this really helped her. Maybe it did. One thing is certain though, and that is because of this experience, when she was approached by David Chase to play Carmela in his upcoming pilot for The Sopranos, she was far more interested in the role of the psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi. Despite the near desperation of her circumstances, and that it sent her agent into a fit, she held out for this role alone. Fortunately, David Chase did cast her as Melfi and hired Edie Falco to play Carmela.

Although there was a point when Lorraine was reluctant to play a role in The Sopranos, which she once considered “Mafia TV garbage,” it’s definitely a neat thing that we have an Italian-American woman portraying an ItalianAmerican woman. Lorraine is a Brooklyn-born daughter of second generation Sicilian, Sal Bracco, the hardworking and successful founder of ABC Fillets, a foodservice company in the old Fulton Market. Who better is personally in touch with the kind of Italian heritage that is showcased on the phenomenally successful TV series than a real Italian-American? Of course, in these politically correct days, such an occupation can be trouble. Consider the New York Columbus Day parade of 2002. For New York’s annual celebration of Italian-American culture and achievement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Sopranos stars Lorraine Bracco and Dominic Chianese (Corrado “Junior” Soprano in the show) would be riding with him in the parade. A group called “Columbus Day Citizens” found a Federal judge that issued an order banning Bracco and Chianese from the parade on the grounds that they were somehow glorifying the Mafia to the detriment of law abiding ItalianAmericans. Give me a break! The banned individuals are not bloodthirsty Mafiosi, but actors, who by their talent and hard work have risen to the pinnacle of their profession. Lorraine is still bitter about this. “Who knows who this group [Columbus Day Citizens] is or who they really represent?” she fumes. “And it really gets me when I think of Dominic, who donates his time and talent, appearing at nursing homes for free and sings Italian love songs.” Lorraine may have been unjustly excluded from that Columbus Day parade, but in our hearts, she’s right up front in the great parade of Italian Americans of whom we’re most proud.

Lorraine has also recently come out with a full line of Italian wines (Bracco Wines) that represent the finest vintages from many regions of Italy. For the perfect gift, a joyous celebration or just enjoying a meal to the utmost, this excellent selection of Bracco Wines is currently available at fine wine shops throughout the United States.

For more information visit www.braccowines.com

Spring 2007 AMICI 3


A taste of the old world Since 1960 Mama Luna’s has brought a taste of the old world to Chicago. Family owned and operated for nearly half a century, we invite you to taste fine Sicilian cuisine in a friendly open atmosphere. Our dining room seats up to 140 people and is available for private parties. Catering Available Mama Luna’s can cater any event from 10 to 200 people.

TEL: 773-889-3020 FAX: 773-889-3095 Spring 2007 AMICI 4


Delivery Special Order a Megaball Pizza and Receive a 2 Liter RC Free Cold liter must be requested (50c extra)




Set in the heart of Milan’s renowned Piazza Duca D’Aosta, Le Méridien Gallia is well-established in its vibrant cultural surroundings. The second most populated city in Italy, Milan offers exceptional museums, intriguing exhibitions, and breathtaking architecture.


pened in 1932, Le Méridien Gallia features a dominant and memorable art nouveau façade and remains one of the most celebrated and luxurious hotels in the country. Perfect for events of all kinds, the hotel boasts 10 decidedly sophisticated meeting rooms and attentive professional planning for your next occasion. Le Méridien Gallia offers a truly distinctive experience to its guests with an on-site florist and beauty salon. Choose from a delicious selection of Italian, Mediterranean, and Lombardy dishes as you enjoy the intimate atmosphere of Ristorante Gallia, or enjoy refreshing cocktails and nightly live entertainment at the Baboon Bar. The beautiful sites of Milan are just moments away from the hotel, including the designer shops of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. Visit the ‘Pinacoteca di Brera,’ founded by Napoleon, which displays stunning Venetian and Lombard masterpieces and the works of Rubens and Rembrandt. Exciting experiences and unparalleled comfort await you at Le Méridien Gallia. The internationally renowned Le Méridien brand was established in 1972 by Air France “to provide a home away from home for its customers.” The first Le Méridien property was a 1,000-room hotel in Paris — Le Méridien Etoile. Within two years of operation the group had 10 hotels in Europe and Africa. Within the first six years the number of hotels had risen to 21 hotels in Europe, Africa, the French West Indies, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Mauritius. The group continued to grow and, by 1991, the total number of Le Méridien properties had risen to 58. In late 1994, Le Méridien was acquired by UK hotel giant, Forte, which in turn was acquired by Granada Group plc in 1996. Through a merger in the summer of 2000 between Forte’s parent company, Granada Group plc, and global contract catering giant, Compass Group plc — and the subsequent de-merger of the two companies in February 2001 — the ownership of the Forte Hotel Group and its three brands (Le Méridien, Heritage Hotels and Posthouse Hotels) passed solely to Compass Group. In May 2001, Nomura International plc announced the acquisition of Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts from Compass Group plc for £1.9 billion and Le Méridien was merged with Principal Hotels, which was acquired in February 2001. In December 2003, Lehman Brothers Holdings acquired the senior debt of Le Méridien. In November 2005, the Le Méridien brand and management fee business was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The leased and owned real estate assets were acquired in a separate deal by a joint venture formed by Lehman Brothers and Starwood Capital (a company not affiliated with Starwood Hotels & Resorts). Currently, Le Méridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of more than 120 luxury and upscale hotels in over 50 countries worldwide. The majority of its properties are located in the world’s top cities and resorts throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

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ounded in 1969, The American University of Rome is the oldest degree-granting American university in Rome. AUR is a coeducational, accredited university which offers undergraduate degrees in six disciplines and enrolls more than 500 students (Spring 2006). The American University of Rome is committed to excellence in education and the promotion of crosscultural exchange. AUR is dedicated to encouraging academic achievement in its students and offers a curriculum designed to complement our high academic standards and ensure an active-learning environment with small student/faculty ratio. The American University of Rome welcomes students from the USA and other nations already enrolled in an undergraduate course of study to consider study for a semester or year with the AUR family. This once in a lifetime experience will enlighten your mind, expand your horizons, enhance your academic transcript and draw attention to your resume.

The AUR logo is derived from the design of the distinctive paving pattern of Michelangelo’s Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Its twelve-pointed geometry has a multitude of meanings, primary among them in this context the radiant role of Rome as the center of the world, the Caput Mundi, as the ancients fashioned it and as the Renaissance revived the concept. [James Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo (1986), 166-70] The suggestion is today still compelling in the dynamic unity of this place as a symbol of the millennia traditions of art, politics, science and culture that are the basis of the liberal education at The American University of Rome. Spring 2007 AMICI 6

The American University of Rome is set in The Eternal City; Rome is filled with legacies of the past, such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Contemporary Rome also offers a host of activities, notably theater, art and music and politics. Rome is also an important center for the study of International Relations and International Business. Founded in 1969 as an independent, coeducational, four-year institution, The American University of Rome is located in a beautiful villa located on Rome’s highest hill, the Gianicolo, on the right bank of the Tiber River. The villa and associated facilities offer a complete range of facilities, including classrooms, art and design studios, and a student lounge. Adjacent to the villa is a newly renovated building houses the library, computer laboratories, faculty offices and classrooms. A charming auditorium is equipped with the latest technology. Surrounded by its own garden, the campus is close to major parks of Villa Sciarra and Villa Pamphili, and the renowned American Academy. The university has an international enrollment of approximately 500 students each semester, and its faculty comes from leading educational, business, and government centers throughout Europe and the United States. The University offers programs to obtain the following degrees: Associate of Arts Degrees • Liberal Arts • International Business Bachelor of Arts Degrees • Art History • Communication • Interdisciplinary Studies • International Relations • Italian Studies Bachelor of Science Degree • Business Administration

AUR President Dr. Robert A. Marino

Robert A. Marino was appointed Provost of The American University of Rome in the Spring of 2002. Under his leadership Academic Affairs has been transformed: a distinguished core faculty was hired, academic departmental structures were created, extensive curriculum renewal occurred and a shared faculty governance was adopted with unanimous faculty approval. Dr. Marino took over as Interim President following the resignation of President Robert H. Evans, for health reasons, in the Spring of 2005. Born in Italy of American and Italian parents, Robert Marino spent his early years in Positano, Italy, before immigrating to the US in 1955. He continued his education in New York City and took his undergraduate degree at the City College of New York in 1964 and his PhD, in physics, at Brown University in 1969. Joining the faculty of Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1970, Dr. Marino was appointed Professor of Physics in 1982. His administrative appointments at Hunter/CUNY included Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Acting Dean of the Division of Sciences and Mathematics and Assistant Dean for Research, Planning and Facilities. In his last position at Hunter/CUNY, he headed the Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his thirty-two years at the City University of New York, Dr. Marino held year-long senior research positions at Block Engineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Geneva. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Marino has authored or coauthored thirty publications and edited one book length proceedings in magnetic resonance / materials science. His major research contribution was pioneering the application of Nitrogen-14 Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance Spectroscopy to structure and bonding studies in molecular and ionic solids. He discovered and named multiple-pulse sequences that lead to significant sensitivity enhancement, enabling practical applications in explosives detection and humanitarian de-mining. Dr. Marino has taught physics courses at all levels, from Basic Concepts of Physics for non-science undergraduate majors to graduate level Solid State Physics and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He has held a sustained interest in exploiting the introductory physics laboratory experience for the general education of liberal arts undergraduates. He supervised numerous research B.A. and M.A. theses, and two Ph.D. dissertations. Last year, Dr. Marino received one of the “Premio Filippo Mazzei – The Bridge” awards presented by the Presidency of the Italian Republic. The award went to several people who have helped to ‘bridge’ relations between the United States and Italy. Among others, some of the recipients of the award included: U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Ronald Spogli; and, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, Louis Tallarini. For mote information on The American University of Rome go to the web site: www.aur.edu Spring 2007 AMICI 7

A Chicago native, Amella is an award-winning writer, producer and director who divides her time between Chicago and Montevarchi, Tuscany. She is currently Executive Producer on the upcoming NBC5 and WTTW11 (PBS) And They Came To Chicago: The Italian American Legacy, special narrated by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna, set to premiere in late May on NBC and first week of June on WTTW.




ne of the reasons Gia Amella is so committed to producing this show is due the many incidents of stereotyping that we as Italian Americans are subject to in the media, one subject that Amella refers to is the Batavia case. She fully supports many of her colleagues in their heroic efforts to protest against this kind of wicked, shallow typecasting of Italian Americans when asked about her feelings she states “I am extremely honored to be doing the show and feel a great deal of responsibility to tell our 150-year legacy with dignity, depth and passion. The fact that two local stations have joined us in our efforts demonstrates how badly needed, and timely, this show really is.” Her recent credits include the first international episode of The Weather Channel’s Storm Stories series, also curently airing on National Geographic International. She also wrote an episode of HGTV’s home-remodeling series New Spaces, and served as its interim supervising producer. Among her other credits, Child’s Play, Deadly Play, a one-hour episode of American Justice, A&E’s critically acclaimed crime series hosted by Bill Kurtis, Colorado Blizzard for TWC’s Storm Stories, and The German Americans, an episode of WLIWTV’s award-winning American Heritage series seen on PBS nationwide, the second highest grossing pledge program in the station’s history. Her award winning Serving with Dignity, a candid profile of the world of waitresses, aired-on the long-running PBS series We Do the Work. She served in various roles on programs airing on the History Channel (This Week In History), Fox Family Network (Real Scary Stories), The Learning Channel (Disaster Detectives), PBS affiliates KQED-San Francisco (Uacque Pepin’s Cooking Techniques, Green Means, Hidden Cities of San Francisco) and KCSM-San Spring 2007 AMICI 8

Mateo (Hidden Sanctuary, A Higher Education), and briefly ventured into broadcast news at KGO-TV (ABC). Outside television, she has freelanced for advertising agencies, radio stations, high-tech companies and educational media organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amella holds an M.A. in RadioTelevision from San Francisco State University, where she served for three years as a lecturer in the Broadcast & Electronic Communications Department, and a B.A. in Italian Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a 1998 Fulbright Fellow to Italy and is currently writing a book about popular culture and myth in contemporary Sicily. She has presented her research on themes related to the Italian-American experience and Italian culture at conferences and film festivals throughout the United States and Europe. Most recently, Amella shot a pilot in Tuscany with James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and

PBS host Joanne Weir and will produce two episodes focusing on Italian wines for the forthcoming public television series By The Glass. She is married to electronic music producer and sound designer Beppe Mangione, a managing partner at Modio Media.


NUOVA SEDE 7432 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL, 60634

Angelo Liberati President Telephone: 773-816-2282 Email: comiteschicago@yahoo.com Web: www.comiteschicago.org

Che cos’e’ il Comites? In ogni circoscrizione consolare ove risiedono almeno tremila cittadini italiani è istituito un Comitato degli italiani all’estero (COMITES). Il Comites è l’organo di rappresentanza degli italiani all’estero nei rapporti con le rappresentanze diplomatico-consolari. Esso contribuisce ad individuare le esigenze di sviluppo sociale, culturale e civile della propria comunità di riferimento e promuove opportune iniziative nelle materie attinenti alla vita sociale e culturale, con particolare riguardo alla partecipazione dei giovani, alle pari opportunità, all’assistenza sociale e scolastica, alla formazione professionale, al settore ricreativo, allo sport e al tempo libero della comunità italiana residente nella circoscrizione.


As good as it gets!

Ristorante Italiano, Inc.

AUTHENTIC ITALIAN CUISINE SPECIALIZING IN SEAFOOD Call us now to book your reservation and help you create your most memorable Italian dinner yet. Come in a group or an intimate dinner for two... No matter what, we’ll take a good care of you! Perfect space for private parties up to 60 people.

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The Only Authentic Italian Restaurant in the area 15 years in Business

Taste is everything Especially at Capri

Venuti’s Ristorante and Banquets Warm Setting and Fine

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Lavish Accommodation for

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Double Staircase

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And Giant Dance Floor

Spring 2007 AMICI 11

Ambassador of Italy to the USA

GIOVANNI CASTELLANETA Picture and text reprinted with the permission of the Embassy of Italy www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it


Affairs and Senior mbassador Giovanni Castellaneta presented his credentials to Advisor on the Staff of President Bush in October 2005. He is a career diplomat with Prime Minister Craxi. the rank of Ambassador. Prior to his current position, he was Ambassador Castellaneta appointed Foreign Policy Advisor of Prime Minister Amato in 2001 and later confirmed by Prime Minister Berlusconi who designated him also as also served in a number of other posts, including his personal representative for the G8 summits. Somalia, Portugal, France, From 1998 to 2001, he was Ambassador to Australia and the Pacific where he was in charge of islands during the preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. press and cultural relations, From 1997 until 1998, he headed the Italian assistance program in and Geneva, where he Albania: in this position he coordinated Italian political and economic served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to International efforts in favor of Albania’s reconstruction after the civil war. From 1992 Organizations. until 1995, he was Ambassador to Iran. In the years of his tenure he Ambassador Castellaneta was Vice Chairman and a member of the faced the challenging relations with one of the most important economic Board of Directors of Finmeccanica, the leading Italian compartners of Italy in the critical post-Khomeini era. pany in the defense industry sector. With an advanced Degree In 1989, Ambassador Castellaneta was appointed from the Università “la Sapienza” Law School in Rome, he Diplomatic Advisor to Treasury Minister Amato. pursued further specialization in International Legal Affairs Subsequently, Minister of Foreign Affairs De Michelis and Economics. In 2005, Ambassador Castellaneta was decodesignated him as Spokesman and Chief of Press and rated Knight of Grand Cross (Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’ Communication in a moment of historic events such as Ordine “Al merito della Repubblica Italiana”), the highest the Gulf war, the final days of the Soviet Union and the honor of the Republic of Italy. He has been bestowed with reunification of Germany. Cavaliere di Gran several foreign decorations. In 2006 he became Officier de la He held various positions in Rome among which Special Croce placca Légion d’honneur. He is listed in “Who’s Who in Italy”. Assistant to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign

Spring 2007 AMICI 12


aster Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for 85 years. Whether helping someone improve physical mobility, return to work or simply gain greater independence for everyday living, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. Tragedy Leads to Ispiration In 1907, Ohio-businessman Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. The lack of adequate medical services available to save his son prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio. In 1919 Allen founded what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind. The lily - a symbol of spring - was officially incorporated as Easter Seals’ logo in 1952 for its association with resurrection and new life and has appeared on each seal since. Easter Seals Emerges The overwhelming public support for the Easter “seals” campaign triggered a nationwide expansion of the organization and a swell of grassroots efforts on behalf of people with disabilities. By 1967, the Easter “seal” was so well recognized, the organization formally adopted the name “Easter Seals.” Easter Seals Today Easter Seals assists more than 1 million children and adults with disabilities and their families annually through a nationwide network of more than 500 service sites. Primary Easter Seals services include: • Medical Rehabilitation - Early Intervention - Physical Therapy - Occupational Therapy - Speech and Hearing Therapy • Job Training and Employment • Inclusive Child Care • Adult Day Services • Camping and Recreation At the core of the Easter Seals organization is a common passion for caring, shared by its 13,000 staff members and thousands of volunteers, and by those who support its mission. This heart-felt commitment to helping people with disabilities and their families is what Easter Seals is all about.

www.eastersealschicago.org Spring 2007 AMICI 14


By Andrew Guzaldo

RONALD M. SERPICO MELROSE PARK MAYOR The Honorable Ronald Serpico, Mayor of Melrose Park Illinois, is known as a warm, friendly and responsible neighbor. Yet, he is much more than that. As Mayor of Melrose Park, he has been very successful in achieving his goal to make Melrose Park the best that it can possibly be. Not only for the residents of Melrose Park but also for industry and small businesses. With his skills and under his leadership many new businesses and thriving industries have now made Melrose Park their home. His welcoming personality shines through even with his experienced staff. As a team they have made Melrose Park a Village worth relocating to. Mayor Serpico has feverishly worked with the village trustees to develop a relationship that is the epitome of hard work, not just your average effort, always going the extra mile, for the village and all of its residents. The Mayor’s combined efforts with the Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Paolantino Salemi and its outstanding Board of Directors, strive to captivate and interest new businesses while continuing to nurture those who already call Melrose Park their home. The Chamber of Commerce has celebrated its 80th year of service to the Community. Recently, Mayor Serpico was awarded a Visionary Award by the Casa Italia in Stone Park Illinois. This prestigious association wanted to congratulate him in recognition of his contributions and dedication to a Vision that undoubtedly strives for a better lifestyle and a better standard of living in the surrounding communities. In short Mayor Serpico is the epitome of leadership, humility and loyalty to all and for all of his constituents and neighbors alike. Melrose Park will be celebrating its 125 th year as a productive and upstanding community of Illinois.

INTRODUCTION Melrose Park is a well-established community located just 12 miles west of the Chicago Loop area and 10 miles south of O’Hare International Airport. Business and industry support the family-oriented neighborhoods. More than 23,000 people live in Melrose Park. They enjoy affordable housing and community spirit. There are several yearly celebrations in town. Because of its proximity to Chicago, residents also may take advantage of Chicago’s beautiful lake front, museums, zoos, sporting events, shops, concerts, schools and college. Students receive the best education at one of three grade school districts and one high school district. Gottlieb Memorial and Westlake Hospitals, located in town, and by the many excellent health care providers throughout the area, serve health care needs. Melrose Park offers its residents a public library, civic clubs, churches of various denominations, many parks, a fitness center and two pools. As part of Proviso Township, residents have available services that range from family counseling to day care to free transportation. The village government - mayor and six trustees - support the community and provide all amenities. A full-time police and fire department serve Melrose Park. The Village has proven to be a stable and profitable community. The partnership between village, residents, the Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce and Industry and both incoming and established businesses continues to improve the quality of life in the community. Spring 2007 AMICI 15

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY Melrose Park continues to be a business and economic leader due to its location and its positive and active approach to economic development. The Chamber Economic Development Committee promotes the growth and retention of businesses in Melrose Park and the surrounding communities of the West Cook Region. The committee’s mission is to create a profitable environment for businesses and increase the number of jobs for residents. The Melrose Park Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a partnership of professional people and area businesses that range from one-person companies to those employing hundreds. The Chamber unifies, educates and provides leadership while seeking to promote Melrose Park. The Small Business Development Center located at Triton College offers solutions for individual needs. Services include one-on-one counseling, assistance and guidance with the development of business plans and implementation, identifying financial and education needs, as well as providing access and technology through the computer and resource centers.

HOMES Melrose Park is an attractive and affordable community. The abundance of industry helps keep real estate taxes low. Most homes are single-family, typically ranging from $150,000 to $200,000. A variety of styles include the Chicago-style brick bungalow, splitlevel and older two-story homes. Town homes and condominiums also are available, but rare. First-time homebuyers find Melrose Park a perfect place to buy due to the outstanding community and housing appreciation. The median age here is about 35. Finding a local realtor is a matter of choice. There are about 20 real estate companies offering multiple listing services, VA loans, FHA loans and free market analysis. A development corporation, several management groups and builders are located right in town. Many apartment dwellings and homes are available throughout Melrose Park as well as Riverwoods over 55 senior citizen complex containing independent living housing units and long-term healthcare facilities. Additional senior housing sites are being explored for future construction.

SHOPPING There is plenty of regional shopping in the area. Melrose Crossing Shopping Center not only offers shopping, but also houses the Secretary of State facility where Illinois drivers may renew their licenses, stickers and receive many other services. Another shopping center, Winston Park Plaza, is located across from a Jewel-Target center. Numerous shops, services and restaurants are located right in town, making shopping and running errands quick and convenient. A short drive takes shoppers to malls located in neighboring suburbs, such as North Riverside Mall and in Chicago, Brickyard Mall, and Harlem-Irving Plaza. State Street shopping and Michigan Avenue shopping can be reached via the Metra or a short drive into Chicago.

ENTERTAINMENT Musicals and plays are presented regularly at Triton College at both the Performing Arts Center and at Cox Auditorium. Triton College also supports “Salute to the Arts,” which focuses on poetry. Melrose Park residents are invited to view and participate. The latest movie releases are available at a cinema in Melrose Park. Veterans Park District offers numerous outings such as family trips to shows like the Disney on Ice. Other trips have included “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous of Chicago,” casino trips, theatre trips, “Tree-Mendus Orchard,” “Fiesta Italiana,” and “Famous North Shore.” A Christmas favorite is the “Fireside Christmas,” where the audience can celebrate with timehonored favorites as well as new dances, songs, and stories. A number of annual festivals are held in Melrose Park including the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hispano-fest, and Taste of Melrose Park, which is held on Labor Day weekend. All types of dining establishments serving a variety of cuisine satisfy the diverse tastes of the diners. Everything from fast food to family-style restaurants to elegant fare is served. Melrose Park is home to several famous restaurants that attract diners from all parts of the Chicago-land area. Spring 2007 AMICI 16

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Š G. R. 2000 Picture not to be reproduced without permission.


Chicago Ave. Movie Memories By Andrew Guzaldo


he 50’s and 60’s were times of innocence, exemplified by wholesome and inexpensive movie going. All which made it an enjoyable experience and a fond memory. Unfortunately, today movie going is far too different of an experience than the one kids in the 50’s and 60’s had. Growing up and living in the Chicago-land area at that time offered no franchised movie theatres almost at every of the city block, like we have today. Nonetheless, we as children were blessed with a single choice, the Fantastic movie theater known as the ALAMO. It was on the 30 hundred block of Chicago Avenue. This was the one retreat from reality which we appreciated to its fullest. Every time I think about the ALAMO, I can almost smell the aromas coming from the candy store that was adjacent to the ALAMO. There you would get your popcorn, candy and fresh licorice treats or whatever struck your fancy. We really did not have much of a choice but to us, it was a vast variety. At the time, nothing was more exciting and filled with anticipation than the double headers in baseball and those Saturday Morning Matinees. Of course the option of the double feature at the movies came close. This has become a thing of the past. But I do not doubt that those that share these memories would do anything to bring back those magnificent feelings. Together with our cousins and buddies, we would finish buying our treats, which only cost a few cents in the Candy store. And off we were to the ALAMO. As we entered the theater the usher and his flashlight would escort us in. All around the theatre seating, the lights would shine as friends and all of the cousins would gather towards the balcony. This was not just any balcony. This balcony was special it was where the older guys would sit, the guys from the North Side of Chicago. We wanted to sit there with them. Yet they were quite good at making it clear we did not meet the criteria as were younger. It was always done in a good respectful and friendly manner. They were not harsh or cold in anyway. The reality was that we were all friends and they were just older. Finally we would make it into our aisle. It was just a few feet away. This is where we beside John Wayne, were in the saddle riding a horse or defeating the Japanese Army. This is where we learned from Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper how men in the good old USA could be humble and full of dignity. They were good role models. We also learned that on screen tough guys like James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson had a soft side to them. We would read about their lives prior to their acting career. One was involved in the Arts and the other a fantastic dancer. Last but not least, lets not forget those slapstick comedies such as those from Abbott and Costello. Life was different then. Who cared if we got there a little late? If we came in the middle of the Movie we would just stay there and watch it all over from the beginning to end at the next showing. But of course we would have to see those delightful cartoons, which were played prior to the feature movie. We would just sit back and enjoy. The neighborhood I grew up in geographically had borders, Chicago Avenue and Homan all the way to Pulaski Avenue was predominantly Italian American with Flower shops, barbershops and all the necessities one needed for daily life. Everything was just a few blocks away from your home. As television became more available, roofs became riddled with their antennas. They seemed to grow like weeds atop. With that little “tube” in our home, we would conveniently all sit around and watch the entertainment in the middle of our living room. And with that fewer and fewer people went to the theater. All of these surroundings are very reminiscent to me. Yet even today nothing is as intriguing and exciting as those days at the ALAMO and the theater that lives in the hearts of so many - the ALAMO We thank you for those good times. Spring 2007 AMICI 19



What to Write and What Not to Write

t is amazing to realize how methods of communicating have changed since World War II when pen, ink and paper served as the primary media of exchange. During my 21 months of overseas service, I wrote my future wife 343 letters, in which I expressed my love while trying to protect her from the unpleasantness of a wartime environment. When I went into combat, I became more protective by carefully writing around the dangers, which I faced so that she would not feel my fears. To do this, I wrote about our common interests in music and literature, both popular and classical, Hollywood personalities, movies, sports, holidays, and routine military experiences. We were surrounded with popular and classical music from the British Broadcasting Company, the US Armed Forces Network, and also German stations which mixed their music with propaganda. I wrote about some of the now classics of that era: “Begin the Beguine,” “You’ll Never Know,” “Woodchoppers Ball,” “In the Mood,” “I Walk Alone,” “Embraceable You,” “That Old Black Magic,” “White Christmas,” “Lily Marlene” (in German), and “Stormy Weather.” All of which were rendered by the likes of Artie Shaw, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, the Andrew Sisters, Deanna Durbin, Johnny Long, and Sammy Kaye. The original classics in my letters ranged from the “Ave Maria,” “Elegy,” “Adeste Fidelis,” to operas sung by Enrico Caruso, and symphonies by the London and Boston symphony Orchestras. Bette and I were relatively avid readers, and often our letters would include reviews and recommendations about the books we read. Subsequently, many of these books found their way into our post-war library. Among our favorite authors were Ernest Hemingway, Lloyd C. Douglas, Ernie Pyle, A. J. Cronin, Alexandre Dumas, and Somerset Maugham. In one letter, I wrote: “See if you can get a complete or nearly complete set of Ernest Hemingway’s books: The Sun Also Rises, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bells Tolls, Farewell to Arms, To Have and to Hold, and others.” Spring 2007 AMICI 20

In another letter, “Darling, I have written you about The Robe. It is definitely a ‘must.’ I have never before been so moved and impressed by the written word. Douglas makes his characters move so realistically to the one conception of the people of the time of Christ. I say this not from my standpoint of view as a Catholic but from the standpoint of a reader reading of a Great Man.” “You mentioned that you’d like to read Brave Men. I don’t call it a must but Pyle does capture a lot that is common to us. However it might be difficult for you to catch some of his themes and ideas. Personally, I’d rather you stick to fiction - why distort your ideas of war and its outlying reasons and effects.” Most of the movies, which we saw, were slightly dated, and some were seen in open air base theaters in Egypt, Tunis and Sicily, where occasionally, we would have Michael Ingrisano and his fiancee and soon-to-be wife, power failures. When we moved Bette Hill. May 28, 1945 to England, we still had outdated movies but we were in an indoor theater. Nonetheless, for example, we saw Bing Cards and Browns played in the 1944 World Series. Crosby’s “Going My Way,” “Gone With the Write about anything but war. In the same Wind,” Jean Crain’s “Home in Indiana,” Joseph October 18, 1944, letter, I continued my views Cotton and Deanna Durbin in “Hers to Hold.” on sports. “Looks like Notre Dame and the All these were material for letters: “Rhapsody Green Bay Packers this year. The Brooklyn in Blue” (the life of George Gershwin), “Two Tigers [NFL] are not quite up there but it takes Girls and a Sailor,” Bob Hope’s “Princess and a few games for the kids to get started. I see the Pirate,” Bette Davis’ “Mrs. Skeffington,” that the National Hockey League starts Nov. and Red Skelton with Esther Williams in 28 ‘til March 17 or so. Gad! I do hope we’ll be “Bathing Beauty.” able to see a few matches this year plus a few I was a native of Brooklyn. Bette lived basketball games at the [New York Madison in Kansas City, Missouri. So-- “I resent the Square] Garden. It will be swell to be in the manner in which you speak of Dem Beloved stands with you. It will be as I had never been Bums. From rumor I hear that the [St. Louis] thru’ all these bad dreams.” Browns intend to move to Brooklyn. They can But sometimes it’s hard to hide your at least expect good support. We can stand an longing. I had been overseas since August American League team there. The [St. Louis] 1943. When dating a letter I wrote to Bette on Cards are OK but wait ‘til next year. I hope to November 11, 1943, parenthetically I added: be home by then and I’ll be able to root for the “(Wish it was 1918).” gang. –Watch them go.” As it happened, the

May 30, 1944: “Decoration Day today, the official beginning of summer. All the resorts, pools, lakes, and the recreational spots are opening. This is one of the nicer times of the year. Nope! I can’t even get started on that. Looks like you’ll have to be content with a variety of nonsense. Even at times, nonsense is hard to think of.” (Bette and I were married on Decoration, now Memorial, Day, May 30, 1945). On November 11, 1944, I wrote: “Finally got a day off and to boot we are having a football game this afternoon. Our base team [in Cottesmore, England] won last Saturday and this is their second game. It has been over 2 years since I saw my last game. It was a game between Green Bay and Brooklyn. Seems like a long time ago.” My first combat mission was on June 5-6, 1944, when we dropped parachutists of the 82nd Airborne Division into Normandy to begin the invasion of Europe. I struggled between wanting to share the experience and not daring to do it. It was inevitable that Bette would learn through the news media that I may have been in that action. June 16, 1944: “I wish I could tell you about my baptism [of fire] in great detail but I am afraid I’d get called down for it. I flew over France with one of the first bunch of paratroopers. Nice work if you care for it.” June 19, 1944: “I received your letters of the 7 and 9 of June. I appreciate the fact that you didn’t write too expansively of D-Day. It is one subject which can dry up so quickly and which loses its interest much more quickly. … All we do know and as you do say, each day that passes brings us closer to each other.” My next combat was the invasion of Holland. In that campaign, we dropped paratroops on September 17. On September 18 and 23, we towed gliders carrying paratroop units and supplies into the battle area. On September 26, we actually landed with supplies and evacuated personnel. Ten days later I could write: “I guess that you had guessed that we were in on that job in Holland. You can see

from my writing that I am safe and well. However, I don’t feel too keen about writing about it because I would like to let it drift into the long lost past.” My efforts to protect Bette from worrying about the dangers I faced fell by the wayside when I learned that my brother had seen our group’s records of meritorious service, and he had written her about them. Inside I was furious, but mellow when I referred to it in my Christmas letter. “In one of your letters you mentioned that Tony had told you of my experiences over here. I took the news with mingled emotions. Since it is over, I wanted you to be proud of me but again I never mentioned anything because I don’t want to frighten you. You see, My Dear, there will be much time for me to recount my life here but it will be appropriate because we will be safe in each other’s arms.” My last mission was the drop of British paratroopers over the Rhine into Germany on March 24, 1945. Seventy percent of our aircraft were not fit to fly the next day. Fortunately. The ground troops took over the territory and did not need us for resupply missions. On April 17, we transferred our planes out of our group. On May 8, VE Day, we boarded trains for Southampton, southern England, where we would set sail for the Zone of Interior, – the USA! I would now repeat the request I made in my tenth letter to Bette, when I waited a month to hear her assent. In Western Union caps my last “letter” read: “=DEAREST WILL YOU MARRY ME COME EAST I LOVE YOU=” ---

France: Relaxing with fellow soldiers

Happiness when a soldier is on leave with a loved one

U-Cosmo Men attending chow line

U-Frank Having a rest in the camp

Pictures on this site courtesy of M. Guzaldo

About the Author: Mr. Ingrisano’s 343 letters to Ms. Bette Hill were published as “And Nothing is Said, Wartime Letters: August 5, 1943 - April 21, 1945” in 2002. Mike Ingrisano was born of Italian immigrant parents and raised in Brooklyn, NY before enlisting in World War II. He earned three Air Medals during the war, and afterward his college education through the “GI Bill.” On June 6, 2004 he was awarded the French Legion of Honor in recognition of his service and that of his troop carrier comrades on D-Day, Normandy. Mr. Ingrisano lives in McLean, Virginia, and welcomes hearing from all those interested in Troop Carrier missions during World War II, especially that of the 316th TCG, or his books. He can be reached by e-mail at mingnan@juno.com Spring 2007 AMICI 21


NUOVA SEDE 7432 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL, 60634

Angelo Liberati President Telephone: 773-816-2282 Email: comiteschicago@yahoo.com Web: www.comiteschicago.org

Spring 2007 AMICI 22

Che cos’e’ il Comites? In ogni circoscrizione consolare ove risiedono almeno tremila cittadini italiani è istituito un Comitato degli italiani all’estero (COMITES). Il Comites è l’organo di rappresentanza degli italiani all’estero nei rapporti con le rappresentanze diplomatico-consolari. Esso contribuisce ad individuare le esigenze di sviluppo sociale, culturale e civile della propria comunità di riferimento e promuove opportune iniziative nelle materie attinenti alla vita sociale e culturale, con particolare riguardo alla partecipazione dei giovani, alle pari opportunità, all’assistenza sociale e scolastica, alla formazione professionale, al settore ricreativo, allo sport e al tempo libero della comunità italiana residente nella circoscrizione.

Richard Capozola’s



Antonio Meucci files a caveat for his “teletrofono” with the U.S. Government, 5 years before Alexander Graham Bell’s patent. Following a Staten Island ferry boat explosion which leaves Meucci in critical condition, his wife sells all devices for the telephone as junk for $6.00. Antonio Meucci was born in 1808 in Florence. He had always been interested in mechanics. In 1935, he moved to Havana, Cube and while working with patients having electric therapy, he conceived the idea that speech could be transmitted electrically. (That was in 1949, when Alexander Graham Bell was 2 years old.) Meucci came to the United States in 1851 and established a candle factory. He continued his investigations for transmitting sound, making instrument after instrument and his financial condition went from bad to worse. After the Staten Island Ferry explosion he was critically injured and confined to bed for 6 months. To help

pay the bills his wife sold all of the inventor’s telephone apparatus. In 1871, 5 years before Bell’s patent, Meucci borrowed $20.00 form three friends, enough for a caveat to protect his invention. He could not afford a few hundred dollars to prepare the necessary papers for a patent. When Meucci learned about Bell’s telephone, he protested, but what could an old, impoverished foreigner who could barely speak English do against a powerful company backed by millions of dollars? Later Meucci assigned his invention to the Globe Telephone Company which was quickly challenged by the American Bell Telephone Company for the rights to the telephone. Globe Telephone eventually abandoned the fight and, in 1891, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bell Telephone. Meucci was already dead 2 years.


‘Mona Lisa’ died in 1952, and was buried in Convent ROME- An expert on the “Mona Lisa” says he has ascertained with certainty that the symbol of feminine mystique died on July 15, 1542, and was buried at the convent in central Florence where she spent her final days. Giuseppe Pallanti found a death notice in the archives of a church in Florence that referred to “the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, deceased July 15, 1542, and buried at Sant’Orsola,” the Italian press reported. Born Lisa Gherardini in May 1479, she is thought to have been the second wife of Del Giocondo, a wealthy silk

merchant, with whom she had five children. While intrigue has surrounded the identity of the woman in the famous unsigned, undated Leonardo da Vinci painting housed at the Louvre in Paris, Lisa Gherardini is widely accepted to have been the subject. Sant’Orsola, where she died at age 63, now disused and in ruins, is near the San Lorenzo basilica. “It was in this convent that Mona Lisa placed her youngest daughter Marietta, who later became a nun. And it was there that Lisa, as stipulated in the will of her husband who died four years before her,

ended her life,” Pallanti told the daily La Repubblica. Pallanti, author of “Mona Lisa Revealed: The True Identity of Leonardo’s Model,” has spent nearly three decades combing Florence’s archives. Another researcher, Da Vinci expert Carlo Pedretti, praised Pallanti for the discovery and urged a search at the site for Lisa Gherardini’s remains. “Thanks to modern techniques, scientists can determine her physical aspect, maybe even her face and thereby make an important contribution” to establishing her identity, he told the ANSA news agency. Spring 2007 AMICI 23

Top Collector Is Asked to Relinquish Artifacts


eeking to build on its success in bargaining with a few American museums, Italy has asked the New York collector Shelby White to consider returning more than 20 ancient artifacts that it argues were illegally mined from its soil, officials involved in the negotiations say. The request was relayed this month in a letter to Ms. White’s lawyers, they said. Rather than implicitly threaten legal action, however, as it occasionally has in pursuing objects in major museum collections, the government hopes to rely on moral suasion, said Maurizio Fiorilli, a lawyer for the Italian Culture Ministry. He said negotiations would begin in earnest in December. Mr. Fiorilli said the Italian government was not implying that Ms. White or Leon Levy, her husband, who jointly amassed the

Spring 2007 AMICI 24

collection over 30 years, were involved in any crime. (Mr. Levy died in 2003.) Rather, “we’re showing her that there is significant evidence that links objects in her collection to illegal digs in Italy,” said Mr. Fiorilli, who leads the government commission seeking restitution of illegally excavated archaeological artifacts. “We’re asking her to make her evaluations on an ethical level,” he said. “Should Ms. White say, ‘I spent my money, and the Italian government can’t ask for anything back,’ we’ll take note, because we can’t do anything.” “In the end,” he added, “It depends on her sensitivity.” Ms. White declined to be interviewed for this article. In recent years she has said that she and her husband never knowingly bought any stolen artifacts and that she have returned objects when warranted. Her lawyer Lucien Burstein, wrote in an e-mail

message that while the discussions with Italy were only preliminary, his client hoped “that a constructive resolution will be reached.” While the Italians emphasize that their legal clout is minimal, their request seems carefully timed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where Ms. White is a trustee, has begun advance publicity for the April opening of its new Greek and Roman galleries, which are named for and were financed by Mr. Levy and Ms. White. Some antiquities owned by Ms. White and sought by the Italians are currently on loan to the Met, displayed within yards of the monumental court and atrium designed for the new galleries. Italian officials first signaled that they might go after objects in Ms. White’s private collection about a year ago, when they were negotiating for the return of two-dozen antiquities acquired by the Met. The museum agreed to turn over 21 artifacts in February in exchange for longterm art loans from Italy and other gestures of cultural cooperation. (The first artifact lent by the Italians, a Greek drinking cup from the sixth century B.C., goes on view at the Met on Wednesday. As the rumblings about her collection intensified, Ms. White approached the Italian Culture Ministry through a representative to discuss its claims, Mr. Burstein said. He declined to comment on the specific claims, which have blossomed from the pursuit of 9 items a year ago to the current 20 or so. The Italians are known to have linked 9 objects in the Levy-White collection, including several vases, through photographs and documents to Giacomo Medici, an Italian dealer who was convicted in 2004 of trafficking in illegally excavated antiquities. Mr. Medici, who is appealing his conviction, said in a recent interview that he had never had any direct commercial dealings with Ms. White. “I don’t think there are any of my pieces in their collection,” he said. Records show that some

of the contested pieces, like a bronze kouros, were bought through the London dealer Robin Symes. Photographs of the pieces, in some cases covered with dirt as if they were newly excavated, were found in Mr. Medici’s warehouse. The Italians also seek a two-handled Euphronios krater depicting Hercules in battle. Mr. Symes is said to have bought it in 1990 on behalf of Mr. Levy and Ms. White at an auction of artifacts owned by the former billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt. Italian prosecutors argue that many works in the Hunt collection were of dubious provenance. Mr. Symes is also under investigation in Italy but has not been charged there. Paolo Ferri, the prosecutor leading the investigation into the antiquities trade, said in an e-mail exchange that because of new documentation Mr. Symes’s position would “soon be clarified.” In recent years Italy has embarked on an aggressive campaign to reclaim objects believed to have been illegally dug up in its archeologically rich countryside and sold through dealers to foreign museums and private collectors. Most visibly, the Italian government indicted Marion True, the former curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, who is now standing trial with the American dealer Robert Hecht on charges of conspiring to deal in looted antiquities. (Italian negotiations with the Getty on artifacts in its collection are at an impasse, although the museum said last week it would unilaterally return 26 objects.) In negotiating with Ms. White, Mr. Fiorilli said, he is gambling that someone who has donated so much of her time and money to the cause of archaeology will respond in “the right spirit.” With her husband, Ms. White gave $20 million to create the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Met.

Through the Leon Levy Foundation she recently donated $200 million to New York University to establish an institute of ancient studies. She has also financed scholarship, publications and archaeological excavations. She and Mr. Levy shared a passion for classical antiquity, acquiring hundreds of ancient artifacts as well as a reputation for dubious purchases in a market where provenance and ownership can be tenuous at best. A 1999 study by two British archaeologists of objects that were exhibited at the Met in 1990 in “Glories of the Past: Ancient Art From the Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection” suggested that 84 percent of those objects surfaced for the first time after 1973 and were likely to derive “from looted archaeological contexts,” said one of the authors, David Gill. In an interview he said that Ms. White had “never responded to the accusations” he made with the other archaeologist, Christopher Chippindale. As a serious collector, Ms. White “should have known better because the pieces she bought had only recently surfaced on the market,” he said. Italy is not the only country making claims on the Levy-White collection. The Turkish government has asked for the return of a large fragment of an A.D. 170-sculpture known as the Weary Herakles, which Turkey says was illegally excavated in 1980. In the 1990s Ms. White and Mr. Levy donated several pieces to the British Museum, including a miniature model of a leopard, after allegations surfaced that they had been looted from a Roman site in England. And in September the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, returned 13 contested works to Italy, including an Apulian amphora that had been

jointly purchased by the couple and the museum, using money from a foundation named after Mr. Levy’s father. Ms. White bequeathed her half-share of the vase to the museum shortly before title passed to Italy. Mr. Fiorilli, the Culture Ministry lawyer, cited that donation as proof of her good will. But Italy’s negotiations with Ms. White are likely to differ from those carried out with Museums in at least one major respect: it has little to offer in return for the objects. While deals struck this year with the Met and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, provided for long-term loans of artifacts whose importance equaled that of the rarities being returned, a similar accord cannot be struck with a private collector. “I don’t think the long-term-loan formula could be applied to private citizens, keeping the objects in their homes,” said Giuseppe Proietti, a senior official at the Culture Ministry here. “Museums have the obligation of making their collections and loans public.” For years art world insiders have speculated where the Levy-White collection will end up. It was long assumed that the Met would be the main beneficiary, but speculation has arisen that Ms. White or the Met may have other plans. Harold Holzer, a spokesman for the Met, declined to comment on whether the museum still hoped to acquire the Levy-White collection. The issue is being “discussed internally,” he said.

Spring 2007 AMICI 25



he history of Sicily begins with the history of Europe, during the upper Paleolithic (20,000 – 10,000 BC): peoples of the modern human type populated it. Settlements and new civilizations followed in waves, then followed by new ones over and over: the Phoenician, the Greeks, the Arabs (the Moors). . . The most ancient Sicilian culture we know is dated around 10,000 BC (as established from rock carvings at Mount Pellegrino), followed by others until in the Eneolithic (Copper age, 3,500-3,000 BC) the island began to be subjected to ever increasing influences by oriental and Mediterranean civilizations. Sicily used to have a different name before the current one (we would call it Sicania): it originated from the “Sicani” people: anthropologists tell us that the “Sicani” had nothing in common with the “Siculi”, who came later. The former originated from Libya, and geologists admit they could have come to the western part of the island when a strip of land emerged during glacial eras used to connect Africa to Sicily, therefore these people where of Camitic origin. About 1,000 bC these people were exterminated by the Carthaginese. During the same period, either before or after the disappearance of the “Sicani”, on the eastern part of the island began to land the “Siculi”, a Pelasgic tribe, of hindo-european origin, therefore Semitic. Before the arrival of further migrational waves of Phoenicians first, then Greeks, local populations had already melted and the only name left was “Siculi” (hence “Sicily”).

Scilla is a splendid city of ancient origins wrapped around the myth of Ulyssis. Scilla emerges on a rock land dominated by the Ruffo Castle which divides the center into two parts: a characteristic district of fishermen called “Chianalea” and a large port with promenade and the beautiful beach of the mermaids that opens on to the strait of Messina. Spring 2007 AMICI 26

Termini Imerese is a town located on Sicily’s North Coast in the province of Palermo. The town is divided into 2 parts: Termini Bassa (Lower Termini) and Termini Alta (Upper Termini). Almost all of the town’s historical attractions are located in Termini Alta. Lower Termini is where the railway-bus station and the hotels are located. Between the end of the 9th century BC and the beginning of the 8th century BC, when major political readjustments in both the Middle East and the rising Hellades (Greece) occurred, the exploration of the Sicilian island resumed: first with just some scouting, then (tradition places it around 734 BC) the Corinthians founded the city of Siracusa and right after that (in 728 BC) the Megarese founded the city of Megara Iblea. In 688 the Rhodese (from the island of Rhodes) and Cretese (from the island of Crete) founded Gela (today a major oil refinery center, editor’s note), while the Calcidaeses founded Messina, Reggio, Nasso, Taormina (on the island), Lentini, Catania. In 580 BC the people of Gela founded Agrigento and Selinunte. Over a century span, the Greeks completely changed Sicily’s face: politically, socially and culturally. Phoenicians landed there too, but only to establish trading bases. The relationship between the occupiers and the local populations were fairly good, which favored the process of “hellenization” (i.e. absorption of the Greek culture) of the territory, also because the new culture and the associated political system were very much appreciated, since 1) they provided benefits for everybody and 2) they came from millenarian oriental civilizations, and brought new technologies which began to change the island outlook. Only the Siculi of Siracusa rebelled against the Greek hegemony, and it was this city, ever more powerful, which extended its supremacy over the island, and, keeping Carthago at bay, favored the economical, cultural and political evolution of the island, which lasted over 4 centuries. This period’s wonders, can be admired at the Archaelogical Museum of Siracusa, amongst the richest in the world.

Last two photographs: Sciacca is a picturesque seaside town built on rocky heights that overlook the Mediterranean Sea on the south-western coast of the Sicily. The town of Sciacca is a 30-minute drive east from Selinunte and its temples and less than an hour’s drive west from Agrigento. Sciacca is noted for its numerous artisan shops, which specialize in ceramic ware, its Thermal Spa complex and its fishing fleet. Spring 2007 AMICI 28



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Taste is everything Especially at Capri Spring 2007 AMICI 29

New York Post columnist

LINDA STASI was named the

2006 “WOMAN OF THE YEAR” by the Boys’ Towns of Italy Ladies’ Auxiliary Committee. The award was presented at a luncheon before more than 200 guests at The Pierre Hotel in New York City benefiting the Boys’ Towns and Girls’ Town of Italy, an international organization committed to aiding under- privileged children.

Brother Anthony E. D’Adamo, CFC, Executive Vice President of Boy’s Towns of Italy, Inc., and Linda Stasi

Stasi is an on-camera reporter for NY1 and known for her investigative reporting and insight into successful females. Last year, Stasi was voted “Best Columnist” by the Newswomen’s Club of New York. She authored “Simply Beautiful,” “Looking Good is the Best Revenge,” and “A Field Guide to Impossible Men,” and co-authored “Sunday Suppers and Other Fabulous Feasts,” with the Scotto Family of Fresco by Scotto Restaurant. Auguri! Brava!

Article courtesy of NIAF

Spring 2007 AMICI 30



he New York Times Bestseller, Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond, reconfigures how various peoples evolved as they had. How it was that the Inca emperor was slain by soldiers sent across the ocean by the King of Spain…and not the other way around? While the Taylor Street Archives is galaxies short of Jared Diamond’s revelation of how various peoples and their particular circumstances had evolved, the hope is that this writing along with other writings comprising the Taylor Street Archives will provide balance for modern day sociologists and historians as to how it was for us growing up on the streets of Chicago’s Little Italy…the legendary Taylor Street…“The Hull House Neighborhood.” The research of historians and sociologists is often compromised by hidden agendas and/ or previous perceptions that are knowingly or unknowingly harbored by those theoreticians. The need to abide by the conventional wisdom and/or to be politically correct (often at the expense of being historically accurate) can also take its toll. Fashioning identities, blossoming self-concepts or forging personalities. Much of the story of how it was for those who were imprinted by the streets of “the Hull House Neighborhood” can be dissected from the sounds that still resonate from those streets.

Antoneee, get up here!

The sound of your name, bellowing from an open window and resonating through the neighborhood as it ricocheted off the 3 and 4 story buildings, sent chills up one’s spine. We would soon learn what chore had summoned us. The worse case scenario was

being called because of a chore that had not been satisfactorily done? Whose name was next to be called? How many calls would there be before the street would be abandoned? As the summer days slowly ticked by, one by one, our chores seemed to expand until there was little time left for us. The rags-a-line man I’m not sure when the 4H Clubs became part of the American picture. “Rags-a-line” was the cry of the junk man as he made his rounds through of the neighborhood, crying out periodically that he was ready to purchase “rags and old iron” from whomever had any to sell. Not much dissimilar were the warped cries of other vendors: “Whaadee meeelone” (watermelon) and “wee wee potadooooh” (sweet potato) from the produce man who also made his rounds with a horse drawn wagon. Other, barely intelligible, cries from the streets were those of the ice man, milk man and pizza man.

Wanna go junkin’?

Piercing the silence of the early morning air on weekends and summer vacations was another familiar sound: “Wanna go junkin?” Echoing off the walls of the 3 and 4 story tenement houses, the invite reached the ears of other youthful entrepreneurs awaiting the call to join the scavenger party. It took skill to get out of bed, at the crack of dawn, without awakening those asleep on either side of you.

The bonfire

Many of our Taylor Street nights wound down with a bon fire and a potato roast. Inner city slum neighborhoods all had an endless supply of wood to be burned. We never ran out of places to get wood to feed the fire. Potatoes were another story. The halsted Street merchants all displayed their produce in boxes on the sidewalks in front of their stores. It was easy pickings to snatch a potato at night. I suspect we got away with it as often as we did for several reasons. Most important, the merchants knew our parents shopped there during the day and it was good business to let us run off with a potato that was more or less valueless when viewed in the total scheme of things. A thumb on the scale or faulty addition on the weekly pay credit book more than made up the difference.

Ring-a-leevio A team game which must have evolved as a ritual celebration of an earlier time when tribes, warring against each other, took prisoners. A box was drawn in the dirt and served as the prison for those who were captured. Once everyone was captured, we changed sides and the prisoners now became the aggressor tribe who hunted down and captured the fleeing members of the other tribe. There was always the opportunity to rescue those members of your team who had been captured. Breaking into the jail and shouting “ring-a-leevio” freed those members of your team who had been caught and jailed… giving them another opportunity to run away and hide once again. Cinder Stadium: “Over the fence is out” The sounds that came from our make shift softball fields were unique in that there were always arguments over which of the variations of the complex rules applied to the last ball that was hit. One of the most memorable rulings that came out of those arguments was “Over the fence is out.” Rulings were often upheld on the basis of which team’s players were bigger and stronger…and sometimes, who shouted the loudest. Such was the world as it was, and we accepted that reality. It was much later that I realized, “Such is the world as we had made it.”


We played marbles in much the same was as, I imagine, everyone else had. We played pots, circles, etc. We also had our favorite marbles, our “brannies.” Whenever we lost one of our brannies in a game, we tried to bargain for their return. We were rarely successful. It seemed that winning away someone’s favorite marble, their brannie, was the equivalent of Paris winning away Helen from the Greek King, Agamemnon. And not unlike that Greek saga, bargaining for its return was useless. It had to be won back.

Kickin’ the can

This game was very much like ringa-leevio except that, instead of two teams competing against each other, there was only one player responsible for seeking out and capturing the others who were hiding to avoid being seen and caught. The lone player was the jailer. The “can” served as the key to the locking and the unlocking of the imaginary jail. If the jailer found someone in their hiding place, he had to race back to the can and knock on the pavement three times, calling out the captured player’s name; e.g., “one, two, three for…” If the discovered player, however, beat the jailer back to the can, he shouted, “kickin’ the can” and all of the previous caught players would be freed as the jailer was retrieving the kicked can.

permeated the neighborhood during those long, hot summer days. The ingenuity we acquired during those depression days gave birth to the personalized push carts. One 2 by 4 board, a single discarded skate and an apple box were all that was needed to make a push cart. Separating the front and back part of the skate gave us the front and the rear wheels which we nailed onto the bottom of our 2 by 4. The apple box was then nailed onto the front part of our custom push cart. Pieces of wood nailed onto the side of the box served as the handlebars. As we designed later models we added decorations such as bottle caps and rabbit/squirrel tails. The only things the Hells Angels had on us were an internal combustion engine and leather jackets. If we wanted to make a scooter instead of a push cart, you simply used another 2 by 4 board in place of the apple box. Pinners and fast pitch baseball Most of our buildings had a stone molding across the front wall. A rubber ball, if it struck the top of that molding perfectly, could fly to the other side of the street. Pinners was the primitive version of inner city fast pitch baseball. You could play either pinners or fast pitch with just one player per team. All that was needed was a pitcher and a batter.

Fire hydrant

During the long hot summers the streets were filled with children playing under the fire hydrant. The power of the water was amplified by the ingenious manipulation of wooden boards angled down the throat of the hydrant. The youthful screams as we ran through the high powered water can still, if one listens carefully, be heard whenever the temperature reaches over 90 degrees.

The memory of those youthful muscular bodies held tight by their wet sopping dago “Ts” and the soggy blouses of soon to be Apollonian girls being tossed and dragged into the hydrant can never be erased. With our limited experience and restricted environment, our homes were lakeside property. And that’s as good as it gets. Tag: You’re it! The difference between us humans and all other species is “knowledge tag.” We are the only species on the planet capable of handing down our cumulative knowledge from one generation to the other. No other species is capable of that. We played tag (“you’re it!”) on fire escapes that were 3 and 4 stories high. Not just on the steps of the 3 and 4 story fire escapes, but under the platforms of those fire escapes, swinging from bar to bar, ledge to ledge and wind sill to wind sill to avoid being tagged. The narrow six inch ledge around the Field Museum, was another one of our favorite locations where we played tag. We gave no thought to the imposing 30 foot drop to a concrete walk below that ledge. I don’t know what possessed us to confront the dangers we did without having second thoughts. It’s also possible that, in addition to knowledge tag, also passed on to us are primal memories and primal instinct which can dominate our thoughts, influence our responses and override that which distinguishes us from all other species, “knowledge tag.” Perhaps the primal memories of escaping from predators in our

distant past are too easily resurrected in the passion of our games. Under certain circumstances and under certain conditions, primal instincts can and do emerge, overcoming the sensibilities and responsible behavior we acquired from generations of ancestors. Anyway, as I look back, that’s the way it seemed to me when we were growing up on Taylor Street. Spring 2007 AMICI 31

TRIP TO TUSCANY Visit the Rolling Hillsides, Vineyards and Classic Towns of Tuscany with August Hill Winery and Tuscany Cooking Tours To Learn More About This 9-Day Trip Come to the Tasting Room March 24, 2007, 5:30 - 7:30 pm We Will Answer Any Questions You May Have Visit www.augusthillwinery.com Or Call 815.667.5211

From the Heart to the Hand A Passion for Creation

Spring 2007 AMICI 33

The name, “Spacca Napoli” comes from the name of the oldest quarter of Naples, called Spaccanapoli, and the pizzeria represents the fulfillment of a dream of its owner, Jonathan Goldsmith. Jonathan Goldsmith! While of Russian descent he’s far more of an Italophile than a number of Italian-Americans I know who just pay lip service to Italian culture. Jonathan loves Italy with all his heart and has created a piece of the Old Country right here in Chicago. This includes the distinctive rattan-seated chairs (imported from Italy of course), which are so ubiquitous throughout the Mediterranean lands. And on the walls of the bright, airy restaurant are some fascinating photos of Italy. The most remarkable pieces displayed are two striking portraits in the Italian style, which were painted in Florence by Jonathan’s wife Ginny Sykes, who is obviously a very talented artist.


Review by John Rizzo


must admit that it was with some trepidation that I visited the Spacca Napoli Pizzeria at 1769 Sunnyside (corner of Ravenswood) in Chicago. This place is supposed to serve “authentic” Italian pizza, and when it comes to pizza, anything other than the juicy, cheesy Chicago style thin crust, or deep dish pizza I was raised on just isn’t very good. As a matter of fact, probably the worst pizza I ever had was in Italy; in Rome and some northern towns, to be more specific. That tasteless cardboard stuff they called “pizza” wasn’t even as good as the frozen pizzas you get at the supermarket. But I had never really tasted pizza from Napoli, the birthplace of pizza. I am very happy to tell you that the Spacca Napoli serves an absolutely outstanding pizza, and the other items I sampled were also excellent. It actually was a revelation to experience the real thing! This is not Chicago pizza but it is wonderful pizza. Try it. You’ll see what I mean. The ambience of the place is distinctly southern Italian and so is the food. The menu is concise and written in Napoletan’ dialect. Besides the appetizers, beverages and desserts, all they have is pizza in a number of variations. Jonathan says that most real pizzerias in Naples focus on pizze and maybe sfizi, but the side dishes he has are, like the pizza, strictly authentic. I tried a couple of the appetizers which were both great. The antipasto misto offered a few slices of zesty cappicola, salame and prosciutto with a couple of chunks of sharp provolone and some savory brown and green imported olives. This was real good, but the Melanzane was terrific! Topped with a sprig of basil, fried and sautéed just the way I like it, the only other place I’ve had eggplant in this juicy form is Greece! Then came the pizza. I still didn’t know what to expect from the main deal here but the appetizers, the atmosphere and a couple of glasses of red Lacryma Christi had me in a very receptive mood. Like most Italian restaurants, Spacca Napoli offers daily specials, but only appetizers and pizze. I chose a special for my pizza, called Mailina, which was topped with some kind of very tasty exotic Mozzarella; succulent pieces of pork cut guanaciale and delicately sautéed potato slices. I can’t accurately describe to you what a treat this was! Not the dry, bland, bready crust I half expected but a tender, spicy, pastry base with luscious ingredients on top. Jonathan assures me that this is the true, traditional Napoletan’ pizza. With his passion for Naples and to make Spacca Napoli successful he had the pizza oven Spring 2007 AMICI 34

built by third and fourth generation Neapolitan artisans that came to the USA to build the oven, with all the materials shipped over from Italy. I can only say that for the Spacca Napoli taste and that Naples atmosphere that I have finally tried, I will definitely be back for more! In short about the wines: Spacca Napoli has a substantial selection of red and white wines (in keeping with the authentically southern aura of the place), all from southern Italy and Sicily. You can order a number of them by the glass or get bottles of Riserva, which I’ll have to try when I go with a companion. If you like to finish your meal with an espresso, you can, or if you want to fly out of there, you can choose from a nice selection of Liquori, which includes the potent strega or grappa. The bottom line is, if you want to go to Italy, but just can’t get away right now for whatever reason, go to Spacca Napoli. After a couple of hours there you’ll feel like you’ve just been to Napoli for a really great dining adventure! For more information, call (773) 878-2420 or visit www.spaccanapolipizzeria.com

ITALIAN PROVINCES & EASTER RECIPES LOMBARDIA NODINI ALLA SALVIA (Veal Chops with Sage) These chops are cut from the saddler where there are no protruding ribs. The meat from this part is fatter than that used for veal scallops and so is more suitable for cooking over a long period of time. When cooked it takes on a dark golden color. It is important to cook these chops in an aluminum skillet so that a brown coating forms on the bottom this is to be blended with added water from time to time.

• • • • •

2 tablespoons butter ½ cup (1 oz/30 g) fresh sage 6 veal chops, about 1 in (2.5 cm) thick 2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) Marsala salt and freshly ground pepper

In a wide heavy aluminum skillet, heat the butter with the sage, then add the chops and brown on both sides over high heat. Sprinkle chops with flour. Pour in the Marsala and Let it evaporate. Add salt and pepper; cover pan and Continue cooking over low heat for 30 minutes, adding water a little at a time to keep some liquid in the bottom of pan. Arrange chops on serving dish. Use browned juices adding more water. Pour over chops. Serve with baby carrots sautéed in butter and parsley. SERVES 6-8

CAMPANINA CROSTATA DI RICOTTA (Ricotta Pie) Ricotta pie is a simplified version of pastiera. It is also much richer because it contains chocolate. The pie may be finished off with toasted pine nuts or almonds and a sprinkling of powdered (icing) sugar.

• • • •

2 ½ cups (10 oz/315 g) all purpose (plain) flour

• • • • • •

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) milk

1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) superfine (caster) sugar, 3 oz (90 g) butter 6 egg yolks 1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) superfine (caster) sugar, 2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour 3 oz (90 g) semisweet (plain) chocolate 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) maraschino liqueur 8 oz (250 g) ricotta pinch of ground cinnamon grated rind of 1 lemon 1 egg white, beaten

For the pastry, combine 2 ½ cups flour, 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and the butter and mix into a dough. Form into ball, cover with plastic and let rest in the refrigerator while preparing the filling. For the filling, beat 3 egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar until light. Add 2 tablespoons flour and the milk and cook the mixture in a double boiler over simmering water until thick. Melt the chocolate with the maraschino, stir in the egg mixture and let cool completely. Put the ricotta through a sieve. Gradually stir in the cooled custard, cinnamon and lemon rind. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 10­-in (25-cm) pie pan, roll out 3/4 of the pastry dough in a circle and line the pan with it. Pour in the prepared filling and roll out the remaining dough into a circle to cover the top. Crimp edges together, brush the top of the pie with a little beaten egg white and bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool before serving. SERVES 6-8

Spring 2007 AMICI 35

These large pieces of meat, beaten very thin with a meat mallet, are called (frenzied steaks) because they are liberally sprinkled with chili peppers. It is important to use a very heavy cast iron skillet for this dish - otherwise the steaks will be just like meat cooked on a grill.

• • • • •

6 beef sirloin steaks, about 5 oz (155 g) each 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 red chili peppers, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced salt and freshly ground pepper

Pound the steaks with a meat mallet until they are about 1/4 in (0.5 cm) thick. Heat the oil over high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the red peppers and garlic. Place the steaks on top and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Add salt and pepper at the end of cooking. Serve accompanied with sautéed vegetables. Garnish with lemon slices and rosemary if desired. SERVES 6

CAMPANIA PASTIERA (Easter Pie) Pastiera is the traditional Neapolitan Easter pastry. Each family has its own recipe and discusses it at length with friends and neighbors everybody tasting each other’s and commenting on them all. This pastry is offered to guests for at least a week around Easter time (and that is as long as the pastiera will keep). It is traditionally left in the pan in which it is baked never turned out.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

5oz (155 g) whole-wheat kernels (available in health food stores) 2 cups (8 oz/250 g) all- purpose (plain) flour 4oz (125 g) butter 1/3-cup (3 oz/90 g) sugar 4 egg yolks 1/3cups (11 fl oz/310 ml) milk grated rind of 1/2 orange 1/3-cup (3 oz/90 g) superfine (caster) sugar 1-teaspoon vanilla extract (essence) 8oz (250 g) ricotta 2 tablespoons orange flower water 1 tablespoon chopped candied citron 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel 1 tablespoon chopped candied pumpkin pinch of ground cinnamon 2 egg whites

Soak the wheat in cold water overnight. Combine the flour, butter, 1/3-cup sugar and 1 egg yolk to make dough; form into a ball. Let rest while preparing filling. Drain the wheat and combine with the milk, orange rind and 1 tablespoon sugar and cook over low heat until mixture is creamy and porridge like. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Combine the ricotta, 3 egg yolks, the remaining sugar, the wheat, orange flower water, candied fruit and cinnamon. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Preheat oven to 3500 F (1800 C). Roll out 3/4 of the pastry dough and use it to line a 9-in (23-cm) pie pan. Fill with the ricotta mixture. Roll out the remaining dough and cut it into 3/8in (1-cm) strips using a fluted pastry wheel. Arrange the strips in a lattice over the filling and crimp the edges. Bake the pastiera for 1 hour or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool then let the pie rest for a few hours before serving. SERVES 6-8

Spring 2007 AMICI 36



f you have ever eaten at Gioacchino’s Restaurant in Bellwood, you, know what good Italian cooking, is like when made from scratch. In fact, “Made from Scratch” is the title of Nella Curatolo’s first book consisting of recipes and the story of her life and her family’s in Italy and in the United States. The simplest dish at Gioacchino’s is always good, even if it is fresh-baked bread from the kitchen, topped with butter. The salads are always crisp and tasty, one of the reasons why the salads, the vegetables and fruits are so good, is that Jack Curatolo, the Gioacchino after whom the restaurant is named, grows many of the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are served in the restaurant. Also, Nella and the staff create the lasagna, gnocchi and other pasta specialties right in the kitchen.

Nella, Jack and Bianca

It is a treat to visit Jack’s garden in Addison. He only has a “little acre,” really about a halfacre surrounding his house, but what a garden he has there! Among the vegetables he grows are cucumbers, four different kinds of tomatoes-beefsteak, cherry, plum mid heart-as well as regular eggplants, green beans, sweet peppers, Melrose peppers, cayenne peppers, hot finger peppers, sweet and hot banana peppers, plus chicory, escarole, arugula, orecchio, and Romaine lettuce for the salads. As you stroll through his garden, you also see basil plants with enormous leaves, sage, oregano, mint, garlic, both red and white onions, plus, if you look carefully, rosemary where careless gardeners would have weeds. Naturally, you don’t see any weeds; lack is a perfectionist. Jack’s father was a farmer and a butcher in Calabria, You can taste that tradition at the restaurant, not only in the fresh fruit and vegetable items but, on occasion, on such off-menu items as Calabrese sausage and capocollo. Pat Bruno, the “Chicago Sun- Times” food critic, praised Gioacchino’s spaghetti sauce as the best in the suburbs in 2002 and 2003, plus praising the panzarotti and pan pizza in 2002 and the calamari in 2003 Currently, Gioachino’s is doing everything well Their catering business is booming, and the Curatolos are selling baked hams and baked turkeys from 10 to 32 pounds-for family parties or Thanksgiving.

Give Gioacchino’s a call a week in advance for large catered dinners.) The stuffing for, the turkeys include the following options: rice, spinach and breadcrumbs; onion dressing; and peas with Italian breadcrumbs. Gioacchino’s will deliver your order the day before the event, or you can arrange to pick it up. Among the restaurant’s remarkably diverse menu items are orange roughly, grilled salmon, grilled octopus, stuffed chicken breast with fresh eggplant and bocconcini cheese, and filet a rustico. By all means, try Gioacchino’s tirarnisti; it is flavored with Galliano. And if you come by in the summer, feel free to sample Gioacchino’s garden in a tomato salad with fresh basil, oregano and garlic ...

Gioacchino’s Ristorante, 5201 St. Charles Road in Bellwood can be reached by calling 708-544-0380 or by faxing 708-544-3362 It is open Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 a.m. - midnight Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 2 a.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m

Spring 2007 AMICI 37

Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco also enjoys IGP status; it looks more like a traditional head of lettuce but has deep wine-red stripes, and is also known as the Edible Flower. It’s a cross between radicchio and a round-headed endive. Radicchio Rosso di Chioggia was bred from the Variegato; it has dark red leaves with white ribs, but is rounder than Radicchio di Treviso; it’s also compact, and as a result it resembles a head of cabbage in shape. It’s now the most commonly grown radicchio rosso in Italy, and is (alas) sold as radicchio di Treviso in other parts of Europe. I’ve also seen it in seed catalogs in the US. Radicchio Rosso di Verona was bred from rosso di Treviso in the 50s, and is somewhat fuller shaped than its ancestor. Radicchio, like almost everything else in Italy, is quite seasonal, appearing in the markets in late November and remaining throughout the winter; it’s

WE LOVE RADICCHIO! Radicchio Rosso: The Marvel from Treviso


adicchio has been around for quite some time: Pliny the Elder, the ancient author and natural philosopher, mentions the marvelous red-lined lettuces of the Veneto region in his Naturalis Historia, “Noting that in addition to being tasty they’re good for insomnia and purifying the blood.” He also says it was the Egyptians who bred radicchio from its more wild ancestor, chicory. In the Middle Ages it was especially popular among monks, who welcomed anything that would add zest and flavor to the simple, predominately vegetarian diets proscribed by their orders. Not that the plant was limited to monastic kitchens; it also figured prominently on the tables of nobles, both cooked and raw: In 1537 Pietro Aretino advised a friend who had a garden to plant it, saying he much preferred it to “aroma-free lettuce and endive.” While tasty, this radicchio isn’t the radicchio rosso we know today: the modern radicchio with its rich wine-red white-ribbed leaves was developed in the 1860s by Francesco Van Den Borre, a Belgian agronomist who applied the techniques used to whiten Belgian endive to the plants grown around Treviso. The process, which is called imbianchimento, is quite involved: the plants are harvested in late fall, their outer leaves are trimmed and discarded, they’re packed into wire mesh baskets, and they’re stood for several days in darkened sheds with their roots bathed in steadily circulating spring water that emerges from the ground at a temperature of about 15°C (60F). As they bathe the leaves of the hearts of the radicchio plants take on the pronounced winered color that distinguishes them (the deeper the red the more pleasingly bitter the plant). At this point the farmer unties the bunches, strips away the outer leaves and, trims the root (the tender part that’s just below ground level is tasty), and sends the radicchio to the market. There are many different kinds; here are the most important: Radicchio Rosso di Treviso. The best, it comes in two varieties: Precoce, which has fleshy red leaves with white ribs that form a compact bunch, and Tardivo, which has much more pronounced ribs and the splayed leaves. As you might guess, precoce comes into season first, and though it is prettier to look at the tardivo is more flavorful, with stronger bitter accents. Both Precoce and Tardico now enjoy IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) status, which means that they can only be sold as such if they are produced around Treviso, under the supervision of the Consorzio Radicchio di Treviso. Spring 2007 AMICI 38

tastiest after the frosts begin, and is therefore worth waiting on if the winter is mild. It has also been introduced to California’s Napa Valley and is becoming popular in the US too. Small wonder; it’s quite good. And also good for you; Radicchio’s bitterness is due to intybin, which stimulates the appetite and digestive system, and acts as a tonic for the blood and liver. Now that you’ve bought some radicchio, what to do with it? When you get it home put it in the crisper section of your refrigerator. It will keep for a couple of days, and if it looks slightly wilted stand it in a glass of water -- the tap root isn’t just there for show; it also has nutrients that feed the leaves and can absorb water. When you trim the root prior to using the radicchio, don’t discard it, but rather use it as you would a radish or other root vegetable. The second observation to make is that many chooks trim the tips of the leaves of radicchio Tardivo, and use them to garnish the dishes that they make. Recipe: FRIED RADICCHIO INGREDIENTS: • 3/4 pound (300 g) radicchio • 1 cup (100 g) flour • 1 cup (250 ml) beer • 1 egg, separated • Oil for frying • Salt & Pepper to taste. PREPARATION: Cut the radicchio into thin wedges. Prepare a thin batter with the beer, flour, yolk, salt and pepper. Whip the white to soft peaks and fold it into the batter. Dredge the radicchio in the batter, fry it until crisp golden brown, drain it well on absorbent paper, and serve it hot. Excellent with crisp dry wine.



aples, Italy – Luca D’Angelo has made a name for himself consulting for big name automotive and aerospace companies throughout the world, but he just couldn’t resist taking a piece of Fratelli La Bufala’s (pizza) pie in early 2004. “I didn’t have any plans to get involved in the restaurant business,” D’Angelo explains. “Out of a friendly courtesy, I met the people behind Fratelli La Bufala and realized I had good chemistry with the founder. So I joined on.” As he describes it, the concept of franchise eateries was foreign to the Italian market. “People are skeptical that good food can come from a restaurant chain,” he says. “Using the nationwide brand was a concept that came from the U.S.” When he joined on, he says, the company was growing very fast. But it needed to define its priorities and gain structure, and D’Angelo was just the man for the job. The 42-year-old bachelor, who spends most of his time between apartments in Naples and Milan, had already helped companies such as Daimler-Chrysler, Boeing, Caterpillar and Abbott Industries with their strategic development. He says his challenge was taking those experiences and applying them to Fratelli La Bufala with patience and common sense. Additionally, he helped the company get funding, once he explained to the founders that self-financing wasn’t going to help the company grow. “Now it’s no longer a ‘mom and pop shop’,” he proudly adds. “We generated $40 million in revenues during fiscal 2006. And the Italian press as a successful restaurant business has received us. We’re looking to go public in the next three years.” The company has multiplied tenfold since it began in 2003. Though it would seem a mammoth responsibility for most, D’Angelo says helping Neapolitan pizzeria Fratelli La Bufala develop is “just a hobby” and he only spends about 20 percent of his time with it. Most of the other 80 percent is spent flying around the world consulting for other companies owned by Mosaic Group, in which he serves as partner. Its investments include another regional restaurant chain, a digital production company focused on eno-gastronomy, and a fastcruisers shipyard. Previously, he had served as principal for A.T. Kearney, a company that employed a client-consultant team responsible for assisting one of the largest global car manufacturers. The team helped with developing a comprehensive alliance strategy, developing a strategic framework, product and brand integration, and footprint restructuring. He had also been a principal for Booz, Allen & Hamilton, where he led multi-million dollar projects for global automotive, aerospace and industrial clients in Europe and North America. Prior to receiving his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in 1994, D’Angelo spent his time managing space programs. His focus from 1990 to 1992 was the International Space Station. MARS (Microgravity Advanced Research and Support) Center was his home office. In 1992, he became a member of the Alenia Honeywell Space Controls management start-up team, where he was responsible for bid

preparation and technology transfer. Always with his eye on the sky, D’Angelo has held his private pilot’s license since 1987. He is a native Italian who speaks English fluently, has proficiency in French, and speaks and understands basic German. But even these skills, he says, aren’t enough to make a slew of Neapolitan pizzerias successful. “You have to start with passion,” he explains. “The winning combination is passion and applying very basic business sense. And do one thing at a time. That’s how you build a dynamic company. Pappardelle al Cacio Bufala and Pesto Fratelli only use De Cecco pappardelle, 7 minutes cooking time Ingredients for sauce: 14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) Tomato Sauce, 1 teaspoon Pesto, hand full Cacio Cheese, 4 tablespoons Heavy Cream, hand full 5-10 g Parmigiano, hand full 5-10 g Saltare (more cheese the thicker the sauce) Preparation: In a pan, cook tomato sauce with a tea spoon of pesto. Add a hand full of cacio cheese, leave to cook until all melted, stir. When the pasta is ready, drain and place in the pan with the sauce. Add heavy cream, a hand full of parmigiano and “saltare” until the pappardelle is colored by the sauce. Serve with parmigiano around the plate.

Fratelli La Bufala 437 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139 Telephone: (305) 532-0700 or (305) 532-0038 Hours of operation: 11am until 12pm 7 days a week Spring 2007 AMICI 39

Additional Family Members $25.00!


Make checks payable to Amici D’ Italia. Spring 2007 AMICI 40


Review by John Rizzo


he phrase “Family owned and operated” has a special significance when associated with an Italian restaurant. If a family really runs the place, one can usually expect excellence and consistency in the food and service. This is definitely the case with Roberto’s Ristorante. Situated at the south end of a bustling commercial area in southwest Elmhurst, Roberto’s typifies one family’s fulfillment of the American dream. Vito and Marianna Moreci from Sicily started out with a storefront pizza joint in the late ‘60s. In the ‘90s they expanded by taking the building next door to establish a full-service restaurant. Today the second generation of Morecis, Pasquale and Rose, work along with their parents in one of Chicago-land’s top Italian restaurants. It is typical of many ristoranti, that the first generation is successful, sends the children to good schools, only to see them go into law, medicine or some other business, anything but the incredibly tough and competitive restaurant business. Then the restaurant is sold and it’s usually never as good as it was. But at Roberto’s, Pasquale, the son, has devoted himself to his father’s business, so the tradition of excellence continues. Roberto’s is a treat for all the senses, not just taste. Designed by noted Italian-American architect Frank Lucchese, the comfortable ambiance of the rather large facility hits you when you first walk in. The cherry wood trim throughout the restaurant is reminiscent of a downtown private club. There are three main areas - a spacious room with a semi-circular bar, where smoking is allowed and live, light jazz is featured on the weekends. There are also two dining areas, one of which is used for

Top: Pasquale and Rose Moreci Right: Vito and Marianna Moreci


private parties and banquets. The whole place is subtly lit from rustic lamps in cast iron ceiling sconces and candles on the white covered tables. Just sitting down makes you feel good because the chairs are ultracomfortable. The fare, for the most part, is very good southern Italian cuisine, but one can always order a fine risotto or polenta dish. There are daily specials for all courses. For this review we ordered appetizers from the specials and the other courses from the regular menu. We ordered two appetizers, both presented so beautifully that they could be subjects for oil paintings. One was the Mozzarella di Bufala with delectable artichoke hearts stuffed with fresh cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and sautéed in oil with soft beans and herbs. The other was called Gamberetti – baby shrimp sautéed with wine and garlic. It was a real temptation just to keep from ordering these dishes over and over again, they were so tasty. Naturally the appetizers were augmented by fresh warm Italian bread.

Up front we also ordered wine from a very extensive international selection. As usual, we chose a Chianti Classico. The large red wine goblets, like the kind you get at fine restaurants in Italy, were gracefully decorated with the Roberto “R” logo. For soup we had an absolutely delightful Pasta e fagioli, a regular choice. The main courses were both pasta dishes, although all the familiar chicken, veal and seafood recipes are on the regular menu. One was Linguini bolognese. This is not an ordinary meat sauce dish, but a buttery and hearty concoction that is extremely tasty and satisfying. The other main course was Raviolini all’Aragosta, which consists of 3-color mini lobster-stuffed ravioli with baby lobster tails in vodka cream sauce. This is food fit for royalty! From the many tempting dessert selections we had a thick slice of fresh cheesecake and a chocolate Tartuffe. The portions of everything were such that we had to have some of each delicious course bagged to take home. The prices at Roberto’s are a tad more than what you might pay in the suburbs. But, compared with the exorbitant charges downtown and, considering the romantic atmosphere, free parking, the outstanding service, the large spectrum of available choices and the fine quality of the entire fare Roberto’s is a real bargain and easily worth the drive. In the summer, you can enjoy a nicely shaded outdoor terrace. Roberto’s may be a rather large establishment but it is very popular and crowded on the weekends, so it’s best to make reservations. Roberto’s Ristorante is at 483 Spring Road, Elmhurst; 630-279-8486 www.robertosristorante.net Spring 2007 AMICI 41




8318 W. Lawrence Ave., Norridge, IL 60706 / Tel: (708) 452-1545


2627 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago, IL 60707 / Tel: (773) 836-2627


3350 N. Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL 60634 / Tel: (773) 804-9024


1238 W. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 60563 / Tel: (630) 778-7373

CUCINA BIAGIO! 7319 W. Lawrence Ave., Harwood Hts, IL 60706 / Tel: (708) 867-4641


437 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 / Tel: (305) 532-0700

GIOACCHINO’S RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA 5201 St. Charles Rd., Bellwood, IL 60104 / Tel: (708) 544-0380


2435 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60608 / Tel: (773) 927-5444


5109 W. Fullerton Ave., Chciago, IL 60639 / Tel: (773) 889-3020


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483 Spring Rd., Elmhurst, IL 60126 / (630) 279-8486


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980 N. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60611 / Tel: (312) 280-2750


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266 W. Lake St., Bloomingdale, IL 60108 / Tel: (630) 529-3154

VENUTI’S RISTORANTE & BANQUETS 2251 W. Lake St., Addison, IL 60101 / Tel: (630) 376-1500


4747 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago, IL 60634 / Tel: (708) 867-7770 Spring 2007 AMICI 42


olti marchi sembrano indirizzare i loro prodotti verso le donne, le quali sono poi quelle che acquistano vino in maggioranza. “Il 60 percento del vino viene bevuto dalle donne [negli Usa – nota del traduttore]” osserva MacNeil, facendo inoltre notare che “le donne hanno da sempre acquistato il vino per il fabbisogno familiare, ma principalmente vino economico”. Le donne pare che vengano in generale attratte particolarmente dall’immagine piuttosto che dal prezzo. Questo è forse il motivo del successo di alcune etichette, come ad esempio il tradizionale Beaujolais di Georges Duboeuf e lo Champagne di Perrier-Jouët, così come il White Lie (Bugia Bianca) e Mad Housewife (Massaia Arrabbiata). È un fatto che sono sempre di più le donne a ricoprire funzioni direttive nel marketing e nella pubblicità e il loro diverso punto di vista gioca probabilmente una parte significativa. Però, il fatto che queste campagne fortemente mirate verso le donne - o qualunque altra categoria di consumatori - funzionino o meno è frutto di controversia. “Nessuno apprezza un marketing troppo aggressivo”, dice John Gillespie, presidente del Wine Market Council (Concilio dell’Industria Enologica) e socio nella ditta Wine Colleagues (Colleghi del Vino). “Il trucco è creare un prodotto che attrae senza essere troppo invadenti”. MacNeil trova inoltre che il “vino da donne” sia un tantino condiscendente. “La linea che separa lo scherzo culturale e dall’essere invece offensivi è molto tenue”, fa notare. D’altra parte, se alcuni produttori indirizzano il loro marketing verso le donne, altri curano la loro immagine maschilista e di outsider. Questi ultimi marchi includono Three Thieves (Tre Ladri) e Bandit (Bandito), The Prisoner (Il Prigioniero) di Orin Swift e lo Screw Kappa Napa di Don Sebastiani, un intraducibile (e irriverente) marameo verbale rivolto ai produttori blasonati di Napa Valley. Don Sebastiani and Sons produce anche lo Smoking Loon, un nome che personalmente non capisco, ma questo vino è diventato molto popolare (in California – nota del traduttore).

Midways’ International Corporation IMPORTING FINE WINES FROM ITALY


P.O. Box 171, River Grove, IL 60171 (866) 425-6042 (phone), (773) 622-2766 (fax) www.midwaysolutions.net, e-mail: midwayint@sbcglobal.net

Our wines are distributed by Wino Distribution, Inc. Downers Grove, IL

Phone: (630) 963-2391


Lyric 2007 Season Italian Operas By John Rizzo


Cosi Fan Tutte

pera is the most uniquely Italian art there is. Its popularity and the universal appeal of its forms have led to its successful adoption by other cultures, but as with anything else, it is most enduring and appealing in its original, that is Italian, style. The most successful opera companies therefore always include the best of the Italian repertoire as staples of each season. This year the Lyric Opera of Chicago has scheduled three Italian works. All of these are masterpieces and each represents a kind of benchmark in the evolution of opera. The third Italian opera this season is Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Let’s get this straight right now. Così fan tutte (1790) is an Italian opera. Mozart was indeed an Austrian, whose native language was German, but he spoke fluent Italian and he was creating Italian opera when he composed Così fan tutte, as he did with a number of earlier works that include Le nozze di Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787). In the so-called Age of Enlightenment (the same historical period that nurtured and brought forth the American and French Revolutions), Italian opera was the dominant form of entertainment in all the noble courts of Europe. Anyone who had anything to do with the production of Italian opera at this time was richly rewarded, whether composer, singer or impresario. Leopold Mozart, a musician in the court of the Archbishop (and totalitarian ruler) of Salzburg, was very well aware of this reality, and when his super talented son, Wolfgang Amadeus, was about 16 years old, he took the Wunderkind on a two-year tour of Italy that began in Naples and ended in Milan. The sole purpose of this trip was for the younger Mozart to learn how to compose Italian opera because that’s where the money was! That Leopold’s scheme had merit is borne out by the fact that when the Mozarts arrived in Milan at the end of their journey, the young Wolfgang’s skill at composing Italian opera was appreciated to the extent that he was commissioned to compose the music for several new operas by the Teatro Regio Ducal, the predecessor of La Scala. Unfortunately for Mozart, his prowess at composing Italian opera was not welcomed by the Vienna musical establishment (mostly made up of Italians) when he arrived there to make the Austrian capital his permanent home in 1782. Understandably, the Viennese Italians that were currently favored by the Emperor, were alarmed by the arrival of Mozart, who could compose Italian opera far better than they could. Led by Antonio Salieri, this group of composers, musicians and playwrights did everything they could to freeze Mozart out of the Italian opera scene. There was one prominent Italian in Vienna, however, who recognized the scope of Mozart’s awesome genius and reckoned that he could achieve immortality by associating his name with that of the composer. This was Lorenzo da Ponte, an Italian adventurer from Venice and friend of the notorious Casanova. He had

Spring 2007 AMICI 44

been trained for the priesthood where he acquired an impressive foundation in the classics, but he used this knowledge to become a librettist with a level of skill such that Joseph II appointed him Imperial Poet. So despite incurring the enmity of the other Italians at court, da Ponte approached Mozart with the idea of collaborating with him and the assurance that the Emperor would smile on their relationship. Thus began the partnership that would produce the three oldest operas in the Standard Opera Repertoire. All three Mozart-da Ponte operas are humorous to one degree or another, but Così fan tutte is the most purely comic and most consistently funny. Its six principal characters are ideal for a dazzling progression of solos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets and sextets. Throughout this piece the melodies and harmonies are gorgeous – this is real “easy listening” for opera fans. Così fan tutte performances begin at Lyric Opera on February 10. For more information, call 312.332.2244 or visit www.lyricopera.org

Nathan Gunn, who stars as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2007 season. Photo by Dario Acosta.

Production shots of Cosi fan tutte courtesy of San Francisco Opera.



By Gerrie Guzaldo You could hardly see for all the snow, Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go. Pull a chair up to the TV set, “Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.” Depending on the channel you tuned, You got Rob and Laura - or Ward and June. It felt so good. It felt so right. Life looked better in black and white. I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys, Dennis the Menace, The Cleaver boys, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Superman, Jimmy and Lois Lane Father Knows Best, Patty Duke, Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too, Donna Reed on Thursday night! Life looked better in black and white. I want to go back to black and white. Everything always turned out right. Simple people, simple lives. Good guys always won the fights. Now nothing is the way it seems, In living color on the TV screen. Too many murders, too many fights, I want to go back to black and white. In God they trusted, alone in bed, they slept, A promise made was a promise kept. They never cussed or broke their vows. They’d never make the network now. But if I could, I’d rather be In a TV town in ‘53. It felt so good. It felt so right. Life looked better in black and white. I’d trade all the channels on the satellite, If I could just turn back the clock tonight! To when everybody knew wrong from right. Life was better in black and white!

My beloved old man is a good man, He walks alone and longing. He has the long sadness of coming and going. I watch him from a distance but we are so different. He has aged with the century of the streetcars and red wine.... Old my old beloved man now already you walk slowly As if forgiving the wind I am your blood my beloved old man. I am your silence and your time... He has foresight but with a fatiguing figure. Age fell upon him without a carnival, nor masquerade. I have the new years and my father has the old years. He carries the pain inside and he has history without time. My beloved old man now that you walk slowly As if forgiving the wind. I am your blood my beloved old man, I am your silence and your time. I am your blood my beloved old man...

VECCHIO IL MIO Il mio uomo anziano caro è un buon uomo Che cammina da solo e desiderare. Ha la tristezza lunga di venire e di andare. Lo guardo da una distanza ma siamo così differenti. È invecchiato con il secolo degli streetcars e del vino rosso.... Vecchio il mio uomo caro anziano ora già camminate Lentamente come se perdonandolo al vento siano la vostra Anima il mio uomo anziano caro. Sono il vostro silenzio ed il vostro tempo... Ha previsione ma con una figura affaticante. L’età è caduto su lui senza un carnival, né masquerade. Ho i nuovi anni ed il mio padre ha i vecchi anni. Trasporta il dolore interno ed ha storia senza tempo. Il mio uomo anziano caro ora che camminate lentamente Come se perdonando il vento. Sono la vostra anima il mio uomo che anziano caro Sono il vostro silenzio ed il vostro tempo. Sono la vostra anima il mio uomo anziano caro...

Spring 2007 AMICI 45



group of alumni, highly established in their careers, was together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite –telling them to help themselves to the coffee. After all the students had a cup of coffee, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.” “Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you Consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other’s cups.” “Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating. Only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”


Learning Italian in Puzzle Form Write the answers in Italian

By Andrew Guzaldo

Across 7. Hay Fever (3 words) 8. Balcony 9. Tour 10. Return 12. Eraser 14. Expense 16. Medication 19. Tune 20. Chestnut 22. Sedative

Down 1. Month 2. Landing 3. Gasoline 4. Cocoa 5. June 6. Both 11. To learn 13. Monthly 15. Pond 17. Pineapple 18. Water 21. Born



ENTERTAINER By Andrew Guzaldo


ecently we held a surprise birthday party for my Sister at the fabulous 3 Olives Restaurant in Norridge Illinois. To our surprise Joann one of the owners of the 3 Olives, planned a special treat for our occasion, a private performance by the entertainer Vito Zatto. Vito’s performance resulted in an unforgettable evening. Our planned surprise birthday party was a great success, it provided an unbelievable fun time for all the friends and family who attended. The added bonus was to watch my sister be the center of such a hilarious and fabulous time. Vito is a vibrant entertainer who is loaded with incredible energy. Typically a restaurant is filled with patrons who are holding independent conversations at their tables. When Vito is performing, the chatter of small talk explodes into constant laughter. This contagious laughter is the result of Vito’s hilarious routine. He has an electricity about him that just seems to jolt the crowd and spark the laughter. The crowd laughs continuously until the end of the evening when everybody is in pain from laughing so hard. We were inundated with calls from those who attended our party. They simply want more information on Vito Zatto and his performances. They were impressed with his witty entertainment and delightful persona.

Come experience the taste of Italy!

Vito is a singer-performer who really can entertain any crowd. So take a little AMICI advice be on the look out for Vito Zatto and his incredible entertainment. To help you with this be sure to check him out at the 3 Olives Restaurant were he routinely entertains in the “With a TWIST Lounge”. The 3 Olives Restaurant is one of those great finds in the Chicago Land area, where you can “experience the taste of Italy” while being cater to with fantastic service, in a charming atmosphere and at reasonable prices. This combination of the 3 Olives Restaurant and Vito Zatto can make any special occasion and unforgettable life event. And for this, we extend our special thanks to Joann and Vito. Vito has earned a reputation for delivering quickwitted, spontaneous and high-energy entertainment to private parties, corporate parties, restaurant audiences, charity functions and more. Vito knows how to get a party going …and keep it going! You’ll feel like you’re in a Vegas nightclub where a fun-filled time is in store for you when highly-acclaimed, Vegas-style Singer & Entertainer, Vito Zatto brings you a lounge show full of hilarious stand-up comedy, celebrity impersonations, incredible singing, audience participation and lot’s of good times! Visit www.vitozatto.com or call 630-582-9770.

8313 W. LAWRENCE AVENUE NORRIDGE, IL 60706 TEL: 708.452.1545 FAX: 708.452.4475



Italian Restaurant Spring 2007 AMICI 47

Excerpt from

THE ROSSELLI CANTATA: A Brief Family Chronicle (From Part 1 - Chapter 1) By A. S. Maulucci

PLOT SYNOPSIS FOR THE NOVEL Born into poverty in Southern Italy, Salvatore Rosselli stumbles upon success in America while searching for the man who murdered his father. While hunting for him in New York’s Lower East Side, Salvatore meets Renata, a beautiful young woman from Italy, and falls in love. Renata agrees to marry him but only if he gives up his quest for revenge. He capitulates, marries Renata, starts a business, and raises a large family. Blessed with good fortune in the new world, Salvatore is nevertheless tormented by his vow to avenge his father’s death. His opportunity finally comes thirty-five years later, but Salvatore, now an ailing middle-aged man, chooses forgiveness because of a strange twist of fate.


ALVATORE ROSSELLI’S life had been lived in a dreadful bondage, beginning on a summer day in southern Italy, 1924, when the wind rose up with the smell of the sea in it. Salvatore knew then that a misfortune was coming: the smell of the sea had never been a good sign in Cerignola. He’d heard Dona Melo talking about that more than once as she sat on a stool in her doorway. He knew the mezzardi were coming soon; they would help with the harvesting of the grapes, and he wondered if they were bringing the misfortune with them. The smell of the sea did not last long, and behind it came the familiar scents of the limestone fields, the grass, the olive trees, and the goats that Salvatore was herding out of their small corral. One of the females put her head into his hand, and he rubbed the delicately-shaped skull and looked back into the expressive eyes. He felt as if he could almost read her thoughts. A sharp whistle came from his father, and Salvatore closed the gate and went quickly over to him. His father’s huge hands danced in the air, instructing him to take the goats out to graze. A short time later he held an olive branch in one hand, which he used to discourage strays, and in the other he carried a sack of tomatoes, dry bread, and some goat’s cheese. *** When Salvatore returned home later that day, limping from the pain in his back, his mother was nursing his baby sister at the kitchen table. Her breasts were big and heavy with milk. It gave Salvatore a queer feeling to see them. The baby sucked and sucked with its tiny hand opening and closing on his mother’s chest. The baby had thick black hair and beautiful brown eyes. Salvatore had wanted a brother but even a sister would do after so many years of being an only child. He had never understood why it had taken his parents so long to produce another child, and he was often angered by the rumors that were spread in the village. “Salvatore, you are hurt!” cried Rosa Rosselli in alarm. “O Dio, Dio!” Salvatore’s hand went automatically to his face. It felt swollen and raw and hurt when he touched it. Rosa hustled the baby into her cradle by the fire and came instantly to him with one hand pulling the gingham blouse over her shoulder and the other reaching out to caress his face. Her fingertips were like kisses that soothed wherever they touched. “Salvatore, my Salvatore, what has happened to you?” she murmured softly, drawing him over to a chair and stroking the hair back from his forehead as she examined his bruises with a pained looked in her eyes. “It is nothing, Mama. Just a fall.” “Just a fall! Were you flying? I know better than that.” With quick competence she soaked a cloth in a bucket of water and wrung it out, took a bottle of antiseptic down from a high shelf, unscrewed the top and poured out the reddish liquid on a corner of the cloth. “It is nothing, Mama,” Salvatore repeated almost in a daze. “Nothing? How can cuts and bruises like this be nothing? We must give your father a better explanation than ‘nothing’.” Spring 2007 AMICI 48

When she had finished, she held his chin and looked into his eyes, and he knew he could hide nothing from her. “It was them again.” Rosa’s kind face turned dark and fierce. “Damn those pigs! The fires of hell would be too good for them! O my Salvatore.” Rosa took her son’s head gently in her arms and sobbed. “O Dio! No good will come of this.” Salvatore felt the throbbing in her neck and was ashamed to be treated like a boy with such a fuss being made over him. He tried to sit up and his mother released him. “Please don’t with tears. She turned away so that her son would not see her naked hatred and pain, stood quietly composing herself, then picked up the crying infant and gave it her breast again. “There, there, bambina, my hungry bambina,” she crooned. Salvatore went out to the tettoia. When he excreted, there was blood in his urine. It frightened him, but he did not want to tell his mother. It would cost money to see a doctor. *** Dominic Rosselli was driving the oxen home from the fields, every few minutes removing his old crumpled hat to wipe the sweat from his brow with his forearm. Dominic had a large simian build: stooped shoulders and long arms and relatively short, powerful legs. It was said in Cerignola that he had once wrestled a bull to the ground. Although no one had actually seen this feat performed, rumor alone was enough to establish his reputation as one of the strongest men in the province of Foggia. This was a source of pride to the villagers, but it also added to their distrust of him. Dominic drove the oxen into their corral and unyoked them. He mixed their grains with milk and set it down for them to eat. Then he closed the gate and walked to the house. He washed up with water from the bucket by the door as his son had done moments before, knocked the dirt from his heavy boots, and went in. The aroma of soup in the kitchen made him smile with pleasure, but the grim look on Rosa’s face shattered that good feeling in an instant. Dominic glanced swiftly from his wife to his son, and Salvatore knew from the look his father gave him that there was no escape from what he must tell. His father came up and put his face close to him and pushed his head back roughly to inspect the bruises. Salvatore’s head was as delicate as an egg in the grip of that large calloused hand. When Dominic had seen enough, he stood back, peeled off his dusty hat, and threw it onto a chair. His eyes were riveted onto Salvatore’s, and they demanded, “Tell me what happened!” Salvatore struggled to remain calm, steeling his nerves as he stared straight into his father’s eyes. Experience had taught him it was better not to try to look away. Those eyes penetrated to his soul and bled the truth from him. Salvatore told all the details he could remember, minimizing the beating he had taken, and fell silent. His father continued staring ferociously at

him, his face turning purple, his eyes bulging, and then his rage erupted in a powerful blow to the table that overturned the soup bowls. His father’s rage made Salvatore feel guilty for what had happened, and he cowered in fear. Guilt and fear made him a ready victim. Suddenly his father’s enormous hand was lifted above him. Salvatore flinched, and covered his head with his arms. But the blow did not come. Rosa clung to Dominic’s arm with all her strength and prevented him from striking her Salvatore. But Dominic’s rage had to explode. He tore his arm from Rosa’s grip, shaking her off as if she were a rag doll, and went at her like a wild beast. Salvatore leapt on his father’s back. Dominic threw him off, spun around, and struck wildly at him. Salvatore tried to dodge the heavy blow, but he wasn’t quite agile enough. His father’s hand hit him in the small of the back, just under the rib cage, where his cousins had kicked him. *** “Go get the cart!” Rosa shouted at her husband. Dominic had lowered his eyes and did not read her lips. Rosa threw a spoon at him and he looked up. “Go get the cart,” she commanded. “You must take your son to a hospital in Naples. The doctor in Foggia is an old fool. Go!” Large and powerful Dominic scrambled to his feet and hurried out of the house as fast as he could. The cart stood under an almond tree. It was almost dark. Dominic lit a lantern and unloaded some simple tools onto the ground. Then he placed himself under the yoke and pulled the cart around to the front of the house. Next he went to the corral and roused one of the tired oxen. In the meantime, Rosa had wrapped Salvatore in a thick blanket and lain him in front of the fire, whose bright light cut an opening in the night where the cart hard been drawn up. She came out of the house with straw and blankets, and working quickly and deftly, made up a bed in the back of the cart. Dominic realized that the ox was too weary for the journey and went back for the donkey. He now led the donkey to the front of the cart and harnessed him between the shafts by the light of the fire from the kitchen. At length the cart was ready, and Dominic and Rosa carried their maimed son gingerly out of the warm house into the cool night air and laid him on his bed of straw. Rosa packed more straw around him to cushion the bumps and pulled the blankets over his shoulders. Looking into Salvatore’s heavy-lidded eyes, she smiled reassuringly and kissed him on the forehead. “Drive quickly but carefully,” Rosa exhorted as Dominic tipped the cart with his weight. Then she was gone into the house and back in a moment. She handed Dominic a large goatskin bag. “Here is water, milk, cheese, and bread. See to your son.” Dominic slouched shamefully in the driver’s seat. He waved farewell to his wife, clucked his tongue at the donkey, and flicked the reins. The cart started rolling with a gentle jolt. The lantern flickered and the wheels crunched over the stones as the donkey pulled the cart away into the darkness. The sky was pricked with hundreds of bright stars and rent three-quarter moon, and they shed just enough light to make out the path leading to the main road. Rosa looked after them. She could see the light of the lantern bobbing and flickering like the lamp on a ship at sea. The baby started to cry in her cradle by the fire. Rosa went inside and shut the door against the night. Kneeling down beside the baby, she rocked the cradle and hummed a lullaby. Her prayers swelled up out of the silence towards heaven. Copyright 2001 by Anthony S. Maulucci If you would like to order a copy of The Rosselli Cantata directly from the publisher, send a check for $12.45 ($9.95 for book plus $2.50 shipping & handling) to Lorenzo Press, 20 Elm Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360. Also available from Amazon.com. Trade paperback, 121 pages, $9.95, ISBN 0-9645-2265-9. Anthony S. Maulucci is an award-winning novelist, playwright, poet, painter, and publisher who was born in Hartford and currently resides in Southeastern Connecticut. He has lived in Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and New York City. His grandparents came from Rome, Naples and the Apulia region of southern Italy. Maulucci’s books include The Discovery of Luminous Being, Adriana’s Eyes and Other Stories, The Rosselli Cantata, Dear Dante, 100 Love Sonnets, and The Morning Light. He holds an M.A. from Wesleyan University. Spring 2007 AMICI 49



racie wanted her mother to pour milk on her breakfast cereal. “Pour until I say ‘when’,” Gracie instructed. Her mother held the milk container over the cereal bowl. Slowly, the milk filled the bowl, but Gracie did not say “when.” Then the milk overflowed the bowl and began running across the kitchen table. Gracie’s mother stopped pouring. “Honey,” her mother said, “you didn’t say ‘when’.” Gracie smiled a devilish smile. “I forgot,” Gracie said. Gracie’s mother went to the kitchen sink, fetched a sponge and cleaned up the spilled milk on the table. That evening, Gracie’s father came home from work and began looking for his photography magazines. “Where did my magazines go?” he asked. “I threw them out,” said Gracie. “I cut all the photos out of them that I liked. Then I put the rest in the garbage.” “But you knew Daddy liked to read them,” her father said. “Why would you do that?” “Because I wanted to,” Gracie explained. “Well, that’s okay,” her father said. “I can get more of them.” Gracie’s parents were not happy with her. They wanted her to behave better. She embarrassed them whenever they went anywhere with her. And Gracie had no friends. No one wanted to play with a sevenyear-old girl who was so selfish and sometimes mean. One day, after Gracie bit her mother on the arm, her parents decided to go with Gracie to Mrs. Whitman, who was an expert at advising families. Mrs. Whitman listened to Gracie and her parents for a long time and then gave the parents some advice. “I think that the problem you have is easy to see, but not easy to fix,” Mrs. Whitman began. “You have to make rules for Gracie and, if she doesn’t follow them, you have to take away the things she likes until she listens to you. You’re her parents and she wants you to be in charge. She doesn’t want to be in charge.” “But we’ve tried punishing her and it doesn’t work,” Gracie’s mother said. “You haven’t punished her,” Mrs. Whitman said. “You’ve pretended to punish her. You tell her she’s done something wrong and she can’t watch television. But then, after only a a minute, you let her watch television. You give her timeouts, but they last only a few seconds and then she’s running all over doing whatever she wants. You have to be firm.” “But,” Gracie’s father said, “she starts crying and screaming when we’re firm with her. I don’t want to upset her.” “Gracie knows you’ll back down if she throws a tantrum,” Mrs. Whitman said. “You have to ignore her tantrums and insist upon proper behavior. If you don’t take control, she’ll never learn to control herself and she will continue to be a very unhappy child.” “Oh, Gracie isn’t unhappy!” her father said. “Oh, yes she is,” said Mrs. Whitman. “She is very unhappy and very disappointed that she doesn’t have parents she can depend upon to be parents. If you don’t change your way of treating Gracie, she is going to grow up to be an even unhappier adult.” Gracie’s mother and father listened to

what Mrs. Whitman said and decided they had to change the way they treated Gracie, because they loved her very much and didn’t want her to be unhappy. The next day, Gracie asked her mother for cereal. Her mother put the cereal in a bowl and added just the right amount of milk. She gave the cereal to Gracie. “But I wanted to say ‘when’!!!” Gracie yelled. “We’re not going to do that anymore Gracie,” her mother said. “Your cereal is just fine.” Gracie began screaming and crying. “If you don’t stop that bad behavior, Gracie, I’m going to make you sit in the corner for five minutes,” her mother said. Gracie continued to yell and act generally bratty. Gracie’s mother took her by the hand and sat her in a chair facing the corner. “Now, you sit here for five minutes and then I’ll give you another chance to behave better and eat your breakfast,” Gracie’s mother said firmly. “If you get up before I tell you that you can, you’ll sit here 10 minutes. Do you understand?” Gracie got up and tried to leave. Her mother took her by the shoulders and sat her down again. “Now you’re getting 10 minutes,” her mother said. Gracie squirmed on the chair and waited for her mother to leave so she could get up immediately and run away. But her mother stood behind her looking at her watch and would not let Gracie get up. At first, Gracie didn’t like it. But, after 10 minutes, she felt just a little better about everything and she didn’t know why. All Rights Reserved © 2006 by Fred Cicetti

Amici Journal and Amici d’ Italia invite you to visit the ultimate website of Italian-American interests


Traveling - Entertainment - News - Sports - History

Spring 2007 AMICI 50

REMEMBER WHEN ... One of my kids asked the other day, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up Pop?” “We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,” I informed him. “All the food was slow.” “C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?” asked the boy. “It was a place called ‘at home,’” I explained. “Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.”


S O L U T I O N Spring 2007 AMICI 51


Don’t miss

Francesco Arena Photographer/Poet

The Vito Zatto Show

February 8 - March 30, 2007 Mon-Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sat: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm “Monte S. Angelo ( Puglia ): La Citta degli Angeli (City of Angels )” Photographs by poet and photographer Francesco Arena of his Italian town in Puglia , Italy. Francesco Arena has collaborated with Quaderni Garganici, Sinistra Piave, Inverso, Bollettino S. Michele, Informa Foggia Egargan, Il Quotidiano di Foggia, La Nuova Ecologia, Reconstruction Room, Radio Nuova Dimesione, Radio Smash and Radio Cooperativa. He has published two books of poetry: Poesia e Gioco and I Volti e L’Anima. Location: Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia 1621 N. 39th Ave. , Stone Park , IL More info: Please call to arrange your visit. Phone: 708 345-3842

March 8, 2007 + April 26, 2007 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm March 26, 2007 8:00 pm - 12:00 am Location: The 3 Olives, 8313 W. Lawrence Ave, Norridge, IL (708) 452-1545

Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show March 10 - March 18, 2007 Sun-Thu: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm, Fri+Sat: 9:30 am - 8:00 pm Now celebrating its 13th year as the Midwest’s premier flower and garden extravaganza. Features include the Garden Market, Theme Gardens, informative Seminars, Garden Gourmet cooking demonstrations, and much more! Location: The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL Cost: Adults $12.00 at weekdays and $14.00 at weekends, Children $5.00 More info: http://chicagolandflowerandgarden.com

Madame Butterfly - Elgin OPERA Dates and Locations: Sunday, March 4, 7:00 pm, Del Webb Sun City - Huntley, IL Sunday, March 11, 3:00 pm, Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern UniversityEvanston, IL Fully staged production of Giacomo Puccini’s popular opera performed by Elgin OPERA. Costumed with authentic Japanese kimonos. Piano accompaniment and string quartet, conducted by Maestro Francesco Milioto, assistant conductor at Ravinia. Cost: Tickets for public performances are $25/Adult, $20/Student or Senior. There is a $3.00 Shipping and Handling fee. Tickets will be mailed. Group rates are available for 10 or more. More info: Call Elgin OPERA at (847) 214-8340, OPERAoffice@aol.com

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March 15, 2007 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Location: Cucina Casale, 216 N. Walnut st., Itasca, IL (630) 467-9700 April 7, 2007 8:00 pm - 12:00 am Location: Pasta Amore, 2112 Winding River Dr., Naperville, IL (630) 904-7500 More info: www.vitozatto.com, (630) 624-4483 Cathy Capizzi

Patrizio Buanne in Chicago Theatre Tuesday, April 10 8:00 pm The seductive voice of Patrizio Buanne comes to the iconic Chicago Theater! His sophisticated voice instantly conjures up images of the classic American and Italian singers of the 50s and 60s with a sound that is remarkably fresh. To listen to Patrizio is to immerse yourself in the soundtrack of a world familiar from film and television – from Federico Fellini, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollabrigida to The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Sopranos. Location: Chicago Theatre, 175 N State Street, Chicago, IL Cost: Pair of Standard tickets is $130.00 and also include a CD. More info: www.ticketmaster.com, (312) 902-1500

August Hill Winery Wine & Cheese Event April 13 - 14, 2007 Great American Cheese Co. will be pairing a unique selection of artisan cheeses with select August Hill wines. The event will be open to club members on Friday from 5:30-7:30 pm and then will be open to the public all day Saturday. Location: August Hill Winery, 106 Mill St., Utica, IL 61373 More info: www.augusthillwinery.com, (800) 667-5211

NIAF Heritage Tour 2007-2008 Every year NIAf offer heritage tours to Italy, spotlighting different regions. This coming September, the group will travel to the southern coastal area of Campania. The adventure starts and ends in the port town of Naples, with excursions in Ercolano/Vesuvius, the island of Ischia, Salerno, Caserta, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Peastum. More info: www.niaf.org




his year, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame celebrates its 30th anniversary. It’s a special time for the NIASHF as they are not only looking back at all the great memories of 30 years, but also looking ahead to expand the Hall of Fame in the future. Construction of the second floor at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame at 1431 W. Taylor Street in Chicago is set to begin under the premise of “A Level Playing Field.” “I think it’ll be an education experience to any age level,” said NIASHF Founder and Chairman George Randazzo. “It’ll touch on multiple levels of sportsmanship, diversity and leadership.” The exhibit area will consist of 10 state-of-the-art facilities that will give visitors of all ages a chance to learn more about their favorite sports figures and interactively have the opportunity to perform in areas they have always dreamed of performing. It’ll be a learning center with a fun-type of atmosphere,” Randazzo said. “It’ll be fun for all age groups.” While the building itself continues to grow, so does the organization, as their arms remain open to diversity. Recently, the Hall of Fame sponsored a movie outing for the under-privileged children of Reavis Elementary School as the kids were treated to a day at the movie theater while watching the featured film, “The Pursuit of Happiness.” “The kids were very excited to hear that they were going to see this movie,” said school teacher Dawn Alvarez. “The anticipation levels were very high.” While the NIASHF is leaning towards the future, they will have always have an arm around the past. There are more than 200 Italian American sports figures that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, among the notables include Joe DiMaggio, Rocky Marciano, Mario Andretti and Vince Lombardi. The first floor of the Hall of Fame’s building consists of an exhibit gallery, which includes some priceless memorabilia from the many great athletes that have been enshrined. All 11 of swimmer Matt Biondi’s Olympic medals sit on display at the NIASHF along with Rocky Marciano’s Heavyweight Championship belt.

National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (exterior and the gallery inside) 1431 W. Taylor Street Chicago, IL 60607

For more information on the NIASHF, contact the Hall of Fame at (312) 226-5566 or visit the website at www.niashf.org.


CHICAGO AVENUE GOLF OUTING They began 6 years ago with their annual Golf Outing that has been held the first Monday after Labor Day ever since. Their next Golf Outing is this coming September 10th, 2007. They are in the process of forming a website for this event, however if you are interested in more information, you can contact the Amici Journal office at 773-836-1595 or go to www.amiciorgit.net. Please check out our next edition for an Inside story on The Chicago Avenue Golf Outing, its founders, and how it began.

Spring 2007 AMICI 53

Understand YOUR HEALTH ISSUES and keep your smile By: Fred Cicetti This column is devoted to all of us who are wondering what is going on with these bodies of ours. It is written by Fred Cicetti, a firstclass geezer over 60 who’s been writing about health issues for more years than he wants to talk about. Write us with your questions at amiitalia@sbcglobal.net, please put your name and state and we will forward your question to Mr. Cicetti. Q: I’m not sure what’s going on, but, once in a while, I find myself losing my balance. Is this just an aging thing or what? A: About one in ten people over 65 experience difficulty with balance. More than 40 percent of Americans will go to a doctor complaining of dizziness. Getting older is only part of the problem. Inner-ear disturbances are the primary cause. Losing balance when you’re older is serious stuff. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, each year, more than one-third of people over 65 years suffer a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. And, even if the fall doesn’t kill you, you could fracture a hip and then a whole bunch of problems will can cascade over you—limitations on activities, isolation, loss of independence, depression. Not all balance problems have the same cause. Here are several major ones: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). With BPPV, one of the most common causes of balance problems, you get vertigo when you change the position of your head. You may also experience BPPV when you roll over, get out of bed, or when look on a high shelf. BPPV is more likely in people over 60. Labyrinthitis, an infection or inflammation of the inner ear. The labyrinth is the organ in your inner ear that enables you to maintain balance. Ménière’s disease, which also can give you intermittent hearing loss, a ringing or roaring in the ears, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Other causes may involve another part of the body, such as the brain or the heart. Aging, infections, head injury, certain medicines, or problems with blood circulation may also cause problems with balance. Blood-pressure medications and some antibiotics can cause balance problems. If you are taking any drugs in these categories and feel off-balance, it’s worth discussing with your doctor. Some people may have a balance problem and don’t know it. Balance disorders can be difficult to diagnose because patients sometimes can’t describe their symptoms well. Balance disorders can be signs of other health problems, so it’s important to have them checked out. If you can answer any of the following positively, discuss the symptom with your doctor. Do I feel: Unsteady? Disoriented? As if the room is spinning? As if I’m moving when I’m still? As if I’m falling? As if I might faint? Also, do you ever lose your balance and fall? Or, do you experience blurred vision? Persistent balance problems are not something you should pass off as a harmless part of the aging process. They should always be examined carefully. All Rights Reserved © 2006 by Fred Cicetti

Spring 2007 AMICI 54

ANTHONY FAUCI LED RESEARCH IN 1978 TEAM THAT DISCOVERED CANCER-CAUSING VIRUS. HE AND ROBERT GALLO WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE RESEARCH AND UNDERSTANDING OF AIDS AIDS, (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is a fatal transmissible disorder of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that gradually destroys the body’s defense against disease. It is undoubtedly one of the great scourges of modern times, one that has challenged the world’s brightest scientists who have begun to make important strides in dealing with the epidemic. Among these scientists are Italian Americans Anthony S. Fauci and Robert Charles Gallo.


nthony Fauci was born in Brooklyn New York in1940, attended respected Regis High School in New York, Holy Cross College, and Cornell University from which he received a medical degree in 1966. His professional research work on allergic infections and immunology caused him to focus on AIDS. In 1980 he became director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, that concentrated on AIDS research among other diseases. Even though a breakthrough to successfully fighting AIDS has not yet been found, the work of his institute has been credited with significantly advancing knowledge about AIDS.


orn in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1937 of immigrant parents from northern Italy, Gallo overcome personal family tragedy at an early age, graduated from Providence College, and then enrolled in Thomas Jefferson Medical College where his experiments with blood cells attracted the attention of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1965 he became a clinical associate in the latter institution soon advancing to senior investigator in the area of human tumor-cell biology. In 1978 the research team he led discovered HTL (human T-cell leukemia), marking the first time a virus causing cancer in humans was discovered. In 1984 Gallo’s team was able to identify that virus as responsible for AIDS, and it also developed a blood test to screen for the disease. Two years later Gallo’s team, together with a French research team that moved along a similar research pattern, was recognized for extraordinary contributions to an understanding of AIDS disease.



eated at the huge desk in his office, Ralph Capparelli reminisces how he got his start in politics. The lifelong resident of the 41st Ward was a teacher when he was approached by Henry Bell, then Alderman of the 41st Ward, to run for a seat in the Illinois House in the 16th District (Jefferson Park). “I had been active in the ward,” Capparelli recalls. “I was a selected volunteer.” That volunteering turned into nearly three decades of service in Illinois House of Representatives. He was elected in 1970 and first sworn into office in 1971. Re-elected 17 times, he ended his 34-year career in the legislature in 2004. As the longest serving member of the House, he was the “Dean of the House.” During Capparelli’s time in the House, Chicago had Mayors, Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, Jane Bryne, Harold Washington, David Orr (eight days as interim mayor), Eugene Sawyer, and Richard M. Daley; Illinois had Governors Richard Ogilvie, Dan Walker, Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich; and the United States had Presidents, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. “The same concerns exist today as back when I began my career in the legislature,” Capparelli says. “We need to support education and law enforcement. Now we have a new concern, controlling the oil industry and becoming more energy efficient.” For four years, Capparelli was Chairman of the House Executive Committee. During one legislative session, the Executive Committee handled 1,100 bills, a record in the history of the General Assembly which has not been broken. “If we agree, we agree,” he says. “We should debate issues. Someone may have a better idea.” Capparelli always put the needs of the people in the district and the state first. He was instrumental Broker Associate in allowing branch banking in Illinois. “(Branch banking) created jobs. Now you see Call banks on every corner. Each one has jobs for the people in for your special the neighborhood,” he says. Capparelli notes the difference COMMISSION DISCOUNT in government and politics today. “The leaders have less control of the members; many LIST WITH show more independence,” he says. “Money controls TROY REALTY LTD. everything in politics. It’s very difficult for a person to run for office unless he has a large amount of money.” Among his many awards and recognitions is the highest honor AND START PACKING by the Italian Government. He was awarded the Grande Ufficiale for his work in securing funds to teach Italian in area schools. Capparelli was educated in the Chicago public school system. He attended Prussing Grammer School and Taft High School. In 1992, in his honor, Prussing administrators named their auditorium the Capparelli Alumni Auditorium. In 1988, he was placed into the Taft High School Hall of Fame as one its outstanding graduates. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1951 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Capparelli is also a recipient of the Northern Illinois University Appreciation Award. Capparelli served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46. He received the Battle Star for his efforts in the South Pacific during World War II. “I was in one engagement … it was all I needed to see to understand what war is all about,” he recalls. He and his wife, Cora, have lived in the same house in the 41st Ward for the entire 53 years they have been married. They have two children, Valerie (John Plunkett) and Cary. He is the proud grand father of John Cary Plunket, twin girls Claire and Hillary, and Matthew Plunkett. “I have been lucky,” says Capparelli, who is currently the Democratic Committeeman of the 41st Ward. “I worked hard for the people of the community I loved and for the district that I have lived in for my entire life.”




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Lorraine Bracco  

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9th Edition