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MARIA LIBERATI Italian Cooking


Fall 2008

G i o rg i a F u m a n t i I TA L I A N - B O RN S O P R A N O

Exclusive Interview with USA $2.50 Intl $ 4.75



The 316th Troop Carrier Group Its War in Sicily

Part Two: Husky2 Pg. 24,25

Lyric Opera Season

Pg. 40,41


Editorial + Great American Rocco...........................1 Giorgia Fumanti Exclusive Interview................2-3-4 Berlusconi.......................................................................... 4 Pg. 26,27 Chieli Minucci.................................................................. 5 NIAF Monthly news...................................................... 6 Festa Italian Riviera Margherita............................................... 7 Siciliana Chief Giuseppe Capece..............................................10 Silvestri & Sicilian Delegation....................................11 Lucius Brutus..................................................................12 Five Centuries of History ...........................................13 George Randazzo Interview...............................14-15 2008 national Festa Siciliana..........................................................16-17 restaurant guide Pg. 42,43 Travel Tips John Coneena............................................18 Inventions Puzzle.........................................................19 RINGSIDE REPORT Florence Region......................................................20-21 Nottoli & Son’s...............................................................23 Interview with 316 WW2 Husky part2..........................................24-25 Pg. 14,15 Maria Liberati Diva Chef...................................26-27 Fahion Entertainment + Sicilys marble......................29 Pg. 39 Rossini’s Restaurant Review....................................30 Olympic Games Begin...............................................33 Chuck Giampa Interview...................................34-35 Joe Fiorentino Grappling..............................................36 La Porzincola a San Francisco................................37 Anthony Maulucci Anthony Maulucci.......................................................39 Lyric Oper\a Review.............................................40-41 Pg. 18 Restaurant form & Restaurant Guide...........42-43 Travel Tips Index- Puzzle Solution..................................................44 JOHN CONEENA

Amici Journal next issue, Exclusive Cover story interview with Deana Martin

Deana Martin



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Copyright © 2004 AMICI JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. P.O. Box 595, River Grove, IL 60171 www.amiciorgit.net Founders Terry N. Geraci; Andrew Guzaldo; Salvatore Terranova; Joseph Nugara, Sr. Publishers Amici Journal Publications Inc. Editor/CEO -Andrew Guzaldo Chief Staff Writer -John Rizzo Photographer -Writer Joe Cosentino Creative Designer- Teresa Rozanacki Design Layout -Andrew Guzaldo Publishing Consultant - Joseph C. Nugara, Sr. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission of Amici JournalPublications All information contained herein is deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and to change of price or terms without notice.



As always, we at Amici Journal would like to thank our readers, subscribers and advertisers. It is through their support and the dedication of our staff that we now distribute Amici Journal nationally. Together, we are contributing to our shared heritage. With that in mind, we hope that you find this to be another exciting and fulfilling issue of Amici Journal. We continue find and showcase exceptional individuals that make up our society. In this edition we grace our Journal with the beauty of Giorgia Fumanti, the Italian Soprano singing star. Fumanti comes from Aulla Italy. This is where the pursuit of her dream, a career as a professional singer, began. This is another riveting story brought our journal by John Rizzo. We have been already working on the 2009 cover lineup. From the looks of it the 2009 lineup will make for an interesting year… We also were fortunate enough to bring you another beauty, in the story of Maria Liberati, supermodel-diva, who turned to successful culinary celebrity chef. We continue to cater to our reader’s delighted enjoyment of our WWII stories by Michael Ingrisiano. This is part two of a two-part article. He shares his first hand accounts of the 316th troop carrier. We will continue to share these legendary and historical memories of those who not only contributed to our shared heritage but to that of the world. These are the stories of true heroes, those that fought for our freedom, against daunting odds, some say evil itself. These heroes gave of themselves more than we all could imagine. In the world of sports, we bring the interview of George Randazzo from the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF), another story of success despite great challenges. Also showcased is writer and well-known sports persona Chuck Giampa known as the “Las Vegas boxing Judge” . His is a story of success and triumph for one true resident of the “Taylor Street Era”. Our entertainment section continues with John Rizzo’s recap of the Lyric Opera 2008-2009 Season. John continues to keep us on top of the Opera scene and the surrounding entertainment. We encourage you to browse through our advertisers to experience their delightful products and services. If you’re thinking of traveling let John Conenna from Venus Travel help with his tips. He will guide you in the proper direction for that fulfilling and economic al trip. We are honored to be amongst those that share the same goalsas NIAF, NIASHF, FRA NOI, JCCIA, OSIA and many more, we at Amici Journal continue to share the awesome accomplishments of our heritage beyond our origins and throughout this great country of ours, the U.S.A. Coming soon the real and true story of our Heritage. “The Agony and Beauty of our Italian Ancestors”. The most decorated policeman in Chicago, our own William Jaconetti, is producing this historical tale that allows us all to share the real stories of our ancestors, their pain, their struggles and finally their stupendous victories. Look for AMICI JOURNAL in your local stores or order direct at 773-836-1595 to arrange for your distribution of Amici Journal in your establishment! Sincerely Andrew Guzaldo Amici Journal

Great American Roccos and Their Cousins By A. Kenneth Ciongoli Chairman of the (NIAF) Washington, D.C. NBC Sports announcer Johnny Miller recently opined that “guys with the name of Rocco don’t get on the trophy” and that golfer Rocco Mediate “looks more like the guy who cleans Tiger’s swimming pool.” If Miller had used exactly the same words, but interchanged Rocco and Tiger, every media pundit and civil libertarian in America would have called for him to be fired. It is more rational to exile Johnny Miller to the corner of the broadcast booth wearing a dunce cap. Education is more appropriate and productive than a pink slip. A cursory review of great Americans named Rocco reveals the surnames Colavito, Marciano, Graziano, and Mancinelli. NIAF Board Member Rocco Commisso has frequently been heralded as a prime example of the American success story. Miller seems not to know that in his professional lifetime, the presidents of Georgetown, Harvard, Tufts, and Yale universities as well as sundry other American institutions are cultural and ethnic cousins of men named Rocco. In addition, the recent CEOs of IBM, Intel, McDonald’s, Brooks Brothers, the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade have been Italian Americans with relatives named Rocco. It is understandable that a sportscaster is ignorant of the financial and academic universes, but apparently Miller has never heard of golfers Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Couples, Chris DiMarco, Gene Sarazen, and Ken Venturi. Sarazen, born Eugenio Saraceni, changed his name to avoid the mindless barbs of the media elite. Johnny Miller should be taught that Rocco Mediate shares his unsurpassed ethnic heritage with two U.S. Supreme Court justices, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, America’s Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, celebrated writers Gay Talese, Don DeLillo and Camille Paglia, esteemed former FBI director Hon. Louis J. Freeh, and Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola in addition to performers Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Valli, and Jon Bon Jovi. In Johnny Miller’s world, American icons Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra would have been relegated to cleaning swimming pools. Other American ethnic and racial groups have the media’s attention. Italian Americans do not. We have been waiting for more than a hundred years for the American natives and media elites to become educated about our people. We are losing patience. We can and do laugh at our ethnic frailties and many of us prefer the antics of Uncle Miltie and Don Rickles, who considered all American ethnics fair game. We are telling Johnny Miller and friends that it is all or none. By the way, I further inform Mr. Miller, St. Rocco is the patron saint who protects the populace from plague. He might be somewhat anxious the next time he sneezes.. Other supporters include: NIAF Board Members Lawrence Auriana, Gabriel A. Battista, John F. Calvelli, Bernard Cammarata, Joseph R. Cerrell, Paul J. Chiapparone, Joseph V. Del Raso, G. Louis Graziadio III, Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Joseph Moglia, Anthony F. Sansone, Sr., John F. Scarpa, James J. Schiro, Peter J. Striano, Vincent Viola, Ronald Zarrella, and Salvatore J. Zizza. Headquartered in the nation’s capital, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a nonprofit 501 dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit www.niaf.org.

This issue Dedicatd in Memory of Mrs. Cecilia Guzaldo. Fall 2008 / AMICI 1

Maurice Velenosi & Giorgia

Giorgia & Lucio Dalla

Giorgia & Lang Lang (L to R) Maurice Velenosi, Cassell Webb, Giorgia Fumanti, & Craig Leon Celebrating


or Giorgia Fumanti, the moment of decision was upon her. Either maintain the status quo, living her rather full life in Aulla, Italy, or pursue a professional singing career by acquiring the services of a manager who was very successful in the international entertainment scene. If she made the latter choice, however, Giorgia would have to

a mysterious crib illness, “I was very religious and wanted to be a nun when I was around four years old.” Giorgia was also very young when she received her “first call” to become involved with mentally and physically handicapped and


relocate in Canada and begin a new life there. A monumental decision, no doubt, but one faced by millions of Italians, both now and in the past, when considering whether to seek a better life by emigrating to America. The situation was possibly more difficult for Giorgia Fumanti. Unlike the overwhelming majority of emigrants, who have some common skill that they are positive is needed in a foreign land, the young singer could not be sure that what she had to offer musically would be at all marketable. “I was a lot afraid,” she admits.


n retrospect, this dilemma was inevitable, especially for a girl so sensitive to spiritual forces and the plight of others. Having survived 2 AMICI / Fall 2008

er reservations about opera notwithstanding, “I pushed so hard that I almost lost my voice trying to find myself.” At this time Giorgia began to sing professionally, performing “a lot of semi-pro choir work” in different


disabled folks, encountering this difficulty first hand in the person of a “special” uncle. At the same time she was growing up in her parents’ electronics shop, surrounded by radios and TVs that emitted the sounds of beautiful music. “I studied piano,” she recalls, “but I was very shy,” and sang only in the church choir, “one among many.”



n high school, however, Giorgia discovered that she had what Italians call a “voce bianca”, or very pure head voice and she was soon singing solos. But upon graduation, she did not study music formally, but attended law school, more to please her parents than anything else. Shortly before finishing her studies, she dropped out and began teaching yoga. It was at this time that Giorgia spent much of her time on personal reflection and came to a point where she was “self believing in my talent” as a singer. Although not short of activities, she sought and gained entry to the prestigious Parma Conservatory, Arrigo Boito, auditioning with “O mio babbino caro,” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. This is the kind of piece that a would-be operatic soprano would sing, to get into a school that taught bel canto technique, which all opera singers must master. But even before she entered the Conservatory, Giorgia knew that genuine, traditional opera was not for her. Yet at this school, she could certainly acquire the vocal skill she needed.

Italian cities. Interestingly, she never sang solo with bands for dances or club engagements. With only the inner assurance that “God was directing me to share my talent with millions,” Giorgia agreed to a friend’s suggestion and recorded the soprano part of a duet. The idea was to send the CD to the Italian pop phenom Zucchero, in the hope that he would want to sing and record the duet with Giorgia. With her busy schedule, she was able to record the demo by exploiting a practice that has been common in the recording business for over forty-years separate tracking. Most pop recordings present the illusion that what you hear is a recording of a number of singers and musicians playing the same piece together. What is actually heard is an electronically combined blend of independently



ecorded tracks. In other words, one voice might be recorded at one place and another might be recorded another time at another studio. The strings might be tracked in one place, and the rhythm section in another, and so on. In Giorgia’s case, the male voice was not recorded with her.


fter all that, when Zucchero listened to the CD, he decided that he did not want to

who are spiritually sensitive, like Giorgia Fumanti. And this was apparent from almost the very beginning of her life. In her own words, “When I was just three months old I was very sick. Nobody seemed to know what the prob-

record it. But he kept the CD and played it one evening for a dinner guest, one Maurice Velenosi, a talent manager from Canada. Velenosi was intrigued by the woman’s voice on the disc and asked how he could meet the artist behind the voice. A meeting between Giorgia and the talent manager occurred shortly thereafter. “We were both invited to the same place for dinner,” recounts Giorgia. “I was super excited and I prayed to God that he didn’t ask me to change.” Not only did Velenosi like her style just the way it was, but he also offered to manage her career. The only thing was that he wanted her close at hand, near his own studio and offices in Montreal. If Giorgia wanted to proceed with this arrangement, she would have to leave Italy and move to Canada. So for the possibility, definitely not the certainty, of enhancing her career, Giorgia had to decide quickly if she was willing to emigrate thousands of miles away. Accepting Velenosi’s offer meant more than a change of scene. At this time she was “working in my parents” business, teaching yoga, being a social worker to the disabled as well as singing in choirs. All these activities involved relation-

lem was. My parents didn’t know what to do; the doctors didn’t know what to do. But my grandmother took over and she sang to me. She sang and soon I was well. Even though I was so young I remembered the sound of her voice. The whole time I was little, whenever I got scared, like during a thunderstorm, I would hear the sound of that voice and I’d be OK.” With this kind of singular connection to music, it is hardly surprising that Giorgia chose the way she did. She was following her heart.

ships with many people, some who depended on her more than others. Her dilemma was indeed vexing.

first commercial CD released under the stage name ‘GioAria,” to put the opera quality in her style across. “When I signed with EMI, I began


robably the most difficult problem for Giorgia as a singer was finding the right niche for her talent. She was not an opera singer nor was she a budding rock star. Her grasp of the bel canto style made her a more “serious” singer, kind of like Andrea Bocelli. In an attempt to capitalize on her unique gifts, in 2004 Velenosi arranged to have her record my first album called Like a Dream. “This was her

using my own name again.” Her first EMI recording, From My Heart, was cut at the famous Abbey Road Studios, in London and Wisseloord Studios in Holland. The English Chamber Choir and all the individual instruments were recorded at the Abbey Road Studios. The album was also mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London. At Wisseloord studios in Holland, Giorgia recorded her vocals and the Orchestra. You can hear some of these delightful numbers from this recording on her own Web site at www.giorgiafumanti.com and at www.myspace.com/giorgiafumanti Her moving rendition of the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria” can be heard at www.youtube.com


or someone like Giorgia Fumanti, the choice to pursue a career in music was predictable. Music is a spiritual, not a material, language. Besides being able to tell if it’s loud or not, there’s not much that people really know about music. It works its magic on the emotional plain, not the intellectual. And who can really explain what emotions are, let alone how they work? Music, however, does have a powerful attraction for those

ith looks and talent like Giorgia Fumanti’s it’s probably just a matter of

time before we see her in the movies. How would that work? “I hope so,” says Giorgia. “I never close the doors on anything and Ennio Morricone is my favorite composer.” This indicates an excellent taste in music, as film composers have been truly creative and have produced far more brilliant scores than concert hall composers for most of a century. Italian composer Morricone became famous for his familiar themes in the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and is still flourishing at the age of 80. In her From My Heart CD, Giorgia has no less than four clever arrangements of Morricone pieces.



nother icon with whom Giorgia is associated is opera great José Carreras. Prominent in Fumanti’s resume is the much-acclaimed Asian tour of 2006-07 with the tenor and their concert together at the Hampton Court Festival in London last summer accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Any doubts about Giorgia’s opera credentials were dispelled when she sang three times on this tour without amplification! “When I knew I was going to sing without a microphone I was scared,” she recalls. “But they all heard me and everything went over OK!” Another classical music artist Giorgia has performed with is the increasingly popular Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. By making music with serious artists like Carreras and Lang Lang, Giorgia enhances her reputation as a singer with a capital “S.”


he kind of angelic singing performed by Giorgia Fumanti is appreciated by all nationalities, which is deeply pleasing to the artist. “That’s me,” she quips, “the universality of the world.” And this heartfelt attitude has resulted in Giorgia enjoying huge successes with performances with other singers from virtually every corner of the globe. Besides performing in the PBS “Heavenly Voices” concert, she has sung with Irish tenor John McDermott, Italian pop star Lucio Dalla, famous Greek tenor,

Mario Frangoulis, Justin Hayward (of the Moody Blues) and, finally, with Zucchero. One of her most interesting collaborations has been with the 12 Girls Band, a Chinese ensemble that plays contemporary music using traditional Chinese instruments. With Giorgia as featured vocalist they have performed in the same concert such disparate numbers as the American jazz classic “Georgia On My Mind” and the “Habanera,” from Bizet’s Carmen. And for the “Chinese New Year All Star Show 2008,” she actually sang in Mandarin (which she learned phonetically, as an Italian opera singer would learn a role in Russian, or some other unfamiliar language.)


f there is at least one remarkable quality about Giorgia Fumanti’s life and career, it

is consistency, from the beginning to the present. Just as music has always been an important part of her life, so is her dedication to helping other, less fortunate people. “I feel very close to the physically and mentally disabled, probably a consequence of my experience with my uncle,” when she was just a child. Note how she continued her relationship with the less fortunate, even when she was consumed with finding herself and studying music. Today Giorgia still finds time to share her life with those who may never know who she is, or buy one of her CDs. For the past years, she has been the Spokesperson for the Multi Ethnic Association for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (AMEIPH) and has also served as the World Ambassador of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Quebec.


iorgia’s popularity is ever increasing on the international scene and has performed in the United States many times, including Chicago. “I love Chicago and I can hardly wait to sing there again,” she gushes. “Last year I performed there three times – at Andy’s Jazz Club, the Chicago Theater and the Hilton Hotel.” (This last mention was for the NIAF gala.) There’s not much doubt that we will see her here again soon.


hen asked if she had a message for Amici Journal readers, Giorgia’s response was not surprising. “Follow your heart. When you do that, everything that you find good will happen.” She ought to know!



WEIGHS IN ON GEORGE W. BUSH ULTIMATE LEGACY By Silvio Berlusconi “George W. Bush ultimate legacy is up to historians, but the U.S. President responded with courage to history’s challenge says Berlusconi” THERE WAS A GENUINE ATMOSPHERE OF TRUST AND GOODWILL THAT SUMMER OF 2001, when a new era seemed to be upon US, with the Berlin Wall gone and the divi­sions of the past overcome. I was sharing this thought with President Bush (both of us recently elected to lead our countries) at the closing dinner of the G-8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. Bush led the conversation, talking amiably with Russian Presi­dent Vladimir Putin, Japanese Premier Junichiro Koizumi, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, the tragedies of the Second World War and cold war seemed far away indeed. Bush observed how much the world had changed, and how we could pass on a lasting peace to our children. I remember feeling true happiness inside me. Just two months later the unthinkable happened, and the Sept.11 attacks would again forever change the world. The battle against terrorism would become the principal preoccupation of the American President and our common international priority. In the months that followed that immense tragedy, we nonetheless tried 4 AMICI / Fall 2008

to stay focused, aware that justice, freedom and democracy can flourish only if there is security. President Bush knows this well, that a secure world is bound to be a united world, where everyone-and particularly those more fortunate-can and must do their part. George W. Bush, 61, will be remembered as Commander in Chief, but not only for that. He was above all a President who felt the moral obligation that the leading nation of the free world must carry. My thoughts return again to that G-8 summit, where Italy had brought to the top of the agenda the fate of the world's poorest na­tions. And Bush was an early and enthusiastic supporter of our initiative to establish a fund for combating endemic illnesses. One time, Bush told me that it is reasonable to have doubts, but not to have so many doubts that you cannot make a decision. It's up to historians to judge his presidency, but whatever fate history holds for him, I am sure that George W. Bush will be remembered as a leader of ideals, courage and sincerity. Personally, I will always remember him as a friend, a true man who loves his family, understands the meaning of friendship and is grateful toward America's allies around the world.

This from the man Silvio Berlusconi who was recently elected Prime Minister of Italy for a third time in April 2008 Elections.

fusion-jazz/rock; Fast Food, a new wave vocal/rock group; Colombo, a Brazilian trio; and finally, a long stint in Gumbo, an original instrumental/fusion rock quartet. The college life gave Chieli an opportunity to be a part of many diverse musical situations, which was key in his future as a composer/guitarist. ollowing college he returned to NYC, studying composition privately with Nicolas Flagello. From ages 23 through 25 Minucci worked with many acts: The Commotion, Fran Eckhart, China Davis Band, Sapho, as well as continuing to write his own music, in particular, pop vocal music, for which he teamed up with lyricists Bobby Matthews and Norman Simon. He performed in various groups, including a two-year stint with Eartha Kitt, and eventually The B.B. & Q. Band (Capital), as well as a brief run with the Lou Reed Band, which featured the rhythm section of Fernando Saunders on bass, as well as J.T. Lewis on drums. (soon to become the first rhythm section lineup of Special EFX). Chieli performed at the original Farm Aid concert with Lou Reed as well. It was during this period that he met Hungarian drummer/percussionist, George Jinda. oon after meeting George, the two musicians formed Special Delivery, which landed a recording contract in 1982 with Keytone Records, in Holland. Their first LP, simply entitled, Special EFX was eventually picked up for USA distribution by GRP Records (Larry Rosen/Dave Grusin) in NYC. By 1984 Special EFX (newly renamed) had its first US release out in the stores, and the band began its present adventures in touring and performing. Since then Special EFX has recorded 17 CDs, and Chieli has recorded 6 solo CDs on his own. 'Chieli Minucci with Special EFX' is still touring regularly. hieli has been busy in a wide variety of musical projects, which include recording and performing with top pop artists Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia and others....as well as jazz artists Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torez, Bob Baldwin, and many others....


S by Andrew Guzaldo


hieli Minucci was born and raised in NYC. Son of Catherine & Ulpio Minucci (a concert pianist/composer, who wrote the 50s hit, Domani (Julius LaRosa), A Thousand Thoughts of You, and Felicia (both Nat King Cole). Chieli grew up in Queens, NY, where he still resides today. He began music early on, studying classical piano from the age of 5, and eventually switched over to guitar at 8. He was continually surrounded by the sound of music, through his father's piano playing,






and composing, which was to play a key role in his musical future as a writer himself. t age 13 he joined neighborhood friends to form the band, Taurus, which stayed together for about 3 years. Chieli did a great deal of performing and traveling with this band, performing regularly on the Italian Line Cruise ships during Christmas and Easter school holidays, as well as countless school dances and parties, as well as local bars. It was during these teen years that he developed his love for performing, writing, singing, and traveling, all through music. e attended Ithaca College in upstate NY, where he initially majored in music, studying classical guitar, but eventually settled in as an English major. He continued studying music theory, history, solfeggio, composition, and big band arranging, as well as joining various local groups: Amethyst, a folk/pop trio; The New Band, his first foray into



hieli also has a multimedia website, ChieliMusic.com, which features video, multiple soundclips, individual song downloads from all 23 CDs, as well as all biographical material, full electronic press-kit, etc... For more information on event schedule go to:



Office: 773-792-3000 ext.240 Cell: 773-936-6000

Chieli Minucci has just won the 2008 Emmy Award for Music Composition for a Daytime Drama for his composing/producing work on CBS Guiding Light

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NIAF News Monthly

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

September 2008

Robert Davi’s, “The Dukes” More than 600 people filled the worldfamous Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for a NIAF-sponsored screening of the award-winning film, “The Dukes,” written, directed and produced by Italian American actor Robert Davi. “The Dukes” is Davi’s directorial debut. The film, which deals with the plight of aging Italian DooWop singers, has won eight awards from festivals around the world. It was in the premiere section at the

Roma Film Festival, along with films by Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Penn and Robert Redford. The cast includes Chazz Palmiteri, Davi, Peter Bogdanovich, Eloise DeJoria, Joe Campanella, Miriam Margolyes, Dominic Scott Kay and Melora Hardin. A longtime NIAF supporter, Davi’s body of work includes more than 60 films, in which he collaborated with prominent directors and producers such as Steven Spielberg.

Dante’s “Divine Comedy” on DVD Academy Award-winning actor Roberto Benigni is not only known for being a popular Italian celebrity, but also for his love of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Now, after making countless appearances throughout Italy reciting one of the greatest works of world literature, Benigni’s performances will be available on DVD. The five recordings will include

Shroud of Turin

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that the Holy Shroud of Turin will be available for public viewing during spring 2010. The Holy Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It is traditionally believed that the cloth was placed on Jesus of Nazareth at the time of his burial. The image of a

His love affair with cinema began as a child. Davi, whose parents were both descendants of Italian immigrants, grew up watching Italian films and was influenced by the storytelling of legendary directors Federico Fellini, Vittorio de Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti and Roberto Rossellini. The movie will be released nationally in October.

Visit www.imdb.com.

Robert Davis

his recitation of “Dante’s Inferno” in Florence’s Piazza di Santa Croce and performances on RAI-1.In 2003, Benigni was honored with a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Entertainment during the Foundation’s 28th Anniversary Awards Gala. For more information about Benigni, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Benigni.com man found on the shroud has been the subject of debate among scientists and historians regarding where, when and how its image was created. The Holy Shroud was last displayed in 2000, 1998 and 1978. Italy’s region of Piedmont is expecting more than two million pilgrims for the event, almost double the number of visitors at the display in 2000.

The Feast of San Gennaro September 19 marks the feast day of San Gennaro, a saint and martyr for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. At the age of 20, San Gennaro became Bishop of Naples. During the persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, he hid his fellow Christians and prevented them from being caught. According to legendary sources, San Gennaro was beheaded and died in 305. The Feast of San Gennaro, originally a one-day religious commemoration, is

now an 11-day street fair beginning on the second Thursday in September in New York’s Little Italy. It’s one of the largest celebrations of Italian culture for the Italian- American community in Manhattan. This year marks its 81st festival with more than one million people attending. Events include, religious processions with the statue of San Gennaro, parades, free entertainment, food stands and a cannoli eating contest. Visit http://www.sangennaro.org

“Serenissima: Venice in Winter” Italian American author Frank Van Riper captures Venice with his new book, “Serenissima: Venice in Winter.” Filled with more than 85 architectural imagery and documentary photography, the 132-page book in black and white took six years to complete. The book will be released in October. Van Riper is a Washington Post columnist and award-winning documentary photographer columnist. His photographs are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Go to www.gvrphoto.com or www

Vendemmia da Vinci

Vendemmia da Vinci will celebrate the tradition of the Italian grape harvest on Sunday, October 12 from 2 - 6 p.m. at Tubman Garrett Park in Wilmington, Del. The fall festival will also include homemade wine and gravy contests and feature wines from the regions of Italy and cuisines from local restaurants.For more information, visit www.societadavinci

Brumidi Gold Medal Bill Passes Congress

Constantino Brumidi, known as the artist of the United States Capitol, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. The bill was signed on July 1 by President George W. Bush. A gold medal bearing his image will be designed and cast by the U.S. Mint. Born in Rome to a Greek father and an Italian mother in 1805, the painter immigrated to the United States in 1852. Brumidi’s work is found in numerous rooms in the Capitol, including his famous “The Apotheosis of Washington” in the eye of the Capitol dome.

Mark your calendar for NIAF’s 2008 Annual Convention & 33rd Anniversary Gala October 17-18, 2008 For more information contact Carolyn Laurenzano at 202-939-3114, carolyn@niaf.org

News Monthly Coordinator Natasha Borato 1860 19th Street NW Director of Communications Elissa Ruffino Washington, DC 20009 Editor 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 elissa@niaf.org. Events/programs noted are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by NIAF. 6 AMICI / Fall 2008

Forgotten Gem By Renee Fortuna


anta Margherita Ligure is the forgotten gem of the Italian Riviera and that is great news for travelers who are aware of her splendor and tranquility. Santa Margherita Ligure sits on the coast of the Ligurian Sea and is a neighbor to Portofino. The rich and beautiful have elevated Portofino but Santa Margherita Ligure is home to a beautiful, full harbor decorated with lovely restaurants with outdoor patios, and boutique shops, it is a town that just begs to enchant you.


he inner square where the open market comes in tumbles into long narrow streets with various shops to support the daily life of the locals…La Marcelleria (the butcher shop), La Salumeria (the deli), and Il Forno (the bakery). The harbor streets are home to such shops as Dolce and Gabbana. There is a pleasant mix of small village and exclusive luxury. Santa Margherita Ligure truly achieves the best of worlds in one perfect package.


alking down the street, in the early morning, the locals greet each other with a heartfelt “Ciao”. The gentleman discuss the news over the paper and a cup of expresso, and children walk their dogs…all on a picture perfect street in the middle of Santa Margherita Ligure.


he main harbor has a statue of Christopher Columbus looking over the marina. It is a tribute to him in his birthplace. The seaside promenade where it sits has benches filled with gentleman and ladies walking arm in arm.


etting to Santa Margherita Ligure is an easy train ride from Milan or Genoa. If traveling from Milan, be sure to take a train that goes direct and does not require a transfer in Genoa, which can get tricky, as there are two train stations in Genoa. Milan is about a 2½ hour train ride, but about an hour and a half in you will begin to see the peeking through the landscape. Small beautiful coastline towns begin popping up everywhere. Genoa to Santa Margarita Ligure is less than an hour. Walking down from the train station in Santa Margherita Ligure , there is a perfect economical hotel with shared or private baths located at the bottom of the street. The Hotel Conte Verde provides a delicious continental breakfast and clean, quaint accommodations. It is about a 2-3-block walk to the town. There are several other more luxurious options including the Hotel Splendido. orTravelers who can’t resist….Portofino is a pleasant walk, it is the perfect ½ day adventure. The first part of the walk is on a paved side-


walk, and then road along the coast. Hikers should be very careful as they follow the wind in the road, as the Italian drivers are moving fast. After the wind in the road, there is an area with a couple of restaurants, and a beach. Walking through is area will lead to a street that when crossed, will introduce the path to Portofino. The path to Portofino heads to the right, it winds up and down through a wooded area and exits at the back part of town in Portofino near San Giorgio church, follow the streets downward and tumble into town. Of course, motor transportation can be used to get to Portofino (about 20minutes), if the on foot adventure does not appeal to you. But cars are not allowed in the village itself. Allowing a ½ day for the hike, lunch and exploring will permit a leisurely pace and plenty of time to enjoy the town. Portofino is a quaint, but luxurious town. The small harbor is filled with yachts, and only the most expensive boats. The stores are the finest designers and the small town has big attitude. It is a beautiful town, just not as welcoming as one would like.


anta Margherita Ligure on the other hand is not only welcoming but also, comfortable. It is a town of smiles and acceptance. There is beauty, history and luxury, but it is all presented with a friendly and relaxed attitude that invites you to come back for more.


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CHIEF GIUSEPPE “Joe” CAPECE Another American Dream Fulfilled, And Well Deser ved


any of us have “Americanized”the pronunciation of our Italian last names to make it easier for people to address us. Giuseppe “Joe” Capece, Chief of Police for the Village of Stone Park, Illinois for example, pronounces h+is last name “Ca-peesee.” (“I would never say it that way in Italy,” he confirms, as the proper way is to pronounce “Ka-pay-che.) No matter the pronunciation, the last name of Capece has been associated with law and order for three generations both in Italy and in the United States. Joe Capece represents the fourth successive generation of his family to be in professional law enforcement. “It is a family tradition,” Joe states proudly, “my father retired as a Marshall in the Guardia di Finanza, which is law enforcement division in Italy that defends and protects it territorial waters. My eldest brother also served as an officer in La Finanza and now I have my oldest son, Francesco, that is a state-certified part-time police officer and my daughter, Teresa, who is a college student with sights set on the FBI. My youngest son Rino is finishing up high school soon with a bright future ahead of him too.” he Joe Capece story is yet one more example of the American Dream fulfilled. He was born in Caivano, Italy, in the province of Napoli. Joe arrived in the United States for the first time in 1970 at a young age in New York. After returning home to Italy two years later he made his return to the States in 1976 and where he settled in as a teenager and attended Proviso West High School where he graduated in 1979. After high school he attended Triton College for some time. ike almost all successful men, Joe Capece enjoys the support and companionship of a remarkable woman. Maria, his wife of 25 years, was also born in Italy; her family ascends from Avellino Italy. She also came to America at a young age. Always the super achiever Maria manages several family-owned businesses in Melrose Park that include Starcom Auto Body Shop and she personally runs and operates Caffe 2000, which is a traditional Italian coffee house. fter attending college for some time, Joe took his first job with a company in Wheaton, Illinois doing architectural drafting but the law enforcement bloodlines began to flow as gradually segued into the family tradition, first working as a security officer, then as a part time police officer for the Veterans Park Police and for the Village of Melrose Park. In 1988 he was hired as a full time officer for the State of Illinois Central Management Services. In 1993 Joe was brought on as full time policeman for the Village of Melrose Park, a position he excelled at until 2001, when he was named Chief of Police for the neighboring Village of Stone Park. Always striving to sharpen his skills and learn about the latest techniques and research in law enforcement, Joe has attended numerous of seminars and academies devoted to law enforcement. Some of the most notable are; the Midwest Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar, the Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, Executive Management Program and in 2004 he graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. ot surprisingly because of commitment to stay informed in issues related to his field, Joe has his own opinion on the recent Supreme Court decision that interprets the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as the right of all citizens to own a firearm. “I do not think it is feasible for everyone to carry a gun,” Joe says. “But if someone has a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) and you have to wait 72 hours to purchase one, then by law I respect the guidelines. My job comes in when a citizens’




10 AMICI / Fall 2008

right to bare arms crosses the line in regards to the safety of the pubic and the safety of my staff. or a hands-on chief like Joe, no two days are the same. “As chief, I feel that my job is more than sitting behind a desk and conducting administrative work. I go out into the community and support and lead my officers in any type of situation,” he says. “My number one priority is that we all go home safely no matter what happens.” Joe’s world can change in an instant so he stays in constant “24/7” touch with his officers by phone and radio. “I am working hard to make Stone Park a safer community,” states Joe. But through it all, the once besmirched image of Stone Park is changing for the better despite the frequent repetition of most gang activities. The Village has effectively seen the crime drop. One reason for this is the creation of the Stone Park Public Safety Department. Under Joe Capece’s leadership, this group of civic-minded volunteers of the public has become a kind of auxiliary force. The Public Safety Department volunteers have taken weapons training, in house training and have helped out immensely with traffic control and special village events. This department has greatly assisted the regular police officers to attend to more critical law enforcement responsibilities. Official recognition for improved public safety came in October 2006 with Stone Park’s first ever Governor’s Home Town Award. ositive image is important to the Village of Stone Park, so although design is not a word you associate with a Police Department, the design of the markings on a squad car is very important as a representation of the Village. Like anything else, looks say a lot, especially about professionalism, and this is just as true with police squad cars as anything else. As part of his overall efforts to improve the image of the Stone Park Police Department, Joe Capece redesigned the Village squad cars in 2004. “The reason we changed the colors and graphics on the cars was to dedicate them in memoriam of the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. This opportunity allows us to show respect and also to assist in improving the image of the Police Department,” says Joe. That special Italian knack for artistic creativity must be at work because since then, Stone Park has won second place in the nation and eight first place trophies for best in service squad car design and they’re not finished yet. “We’re entering another contest,” promises Joe. s would be expected of a man like Joe, he is an active member of a number of professional organizations including the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, and FBI National Academy. Keeping close touch with his heritage, Joe is also a long time member, and past President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Flowers of Italy Club and with all of his critical responsibilities, Joe does not get a chance to travel much. He has, however, twice been to Durango, Mexico, which is the Sister City of Stone Park. There he has been able to indulge a bit in one of his favorite activities, horseback riding. rom the same lines of family tradition that law enforcement came, is another tradition, which is hunting. “My father hunted, of course, but also many men of my family hunted back in Italy. It is a memory instilled in my heart,” Joe remembers. Italy and Italians are famous for fashions, leather, jewelry and fast cars; they are also known to produce the finest shotguns in the world. Three of the top brands of Italian shotguns are Berretta, Perazzi and Benelli. These exquisitely crafted firearms are state-of-the-art in tooling and performance and not mention expensive. Joe Capece owns one of each and he is a serious hunter. “I love hunting, and it is my favorite sport” Joe admits. “I have hunted in many places – in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Oklahoma but my dream is to go on an ultimate hunting safari in Africa.” If Joe Capece is half as successful in his leisure activities as in his professional ones, it is no doubt his African safari will no longer be, just a dream!





SICILIAN DELEGATION Hosted By Peter N. Silvestri County Comissioner

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L-R Giacamo Scala - Mayor of Alcamo, Paolo Pellicane - Mayor of Santa Ninfa Peter N. Silvestri Cook County Commissioner & Mayor of Elmwood Park, Il Girolamo Consiglio -Mayor of Terrasini Tonino Palazzolo – Mayor of Balestrate

by Andrew Guzaldo


Mission of a high-level Sicilian delegation, have chosen 3 cities worldwide (CHICAGO, MOSCOW and BRUSSELS) to visit in person and meet with city, state, and county officials as well as business operators, in these three categories represented. Their regions consist of the northwestern part of Sicily, and they represent 17 communities, in the province of Palermo and Trapani. Their mission is A bridge between 2 seas, (Un ponte dei due mari). The purpose is to promote and attract investors in the categories of Food & Wine industry, Tourism and high-quality Artisanship. Their visit in Chicago, also included attending events, held to meet business operators in these 3 categories. The Sicilian Delegates will select 3 business operators one from each category; they will be invited to visit Sicily in late September. There they will meet with diplomats, and counterpart business operators, in the Sicilian regions represented. They were delighted, to find Chicago a beautiful, clean, and architecturally spectacular City in the USA. This was their first visit to Chicago. “They were happy to meet so many outstanding individuals and noted thevibrant active Italian –American community as a large part of the city of Chicago.”

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Fall 2008 / AMICI 11

Founder of the Roman Republic, 509 BC


ucius Junius Brutus, son of Tarquinia, was child of a royal family. His uncle Tarquinius Superbus (‘the proud’) was king of Rome in the second half of the 6th century BC, exercising a true tyranny and killing a number of Roman aristocrats. Among them Brutus’ brother, whilst Lucius Junius (also written as Iunius on occasions) managed to survive by pretending to be stupid. Since fool is translated in Latin as Brutus, he thereby deserved his nickname.


he Rape of Lucretia then ended the monarchy and started the long lasting and prosperous Roman Republic. It all started when the king’s son Sextus Tarquinius raped a woman named Lucretia. Feeling dishonoured, she sent for her husband Collatinus and her father, who arrived with Brutus on the stage of the crime. The disgraced woman stabbed herself in front of them, which made her husband enraged with the Tarquinii. Brutus again proved here he wasn’t an idiot at all, as he used Collatinus’ rage cunningly.


e let the influential and revenge-driven Collatinus swear that he would do anything to overthrow the Tarquinii monarchy. Brutus then showed Lucretia’s body to the Roman people, who angrily agreed with Brutus’ proposition to renounce the monarchy forever. fter the expulsion of the Tarquinii in 510, Brutus was elected the first consul in the newly established Republic. His fellow consul was Collatinus. Then the public opinion turned against Collatinus, as people were convinced that a member of the Tarquinii-family would always long back for the monarchy. He was put under severe pressure, finally abdicating and going into exile. Brutus however was known for his unwavering devotion to the Republic. He even had his own sons assassinated for conspiring against the state. Young aristocrats, among them the two sons of Brutus, worked together with the Tarquinii clan, who secretly had an armed force outside Rome.



he importance of Brutus on the Roman stage started when a snake was found in the royal palace. Tarquinius Superbus decided to send his two sons, Titus and Arruns, to the famous oracle in Delphi to ask for the meaning of this bad omen. Cousin Brutus is asked to join the two. Typically, none of the ancient historians (for instance Livius and Dionysus of Halikarnassos) tell us the answer on this question, but the three also asked who would rule Rome next, and the reply was “The first one of you to kiss your mother”. The brothers rushed home as soon as they could, but Brutus understood the true meaning of the message. He pretended to trip, and his lips brushed the ground: the earth was their mother.


rutus found out about the conspiracy and ordered to execute the whole group, including his own sons. Jacques-Louis David painted this legendary ending in 1789 under the title Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons. t was claimed that the name Brutus had been an old Italic term meaning “rebel slave”. That could explain the name Brutium that was given to the southern extremity of Italy, which served as a refuge to fugitive slaves. Brutus was killed eventually in a man-to-man combat with Tarquinnileader Arruns. They stabbed each other to death with their spears.

Brutus Coin 12 AMICI / Fall 2008

Richard Capozola’s


Michael A Musmanno (Lawyer) “ Is elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The appointment crowns a distinguished catreer which sees Musmanno defending Sacco & Vanzetti in 1927 and latter presided at the Nuremberg trials. Judge Musmanno is buried in Arlington National Cemetary within the shadow

Annette Funicello She premiered on the Mickey Mouse club together with the Mousketeers. Becoming Americas Sweerheart.

of President Kennedy’s gravesite.


Frank Sinatra’s Career is at an all ime low. The Hoboken crooner is better know as Ava Gardner’s husband.A year later , Sinatra lands an Oscar for his supporting role in the movie, “From Here to Eternity”. The Chairman of the board made 31 movies, and many hundred records.


Bernard Cousino Of Toledo, Ohio invents and markets the eight track tape for recordersand players


Terry Bollea is born in Augusta Georgia. As a chubby child, he is obsessed with watching wrestling. Under the name Hulk Hogan he stands 6’8” and weighs 275 puonds. He fdefeated The Iron Sheik and won the WWF Championship.

Eddie Arcaro The reigning monarch of the “Sport of Kings” is among the three jockeys elected to the newly opened Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga New York. In the 50’s Arcaro tops all jockeys with nearly $25 million in earnings.

1956 Angelo Zari Dies at 83, Zari’s Sculptors and architectual achievements fill an entire page. The genius of Zari is reflected in the Lincoln memorial, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Marine Memorial. And countless other masterpieces.


Albert Rosellini Becomes the first Italian American and Catholic Governor of the State of Washington. The Christian Science Monitor reports “Rosellini has a golden gift with People”


George Randazzo

RINGSIDE REPORT Chuck Giampa By Chuck Giampa

sisted primarily of Italian-American boxing champions and contenders.

grew up in Chicago; at 923 South Bishop Street, which is about 150 feet from the corner of Taylor and Bishop Streets. When I moved from Chicago to Las Vegas in 1980, my neighborhood, Little Italy, was part of an urban renewal program. The University of Illinois Circle Campus was built in the middle of our neighborhood. Although I’ve returned to Chicago many times since then, I almost don’t recognize it anymore. Many of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago are now located there. However, one major change is the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame located on the very corner of Taylor and Bishop Streets. Although the new building itself is very impressive, the story behind its development is even more impressive. The guiding force behind it is George Randazzo.

He wanted to raise money for an inner city Catholic School. The idea was to raise money by producing an ad book consisting of his boxing collection along with the backgrounds of the fighters: a pictorial history of Italian-American boxing greats. One of the sponsors in the ad book suggested that, in addition to aiding the Catholic school, his collection could also have a very positive influence for Italian-Americans such as developing a museum and displaying his collection.


The story begins in 1977 when George was a buyer for Motorola. He and his wife were raising two children in an apartment. One of his goals was to move out of the apartment and buy a house for his family. For 25 years, George had collected thousands of photos and mementos of Italian-American athletes and entertainers. However, his collection con-

George was offered $25,000 in 1977 for his collection, which he planned to use to help purchase a home. Although the idea of a museum appealed to him, he really planned to sell his collection. He discussed the idea with his father and his father recommended that he follow his dream and share his collection to start a museum. So he withdrew his investment from his profit sharing plan at Motorola to fund the first of many successful fund raisers. His first banquet drew 2,500 people along with celebrities such as Olivia De Havilland and Robert Conrad plus 23 former and current world boxing champions. One year later, 1978, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) was founded as a non-profit, educational institution. The first induction ceremony and banquet honored Joe Di Maggio, “the Yankee Clipper”, Eddie Arcaro, Charlie Trioni, Gino Marchetti and Dom Di Maggio. Mrs. Vince Lombardi also accepted the posthumous induction of her late husband, Coach Vince Lombardi. Jerry Colangelo, Phoenix Suns Chairman/CEO, was a 1994 Inductee. George Randazzo asked him to serve as Chairman of an ambitious new Hall of Fame building project in the heart of Chicago’s Little Italy. Jerry Colangelo accepted and succeeded in bringing together civic-minded men and

NIASHF Piazza Dimaggio 14 AMICI / Fall 2008

women from across the country in support of the project. In 2000 the new facility was dedicated as “The Jerry Colangelo Center”, a tribute to his efforts and leadership. The City of Chicago erected a statue, across the street from the NIASHF building honoring Joe Di Maggio and changed the corner to a cul-de-sac. It is now known as Piazza Di Maggio. The City of Chicago also declared the Piazza a historic site and invested 1.5 million dollars in this effort. Today the NIASHF displays over 8,000 artifacts in a 44,000 sq. ft. building including a Banquet Facility, The Salvatore A. Balsamo Rooftop Terrace, an Exhibition Hall and the Frank Sinatra Performing Arts Center, now under construction. It also has inducted more than 220 Italian-American athletes. Major League Baseball (MLB), The National Football League (NFL), The National Basketball Association (NBA) and The National Hockey League (NHL) have each contributed $100,000 to NIASHF. To date the organization has raised over 14 million dollars for scholarships and charitable causes. The NIASHF is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Italian-Americans in sports by exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a world-wide audience, and honoring Italian-American heroes who have made lasting contributions to sports and society. This is a perfect example of how one man, George Randazzo, had the courage to take a risk with an idea, which then developed into a burning desire to share his personal collection of memorabilia for the benefit of others and to preserve our precious Italian-American culture and heritage. George, I’m happy and proud that you took your father’s advice. OBSERVATION: I notice in my interviews that successful people all possess the focus, determination and discipline to follow their dreams and share their successes with others.

Chuck Giampa is a sports consultant and President of Chuck Giampa & Associates, specializing in sports consulting and insurance planning for athletes. He can be contacted at chiuckgiampa@aol.com

Fall 2008 / AMICI 15

Festa Siciliana By Andrew Guzaldo


he colorful streets of San Diego’s charming Little Italy neighborhood set the stage for the 15th annual Sicilian Festival. A celebration of the art, music, heritage and culture brought to the shores of San Diego by Sicilian immigrants over the last century. San Diego’s Sicilian Festival is the largest festival in the United States dedicated specifically to the contributions made by Sicilian immigrants and their families as they sought to fulfill the American Dream. From the tuna fishing industry to the world of entertainment, from artisans and scholars, to restaurateurs to tile setters, the Sicilian immigrants brought not only their hard work ethic to the shores of this nation, but their desire to make America their new home for their children and grandchildren. Thousands of visitors came from all parts of the Southwest to attend this unique cultural event—some to Damon Lanza pursue the history, some to listen to four stages of Sicilian and Italian-themed entertainment, and some to enjoy a wide variety of succulent Sicilian food specialties

Colorful flag, with & Banner

served up by de Little Italy’s Para a t s e restaurateurs. From F t Grea arancini (stuffed rice balls) and Sicilian sausage to sfingi (fried donuts) and the ever-popular cannoli, Festa visitors could taste their way through the various regions of Sicily. Music on four stages, featuring several groups of entertainers, filled the

Red Flags

Aaron, adoring the crowd Carretta Siciliana

streets with the passionate sounds of Italy and Sicily. New York Tenor Aaron Caruso captivated the audience with his powerful and sensitive renditions of a wide variety of Italian classics, including a program of songs featuring the music of Mario Lanza. He was accompanied by the San Diego-based Roman Holiday Ensemble, which also performed a Sicilian folkloristic program featuring costumed musicians and a lively troupe of dancers. Salvatore Marchese, who traveled all the way from Sicily for this very special event, he also presented songs from his new CD release. A colorful flag parade featuring dozens of costumed dancers, as well as representatives from San Diego’s Italian community, wended its way through the streets of Little Italy to add even more excitement to the event. New this year was a tented street that contained the Sicilian Cultural area. Not only could one hear Aaron Caruso sing the melodies made famous by the late Mario Lanza, but one could also personally meet Damon Lanza, son of the great tenor, who attended the Festa to speak about his father and his tremendous impact on the world’s entertainment scene. The Lanza Legend booth in the cultural area was extremely popular, as were the historic photo and video displays featuring the Sicilian American families and their involvement in the tuna fishing industry that thrived in San Diego until the 1970’s. As part of the cultural area, visitors could also watch fishermen repairing their nets; ladies demonstrating needlework techniques passed down through the centuries; admire an authentic Caretta Siciliana; hear a Renaissance lute player; and view a variety of displays portraying the art and heritage of the Sicilian American community in San Diego. Shoppers could also take the Lanza fan opportunity to visit the many retail stores in the Little Italy neighborhood featuring unique Italian-themed items, or stroll through the vendor booths that lined India Street, the heart of the Little Italy neighborhood. Next

Crowds shot from above

year’s event will be held Sunday, May 17, 2009. More information on the Sicilian Festival can be obtained at the event web site, www.sicilianfesta.com.Information on San Diego’s eclectic and historic Little Italy community can be

found at


Child face

di ragazza Bella venditore

“Travel Tips” from

JOHN CONENNA By John Conenna


ravel, in the last 10 years has changed, so much that you need a professional to take care of your needs. Traveling has become a significant issue since September 11th, 2001. The restrictions that we once had prior to 9-1-1- have increased dramatically for the traveler. While we realize these are a necessity for everyone’s safety and we must comply. It is howevr, a hassle for those who do travel. It seems that one would need to have a law degree to purchase a ticket, and get your flight to the proper location and airport without a delay. “In the last 10 yrs the Internet has become a major tool for the airline industry, but the main issue has been the lack of success for the airlines, not to mention the inconveniences brought to the traveler”. The first downfall has been the lack of service and profitability, number two the airlines have lost control of the personal touch of the client and their needs. The last issue, which has become a huge disaster, is the customer has no recourse in case of a problem. Instead of moving forward like we were doing 20 years ago, the Internet industry of travel has taken major steps backwards. Still in this day and age of cell phones, computers, emails, it can make things quite complicate. That is why a professional travel agent is needed, he will assume the stress that befalls the traveler.. You’re not only paying for your airline tickets, but your paying for everything else,



such as baggage increased fuel costs weight restrictions on what and what not to bring. Now more than ever a travel professional is needed more now, than 20 years ago when there were a lot more to choose from. The future of travel is in turmoil to say the least a travel professional is the future without some of these professionals the airline industry would have been worse off. There are so many travel professionals out in our vast world that you need to choose the right one that suits your travel needs and comfort. Make sure when using a travel professional they understand all aspects of travel. Experience is the key don’t be fooled by price, sometimes the cheaper the price of the vacation means a costly trip will follow. Have questions and preparation for your professional. These are things you cannot do on the Internet. A true travel company will go to all ends to make your vacation the best ever. When you look back at the last 10 years our friend the Internet is a tool, but not a travel agent. The Internet cannot meet your needs as would a professional travel agent. So pickup the telephone next time and give it a try. We know you will be pleased with the outcome The internet does not know what you feel nor what you need as does the professional travel agent John Conenna is the President of Venus Travel in Chicago. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have john@venustravel.com or call 773 637-1110.

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18 AMICI / Fall 2008

“The World is Our Speciality”

Inventions & Science Italian Style By Leon J. Radomile / www.italianamericanfacts.com

ACROSS 4 Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, is best remembered for what invention having to do with meteorology? 8 Many regard him as the true inventor of the telephone. 9 This Nobel Prize winner’s work on nuclear fission marked the beginning of the atomic age. 11 This Nobel Prize winning physicist is known as ‘Father of the Radio’ and ‘Wizard of the Wireless’. 17 Ascanio Sobrero invented what explosive by combining glycerol with sulfuric and nitric acids? 19 Einstein said that this Italian was the father of modern physicsindeed of modern science altogether. 20 Roman engineers built and perfected these food storage structures to be airtight.

Court Case “Mr. Scarpino I have reviewed this case very carefully,” the divorce Court Judge said, “And I’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week.” “That’s very fair and nice of you, your honour,” the husband said. “And every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.”

DOWN 1 He was the first to design an underwater diving suit. 2 The list of this family’s inventions is impressive. But their most famous invention involved bathing and became synonymous with their family name. 3 Bernard Castro invented this space-saving sofa that even a child could open. 5 NBA Hall of Fame club owner, Dan Biasone, invented a device in 1954 that changed the game into what we know today. 6 Jim Delligatti invented the sandwich that since 1967, has sold over 15 billion worldwide. 7 Along with two colleagues, Dr. Federico Faggin designed and built what many people have said will someday be recorded in history as the most important invention of the 20th century. 10 Italy was the second country to launch this type of aircraft, the Campini-Caproni CC-2, one year after the Germans on 8/27/40. 12 Giulio Natta’s polymer discoveries advanced the creation of what important commercial product. 13 Identify the machine that bears his name that any ice skater or hockey fan will instantly recognize. 14 The Romans began making this item made of animal and vegetable fats. 15 Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi first discovered this object in 1801. It is defined as a rocky body which is gravitationally bound to and orbits the sun. 16 How did inventor Alessandro Dandini improve the lightbulb? 18 A unit of electrical measurement is named for him. Fall 2008 / AMICI 19


Focus on Italy

marvelous regions OF italy


lorence’s most famous square is Piazza della Signoria, the heart of the historic center and a free open-air sculpture exhibit. The Loggia della Signoria holds some important statues. The piazza has been Florence’s political center since the middle ages and Florence’s town hall, the medieval Palazzo Vecchio, sits on the piazza. The palazzo contains elaborately decorated public rooms and private apartments. Around the piazza are cafes and restaurants. Il Duomo - Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore Florence’s most popular site is its Duomo (cathedral), the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore. The huge Gothic duomo was begun in 1296, consecrated in 1436, and holds 20,000 people. The exterior, made of green, pink, and white marble, has several elaborate doors and interesting statues. Inside, Brunelleschi’s Dome is a masterpiece of construction. Buy a ticket to climb the 463 steps to its top. To go inside, cover arms and legs. The Duomo is in Piazza del Duomo, free admission. The Baptistry of John the Baptist, from the 11th century, is one of Florence’s oldest buildings. Its exterior is made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors (reproductions - the originals are in the Duomo Museum, also worth a visit). Inside, you can see some mosaics and a marble pavement of the zodiac. In Piazza San Giovanni, off Piazza del Duomo, open 12:00-7:00 daily except holidays and 8:30-2:00 Sundays (ticket). The Campinile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo. The first story was designed by Giotto and it is commonly called Giotto’s Campinile. Buy a ticket and climb the 414 stairs (no lift) for great views of the Cathedral and its dome and the city of Florence and surroundings. This is a site you would not want to miss.

Contact John Coneena at Venus Travel, for more Information call tel: 773-637-1110 20 AMICI / Fall 2008



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ottoli and Sons at 7652 West Belmont Avenue, is a real diamond-in the ruff. The Nottoli family, which has been in business since 1947, is truly a legendary-store. The roots of the store began on Chicago Avenue and Hamlin. Since those first days, there have been three generations of Nottoli’s. The original owner was George Nottoli together with his son Anthony Nottoli they worked at it since 1947. Today grandson George Nottoli runs it, and they continue to have a reputation for quality food second to none. I have asked George Nottoli numerous times why the sausage is so special the answer is always the same “Its those secret ingredients from my grandfather in 1947, that makes it so different from the modem era of Dominick’s and Jewel food stores”. It is truly a treasure to have a neighborhood store that arouses the nostalgia, and the Deli store, like Nottoli and Sons does just that. It provides what other stores lack. Its not only their famous sausage, it’s the products they offer that other big chain stores don’t have. For example you will find Nottoli to be very accommodating from 6 inch and 12inch submarine sandwiches, pizza, and other specialties such as cooked to order pastas and even pot roast on there lunch menu. In speaking to George Nottoli its obvious that George has worked tirelessly to move with the times, he say’s it is always necessary to keep changing menu ideas. However to do this and keep the old preparation has truly been the success of this traditional Italian store. In the last 61 years Nottoli offers the best of the best. Their lunch meat is of the finest quality. The staff of the store is prompt and courteous this shows in all aspects of the store. When you walk through the door there’s that distinct smell of tradition. The store reminds you of time-gone bye. This is the place to go even if you’re on that special diet, because it’s a place to eat and enjoy, it’s truly Italian.

From the original store in the Old Italian neighborhood at Chicago ave, to the store of today, Grandpa George would be very proud. So if you’re ever around the 7000 block of west Belmont Avenue, in Chicago, and you have a taste for sausage, or any kind of sandwich or specialty item, with that traditional taste. Take it from me this is the place to go. Let them know John conenna sent you because this is truly, the “Belmont Avenue Diamond Deli.”

Fall 2008 / AMICI 23

The 316th Troop Carrier Group Its War in Sicily

Part Two: Husky2

On July 9, 1943, the Allied forces dropped paratroopers into southern Sicily, establishing a foothold for the European campaign of World War II. The mission, code named “HUSKY 1,” was the first attempt at dropping troopers behind enemy lines at night. Although generally a successful mission, some difficulties were encountered by the Troop Carrier Groups in finding and hitting the pre-designated drop zones (DZ) for the 82nd Airborne Division.


By Mike Ingrisano

USKY 2: Sunday, uly 11, 1943


y mid-June 1943, and after the planning for HUSKY 1 was nearing completion, plans were already being formulated for HUSKY 2, to drop other elements of the 82nd within six days of the first mission. To avoid flying over the Allied naval forces off the invasion beaches, the planes based in North Africa were to fly east from Tunisia, around Malta, then north to hit landfall at the southern coast of Sicily at Sampieri, about 30 miles east of Gela which had been the target for the HUSKY 1 paradrop. Once over the Sicilian coast, the planes were to fly north-west toward Gela over a corridor two miles wide, and continuing roughly two or three miles inland past Licata before turning out to the Mediterranean and heading south back to Tunisia. After alerting all naval, land, and troop carrier units that HUSKY 2 was ready to go on July 10, the mission was scrapped late in the evening because the situation in Sicily did not appear favorable. But early the next morning, Major General Matthew B. Ridgway, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, ordered that the mission proceed as planned. The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) less its 3rd Battalion, the 376th Parachute Artillery Battalion, and a company of engineers were to be dropped at Farello, an abandoned air field three miles east of Gela. These units were to be dropped from 144 planes of the 61st, 313th, 314th, and 316th troop carrier groups, 52nd Troop Carrier Wing. The 313th flying in the lead left Tunisia on the 11th of July at 1900 hours. The 35 plane formation of the 316th, the last in line, left Tunisia at 1945 hours. It was almost thought that HUSKY 2 would be an easy “milk run” because unlike HUSKY 1 the drop was to be behind friendly lines. Yet, because of their losses during that first mission, many of the 316th were apprehensive. Radio Operator Frank W. Fekete was not assigned for HUSKY 1 and wrote in his diary about the missing crews from that mission. But he would make the HUSKY 2 mission, flying with Lt. Robert W. Gwynn (pilot), F/O Edward W. Snyder (co-pilot) and M/ Sgt. Chester F. Stracke (crew chief). Just before departing Fekete wrote: “We are really going on our mission tonight. Dropping paratroops over Sicily. I am going this time and I hope everything turns out OK.” The 316th followed the prescribed route to Malta, and on toward the coast of Sicily. The weather was good until the flight rounded Malta. Visibility then became slightly poor and grew hazy as they approached Sicily. All went well until the planes began to enter the designated corridor, when suddenly Allied shore batteries opened fire on the planes. Then the entire corridor became alive with deadly machine gun fire and heavy flak. What had been a formation of C-47s broke up as each plane tried to find an opening through the heavy firing. Nonetheless, some of 24 AMICI / Fall 2008

the planes dropped their troopers within three, seven, and 10 miles from the DZ, as best each could under attack. Other planes, despite the heavy firing, made two or three passes over the DZ before dropping their troopers. Six of the planes failed to drop their troopers and returned to No. Africa, feeling it would be suicide to attempt a drop through such concentrated fire. All the planes that did survive dove through the intense barrage and headed out to sea over the coast of Gela, and Licata. But as rapidly as they passed over one Allied vessel, the next vessel took up the fire, and so it continued for some twenty miles out to sea. The 316th crews that survived learned subsequently that ten minutes before the C-47s arrived at the DZ, German bombers, on their 14th raid of the day, had bombed the Allied forces that were only expecting their own planes to be in the vicinity. In addition, as the last enemy bombers flew out to sea, one Allied vessel captain announced to his people that all other planes in the immediate vicinity were friendly. And just then a 500 pound bomb burst within 200 yards of his ship. And so it is not hard to understand how “friendly fire” could begin. Of the 144 C-47s which began the HUSKY 2 mission, 23 failed to return (a loss ratio of 16 percent), and 37 that did return (another 25 percent) were badly damaged, some dramatically so. Initial reports of the mission listed seven dead from the entire 52nd TCW, 30 wounded, and 53 missing. When final reports were issued, they showed the 316th alone lost twelve aircraft, and suffered 37 casualties, killed and missing, mostly to “friendly fire.” Sadly, some of these lost planes were shot down before the troopers could jump. HUSKY 2 increased Allied forces in the Axis controlled Sicily, but at a huge cost.

Brave Pilots

Four pilots from the 44th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 316th, all veterans of the HUSKY 1 mission, were awarded the Silver Star “for gallantry in action” during HUSKY 2: 2nd Lieutenant John J. Hoye, 1st Lieutenant Dwight E. Maul, 1st Lieutenant Louis W. Helmuth, and 2nd Lieutenant Robert W. Gwynn. Each citation defines the actions by these individuals that warranted that they be granted special recognition. 1st Lieutenant “Disregarding the heavy ground fire, Dwight E. Maul Lieutenant Hoye held formation and jumped his troops as the lead ship. One soldier failed to jump and Lieutenant Hoye again slowed down his plane, but the paratrooper was killed by ground fire as he stood at the door of the plane preparing to jump. During this time, the plane was continually hit, the right engine being put out and the left engine set on fire. Large holes were shot in both wings and the under part of the plane fuselage was set on fire. Five minutes after the drop had been made, Lieutenant Hoye successfully crash-landed his plane in an olive grove. In making the descent, the plane was hit in the nose [just in front of the wind screen] which

destroyed the instrument panel, wounding both pilot and co-pilot. All members of the crew escaped the burning plane and under Lieutenant Hoye’s direction made contact with American ground troops.” “Lieutenant Maul continued in face of this fire to make his run-in. Unable to make his drop at the designated area due to evasive tactics, he made a turn and again made a run-in, but because of evasive action, was a second time unable to reach the exact drop zone. Not wishing to make his drop other than on the exact drop zone out of safety for the paratroopers, he again made a third and successful run-in through fire to the precise drop zone, then making his drop.” Margy & Frank Fekete “In spite of the heavy barrage of anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant Helmuth entered the 1944 Wedding corridor and continued to make the prearranged run-in to the drop zone, but because of evasive action could not reach the exact drop zone. Rather than make the drop at a point other than the exact drop zone, Lieutenant Helmuth made a turn and made a second run-in to the drop zone through continuous fire, enabling his troops to drop on their drop zone, and then returned to his home base.” “Lieutenant Gwynn gave the jump signal when over the drop zone, but his troops failed to see the signal until after the drop zone was passed. He then made a turn and once more flew over the drop zone, this time successfully jumping his troops. Lieutenant Gwynn flew out through heavily concentrated small-arms and anti-aircraft fire, diving down to sea level to avoid barrage balloons and back to his home base despite severe hits in tail assembly and fuselage.”

One Man’s Reflection

Radio operator Sgt. Frank Fekete was on that flight with pilot Lt. Gwynn. Beginning on Monday, July 12, his diary entries over the next three days reported his experiences and feelings: “We lost our formation before we got to our D.Z. and had to drop our paratroopers alone thru all of the ack-ack barrage; we made it to the shore line without getting hit, but from the shore line out to the open sea, at least 24 of our own navy boats shot at us and practically shot our tail off. We then got lost out over the Medit. Sea [there was no navigator assigned on this C-47] and even if I do say so myself, I did a pretty good job of getting us in to N. Africa. “We got back to our field at 3:30A.M., much to everyone’s surprise because they believed us lost for good. We landed at a field near the shore and went the rest of the way by car. When George Capes saw me he cried from happiness, he is a true friend. “I didn’t sleep at all, I stayed up just walking trying to steady my nerves. Well, I sure wish I could see Margy now, I really need a little comforting. “They are letting the combat crews take it easy – sort of a rest period. So yesterday and today we did most anything we wanted to; I slept most all of the time.

“I guess we get some sort of Airmen’s Medal or a Distinguished Flying Medal for taking part in the invasion of Sicily. “I would much rather get a long furlough home.” Through it all, Fekete’s thoughts were also on the other men from that mission, especially pilot John Hoye and his crew. “I saw Hoye’s ship go down in flames. It was really terrible.” He listed two crews that were missing at first, and in ink from another day’s writing, he finally added the comments: “(came back) … (came back)” He noted Hoye’s crew was being sent back to the States via a cruiser and added: “a very nice bunch of boys.”

Sizing up the C-47 Performance

Despite the heroics described above and that of many other crew members, the North Africa Air Force Troop Carrier Command concluded that: “The C-47 is not suited as a Troop Carrier aircraft. Its lack of armor plating and self-sealing tanks was definitely the cause of a great many of our casualties. It is erroneous to assume that these planes can fly through light or heavy Ack-Ack, or concentrated small arms fire from the ground, and not be expected to catch on fire or shot out of control. It has been proven highly vulnerable even at night, and operations would be suicide by day.” But obviously someone was not listening. The C-47s never did get armor plating or self-sealing gas tanks. Despite that, the 316th and most of the Troop Carrier Command in the European Theater flew the C-47 on the D-Day night mission invasion of France, June 5-6, 1944; the daytime paradrop and glider tows of the Market Garden missions in Holland, September 17-26, 1944; and the daytime paradrop and glider tow into Germany in Operation Varsity, March 24, 1945. The men of the troop carrier groups and the C-47 machines they flew successfully performed all of these missions. And it would have continued. After VE Day, victory in Europe, the troop carrier groups came back to the States and immediately resumed their training. Had it not been for a quick victory in Japan, we would have flown the C-47s again, dropping airborne troops over that island.

An After Note

And what of those men of the 316th Troop Carrier Group who earned their Silver Stars over Sicily? John Hoye’s injuries required State side care. He remained in service throughout the war but did not return to our Group. He began a civilian career as a commercial pilot until the Korean War called him back into a military career, eventually including Viet Nam, flying multiple types of aircraft over the years. Hoye went from a Staff Sergeant Pilot to a Lt. Colonel (ret.). Dwight Maul and Bob Gwynn stayed with the 316th throughout the war piloting C47s for the missions to Normandy, Holland and Germany, always returning safely to our base at Cottesmore, England. Dwight, like John, made 2nd Lieutenant a career in the new Air Force, serving at several State-side bases, as well as having duty in Canada, John J. Hoye France (with NATO), and the Pentagon. He retired after 24 years as a Lt. Colonel, then becoming a “gentleman farmer” among other retired activies. Lou Helmuth returned to the States with John Hoye. Though he did not extend his military service, he had a life long love of aircraft and was an executive in the aeronautics industry for many years. He flew his experimental Long EZ until he was 80 years old. And our diarist, Frank Fekete. Frank’s last combat mission was on D-Day over Normandy, and like the rest of the 316th, he returned safely to Cottesmore. Because of time in theater, a month later he was granted home leave and married his beloved Margy – a love affair that lasted 53 years until death called in 1997. After discharge in 1945 he started a life long civilian career in the fiberglass industry, in this country and overseas. He rarely talked of his service in WWII except for some of the fun stuff with his buddies, leaving it to his old diaries to tell the real story. And even with his many post-war travels in more modern aircraft, he said he always preferred the security of the old C-47.

Fall 2008 / AMICI 25

By Andrew Guzaldo


ow is it that a successful Supermodel and Diva turns to cooking? Well the story of Maria Liberati will tell you. In Maria’s own words, when she describes her transition from the lucrative career of modeling to culinary chef, “Food has such a real quality about it. Modeling is so much fluff and glitz. It became a natural extension of my life. Many will ask what does food have to do with fashion and modeling. To feel beautiful you have to eat foods that make you feel that way. Food is composed of beautiful colors like fashion is. And you can pair foods and wine together, which compliment each other. And this is an art in and of itself.” aria was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, to mother Anna Santopolo (maiden name) and father Edward Liberati. She was raised in the tradition of the typical Italian American tradition. This is part of what she accredits her foundation stemming from the Abruzzo region. Of course her life experiences are what made her the successful Supermodel, Diva and now Culinary Chef extraordinaire. She admires the success of other Italian American Celebrity chefs such as Rachael Ray, Giada Di Laurentis and Mario Batali. She relates to their unique touch in what they do and do quite well. They all have a sense of where the came from and who they are this apparent in the love of what they do. Others that came to mind were Marcella Hazan and Jacquesa Pepin. Jacques basically is a connoisseur of recipes from the south of France, but always with flair of Italian influence. Marcela is a classical Italian chef with outstanding recipes, in the classical tradition of Italian cooking. hen Maria was modeling she had adhered to many diets. All which proved to be unsatisfying as well as unhealthy. These were diets models would succumb to, to keep thin and appealing, the typical demand for a career in modeling. Maria was lucky to have had a background in nutrition. This is something she had studied in college. This helped her maintain a nutritional diet, as she began her modeling career in Italy. It is there that the typical Italian diet became part of her daily routine and nutrition. er Italian diet comprised of a light breakfast, heavier lunch, light dinner, fruit after every meal, no bread with pasta, 1 glass of wine with lunch and dinner, everything minimized to moderation. She found this to be the key. Yet she knew she needed more and after every lunch and dinner she would take a 30 minute walk or as they say “passeggiata”. She was amazed that this nutritional balanced diet gave her the choice to eat all the foods she loved. To her delight she did not gain a single ounce. It kept her hair and skin looking radiant and she never felt healthier. aria was born gifted with an incredible drive to move forward. This made her want to learn more about cooking. She wanted to build upon the foundation already there from what she learned from those authentic Italian dishes her grandmother; mother and aunts had shared with her.




26 AMICI / Fall 2008

Therefore, she applied the same approach as the one she used in the Fashion industry. Similarly, she successfully brought it into the kitchen. Her style is simple, uncomplicated yet totally elegant. She wanted to share the true cultural experience of what Italian cooking is all about. This is really what true Italian cooking is all about, as well as getting the proper nutrition in a healthy meal. She began to study the culinary arts in Italy.

In doing so she discovered other methods in preparation of Italian cooking that allowed her to put a feeling of what the heart and soul with her true Italian cuisine. She was soon after asked to put cooking programs together in Italy to show her methods of cooking and nutrition. Once conquering Italy, it wasn’t long before a publisher in the USA approached her. She was very excited about presenting her methods and recipes to the American people. This proved to be a great time to do so. n 2003, she began writing her first book and in 2006 “The Basic Art of Italian Cooking” was published. It has been so successful that the second printing has become the trademark of Maria Liberati. She had this trademark approved in the beginning of 2008, with the book being featured in various magazines and newspapers as well as TV and radio throughout the US. It is no wonder that manufacturers have a tremendous interest in licensing this trademark on their products. “ Liberati replies there are three well-known chefs, who are especially fascinated with Abruzzo, they have also asked to write endorsements for her book”. aria Liberati is now finding an outpouring of interest from such endorsements, media interviews and much more. This is something she never expected, especially since she remembers that there was a time when she took Italian cooking for granted. Cooking is not Maria’s only love. Although not married, she does have a fiancé. He is an Italian architect. They are both working on building a house in Abruzzo Italy. They spend most of their time in Abruzzo and Rome. Maria and her fiancé have residences and offices in both places. This is where Maria does her best work, writing her books and preparing her recipes. She also gets together with local talented chefs every chance she can. She wants to make sure she is on top of any new ideas or cooking methods. This is exactly what makes her so popular, when she finds a new method or recipe she shares it with all. She has divided her time between Italy and the US. Nonetheless, she says she finds her time in Italy full of pleasure and peacefulness. he says Rome is a beautiful place with so many interesting things to absorb. She likes spending summer months in such places as the beach in Pescara. However around “Passquetta” Easter season Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi are amongst her favorites. After Sunday dinner they do their “passeggiatta” in Tagliacozzo a town in Abruzzo. This is where her great grandparents had their vineyard and where her grandfather Giovanni Liberati was born. f course their kitchen at the house they are building, has been completed. It is spacious enough so that when her fiancé is working on a project of his, she can spend her time in her kitchen testing new recipes






or her upcoming books. Maria says that the relationship with her fiancé has strengthened her passion for cooking and foods. Food and recipes have become a special part of their relationship. She believes this has influenced her desire to bring her passion as well as love to the kitchen table as well as her books. The couple has become willing travelers in search of new and interesting foods. Going through towns and villages throughout Italy looking for the specialties in the regions. This has added to her knowledge presented in her recipes, as well as her books. She always looks for the old bakery that makes the pastry’s pasticcerie’ made fresh and in a very unique and artful fashion. Of course, she has not left out the importance of choosing an accompanying fine wine. Maria and her fiancé have a collection of wines from places they have traveled throughout Italy. “It is enjoyable for me to serve dinner on the terrazzo, which overlooks the beautiful Parco Nazionale d’ Abruzzo”. Maria thanks a number of people that have been inspirations throughout her life and have influenced her culinary career. “My grandmothers to my mother and aunts- all wonderful traditional Italian cooks. Inspirational kitchen mentors. Food always meant more to

ing to today’s standards. No one uses processed cheeses or margarinethey are recipes produced from real authentic foods and do not use as much sugar as today’s recipes call for. In keeping with her key to a good diet, eating any food in moderation is the best way to keep healthy. aria has always fantasized about turning her book “The Basic Art of Italian Cooking” into a movie. The book includes charming stories about her life in Italy ... something that would resemble the movie “Chocolat” but takes place in Italy and expresses the same intense emotion of the “Il Postino”. Judging from the success Maria has enjoyed and the ambition she possesses it is sure we will see this on the big Movie Screen someday. Makes you want to go out and get a copy of “The Basic Art of Italian Cooking” and discover this passion and love of food for yourself. e asked Maria if she had anything to say to the AMICI readers, whose expressed desire lead to our showcasing her in our journal. Gracefully she replied, “First, I would like to send them ‘un abraccio forte’ (A strong embrace) for suggesting me. If you are of Italian heritage, embrace it and learn about it, keep your Italian heritage alive. However, even if you are not of Italian heritage it is a beautiful culture to explore”.



them than something to just satisfy hunger. As with most Italians, it meant so much more. It was their way of showing how much they cared and also showing you their talents”. aria sometimes works with their recipes; of course adding her own little touch of condiment and keeping them healthy hearty cuisines to be enjoyed. However most of her families’ recipes are healthy accord-



Ravioli with Ricotta-Spinach Ingredients

2 eggs 1 ¾ cups flour pinch of salf 1 cup fresh ricotta 1 cup fresh spinach cooked 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


Place flour on large wooden board, form a well in center. Break eggs into center add a pinch of salt. Blend ingredients together with hands until dough form a smooth ball., Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let sit. Place cooked spinach that has been well drained into a food chopper to chop the leaves into small pieces. Take out and place in bowl, add in ricotta cheese. Blend together with spoon. Add the parmigiano-reggiano cheese, add a pinch of salt. Sprinkle flour on wooden board, roll out dough with rolling pin to a thickness of about 1/16 th of an inch. Roll out two pieces to this thickness. Place one piece of dough on a separate plate. Lay out one piece of dough on wooden board. With spoon, measure out a spoonful of ricotta and place spoonfuls of ricotta evenly distributed on pasta sheet, leaving about ½ inch between each ball of ricotta. Cover with second layer of dough. Cut individual ravioli around filling. Close ravioli ends with fork firmly. Let ravioli stand for about 15 minutes. Boil a pot of water. Place in handful of gross salt. Place in ravioli, gently. When ravioli rise to the top of boiling water, they are done. Drain gently, top with tomato sugo (recipe in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking) or melted butter with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Fall 2008 / AMICI 27

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Italian Style


19 -21 SEPTEMBER 2008 NAVY PIER - CHICACourtesy of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest (IACC) ITALIAN STYLE 2008 By Andrew Guzaldo All roads lead to Rome, the path of Italian Style 2008 is no different. Over two millennia ago, Rome became the cradle of Western civilization. The world has not been the same since. Italy was the home base of what became a worldwide Roman presence. Thus, if Roman culture is pervasive, then so too is Italian culture. Aside from its Roman origins, Italian culture has been exalted time and time again. Highlights span a varied range from the heights of the Renaissance to the simplicity of the taste in locally produced fresh cheeses. From the centuries of cultural development, a modern lifestyle has emerged. Italy’s lifestyle is envied and imitated world over. The Italian Style Expo 2008 hopes to capture this desired “Dolce Vita” in the four industries of Fashion, Design, Tourism and Cuisine and present these cultural riches to Americans. The Italian Style Expo 2008 is a three-day event hosted by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago that will take place at the Navy Pier, Festival Hall A from Friday September 19th through Sunday 21st. The Expo exhibits the fusion of the US and Italy, and it is a promise for building relationships and thus a metaphor for building a future. Hence, as the US and Italy create more and more relationships, a hope for the future emerges. During the event there will be lots of entertaining activities, wine and food tasting, livemusic, fashion shows, design expositions, the presence of Ferraris, Maserati, Lamborghini’s as well as a F1 simulator and, as a flagship of the luxury cars area, the exclusive launch of the new 8C by Alfa Romeo to the American market. The Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago emphasizes the importance of Italian Style 2008 event not only by celebrating the Italian

products, culture and lifestyle, but also by giving back to the community and increasing awareness about the boys and girls that are less fortunate than most, that is why, in correlation with Italian Style 2008 the charitable program, Cook Italy, was born. The Cook Italy program will involve the boys and girls from the Mercy Home of Chicago in a unique cooking fun experience. One day a month, for one whole year, the most outstanding chefs of the Chicago area, with the help of nutritionists from Loyola University, will teach the boys and girls how to cook and eat well in an effort to create a healthy lifestyle. The children will cook their own meals with the assistance of the chefs. After they have finished making their meal, the children and the chefs will enjoy the dish together. The Italian American Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that the Cook Italy program will be a positive experience for them as well as an alternative way to learn something new. It will donate $ 2.00 to Mercy Home for every ticket sold for Italian Style 2008 in order to support the Cook Italy program. Thanks to the courtesy of AirOne Airlines and Loyola University of Chicago, 20 boys and girls from the Mercy Home of Chicago will have the chance to go to Italy. They will be able to visit Rome and have the exciting opportunity to experience Italian culture and lifestyle. Other interesting activities are linked to Italian Style, such as a Treasure Hunt in Oz Park on August 31st, a Face book group called Italian Expo where you win weekly prizes, a trip to Italy and much more! Check all the details on our website www.italianexpo.us ! Italian Style 2008 is definitely an event you should not miss! If you want to rediscover your Italian roots or show your passion about Italy, become a member of the Italian Style organization team! We are currently looking for hostess/host and interpreters for the event. Please send your CV to pgullo@italianchamber.us

Sicily’s Growing Marble Industry


icily’s Stone Project, in accordance with the Integrated Regional Project Marble and Precious Stones” met in the City of Chicago during the week of July 22nd through the 25th. The Stone Project, also known as “Pir Marmi”, is aimed at finding new ways of presenting the country in an international commercial context and promoting the Sicilian economic productive industry. Sicily occupies a significant position in the Italian marble production industry, with 1,213 enterprises operating in the various sectors of the industry with total sales of around 200 million Euros. The Province of Trapani, located in Sicily, accounts for 85% of the regional production and 2.7 % of the world’s production of marble. The three main destination countries

are: Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Exports to the Americas are growing, with both the U.S.A. and Canada showing an increase of 70 %. Italy, Spain and China, in particular, figure highly in the supply and demand of stone, and thus feature as major players in the worldwide market. The Sicilian Region Administration has begun a series of initiatives to encourage the process of promoting the Sicilian economic productive industry. This set of initiatives is known as the Country Partnership Project. The aim of this project is to focus actions for the promotion and internationalization of the Sicilian Region towards the Regional economic sector and geo-economic areas that are prior and strategic for the Regional Administration.

Courtesy of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest (IACC) Fall 2008 / AMICI 29


he first time I went to Rossini’s was several years ago as the guest of Vince Candice, one of the greatest guys I ever knew. Vince, who was GM of the Joseph Antognoli Co., always spoke the truth, as he did when he said, “John, I’m going to take you to a really good Italian restaurant.” Rossini’s is indeed a really good Italian restaurant, and even though it’s not as close to home as some others I enjoy, my wife and I go there at least three of four times a year, and we always have a great time. What makes an Italian restaurant stand out from others that serve more or less

the same cuisine? There’s the quality of the food, of course, and Rossini’s always comes up with dishes whose taste is so good that it lingers in one’s memory. The apRossini's Interior 1 pearance of an Italian restaurant is also important. Rossini’s is laid out almost like spokes in a wheel, with booth lined aisles pointing to a center area, which accommodates a number of tables. A large back room area can be used for a busy night or private parties. The lighting is very subdued and the walls and cornices are tastefully decorated with wine bottles, flowers and antique artifacts. Adjoining the main dining area is a roomy, darkly lit bar on the inside with a walled outside patio for pleasant outside summertime dining. Rossini’s, with its Italian and Italian American music sighing softly on the PA, also has that certain hardto-define “magic” that seems to sprinkle its patrons with happy dust, so that everyone there seems to have the time of their life. Rossini’s has new owners these days, but the place is as invitingly superb as ever. Several of the staff have been retained, including affable hostess Rosanna Gambacorta, who makes you feel right at home just as soon as you walk in the door. Owners Chick Stella and Joe Greco may be new to Rossini’s but they have years and years of experience in the Chicago restaurant scene. Joe Greco, who oversees the kitchen and cuisine, is the product of several generations of restaurant owners including the clan that ran the legendary Papa Milano’s and other Rush street eateries. Chick Stella handles the business 30 AMICI / Fall 2008

end of Rossini’s but soon he will be adding another dimension to the great dining at Rossini’s – live music – featuring himself as vocalist, bringing some of his Las Vegas style entertainment into the picture. Stella and Greco, friends since they were kids on Chicago’s near southwest side, have managed Italian restaurants together before, including the well-known Café Lucci in Glenview, which they opened in 1995. If you know exactly what you want, you can order and have your dinner brought to you fairly quickly by the super friendly and efficient wait staff. On the other hand, if you don’t have a particular item in mind, for any course, it may take you a while to order from the extensive selection of delicious Italian dishes. That’s because Rossini’s gives you two menus – a standard menu of Italian favorites and an entire “Specials” menu (updated regularly), with many of Joe Greco’s venerable family concoctions. When my wife and I were there recently, we ordered from both menus. From the special Appetizers, which included Baby Artichoke Hearts, Oysters Rockefeller and Avocado & Shrimp, we chose something a little different – Goat Cheese, served with marinara and toasted bread. What a treat! The zesty cheese was already half melted and each scoop of toast mingled it with the spicy marinara. We also went for Baked Clams from the regular menu. Not too bready or at all dry, these were simply perfect with our cheese. Rossini’s does not have a huge wine list, but it certainly has all the right ones for an Italian restaurant and enough variety to fit any budget. We shared a bottle of Aziano Chianti Classico, which is very light, very dry and very flavorful, sold here at a remarkably reasonable price. By the way, strictly for old Grand Avenue and Taylor Street dudes, the Specials menu offers Fortissimo at $6 per glass! For soup we had two traditional offerings, Pasta Fagiole and Minestrone. Both were so thick and juicy, and tasted good that we could have gone on eating soup all night if we didn’t have other dishes to sample. For our main courses we again chose from both menus. From the Specials, my wife ordered the Seafood Grill, an absolutely perfect dish for seafood lovers. It includes Scallops, Shrimp, Calamari & Octopus, which are grilled with Lemon & Olive Oil and served over Wild Rice. This is a more “fishy” dish than a Risotto, but still very Italian and tasty. I was in the mood for something more traditional, so I asked for Spaghetti Arribbiata with a side of Meatballs. The Arribbata was wonderful – the onions, peppers and fresh tomatoes melding harmoniously with that traditional “angry” bite. The large homemade meatballs were covered with a delicious marinara and I threw these all into the spaghetti and mushed and munched away Chick Stella & Joe Greco to my heart’s content. Let me tell you honestly, although they wrapped up well over half of our dinners, we couldn’t eat another bite. What a shame! Because at some point earlier on I was determined to select Rossini’s Tiramisu from their extensive, mostly homemade, dessert list. Next time, I’ll just have to be a bit more restrained. But that’s going to be tough to do, everything is soooooooooo good. Buon appetito!

Rossini’s Italian Restaurant 8808 N. Milwaukee (NW corner of Milwaukee & Dempster) Niles, IL 60714 847-297-5555 www.rossinisitalian.com



Fall 2008 / AMICI 31

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32 AMICI / Fall 2008

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he Olympics Games have been around since the late 1800’s, however history has discovered that they date back to the Ancient Greeks at least 2500 years ago. Olympic Games are a wondrous contest of skill, athleticism and diplomacy where language barriers and borders between nations disappear, and people of different nationalities and ideologies, for two weeks, come together to engage in a celebration of human spirit and endurance and become unified through sport. The Beijing games commenced on August 8th, marking the 29th modern Olympic era. The opening ceremony was quite breath taking and people on all sides of the spectrum can be proud. Whoever is granted the next Olympic games will really have a hard time topping the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008.


By Joe Cosentino


ife began for former boxing judge Chuck Giampa in the Taylor Street neighborhood in Chicago. Giampa, 65, grew up in a home near Taylor and Bishop streets just 50 feet from where a statue of baseball great Joe DiMaggio stands in the piazza across the street from

the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. “That was the outfield when we played baseball on the street,” recalls Giampa. “Home plate was in front of my house.” Giampa attended grade school at Our Lady of Pompeii and went on to St. Ignatius High School. Following Graduation from St. Ignatius, Giampa went to the University of Illinois, then located on Navy Pier, for one year and took a boxing course. “I loved the sport since I was 4 or 5 years old listening to it on the radio,” says Giampa. “I wanted to fight as a kid. I had a style similar to Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, so I knew I wouldn’t last more than five years. “However I had some stomach problems and it wasn’t until I was 21 that I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease (an inflammation of the intestinal tract). In 1969, he began selling insurance. Following his father’s passing in the early 1970s, Giampa’s mother, sister and brother started moving to Las Vegas. In 1980, he moved to Las Vegas and got involved with boxing as an official. In most cases, judges are individuals who never fought in the ring or who love the sport. Giampa worked part time at the amateur level and was selected as a professional judge in 1984. About that time, boxing was taking off in Las Vegas. One fight particularly was memorable, the second Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson fight on June 28, 1997 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. In the third round, during close action, Tyson took a bite out of Holyfield’s right ear. The fight became known as “The Bite Fight”. “I had Tyson’s back to me,” recalls Giampa, who was a judge for the fight. “At first when he bit Holyfield, it looked like they bumped heads. Referee Mills Lane called time out. I could see Holyfield was bleeding from his right ear. Holyfield regained his composure and the fight resumed. Tyson bit him again on his left ear at the end of the round.” The fight was stopped following the end, Holyfield had won the first two rounds but Tyson was winning the third round. It was announced that Lane had disqualified Tyson. The Nevada State Athletic Commission revoked Tyson’s boxing license and he was fined $3 million plus legal costs. However, he was reinstated on Oct. 18, 1998. “It actually was a continuation of their previous fight that Tyson lost on a TKO in the 11th round,” Giampa said. “Tyson was frustrated by Holyfield’s strategy.” Boxing faces a challenge from the highly successful televised Ultimate Fighting Championship and other similar contact sports. These sports, 34 AMICI / Fall 2008

if they can be called that, allow participants to use a no-holdsbarred approach to competition creating an atmosphere that is akin to a street fight than a

match of skills and technique. “Boxing is still popular today,” says Giampa. “There’s a big misconception regarding the UFC and mixed martial arts vs. boxing. The market for the UFC is completely different from boxing. By combining wrestling and martial arts, the UFC attracted an 18 to 34 year-old audience. Boxing lost that young crowd base.” In 2005, NBC created “The Contenders” a boxing reality show that featured teams of boxers from the East and West coast in a tournament based in California, with the finals in Las Vegas. “I judged the finals in Las Vegas,” says Giampa. “I got so many calls about those fights. If boxing could get back on national television, it would help. A lot of people can’t afford pay-per-view. “There is nothing like a boxing event when it’s fully charged. Certain boxers have that ability to bring out that electricity in a crowd. Those fighters are few and far between now. When you attend one of those fights, you never forget it.” “Madison Square Garden is still considered the MECCA of boxing where I was fortunate to be assigned twice as a Judge”. In the 40s and 50s, there was a fight somewhere every night in New York. But Chicago showcased some great fights featuring Rocky Marciano, Rocky Graziano, Tony Zale, and others. Additionally, Chicago had many good gyms. “You feel the excitement and you know when it’s a good fight,” says Giampa. “I don’t do that even when I’m watching on television. I’m a strong believer in mental and physical preparation for judges prior to the fight. My focus is at a different level when I judge a fight.” Marciano was an icon, Mohammad Ali was the face of the modern era and television, and Sugar Ray Leonard developed interest in Olympic

boxing. Tyson could have been the biggest ever, but he was besieged by inner demons and legal problems. “There is a saying, ‘as the heavyweight division goes so does boxing,’” says Giampa. “The fans want to see a heavyweight championship fight. Lately, we haven’t seen that kind of competition. Now the trend for heavyweights comes from Europe and Russia. That’s the future now.” In judging a fight, Giampa breaks the round into three one-minute segments. A judge needs to develop instinctive timing. Although he doesn’t write down scores during the round, Giampa keeps a mental scorecard

“One punch can make a round and one round can make a fight. Sometimes fighters believe they have an early lead and they just dance around.”

Despite the consensus that when in doubt you favor the champ, Giampa says there is no champ when the bell rings. The belt is turned over to the commission at the start of the fight. “I have developed total focus on my system,” says Giampa. “I know what time is in the round. That’s the training I have developed over 25 years.” Marciano was famous for directing punches at his opponent’s arms. He received no points; it was his technique. But it would show later in the fight when his opponent would drop his guard when his bruised arms would weakened. “All things being equal, then you look at ring generalship,” says Giampa. “You look at who’s controlling the fight and forcing the other

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He had a role in the movie “Rocky Balboa” (2006), the sixth installment of the Rocky movie series, starring Sylvester Stallone. Naturally, he was cast as a judge in the final fight scene. When the ring announcer said the scoring, he said Giampa’s name. “The fight was a draw. I voted for Rocky,” laughs Giampa. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife Lisa, who began judging boxing last year. He has two children, Sarah and Mark. “We have a lot of fighters today,” says Giampa. “Promoters are putting together fights that the fans want to see. The fights are more competitive now.”

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Giampa retired from judging in April of this year. He has judged more than 120 world championship fights in addition to many regional and international title fights in Italy, England, Wales, France, Germany, Panama, Argentina, Korea, and Japan. He keeps busy writing about boxing and judging fights for a Canadian web site and reports updates on the fight game in Las Vegas. Also, he became a consultant for fighters, managers and promoters. “I saw a need for educating fighters on what they need to be aware of what they should be doing in certain rounds during a fight,” says Giampa. “They need to give judges something to think about.

“There’s a scoring zone from the middle of the head down the sides and across the belt,” says Giampa. “You look for the most effective punches. You have to know where you are in the first two minutes to determine the winner of the round.”

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rappling,one would hear that word and think you were speaking of some sort of game, or a hook of some sort. Well rests assure, it is not a game it is a sport, and quite an intense one at that. Well let us get into what Grappling is exactly and to do that NAGA National Grappling Champion Joe Fiorentino ranked #1 in heavyweight division explained what it is. For Joe Fiorentino and wife Heidi it is definitely something that they take very seriously. Fiorentino is a Law enforcement officer, with the Cook County Sheriff Department. He has been training and competing for a number of years. He began with Judo in 1977. As years passed he became more interested in the surrounding sports. In 1998 he competed in extreme martial arts MMA. And in the year 2006 took first place in the NAGA (North American Grappling Association). In 2007 & 2008 he won the Midwest JiuJitsu tournament advance heavyweight division. Since that time he has retained first place in his heavy weight division. He trains Shidokan under the watchful eye of Shihan Eddie Yoshimura. He also dedicates his time together with sensei Duane Sharp teaching self-defense and jiu-jitsu to the cub scouts. Together with their training, they also prepare the students mentally, to the fact that martial arts are a defense and a highly technical sport, and should never be abused in hurting or harm anyone. This is something they believe in very strongly and is part of the teaching practice.

36 AMICI / Fall 2008

Fiorentino entered the Arnold Grappling championship, which was held in Columbus Ohio. The well-known Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, was also present at the event. Fiorentino at 218 pounds overpowered the massive 308 pound competitor to take first place. The next upcoming event will be in Dallas Texas it is the Europa Super Show. He will be competing in this NAGA Grappling event to retain his 1st place standing Joe is proud of his Italian heritage, he is a member of the Italian American Police Association. He is also a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, he has also been nominated, to be inducted as the first martial arts Grappling Champion to be inducted into the NIASHF Hall of Fame. In the words of Joe Fiorentino currently ranked #1 in the nationally ranked director division. “ Grapplers grapple for a variety of reasons some want to keep in shape. Some want to test their skills in competition. Others want to be able to protect themselves or their family in the street. Grappling also has other benefits, including giving them mental strength, alertness and confidence. Some, like Joe Fiorentino, do it for all of the above.” Grappling involves grabbing a competitor and holding on, but it is definitely harder then it sounds more complicated than that. Here is an overview of the basics: You can’t grapple anything until you get your hands on it first. For most competitors grabbing an opponent for a grapple attack requires a successful melee attack (hand to hand-to-hand fight) getting your opponent to tap out. Once an opponent is grabbed, you must establish a hold, and you do that by making an opposed grapple check against your opponent. The rules say the opposed grapple check is followed by a successful grab. It is nice to know we have Joe Fiorentino’s not only is he an Italian American he is a law enforcement officer, there to protect and serve, and he knows just how to do it. “We thank you Joe and look forward to cheer along side your wife Heidi, in your next competition, good luck”



l 24 aprile la città di San Francisco, la più importante della California e uno dei maggiori centri degli Stati Uniti, accoglierà la “pietra della Porziuncola”, la piccola Chiesa di Assisi restaurata da san Francesco agli inizi della sua conversione (1206), divenuta poi centro di tutto il movimento francescano. a reliquia, sarà consegnata alla città e allo Stato americano da P. Gianpaolo Masotti e P. Mirko Sellitto del Convento della Porziuncola in Assisi, alla presenza del sindaco Gavin Newsom, del vicesindaco Angela Alioto, del Cadinale William Levada, dell’Arcivescovo George Niederauer e di molte altre autorità civili e religiose invitate all’evento. ssa verrà collocata all’interno della riproduzione fedele (in scala 1:1) della chiesina che sta per essere ultimata nella cittadina californiana. Si tratta del primo step di un progetto più ampio, che ha coinvolto in prima persona il vicesindaco di San Francisco, Angela Alioto: rinnovare il Santuario nazionale sito


in California e renderlo centro di ispirazione francescana, perché lo spirito e il pensiero del Poverello di Assisi vengano trasmessi alla popolazione americana: “un luogo in cui fermarsi, riflettere, meditare e pregare”. l progetto, che si sta realizzando grazie al libero contributo dei cittadini, prevede anche la riproduzione della Basilica Superiore di San Francesco e la realizzazione di una Piazza in cui accogliere le migliaia di fedeli che vi si recheranno. A questo si affiancano incontri pubbici, seminari e gruppi di studio, che hanno come scopo quello di far conoscere il santo di Assisi e il suo messaggio di “pace e bene”. certamente un obiettivo ambizioso che oltre a rendere ancora più attraente questa città (che già oggi è una delle più visitate del continente americano), avrà il merito di rendere la “sapienza” di san Francesco più accessibile ai cittadini. Ricordiamo, in proposito, che la città è nata e prende il nome dalla missione spagnola del 1776, intitolata “Misión de Nuestro Padre San Francisco de Asís”. Si tratta quindi di tenere vivo lo spirito che ha guidato i suoi fondatori. Sito ufficiale del progetto: http://www. shrinerenewal.org



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Fall 2008 / AMICI 37

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THE TABLE MY MOTHER SET “A Collection of Traditional Family Recipes From My Mother’s Italian Kitchen To Yours”

By Theresa V. DeCaria

Order Your Book Today Amazon.com or Ebay.com Or send check or money order for $24.95 to Theresa DeCaria P.O. Box 2315 Weirton, WV 26062

“Bring the Family Home” 38 AMICI / Fall 2008

rom start to finish, this cookbook has been a “labor of love.” Recording my mother’s recipes in published form has enabled me, in some small way, to give back to her for all that she has taught me, both in the kitchen and in life.  In harmony m o with my mother’s belief that hM Theresa wit foods cooked with love bring love to every meal, “THE TABLE MY MOTHER SET” not only honors my mother’s passion for good food, good living, and good times with family and friends, but it also encourages people to create their own memories as they gather around their own tables they set.     “If you love  to cook, if you’ve always wanted to cook, or if you just love to L to R cousin s Frank & Tony , Theresa’s mothe eat, then this is the Virginia, Th r eresa, cousin Vi nce, Theresa’s fa book for you!!! “ Fortunato, twin br ther

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The Village Gallery East Haddam, Connecticut 2006

Wedding Night


Green Shutters

Octoberfest of Art The Courtyard Gallery Mystic, Connecticut 2006 Hygienic Art Gallery Salon des Independants New London, Connecticut 2006, 2005 Charter Oak State College Alumni Art Show New Britain, Connecticut 2007


M.A. in Liberal Studies Wesleyan University Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.A. Creative Arts Workshop New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Anthony A

by Andrew Guzaldo

nthony Maulucci is a figurative painter whose work has been described as a cross between Matisse and Modigliani. Primarily self-taught, Maulucci has taken art classes and workshops in New Haven and Montreal. He held his first solo exhibit at The Village Gallery of East Haddam, CT in 2006. His work has been included in gallery shows in Mystic, New Haven and New London, CT. For samples of Maulucci’s work, visit www.anthonymaulucci.com. aulucci is also the award-winning author of five works of fiction published by Lorenzo Press, a small press he founded in 1995.


Anxious Love Cover


is newest book is Anxious Love (2008), a collection of short stories about love and loneliness, and his latest novel is Dear Dante (2006), a story of love , murder and mysticism set in Hartford and Tuscany. His most recent book of poetry, 100 Love Sonnets, was released by Lorenzo Press in 2007. He holds an MA from Wesleyan University and a BA with honors from Connecticut’s Charter Oak State College. He taught English and creative writing at various colleges in Connecticut for over 15 years. He is the father of a daughter and two sons and is currently on sabbatical in Zacatecas, Mexico.



Portrait of the Artist

Women with purple Gemstone Lovers Fall 2008 / AMICI 39

Lyric Opera Season of 2008-2009 By John Rizzo


ou see them all over Italy and Greece, in Turkey and North Africa. Virtually every ancient Greco-Roman city has one of those huge semi-circular theaters carved out of a hillside or mountain slope. Nothing else in the ruins looks like them, and these odd shaped structures with their marvelous acoustics seem to indicate, more than any other edifice still standing, that the people who built these theaters were a cultured people. Indeed, the Medici family in late Renaissance Italy attempted to resurrect the kind of music drama that was performed in the ancient theaters in order to make their contemporary society more Greek, more cultured. With Aristotle’s Poetics as a guideline, the Medici people came up with a type of drama based on ancient subjects, but with their own Italian music. Thus, opera was born. As time passed, a special type of theater construction emerged, usually with a “horseshoe” design that would yield good acoustics and comfortably accommodate the audience, indoors of course. These Italian-style opera houses, which had quickly sprouted up all over Europe, were surely a factor in the phenomenal success of opera on the Continent. The spread of opera’s popularity went considerably slower in America, where its own unique culture was developing, but by the beginning of the 20th century, the Metropolitan Opera of New York had become the world’s foremost opera company. Yet, for many decades, professional opera was not produced nearly as much in the free-enterprise United States as it was in government-subsidized Europe. Mainly for that reason, aspiring American opera singers would typically go to Europe to acquire professional experience and to ply their trade. Today, however, it’s a different story. Despite the considerable costs entailed by an opera production, professional companies have sprung up in hundreds of cities throughout the United States. It seems that having an opera company is proof of a community’s culture, which in turn makes it more attractive to prospective tax-paying businesses and citizens. This is true of every major population center across the country. America is now by far the biggest producer of professional opera of any country in the world. While the newer opera companies are a godsend for young American vocalists, it is still the venerable companies of the big cities, like the Lyric Opera of Chicago that satisfy its local patrons so completely, while drawing throngs of tourists who want to experience true “big-time” opera. And in its 2008-2009 season, there seems to be something for everybody.

At first glance, one might think that the Lyric has somewhat neglected the Italian repertoire – only three out of nine productions are devoted to true Italian operas. And I will not recommend Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, except to those who suffer from insomnia, nor Berg’s Lulu, based on misguided musical concepts, to put it gently. But if you love Italian opera, you will be very pleased with this season’s schedule. In a sense, this season’s upcoming repertoire spans the entire range of operatic, even musical, expression. E s’iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu. In this final couplet from Turridu’s opening ballad in Sicilian dialect from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, we can comprehend not only the tragic intensity inherent in opera but the source of most Western music itself, which evolved from folk tunes like this.

amazing to me that from this elemental, almost primitive musical specimen, we will be serenaded by some of the most harmonically adventurous music ever composed, by George Gershwin, arguably America’s greatest composer. The words may often express simple concepts, but the music is anything but simple. Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high. Oh yo’ daddy’s rich, an’ yo’ ma is good lookin’, so hush, little baby, don’ you cry. This production of Porgy and Bess, by the way, Lyric’s first ever, is not to be missed. Most of us have grown up with the watered-down American musical version. The truth is that Gershwin conceived this work as a real opera, in the genuine Italian style. What you will hear is a revelation of musical genius of the very first order.

I t ’s

Opening the season is Manon by Jules Massenet. It may not feature the rhapsodic peaks of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, but the music of Manon is very lyrical and enjoyable and of a more even quality than the later work. As a drama, it is perhaps even better. If you really love the famous tenor-baritone duet “Au fond du temple saint,” you’ll enjoy Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, the next opera in the season. That’s because the duet’s melody is heard again and again throughout the entire work. After Porgy and Bess comes another “don’t miss” opera, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, with our buddy, Frank Lopardo, as Pinkerton. Puccini considered this work to be his best and I agree with him, at least in terms of the music. Each year it edges up in popularity among the opera public. If the trend continues it will soon eclipse Puccini’c immortal La bohème as the world’s favorite. As is customary, on the same evenings as Cavelleria, Rugerro Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci will also be performed. This is a sublime work, whose drama is unsurpassed. This twin bill of verismo operas is sure to make your legs wobble as you leave the theater. Rounding out the season is Mozart’s delightful Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Mozart, who loved to compose Italian operas more than anything else, composed this German piece because it was thought that the Viennese would want to hear operas in their own language, not just in Italian. This idea was soon proved wrong and the German Opera House closed down. We’re very fortunate to have a company like Lyric Opera, that can offer us such a vast scope of opera, produced so brilliantly. Let’s take advantage of it. After all, Italians invented opera!

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2008-09 national italian restaurant guide Email us for info on CHICAGO AND SUBURBS, IL 3 Olives Restaurant / Twist Lounge 8318 W. Lawrence Ave. Norridge, IL 60706 Phone: (708) 452-1545 Amalfi Ristorante 298 Glen Ellyn Rd. Bloomingdale, IL 630-893-9222 Caponies Trattoria 3350 N. Harlem Ave. Chicago, IL 60634 Phone: (773) 804-9024 Capri Ristorante Italiano, Inc. 1238 W. Ogden Ave. Naperville, IL 60563 Phone: (630) 778-7373 Custom House 500 S. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL 60605 Phone: (312) 523-0200 Gioacchino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria 5201 St. Charles Rd. Bellwood, IL 60104 Phone: (708) 544-0380

Vince’s Italian Restaurant 4747 N. Harlem Ave. Chicago, IL 60634 Phone: (708) 867-7770 Cafe Zalute & Bar 9501 W. Devon Rosemont, Il Phone: (847) 685-0206

BOSTON, MA Bacco Ristorante & Bar 107 Salem St. Boston, MA 02113 Phone: (617) 624-0454 Fiorella’s 187 North St. Newton, MA 02460 Phone: (617) 969-9990 Sorento’s Italian Gourmet 86 Peterborough St. Boston, Ma, 02215 Phone: (617) 424-7070

MILWAUKEE, WI Bellagio of Naples 492 Bayfront Pl. Naples, FL 34102 Phone: (239) 430-7020

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

Alioto’s 3041 N. Mayfair Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53222 Phone: (414) 476-6900

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

Buca di Beppo 1233 N. Van Buren St. Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: (414) 224-8672

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

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

Venuti’s Ristorante & Banquets 2251 W. Lake St. Addison, IL 60101 Phone: (630) 376-1500


Via Carducci 1419 W. Fullerton Chicago, IL 60614 773-665-1981

Trattoria Milano Italian 336 Tamiami Trail N Naples, FL 34102 Phone: (239) 645-2030

Stars Restaurant Review Rating! Trattoria Milano Italian 336 9TH St. N Naples, FL 34102 Phone: (239) 643-2030

NEW YORK, NY Borgo Antico Italian Restaurant 22 E. 13th St. New York, NY 10003 Phone: (212) 807-1313 Carmine’s 2450 Broadway New York, NY 10024 Phone: (212) 362-2200 Carmine’s Rhode Island 100 Twin Rivers Rd. Lincoln, RI 02865 Phone: (401) 475-8600 Massimo al Ponte Vecchio 206 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012 Phone: (212) 228-7701

PHILADELPHIA, PA Dante & Luigi’s 762 S. 10th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 922-9501 Dolce` 241 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 Phone: (215) 238-9983 Mama Yolanda’s Italian Restaurant 746 S. 8TH St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 Phone: (215) 592-0195

Mescolanza 2221 Clement St. San Francisco, CA 94121 Phone: (415) 668-2221 Puccini & Pinetti 129 Ellis St. San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 392-5500 Ristorante Umbria 198 2nd St. San Francisco, CA 94105 Phone: (415) 546-6985

ST. LOUIS, MO Favazza’s 5201 Southwest Ave. St. Louis, MO 63139 Phone: (314) 772-4454 John Mineo’s Italian 13490 Clayton Rd. St. Louis, MO 63131 Phone: (314) 434-5244 Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant 5257 Shaw Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110 Phone: (314) 772-8272 Tony’s Restaurant 410 Market St. St. Louis, MO 63102 Phone: (314) 231-7007 Concetta’s Italian Restaurant 600 S. 5th St. St. Charles, MO 63301 Phone: (636) 946-2468 Ricardo’s Italian Cafe 1931 Park Ave. St. Louis, MO 63104 Phone: (314) 421-4833

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

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


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

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



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