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Summer 2006


JOURNAL Price: $2.50

William Jaconetti Chicago’s Super Cop Latte Art August Hill Winery Mayor of Stone Park Keeping Our Heritage Alive Echelon Studios

Legends Of The Past Make Your Own Pergola

Maria Grazia Cucinotta

Born in Italy, in the Sicilian Town of Messina Maria Grazia Now on the Big American Screen


Contents Table of

Amici Journal Editorial....................................................1 Congratulations Senator Turano......................................1 Maria Grazia Cucinotta............................................... 2, 3 Anthony Guida Fieri Chicago..........................................4 Mayor Of Stone Park Beniamino Mazulla......................5 William Jaconetti Chicago Super Cop.............................6 Echelon Studios................................................................7 Keeping Our Heritage Alive And Well............................8 Legends Of The Past....................................................... 9 Our Lady Of Angels Parish............................................10 Latte Art....................................................................11, 12 Ristorante Agostino Review...........................................13 Meet August Hill Winery’s Sean Ginocchio..................15 Osteria Via Stato Review...............................................16 REcipe - Caponatadi Melanzane....................................17 Crossword Puzzle Italian-American Style.....................19 Five Centuries Of Italian-American History................. 20 Growing Up In Taylor Street’s Little Italy.....................21 2006-07 Lyric Opera Season......................................... 22 Don’t Miss EVENTS.....................................................23 Make Your Own Pergola............................................... 24

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Copyright 2006 AMICI Journal Inc. Publication P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 Publishers Terry N. Geraci & Salvatore Terranova Executive Editor Andrew Guzaldo Creative Director/Designer Dana Rohacova Publishing Consultant & Production Director Joseph C. Nugara, Sr. Printed by Sutherland Companies

Amici Journal Editorial

AMICI D’ ITALIA Association A.D.I.A. Wishes to Congratulate

Benvenuti, on behalf of its publication, “Amici Journal,” we would like to welcome you either for the first time or as a returning reader, subscriber, participating advertiser, or as a seasoned member of our Italian-American experience. We wish that by means of the content of “Amici Journal,” we could add to promote the Italian-American Culture. To continue to preserve, and promote our Italian-American culture to our diverse audience, we showcase great contributions of Italian and American talents in our Journal. This brought us to a recent collaboration and release of a very entertaining motion picture called “Our Italian Husband” from Echelon Studios, out of Glendale California. A movie about “Humor, Passion, Pain and Life all packed into a slice of the Italian-American experience, a comedy about Love and Perseverance! What else is life? Not to mention, a refreshing new view of the struggle women face still today!!! From this production, we showcase the mysterious, seductive and classically captivating, Maria Grazia Cucinotta. A woman who epitomizes a delicate and resilient creature full of Perseverance, Passion and Principles all intertwined into one. In this production, Maria Grazia’s character exemplifies the bare essence of women. Compassionate and forgiving, enough to ignore her well founded disdain of “the other woman,” strong willed to keep getting back up after being thrown out into the curb, hardworking, by not taking the easy way out and getting things in return despite her dignity. She is unashamed and determined; to do whatever it takes to care for her children. Unapologetic, about what she deserves, she wanted nothing more than what she gave. Captivating, without having to flaunt her beauty. She displayed the Gentleness, of a mother’s touch, concern, and patience with the folly of children; she is a role model of humility and meekness, the silent, selfless accepting of indignities and injustice. Her Mystique is elusive, a natural elegance, a refined dignity, a presence, beyond sensuality or sophistication. She is an individual that acted in roles as Il Postino and as a Bond girl in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. She appeared in an episode of the Emmy award-winning television series. She has been in international television productions like Mary Magdalene. She has worked in comedies like, Just One Night opposite Timothy Hutton, and Picking up the Pieces with Woody Allen. We will also read about the Legends of The Past, keeping Our Heritage Alive and the Super Cop of Chicago amongst many other interesting articles that are sure to warm your heart as well as those and he Maria Grazia’s “Italianate” mystique, the epitome of an Italian mother, Italian customs, manners and style. She is one of a few Italian actresses who known outside of Italy –reminiscent of Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. Amici Journal hopes to showcase exceptional people and culture that make up the world we all know, such as you will read in our Summer Edition. We also realize we have not begun to scratch the surface of all those exceptional and successful individuals. However, our goal is to do just that. We invite you to actively collaborate in our endeavors. Explore our website. Be a part of our ongoing work. We look forward to hearing from you with any comments or editorial you may have. Sincerely Andrew Guzaldo, Executive Editor Amici Journal


Renato Turano has successfully won the election for a seat on the Italian Senate he will now represent Italians living in North and Central America. Turano will be spending much of his time in Rome, where he will be the voice of over 300,000 Italian citizens residing in the USA. The restructuring of Italy’s new legislature has allowed this incredible event to occur for Mr. Turano and the Italians residing in America. Mr. Turano is pleased with the new laws in italy which have allowed this to happen. However, he says there is much more needed to be done for the Italian community, and he plans to give back to the Italian community some of what he has received from them. Renato Turano will most likely continue as President of the Turano Baking Co but that will be his decision .We all know he will do a fine job in his knew position of Honor, he is a man of his word. And the Italian Community has much respect and admiration for him. BUONA FORTUNA E Congratulazione, SENATORE TURANO! Summer 2006/AMICI 1

Maria Grazia Cucinotta

By: John Rizzo


ou could say that there are essentially two main components to be a successful motion picture actress. The first, which many have, is that a person looks good on camera. The second, which is rarely found, is that an actress projects a compelling, alluring and captivating personality on film. Maria Grazia Cucinotta certainly is aesthetically pleasing. Not only does she look great, but also she certainly is compelling, alluring and captivating. She has a personality that makes film watchers actually like her and want to know more about her. Maria Grazia understands this perfectly. Nonetheless, she is fascinated by the opportunity that film acting offers, the opportunity to be a thousand different people. Despite this understanding, she also realizes that she must always be true to herself. Today, Maria Grazia Cucinotta is one of Italy’s most internationally celebrated and admired film actresses, the next in a line of a long line of legends that include Gina Lollabrigida and the great Sophia Loren. Maria Grazia is destined to become the household name. Up to now, she has not had that big, blockbuster film that generates hordes of adoring fans. In all the arts, however, for those talented enough and tough enough to hang in there, opportunities usually arrive. The question is whether the artist has what it takes to raise to the occasion when they arrive. When that special script, director and cast come along, Maria Grazia Cucinotta definitely has what it takes to become a superstar. She has enough talent and character to make it all happen. Born and raised in Messina, Sicily, Maria Grazia, like so many, was set on her career path seemingly by chance of a fateful encounter. “I was on the train, going to Milan to visit my brother,” she recalls, “when someone came up to me and said that I now overcome the expected resistance from back home. “You can imagine the reaction from my father,” she said. Many of her photographs from that period can be viewed on the Internet. It is not surprising that many web sites focus more on the beauty aspect of Maria Grazia rather than her acting ability. But she takes this in stride and recognizes that her profession, like many others, has its downside (like the hated paparazzi). After a couple of years as a model, a friend in Napoli told Maria Grazia about a TV audition in Rome. She pursued it and passed the audition with flying colors. Soon, Maria Grazia became a popular TV personality. But, her big break came when she was cast as Beatrice Russo in the international film hit, Il Postino. In this film, in her mid-twenties, she displayed the classic, dark Italian features with the voluptuous body, reminiscent of Sophia Loren, but she also has that magical persona, as if she’s concealing some deep secret just below the surface. She holds something everyone wants to know about, that makes her an intriguing, compelling, alluring and captivating personality. It was the excellence of this film that caused Maria Grazia to visit Chicago, a city she calls “beautiful, beautiful.” It was here in 1995 that Maria Grazia accepted the Chicago Film Critics Association award for Il Postino as the year’s Best Foreign Film. Understanding the importance of speaking English, she made her Englishspeaking film debut in 1997 in A Brooklyn State of Mind. The year 1999 was a very good and busy year for Maria. She appeared in a James Bond Movie, The World is Not Enough, and in Picking up the Pieces, with Woody Allen. This same year, she starred in an episode of the first Sopranos series as Isabella. This character a very attractive dental student, that was actually a figment of Tony’s imagination, induced by psychotherapy and an overdose of Prozac exemplified the complexity of Maria Grazia’s persona. It is in this episode the full range of Maria Grazia Cucinotta’s attributes are on display - the looks, the mystery, the seductive sound of her voice and the depth of character. Summer 2006/AMICI 2


As a mother of a young daughter, Giulia, Maria Grazia is devoted to her family despite her career. When it comes to reconciling career and family “You can make it happen if you work at it hard enough,” she says. Although Maria enjoys the little things in life, as we all do, like shopping, cooking and going to the theater or the opera, she has an all-consuming interest in her craft. The importance she holds for both her role as mother and her dedication as an artist can be inferred from her work as a producer. Instead of a hobby, she is now interested in making films, especially about children. She is most proud of a film she produced in collaboration with Chiara Telesi and Stefano Veneruso titled All the Invisible Children (2005), a work dedicated to children who have no name or identity. This is testament to Maria’s personal philosophy that “you can be an actress and still have a good image and do something good.” Maria Grazia Cucinotta is fascinated by Rome, her adopted hometown. She is proud to be a citizen of the “only city with a Pope,” and is regularly overwhelmed by just walking about the Eternal City. Wouldn’t it be great to visit Rome and have this beautiful actress give you a personal tour? This probably won’t happen to any of us soon, but there seems little doubt that we’ll be able to enjoy her performances in many films yet to come. In fact actually, just out on DVD is one of her latest films, Our Italian Husband, which is a film of Perseverance, Passion and Principles all, intertwined in a romantic comedy!



Summer 2006/AMICI 3

Anthony Guida Elected New President FIERI Chicago


nthony Guida is the newly elected president of FIERI Chicago. He has some big plans for the vibrant organization of young Italian-American professionals. Some of his main goals are expanding membership and building bridges to other Italian-American organizations. He would like to develop the organization in many ways, but the most important is the size, diversity, and dedication of the membership. In accomplishing this, it would provide benefits to the alumni and play a role in uniting the youth of the Italian-American community. Anthony is a first generation Italian-American His Mother and Father are both from Sicily and he is very proud of his heritage. He was raised in the western suburb of Addison and attended Addison Trail High School. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Telecommunications from DeVry University. Guida became a proud member of FIERI Chicago in 2003 with the help of his girlfriend, Raffaella Spilotro. After being involved for some time he was first elected treasurer and just recently elected president. Through FIERI, Anthony Guida has made some lifelong friends and has learned many new skills of which he states will help in his professional career. However, one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of joining FIERI, is the connection he has made to his Italian roots. He is looking forward to motivating more individuals in this most rewarding experience and to participate in fostering a greater unity among Italian-American organizations. FIERI International has 13 chapters in the USA and Canada. Member’s range from 18-39.FIERI Chicago has its office at Casa Italia, 3800 Division Street, Stone Park, IL and monthly meetings, held throughout the city. For more information, visit


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Mayor Beniamino Mazulla of Stone Park


By: John Rizzo

ew cities or towns in Illinois have had as in the past such a shady reputation as Stone Park, when it comes to association with political corruption. Going back on through the years of domination by the notorious individuals and most recently with the autocratic regime of disgraced former mayor, the name “Stone Park” has been virtually synonymous with “official corruption.” But the image of latter day Corrupt town is vanishing quickly, thanks to the powerful reform efforts of the new, twice-elected Mayor, Beniamino Mazulla. Mazulla learned first hand about the ruthless, intimidating tactics of his predecessor when Natale used his influence with the Memorial Park District board to have Mazulla canned from his job as a part time police officer because the young man had the gall to stand up for the residents of Stone Park. But this just made Mazulla even more dedicated to the political reform so badly needed in his city, to the extent that he ran for election as mayor and won. Having run on a reform platform, once elected in 2001, he had to perform up to expectations. That the voters were satisfied that Mazulla did what he promised is borne out by his reelection in 2005.

Beniamino Mazulla’s story is one of those “Only in America” tales. Mazulla was born in the small town of Renda, near Cosenza, Calabria, and moved to the States with his parents as a boy. He attended Proviso West High School and went to Triton Community College for two years before he started his own business. For those who think that America no longer offers the fulfillment of its dream in return for hard work, consider this…Beniamino’s father, an assembly line worker, gave his son an old lawnmower, which the young man carted around in the trunk of his father’s car to cut the grass of his customers. Within a short time Mazulla had grown his business from a part time job into a full blown landscaping concern. Part of his success as a pure Italian in a community that is around 80% Hispanic is undoubtedly because he learned how to speak fluent Spanish, an attribute that would come in very handy when he ran for Mayor of Stone Park. It was while running his business that Mazulla got to know so many residents and realized that they were getting the shaft from an administration that was only concerned with the exploitation, not the well being, of the citizens. After being in office for five years, Mazulla can happily point to a number of accomplishments he has personally helped to achieve in Stone Park: • The attraction of new businesses • Infrastructure improvements • Removal of urban blight • Reduction of late night liquor licenses and “adult” clubs • Elimination of street prostitution and drug dealing • The building of more than 20 new homes selling for $300,000+ with more on the way.

Memorial Day 2006

All this comes from Mazulla’s “vision of how Stone Park could be like other cities” in Chicagoland, and the hard work and dedication to make it happen. Most importantly, Mazulla points to how his fellow citizens “feel safe” in their community and that they “take pride in the restoration of integrity in city government,” something that had been sorely lacking before his tenure. A “proud Democrat,” Mazulla today looks forward to serving his constituents as Mayor, but doesn’t rule out a run for U.S. Congress down the road. In addition, a man undaunted by challenges, even when the odds are against him, should not be taken lightly. He has all the characteristics of a winner – he is happily married to Gabriela, a Greek-American lady, with three children. He unselfishly includes his family, his “pride and joy,” in his personal passion for horses. An experienced equestrian, Mazulla is now involved with the rodeo as a family activity. A rabid White Sox and Bears fan, this young politician of the people certainly pushes all the right local buttons. Stone Park, of course, is home to the flourishing Casa Italia and Mazulla has become active as an honorary member of the Executive Board. Stone Park has become a partner of the organization, supporting all Casa events in return for the use of its facilities for city events. For this and everything he stands for, Italian-Americans can be proud of Beniamino Mazulla, one of their own. Ben Mazulla Summer 2006/AMICI 5




illiam Jaconetti started his 38-year career Sergeant with the Chicago Police Department in 1968, and walked the beat in the Wicker Park area of the city for 37 of those years. During his career, Jaconetti earned 150 awards for life saving and heroism including the city’s prestigious Lambert Tree/Carter Harrison Award, Chicago’s Medal of Honor awarded to a law enforcement officer or fireman who has risked his life in the line of duty. An example of his courage occurred on February 16, 1979, when Jaconetti responded to a call about a robbery at a jewelry store. When he arrived, he found a fellow officer trapped under a large shelf who told him the robbers had taken several hostages. Entering the store, Jaconetti shot and killed one armed robber. When the remaining two thugs threatened to kill the hostages, Jaconetti forced them into a standoff at which point they surrendered, allowing everyone to leave unharmed. Later he discovered two bullet holes in his jacket, but no wounds. In 1993, Jaconetti, along with other foot patrol officers, helped implement and expand the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS). It employs cooperation between police, community, social services, and other agencies to decrease crime in the city. In 2000, the residents of Wicker Park paid tribute to Jaconetti by making him the first living officer to have his name placed on the street signs of the neighborhood’s major intersection. After retiring in 2005, Jaconetti plans to teach ethics to cadets because it is the most important aspect of law enforcement today. In his every day life, he is continuously active in all facets of upcoming events and what may better our communities in our daily lives. Just listen to his radio station on 1530 am and you will know what kind of man this is and how he deserved each award he has received. However, this does not relinquish the heroism that the Police officers of today and their heroic act as well as Jacconetti is. Sgt William Jaconetti Chicago Police Dept. (retired) after 38 years. Age 63 ... Served in the military as a morse code operator from (1962 to 1964) in the orient. He grew up in the area of Chicago and Crawford attended Orr grammar school and Austin High School sports and physical fitness was and still is his passion, as a young boy he had won the city championship in speed skating and Army boxing team in 1963. He is the youngest son of Natale Jaconetti and Theresa (Miniaci) Jaconetti from a small village outside of Cosenza Calabria called Carolei. Both of his parents died when he was very young. The Jaconetti ancestors are all over the world, Canada, Argentina and throughout the good old US of A. There are 5 brothers and 1 sister. George (deceased), Louis (deceased), Anthony, Armando, Natale and Gloria. Williams Mother and Father came to America in the 1920’s from Summer 2006/AMICI 6

By: Andrew Guzaldo

a small mountain village in southern Italy. His Father first lived on Taylor St. then moved to Grand and Ogden later settled in the area of Chicago and Crawford. Father Natale first worked on the railroad with his brothers laying track from Montana to Chicago he then went on to work in the steel mills for 47 years. And his Mother Theresa was busy raising her 7 children but also found time to do some of the seamstress work for the merchants on Milwaukee Ave. and Chicago Ave. The family needed the extra money to survive as did so many at that time. Their neighborhood Catholic Parish was Our Lady of the Angels where the tragic fire of 1958 occurred. His oldest brother George who was born in Italy later went on to fight for America during WWII. He served in the South Pacific where he was wounded three times, in the battle that raged with the Japanese. His brother (George) was highly decorated and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese on the Island of Leyte where many of his men were lost on that invasion. Brother Lou worked in the clothing business and gave many Italian- American workers a start in Chicago ... Places like Kuppenheimer ... Hart, Schaffner and Marx, Borne Company and many others. His son Daniel Jaconetti is a very well known dentist in the Chicago land area. Natale and his brother George worked at Lakeshore Photo Engraving in the printing business. George’s son Thomas is an Attorney with the board of tax appeals in Chicago. Brothers Armando and Anthony were in the Motel and Restaurant business for many years and presently working as Real Estate Brokers. And his sister Gloria Colella is a house wife and has raised 4 very successful children, she works part time for her son-in-law Michael Sullivan a very prominent Dentist in Elmhurst. Her other son-in-law Lou Cairo is a partner in the law firm of Goldberg Weisman &Cairo. Jaconetti’s wife Donna is a 3rd grade school teacher at St Robert Bellarmine, she has taught in the school system for 30 years with a Math and English major. Donna and William Jaconetti have three children Natalie (Jaconetti) Swain, William J. Jaconetti, and Marissa (Jaconetti) Elliott. Natalie is a stay at home mother and has a master’s degree in education. William is an Aerospace engineer with Boeing Aircraft and a flight test engineer for the F-15 fighter jet. He is also a flight instructor. Marissa is a stay at home mother and holds double masters in business and education. His son- in-­law Mark is an Art Professor and assistant soccer coach at Lewis University. Another son-in-law Timothy is an Attorney and “My Proud and Honorable Italian Heritage graduate of UCLA . will live on in my children and grand And daughter-in-law children ... for I am an American/Italian, Mary (Caldieraro) and so are they.” Jaconetti is in a high level career at the William Jaconetti Aon Corporation. 5/30/06 Donna and William also have three grand children Jack 6, Ali 5 and Madeleine 21 months.

By Jacqueline Plaza


s a production, domestic distribution and foreign sales company, Echelon Studios handles multiple facets of the entertainment industry. Echelon Studios’s library contains more than 250 first run titles, encompassing a wide variety of genre comprised of comedy, drama, horror, documentary, psychological thriller, family, and animation. Echelon Studios continues to expand its impressive library through the acquisition of a comprehensive body of films including feature films, documentaries and shorts. Through its experienced sales team and by its attendance at national and international film markets, Echelon Studios distributes its acquired films to both domestic and international buyers. In combination with the acquisition and distribution of these films, Echelon Studios theatrically releases films in select cities throughout the United States. Echelon’s recent theatrical successes include, the charming family comedy Our Italian Husband starring Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Brooke Shields and Chevy Chase; the drama Wake starring “Queer as Folk’s” Gale Harold and featuring screen legend Martin Landau; and the romantic comedy Fish Without a Bicycle starring “Freddie” and “Beverly Hills 90210” star Brian A. Green. In the coming months, Echelon Studios looks to begin production on its own films for theatrical release as well as for television and DVD.

Uniting their sizeable experience in the entertainment industry in directing and acting as well as production and distribution, Echelon Studios President/CEO Eric Louzil and Vice President/co-CEO Gloria Morrison created this versatile company. Joined by executives, Vice President of Acquisition Amanda Filla, Director of Press Relations Jacqueline Plaza, Vice President of International Sales Matthew Moon, Vice President of Domestic Sales Lewei Duan, and Vice President of Accounting Diane Ramirez, as well as a vital supporting staff, Echelon Studios proudly continues to expand its film ventures. Echelon’s next projects include the release of the drama The Drum Beats Twice, which follows the search for spiritual meaning after a man is blinded and loses the use of his hands, and the children’s film Big Chuck Little Chuck. With the Cannes Film Festival beginning in May and the selection of several of its films in other festivals, Echelon Studios looks to enjoy a busy spring and summer. Big Chuck Little Chuck

The AMICI Journal worked closely with Director of Press Relations Jacqueline Plaza to promote the April 21, 2006 release of Our Italian Husband. Jacqueline graduated from Colgate University in 2001 and Northeastern University School of Law in 2004. She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar before leaving the profession of law to pursue a career in the film industry. She joined Echelon Studios in November and currently enjoys working in press relations. Jacqueline would especially like to thank the amazing staff at the AMICI Journal for their unflagging support in promoting Our Italian Husband. She wishes there were more individuals like Andy, Terry and Joe in Hollywood.

To learn more about Echelon Studios please check out its website at or email the staff at Please email if you have questions related to press. Our Italian Husband will be released on DVD in July 2006 through Xenon Pictures, which is associated with Universal Pictures. Please see for more information.

Our Italian Husband Summer 2006/AMICI 7

Keeping Our Heritage Alive and WELL By: Andrew Guzaldo Courtesy of Michael Piscopo

I came upon a letter that was sent to me from my cousin Michael and his wife Joanne, it explains there experiences when they were tracing back our heritage to Caccamo Sicily. Looking back I can see the necessity of me writing the following for many of us what ever our Heritage may be starving for knowledge of our Culture and Sacrifices our ancestors made on their journey to this wonderful country America. Recently my wife Joanne and I had the wonderful experience of vacationing in Italy including Sicily and we would like to share some of this experience with you. I will not bore you with all the details of how beautiful the mainland was and all the other things, but I do want to share our days of touring Sicily. We stayed in the town called Giardini Naxos on the eastern coast of Sicily. We enjoyed a view of Mt. Etna from our hotel, although it was not the best hotel, however we did enjoy a walk into the area surrounding the hotel’s little cafes and shops and the walks on the beach. Our second day took us with our tour guide and driver to Siracusa where we visited a church built in on and around 500 B.C. and is still being used today. The streets were narrow and winding just as we had imagined. There were ruins of Greek and Roman coliseums and such beautiful architecture all 2000 years old and older. On our third day, we visited the town of Taorminia, another ancient city with ruins looking at it you would think it was constructed only 200 or 300 years ago, it was so well kept we enjoyed the day there and could go on and on about the beauty of it all. Now I have come to the part I really want to share with my family and is the reason that I am writing this letter to you. We rented a very, very tiny Fiat. It was Sunday morning and pouring rain. With map in hand, we headed west to Caccamo Sicily, to visit the hometown Summer 2006/AMICI 8

of our Grandfather, Mariano Guzaldo. First, I want to tell you that Sicily is a very beautiful country. It reminded us of Arizona. We passed through many small villages that dotted the rolling countryside. After driving about 2 ½ hours, we came to a larger town Termini Imese on the Mediterranean Sea. After gassing up the car we checked the map, Caccamo was close by. We saw a mountain to the south of us and I told Joanne that Caccamo had to be on the other side according to the map. We headed in the direction of Palermo. Palermo, Termini

Imese and Caccamo are about 10 to 15 miles apart. The rain had stopped and the sun and blue skies were all around as if to welcome us. After a short drive we took, the exit marked Caccanmo and headed for our destination. I was right! Caccamo was at the top of the mountain I had mentioned earlier and the roads to it were winding with beautiful vistas of Termini Imese, Palermo. Just peeking around the bend of the road and the Mediterranean Sea. We finally reached the city limits, I got out of the car and Joanne took a picture of me pointing to the sign CACCAMO, finally after saying that name my whole life I was there in the village that our grandfather came from. Before I go on about this beautiful little treasure of a village, I would like to go back a bit and explain that some time ago my Mother told me that our last name Guzaldo, could be different so look for the name Guzzardo. So back in the car we go, we make the first curve in the road and the very first building in Caccamo, a new building, has in very big bold letters “GUZZARDO”. It looks to be a clothing store. So we drive a short bit to the village, the first thing we notice is a drop of about 2000 or 3000 feet to a beautiful valley and lake. Near the base of the village is a huge castle built in the 10th century. I carefully maneuvered our little Fiat through the main street of town. Remember it’s Sunday morning and it looks like Chicago Avenue and St. Louis with the

whole town walking around the streets. The streets are so narrow that barely two small cars fit. Streets so narrow that when you are walking you literally have to step into a doorway to let cars go by. We drove through the town, took some pictures, and drove back to a park area near the beginning of town to park the car and do a walking tour. Being Sunday almost everything in town was closed, except for a small gift shop and a deli like on Chicago Ave. We went for pizza, cappuccino and some cookies and cannoli and they were terrific. As we walked through town we came to the church built in 1090 and got there just as the last mass was letting out. To describe how old the Church looked was in the appearance of the marble steps, each one was worn more then 5 to 6 inches. The streets were steep and looked as if spaghetti had been dropped to plan them but you must understand that this is on the side of the mountain. There was not very much new in the town most everything seemed to be at least 500 years old except for some buildings on the edge of town and the Guzzardo store. All the buildings we could see were clean and kept in good order as well as the streets. Some older women were out sweeping the narrow streets and stairways. Many of the buildings were gray from age and pollution. There were no sidewalks but many stairways leading up to the many stacked homes and elevations. We walked all around town and tried to find someone who spoke English with no luck so we headed back to our Fiat. We made one last stop at the souvenir store just before he was going to close. The owner unfortunately did not speak English so in my broken feeble Italian I tried to tell him that I am a Guzzardo and my grandfather came from Caccamo. He said that there are many Guzzardos, then pointed to a postcard rack and said that the old man on this card riding a donkey was a Guzzardo but he was mort. We laughed for a while, it was quite funny. He was telling either the truth or a very good salesman. We bought some postcards and started back to the “Car”. We took our last looks at this beautiful quaint village and its vistas and said our Goodbyes to Caccamo. To have walked the streets of Caccamo will be an everlasting Honor to me, just to know that our Grandfather walked the same streets as I was. As well as our old neighborhood on Chicago Ave where he spent his final days with all of us.

Legends Of The Past Where Have Our HEROES Of Yesteryear Gone!

By Terry Geraci


s I conducted this interview, my heart and soul were filled with a swelling sense of pride. My eyes welled up with tears of joy and I found it difficult to speak and ask the necessary questions because my throat felt like it wanted to close. I was in the presence of a real life war hero and a legend, a humble and honest man. It is not often that any of us can say we experience all of these emotions at the same time. I realized that I have had a wonderful life largely because of the freedom that this country has afforded me. It was because of people like Ralph Campagna that I was able to experience what freedom really means. This is the story of one of the thousands of World War II. hero’s. Ralph Campagna, was Born in the region of Carbonara, in the City of Bari and the country of Italy on October 1, 1921. Ralph came to the United States of America with his Father and Mother Paul and Nicolina Campagna when he was just 12 years old. Ralph was one of two Campagna children he also had a brother, Vito. They migrated through legal channels and were registered as legal immigrants at the Port of Ellis Island, New York. Ralph’s Father gained citizenship after the required time had passed. They moved to the Chicago area and lived in Schiller Park, Illinois from 1935 to 1995. Ralph was married in 1944. He fathered five children, Paul, Nicolina, Ralph Jr. Joseph & Christopher Campagna. Ralph currently resides in Melrose Park, Illinois in the Leyden Township community. Ralph was drafted into the U.S. Army when he was 19 years old. He served in the famed 508th Parachute Infantry in Company G. He was honorably discharged from the armed forces on March 26, 1946. Before we tell his amazing story, you should know something about the history of the 1st Battalion Airborne 508th Infantry “Red Devils”. In September 1942 Major Roy E. Lindquist began planning the activation of this unit he was to command. On 20 October 1942 at Camp Blanding, Florida, the 508th was born. The unit was primarily made up of personnel from the 502nd Parachute Infantry and the 26th Infantry Division. By mid December, the 508th Parachute Infantry reached full strength.

In February 1943, the regiment adopted the “Red Devil” emblem and the battle cry “Diablo” as they moved to Fort Benning for parachute training. In March, the 508th was moved to Camp McKall, North Carolina, were the unit trained until December. On the 28th of December 1943, the regiment boarded the U.S Army transport James Parker and set out to join the convoy across the Atlantic for WW II. on the 9th of January 1944. The James Parker docked at Belfast, Ireland and the 508th commenced training throughout Great Britain. During Operation overlord, the regiment was responsible for the Southwest portion of the 82nd Airborne Division sector in Normandy. This is just a brief overview of this heroic and marvelous combat unit. In the battle of Normandy the 508 jumped under heavy fire from anti aircraft, and heavy cloud cover. These clouds and heavy anti aircraft fire caused many of the formations to break up and many of the planes to stray off course. Despite these obstacles, 2,056 Red Devils jumped into Normandy on June 6, 1944 to July 24, 1944. Of course among these parachute infantrymen was Ralph Campagna. Some of the other battles Corporal Ralph Campagna participated in were the battle of Ardennes from December 16, 1944 to June 25, 1945, The Battle of Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge, which began on December 23, 1944. In the course of the interview with former Corporal Campagna, Ralph was very candid and informative in relating many incidents that took place during his service time. But one in particular stood out in my mind. In the Battle of Holland at the Nijmigen Bridge, one of the soldiers named Tom Beno was struck with an exploding shell which buried the lower half of his body from the waist

Ralph Cam


down. Corporal Campagna was in the general area and so Ralph proceeded to dig out his fellow soldier and he rescued him from any further injury and PFC Tom Beno was taken to the closest hospital where he was treated . and he survived his wounds. Many years later after their return safely home; Ralph received a phone call from PFC Tom Beno’s wife. She told Ralph that another member of their unit had called her and asked if PFC Tom Beno was still alive/ the paratrooper who called stated that he had in his possession a helmet with the name PFC Tom Beno inscribed inside the helmet. This helmet was left behind at the incident where PFC Tom Beno was buried from the waist down. In his haste to get his fellow soldier out of harms way Corporal Campagna left PFC Tom Beno’s Helmet behind. This phone call took place in the year 2005 almost 50 years after the incident. As I stated earlier in this article, Ralph Campagna was a Corporal in Company G of the 508th Paratrooper Infantry ‘Red Devil’, and 10% of the personnel in company G were of Italian descent. At the time, there were 280 paratroopers in Company G. Only 10 of these hero’s remain are still alive and live among us in obscurity. The remaining survivors of this heroic unit try to keep in touch by having re-unions from time to time. The last re-union took place in 2004 at Ft. Benning, Georgia. This interview and “the rest of the story” will continue into the fall edition in October 2006. This is just one of the many of stories which could be told of the thousands of hero’s of the most important war in the history of the United States of America. If it were not for these hero’s who fought for our freedom we all might be speaking a foreign language and Old Glory would not be waving it’s Stars and Stripes all over our beautiful Land of the free and the home of the brave. God Bless America and those that have given so much for our freedom. (To be continued) Summer 2006/AMICI 9

Our Lady of Angels Parish


Transformation Committee

revered institution in the Italian American community for many decades in the 20th century, Our Lady of the Angels Parish is in the midst of transformation from a closed facility to a mission assisting the poor in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The former parish is located at Hamlin and Iowa on the near northwest side of Chicago. The parish was founded August 10,1894, and served the ethnic communities, which lived in the area- mainly Italian and Irish American families, many of them immigrants. The parish consisted of a church, school, rectory, convent and Kelly Hall, a parish community center. At its height, the school had over 1600 students. On December 1, 1958, the parish and community suffered a horrific loss; a tragic fire at the school took the lives of 92 children and 3 nuns and injured 76. The great loss had a devastating effect on the community and resulted in the movement of many of the families that called the parish home. Over the last several decades, socio-economic decline and a decline in the number of Catholics in the area brought new challenges and new needs to the parish. After combining with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Our Lady of the Angels was closed in 1991. In the last several years, the church and school buildings have been leased to another congregation and to a charter school. Last year, at the request of Cardinal Francis George, Father Robert Lombardo, of New York City, came to Chicago to transform the former rectory and social hall into a mission to assist the poor and feed the hungry residents in the area. Father Robert Lombardo has been receiving assistance from contractors in renovating the rectory into a useful center. Future plans include renovating the social center. For example, Forte Plumbing in River Grove helped fix the bathrooms in the rectory, and Elmwood Supply in Elmwood Park donated all the equipment. A food pantry is planned. A group of individuals is planning a fundraiser to

Summer 2006/AMICI 10

assist the Franciscans in the renovation of the parish into a mission for the poor. The group is led by several businessmen, and elected officials. They include the pictured (L to R) Richard Smith, Village President Frank Paris (River Forest), attorney Jerry Schain, Father Lombardo, County Commissioner and Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri, and Mike Gentile. Fundraiser information is still in the planning stages, but is anticipated for September 2006. Those interested in donating now, may do so by sending checks made payable to “Mission of Our Lady of the Angels� and mailed to the mission C/O St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 932 Kostner Avenue, Chicago, IL 60651.

LATTE ART “Latte art encompasses all, and all is latte art.” ~ Oscar Wilde on Latte art


atte art or Coffee Art refers to designs created on the tops of espresso based drinks by a barista. Thera are usually two ways how to make a pattern with the milk in your coffee. The first method is by manipulating the flow of milk from a jug into the espresso (known as “free pour” latte art). The second is by drawing designs with an implement (known as “etching”), using stencils, powders and milk foam. Latte art is most commonly seen on a latte, although it can also be part of the presentation of a cappuccino, a caffe mocha or even an espresso macchiato. Although the ability to pour a pattern into a cappuccino does not indicate quality in itself, it is indicative of the passion of the barista. History of Latte Art The origins of latte art are shrouded in mystery, but historians have unearthed clues that prove the art form is thousands of years old. Assyrian reliefs from nearly 1000 BC show the great King Ashurnasirpal II partaking of this activity. Also hieroglyphics record the great introduction of latte art into Egypt and the hope it seemed to bring. But the hands and minds that built the pyramids were yet too weak to control the possibilities of latte art, and they perished at the hands of anti-lattate barbarians. For centuries the secret of latte art was believed to have been buried with the Egyptians. “Crocodile stick box bird coffee mug scepter” ~ Egyptian hieroglyphics Latte again surfaced during the Middle Ages, the period of copying of texts by the monks. As Many a monk ruined his carefully-inked illumination by falling asleep in the middle of the writing process, there was a need to find a way to ward off sleep. The small monastery of Cluny, after years of searching and experimenting, formulated a curious mixture of ground coffee beans and milk that could keep one alert. Latte had been rediscovered – but latte art, the one true manifestation of latte, had not.

During the Renaissance latte art was reintroduced and reached its height. Great baristas such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dante Alighieri and Niccolo Machiavelli created latte works of staggering beauty and meaning. Unfortunately, the popularity of latte art during the Renaissance led to a glut of amateur latte artists, who created works that were insubstantial shades next to the cups of the masters. At the close of the Renaissance latte art had lost its sacredness and become mainstream. The dream was dying. The modern latte art nowadays becomes more and more popular. With the rise in popularity of latte art, competitions have emerged to enable practitioners (“baristas”) to show off their skills. However, baristas first learn the science of extracting a fine espresso before attempting to garnish their product. Taste should always come before appearance, and the time taken to draw a design can significantly decrease the freshness of the coffee. Latte Art - Milk Texturing and Pouring – Basic steps Materials: Whole milk, straight walled steam pitcher, an espresso machine with a powerful steams wand, thermometer, and a 14 oz latte cup. Prepare the milk first, then the espresso. 1) Begin with very cold milk.  It is important to keep the milk temperature right above freezing.  Keep the steam pitchers in the refrigerator also.  This will allow you to steam for a longer period of time to achieve the smooth and velvety texture that is required to make latte art. 2) Fill the milk pitcher with the right amount of milk for one cup.  You will probably have some milk left over after steaming.  Start with fresh milk for every cup.   3) Place the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher.  Turn the steam on, and slowly raise the wand so that it is near the top of the milk.  As the milk rises, lower the pitcher so that the steam wand remains approximately 1 cm from the top of the milk.  Stretching should be minimal, no big bubbles should be formed.  The key is to get smooth velvety milk, not the thick foam that floats above the espresso.  When poured, the milk should flow into and mix with the espresso. 4) When the milk has reached 80 ºF, push the steam wand deep into the milk on the side of the pitcher, and position the pitcher to spin the milk counterclockwise.  Continue the spinning motion until the milk reaches 150-160 ºF.  Steaming over this temperature limits the sweetness of the milk.  After stopping the steam carefully remove from milk and clean with wet cloth.  Remove Summer 2006/AMICI 11

thermometer from milk. 5) Swirl milk vigorously. If any bubbles are visible pound the pitcher on the counter several times.  After pounding swirl for about 20-30 seconds.  This can be done effectively while the espresso is pouring. 6) Begin pouring milk into the espresso.  For a flower pattern, pour into the bottom portion of the cup, approximately an inch from the bottom of the cup.  Pour gently into one spot and do not shake the pitcher.  As the cup is about half filled, begin to shake the pitcher back and forth while slowly moving backward.  The flower pattern will move forward and fill the cup.  7) When the milk reaches the top of the cup, sweep through the pattern you created by quickly pouring the milk up the center of the pattern.  Pouring less milk here is better because it will not sink the flower pattern.


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Ristorante Agostino


By John Rizzo

istorante Agostino, at 2817 N. Harlem Ave. in Chicago, is an institution on the Northwest Side and suburbs, and has a great and well-deserved reputation, and not just among ItalianAmericans. This is because the family owned and newly-decorated restaurant offers downtown-quality food and service at very reasonable prices. The place has a warm and cozy atmosphere and provides that magical blend of intimacy at your table in the midst of a typically lively crowd, with Italian opera or songs piped softly over the sound system. Chef and owner Agostino Fiasche is most proud of his seafood flown in fresh regularly, so when my wife and I last visited, we had an all-seafood dinner. We had two appetizers, gamberi d’oro (fried shrimp) and fried calamari. The shrimp is lightly battered, with a golden color and served in a flaming brandy – talk about melt in your mouth! I have always believed that the tenderness of fried calamari (or the lack of it!) says a lot about the overall cooking quality of any Italian restaurant. As anyone who has tried to fry calamari knows, if you do not cook it for exactly the right time (similar to pasta), it just isn’t very good. Whenever you have rubbery or chewy calamari, it’s usually the prelude to a less than first class dinner. If, on the other hand, the calamari is tender and succulent, you know that the cooks are paying close attention to what they’re doing and that they’ll probably give the same care to your subsequent courses. In a word, the calamari at Agostino’s is fantastic! Agostino’s is a place that makes you feel like celebrating even on the most ordinary days so I had some good house Pinot Grigio with the appetizers and then reviewed the extensive wine list before ordering. The wine list is another trademark of Agostino & Antonio Fiasche a fine Italian restaurant. If it has a

number of well-chosen selections in all price ranges, it shows that the management cares about its clientele. There are many myths about wine and one of them is that you’re supposed to have white wine with fish, fowl or pork and red wine with red meat or red sauces. The truth is that good wine goes well with just about any dish. (This is certainly the attitude in Italy, at least.) So although we were decided upon seafood for the next courses, we ordered a nice bottle of Lamole di Lamole Chianti Riserva, for $45.00 (downtown a similar selection would be about $65.00!). Served at just the right temperature, this wine was extremely enjoyable, and certainly did not detract from the flavor of the seafood. I combined my pasta and seafood with one of my very favorite dishes, linguini con vongole (pasta with clams) in a white sauce. At Agostino’s, this wonderful dish is served with ultra-fresh baby clams in the shell over a bed of pasta. It takes a little longer to eat this way, but it’s much tastier than minced clams (usually from cans) mixed in the sauce. While I enjoyed my vongole, my wife had the seafood risotto for a pasta course. An eclectic mix of shrimp, lobster, scallops, calamari and mussels in a perfectly cooked plump and spiced arborio, this is another favorite here. This was followed by one of the evening’s specials, fresh sea bass, Italian style. Don’t worry about bones, because the very knowledgeable wait staff filets your fish right at your table. And the taste – this is Italian seafood at its very best, a sure-fire pleasure for you and your guests. In addition, Agostino has fresh seafood specials every night! Agostino’s has the usual Italian dessert and coffee selections plus a very seductive port menu, but there is always an after-dinner fresh fruit plate brought for each table at no charge. What a deal! The cost for a dinner like ours was around $135.00, but you can pay considerably more or less depending on what you order. Agostino’s is open for dinner only Tues.-Sat. from 4:00 until closing; closed Mondays. Dress casual. Free parking. For reservation call 773-745-6464.


Call for Rates 800-223-9387 / Robert Pastore cell 219-712-0488 Summer 2006/AMICI 13

We Wish You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!



Sean Ginocchio

n the early 1900s my great Grandfather, John Ginocchio, and his son, Roy John Ginocchio, my Grandfather, sold wholesale and retail liquor, some with a Ginocchio label, on the West Side of Chicago, IL. John Ginocchio’s Father, Charles Ginocchio, my great, great Grandfather and past president of the United Italian Societies in 1909, had come from the small Italian village of Borgonasca, near Genoa, Italy, where they grew grapes on a terraced vineyard mountainside irrigated by the Strula River that flowed down to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s exciting to now own a winery and produce wine, some with a Ginocchio label, right here in the fertile hills of Peru, IL, a farming community 90 miles west of Chicago. Our winery, August Hill, released its first wines in June 2005. In our first year we have won more than thirty medals, including “Best of Class” for our Blackberry Desert Wine at the Indy International Wine competition. A key element of our success is our passion and respect for individual, artisan creations. At August Hill, we celebrate the art of individual creativity in everything we do, from our high quality handcrafted wines to our distinct labels featuring local artist Tara Trapolino’s vibrant oil paintings. Our Tasting Room and Gallery is filled with an interesting selection of local artisan wares and delicious artisan foods. Located in Utica, IL, near scenic Starved Rock State Park, our Tasting Room and Gallery is open 7 days a week. We offer complimentary tasting of our wines along with select artisan foods, and in the summer and fall we invite our guests to relax with a glass of their favorite August Hill Wine on our Tasting Room’s beautiful outdoor deck. For more information or to purchase August Hill Wines, please visit our website at or call 815-667-5211.

Summer 2006/AMICI 15



he relatively new Osteria via Stato, at 620 N. State St. in Chicago, reminds me of two restaurants I visited in Italy, one in Parma and the other in Milan. On both occasions my wife and I had excellent dinners and great times. I’m happy to report that it was also a very enjoyable experience at Osteria via Stato. The dining format at these establishments is somewhat different than at most restaurants. In Italy the menu was completely set – you got what was being served that evening and that was that! Fortunately, the chef’s selections from the glittering universe of Italian dishes were all outstanding, including those that were totally new to me. The subtly lit and rustic Osteria via Stato gives you a choice in wine, entrée and dessert, but the antipasto and pasta courses are set for each day. The restaurants I mentioned in Italy have but one seating and reservations are necessary because space is limited. The Osteria, however, has continuous seating for both lunch and dinner so you can go whenever you want. (It’s always best to reserve, if you want to be sure to get in!) On the evening I visited the Osteria, I had my own table (“communal seating” as is customary in Italy, is also available). The service, from beginning to end, was prompt and very Professional. As one server began to lay down the antipasto dishes, I was presented with a wine list that offered about 300 kinds of Italian vintages, most of which are available in full bottles only. Since I was alone, I chose from a large number of wines that are served by the glass. They did not have Chianti (my favorite) by the glass, but

Summer 2006/AMICI 16

By John Rizzo

they did have several Tuscan Sangiovese varieties, from which I picked an excellent dry Medoro. This was served as it should be, “cellar cool,” not “room temperature,” which so many people mistakenly think is right for red wine. It was wonderful. (Actually, it tasted like Chianti to me.) There were several antipasto dishes, including grilled octopus, caramelized onions, a selection of Italian and Kalamata olives, buffalo Mozzarella and burato (two slices of smoked salmon, each stuffed with fresh Mozarella. The attentive servers constantly replenished a basket of Italian bread, fresh from the oven, throughout the dinner. The only dish I just nibbled at was the octopus, of which I am not a fan. However, it was very nicely cooked and I’m sure that one who really likes octopus would find it a real treat. The rest of the appetizers were excellent and I consumed all of them with relish. Then came the pasta course of sautéed cavatelli and papardelli in meat sauce. The short cut cavatelli was fine but the perfectly cooked papardelli came in a sauce to die for! (I learned later that in the bar area, you can enjoy this dish at almost all times.) Halfway through this heavenly pasta, I started questioning whether I would have room for the entrée and dessert. But the wait staff let me

take my time before presenting me with the evening’s main course selections. There were a number of mouth-watering choices on the small blackboard I was shown, including fish, fowl and beef, but I immediately chose what promised to be the spiciest - “pork giardiniera.” It turned out to be a very rewarding choice! This dish, beautifully presented, consisted of several tender lightly breaded pork cutlets garnished with a colorful giardiniera. Because I had over-indulged on the previous dishes and the entrée portion was so generous, I had some of it wrapped up to enjoy at home. I had just enough room for dessert, and again I had to choose from a selection of equally appealing desserts. You probably would have to look for a while before you’d find this one in Italy, but I had a “rhubarb crostino,” which was like a small piece of homemade rhubarb pie, topped with vanilla ice cream. About this time chef David DiGregorio, who insisted that I also try his homemade chocolate covered with walnut pieces, joined me. He is a delightful young man, originally from the East Coast (where they call sauce “gravy”), whose people come from the Abruzz. This man is a genius for Italian cooking, and I told him so. There was no menu with prices so I was not sure what it would all cost, but with three glasses of wine at $11 a pop, the total, with tax came to $81.00. This is more than you would pay for a dinner in the suburbs, but you can spend a lot more for dinner that is no way more tasty and exciting in just about any downtown restaurant. The experience was definitely worth the price and I plan to go back soon! Dress is casual. Valet parking available for $10.00. For reservations, call 312-642-8450.

ITALIAN FAMILY DINING CAPONATADI MELANZANE Eggplant and Bell Pepper Stew Serving for 6

This very tasty dish can be served not only as an accompaniment to meat or fish but also as an entree or as a sauce for pasta. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, sliced 1 garlic clove, chopped 3 red and yellow bell peppers (capsicums), seeded and sliced l lb. (500 g) eggplants (aubergines), cut into cubes 3 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped salt and freshly ground pepper 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled 2 tablespoons drained capers ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 3 anchovy fillets in oil, chopped • • •

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and gar­lic and sauté until translucent. Add the peppers and eggplant and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and oregano, and cook until eggplant and peppers are tender but not mushy. Add the capers, olives and anchovies. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature for several hours before serving.


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Down 1) Since its founding in Florence in 1583, the Accademia della Crusca has devoted itself exclusively to the study and preservation of what? 2) Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes is the Latin inscription found on Nobel Prize medals, which translates to: And they who bettered life on earth by newfound mastery. This phrase was taken from a work of what great Roman poet? 3) Identify the neighboring city of Venice that, who along with Venice, is world famous for blown glass works of art. 4) With over 30 million subscribers, Italy ranks fourth in the world with the largest ratio of users. 7) With a capacity of 16,663 people, it is the largest opera theater in the world. 9) One of the most prolific composers in history composed 87 hours of music. 15) In 1904, the Marconi Company designated the letters CQD as the first international distress signal. It was replaced two years later by what quicker signal? 16) Designed by Renzo Piano, the Acquario is regarded as the greatest aquarium in Europe. In what Italian city does it reside? Across  5) Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are five world famous townships linked by a panoramic hillside mule track. Identify the collective name for this world famous district. 6) In 2000, he earned over $28 million, placing him fifth on the list of highest earners in U.S. entertainment. 8) Over 217 million of these items arrived in Italy in 1999 from abroad, putting Italy in tenth place on the world list. What are the items? 10) Born in Villar Perosa, Piedmont, in 1866, he founded, with others, the Fiat company of Italy in 1899. This family has controlled Fiat for more than a century. 11) Andrea Bocelli has achieved remarkable success both in performance and through his internationally best-selling albums. In the U.S., three of his albums rank second, third, and seventh on the all-time best seller list for classical albums. Name the second place album. 12) Regarded as perhaps the greatest defensive specialist ever to play the game, he holds the current record established in the 2002 World Cup of completing twenty-two World Cup matches without sitting out a minute. 13) What is the Italian word, now part of the English language that means “without instrumental accompaniment”? 14) Using over 500 metric tons in 1999, Italy ranked second in the world making what type of jewelry? 17) The city of Genoa was destroyed by this invader in 935 A.D. 18) We can thank the Romans for two very traditional Latin dog names used throughout the ages. One is Rex, which is Latin for king. What is the second? 19) A West Point graduate, this army captain and Vietnam military advisor was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, nearly 40 years after his death at the hands of the Viet Cong. 20) He won a 1998 Best Actor Tony Award for, A View From the Bridge.

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Florence, Italy completes a solid gold OREO press for King Louis XV of France. This enables the monarch to bulge a cookie filling without damaging the delicate chocolate wafer. Today, Oreo is America’s best selling cookie.

Caesar Rodney, patriot from the first state of Delaware, begins his famous two-day ride to Philadelphia where he casts the decisive vote for Independence. Rodney joins with William Paca in 1776, becoming the only two Italian singers of the Declaration.

1757 Violinist Francis Alberti gives a concert attendend by George Washington. Later, Thomas Jefferson writes, “I got him (Alberti) to come to Monticello and took lessons for several years.Jefferson spoke fluent Italian and became an accomplished violinist.

1791 Alesandro Malaspina is among the first Italians to visit San Francisco. Malaspina surveys the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Mexico as part of scientific expedition. He remains in Menterey, California for 10 days. Malaspina and other members of the expedition make botanical and geological studies, take soundings in the bay, draw maps and charts, and interview local Indians.

1767 The colonists take quickly to spaghetti. Sam Bowen, an Englishman, applies for permission and to establish a vermicelli factory.

1776 Three of the first four American warships are named after Italian: Columbus, Cabot, and the Doria.

William Paca (1740 - 1799) of Maryland sings the Declaration of Independence. Later, he becomes Governor and Chief Justice of the state. Paca’s family is traced to Cardinal Pacca (1756-1844) of Naples and Benevento.

Summer 2006/AMICI 20

1792 Thomas Jefferson writes to the Commissioners of Washington about Giuseppe Ceracchi, saying he is “unquestionably an artist od first class.” Among the 37 models of great men sculpted live by Ceracchi atre Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, clinton, and John Paul Jones.

Idols, Heroes and Role Models

Luke Capuano: Growing up in Taylor Street’s Little Italy “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”


he following are some of the early boyhood memories of one of our Taylor Street bred figures. Luke Capuano became a professional fighter and climaxed his career with two memorable fights with Mike Rossman, former light heavyweight champion of the world. A hotly disputed split decision over Luke kept alive Rossman’s hopes of regaining his light heavyweight title. Luke’s career as a professional fist fighter included an exhibition with Cassius Clay, also know as Muhammad Ali. I have embellished upon Luke’s input. My qualifications for doing so are as follows: As I grew up on Taylor Street, some of my early boyhood companions included Luke’s uncle, Mike “Crazy Migee” Capuano. For the record, my childhood nickname was “Vincenzo Pazzo (meaning “Crazy Vincent” in Italian).” Luke’s generation (second generation Italian-Americans) mirrored those experiences we, as first generation Italian-Americans, encountered during our boyhood days. The difference perhaps was in what each of us gleaned from those experiences. Luke attributes much of what he had become to the people who comprised his neighborhood…his world. Because of his magnificent fighting skills, Luke has etched his name in the sports chronicles for all time. His thoughts, his words and his actions, however, reveal a deeper dimension. It can be best summarized in the following

By: Vince Romano

quote from Isiah Thomas, “If all I’m remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I’ve done a bad job with the rest of my life.” My mother, Josie, was an employee at Sheridan Park during the time that Luke was exploring his athletic abilities and ultimately honed his boxing skills. Later, Luke also became an employee of Sheridan Park, working alongside my mother until her retirement. Growing up was just one laugh after another. The games had no color barriers. We were just kids seeking each other out for no other reason than to lose ourselves in a game of marbles, kick the can, tag, hide and seek, higher than the ground, red rover, fly and bounce, etc., etc., etc. In a neighborhood where everyone was ethnically defined, there were no biases or prejudices. The stature and respect each of us achieved in those games was earned and ethnicity was not a factor when choosing up sides. The games taught us that no group was better or worse than any other. The variety of games kept us entertained and helped to fill the long hours when there was no school. The games kept us sharp too--both physically and mentally. In addition to the games that occupied us, we all carry memories of hanging around the “big guys.”---that group of guys who were just ahead of us in age. I will write about my peers in future stories and about the six guys, several years my senior, who I came to idolize when I was a young boy growing up on Taylor Street.

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ENTERTAINMENT I Three Italian Favorites Anchor 2006-07 Lyric Opera Season By: John Rizzo

t’s just around the corner now! Another season of opera at its best begins Saturday, September 16 at the Civic Opera House as Lyric Opera of Chicago kicks things off with Puccini’s Turandot. This will be the first of

make up the remainder of an outstanding season, but none of these are as famous or as musically excellent as the Italian works. For those inclined to experience the pinnacle of Italian culture, there’s simply no better way to do so than to become familiar with these wonderful operas. A company like Lyric strives to acquire as many great performers as they can and the 2006-07 season features some of the very best singers in the world. Contralto Dolora Zajik, unsurpassed as Azucena, and Mark Delavan

Turandot Photo by San Francisco Opera three truly great Italian operas scheduled for this season, the others being Verdi’s Il trovatore and Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Each one of these represents a benchmark of sorts in the history of the Italian opera tradition, and thus very logically produced in the same season. Three French and two German operas

Summer 2006/AMICI 22

Cossi van tutte Photo by Dan Rest / Lyric Opera

(whom I predict will soon be recognized as the finest baritone now singing) are joined by conductor Bruno Bartoletti in Il trovatore. Delavan also appears in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride that features the great Susan Nicola Rossi Giordano Graham appearing as Manrico in the title in the 2006 - 2007 new role. My production of Verdi’s il favorite Trovatore Richard Strauss opera, Salome, will star the newly slimmed-down Deborah Voigt, who was always one of the world’s outstanding Sopranos. For more information, call 312.332.2244 or visit


Don’t miss Lounge Night at the Shrine

Saturday, July 22nd 2006 8:00 pm ‘til midnight An Evening of Networking, Mingling and Dancing hosted by The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in partnership with Italian-American Clubs. Location: The Shrine Hall adjacent to the Church at 1220 W. Lexington Street, Chicago Tickets: $20.00 / $25.00 at the door, Call Joe La Porta, 312-505-7126 or order online as space is limited!

49th Annual Chicago Venetian Night 2006 Saturday, July 22nd 2006 start: 8:30 pm, Admission: FREE Location: Chicago’s Lake Front, between Shedd Aquarium & Chicago Yacht Club More info: Mayor’s Office of Special Events, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 703, Chicago, IL 60602, Phone: (312) 774-3315 or email

Results Crossword Puzzle

Leonardo da Vinci: MAN - INVENTOR - GENIUS

Open through Sept 4, 2006 Discover the inventions and ingenuity of a man before his time. Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 Tickets: $21.00 Phone: (773)684-1414, buy tickets online through Summer 2006/AMICI 23

MAKE YOUR OWN PERGOLA A pergola, borrowed for English from Italian, mentioned in an Italian context in 1645 and used in an English context in 1675, is a garden feature forming a shaded walk or passageway of pillars that support cross beams and a sturdy open lattice, upon which woody vines are trained. There are many reasons of building a pergola in your garden. In its simplest form its open aspect makes them suitable for adding interest to smaller gardens, where more solid shapes would make the limited space feel cluttered. It can also provides an effective soft screen from the neighbors, additional shelter for a walkway or it can frame a view to another feature with the garden. Although it’s possible to construct simple pergolas in your own garden, seeking professional advice is recommended when constructing complicated designs.

Tools: clamps, drill, plumb line, post and pipe level, saw, screwdriver, set square, spade, spirit level, stepladders, tape measure Materials to suggest Wood - this is the most common material used for pergolas. The most popular type is softwood that has been pressure treated with a suitable preservative and should last about 25 years. Hardwood has natural durability and doesn’t require pressure treatment. Brick/stone - generally more expensive than using wood, but will take more weight. If the outside of your house has exposed brick or stone, choose the same type of material for the pergola’s uprights. Wooden cross members can then be attached to the uprights to form the ‘roof’.

Materials: ballast and cement, bolts to support the frame, stainless steel screws, countersunk, wooden posts, 85mm x 85mm x 3m (3.3in x 3.3in x 9.8ft), wooden cross members, 33mm x 33mm x 1.8m (1.3in x 1.3in x 5.9ft), wooden beams, 45mm x 95mm x 3m (1.7in x 3.7in x 9.8ft) Step by step 1) Measure the area of ground where the pergola is to be situated. Identify where the posts will be and mark their exact positions. Ensure these are arranged so they’re square with each another. As a general rule, a pergola should be supported by posts every 1.8m (6ft). This distance should be reduced if it will support heavy loads. 2) Dig holes for all posts; these should be 30cm x 30cm (1ft x 1ft) wide and 60cm (2ft) deep. Prop a post upright in one of the holes, then do the same for its neighbor. Put a cross member on top of these two posts, then place a spirit level on top to check they’re level; if they’re not, infill or backfill the holes as necessary until they are. Repeat this with the remaining uprights until all are level. Nail lengths of scrap batten on the posts so each one stands unassisted.

Metal - metal pergola frames are available from specialist manufacturers. They come in kits that can be bolted together and designs can be made to measure. Preparation Select the site for your pergola carefully. Take time to view the site from each point and overlooking window of the house before deciding on the final position. Pergola’s are very effective at joining two different parts of the garden; for example, the vegetable plot and the lawn. Clear all the vegetation in the location of the pergola or, if being sited on a patio, remove the paving where the uprights will be. Level the site if the ground is uneven. Summer 2006/AMICI 24

3) Mix a fairly stiff mixture of concrete, using just enough water to bind the ingredients together. Ask a friend to hold the post steady as the concrete is poured into the hole. Compact the mixture around the post with a piece of wood, taking care not to move the post from its position. 4) Recheck that the post is level using a plumb line. Repeat these procedures with the remaining posts. Leave the pillars propped in position by the spare batten for two days to allow the concrete to harden fully. 5) If the pillars have been positioned correctly, building the framework should be

straightforward. The sides of the pergola should be joined to the posts with halving joints cut at the end of each cross member. Bolt these into position and continue for the remaining cross members. 6) With the aid of a friend, fasten the beams across the roof of the pergola, attaching them by mortice joints screwed to an upright at either end. 7) Paint the pergola with a coloured stain if required and coat with clear water repellent. 8) Unless you’re going to limit the climbing plants on the pergola to those that self-cling, such as ivy, you’ll need to provide support for the plants. Trellis work or plasticcovered wire attached to the sides of the framework make ideal plant supports. These should be fixed securely to withstand the weight of the plants. Plants By far and away the best things to dress a pergola are climbing plants as it is easy to keep an open structure. If the plants are too wild the form of the pergola will be lost and this can spoil the effect. One single climbing plant is probably the best way to cover the pergola, two or more plants may start off fine but when they meet they can out grow their environment (and look un-tidy). No matter what plant you choose take note of its growing and pruning requirements. Good climbing plants: Morning glory, Passion Flower, Climbing Rose, Clematis, Wysteria

Sports International Federation of Football Association FIFA 2006 All 207 Associations in attendance –FIFA announces new vision


he FIFA Congress met at the International Congress Centre in Munich on Thursday, 8 June with representatives of all 207 FIFA member associations in attendance. In his address to the many assembled delegates, representatives of various bodies, politicians and guests, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced that world football’s governing body would be approaching the years to come with a powerful new vision (see separate media release). With its “Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future” mission, FIFA intends to anchor its key values of authenticity, integrity, performance and unity all around the world and accept its social responsibility through a “Football for a better world” fund via alliances with other organisations. The second day of the Congress was opened by speeches from DFB president and FIFA Executive Committee member Gerhard MayerVorfelder, Munich’s Lord Mayor Christian Ude and IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge.

In his speech, IOC President Rogge praised FIFA’s position: “Football is the most universal and popular sport in the world, and FIFA has a wonderful role in the world of sport.” Rogge also praised FIFA for its exemplary efforts with regard to ethics and transparency, as well as in the fight against corruption, manipulation, racism and doping. With regard to the latter issue, Rogge stated that he was disappointed that many governments had not yet signed the World Anti-Doping Code, despite having promised to do so. However, he was pleased to note that following recent discussions with the World Anti-Doping Agency, FIFA had made amendments to its statutes to bring them into line with the World Anti-Doping Code. Finally, Rogge said that the world of sport expected to retain its independence. The Congress also approved the FIFA financial report and the FIFA activity report. With regard to the budget for 2007-2010, FIFA plans to increase its investment in football development by 44% to USD 640 million. With income of USD 3 billion and expenses of USD 2.55 billion, FIFA expects a surplus of USD 450 million, which will be used to increase its equity in accordance with its statutory duty. In relation to FIFA’s finances, the FIFA President stated that no fewer than five bodies are in place to supervise the accounts of world football’s governing body, namely the Finance & Controlling Division, the Finance Committee, the external auditors of KPMG, the Internal Audit Committee, and finally the Congress itself. For further information and schedule contact

Amici d’ Italia

Maywood Park Race Track 8600 W. North Ave Melrose Pk, Illinois 60160 FRIDAY , AUGUST 4, 2006 Amici d’ Italia invites you to • • • •

Racing Program & Valet All You Can Eat Buffet VIP Ride in Starter Car Winner Circle Photo

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“A Night at the Races”

Tickets on SALE for $40.00 per Person

A special invitation from Amici d’Italia (Friends of Italy) of the local community to participate in the celebration.

Call today for tickets 773-836-1595 or order through Internet Summer 2006/AMICI 25

Understand YOUR HEALTH ISSUES By: Fred Cicetti

and keep your smile

This column is devoted to all of us who are wondering what is going on with these bodies of ours. It is written by Fred Cicetti, a first-class geezer over 60 who’s been writing about health issues for more years than he wants to talk about. Write us with your questions at amiitalia@, please put your name and state and we will forward your question to Mr. Cicetti. Okay, here’s the first question: Q: I’ve been noticing this thing in my eye. At first I thought it was an eyelash. Then I realized the thing was actually in my eye. One of my friends told me it’s a “floater,” and not to worry. What exactly is a “floater” and should I see a doctor? Concerned in New Jersey



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COMMISSION DISCOUNT A: To allay any fears you may have, I should tell you that floaters are usually nothing to worry about. I have them myself. More than 7 in 10 people experience floaters. Now for some biology. LIST WITH The lens in the front of your eye focuses light on the retina in the back of your eye. The lens is like the one in a camera, and the retina is like film. TROY REALTY LTD. The space between the lens and retina is filled with the “vitreous,” a clear gel that helps to maintain the shape of the eye. Floaters occur when the vitreous slowly shrinks over time. As the AND START PACKING vitreous changes, it becomes stringy, and the strands can cast shadows on the retina. These strands are the floaters. They can look like specks, filaments, rings, dots, cobwebs or other shapes. Floaters are the most vivid when you are looking at the sky or a white surface such as a ceiling. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. In most cases, floaters are just annoying. When you discover them, they are very distracting. But, in time, they usually settle below the line of sight. Most people who have visible floaters gradually develop the ability to make them “disappear” by ignoring them. When people reach middle age, the vitreous gel may pull away from the retina, causing “posterior vitreous detachment.” It is a common cause of floaters, and it is more likely in people who are diabetics, nearsighted, had eye surgery, or suffered inflammation inside the eye. These vitreous detachments are often accompanied by light flashes. The flashes can be a warning sign of a detached retina. Flashes are also caused by head trauma that makes you “see stars.” Sometimes light flashes appear to be little lightning bolts or waves. This type of flash is usually caused by a blood-vessel spasm in the brain, which is called a migraine. These flashes can happen without a headache and they are called an “ophthalmic migraine.” If your floaters are just bothersome, eye doctors will tell you to ignore them. In rare cases, a bunch of floaters can hamper sight. Then a “vitrectomy” may be necessary. A vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the vitreous gel with its floaters. A salt solution replaces the vitreous. The vitreous is mostly water, so patients who undergo the procedure don’t notice a difference. However, this is a risky procedure, so most eye surgeons won’t recommend it unless the floaters are a major impediment. Many new floaters can sometimes appear suddenly. When this happens, it usually is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment. However, a sudden increase in floaters could mean that a part of the retina has pulled away from its normal position at the back wall of the eye. A detached retina is a serious condition and demands emergency treatment to prevent permanent impairment or even blindness. What should you do when you notice your first floater? It’s a good time to get that eye examination you’ve been putting off.


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Summer 2006/AMICI 26

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The role of caloric restrictions in the ageing of the heart Researchers in the U.S. found that long-term caloric restrictions with optimal nutrition may be protective against heart diseases associated with ageing.

Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Washington and Investigator at the Italian Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanita’) in Rome, Italy

Low Calorie Diet and Ageing


reliminary study demonstrates calorie restriction in diet reduces markers of ageing. Can eating a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet extend human life? Preliminary research suggests it might, so researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are launching a long-term study to find out. In an editorial in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Luigi Fontana, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Washington University and an investigator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome, Italy, says calorie-restricted diets point to possible mechanisms of aging and suggest ways to intervene and modify its effects. In January, Fontana and colleagues found that after an average of six years on calorie restriction, people’s hearts functioned like the hearts of much younger people. And a team from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge is reporting that six months of calorie restriction reduces two key markers of aging: fasting insulin levels and body temperature. More than a decade ago several researchers, including John O. Holloszy, M.D., professor of medicine at Washington University, demonstrated that stringent and consistent caloric restriction increased the maximum lifespan in mice and rats by about 30 percent and protected them against atherosclerosis and cancer. Human study has been difficult because calorie restriction requires a very strict diet regimen, both to keep the total number of calories low and to insure that people consume the proper balance of nutrients. Some people Summer 2006/AMICI 28

Research Interests Trained in both internal medicine and metabolism, Fontana has an interest in nutrition, ageing and longevity. His research focuses on the potential role of diet and exercise in retarding the aging process. He is investigating the effects of severe calorie restriction, plant-based diets and endurance exercise on outcomes such as cardiovascular risk factors and function, inflammation, immune function, glucose tolerance, bone metabolism and quality of life. He is also studying the endocrine role of abdominal fat storage as a mediator of insulin resistance and accelerated aging. Dr Luigi Fontana MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine At University of Washington St. Louis, Missouri

from a group called the Calorie Restriction Society are devoted to limiting their caloric intake in hopes of improving their health and extending their lives. Society members, who call themselves Cronies (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition), have developed ways to eat low calorie/high nutrition diets. Fontana has done extensive research with Cronies, most recently reporting in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that the hearts of people on calorie restriction appeared more elastic than those of age and gender matched control subjects. Their hearts were able to relax between beats in a way similar to the hearts of younger people. The team from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center reports in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association on a six-month study of men and women between 25 and 50 who were placed on a calorie restriction diet that lowered their daily caloric intake by about 25 percent. The researchers compared those on calorie restriction to subjects who either had not been on a diet or had cut calories by about 12.5% and increased the energy. They burned through exercise by a like amount, or had spent six months on a standard lowcalorie diet of about 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day until they had lost 15 percent of their body weight. The study, called the Comprehensive Assessment of the Long Term effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE), found that all subjects who dieted or increased their exercise lost weight and body fat. But those on a calorie restriction diet ended the study with lower fasting insulin levels and lower core body temperatures. They also had less oxidative damage to their DNA, thought to be a marker of ageing at the biochemical and cellular level.

“This study has laid the groundwork for future research into the long-term effects of calorie restriction in humans to see whether it really can extend lifespan,” Holloszy says. “It’s becoming clear from studies with the Cronies -- and from this brief, prospective study -- that calorie restriction does change some of the markers we associate with ageing.” Holloszy and Fontana are getting ready to launch a second phase of the CALERIE study, to look at the effects of calorie restriction over the course of two years. “We know people on calorie restriction will lose weight,” says Fontana. “But this study isn’t a weight-loss study. We are hoping to learn more about whether calorie restriction can alter the aging process. Fontana says, for example, that low-grade, chronic inflammation seems to mediate ageing. Overweight and obese people tend to have higher levels of inflammation than lean people, so it makes sense that losing weight might increase average lifespan by lowering the risks of some age-related diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. However, in animal studies not only did more of the animals live longer, the maximum length of a rat or mouse’s life also increased. The CALERIE study hopes to get some clues about whether calorie restriction might do the same thing for humans. “We want to learn whether calorie restriction can reverse some of these markers of ageing in healthy young people,” Holloszy says. “It’s going to be many years before we know whether calorie restriction really lengthens life, but if we can demonstrate that it changes these markers of ageing, such as DNA damage and inflammation, we’ll have a pretty good idea that it’s somehow influencing the ageing process at the cellular level.”



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