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Kevin Bacon “Taking Chance”

Frank Ricci Firefighter

Life Change with Filippo

34th anniversary

Iss. XI Vol XXI

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Cover Story

Patrizio Buanne

They Have Not Forgotten Pg. 36-37

Frank Ricci Pg. 32-33

Pg. 2-3

Kevin Bacon Pg. 7

Vietnam War

Pg. 38-39

Editorial + Amici Involved............................................ 1 Patrizio Buanne Exclusive Interview...............................2-3 NIAF Monthly News+Arbuzzo Fund.........................4-5 Italian Cultural Center Museum........................................6 Kevin Bacon Taking Chance.................................................7 Italian Cities Florence & Modena....................................8-9 Rome The Eternal City........................................................10 Travel Tips..................................................................................11 Italian History...........................................................................12 Learning Italian History By Year in Puzzle Form.....13 Soccer Italy’s Favorite Sport.................................................16 Life Changes With Filippo.................................................17 Recipes by Lorenza DeMedici ....................................18-19 Italian Kitchens From Past to Present................................20 Trattoria Porretta.......................................................................22 Wines Makers...........................................................................23 Wine Industry + Louie’s List......................................24-25 Restaurant Guide....................................................................26 Alta Villa Milicia Sicily Regions Of Italy.................28-29 Lyric Opera Of Chicago+Italian Literature..........30-31 Earthquake +“Common Sense” by Glenn Beck’s.....32 Frank Ricci Firefighter.......................................................32-33 Pasquale Esposito + Chieli Minucci................................34 They Have Not Forgotten Part 2..................................36-37 Vietnam War .....................................................................38-39 Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld.............................................................40 Faiella Autistic Child.............................................................41 My Italian Family....................................................................42 Index Of Advertisers.............................................................48

Editorial Benvenuti Reaching A Conclusion, in Our Economical Downfall

By Andrew Guzaldo In discovering our Italian American heritage and meeting notable celebrities one can only be inspired. Yet at the same time, one can appreciate the incredible task that it most be to reach such heights. These iconic individuals are examples of how determination and resilience can feed the awesome supply of energy needed to succeed. We at Amici Journal thank them for this inspiration and gift of a lifetime. As we go on through these economic times, job loss and Government stimulus packages. Now we are on the verge of a National health care which will burden our children as well as there children. It seems our Government is instigating this problem. We are told we should all sacrifice so that all can earn. I don’t know about others but this is a common scene happening to all Americans in this beautiful country of ours. Or should we say was! Our country is now 11 trillion dollars in debt, is now at a whopping 26 billion per month in interest. This results to 300 billion a year, and most of which is sent overseas. It is said that by 2019, annual interest will be 806 billion yearly. Now we are left with the Health Care issue, my opinion is I do not see how this will help our economy. Yes our health care system needs to be fixed, why not regulate the insurance companies to make it affordable for the American people. Once our health care is Nationalized it will cause a domino effect of difficulties in our economic system. Many come to this country because they want to work, earn a living and keep there family safe. Many come because they want to be rich, that is their choice, and it is what Capitalism offers to our country to those that have such a desire. However my choice and definition of Rich is paying my bills, feeding my family and giving them the Health care of my choice, that is rich. I as most do not want to see their children and grandchildren pay this debt to the Government. For if they are forced to do so, America will no longer be as we once knew it. I feel what is needed to once again put our country on the right path is, term limits for the politicians. There are those that have been in office for 40 years. Does one think they will ever change their mind when it comes to the greed that has entangled them-“not a chance”. Term limits will eliminate the gerrymandering that exists and give those with fresh new ideas to bring us back on the path that our founding fathers desired. Please Send all correspondence to Amici Journal Publications, Inc. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 or e-mail Look for AMICI JOURNAL in your local stores or order direct at For information on our distribution available program 773-836-1595 ! Sincerely Andrew Guzaldo. “Proven, that it does not take one of celebrity stature, or wealth to make a difference. It only takes someone, willing to say the words that need to be said” Thomas Paine 1776



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Copyright © est 2002AMICI JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 Founders; Terry N. Geraci; Andrew Guzaldo; Salvatore Terranova; Joseph Nugara, Sr. Publishers Amici Journal Publications Inc. Editor/CEO - Andrew Guzaldo Writer/Photographer - Joe Cosentino Chief Staff Writer - John Rizzo Creative Designer - Bozhena Martynyak Production Layout -Andrew Guzaldo Publishing Consultant - Joseph C. Nugara Sr. Contact Sal Terranova or Louie Giampa at 773-836-1595 for your advertising rates , and services. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission of Amici JournalPublications All information contained herein is deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and to change of price or terms without notice.

Fall 09 /AMICI 


By John Rizzo atrizio Buanne is one of the most celebrated singers of pop music in the world. Yet many Americans probably have not heard of him. This is because there are basically two markets for this kind of entertainment – America and the rest of the world – and success in one does not usually ensure success in the other. But be assured that Patrizio Buanne is still a genuine phenom, being wildly popular outside of America while steadily making a name for himself stateside. Although many would attribute such incredible success to total dedication and hard work, Buanne is more philosophical about his achievements. “On the one hand, being a spiritual man, I believe it was just meant to be. On the other hand, and you can quote me on this, the formula for success is ‘talent meets opportunity.’” This last thought should strike a responsive chord in everyone, for which of us has not encountered obvious opportunities for success? The problem is that we rarely have the wherewithal to take advantage of these fortunate breaks when they come our way. Even as a teenager, Patrizio Buanne was ready and eager to respond to beckoning opportunities with considerable talent.

Buanne had set his sights on something closer to his heart. As he put it, “I had promised my father I would be a superstar and make my name - his name – famous.” Then, in 2003, he met Christian Seitz, a mover and shaker in the music business, who made the right connections so Buanne could produce his first CD in 2005, L’italiano, recorded at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, backed up by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Once again, Patrizio’s talent had met and exploited a golden opportunity. In retrospect, Patrizio Buanne’s upbringing was an appropriate prelude to his career. “Both of my parents were from Naples, and in the 1970s,

Elvis Presley sound-alike contests are held everywhere in the world, and Patrizio won an Elvis contest at the age of 15 with his rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel.” The prize was a trip to Graceland. But even at this early point in his career, Buanne had his eye on recording. “I was more impressed with the Sun Record Company at 706 Union Avenue [in Nashville] than I was in Graceland.” Winning this contest was not the end of his connection with “The King” because he also portrayed Elvis in a play. Trying to be so much like this icon of rock’n’roll has had an effect on Patrizio’s singing, even today. But that’s just fine with him. When told that there is a clear resemblance between Elvis’ sound and his, Buanne says, “That’s a compliment to say that I sound like Elvis Presley!” When he first began singing professionally in Vienna, Patrizio performed for limited audiences. After one occasion, however, he was approached by a manager responsible for organizing appearances in Poland for Pope John Paul II. “He asked me if I could sing in Polish if the words were spelled out phonetically,” recalls Buanne. “I told him I could. The audiences that came to see the Pope were 85,000, and when I sang, the Poles loved me.” As a result, Patrizio soon became a regular performer there, singing on many weekends. The lesson here is to “sing whenever you have the opportunity. Even if there are only five people. You never know who might be one of those people.” Pursuing his budding career in Italy, Patrizio signed a contract with RAI, which at least got him some appearances on TV and radio. “At this time I was almost managing myself, without any real manager” Many performers would have been happy with having achieved this much, but  AMICI/ Fall 09

they vacationed in Vienna and liked it there very much. When my father, who was a chef, had a very good offer for a job in Vienna, they went back to live there.” When his mother knew Patrizio was on the way, she moved back to Naples, so he could be born amongst his relatives. But Franco Buanne believed his son would have a better quality of medical care in Vienna, so his mother, Alina, moved back to Austria where the child was born. Buanne’s father opened his own Italian restaurant in Vienna and, like many Italian restaurateurs who have succeeded in America, he wanted something better for his son than owning and running an eatery. Perhaps it was because his father was a music lover – and a fierce champion of Italian style singing – that Buanne grew up on a steady diet of Italian vocal recordings, and those of Italian-America crooners who often sang in

Italian. “The greatest singers in the world are Italian,” Patrizio’s father insisted, and he must have been delighted when his young son began to display exceptional musical talent. At the age of 8, Buanne’s parents gave him his first guitar, an instrument that the singer still finds special. (He regularly accompanies himself on guitar when he performs.) Was being an only child an advantage in becoming a musical superstar? “I don’t know,” claims Buanne, “because I don’t know what it’s like not to be an only child. I can tell you this, though. My parents were never spoiling me. I had to work hard to get anything I wanted.” Nor did his parents discourage the lad from his singing. From the time he was 11 years old, Patrizio began competing in vocal contests, regularly winning first prize. When his musical forays into Poland met with such success, it appeared that everything was coming up roses. But then, shortly after Patrizio’s 17th birthday, cancer tragically took the life of his father. Not only a parent, this man was Buanne’s musical inspiration and his greatest fan. “Music always reminds me of my father.” This sad event took a physical, as well as psychological toll on the singer, who was soon afflicted with a perforated ulcer. After recovering from his illness, Patrizio returned to Naples, the land of his ancestry. Naples, the cradle of the singer’s art, unfortunately has a history of being unkind to its native sons who have made a splash elsewhere. Just remember the kind of treatment received by none other than Enrico Caruso, who suffered so much indignity at the hands of the infamous San Carlo patiti. His Naples performances were ruined by raucous claques, simply because the internationally acclaimed tenor thought he could triumph with his superior artistry without bowing and scraping to the self proclaimed cognoscenti. Neither did Patrizio Buanne find a favorable climate in Naples. “In Naples I found myself getting into many petty arguments. I also had to deal with a lot of unreliable people,” Patrizio says. “So I left Naples to study languages in Rome.” Learning to speak any foreign language well is not only difficult, but it requires a sensitive (and talented) ear. So Patrizio was an ideal student, “ANGELS” ROBBIE WILLIAMS I sit and wait Does an angel contemplate my fate And do they know The places where we go When were grey and old cause I have been told That salvation lets their wings unfold So when Im lying in my bed Thoughts running through my head And I feel the love is dead Im loving angels instead

and this kind of education has served him well as a truly international luminary. Now he speaks six languages: Italian, Spanish, German, English, Polish and French. But he chooses to sing on his albums in only Italian, Spanish and English. No doubt he sings in English to pursue that elusive fame in the American market. Although, like many other international artists, he is fabulously popular outside of the U.S., having sold millions of records all over the world, he has not yet emerged as a star on the American recording scene, and, according to Buanne, “It’s always cooler to be American.” His preference in recording in Italian and Spanish, however, is a clue to his embodiment of yet another ingredient to stardom besides talent and opportunity – uniqueness. Faithful to the memory of his father, Patrizio has recorded his versions of the Italian standards of the 50s and 60s that his dad played so constantly when he was growing up. Unlike most contemporary singers, he has clearly adopted the “crooning” style as his main means of musical expression. That is, he puts a special emphasis on singing a song “straight,” loving each pitch to perfection. Buanne’s ability to achieve the absolute concentration it takes to sing this way, sounding each tone like a melodic pearl, is what sets him apart from others, who routinely “bend” or “scoop” their notes, often making their words unintelligible. To get a feeling for Buanne’s rich, romantic sound, just “Google” his name, and you’ll find plenty of examples. Another Patrizio Buanne specialty is to “Italianize” the lyrics from a song already composed in another language. When working on his second CD, Forever Begins Tonight (2006), he wanted to record the super hit song, “Angels,” by Robbie Williams (the English singer, a monster in the international market, but not as well known in the American). At first, Buanne was denied permission to cut an Italian version, but when Robbie Williams heard what Patrizio had in mind, the Englishman called the Italian and personally gave him his blessing for the project. Following are the lyrics of the first verse of both versions: “UN ANGELO” PATRIZIO BUANNE Sei tutto qui Nel silenzio sento un angelo Mi parlerá, di quello che sa gia della vita mia Soffiando via i pensieri come nuvole In questa notte immobile di solitudine Non c’è amore dentro me Ma so che un angelo c’è E ovunque andro che mi sara vicino La gente del mio destino Mi proteggerá E quando io cadro’ nel fiume della vita Pensando che è finita mi solleverá Perchè nel cuore Io so che un angelo c’è

Hardly a word-for-word literal translation. But this ability to find the right nuance in transferring sentiments from one language to another is just one more distinctive feature that makes Patrizio a special artist indeed. Patrizio Buanne has now recorded his third CD, Patrizio, which is scheduled for release later this year. He is also about to leave on another tour that will include stops in South Africa and Australia. What about the USA? “Maybe in November…,” says Patrizio. Whenever. We’ll be waiting for him.

NIAF News Monthly

July - August 2009

A monthly bulletin for Italian American organizations and media outlets, dedicated to promoting the language, culture and traditions of Italians and Italian Americans.

ITALY’S BEACHES CONTINUE TO IMPROVE This year 227 Italian beaches have been awarded Blue Flags, signifying clean water, by the Foundation for Environmental Education12 more than last year’s tally. The award recognizes beaches around the world that have achieved the highest quality in water, facilities and environmental education. Italy takes fifth place for clean beaches behind Spain, Greece, Turkey and France in the Mediterranean Sea and 10 percent of flag-

winning beaches globally. For Italy’s beaches and its people, the award underscores the local commitment to protecting the environment.

Day and night, furniture beetles chew at masterpieces, supporting structures, frames and wooden sculptures at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. No museums are spared of these critters but the Uffizi has decided to put together a task force to deal with the problem. Experts have developed a nitrogenbased process to kill off the insects while leaving the live wood intact and keeping temperature, humidity and pressure constant. The results have

Inexpensive wine may not be for everybody, but for Fred Franzia, who recently sold the 400,000,000th bottle of Charles Shaw, it’s a passionate profession. His wine is the least expensive; a bottle costs $1.99 at Trader Joe’s. Franzia’s bottling plant is located in Napa Valley, California. His father emigrated from Italy in1893 and started making wine in the Central Valley in the early 1900’s. Although some critics view Charles Shaw as an insignificant beverage, Franzia’s 2005 Chardonnay won a double gold medal at the 2007 California state fair and was commended by Wine Spectator Magazine. Franzia’s company, Bronco, has annual revenues of more than $500 million and sells more than $20 million cases per year, making it the fourth-largest winery in the United States. For more of Franzia’s wines, go to Upcoming Events: NIAF 5th Annual Golf Tournament in Sparkill, NY: Aug. 10 NIAF 7th Annaul Sarazen Memorial Cup in Hopkinton, Mass.: Oct. 12

been effective. Since September, 96 art pieces have been disinfected at the gallery and more than 20 are in need of attention including “The Battle of San Romano” by Paolo Uccello, “The Annalena Alterpiece” by Filipppo Lippi and “Portinari Triptych” by Hugo van der Goes. The museum is seeking private sponsors to adopt a work of art for restoration. For more information, go to

A New Trend-Pizza Made in a Vending Machine

at the foothills of the Alps. Many think grappa is made with wine, but it instead is prepared with grape pomace: the seeds, skins and pulp of grapes after the juice has been extracted for winemaking. Stored in an airtight container to stop the fermentation, the pomace is kept fresh and free of mold. Its flavor depends on the type and quality of the grape along with the distillation process. Additionally, Italy’s wine makers including Antinori, Banfi and Michele Chiarlo created a new category of winery-branded grappas. While there are many producers of grappa, some of the well-known names include Nonino, Berta, Sibona, Nardini, Jacopo Poli and Bepi Tesolini. The next time a restaurateur offers you grappa, you may want to indulge.



NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S GRAPPA Known as an after-dinner drink, grappa is served to help with digestion. An espresso and a shot of grappa (caffe corretto), is also enjoyed by many Italians in the morning. For many people, drinking grappa is compared to tequila; if lightning had a taste, this harsh substance would be it. Today in Italy, the distilling process for grappas has changed. According to Jacopo Poli, a fourth-generation of distiller of one of Italy’s well-known grappas, “What we distill today is considered better than the grappa we drank 20 years ago.” Poli added grappas with fruit infusions and experiments with different methods of aging in port and sherry barrels. The drink was originally produced in the northern Italian town of Bassano del Grappa


Pizza made fresh in a vending machine? With the press of a button, a customer soon will be able to choose one of four pizza varieties, margarita (plain cheese and tomato sauce,) bacon, ham or fresh greens from a vending machine. Claudio Torghele, an entrepreneur in the northern Italian city of Rovereto, has developed a machine that will cook fresh pizza. “Let’s Pizza,” will whip up a pizza in three minutes using fresh ingredients. The cost is estimated at $4.50 depending on the variety. “Let’s Pizza” goes into production this summer and will target cities throughout Italy and neighboring countries. Torghele’s invention has created a new trend throughout Europe and the United States with restaurants consisting of vending machines. Italy also leads Europe in vending machines with 614,000 installed throughout the peninsula, compared with 593,000 in France and 562,000 in Great Britain, according to the European Vending Association in Brussels. Much of Italy’s strength in vending comes from coffee, despite its many café bars. An Italian coffee machine may offer up to 18 different varieties including espresso, cappuccino, ristretto, lungo and macchiato.When travelling, you may want to take a second look when passing a vending machine.

FERRAGOSTO August 15, the feast of the Assumption, is a national holiday in Italy and marks the peak of the holiday season. The Italian name, “Ferragosto,” comes from the Latin “feriae augustae,” meaning “August holidays.” Italian cities become ghost towns while most factories and businesses close down as families and groups of friends flock to the coast, the mountains and the lakes. Upcoming Events: NIAF 34th Annual Gala Convention Weekend in Washington D.C.: Oct. 23-24

News Monthly Coordinator (Natasha Borato) Research (Carlo Piccolo) Director of Communications (Elissa Ruffino) Director of Publications (Monica Soladay) Please send your group or city’s news of Italian-American exhibits, cultural events, scholarships and special events to Elissa Ruffino at the above address or e-mail Events/programs noted are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by NIAF. 4 AMICI/ Fall 09

Latest Accomplishments and Action Items of the Abruzzo Relief Fund Immediately following the earthquake in L’Aquila in Italy ’s region of Abruzzo, the Abruzzo Relief Fund was created and responded to the call for assistance. The U.S. Department of State, Embassy of Italy and Italian Consular Network are working with NIAF to raise funds and identify specific projects. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State and NIAF formed a public-private partnership to address the educational and human resource needs of the University of L’Aquila and its students. The goal is to return the University of L’Aquila to its vital academic, social, and economic role that it played for the region before the earthquake. President Obama talked about the partnership’s efforts with Italian President Napolitano during press conference (7/8) at the beginning of the G8 Summit in L’Aquila . Preparations: Meetings in Italy NIAF President Del Raso and NIAF Secretary Calvelli toured the city of L’Aquila and met with Italian government officials (4/28) on the national and local levels to identify the needs of the city. They also identified short and long-term solutions. Committee Formed: A steering committee of Italian American organizations including NIAF, UNICO, the Columbus Citizens Foundation, American business leaders, and Italian Americans was formed to raise money for the fund and evaluate projects. The committee met (6/17) with Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources since Secretary Hillary Clinton had a medical emergency earlier that day. Phase one-action plan Goal: No interruption of students’ studies due to lack of facilities Partnerships were formed with the University of Miami, Sierra Nevada College, Villanova University, and the University of New Mexico to offer full tuition and room and board scholarships for the students of the University of L’Aquila . The University of L’Aquila is on board to promote the scholarship opportunities and evaluate student applicants. 103 students applied (34 for the academic year, 8 for the fall semester, and 61 for the spring semester). In mid-July, 32 students were offered scholarships (26 for the full academic year and 6 for the fall semester). Scholarships are valued at more than $970,000 ($673,044 provided by the universities in tuition waivers and $297,226 provided by the Abruzzo Relief Fund in room and board). 32 students will arrive in the U.S. between August 10 and 19, 2009, 30 roundtrip international tickets for students (value $43,000) were secured from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Student visa application process was expedited by The U.S. Embassy in Rome .Several U.S. universities in Italy have already accepted students and offered their campus as facilities for displaced students. The U.S. Department of State is focusing on directing educational assistance to the University of L’Aquila , initial projects include: Exchanges to the U.S. for local government and L’Aquila university leaders to visit academic institutions experienced in crisis response; A Senior Fulbright Specialist to work in L’Aquila in the 2009-10 academic year; A U.S. expert in archive preservation to assess resources in L’Aquila and evaluate the needs of libraries in L’Aquila , including digitalization of records;

NIAF Leadership Joseph Del Raso and John Calvelli , and U.S. Embassy Charge’ d’Affaires Elizabeth Dibble speaking with Italian Civil Defense Chief Guido Bertolaso Summer activities for youth in the 160 tent camps with recreational activities including sports, games, music and film nights. NIAF, together with the State Department and the University of L’Aquila are assessing building needs and appropriate ways to finance these projects. These projects might include construction of Modular Multipurpose Centers (MMCs) or raising funds that could be used for permanent reconstruction projects. Phase 2: action plan Goal: Seek funds for room, board and transportation for 71 students and build additional MMCs Scholarships: 32 students have been placed and funded with scholarships for the academic year and the fall semester. 71 student applicants remain without funding for room, board and transportation. Total funds needed: $426,000; cost per student: between $6,000 and $9,000 per student depending on university attending. University Buildings: Sites where Modular Multipurpose Centers (MMCs) could be erected have been identified by the University of L’Aquila . Funders will have a permanent impact on the reconstruction of the University and the city of L’Aquila . Naming rights for the buildings are available. Individuals, corporations and/or organizations wishing to underwrite the construction of an MMC can contact Serena Cantoni at 202939-3111. Donations in any amount are welcome and contributors will receive information about a student they are funding and their studies in the United States . For more information on the activities of the Fund, please call 202-939-3111. **NIAF’s leadership including the Foundation’s President Joseph V. Del Raso and Secretary John F. Calvelli are available for interviews and further discussion about the Abruzzo relief efforts. Please contact Elissa Ruffino at**

Fall 09 /AMICI 5



hoto caption: Cook County Treasure Maria Pappas presents an award of exellence to Carlo DeBenedictis, of the Italian Cultural Center Museum, in honor of museum’s cultural contributions to Chicagoland. Representative of some 53 museum and exhibits came to Pappas’ downtown Chicago office for a reception recognizing Chicagoland ethnic museums and exhibit. “These museums and exhibits are born of love and respect for heritage, “ Pappas said. “Together, they give Chicagoland its distinct character as a community of communities.”



hoto caption: Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas presents an award of excellence to Josette Weber, of the Sicilian Heritage Museum, in honor of the museum’s cultural contributions to Chicagoland. Representative of some 53 museum and exhibits came to Pappas’ downtown Chicago office for a reception recognizing Chicagoland ethnic museums and exhibit. “These museums and exhibits are born of love and respect for heritage,” Pappas said. “Together, they give Chicagoland its distinct character as a community of communities.”

6 AMICI/ Fall 09

Taking Chance

In April 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon), USMC, came across the name of 19-year-old Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, a young Marine who had been killed by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran with 17 years of military service, requested that he be assigned for military escort duty to accompany Chance’s remains to his family in Dubois, Wyo. Witnessing the spontaneous outpouring of support and respect for the fallen Marine - from the groundskeepers he passed along the road to the cargo handlers at the airport - Strobl was moved to capture the experience in his personal journal. His first-person account, which began as an official trip report, gives an insight into the military’s policy of providing a uniformed escort for all casualties. The story became an Internet phenomenon when it was widely circulated throughout the military community and eventually reached the mainstream media. ‘Taking Chance’ chronicles one of the silent, virtually unseen journeys that take place every day across the country, bearing witness to the fallen and all those who, literally and figuratively, carry them home. A uniquely non-political film about the war in Iraq, the film pays tribute to all of the men and women who have given their lives in military service as well as their families. This is a must see film for all, stars Kevin Bacon in an unforgettable film. Which strikes a chord in our heart for our young men and women in harms way!

Fall 09 /AMICI 7



ow a famous Italian city, Florence was still a republic five hundred years ago, and under the spell of a man of unsurpassed wealth and power whose main interests was beauty and the artists who could create it. His name was Lorenzo de’ Medici (144992), and he was called Lorenzo the Magnificent. Because of his influence, every gifted Florentine youth was guided or pushed into the arts. At de’ Medici’s table sat the most talented painters, sculptors and architects ever gathered in one place at one time, including a gifted teenager named Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564). For thirty years after de’ Medici’s death, artists of the “Golden Age” of Florence continued to produce some of the greatest works of art in the history of the world! Although today the work of these masters can be found scattered throughout the world’s great museums, most of it remains preserved in this splendid city by the River Arno. If you should have the good fortune to visit Florence, the sheer volume of artistic and architectural treasures to see will overwhelm you. In fact, if you can spend more than a few days, you should consider enrolling in an art history course in one of the many schools for foreigners that offer courses in Italian language, art history, Tuscan cooking, Italian cinema and other subjects. Below, find a quick guide to a few of the most famous artistic and architectural attractions from de’ Medici’s time. While the fiery red dome atop the church of Santa Maria del Fiore is the most prominent architectural symbol of the city, many scholars believe that the first true Renaissance building was the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, developed by the great architect Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419. The delicate arches of the loggia and the classic proportions and geometric design of the window frames are characteristic of Florentine Renaissance architecture at its best. The Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery) is inarguably the world’s best museum dedicated to Renaissance art. One central attraction is the Botticelli room, with more than twenty paintings including the famous Primavera and Birth of Venus. Every important Renaissance artist is represented: Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Carravaggio, and many many others. It is truly a splendid experience to see these great works, but get there early; there are always a great many people waiting to enter the Gallery. Renaissance sculpture will be forever linked with the name of Michaelangelo, who lived much of his early life in Florence. Many people visit the city for one reason above all, to see his David, along with four of his unfinished “Slaves” and a St. Matthew in the Galleria della Accademia. The hallway and rotunda of this gallery were built specially for the Slaves and David , (which was moved to the Accademia in 1873 from Piazza Signoria). The unfinished Slaves perfectly illustrate Michaelangelo’s belief that the work of a sculptor is to liberate figures imprisoned in blocks of marble. Viewing the mammoth statue of David in this indoor setting is impressive and dramatic, but completely different from seeing the exact copy standing “al fresco” in front of the Uffizi, which is best viewed as the early rays of the Tuscan sun illuminate the daunting marble structure. These are just a few of the fantastic works of art found in the city, but even if you see only one of them on your visit to Florence, it will be a worthwhile trip! 8

AMICI/ Fall 09

The Architecture Of The Beautiful Italian City Of

talian architecture is timeless, the soft colours and pleasing structures to very little to offend and always leave an impression on you. Modena is a city situated in the mid north west of the Italian peninsula and is most famous for being the hometown of the Ferrari but it’s also right in the middle of the Italian food corridor, which runs from Bologna, the father of Italian food to Parma, the home of ham and down to Modena. As well as these claims to fame Modena is also the home to one of the most beautiful Italian cathedrals and some wonderful architecture. Modena has numerous claims to fame, not only is it the hometown of Ferrari (the Italians other great passion), it was also the hometown of the late and great world famous Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti and it’s also one of the EmiliaRomagna region’s great gastronomic cities, producer of the most beautiful vinegar in the world, balsamic among other things. If you are into your food Emilia-Romagna has to be the Italian region to visit. But what is the real Modena like? Having visited Bologna many years ago and been overcome by its beauty I’d always promised myself I’d get to Modena one day. Other than the obvious things about Modena I knew very little about it so was looking forward immensely to finding out more about the cities Italian architecture. As soon as I arrived I headed for the main square, when ever you arrive in an Italian city for the first time the main Piazza is always a good starting point. Piazza Grande is the main Piazza in Modena, and a very grand Italian Piazza it is too, being home to the beautiful cathedral. It has to be one of the most beautiful churches anywhere in and one of the most beautiful I’ve seen any where in the world. Building started on the cathedral in 1099. At the time Modena was without a bishop as the one chosen by the Pope was not approved by the locals, hence the citizens of Modena managed and paid for the cathedral to be completed, some achievement.

Piazza Grande The beautiful white stones covering the outside of the cathedral were discovered, during renovation work to be Roman tombstones, this was a surprise to the restoration workers and historians who even found inscriptions on the stones. The doorways are adorned with life-like sculptures and these really set the cathedral apart from older cathedrals that generally have flatter one-dimensional sculptures. The sculptures look magnificent in their white stone but they have a somewhat eerie appearance to them due to the use of lead as eyes, the black eyes staring down at you from the beautiful white figures is strange. Standing proudly at either side of the main entrance to the cathedral are two magnificent Roman lions, two magnificent lions also guard the doorway to the Piazza Grande, this time made from an Italian pink marble. I could spend hours inside cathedrals just looking at the reliefs and carvings, I always feel slightly disappointed when leaving a magnificent looking cathedral that isn’t regaled with historical reliefs that tell a story. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in Modena. On one side of the church, beneath an arch linking it to a tower there are some wonderful carvings believed to be King Arthur and his knights as well as scenes from Aesop’s fables. My favourite of all was a calendar showing the months of the year complete with an agricultural task for the Italian farmers that would be carried out in the given month. This reminded me of a similar carving I saw at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice. A later section was added to the cathedral in the 13-14th centuries, this was made out of a beautiful Italian pink marble and is of a more Gothic appearance than the earlier parts of the cathedral but it still links nicely with the older section, rather than looking like a bolt-on. As with all Italian cities the main Piazza is the focal point of the city and Piazza Grande is no different. Up until 1931 the Piazza held the city market but this was moved to a purpose built covered site where it is still held today.

Palazzo Ducale

Duomo di Modena Although not the site for the market any longer the Piazza is still very much the place to meet people, take a stroll or just sit and enjoy an espresso. Modena’s buildings are a wonderful terra cotta colour, the sort of colour that lends itself wonderfully to Italian architecture, so warming and gentle on the eye. The good thing about Italy is that is still so in touch with its heritage, the citizens of Modena have to respect their heritage to the degree that the colour of all buildings must fall within local council guidelines to keep the aesthetics of the city. Walking through the narrow atmospheric cobbled streets into the sleepy piazzas you can really get lost in the sense of Italian history that Modena exudes through its architecture. Modena has had an up and down history. Modena flourished under Roman rule but then went into steady decline as a power hub until the end of the 16th century when the ruling d’Este family made it their home. The family saw how Modena had fallen into declined and realised that it had potential and set about modernising the city to make it one of the Italian greats. The d’Este family built their home, the Palazzo Ducale (not to be confused with the Venetian palace of the same name) on top of Modena’s existing castle. The spectacular Palazzo still stands today; still in all its original glory, the unfortunate thing is that it is now an impregnable Italian military academy with no access for to the public. After a couple of days spent walking around the beautiful city of Modena sampling the wonderful architecture it dawned on me that I hadn’t even taken the time out to look deeper into Modena’s gastronomic heritage. Now that is something to look forward to. Fall 09 /AMICI 9



By Andrew Guzaldo

ome is the Eternal City. With an almost uninterrupted history as an important center of power for more than two millennia, Rome is as close to eternal as it gets. The amphitheater, in Rome most commonly known as the Colosseum, where a colossal bronze statue of Nero stands. The coliseum was built by slave labor; it was the most infamous places of entertainment, the world has ever known there entertainment consisted of gladiator combat. Performers were criminals, slaves, prisoners of war and Christians, they were usually tied to stakes and torn apart, and this was merely a sideshow for the spectators. The amphitheater was constructed on top of an artificial lake, which was part of Nero’s golden villa; it had stone seats that seated 50,000 spectators. The grand opening of the coliseum was 100 days in length of games, Christians and animals were frequently used to amuse the spectators, in a barbaric display. According to the legend, Rome was founded on the Palatine Hill on April 21, 753 BC, by Romulus who also became the first king of Rome. The legend is not all wrong. The first traces of human settlement in the area have been found on the western slope of the Palatine Hill, dating from the 10th century BC, while the first evidence of the existence of a city is from the middle of the 8th century BC. For more than five centuries Rome was one of the largest and certainly the most powerful and glamorous of the

Trevi Fountain

cities of the western world. The decline started in the 3rd century, where the first sign of weakness was the construction of the Aurelian Walls, and continued in the 4th and 5th centuries, when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved away from Rome. No longer the centre of power, maintenance and construction of monuments and buildings vaned, and Ancient Rome was gradually reduced to crumbling ruins. The only social force remaining after the fall of the Roman Empire of the West was the Christian Church. Rome soon became the capital of the catholic world, and this would be the importance of Rome for more than a thousand years to come. The wife of emperor Constantine gave what was to become San Giovanni in Laterano to the church, and this sanctuary became the centre of papal power for centuries to come. Also of the 4th century is the Basilica of Saint Peter, which was constructed on the site of the death and burial of Saint Peter. The centre of the city moved. The ancient city was centred on the Forum Romanum and the Imperial Fora, but Christian Rome had its centre on the Campus Martius. The ancient centre had become fields, grassland and gardens, as the medieval city dwellers huddled together in a corner of what had been the imperial capital. Many non-christian sanctuaries were converted to christian churches, and thus owe their survival to the church. This is the case of the two temples in Piazza Bocca della Verità and also Castel Sant’Angelo, originally the mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian. Many others, however, were deliber-

ately destroyed by zealous christians. Rome became one of the most important centers of pilgrimage, and soon flourished again. New churches were built, and the pilgrims brought work and money. This lasted until the pope was forced to move to Avignon (1309), leading to the almost 70 year long schism of the church. In this period Rome was reducing to the smallest size since the origin, barely 20.000 inhabitants on the brink of the Tiber River. With the return of the Pope (1377) good fortune returned to Rome again. With few interruptions Rome now lived more prosperous and tranquil times until the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century. Artists artistically enriched Rome as Michelangelo Buonarroti, the creator of the marvellous Piazza di Campidoglio and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who created the colonnade in Piazza San Pietro and the Spanish Steps. With the Napoleonic wars, the Pope was expelled, but he returned with the restoration after the war. In the following years there were still more public discontent with the rule of the Pope, which lead to several rebellions. These were crushed with the aid of French troops. France had become the main defender of the temporal powers of the Pope. When the rest of Italy was united under Piedmont’s rule in 1859-60, Rome was left undisturbed, mainly because of the presence of French troops in the city. When these soldiers were called back to France in 1870, the young Italian State quickly attacked and seized Rome, which again

became capital of all of Italy. The new Rome, the ‘Third Rome’, underwent many changes. First, a massive expansion of the city started. The size of the town had been much the same since medieval times, and the papal town lived comfortably with the Aurelian Walls with room to spare. Within a few decades the city had spread also outside the ancient walls, and entirely new areas were developed. Second, the town centre suffered many changes too. A renaissance quarter constructed on top of the ancient Imperial Fora was completely demolished to create space for the new Piazza Venezia and the massive Vittoriano monument, and an entire wing of the Palazzo Venezia had to be moved to a nearby location. The space in front of Campidoglio and the Piazza Bocca della Verità were overrun by traffic as the Via Teatro Marcello was opened. Similar urban interventions were made to create the Corso Vittorio Emanuele connecting Piazza Venezia and the Vatican. Of new constructions in this period the Palazzo di Giustizia comes to mind, besides the Vittoriano. The enclosure of the Tiber River is also from this period. When the fascists took over power in 1921, they immediately started to adapt Rome to their ideas of an imperial capital. Some ancient

monuments were unearthed or uncovered, like the Ara Pacis and the Mausoleum of Augustus, other destroyed or covered up, like the Meta Sudans and Imperial Fora. Other new additions to the image of the town were added. An entirely new quarter were constructed to the south to house the “Esposizione Universale di Roma” (EUR). The world exposition of 1936 was never held, though, because Italy had invaded Ethiopia and consequently was under an embargo by the League of Nations. The African wars brought new additions to the decoration of Rome, notably the Obelisk of Axum. The fascists used Piazza Venezia (called Piazza Italia) as the location public meetings, so to enlarge and improve the square the Via dei Fori Imperiali was created, connecting Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum. In the other end of town, to the north, the new Olympic Stadium, the Foro Italico, was built, and on the other side of the river the Olympian village, Villaggio Olimpico, to accommodate the athletes. The outbreak of the Second World War effectively cancelled the Olympic Games of 1940, so the whole complex was unfinished and unused until the Olympics of 1960, held in Rome. Rome suffered little materially under the war and development soon continued after the war, giving rise to a number of poor and squalid peripheral suburbs of high-rise buildings.

120AMICI/ Fall 09

“Travel Tips” Re-Building the Airlines VENUS TRAVEL

By John Conenna

What happens when an airline cancels your flight? When you buy an airline ticket, you enter into a contract with that airline. This contract of air service spells out the obligations and rights of a carrier and a passenger. Some of the terms are set by the airline, while others are standard terms provided by federal law. The reasons an airline can change the time of your flight or cancel it altogether include a number of safety hazards to the passengers. Such as weather, mechanical problems and shortage of crew. Some consumers speculate that the airlines might cancel a flight if few people book tickets on it, though they understand that would be hard to prove. Knowing what the airline’s obligations are can limit the headaches. Here’s a few tips to go by in helping understand your options if your airline changes the time of your flight or cancels it. 1.There are no guarantees, The airlines advises passengers that it schedules are subject to change without notice and that times shown on its tickets are not guaranteed. 2.Request a refund. Most airlines will refund the amount you paid for

a ticket if they cancel your flight and can’t accommodate you on another flight that gets you to your destination on the day you were expecting. 3.Try rebooking your flight. Some major airlines have an interline agreements that allow them to easily rebook a passenger on another carrier. 4. Request a hotel room. The airlines say if a delay or cancellation was caused by events in its control and it does not get a passenger to his or her final destination on the expected arrival day, it will provide reasonable overnight accommodations, subject to availability. 5.Make sure your airline has your telephone or e-mail address, so it can alert you in the event that it cancels or reschedules your flight. Again last but not least your best tip is your travel professional he has the answers to the constant changes of the airline world...John F. Conenna is the president of VENUS TRAVEL any questions or comments please e-mail or call 773-637-1110.

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“A Country is not a mere territory; the particular territory is only its foundation. The Country is the idea which rises upon that foundation; it is the sentiment of love, the sense of fellowship which binds together all the sons of that territory.” Quote: Giuseppe Mazzini

Fall 09 /AMICI 131

F O S E I R U T N E C E V I F N A C I R E M -A N A I L A T I


Richard Capozzola

1971 Frank Rizzo, is the tought-talking son of Calabrian immigrants. The ex-police commissioner in the “ City of Brotherly Love”, is elected the first Italian-American mayor of Philadelphia.

“Columbus Day”, becomes a federal public holiday as declared by the U.S Congress. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed every October 12 as Columbus Day. In 1905, Colorado became the first state to observe a “ Columbus Day”, through the efforts of a wealthy, powerful Italian American, Frederik Bonfils, owner of The Denver Post, the West’s largest newspaper.

Vito Farinola, popular singer “Vic Damonte” turns down the role of crooner Johnny Fontane in “The Godfather”, objecting to the Italian/mobster stereotypes.

Neil Carrozza, age 15 succumbs to Thalassemia Major, an incurable childhood diseases affecting people of Mediterranean origin. The Carozzas later lose a second son, Todd (age21) , to the dreaded “Cooley’s Anemia”.

Michael Pasquale Balzano, son of Italian immigrants, high school dropout, and former garbageman, earns his Ph.D. and becomes a Special Assistant to President Nixon in the White House.

1973 Father Louis Gigante, is elected to New York’s City Council where he serves two terms as the only Catholic priest in the nation to be an elected official while maintaining full parish responsibilities.

Bonnie Tiburzi, was being accepted at American Airlines as the first woman pilot to fly for a major commercial airline.

1972 Michael Renzulli, a pharmacist, takes over a relatively small beauty supply chain with headquarters in New Orleans. Today, Renzulli oversees more than 2,750 Sally Beauty stores worldwide.

142AMICI/ Fall 09

Joe Di Maggio, becomes the spokesperson for the Mr. Coffee brand. However, the real “Mr. Coffee” is Vince Marotta who invented the world’s best coffee maker.

Learn Italian History By Year By Andrew Guzaldo

Across 3. In 1922 Gene Sarazen (Saraceni), was Champion of what first Italian American Sport? 6. In 1907 John Pastore, was born in Rhode Island. The first Italian American elected to the United States? 7. In 1909 Joseph Petrosino, the legendary New York City detective killed while eradicating what crime? 9. In 1892 Riccardo Cordiferro was a poet, and literary figure extraordinaire emigrates to the United States? 10. In 1912 an “Italian” Town in Pennsylvania. Went on to to astound what industry in 1962? 12. In 1914 Govannitti was known for his poetry of ? 13. In 1904 Amadeo P. Giannini opened Banca d’Italia, and was forerunner for what Bank? 15. Amedeo Obici, head of what Peanut Company, and extraordinary Italian American entrepreneurs during the first half of the 20th century? 16. Giovanni Baptista created what religious order that ministered to Italian immigrants?.

Down 1. In 1899 the Piccirilli Brothers famous stone stone carvers, created what memeorial? 2. In 1903 Enrico Caruso, greatest tenor of 20th century, makes his debut at what Opera House? 4. In 1900 Eduardo Migliaccio, popular Italian American theater. stage name was In 1900 Eduardo Migliaccio, popular Italian American theater. stage name was ?Farfariello 5. In 1905 Charles Bonaparte was the first Italian American appointed as a member of what cabinet? 8. In 1902 Guglielmo Marconi, wireless inventor, and “Father of Modern Telecommunications” sends first what message? 11. in 1893 Zambelli, Grucci an Italian American was known for his predominance in ?. 12. In 1908 Angelo Patri and Leonard Covello, the first Italian American what in elementary, and high school. And recognized educational innovators? 14. In 1911 Giuseppe Bellanca great designer, of what invention?

CELSUS LIBRARY An early library was the Celsus Library in Ephesus, built in 110 A.D. by the Council Gaius Julius

Aquila. The library became one of the largest collections of antiquity, storing an estimated 12,000 hand-written books. Books could not be taken out of the library, but were handed to readers by library officials and read in the reading room. Interestingly, the library had its own temperature regulation system: a second set of outer walls to protect the books from humidity and temperature variations. Like the Great Library at Alexandria, the Celsus, too, was destroyed by fire in the third century A.D. but parts of the front wall survived and were restored in the fourth century. Fall 09 /AMICI 153

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Models walk the runway during the presentation of the Calvin Klein fall 2009 collection in Manhattan.

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164AMICI/ Fall 09

Francisco Costa creative director, calvin klein collection for women

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Fall 09 /AMICI 175

Soccer in Italy is more than just a game, it’s a passion. (If you’re thinking that Italians treat everything with passion - from food to wine to cars to fashion - you’re right. It’s one of Italy’s charms. Really.) People are fiercely loyal to their local soccer club, and that loyalty is only put on hold when the Italian national team is playing. For sports fans, seeing a soccer game in Italy is an important part of getting to know the culture; and even for people who are only marginally interested in soccer, it can be a great experience. The top league in Italian soccer - called “calcio” in Italian, and “football” pretty much everywhere in the world except the USA - is called Serie A (pronounced SEH-reh-uh AH). At the moment it’s officially called Serie A TIM for sponsorship reasons - TIM is the initials of an Italian telecom company - but it’s most commonly referred to simply as Serie A. There are twenty teams in this league, and the teams included can change season to season - the teams on the lowest end of the points system can get relegated to Serie B (one step down) and Serie B teams can get moved up. Generally speaking, however, the top teams in Serie A are consistent from year to year. Inter Milan carries the distinction of being the only team left in Serie A to have never been relegated. As of the 2009-2010 season, the Serie A teams are (the city and region they’re based in is in parentheses, and the links are for English-language sites devoted to each team. (Bergamo, Lombardy) (Bari, Puglia) (Bologna, Emilia-Romagna (Cagliari, Sardinia) (Catania, Sicily) (Verona, Veneto) (Florence, Tuscany) (Genoa, Liguria) (Milan, Lombardy) (Rome, Lazio) There are lower levels of play in Italian soccer, too, from Serie B through D to several levels below that, so if the ticket prices for a Serie A game are too dear on your travel budget, ask around for another place you can catch a soccer game. The soccer season runs roughly from August through May, so if your visit to Italy falls during this time you may want to look into the schedules of the teams in the towns you’ll be visiting. You can check out the official site of the Italian professional soccer league here, which includes Serie A and B, as well as the Under 21 league and some other competitions. Be advised that if you have a liking for a particular squad and you happen to be in a position to catch them at an away game you’ll want to be careful about parading around town wearing the colors of any but the local squad. In some stadiums, opposing fans are all made to sit together and are protected as they enter and leave from the home team’s fans. Yes, this is serious business - it’s not a bad idea to ask around before you dive in.

186AMICI/ Fall 09

Life Changes With Filippo By Andrew Guzaldo

Filippo Voltaggio a celebrity known by many, a charismatic inFilippo Voltaggio dividual that always has a smile. And the story you are about to read explains why, “Life Changes with Filippo” As a child, one of Filippo’s fondest memories, was of his Italian father teaching him to sing Italian songs, one of the first was the song “Santa Lucia.” His father was very much into the “feeling” of the songs and the words, and would later explained to Filippo how important it was to know what the writer was feeling, or what feeling he was trying to convey when he wrote the song. In the case of “Santa Lucia,” he wanted Filippo to feel himself sitting in a boat in the middle of the bay of Naples with the moon’s rays beaming on the smooth moving waves. His father also often told him that every Italian sings, but not all of them know how to convey a feeling through their voice. He said that it was a dying art and insisted that when he sang, Filippo not try and “show-off” with his voice but to use it to convey a “feeling” to the listener. Filippo went on to sing “Santa Lucia,” as his first song he sang at a talent competition at school and won. He has since sung it in almost every show he has performed and will continues to sing it with the passion he feels, and with so he tells the story of his father, so the listeners can feel the emotion. Now after all those years he finally understands the lessons his father was trying to teach him. These are lessons that Filippo takes to heart and helps others learn as well through his latest endeavors. “It was not just about singing,” Filippo recalls, “it is about every aspect of life, because, like I have heard said before, ‘the way we do anything is the way we do everything.’” “It’s about living with Passion and celebrating their Italian heritage and lineage; of old it is about living with meaning”, It is about living in one’s truth and power and about living in a way that serves others” says Filippo. All of these lessons were instilled in him by both his parents and the old timers of the Italian community in which he grew up her in the States, but he has taken them to a whole new level. People would comment about Filippo’s live concerts, or his recordings on how whenever they would hear him sing, they just FELT happy, they FELT good. Filippo never really understood why. He always thought that it was the songs he picked or the humorous stories he told during his shows. It wasn’t until Filippo stepped away from singing for a few years and started the radio show with Chef Richard Lombardi “Filippo and the Chef,” that Filippo began to understand what these people were feeling. As fate would have it, it was two Italian men, one old enough to be his now deceased father’s age, which brought back all the lessons and gave the confirmation that what his father had tried to instill in him really did take hold. It was after an interview for the “Filippo and the Chef” radio show that one of the guests said, “Now I feel really happy.” And that reminded Filippo of all the audience members and fans that had said that, only this time he hadn’t been singing or telling humorous stories and he was baffled and just had to know what the man meant by that. Filippo asked him why he felt happy, and the man looked at him in surprise, saying, “You really don’t know why?” “It’s you!” “You made me feel happy.” Pressing on to understand more Filippo asked “But how, what did I do?” “You are doing something that makes you happy and you genuinely want me to feel it too,” was the answer Filippo never forgot. That statement rang in Filippo’s head for months, as did his father’s radio shows to get, like award winning TV Writer and Executive Prowords, that “this was a lost art.” Eager to share his newfound under- ducer David Weddle, of the award winning shows Battlestar Galactica, standing he spoke about this to everyone that would listen and encouraged Star Trek and CSI; actress Louise Ashby; Life Coach to the Stars, Dennis everyone to do what made him or her happy and to live a life of passion. Martell; and Music Composer for such hit movies as the Halloween SeAnd so was born the new radio show “ Life Changes With Filippo,” a ries, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek the movie, and Poltergeist, Alan show about the way people live their lives, how to change it to make it Howarth. better, and about the changes going on in our world, and how to make our Seems to us Filippo hasn’t gotten the lesson yet, “it’s him!” and livworld better. ing with passion and caring about people and a desire to convey good The show made it’s debut with Filippo as host and Mark Skelton, Dor- feelings to people. No wonder the tag line of the show is “You’ve never othy Lee and Mark Laisure as Producers on April of this year on the BBS FELT radio like this before.” For those of you who miss Filippo appearRadio Network, and within two months was bumped up to primetime. By ing in Festivals and concerts throughout the Country, he wants to assure the end of the following month, “Life Changes With Filippo” had moved everyone that he is still singing, and will get back to doing concerts but up to a rating of the top 15% of all shows on the network. The franchise presently, is singing mainly as part of his live events for “Life Changes is growing already with the talk show, events and a pilot is being filmed in With Filippo,” which have included an Italian song or two and of course, September for a television series. “Santa Lucia.” When asked why he thinks the show is becoming so successful so You can hear Filippo every Monday night at 7 PM on the BBS Radio quickly, Filippo told us that he thinks the subject matters discussed on the Network or hear the archived shows at www.LifeChangesWithFilippo. talk show are subject matters who’s time has come. People are looking for com. There you will also find more information about the shows and the a different way of living and being. It isn’t just about having and doing, live events. it is about being, and people are looking for that more and more, whether You can also follow Twitter @iamFilippo or join him on Facebook they know it or not. both on his personal page and on the “Life Changes With Filippo” Fan He’ll also tell you that the show Producers have done a great job at Page. getting not only interesting guests but guests of note that are hard for new Fall 09 /AMICI 197


Authentic by Lorenza



Twice-Cooked Soup Ribollita literally means ( reboiled). This soup is usually made in plentiful quantities and the next day is boiled again for a few minutes so that it ends up very thick. A little additional oil is drizzled in before serving. Black cabbage has long, very dark leaves. In its absence Savoy cabbage may be substituted. 1/4lb (600 g) fresh haricot beans, shelled (or dried haricot Beans, soaked overnight) 1/2-cup (4fl oz/125 ml) extra virgin olive oil 1/2 onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 30z (90g) pancetta or rindless bacon 1 lb (500 g) black or Savoy cabbage, chopped 10 cups (2 1/2 qt/2.5l) broth (stock) 1-tablespoon fresh thyme 12 thin slices of firm, coarse-textured bread Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions 1. Simmer the beans in water just to cover over very low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Put a little more than half of them through a sieve, or puree in a food processor. 2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and pancetta and cook for a few minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the broth and thyme and bring to boil, then simmer, covered, over very low heat for 2 hours. 3. Add the bean puree and the whole beans and simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Pour the soup over the bread slices in a flameproof casserole and set aside. Covered, in a cool place. 4. The next day, bring the soup to boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into soup bowls. Add the rest of the oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Toscana Fruili – Venezia Giulia

Minestradifarina Tostata

Toasted Flour Soup Friuli is a very mountainous region whose inhabitants like robust dishes with strong flavors. They are particularly fond of hot/ tasty soups/ and their main dishes are nearly always based on bread or polenta. 4 tablespoons (3 oz/90 g) butter 6 slices firm, coarse-textured bread 6 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour 1 medium-size onion, chopped 6 cups (11/2 qtl1.5 1) broth (stock) Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions 1. Melt 1-tablespoon butter and brush over the slices of bread. Cut bread into small cubes. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast in a preheated 400°F (200°C) oven until golden brown. 2. Melt remaining butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour and onion and cook over moderate heat until the mixture becomes quite dark in color. 3. Stir in broth a little at a time and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes. 4. Pour the soup into a tureen and serve, passing croutons separately. 18 AMICI/ Fall 09

Pappa Al Pomodoro

Tomato & Bread Soup The Tuscans do not like to throw bread away. When it is stale they use it in a number of delicious hot and cold dishes such as this famous “tomato pap” a very tasty thick soup that is simple to make - but the bread and oil must be of the best quality. 1-cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves 1/2-cup fresh sage leaves 8 oz (250 g) stale, firm, coarse-textured bread salt and freshly ground pepper 8 cups (2 qt/2l) light meat broth (stock) 2lb (1 kg) peeled tomatoes Directions 1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and sage leaves and cook until the garlic begins to color. 2. Meanwhile, slice the bread very thinly. Add the slices to the oil and brown well on both sides, stirring with a wooden spoon. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Bring the broth to boil in a large saucepan. 3. Put the tomatoes through a food mill directly into the bread mixture or finely chop and cook for a few minutes over high heat, stirring. Pour in the boiling broth; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary. 4. Pour the soup into a tureen and serve. serves 6

Chicken Cacciatore

6 red bell peppers Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 egg 2 cups milk 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 6 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise 1 onion, sliced thin 2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1/2 lemon, sliced in paper-thin circles 3 anchovy fillets 1 tablespoon capers 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 bunch fresh basil, hand-torn (1/4 bunch to flavor the base, 1/4 bunch to finish the dish) 1 cup dry white wine Directions 1.




Start by preparing the peppers because they will take the longest. Preheat the broiler. Pull out the cores of the red peppers; then halve them lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Toss the peppers with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on a cookie sheet, skin side up, and broil for 10 minutes, until really charred and blistered. Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Peel the peppers and roughly chop into chunks; set aside. Season the flour with the garlic powder, dried oregano, and a fair amount of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and tap off the excess. Dip each piece in the egg wash to coat and then dredge with the flour again. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and pour in about 1/4-inch of oil. Pan-fry the chicken in batches, skin side down, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side about 10 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a side plate, pour out the oil, and clean out the pot. Put the pot back on the stove and coat with 1/4 cup of oil. Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes, lemon slices, anchovies, capers, red pepper flakes, half the roasted red peppers, and half the basil. Season with salt and pepper. This part of the recipe is going to be your base. What we are looking for is a fragrant vegetable pulp, so simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until everything breaks down. Add the remaining roasted peppers and the remaining basil. Tuck the chicken into the stewed peppers and pour in the wine. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.

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Italian Kitchens Italian Kitchens From Past To Present From Past To Present Arguably the most important room in the house is the kitchen. In many houses it is the hub of the house and is the room that is used more than the others. More than just a room where food is prepared it has now become the major room in the house in which families socialize. The main function of the kitchen nevertheless is that it enables people to prepare food in a sanitary and comfortable space, and makes a family bond together to forever recall those dining experiences. The kitchen room of the house typically provides a space for storing food, an area for food preparation, a method of cooking the food and also an area where waste can be disposed of. Modern kitchens also tend to have an area where people can sit and eat the food that has been prepared. While kitchens have always comprised of somewhere to make food, somewhere to store food and somewhere to cook food, modern kitchens take these roles a little further. Modern kitchens contain appliances that make these functions much easier. Kitchens often include sinks for cleaning and preparing food to be cooked as well as cleaning away after food has been prepared and eaten. The cooking section of a kitchen has developed from fire cooking to electric ovens, which make it simple to regulate the cooking of the food. Dishwashers have also come into use to make the cleaning up process much easier. The refrigerator has revolutionized the world with people now able to store food safely for weeks without having to worry about it going off quickly. Modern kitchens also contain appliances such as microwave ovens. These devices are used to heat food quickly. It is often used as an effective method of reheating food and has become an item that is found in nearly all kitchens. Many kitchens also have

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a use beyond food preparation and socializing. Many kitchens often have a washing machine for keeping clothing clean and also an ironing board for ironing. This means that the kitchen is also the room in which many households keep their clothing clean and prepared for the people that live there. It is often the busiest room in the house as many of the daily activities take place in the kitchen. As a result the kitchen is very often considered the heart of the house. This is because most kitchens contain a table at which the family congregate to take their meals. As a result it is one of the main areas in the house in which people socialize. The role of commercial kitchens is slightly different to the kitchens at home. Commercial kitchens are designed to create food quickly, cleanly and in the most efficient ways possible. This means that the focus of the commercial kitchen is to create food. These kitchens rarely invite diners to sit in the kitchen, as there is often a separate dining area. These kitchens often have to take a very strict approach to cleanliness in order to appease public health laws. Health officials as a result regularly check these establishments so that the food that is served is cooked properly. These kitchens are often designed with a close eye on making sure that food is prepared efficiently. The kitchen is as a result designed to make it easier to prepare large amounts of food for many different people. Italian kitchens include many features which elevate the quality factor, such as rubber strips on all carcass edging to make the unit dust free, stainless steel bases to all sink units plus high quality lacquer doors with both sides finished. Units contain ingenious internal gadgetry or even lighting within. The overall impression of all these facets gives a warm feeling and pride of ownership beyond normal expectation.

s ’ i t u en

e t n a r o t s i d n a R anquets The Venuti Family



PHONE: 630-376-1500 FAX: 630-376-1503


2251 W. LAKE STREET, ADDISON, IL 60101 WWW.VENUTISBANQUETS.COM E-MAIL. EVENTS@VENUTISBANQUETS.COM Weddings / Rehearsals / Baptisms / Anniversaries / Business Meetings / Communions / Showers / Birthdays / Bar mitzvahs

Trattoria Porretta By John Rizzo

In Chicagoland, at least, pizza is the most popular food there is. Pizzerias can be found in virtually every metropolitan neighborhood, no matter what the ethnicity. It seems that every single family has a favorite pizza place from which they order for pickup or delivery. “Pizza is number one,” confirms John Panvino, manager and junior partner of Porretta’s, the dominant pizzeria of Portage Park (around Addison and Central in Chicago). This establishment has been the neighborhood’s pizza powerhouse ever since its founding in 1964 by Pasquale “Pat” Porretta, an immigrant from Caccamo, Sicily. Pat Porretta toiled in factories for several years before opening his pizzeria, originally across the street from the current location. One of six brothers, Porretta learned how to cook for a crowd from his mother. “She was a great cook.” The Chicago pizzeria prospered so potently that several of Pat’s brothers, after visiting him, opened their own restaurants in different cities throughout the world. These businesses were successful too, probably because their owners followed Pat’s advice. “I told them, quality comes first. Make sure that your food is always the best quality.” Ain’t it the truth! Especially with Italian restaurants. I can’t count how many joints have gone down the tubes because the quality of their food just didn’t meet customer expectations. Today the major Porretta familyowned eating attraction outside the states is the Pizzeria a Castellano in Caccamo. There’s a sparkling vibrancy to Porretta’s–a feeling that the place just opened–even though the trattoria is already a neighborhood monument. Part of that youthful exuberance is surely a reflection of the energy and attitude of John Panvino, who started with Porretta’s as a dishwasher in 1992. Now the man overseeing the restaurant’s daily operations, John worked his way up from there, functioning as a busboy, waiter and cook along the way. “I went to college for a couple of years,” claims John, “but this is what I like best. I just love making sure that everybody has a good time here.” This is the kind of outlook that keeps customers coming back, even when times are tough. Trattoria Porretta 3718 N. Central Ave., Chicago, IL 60634 773-736-3684

John Panvino 22 AMICI/ Fall 09

Pizza may indeed be “number one” at Porretta’s as John says, but it also offers a variety of some very serious Italian cuisine. With its range of choices and consistent quality and reasonable prices and ample free parking, Porretta’s is a great place to have dinner. There are basically two cozy dining areas, one in the same room as the inviting, dimly lit circular bar. Once inside, it certainly doesn’t look like your typical pizza joint. For appetizers my wife and I sampled a number of items (almost too many, actually) that were all super tasty. The Oysters Rockefeller would have pleased the mogul they’re named after–rich and creamy on the big shell. We also had some Arancini, really nice and flaky with a juicy spicy red stuffing. (Homemade on the premises, by the way!) A little voice was telling me to ease up on the appetizers, but I just couldn’t resist the Baked Clams, they looked so good. And in the middle of all these delights, was a generous helping of Grigliata di Pesce, a regular cornucopia of Shrimp, Baby Octopus, Mussels and Grilled Calamari. We chomped down this great seafood with relish, so much so that John knew just what to give us when it was time for our pasta. Usually a fan of fried squid as opposed to grilled (maybe because the latter is supposed to be healthier!) I found the grilled calamar’ at Porretta’s to be cooked so perfectly, and the gravy it is bathed in so tasty, that it was definitely my favorite so far. Sensing that things were getting out of hand, we skipped the salad course, from which we could have chosen Antipasto, Caprese, Tossed Salad, Chicken Salad and a couple of variations of Caesar Salad. We also passed on the soup, of which there is a daily special, with Minestrone available always. Neither did we order a full bottle of wine. The list of vintages at Porretta’s is not extensive, but most of the popular types of Italian and Californian reds and whites are included at very modest prices. We were very well satisfied with several glasses of the house Chianti. Since enjoyed Porretta’s seafood so much it just made common sense to have the Risotto di Mare for our pasta course. Sorry that I can’t tell you too much about the rice, because I was back into the seafood again. This time it was the giant, juicy shrimp that got most of my attention. We also sampled the Rigatoni Boscaiola (pasta, sausage and mushrooms in a spicy tomato cream sauce). This dish, too, was excellent, but was not given proper attention because of the absolutely divine shellfish. Having had so much seafood, we opted for a couple of meat entrees, Pollo Limone and Vitella Marsala. He boneless chicken was cooked to perfection of course, and was drenched in a succulent lemon-butter sauce. What made this chicken so special was that it was kind of embedded in tangy artichoke hearts! The veal was very tender and was smothered with yummy mushrooms, but don’t order this selection if you are a teetotaler. The most obvious thing about its wonderful taste is that they don’t spare the Marsala wine when cooking it. By this time the doggy bags were piled so high that I wasn’t sure if my wife was still with me, but we ordered dessert anyway. She had her favorite, a very fine Crème Brulée, while I had a real hefty portion of homemade Tiramisu. I’m positive that these sugary finishers helped us to get up from the table and out the door. Gosh, I had a great dinner at Poretta’s. I can hardly wait to go back! Buon appettito!



ny person of Italian descent knows what it means to be passionate. We are intrinsically programmed to throw ourselves “all in” when we find our heart’s desire. For Renzo Cotarella, Italy’s premiere winemaker and head enologist for the wine icon Antinori, his passion is wine making. The histories of both Renzo and the Antinori family are well embedded in the wine industry. Their beliefs, values and passions are what have added to the longevity of their careers and the quality of their craft. Antinori currently has vineyards in several different winemaking regions around world. The ability to produce wines of such quality at vastly different locations is an art form that Renzo seems to have mastered. He is one of the lucky few to be able to produce wines in both the old world (Europe) and in the new world (The rest of the World). Along with overseeing the wine making at eighteen Italian locations producing Super Tuscan wines like Guado Al Tasso and Umbrian Chardonnay blends like Cervaro della Sala he is now also producing California Cabernet and Chardonnay at Antinori’s newest venture, Antica Napa Valley. The Antinori family has been producing high quality wines for over six centuries. Their philosophy stands in their roots and reaches for innovation. For Renzo Cotarella, the passion for wine came very early. Both his father and his uncle were wine makers and as Renzo says, he was “born with the smell of wine.” When Renzo was very young Piero Antinori offered him the opportunity to make wine at the Cervaro della Sala property near his home in Umbria and thirty years later the relationship is as strong as ever. Over these many years Renzo has come to believe that there are two different categories of grapes. The first are grapes like Cabernet and Merlot where drinakability is the main factor. The second are grapes such as Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese that have strong personalities. He says, “you feel more involved with these grapes and once you succeed – they are yours – you feel more complete.” To be certain, in Renzo’s eyes, it is not a matter of one grape being better than the other he simply feels that one is more intriguing, more challenging. For Renzo, working with grapes like Pinot Noir is “something you feel in your soul.” Being able to produce wines in both the old world and the new world is a challenge that is unique to few winemakers and it is a challenge that feeds Renzo Cotarella’s passion for winemaking. To Renzo, the old world and the new world are two different “ideas” of wine. He believes that with old world wines there is an identity, elegance and a soul that comes from its long history. The new world is fruit driven, approachable and muscular. In an old world wine makers approach to new world wines Renzo tries to capture some of the soul and the fire of the old world style and impart this on the new world grapes. “The ideal wine is a blending of the two ideas,” he says. Renzo’s goal is to impart the elegance of place as well as the history of the vine in each wine that he makes whether it be new world or old world. Renzo’s philosophy on grapes and wine making is proven in the quality of wine that he makes and the consistent high ratings that he achieves. The proof is in the bottle. I recently had the opportunity to taste four of the Antinori wines. The 2005 Cervaro della Sala and the 2006 Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay were the two whites. The 2003 Guado al Tasso and the 2004 Antica Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were the two reds. All were simply amazing in their own ways.

The Cervaro della Sala in Renzo’s words is “a mix of Mediterranean with a touch of minerality, citrus and white flowers.” This wine is an Indicazione Geographica Tipica (IGT) classified wine made from 85% Chardonnay and 15% Grechetto. There is more flower than fruit to this wine and it is, in my opinion, savory without being heavy. In our conversation about the wine Renzo told me that the previous Friday he had the opportunity to taste the 1988 vintage and remarked that it was fabulous. 1988 would have been Renzo’s third year as a winemaker for Antinori. The Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay is a completely different wine, as you may have guessed. This is the first vintage of this 100% Chardonnay wine and has much more alcohol, intensity and weight than her Italian counterpart. This wine is not an over-the-top California Chardonnay, but it is very intense; the balance of oak and acidity is simply amazing. The reds were an even bigger treat for me than the whites. The 2003 Guado al Tasso is a Super Tuscan wine from the Bolgheri region on the coast of Tuscany and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Renzo describes this wine as being “spicy, approachable, salty, big and intense.” I had the good fortune of also recently trying the 1993 Guado al Tasso and can tell you first hand that these wines are huge. They are almost too big for the bottle that contains them. Give them a few moments to catch their breath after you open them. A few minutes in a decanter and a sip of this wine will make you throw your head back and surrender to its intrinsic beauty. I was also honored to try Renzo’s first vintage of Napa Valley Cabernet. The 2004 Antica Napa Valley Cabernet was, for lack of a better term, pretty. Renzo feels that this wine has a little more minerality than the Guado al Tasso mostly because of the soil. It is one of those wines that has the complex duality of being approachable now but will age as well as Sophia Loren. For Renzo, there is nothing in common with these wines except the wine maker and “that is me,” he said. I could almost hear the smile of pride on his face as he said that to me over the phone. With Renzo, there are no favorites among the wines that he produces. All he will tell you is that because the Cervaro della Sala was his first winemaking position with Antinori he is emotionally attached to the wine. He says, “It is like your first love; you never forget.” So wondrous is the Italian passion for what we love.

Italian Influence on the California Wine Industry ince decades, the California wines have been associated with distinct deep flavors, high alcohol level, forward fruit and a hint of oak. California wine makers have focused mainly on the cultivation of the Barbera grape, to cater to the demand for Italian styled California wine. Despite a great difference between the Italian and California styles, California wine tastes similar. The California wine industry owes much to the influence of the Italian immigrants. The long list of influences includes, Sebastiani, Mondavi, Martini, Gallo, Cribari, Parduci, Martinelli, Nichelini, Pedroncelli, Rafanelli and Rochioli. American wine drinkers could never indulge in the California wine, till it flaunted the Italian style. The vineyard owners commenced a serious exploration of suitable sites to cultivate grapes of a better quality, after the rush to terroir movement in the 80s. They found the sites in the Sierra Foothills and Central Coastal regions. But, this too failed to attract the desired business. A new direction was noticed in the early 1990s and it began with a subtle educational campaign by the winemakers and wine industry representatives. They attempted to educate the people that Barbera was not the great red Italian grape, but from the family of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Still the Italian wines continued to be popular as food-friendly. Earlier, the Italian wines used to complement food and were not appreciated for their maturity. Despite the Italian influence on California wines, the Italian wine industry developed very slowly in America. The wine makers of California used to spend most of their time trying to catch-up with their French counterparts. They focused more on the French varietals and convinced the Americans to a great extent that the best wines were Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, Barbera carved a niche for itself among the Italian style wines, in California. Though, Sebastani and Martini bottling was often considered the best and reasonably priced, the California Barbera achieved a breakthrough in the 1990s. This came from the wineries that had never even been associated with Italian style wines, such as Renwood in Amador County, Boeger in El Dorado County and Eberle in Paso Robles. These wines were made in the California style, thick and fruity, with around 15% alcohol. In spite of being more expensive than several Italian style wines, it became the favorite of many Californians. Eventually, it became so popular that dedicated writers on the Italian wines wrote several articles praising the vineyard locations in Piedmont, designated for Barolo and Barbaresco. This encouraged and forced the Barbera growers to settle for lesser sites, in time. Barbera is grown mostly along the North Coast. However, Italians have also spotted the Sierra Foothills as one of the best cultivation spots for the Italian varietals. The packaging style adopted for California wines is quite similar to the Italian style. Some of the famous wine producers, like Boeger have made the regular and reserve bottling one of the specialties. Lava Cup released a splendid example of this. Montevina and Chameleon flaunt Barberas and have done quite well in blending the tastes preferred by the wine enthusiasts and the beverage-testing institute.

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LOUIE’S LIST “Keeping the tradition” By Louie Giampa When you lived in Vegas during the 70’s, you always had someone bring you a “care package” from Chicago. It could have been Pizza, homemade sausage, salami, but it always included bread from Taylor and Western. You always had to have that hard-crusted bread to accompany your pasta. There was nothing like that in Vegas. After over 50 years of great service, The “Italian Superior Bakery” decided to retire its ovens. Sad to a lot of devoted customers, but not for long. Two brothers, Angelo and Jake Saccameno wanted to keep this tradition alive and running. So what did they do? They convinced the original owners to take over the business, recipes and all! So guess where I was one Sunday? My sister and I revisited the old neighborhood and happened to come across the “Italian Superior Bakery” open and running. Sure enough, the same brick ovens, same bread, and lot of pizza. They also make an Italian corn bread, which can’t be beat. One nice addition was Abbey Johnson, a fantastic pastry chef. She used to work at the Palms Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, at their restaurant called Alize. She now brings her tasty creations to Taylor and Western’s Superior Bakery. While talking to the Saccameno brothers, their father Angelo Sr. had me sample their calzone and some homemade wine. (Unfortunately, they do not serve this delicious wine at the bakery) Angelo was just being… Italian! What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon-good people, great food and a glass of homemade. So to the Saccameno Family, I thank you for your warm hospitality and I wish your whole family the very best, after all, this is what you put out, the very best. Congratulations, “Italian Superior Bakery”, you just made Louie’s List! Ciao, Louie


bread, pizza, freselle, biscotti 312. 733. 5092

931 S. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612 Fall 09 /AMICI 25

2009-10 national italian restaurant guide Email us for info on

Stars Restaurant Review Rating!

3 Olives Restaurant / La Piazza Twist Lounge 410 Circle Ave., 8318 W. Lawrence Ave., Forest Park, IL 60130 Norridge, IL 60706 Phone: (708) 366-4010 Phone: (708) 452-1545

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26 AMICI/ Fall 09



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


Fall 09 /AMICI 27

AltaVilla Milicia Sicily By Andrew Guzaldo Altavilla Milicia is a city 24 km. from the Province of Palermo. Alta Villa is not far from the Tyrrhenian coast, east of Capo Zafferano. Italy’s primary attractions include culture (modern, old and ancient), fabulous regional cuisine, historic sites, varied and stunning scenery, beaches, jagged coastline, architecture, world-class skiing, opera, water sports, elegant health and beauty spas, picturesque ruins, and shopping for high-quality clothing, shoes, ceramics and designer goods. Those who want a diverse, fairly informal vacation, who are romantics, and who love art, history and lovely settings will enjoy Italy. The air of blithe inefficiency in some parts of the country may be disconcerting for travelers who demand the correct, crisp efficiency of northern European countries: A timetable may be treated more as a romantic ideal than as an attainable goal Festa of Madonna Maria Lauretana of Milicia is celebrated in Altavilla Milicia on the second Sunday in September.

308AMICI/ Fall 09

Photos Courtesy of Giovanni Faso

Fall 09 /AMICI 29

Radvanovsky, Licitra

Salvatore Licitra

i n a n r E s Verdi’ Lyric Opera of Chicago 2009-2010 By John Rizzo Ernani (1844) is considered a “landmark” opera in the Verdi canon, and so it is. His fifth opera, composed in his self-described “galley years,” Ernani is musically and dramatically the most mature of his earliest works. It is performed today more than any of his initial nine operas with the possible exception of the ground-breaking Nabucco (1842) which, I suspect, is performed more out of sentiment than superior artistic brilliance. Besides being a model for some of Verdi’s later masterpieces, Ernani represents a genuine turning point in the composer’s long and distinguished career. But when Count Nani Mocenigo, President of Gran Teatro La Fenice, offered Verdi a commission to provide two operas for the 1843-44 Carnival season (I Lombardi [1843] and one new work), the young composer could not have foreseen the historic significance of his acceptance. For his part, Verdi expressed a certain apprehension about “tempting Providence” by composing a sixth consecutive opera for La Scala, despite the pleadings of Bartolomeo Merelli, Director of Italy’s most prominent theater. It is difficult, however, to believe that Verdi could be totally unaware of the prestige that would accrue to the composer who could score a triumph in Venice at the Fenice. For hundreds of years, Venice had been a worthy rival to Milan. With pride, citizens of the Serenissima could rightly claim that their city represented the longest lasting “republic” (or at least non-monarchy) in the history of the world. Venetians could also point to their city’s crucial contributions to opera history. In 1843 Milan might boast La Scala as the undisputed capital of Italian opera, but in 1637 the very first public opera house, the Teatro San Cassiano, opened in Venice, and the Teatro la Fenice (the Phoenix) had as illustrious a tradition as any theater in Italy. Here was where the three previous masters of Italian opera, Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, had all been lionized or sumptuously feted for some of their greatest triumphs. And Verdi, whose arm would take very little twisting to continue to exploit the patriotic theme, which he and librettist Themistocle Solera did so skillfully in Milan with I Lombardi, was surely aware of how brightly the revolutionary fires burned against the Austrians in Venice. So Verdi figured that this was the right time and place for his next creation, although he certainly could not have predicted that he would go on to compose a total of five (and some of his best) operas for Venice. With a score that features a preference for vocal ensembles over solo arias and a forward-looking instrumental fabric, and a typically dramatic Victor Hugo subject with principal characters who are all psychologically torn between love and honor, Ernani obviously anticipates the musically masterful and quintessentially romantic Verdi tragedies of the future. But the relatively inexperienced composer was still in uncharted waters when it came to bringing his ideas to life on a venerable stage like the Fenice’s. Thank God, Verdi had the instincts of a genius! For example, once the subject had been decided upon, just settling on a cast mutually agreeable to both composer and management proved to be a tough battle, one in which Verdi ultimately prevailed, and one that had important implications for the future of operatic performance practice. Riding the crest of his newfound fame that had blossomed after the decisive triumphs at La Scala, Verdi felt himself in a strong enough position to stipulate certain conditions for his acceptance of the Fenice proposal. One of these was that he would have the final say on casting, so long as the singers were on the Fenice payroll for the Carnival season. For Ernani’s prima donna there was 30 AMICI/ Fall 09

no problem. The eminent soprano, Sofia Loewe, would portray Elvira. But the Fenice management also had a very strong contralto under contract, Carolina Vietti, who specialized in pants roles (a woman who regularly played male characters) and they wanted her to be the first Ernani. This was not a bizarre concept at this time. The public performance of women was still a spectacle that audiences could not seem to get enough of. Consequently, whereas in opera’s first two hundred years (and in the theater of Shakespeare and the Greeks), men played the parts of women, now, after the great revolutions of the late 18th century and the turbulent Napoleonic years, it was not uncommon for women to play the parts of men. Note that Bellini’s Romeo, in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (1830), was scored for a woman. Verdi, however, was determined to preserve his opera’s dramatic integrity and insisted on a tenor playing Ernani. Fenice secretary Guglielmo Brenna sent an emissary to Milan to try and persuade Verdi to accept the en travesti concept, but the composer remained “a sworn foe to the idea of making a woman sing dressed up as a man.” Nevertheless, for one of the only times in his career, Verdi initially gave way on a philosophical point and agreed to score the title role of Ernani for Vietti. But then the police censors began sticking their noses into the negotiations, demanding things like the appropriate show of respect for the King (Carlo). Verdi offered to bend on some of the censorial concerns in return for scoring the parts as he wished. An agreement was reached, and the part of Ernani was assigned to tenor Carlo Guasco, who would also create the role of Foresto in Attila (1846). From this point on, with very few exceptions, Verdi and all other opera composers scored female roles for women and male roles for men. But of most significance in his composition of Ernani, is that on this occasion, Verdi first collaborated with poet Francesco Maria Piave, who would pen 10 libretti for the composer, more than any other writer. And these included verses for two of the most perfectly created works of art of all time, Rigoletto (1851) and La traviata (1853). Like so many other individuals fortunate enough to know Verdi personally, the affable and non-presumptuous Piave would have walked through fire for the composer and he is well known to have suffered many indignities while creating the texts of some of the Master’s most familiar works. With a penchant for perhaps overusing the classical or mythological allusion, Piave earned the nickname “Il grazioso” from a sarcastic Giuseppina Strepponi-Verdi, and has been the target of critics for generations as a poor Italian poet typical of opera librettists. It was Piave, however, whose first libretto was Ernani by the way, who composed his verses exactly as Verdi wanted, thus rightfully earning his well-deserved slice of immortality. Performances of Verdi’s Ernani at Lyric Opera this season: Tuesday October 27, 2009 7:30 PM Saturday October 31, 2009 7:30 PM Thursday November 5, 2009 2:00 PM Sunday November 8, 2009 2:00 PM Wednesday November 11, 2009 7:30 PM Saturday November 14, 2009 7:30 PM Tuesday November 17, 2009 7:30 PM Friday November 20, 2009 7:30 PM Monday November 23, 2009 7:30 PM

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By Andrew Guzaldo The Thirteenth Century h e first Italian vernacular literature began to take shape in the 13th century with the imitation of Provencal lyric poetry at the court of Frederick II in Sicily. The Sicilians are credited with inventing the sonnet, which became the most widely used form of Italian poetry and later flourished throughout Europe. The Sicilian style was dominant in the north until c.1260, when Guido Guinizelli, a Bolognese poet and jurist, moved from the Provençal conception of courtly love to a more mystical and philosophical spirituality. The poets who took Guinizelli as their model originated the “sweet new style” (dolce stil novo)—so named by Dante Alighieri in canto 24 of his Purgatorio. The group included Guido Cavalcanti, Cino da Pistoia, Lapo Gianni, Dino Frescobaldi, and Dante himself, whose youthful La vita nuova, part prose and part poetry, recounts the poet’s love for Beatrice in terms of the transcendental view of love typical of the stil novo. Dante’s other works, of which the Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of world literature, go beyond the themes and manner of stil novo and embrace the whole of contemporary knowledge and experience. Dante invented the difficult terza rima (iambic tercets) for his epic journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The 13th century also produced folk poetry, doctrinal poetry, imitations of the chansons de geste in various dialects, and a magnificent flowering of religious poetry in the laudi of Jacopone da Todi and in the Hymn to Created Things of St. Francis of Assisi. Laudi in dialogue form represent the beginning of dramatic literature, the sacre rappresentazioni. Prose works included translations from the Latin and French as well as collections of tales, anecdotes, and witty sayings. The Fourteenth Century The two great writers of the 14th century, Petrarch and Boccaccio, sought out and imitated the works of antiquity and cultivated their own artistic personalities. Petrarch achieved fame through his collection of poems, the Canzoniere, in which he gave Provençal and stil novo themes a peculiarly intimate and personal expression. Petrarch’s poetry served as the model for European lyricism until the Romantic period and later. Equally influential was Boccaccio’s Decameron, a collection of 100 novellas within a framework, which founded the short-story genre. Giovanni Sercambi and Franco Sacchetti in the 14th century and Matteo Bandello and Agnolo Firenzuola in the 16th century were among the numerous writers who continued the tradition of vivid, realistic, and often licentious storytelling in prose. The Renaissance The Tuscan vernacular that had been established by Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio was inhibited by a strong return to Latin in the 15th century among humanist writers and philosophers. Coluccio Salutati, Lorenzo Valla, Marsilio Ficino, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola were among the writers and scholars who sought to return to the fonts of classical antiquity for inspiration and guidance in matters of language, literary style, moral instruction, and simply a new vision of the relation of humanity to its surroundings and to God. When the vernacular began to be used again in the late 15th century, poetic language and tastes had been refined by the values of humanist learning. In the circle of Lorenzo de’Medici, Tuscan vernacular was used in popular, Petrarchan, and pastoral poetry and in a return to medieval subject matter. Luigi Pulci’s grotesque Morgante (c.1480) recounts the adventures of Orlando (Charlemagne’s Roland) and other paladins with great comic verve. Boiardo’s Orlando innamorato (3 parts, 1483–1494) adds Breton subject matter to the Carolingian and introduces motifs from classical mythology and contemporary society. The great masterpiece of Italian Renaissance poetry is Ariosto’s Orlando furioso (1516, rev. 1521 and 1532), in which varied and improbable adventures are worked into an aesthetic whole. The great lyric poet Tasso in Gerusalemme liberata (1581) wrote a Christian epic, making use of the same form (ottava rima), with attention to the Aristotelian canons of unity. Other Renaissance genres brought to a high level of perfection by outstanding writers were the pastoral poem (Poliziano, Tasso, and Guarini); the

pastoral romance (Sannazaro); the Petrarchan lyric (Bembo, Michelangelo, Gaspara Stampa); imitations of classical tragedy ( Trissino) and classical comedy (Ariosto, Machiavelli, Aretino); dialogues in the Platonic manner ( Castiglione’s The Courtier); treatises on a variety of topics ( Leonardo’s Della pittura;Alberti’s Della famiglia; Bembo’s Prose della volgar lingua, which established the principle of linguistic purism for Italian literature; and Machiavelli’s The Prince); biographical and autobiographical writings ( Vasari, Machiavelli, and Cellini); and history ( Guicciardini and Machiavelli). The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries In the early 17th century philosophic and scientific prose ( Campanella,Galileo) continued and surpassed the achievements of Giordano Bruno. But the new literary style, secentismo, or marinismo (from Giambattista Marino), aimed at dazzling the reader by the opulent use of rhetorical devices. At the end of the century the Arcadians began a movement to restore simplicity and classical restraint to poetry, as in Metastasio’s heroic melodramas. The mockheroic epic ( Tassoni), the opera, and commedia dell’arte were other genres cultivated in the 17th century The renewal of Italian culture in the 18th century produced major works of journalism (Gaspare Gozzi, Giuseppe Baretti, and the Milanese Caffè), philosophical and historical erudition ( Vico, Muratori, and Tiraboschi), and translations from classical antiquity and from contemporary European writers. The outstanding Italian representatives of the Enlightenment were Carlo Goldoni, whose comedies of character drew upon contemporary life, Vittorio Alfieri, whose classical tragedies exalted freedom, and Giuseppe Parini, whose satirical poetry attacked the social abuses of the privileged. The Napoleonic Era and the Risorgimento The Napoleonic period was both classical and romantic. The poetry of Vincenzo Monti typifies the first direction, and the work of Ugo Foscolo belongs to the second. A distinguishing feature of Italian romanticism was its political involvement in the struggle for Italian independence, the Risorgimento. Poems, historical novels, and political works, such as Giuseppe Mazzini’s, attest to this. Alessandro Manzoni’s literary conversion included the rejection of classical mythology in favor of Christian subject matter, and of classical tragedy for romantic drama. His historical novel, I promessi sposi (1827), which introduced the genre to Italy, combined social and psychological realism with Roman Catholic doctrine and established a new Italian linguistic norm and prose style. Giacomo Leopardi rejected the program of romanticism but wrote lyric poetry in which the romantic themes of despair predominate. The Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries In the second half of the 19th century Francesco De Sanctis, literary critic and historian laid the theoretical and aesthetic foundations of modern Italian criticism, later elaborated by the philosopher Benedetto Croce. Giosuè Carducci brought to poetry a virility and classicism long absent. But Pascoli and D’Annunzio had a more lasting influence. Gabriele D’Annunzio, poet, novelist, and dramatist, employed sensuous, musical, and precious language. Giovanni Pascoli is Italy’s great symbolist poet of the subconscious. The naturalistic, the irrational, and the decadent are also revealed in the work of the playwright and novelist Luigi Pirandello. Pirandello’s prose roots are in Sicilian verismo, the impersonal, objective regionalism of Fiovanni Verga’s works. Major 20th-century novelists of note include Italo Svevo, Alberto Moravia, Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese, Italo Calvino, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Carlo Gadda, Leonardo Sciascia, and Natalia Ginzburg. Their work is variously marked by psychological analysis, social consciousness, and formal and linguistic experimentation. The outstanding poets are Giuseppe Ungaretti, Eugenio Montale, Umberto Saba, and Salvatore Quasimodo. Fall 09 /AMICI 333

Survivors march through quake-hit Italian town ’AQUILA,ItalySurvivors of central Italy’s earthquake staged a torch-lit procession overnight in the ruined city of L’Aquila, where leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations will gather this week for a summit. Hundreds marched through downtown L’Aquila before dawn Monday to mark three months from the April 6 quake, which killed about 300 people, forced tens of thousands from their homes and leveled entire blocks in this mountain city and the surrounding Abruzzo region. The families of students who were killed at a collapsed university dormitory headed the procession. The survivors carried banners that called for “Truth and Justice” - a reference to the shoddy construction that was blamed for many of the building collapses and has prompted a criminal investigation. The procession paused in silence in L’Aquila’s main square at 3:32 a.m. (0132GMT), the time the 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck. Aftershocks continue to rattle the area daily, with one of the strongest hitting on Friday and sending residents running from their homes and offices. Organizers said Monday’s march was not directly related to the G-8 summit opening Wednesday just outside the city. The summit originally was to

be held on the Sardinian island of La Maddalena, but Premier Silvio Berlusconi moved it to L’Aquila to draw attention to the population’s plight. Thousands of homeless residents still live in tents, and some survivors are unhappy with the G-8 decision, fearing the event is diverting time and resources from reconstruction efforts. Several protests against the G-8 are planned across Italy, including a demonstration in L’Aquila on Friday, when the summit ends. In Rome, the charity group Oxfam kicked off the protests Monday, with activists donning masks of world leaders and dressing as ancient Romans at the Circus Maximus to denounce what they said was inaction on rising global poverty and hunger. A caricature of Berlusconi played a lyre and other fake leaders banqueted in front of mock flames - a symbolic restating of the fire that consumed the city some 2,000 years ago while Emperor Nero watched.

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Judging by the recent articles from the media “Sotomayor backers urge reporters to probe Ricci Newhave Firefighter” ” the far left is up to it’s usual “when you can’t win on the facts, attack the messenger” tactics. Really nothing that new here other than it’s a shame what this citizen and public servant is having to endure just to get justice for himself and others on the New Haven Fire Department. Here is a clue for the far left, Frank Ricci is not up for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor is and the facts will speak for themselves. Mr. Ricci may not be a perfect man, however he does have 17 years of an impecable public service record, awards for bravery, Ricci has also struggled to overcome dyslexia. If you, on the far left really stood for half of the idealistic hype you spew daily, then you would be standing in support of this man. As anyone can see they don’t go after the Hispanic firefighter Lt. Ben Vargas, they don’t want to mention that part of the Sotomayor story. Mr Vargas has a very interesting story as well. You look into his background and struggles and you can hardly help but admire him for the tough choices he made and the price he’s had to pay for them. So I say to the far left supporters of Judge Sotomayor, keep it up! More and more American’s are watching and seeing the shameless and gutless tactics that you and your cohorts in the mainstream media are using….and they don’t like what they are seeing. I predict the next few elections will send shock waves through the far left as the American voters say enough is enough...cintinue on page 00

Frank Ricci Firefighter goes to Supreme Court go racial discrimination case! By: Michael Doyle WASHINGTON — Frank Ricci fights fires, saves lives and lends his name to the most closely watched racial discrimination case now facing the Supreme Court. The New Haven, Conn., fireman, who’s white, was passed over for promotion despite outscoring other applicants, including African-American and Hispanic candidates. On Wednesday, the court led by conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts, must determine whether Ricci’s race impermissibly cost him an officer’s badge. “This is the Roberts’ court first major decision on the issue of racial discrimination,” noted Lia Epperson, a law professor at Santa Clara University. Like reports of smoke in the hallway, Ricci v. DeStefano certainly has summoned a major response. Twenty-six friend-of-the-court briefs have rolled into position. Six states, including Alaska, want New Haven’s promotion decisions upheld. Conservative interest groups back Ricci and the 19 other firefighters who sued with him. Nor is the argument solely about fire departments. Sidley & Austin attorney Virginia Seitz, a former Supreme Court clerk, noted that “the case has a bigger impact” because of its potential to affect all employers. Consequently, the Supreme Court’s press office is bracing for a largerthan-usual turnout Wednesday morning — even though, with a volatile issue and a closely divided court near the end of its annual term, the ultimate decision may be less than a blockbuster. “The court will be inclined to write a narrow opinion,” predicted attorney Derek Ho, another former Supreme Court clerk. The case arises from New Haven’s efforts in 2003 to promote a new batch of lieutenants and captains. The resulting promotional exam was the chance of a lifetime for the 34-year-old Ricci, who started as a Fire Explorer at 14 and who once was decorated for taking a trapped woman down a 35-foot ladder. Dyslexic, he devoted many hours to studying. “I could not even find time away from the books to carve a pumpkin for Halloween with my son,” Ricci declared in an affidavit. The fire department’s 100-question written test counted for 60 percent and an oral exam counted for 40 percent in the promotion decision. New Haven’s critics say the city should’ve followed the lead of other departments nationwide, which add in additional criteria like a tactical firefighting simulation.

“Our testing process has more components than just two,” noted Modesto, Calif. Fire Chief Jim Miguel. “I think our process is spread (out) so if you struggle in one part, it doesn’t destroy you.” In New Haven, the passing rates of African-American candidates was only half that of the white candidates. Testing opponents call this a “disparate impact,” which can be construed as discrimination. None of the top 10 scoring candidates for either the captain’s or the lieutenant’s positions was African-American. Ricci’s backers think this shouldn’t matter. “Forcing merit and ability to take a backseat to racial considerations would disserve public safety and efficiency by depriving the public of its most qualified servants,” Ricci’s attorney Karen Lee Torre argued. “Fires and disasters, unlike governments, do not discriminate based on race.” However, New Haven is also a city where 37 percent of residents are African-American, 21 percent are Hispanic — and only 15 percent of the fire department’s officers are minorities. In highly charged public meetings, Boise Kimber, a key African-American supporter of New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, stressed that there were no African-Americans sitting on the Civil Service Board, which oversees promotions. “You have the responsibility of making this department look like New Haven, and it ain’t looking like New Haven,” Kimber told the board at a Feb. 2, 2004, hearing, the transcript shows. The board subsequently didn’t certify the promotion test, and no firefighter was promoted. “The city did not adjust test scores to benefit minority candidates, adopt affirmative-action policies, or engage in racially proportional promotions,” argued former Clinton administration Solicitor General Seth Waxman, now representing New Haven. “Rather . . . it simply declined to use the results.” Waxman further argued that the racial disparity in test results was a “red flag” that the tests may have been flawed, exposing New Haven to a potential lawsuit under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. While siding with the city as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to send the case back to a lower court for determination of whether New Haven’s refusal to certify the test results was a legitimate response to Civil Rights Act concerns, or an illegitimate capitulation to race-based political pressure.

Fall 09 /AMICI 33


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34 AMICI/ Fall 09

has been re-released and is now available for purchase ‘25th Anniversary’ multimedia CD/DVD of Chieli Minucci & Special EFX! Update The new CD production has begun! Stay tuned for our next newsletter which will include a digital audio preview of one of our new songs! It’s been 25 years of solid touring and we’re planning on releasing this special CD in 2010 to commemorate this milestone in the band’s history! September 7 September 5 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Nashville, TN Chieli Minucci & Special EFX showtime to be announced Lionel Cordew GUITARZZ Jerry Brooks Chieli Minucci, Chuck Loeb Philip Hamilton Paul Jackson, Jr. Jay Rowe appearing at the appearing at the 7th Annual Guantanamo Bay Jazz Festival Music City jazz, Blues & September 12 Heritage Festival, Riverfront Park Long Beach, NY 100 First Avenue North Long Island/NYC area Nashville, Tennessee 37201 4pm concert Chieli Minucci Trio with UPCOMING Lionel Cordew, Jerry Brooks appearing at the SHOWS Long Beach Jazz Festival 111 West Park Ave, Long Beach, New York

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FORGOTTEN part 2 By Michael N. Ingrisano, Jr.


By Michael N. Ingrisano, Jr.

n the last issue I recollected my visit to France for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. This was a once in a lifetime experience so extraordinary you almost need the reinforcement of photos to believe it truly happened. Not only were we (my wife and I, 99 other American veterans and their escorts) given a trip to Normandy, we were constantly exposed to the gratitude of the French nation and people. And we veterans personally came home with the highest French military honor, their Legion of Honor. While nothing can match this event, I have also been fortunate to experience other personal expressions that tell me that we World War II veterans are not just old soldiers fading away. Following are other expressions, personal and public, that all are equal in meaning and in how they touched me. NEIGHBORS: For the past three years, I have been gifted with the presence of neighbors who still want to say “Thank you” for the role America played in their native country’s history. Bart A. Hoeben, a Major in the Royal Netherlands Air Force, is on temporary duty in the

Washington, D.C., area. He and his wife, Sandra, rent the home across our back fence and invited us to their open house party in early 2007. There I met several of Bart’s fellow military officers from Holland, and their families. And of course my war experiences were recalled, including Netherlands’ liberation after many years under Nazi Germany. The following May, I received my first bouquet and card from Bart & Sandra, as they remembered American’s role in their liberation during World War II: “Dear Mr. Ingrisano: Today, May 5, we celebrate our Liberation Day. On this day in 1945, the war ended for our country, and we have been living in freedom from that day on. We owe this freedom to you, and your brothers in arms. We are very grateful for the freedom you brought us, and you have our deepest respect! The picture shows the celebration of liberation in the city of Eindhoven, where Bart’s mother grew up during the war. Very Respectfully, (signed) Bart and Sandra Hoeben”. Last year on May 5th, Bart came by our house before heading out for that Monday’s work duty. I was still eating breakfast in my bathrobe when he presented a bouquet of cut tulips. Attached was a card with the following message: “Dear Mr. Ingrisano: Yesterday, May 4, the people of The Netherlands commemorated all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of freedom for our nation in World War II, and the pursuit of peace in the world ever since. Today, May 5, we celebrate our freedom. Heroes, domestic and foreign, brought that freedom in 1944 and 1945. We owe that freedom to heroes like you, and your brothers in arms. You have my deepest respect and gratitude for giving back freedom to my nation! Very respectfully, Bart A Hoeben, Major, Royal Netherlands Air Force” Their “Thank You” continued. In August, Bart gave me a copy of a book by George E. Koskimaki: “Hell’s Highway, A Chronicle Of The 101st Airborne In The Holland Campaign, September-November 1944”. In it was inscribed the note which read “In great admiration, to my friend & neighbor, Mr. Michael Ingrisano =Major Bart Hoeben, Royal Netherlands Air Force—3 August 2008.” Bart explained that his family had lived through that campaign. He also knew that I had had a very active role in the Hol36 AMICI/ Fall 09

land campaign, Operation Market Garden. On that Operation’s D-Day, September 17, 1944, we dropped the 82nd Airborne into Nijmegen, Holland. On the 18th and 23rd, we towed gliders, and on the 26th, we landed with supplies. Shortly, thereafter, as many recall because of “a bridge too far,” the German army drove the Allies out of Holland forcing the Hollanders back to servitude until the following Spring. And again this year, Bart and Sandra have not failed to convey their thanks to me and “…those of your brothers in arms, that led to my parent’s liberation, a freedom my countrymen and I still enjoy and celebrate every May 5th.” As I write this, I do so in view of the tulip bouquet that came with their note. PILGRIMS: Our neighbor ’s sincere expressions should not have surprised me. In September 1996, three couples (Bill & Betty Prindible, Bud & Betty Rice, and Mike & Nancy Ingrisano) from my squadron visited France and Holland. At “Little America,” near Groesbeek and Nijmegin, Holland, and in the middle of farm land, the Netherlanders have placed a monument made of black marble. Etched on is a C-47 bearing the markings 6E which identified the plane from our 316th Troop Carrier Group, 44th Troop Carrier Squadron, which dropped General James Gavin, commanding officer of the 82nd Airborne, on the first day of the Operation near Groesbeek, Holland. The monument is inscribed: “Kleine Amerika DZ/LZ N (Drop Zone/Landing Zone N) With Europe in peril “PAR’s landed here in their thousands; Gen. James Gavin and the ALL AMERICAN Division 17 & 18 Sept, 1944, Operation MARKET GARDEN. Pilgrims are you like the liberators, ready to lay down your life when your fellows need you? C-47 Troop Carrier US IX TCC 16 Sep.1990” The other half of the monument is dedicated to the Canadians who also fought in Market Garden. While we were discussing this wonderful acclimation to our efforts in 1944, a couple was biking by as many Europeans do on their vacations – in a sense, the pilgrims mentioned on the stone. Seeing us, and after reading the inscription, they asked if we had played a role in their liberation. After we explained that we had, they conveyed their thanks with

an expression my wife, Nancy, says still catches in her throat whenever she thinks on it: “Thank you for our freedom.” WWII ORAL HISTORY DAY: Since 2001, the Rocky Run Middle School, in Chantilly, Virginia, has hosted veterans and civilians to recount orally their memories of life during the WWII period. I’ve been honored to participate since 2004. This program was conceived and begun by the members of the school’s history department, especially Mr. Jamie Sawatzky, 7th grade teacher. It was said he realized that the generation he was teaching would be the last to meet “the greatest generation.” And so the event each year is subtitled: “where the latest generation meets the greatest generation.” From a small beginning with a handful of participants, this year the school welcomed over 100 guests to be individually interviewed by seventh grade students. But really the whole school is involved in this very special day. The band welcomes the guests, the choir sings for the opening ceremony, older students attend group presentations, parents prepare and serve the “Tribute Lunch,” and individual students entertain during the lunch with period song, dance and a recreation of the classic “Who’s on First.” Even former teachers return to Rocky Run to assist with the massive organization needed to squeeze the Oral History Day into a regular school day. The organization begins months in advance to identify and invite the participants, asking them to prepare a summary of their WWII experiences. The goal is to schedule each guest for several class-length sessions, each meeting with a different team of 4 or 5 seventh graders. Additionally, about eight participants are asked to make Large Group Presentations in the school theater. The summary war experiences are researched in advance by the students, so that they can knowledgably interview the guests assigned to them. They work as a team and their questions are usually quite varied, touching on actual battle action as well as basic human aspects such as: “Why did you enlist?” – “What did you eat?” – “Were you afraid?” Then they scribble notes as the war vet or civilian tries to give the students an understanding of how their lives were affected –and indeed changed– over 60 years ago. The experiences gleamed from the guests are greatly varied. They come from such as a: veteran of the Bataan Death March; teenager (now Rabbi) who was deported with his father to Auswizt-Birkenau Concentration Camp; young girl in France during the German occupation; young wife of U.S. soldier fighting in Europe; teenager in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation and later serving in the U.S. Navy; cadet nurse in Pittsburgh; adolescent living north of London during the war; teenager living in German-occupied Denmark who joined the resistance; and much more. And of course there are the veterans spanning the war experience: Battle of the Bulge Army veteran; Army vet who served in the Aleutian Islands; Marine who fought in Okinawa; war vet who was also assigned to post-war occupation of Germany; Army veteran of Normandy invasion; Japanese American who served in the 442nd Regiment in Italy; navigator with the 385th Bomb Group; submarine petty officer in the Pacific; Major captured by the Germans after the Battle of North African in 1943; member of Patten’s 3rd Army; member of the Tuskegee Airmen; Marine at both Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima; seaman who served

at Leyte Gulf; etc. But all that is why the WWII Day is so wonderful for the students. The reverse of that coin is how Rocky Run makes it wonderful for the veterans and all those who uniquely experienced WWII. First, the seventh grade students are all literally dressed in “Sunday best,” an unspoken mark of honor and respect. Each participant is assigned a personal guide from the seventh grade who escorts you to each session or makes sure you are settled in for a free period. You find your guide by their homemade “welcome” sign, held up like VIPs being greeted at the airport. Then en masse the participants are escorted to the opening session to the beat of patriotic music and a standing ovation. All the while an oversized “slide show” is projected to show the “before” of your war years, and the “after” in snaps from prior Oral History Days. It gets better. During each of your small sessions, you have those young faces asking about your service, your feelings, your mark on history. Students from the other grades attend the large group sessions as schedules permit, filling the theater seats. But it is no free period for them – they have pertinent questions at the end of each presentation. If you are very lucky, a guide from a previous year will find you, just to say “Hi.” And then you have the costumed and miniature Abbott & Costello, having memorized that long banter with perfect timing! It does not stop with the small “thank you” memento or the participant’s annual “class photo.” About a month later, you receive your individual packet in the mail. It is filled with photos and reports of what was learned from the students in your sessions. Some are prepared the old fashion way – by hand and not by computer. Some are illustrated. All are unique. Then, during the Fall term you are remembered yet again. This time with individually made “thank you” cards for Veterans Day…and a reminder about the next Oral History Day at the Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly, Virginia. These are but a few examples of individual and group “thank you’s” I’ve been privileged to receive. There are more examples than can be written here. I think of a British group who called themselves “Buddies of the Ninth Airforce.” They came together as amateur historians, remembering the service of the 9th Air Force stationed in their country during the latter years of the war, offering to help the U.S. vets any time they visited or wanted some information from that “side of the pond.” In a similar vein there is an amateur archeological club in Belgium. They search for and find “relics” left by the camping armies in their country. These are cleaned, sorted and identified, whether simple toothbrushes or more lethal items lost or cast aside during the campaigns. Visiting veterans are wined, dined and hosted in their own homes and beds, with not a penny or Euro exchanged. They escort you to their personal “museums,” and memorials they have built and decorated with flowers. And even non-English speaking town folk will learn the Star Spangled Banner so it can be properly sung during memorial services. And obviously, I do not exclude the opportunity I’ve had to share my tall tales with you, the readers of Amici. This has been both a compliment and privilege. So I wanted you to know about the gestures I’ve just shared with you. It is most often the veterans of WWII that experience such expressions. But in truth, these gestures and Merci’s are really directly where they deserve to be – to America and to all Americans. Fall 09 /AMICI 397

Paul Alfaro


was assigned to team Three six as the ATL. The TL’s name was Bull. There was Loel, Whitey from my old team and two cherries. Both Bull and Larry were short with just 24 and 25 days left in country. It was strange that they were still in the field, but I guess the CO had his favorites in the company. The TL did not say a lot. It might have been because he was short, and did not want to take the time to know me. Maybe he felt he was getting the short end of the stick from the CO. In fact he did not speak to me until the next day before our mission. “I heard good things about you from Spanky. I think everything will work out okay.” “I feel the same way, Bull.” “Larry’s my point man, he has been for twelve months. I hope you do not mind. “ “Mind? Bull, you are the TL, not me. It’s whatever you want.” Tay Ninh was our next mission and because of all the action that was coming out of there I was a little apprehensive. “How do you want to work this?” “Well,” as I spread out the map, “I thought if we landed over here we could work our way in towards this trail.” “Let’s not waste time. Let’s just land next to the trail and go into the jungle right here” as he pointed with his finger on the map. I did not say a word. It was his team and he knew what he was doing. That night we spent at base camp I did not sleep much. In the morning we were inserted. As we ran into the tree line we saw the trail, it had not been used. Going in an additional 25 feet, we stopped. As we sat, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. We then picked up after about ten minutes and moved farther into the woodline. It was there, we found the real trail. As we moved down the trail we found foxholes with food and water next to them. The enemy had seen us come in and had moved back. I turned to look at the cherry. The weight of the pack was already making him fall behind. I then motioned for Bull to stop.

By Paul Alfaro 10 April 1969 Tay Ninh area III corps Viet Nam Dwight M. Durham, Team Leader (Awarded the Silver Star) Paul I. Alfaro, ATL (Awarded the Silver Star) Jim Nelson, RTO (Awarded the Bronze Star) White, Front scout (Awarded the Bronze Star) Bill Jolin, extra man (Awarded the Silver Star) Loel Largent, Rear scout (Awarded the Silver Star) I turned around and somehow Loel was behind me laying on the ground. The cherry was in the rear and dazed. He was not firing because we were in the front. Just then an RPG slammed into our position. “Cover our rear and get that man up.” He looked at me not knowing what to do. I yelled at him to turn around to protect our rear in case the enemy tried to out flank us. I looked at Loel and saw a bullet hole in the right side of his head, just above his ear. I turned and saw that Bull also had a bullet hole above his ear. I yelled at the cherry to look for a sniper in the trees, and a red line appeared across his cheek. He turned his head, “I see him. I see him. He is in the trees”. “Well, shoot him, you asshole.” He picked up the M-79 and shot just above the sniper. The explosion tore his head off and the body hung there. “I got him! I got him!” “Good. Now cover our rear!” Whitey was on the radio calling for an extraction team. Then the enemy decided to rush us. There were about ten of them and I think they wanted to take us alive. That was their mistake. I was shooting on instinct as I fired my rifle left to right they fell back, As if they hit an invisible wall. In that instance I realized, I was surrounded in total darkness. I was aware but had the strange sensation of floating without substance, moving towards a light. My first thoughts were of my parents, my brothers and sister. What is going to happen to them? Who is going to take care of them? The closer I floated towards the light, the brighter it became. I realized that this was death. Any thoughts of my family did not matter anymore. My life was over and I was dead.

Death did not want me at that moment and I returned. It seemed like hours but it had only been a fraction on a second. I was still fighting. We continued to move slowly down the trail. As we came to a bend, they I reached down and turned the URC-10 on. (The URC-10 is a beacon were waiting for us. Two of them were standing and not in position yet. I or locator if left on for five minutes this was a code for the whole area opened up on them with my M-16, placing my fire directly in their midsecto be bombed.) Whitey saw a woman in black reaching for him and tions. The initial return fire hit our radioman in the head. The bullet tore the was shooting at her. “I see death! I see death!” he yelled. “Whitey, get left side of his skull exposing his brains. He fell forward. The rest of us had down you asshole! You are going to get hit.” Then the enemy stopped already hit the ground and were returning fire. Luckily we were in a small firing and he sat down. “She is gone, Chief. She is gone.” I knew they depression, so it was hard for the enemy to get a clear shot at us, even though were going to attack us again, but from which direction? Whitey and I we were only twenty feet from them. As I saw them move trying to get to were the only ones fighting and had expended nearly all of our ammo. a better position to fire at us, I put a round in them. We were fighting forty “Whitey, get Bull’s ammo. You take the right side.” I then stripped men, but they must have been raw recruits, because all of their rounds were Loel of his ammo and got ready. “Talon three six, Talon three six, going over our heads. At that moment the radio man started to moan. Bull Blue Max two eight Lima.” “Chief, Blue Max is on station.” It had stopped firing to help the radio man. He placed a bandage around his head, been 45 minutes of fighting and finally help had arrived. “Two eight not to stop the bleeding but to keep dirt from getting into the wound. I didn’t Lima, I am sending up a star cluster to mark our location.” “Three six, think it was possible for him to still be alive. roger. Got star cluster, be there in a minute.” As he moaned the enemy increased the tempo of their fire and direction. The enemy decided to attack us again. We were lucky that they We were helpless as we watched him and could not give him anything for the did not change the direction and were still to our front. A B-40 RPG pain. We tried to talk to him. We screamed at him. We did everything but hit slammed into the trees behind us and two grenades landed five feet him to keep him alive. from me. The explosion was close, but Bull’s body was in front of 38 AMICI/ Fall 09

me and absorbed most of the concussion. “Those fucking gooks are throwing grenades at them. This is two eight Lima, where do you want me to fire? “ “Lima this is three six, fire 360 degrees all around us.” “Three six, how close?” “Lima, ten feet.” “Three six, that’s too close.” “Lima, do not worry about us. Just get them off our back.” “Three six, mark your position… OK, three six stand by.” The helicopter began to dive and opened up with his mini-gun. The jungle cowered as the deadly rain bent the vegetation. Deliberately he began to encircle us with his fire. “How is that, three six?” “Closer, Lima, closer.” The circle became smaller until the ground churned in front of us and the cries of the enemy echoed in the jungle as the mini-gun ran over them. “Three six, I see thirty gooks leaving the area, I am going after them.” “Lima let them go and cover our ass.” “Sorry three six, but I see them in an open field and I am not going to let them get away.” “Sonofabitch!” We are alone again. “Talon three six, this is dust off five five, over.” “Five five this is three six.” “Will be at your location in about four minutes, over.” “Whitey, you and the cherry get Nelson on the dust off. I will cover for you.” I looked to see how many rounds I had left, and I only had three. Soldiers getting ready for a mission The radio man was placed on the med-evac helicopter and left. The extraction helicopter came to pick us up, but we were not going to leave Bull and Larry’s bodies. “Come with me,” I said to the door gunner. He looked at me as if I was insane. “OK, give me your M-60.” He did and I ran back to where the bodies were to wait for Whitey and the cherry. About a minute later they came and one of the pilots was with them. This beautiful sonofabitch came out of his helicop ter and was helping us carry the bodies back. I could not believe it. I heard the moans of the enemy that were still alive. I walked into the bushes and could see the pile of bodies as they lay there, the M-60 had a mind of its own as it opened up on the wounded soldiers. “Come on Chief, come on. They’re dead, let’s get out of here.” I looked and the cherry was standing next to me. As we lifted off, an air strike started to hit the area we had just left. With my hand I reached down and turned off the URC-10. Flying back to Tay Ninh, I looked at the bodies thrown in a corner as if they were garbage. The tears began to drop from my eyes. Both Bull and Larry had less than a month left before they were to return home. It seemed a waste for them to die with so little time left. If I am going to die, I hope it’s soon. I do not want to suffer anymore. Submitted by Eric James Nelson who got the story from Bull Durham’s daughter, Stephania, who in turn got it from Paul Alfaro.

Tay Ninh with Nui Ba Den in ther background

In Tribute to Our Fallen Brothers LRRP/Ranger Date of Death Wall Address David Allen Ives 23 Apr 67 Panel 18E - Line 75 David Bruce Tucker 1 Oct 67 Panel 27E - Line 38 David Thomas Dickinson 6 Dec 67 Panel 31E - Line 45 Lewis E. Mc Dermott 6 Dec 67 Panel 31E - Line 50 William Rober Critchfield 27 Dec 67 Panel 32E - Line 71 Felix Leon, Jr. 17 Mar 68 Panel 45E - Line 12 Richard Turbitt, Jr. 20 Apr 68 Panel 51E - Line 14 William Glenn Lambert 20 Apr 68 Panel 51E - Line 8 Robert Joseph Noto 20 Apr 68 Panel 51E - Line 12 Gerald Wayne Mc Connel, Jr. 8 May 68 Panel 57E - Line 7 Robert Eugene Whitten 8 May 68 Panel 57E - Line 12 Donald Miller 21 May 68 Panel 64E - Line17 Juan Angel Elias 29 May 68 Panel 63W - Line 5 Angelo Carmelo Santiago 6 June 68 Panel 59W - Line 13 Thomas Thoma Sprinkle 7 Jul 68 Panel 53W - Line 40 Tony Lee Griffith 5 Feb 69 Panel 33W - Line 63 Francis Kennetth Kulbatski 15 Feb 69 Panel 32W - Line38 William Brent Bell 27 Mar 69 Panel 28W - Line 57 Loel Floyd Largent 10 Apr 69 Panel 27W - Line 52 Dwight Montgomery Durham 10 Apr 69 Panel 27W - Line 48 Daniel R. Arnold 13 May 69 Panel 25W - Line 93 Daniel Moreland Sheehan 17 Jun 69 Panel 20W - Line 12 Lon Michael Holupko 10 Jul 69 Panel 21W - Line 93 Stanley John Lento 24 Jul 69 Panel 20W - Line 40 Paul John Salminen 24 Jul 69 Panel 20W - Line 41 Archie Hugh Mc Daniel, Jr. 24 Jul 69 Panel 20W - Line 41 John Charles Williams 11 Aug 69 Panel 19W - Line 6 Kenneth Eugene Burch 11 Aug 69 Panel 20W - Line 128 Julius Zaporozec 17 Nov 69 Panel 16W - Line 91 David Torres 17 Nov 69 Panel 16W - Line 91 William Joseph Francis 9 Mar 70 Panel 13W - Line 100 Carl John Laker 17 Jun 70 Panel 9W - Line 60 Deverton Carpenter Cochrane17 Jun 70 Officially listed as MIA Carl Richard McCarthy, Jr. 20 Sep 70 Panel 07W - Line 78 Michael Dean Banta 2 Oct 70 Panel 7W - Line105 Omer Price Carson 7 Dec 70 Panel 6W - Line 112 Timothy Vaughn Harper 17 Feb 71 Panel 5W - Line 113 Thomas Emings Smith 20 Feb 72 Panel 2W - Line 108 Jaime Pacheco 25 May 72 Panel 1W - Line 32 Elvis Weldon Osborne, Jr. 9 Jun 72 Panel 1W - Line 39 Jeffrey Alan Maurer 9 Jun 72 Panel 1W - Line 39

THE WALL by Paul I. Alfaro

I was asleep so many years, Trying to forget the past. The dreams I had so long ago Are now hidden in a misty cloud. But sometimes a gentle wind or A song will bring back a tear Or two and I remember And I hear her call. The wall, it reaches for me. As I feel her grip She embraces me with loneliness And fills my heart with sorrow. For I see my friends And the names of men That shall be forever still; Their voices no longer heard

Except as a distant cry From the hollows deep within The evil soul of that Black marbled granite wall. Fear and death were my companions When I was young (And thought I was a man) But I escaped them so long ago When I came home, from that Far and distant land. But the wall calls to me And I cry now, as I could not then For I love her, God help me. But that marbled wall brought My friends back again.

Fall 09 /AMICI 39



Depression: Prozac for Children?

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

Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld Overall, 6 percent of children and teenagers in the United States take medication for depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other behavioral and emotional problems. Many of the drugs, especially the antidepressants, are the same as those given to adults, but have not been approved by the FDA for children. The best known of these is Prozac (fluoxetine). Here’s What’s New After reviewing all available data, the FDA now believes that there is enough evidence of Prozac’s effectiveness to warrant its approval for treating depression in children older than age 7. However, parents of these children should know that Prozac can have such adverse effects as nausea, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and nervousness. And they should bear in mind an additional adverse effect unique to kids and teenagers: They may grow more slowly and gain less weight. Researchers are trying to determine whether these children eventually catch up. What’s true for Prozac doesn’t necessarily apply to other drugs classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). For example, the FDA has ruled that Paxil (paroxetine) should not be taken by anyone younger than age 18 because it is associated with a possible increased risk of suicidal impulses. The Bottom Line Depressed children and teenagers may be treated with Prozac if their doctors believe the symptoms are serious enough to justify it. Such therapy is safe, according to the FDA. But if your child is taking Prozac, make sure a pediatrician closely monitors his or her weight and growth. What the Doctor Ordered? Antidepressants -- Another Cause of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding As we get older, blood vessels in the stomach and, to a lesser extent, the small intestine, become more vulnerable to irritation and bleeding. That’s why older people who regularly take aspirin and/or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen), have a higher incidence of these complications. Here’s What’s New Researchers in Denmark have found that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the newest antidepressants, are associated with a significantly increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. These drugs, the best known of which are Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine) but there are many others, are widely used throughout the world. A study of 26,000 patients taking SSRIs concluded that these drugs caused more stomach bleeding when taken alone and were especially risky when combined with either aspirin (5.2 times the incidence of bleeding) or an NSAID (12.2 times the risk). The researchers believe that some interaction between the antidepressant and the blood platelets accounts for this adverse effect.

40 AMICI/ Fall 09

The Bottom Line If you’re taking an SSRI, watch for evidence of bleeding from your intestinal tract -- especially if you’re older and also taking aspirin or an NSAID. Look for black stools, which indicate the presence of blood, and have them routinely checked by your doctor. (Note that iron supplements also can make stools black.) Report any stomach pain to your doctor; there are other categories of antidepressants that can be prescribed. Are Antidepressants Safe during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding? As many as 15 percent of women of childbearing age are chronically depressed. Some even become suicidal. When such depression leads to alcohol or drugs, it can have especially serious long-term consequences for a woman and her baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Normal brain function depends on an adequate supply of certain chemical “messengers,” such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which transmit signals from one part of the brain to another. People with major depression have lower levels of these substances. The newest antidepressants, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have dramatically improved the mood and quality of life for thousands of depression sufferers by raising serotonin levels in the brain. Will pregnant women and nursing mothers who need these drugs harm their children by taking them? Here’s What’s New Even though these drugs can be passed to the fetus via the bloodstream, research indicates that the newer SSRIs such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa (citalopram), and Effexor (venlafaxine), do not increase fetal risk of major birth defects or death. However, to avoid withdrawal symptoms in newborns, some doctors recommend that these medications be tapered or discontinued 10 to 14 days before the patient’s due date. Doctors at the University of Bergen in Norway analyzed breast milk from 23 women who were taking an SSRI for depression while breastfeeding their babies. Blood samples from the mothers and children revealed that the drug was not present in breast milk or the babies’ blood in appreciable amounts. The researchers conclude that these antidepressants are safe to take while nursing. In fact, they are especially useful in treating postpartum depression. The Bottom Line If you’re seriously depressed while pregnant or breastfeeding, you may benefit from taking an SSRI at the lowest effective dose. But as with any medication, it’s important for your doctor to monitor its use. You should also receive appropriate counseling and emotional support. Although some SSRIs, such as Prozac, may result in higher blood levels in the nursing infants than others (Paxil and Zoloft have the lowest concentrations in breast milk), none are high enough to harm the child. Isadore Rosenfeld. M.D.C.M. F.A.C.P. Rossi Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College All books available at

Matthew Faiella, 8, plays with Lego figures next to his father, Daniel Faiella. The Clermont family is moving to New York in pursuit of a better school for their autistic child

The Faiella family says they need to move so their Autistic child can flourish! D aniel and Ruth Faiella have made headlines for taking their son with autism, Matthew, to Costa Rica for controversial treatments. Now the Faiellas are packing up and leaving Central Florida in search of a better public education for Matthew.

Next week, while Ruth and 8-year-old Matthew fly to Buffalo to search for an apartment, Daniel Faiella will pack up the couple’s Central Florida home and prepare to drive a moving van to western New York. Daniel, who works as a bellman at a hotel near Universal Studios, does not have a job lined up, but he is willing to gamble. “I feel we have to get radical,” said Daniel, 34. Some might say the Faiellas are already radical. The couple have embraced treatments that many in the autism community consider controversial. They have mortgaged their home and are $110,000 in credit-card debt — money spent on unconventional treatments: injecting stem cells into Matthew’s bloodstream and placing him in a hyperbaric chamber, which some believe improves blood flow to the brain. Although they say some in the autism community have shunned them, the Faiellas say they’ve seen dramatic changes in Matthew since they started both therapies. Two years ago, Matthew was still playing with baby toys, Ruth said. Now he runs around the house with his SpiderMan and Captain America figurines and plays Lego Racers on the family’s computer. Searching for better schools has become common among parents of kids with autism, one advocate says. “I’ve known parents who’ve left Texas for New York, some who’ve left for Wisconsin and families that have left Texas for Delaware,” said

Jeff Sell, a Houston parent and vice president of public policy at the Autism Society of America. “It’s hard to say that one state does a better job than another, because you’ll find pockets where individual school districts have a wonderful director of special education. But generally, the states that spend money-training teachers usually have better results. So the parents sniff that out, and they move.” The Faiellas say they’ve decided to move to New York, where Ruth grew up, because there is more funding and better educational opportunities for kids such as Matthew there. The Faiellas are not the only family to move across the country to find help for a child with autism. In Florida, some families move from rural areas to urban areas in search of better public schools for their children, said Terri Daly, director of the University of Central Florida’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. “But it’s much less common for people to move out of state,” Daly said. Florida offers parents of special-needs children McKay scholarships, which enable them to find a school that meets their needs. But the state’s social-service agencies have long waiting lists for those seeking other assistance. Some families of children with autism have been on waiting lists for more than six years. The Faiellas know they’re gambling, but they feel confident they’re doing the right thing. “For Matthew,” Ruth said, “we would do anything.” Ruth Faiella already has spent hours on the phone with New York school officials and parent advocates. Each has assured her that Matthew will receive more hours of speech therapy each week and will be in a smaller class. Fall 09 /AMICI 443

By Cristoforo Magistro re you interested in learning how your Ancestors used to live? Here is a short story that you will be able to read in three separate emails. This is the first part. It took place in Lucania in the 1950s. We hope you will enjoy reading it. “Maybe childhood really begins to end when something extraordinary compels you to realize that time does not stop at nothing. A child would expect a suspension, a slowing down before what he does not understand. On the contrary, the ribbon of time continues indifferent to roll on. Turning his head he remains to stare wide-eyed at that event, while other things whose meaning he cannot grasp happen. A child is like Charlot at the assembly line: he is absolutely willing to do, to be in the world, but he is quite unable to join reality, he is confusedly puzzled. Grief comes when he understands that in its twists and turns, time will not return any more where that thing occurred and therefore it is necessary to put a signal, a ragged flag, something which even many years later will indicate that this thing really happened. In 1957, when I was eight, I set up my first flag in my small field of memories and even now that I have become a big landowner, that is the one standing out and shaking more among the others. It was December and that evening my father had not come from the country, yet even if it had already darkened some time ago. When the wind dropped down in the road, it seemed it was going to snow. The lamp, dancing and creaking awkwardly, lighted now one side of the road then the other one. Feeling my mother torn by anxiety and struggling to prevent her from telling me to go and wait my father at the entrance of the village made me restless. She had already done it once meeting with still bigger worries besides reproaches. Not anymore only got her husband lost in the well of time, but also her son did while she was getting more and more imprisoned by her waiting! I had promptly executed it maybe wrong-footing her. Probably, she had told it just to say something, for sure in that case she would have liked me to put up resistance and disobey her, as I used to. However, then, I changed my behavior unexpectedly and obeyed out of spite. Moreover, how could she know that in those days his son was fighting to improve his heroic virtues quite by himself right against Darkness, strong night Wind and, if it had chanced, Snowfall in the dark? The route I was following to improve my heroic virtues expected me to do it, but she knew nothing about my wars. Therefore, I went to the fountain, which in the evening when it was lit by the last lamp indicated the visual boundary with the country on that side of the village - by daylight the frontier between civilization and wilderness was different, like the nature of the fence. There I waited for my father coming out of darkness, on his horseback, as he almost returned to the world of living people. When, at last, he arrived and saw me wrapped up right under the lamp, he was not happy to find me there, but he saddled me up. At home, my mother was struck dumb by his words and this once she replied nothing. Well, that evening the situation was going to fall headlong down the slippery side of pointless actions which are uselessly repeated, when my uncle Peppino, my fathers’ younger brother came to save our family - my mother, one little sister of four years old, the other one who was three months old and me. It was always Easter Day, Christmas Day or Saint Rocco’s Day when he came. I was secretly, in order not to arouse my other relatives’ jealousy, infinitely proud of this uncle of mine. In my imagination he represented what my father, too could have been - he was his elder brother, was he? But he prevented himself from showing, like a fairy tale king, because of 42 AMICI/ Fall 09

all his worries and difficulties in supporting his family. I had understood that my father’s sad face was a duty; a weapon against worries helping him to hold them off, and maybe defeat them. Anyway, then my uncle was the only one among the adults to know children’s language and to really talk with them. There was an extraordinary rhythm in his words, his gestures, his laughing. No moment ran without his filling it in with jokes and laughs and waits for other jokes, laughs and funny thoughts. Actually, he also was just a little bit older than a boy; he shall have been nineteen years old. I do not know because even now I refuse to estimate his right age... But I have been keeping this image of him until the last time I saw him, when he was already about forty, and also in my terrible dream of a year ago which made me realize that by this time it was useless to find him... At last, in my dream I could find this uncle of mine, with his hands in his pockets, a cigarette hanging by the corner of his mouth, with his melancholy smile, his rebel forelock, like in the photo, like in my myth. James Dean, in comparison, is a miserable, fat and pustulated altar boy. Leaning his shoulders and a foot on the white and scraped wall of a building in a large and empty street in an unknown town, he was reproachfully looking my hurrying towards him for being late. I was running with outstretched arms, but I was not able to burn my wait as I wished to. When, at last, I was going to join him, another uncle I well knew in my dream that he died long time ago, tried to interpose himself by saying not to touch him because it was useless, I would have been disappointed. In the meanwhile, however, I touched him and he slipped from my arms. Then, at last, I know it. I run too much, again and I am straight at the end. Forty-three years have gone since then and I think it is difficult to tell an event that I keep on refusing. And yet, people say, things must be said: to get rid of them, to understand them, people say. As understanding was everything. I just would like something to happen on that evening to stop the sequence of this bad neorealistic film. If, for example, my father should have come and said, opening his knapsack and pouring his golden coins with all their music and light: “Today, while I was digging a hole to plant an olive tree I have found a treasure. Now we are rich and we shall live all together happily ever after in our fairy tale”. My father was able to create sentences stressing in a few words surprising, unexpected and solving realities, tales hanging on the edge of truth. If only had he invented such a story. I regret my planting that flag in my map of time, but it is useless to wander again... My uncle’s kindness was uncommon in those years, in those villages, in country families. My father, when he was bitter, used to call him a squarewalker and he used to tell him that when he was born he should have been delivered here by mistake, he should have been brought to the prince’s house.” If you are interested in authorizing a research project in your Ancestral town, go to: or call us direct at 1-888-472-0171. If you are interested in traveling to your Ancestral town, go to: http:// or call us direct at 1-888-472-0171. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of My Italian Family LLC.

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Amici Journal

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 3 OLIVES RISTORANTE.................................................................27 AMICI JOURNAL INVOLVED ...................................................... 1 AMICI D’ITALIA...................................................................................11 AREZZO JEWELERS............................................................................ 7 CALVIN KLEIN.....................................................................................14 CHICAGO WOLVES............................................................................15 BIG NONNOS........................................................................................43 CUMBERLAND CHAPELS..............................................................46 FILIPPO’S ESPRESSO...................................................................... IBC FLOWER FANTASY............................................................................46 G & A AMUSEMENTS & ACES INT’L..................................... IBC IL PENSIERO.........................................................................................43 ITALIAN SUPERIOR BAKERY.......................................................25 ITALIAN T-SHIRTS & GIFTS...........................................................35 JACONETTI DDS.................................................................................43 JITTERBUG FIRST STREET..........................................................45 JOEL GOULD........................................................................................43 LA CAPANNINA ................................................................................47 RESTAURANT FORM.......................................................................44 SPACCANAPOLI...................................................................................44 SUPER LOW FOODS..........................................................................47 THE NIAF 34TH ANNIVERSARY GALA ..............................BC TROY REALTY.................................................................................. IBC




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Act now to guarantee a place at the nation’s premier Italian American event. Registration is now available for the National Italian American Foundation’s 34th Anniversary Gala and Convention, scheduled for the weekend of October 24, 2009 in Washington. Among some of Foundation’s past honorees and this year’s invited guests are: Alan Alda, Tony Bennett, Yogi Berra, Nicolas Cage, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Rudy Giuliani, Sophia Loren, Tim McGraw, Al Pacino, Nancy Pelosi, Isabella Rossellini, Martin Scorsese, and Dick Vermeil. This year’s gala honorees include: 1. Carla Gugino, actress in the HBO series, “Entourage;” 2. Massimo F. d’Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages; 3. Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and Public Television cooking show host; 4. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; 5. Antonello Venditti, Italian singer and songwriter.





During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host Piazza d’Italia, a two-day exhibition of Italy’s Best, and a Celebrity Auction and Luncheon. Also part of the convention is a screening of the documentary “Pane Amaro: The Italian American Journey from Despised Immigrants to Honored Citizens” and a seminar focusing on the culture of food and wine. Tickets to Saturday’s black-tie gala begin at $400 per person. LM Wines will be the official wine sponsor for the gala dinner. Proceeds will benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information contact : Jerry Jones at 202/939-3102 or, or register online at




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NIAF 34th Anniversary Awards Gala and Annual Convention The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Friday, October 23, 2009 -9 a.m. Conferences, 8:30 p.m. Evening Entertainment Saturday, October 24, 2009 -- 9 a.m. Conferences, 6 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Dinner and Awards Hilton Washington 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. (202/483-3000)




FRIDAY, October 23 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration and Information 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Terrace and Concourse Levels ♦ Piazza d’Italia activities to include entertainment, food and wine tastings, product demonstrations and much more… 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Luncheon and Keynote Speaker (International Ballroom – East) 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Seminar on The Culture of Food and Wine (Cabinet Room – Concourse Level) 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Screening of a NIAF Grant recipient film entitled “Pane Amaro (Cabinet Room – Concourse Level) (Bitter Bread): The Italian American Journey from Despised Immigrants to Honored Citi zens,” a unique documentary about the Italian American experi ence. Following the screening will be a question-and-answer ses sion with documentary producers Gianfranco Norelli and Suma Kurien. 8:30 p.m. - Midnight Friday Night Entertainment featuring Italian singing legend and (International Ballroom) 2009 Gala Honoree Antonello Venditti; in addition to cocktails, desserts and dancing.

SATURDAY, October 24 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration and Information 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Terrace and Concourse Levels ♦ Piazza d’Italia activities to include entertainment, food and wine tastings, product demonstrations and much more… 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. NIAF National Council Network /Youth Networking Continental (International Ballroom – West) Breakfast with espresso, cappuccino, and food stations (Open to all current and prospective NIAF supporters) 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Celebrity Auction and Luncheon (International Ballroom Center) 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Public Policy Seminar (International Ballroom West) 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Gala Reception (Back Terrace) 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 34th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.

Patrizio Buanne  
Patrizio Buanne  

21st Edition