Vol. 50 ▪ No. 8 Washington D.C.
An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington D.C. Area
October 2011 $1.50
Maria Bartiromo NIAF Gala’s Celebrating Italian American Heritage Month Christopher Columbus is feted nationwide, new books raise his profile Mistress of Ceremonies More than 3,000 guests are expected to attend the National Italian American Foundation’s 36th annual Convention and Gala on October 28 and 29, 2011, at the Washington Hilton. Maria Bartiromo, Emmy Award-winning journalist and a member of the NIAF Board of Directors, will serve as the Gala’s mistress of ceremonies. President Barack Obama, who was visibly absent last year, has once again been invited to attend.
by Francesco Isgrò
Italian Americans throughout the country unofficially celebrate October as Italian American Heritage Month. Although some states and localities, such as New Jersey and Salt Lake City have officially designated October as such, the Federal government has yet to proclaim a National Italian American Heritage Month. Earlier this year, a Congressional resolution was introduced into Congress to make the national designation official across the United States. However, progress has been slow. As of the end of September, only five congressmen had sponsored the resolution, including its original cosponsors Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH), who are also co-chairs of the Italian American Congressional Delegation. The lack of a federal designation, however, has not impeded enthusiastic celebrations of Italian and Italian American culture across the country this month. Most of the major events naturally focus around Christopher Columbus Day, a national federal holiday. Columbus has been in many ways Continued on page 3
According to NIAF, confirmed celebrities include: Frankie Avalon, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Dana Brunetti, Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, Deana Martin, Joe Pantoliano, and Mike Piazza. They will be joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. This year’s Gala honorees include: Capri Cafaro, Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate, Dion DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Frank J. Guarini, former Congressman and NIAF Chairman Emeritus, Frank G. Mancuso Sr., former Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and MetroGoldwyn-Mayer Studio, Emma Marcegaglia, President of Confindustria, Paolo Scudieri, Managing Director of Adler Plastic, Santo Versace, President of Gianni Versace and Chairman of the Board of Fondazione Operation Smile Italia Onlus. During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will also host Expo Italia, a two-day exhibition showcasing the best of Italy, as well as an auction showcase. The convention will also feature conferences and seminars celebrating all things Italian.
Festa Italiana To Highlight 150 Years of Italian Immigration An exhibit depicting 150 years of Italian immigration to the United States will highlight this year's cultural events during the 13th Annual Festa Italiana on Sunday, October 9, 2011, on the grounds of Holy Rosary Church and Casa Italiana. On loan from the Center for Migration Studies in Staten Island, the exhibit presents a pictorial history of Italian immigrants from their entry at Ellis Island to their expansion to various parts of the country. The photographs capture everyday scenes of Italians at home, at work and at leisure. They also depict tragic events, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York, in which numerous Italians perished. In keeping with tradition, this year's Festa will feature a procession to the National Law Officers Memorial to place a wreath in honor of all Italian Americans and other law officers who have given their lives to keep our country safe. The procession will be accompanied by music provided by the St. John's College High School Regimental Band. Local Knights of Columbus members, who will participate in a special Columbus Day Mass at Holy Rosary at 10:30 a.m., will also march in the procession. The master of cere-
monies for the Festa is noted Baltimore tenor Elio Scaccio, joined by Miss Ohio soprano Amanda Beagle. The photo exhibit will be shown in Casa Italiana.
Maria Bartiromo, CNBC's star business anchor
The official celebration at the Columbus Memorial in Washington, where U.S. government and foreign dignitaries participated at a 2010 wreath-laying ceremony.
Food, Fashion, Fiat
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Istat: in Italia più di 16 mila centenari
Tra loro 13 mila sono donne. Oltre 4,5 milioni i residenti stranieri
In Italia ci sono 16.145 persone con 100 e più anni di età, di cui ben 13.040 donne e solo 3.105 uomini. Lo rileva l’Istat nelle statistiche demografiche sulla popolazione residente, aggiornate al 1 gennaio 2011. La popolazione totale èdi 60 milioni e 626.442 persone, 31.213.168 femmine e 29.413.274 maschi. I centenari sono in assoluto più numerosi nel Nord-Ovest (4.190) e meno nelle isole (1.533); piu’ al Centro (3.984) che al sud (3.087). Sono piu’ numerosi i maschi celibi che le donne nubili: i primi sono 13.363.791 mentre le nubili risultano 11.632.404. Sono invece di più le donne coniugate (15.035.197) degli uomini coniugati (14.855.187). Lo stesso per le persone divorziate: le donne sono 713.330 rispetto a 472.192 uomini. Notevole la sproporzione tra donne e uomini rimasti vedovi: le vedove sono ben 3.832.237 rispetto ai 722.104 vedovi. IN ITALIA 4,5 MLN RESIDENTI STRANIERI - In Italia risiedono 4 milioni e 570.317 stranieri, di cui più di 2,3 milioni donne e più di 2,2 milioni uomini. Lo rileva l’Istat nell’ultima rilevazione sulla popolazione straniera residente, aggiornata al 1 gennaio 2011. Gli stranieri residenti sono più numerosi
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nell’Italia nord-occidentale (1.597.389), in quella nord-orientale (1.200.881) e al centro (1.153.057). Molto meno numerosi al sud (439.233) e nelle isole (179.757). La Lombardia, con piu’ di 500 mila stranieri, è la regione con la popolazione straniera residente più numerosa.
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►Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Papal Nuncio to the United Nations in Geneva was the subject of a profile recently in Il Giornale di Vicenza, titled “L'Arcivescovo Bassanese Ambasciatore del Papa all'Onu.” Archibishop Tomasi is the brother of Holy Rosary Parish pastor Father Lydio Tomasi. ►The Center for Migration Studies, a N.Y. based educational institute devoted to studying migration has named Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. as its executive director. CMS was created in 1969 by the Scalabrinian order. Kerwin is a former V.P. at the Migration Policy Institute. ►Maria Lombardo, former NIAF education director has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation. ►Fans of Andy Warhol can take in two major exhibits, one at the National Gallery of Art (until Jan. 2) and the other at the Hirshhorn (until Jan. 15). Among the pieces is Warhol's enormous triptych “Fate Presto,” depicting the front page of Il Mattino in 1981, after a devastating earthquake in the area around Naples. ►Designer Giambattista Valli, a native of Rome and a former designer for Ungaro, Fendi and Krizia, is about to launch a moderately priced collection for Macy's. Valli follows in the footsteps of Missoni, whose recent collection for Target was wildly successful. ►Dolores Hope, born Dolores DeFina in the Bronx, N.Y., and widow of comedian Bob Hope died recently at 102. She was married to Hope, who died in 2003, for 69 years and raised their four adopted children while Hope was often on the road. She played a key role in establishing the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Washington D.C., October 2011
Italian American Heritage Month Continued from page 1
the unifying figure for the Italian American community. The city of San Francisco claims the nation's oldest continuously-existing celebration with the Italian-American community's annual Columbus Day Parade, established by Nicola Larco in 1868. The largest such celebration in America is New York City's Columbus Day Parade. In size, Chicago's Columbus Day parade is not far behind. For the past 36 years in Washington D.C., October has also hosted the National Italian American Foundation's annual convention and gala, attracting U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and numerous Italian American celebrities to the event. This year, for the first time, the 13th Annual Festa Italiana in Washington, D.C. will take place, not in June, but on Sunday, Oct. 9, on the grounds of Holy Rosary and
Casa Italiana. On the following day, the official Washington, D.C. Columbus Day ceremonies will be held at the Cristopher Columbus Memorial located in front of Union Station. Making this October particularly special is the fact that this year marks 150 years of Italy's unification. The occasion offers a chance to reflect on how Italy was united by leaders such as Cavour, Mazzini and Garibaldi and, more broadly, to appreciate Italy's contributions to the arts, literature, sciences
and medicine. To quote a proclamation issued by President Obama: “Bound by enduring values of faith and family, Italian Americans have flourished in all areas of our public and economic life while preserving their proud Italian traditions. . .Italian Americans have persevered with hope and hard work to reach for the American dream and helped build our great country. . .and have defended the liberty and integrity of the United States since the Revolutionary War.”
Walter Bonatti: il re delle Alpi, morto a 81 anni di Generoso D'Agnese
Era il 2004 quando qualcuno esclamò: “giustizia è fatta”. Non si riferiva a un processo penale ma a una pagina della storia italiana legato allo sport e all’avventura. La conquista del K2, la montagna in assoluto più pericolosa del Mondo, divoratrice di vite umane e restia a essere calpestata da ramponi e piccozze. Era il 2004 e l’uomo felice era Walter Bonatti, finalmente libero dal peso che per 50 anni si era caricato sulle spalle. Era il 2004 quando tre saggi del Club Alpino italiano sentenziarono che Bonatti aveva effettivamente mantenuto il proprio impegno nella rigida distribuzione dei compiti nella conquista degli ultimi metri del colosso roccioso di 8100 metri. Walter Bonatti è morto a 81 anni e con lui se ne va l’ultimo protagonista italiano della straordinaria coordata che portò Lacedelli e Compagnoni sulla seconda vetta del Mondo. Quella preferita in assoluto dall’alpinismo italiano e che da tutti è ritenuta una montagna maledetta, foriera di numerosi lutti. Ma Walter Bonatti non fu soltanto un grande alpinista. Anzi, proprio la vicenda del K2 lo indusse a percorrere altre strade trasformandolo in esploratore e giornalista scientifico e consegnando alle pagine dei libri e alle immagini della TV. Bonatti era nato a Bergamo il 22 giugno 1930 e fin da piccolo si appassionò alle discipline sportive acrobatiche. A 18 anni si innamorò delle arrampicate e iniziò le sue scalate sulla Prealpi Lombarde.
Seguendo le orme del grande Cassin, Bonatti scalò Grande Jorasses e la parete nor-ovest del Pizzo Badile ma nel 1950 entrò già nella leggenda. Scalò per primo la parete est del Grand Capucin nel gruppo del Monte Bianco, e la conquistò dopo 4 tentativi. Dal 1951 quella parete porta il nome di Bonatti. Nel 1952 scalò anche l’Aiguille Noire de Peuterey candidandosi alla spedizione ideata da Ardito Desio per la conquista della “Montagna”, il terribile K2. Insieme a dieci altri alpinisti intraprese quella che ancora oggi può essere considerata la più grande conquista dell’alpinismo mondiale, per le difficoltà intrinseche che il K2 presenta. La storia della conquista ha riempito pagine e pagine di giornali e di libri. Bonatti e Amir Mahdi, incaricati di portare le bombole di ossigeno ai compagni dovettero sopravvivere una notte intera a temperature di -50°, senza una tenda o un sacco a pelo per ripararsi dalle tormente di neve e ghiaccio.“Quella notte sul K2, tra il 30 e il 31 luglio io dovevo morire. Il fatto che sia invece sopravvissuto è dipeso soltanto da me..” avrebbe scritto anni dopo l’alpinista di Bergamo. A causa del freddo il compagno Mahdi riportò seri congelamenti alle mani e ai piedi ed in seguito l’amputazione di numerose dita. Accusato negli anni seguenti da alcuni giornali di aver voluto forzare l’impresa superando i compiti assegnati da Ardito Desio, Bonatti intentò diverse cause e le vinse, ma non soddisfatto per i nodi lasciati
A Closer Look at Christopher Columbus Just in time for Columbus Day celebrations, several new books take a closer look at the adventurer and explorer, while showing that even after more than five centuries, Columbus continues to be a source of fascination. Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem by anthropologist Carol Delaney sets out to prove that Columbus's real motive for setting sail was to conquer Jerusalem. Race to the New World by Douglas Hunter aims to dispel rumors that Columbus and John Cabot were engaged in a race to discover the New World. Mystery and controversy have always surrounded Columbus, and these books add to the literature that purports to discover the truth. One lingering controversy is whether Columbus was Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Polish. The answer is clear, according to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, a Columbus specialist and a Notre Dame professor. As he wrote definitively in the Wall Street Journal: “The incontrovertible evidence is that he was Genoese.”
sospesi in quella che fu una spedizione finanziata con soldi pubblici, lottò fino alla decise di diventare esploratore e reporter. definitiva chiarezza degli eventi avvenuta Tra le sue “perle” vi sono la scoperta della nel 2004. Dopo ben 50 anni Bonatti aveva popolazione indigena Waikas Yanoami nell’Alto Orinoco, quella dei Sakai, una finalmente ottenuto giustizia. Tornato in Italia dopo i fatti del K2, nel popolazione aborigena proveniente dalla 1955 Bonatti violò il pilastro sud-ovest del giungle malesi, la scoperta del percorso Petit Dru (nel gruppo del Monte Bianco), dello scrittore Melville nelle isole Marchesi, segnando quella che viene definita una tappa indimenticabile nella storia dell’alpinismo. Dopo un’altra terribile esperienza sulla parete della Poire, Bonatti si spostò in Patagonia per tentare di violare la vetta Cerro Torre. Nel 1958 Bonatti conquistò il Cerro Mariano Moreno, una montagna che nelle mappe Walter Bonatti sulla cima del Gasherbrum IV figurava ancora come inesplorata. Nel 1961 Bonatti si spostò l’esplorazione del Centro Rosso nel deserto nelle Ande peruviane effettuando per primo Simpson in Australia, le esplorazioni delle la scalata al Nevado Rondoy Norte. Nel Valli Secche in Antartide, la scoperta della 1965 aprì una nuova via sulla parete Nord reale posizione delle sorgenti del Rio delle del Cervino realizzando tre exploit: la prima Amazzoni. Autore di un ventina di libri, il più ascesa in solitaria della parete, la prima famoso dei quali rimane “Le mie montagne”, salita invernale della stessa e l’apertura di Walter Bonatti, soprannominato “il re delle una nuova via. Alpi”, è morto il 14 settembre 2011. Dopo l’impresa del Cervino, Bonatti
Washington D.C., October 2011
Food, Fashion and Fiat: Italy’s Image Soars While Its Economy Lags by Francesco Isgrò
“Venice is still sinking, Berlusconi is in trouble again and the government’s in debt…but Italy is still magical Italy— perhaps more so now than ever.” So began a recent eight-page feature in the Wall Street Journal called “Ciao, Bella.” The stories were devoted to all things Italian: food, fashion, design and glistening cars. Rarely in recent years has Italy’s image been so alluring. Whether that image is based on reality or the result of a well-orchestrated campaign by “Made in Italy” marketers, the fact is that the country is currently hot. No one can touch Italy when it comes to food and fashion. For some time now, Italian food has displaced the esteemed position formerly held by French cuisine. The triumph of Italian food is chronicled in great detail in a book issued this past spring written by John Mariani, food and wine contributor at Esquire magazine. The book is called simply, How Italian Food Conquered the World. Curious as to why Italians eat so well and yet stay so thin, a Wall St. Journal reporter recently interviewed a number of “glitterati” in Florence, Milan and Venice to learn their secrets. It turns out the secret is rooted in the Italian lifestyle: taking time for proper meals, even several courses, without overindulging or snacking. Fashion has long been Italy’s forte. But recently it seems Italian fashion houses are becoming even more creative and marketing savvy. This fall, Missoni became the latest design firm to create a moderately priced clothing line especially for Target. The pieces reportedly flew out of the stores. Milan-based Dolce & Gabbana is taking the opposite tack, dismantling its lower-end D&G line and focusing on high-end items. The company plans to expand into a line of jewelry priced up to $20,000 a piece. Tod’s, the upscale Italian leather-
goods company started in 1978 by Diego Della Valle, has seen explosive growth. Della Valle is now the owner of Fiorentina, Florence’s soccer team, and the largest shareholder in Saks Fifth Avenue. He recently gave $34 million toward the restoration of the Colosseum. Even more dramatic is the remarkable rescue of Chrysler and the come-back of Fiat into the U.S., engineered by Silvio Marchionne, chief executive officer of the companies. With the early help of the U.S. government, he brought Chrysler back from the brink of insolvency and recently managed to repay its debt to the government. Marchionne has introduced 16 new or updated cars, including the newly popular Jeep Grand Cherokee. He is now overseeing the North American roll-out of the Fiat 500, the quintessentially Italian car, as well as the planned return of the Alfa Romeo in 2012. A native of Abruzzo, whose family moved to Canada when he was 14, Marchionne has Italian and Canadian citizenship, and speaks fluent English and Italian. He reportedly sleeps only three hours a day, thriving on cups of espresso. It seems these days that even the antics of Silvio Berlusconi, and Italy's difficulty managing its overburdened economy, can't dampen its charm and creativity. If only it applied the same magic toward ending its enormous financial problems, Italy could truly become the envy of the world.
Top left: dress by Dolce & Gabbana, summer 2012 collection; Silvio Marchionne, ceo of Chrysler and Fiat; a Fiat 500.
Gianrico Carofiglio, Best-Selling Author Comes to U.S. The lastest thriller by former Mafia prosecutor in Bari is now in English translation Internationally acclaimed mystery writer, Gianrico Carofiglio is about to gain greater visibility in this country with his latest crime novel, Temporary Perfections, translated into English by Antony Shugaar. The electrifying crime thriller is the fourth to feature Guido Guerrieri, a lawyer practicing in Bari, in southwest Italy. Guerrieri is out to solve the case of the missing Manuela Ferraro, who disappears at a beach
resort. Guerrieri's research uncovers a sinister drug ring and the truth about why Ferraro vanished. Carofiglio's characters are well-developed, critics agree, and the plot is thoughtful and suspenseful, often tackling subjects such as immigration, sexual politics and the Italian legal system. His crisp writing is compared to Hemingway and Steinbeck. A former Italian prosecutor of the Mafia in Bari, Carofiglio knows his subject well.
He was at the forefront of some of the most dramatic Mafia court cases in the 1990s and for many years traveled with armed guards to protect his life. Today, he has said, the Mafia still exists but that fortunately its members “have abandoned the frontal clash with the state, reducing the risk for magistrates and policemen.” Right: Gianrico Carofiglio
Washington D.C., October 2011
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to be Named Noted Flutist Andrea Griminelli at Italian Embassy Apostolic Nuncio to Washington D.C. UniCredit CEO Ghizzone launches ‟Art Crossing”
Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Viganò
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Secretary General of the Governatorate, which manages the State of Vatican City, is expected to succeed the late Pietro Sambi as Apostolic Nuncio to Washington D.C. A native of Varese, Viganò was ordained a priest in 1968 and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1973. He was assigned to diplomatic posts in Iraq and Great Britain before serving in the Secretariat of State. He became Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria in 1992, followed by posts within the Secretariat until his assumption in 2009 of the position as Secretary General.
Kirsten Keppel Reports on ‟Molisani nel Mondo” At a recent luncheon meeting of the Abruzzo Molise Heritage Society at Casa Italiana, Kirsten Keppel presented a lively report of her visit to Molise in June as a delegate to the Molisani nel Mondo's fourth conference in Campobasso, Italy. Kirsten, a language teacher and member of AMHS, is the great granddaughter of immigrants from Molise. In her report she recounted her participation in sessions that discussed the cultural and environmental riches of Molise, its history, emigration, and tourism, among other topics. "The view alone of Campobasso's Monforte Castle would have been enough to take my breath away for three days," said Kirsten. "The visual mosaic of Molise is inspiration I carry constantly in my mind's
eye and heart -- from Isernia's glorious cathedral to the turquoise Adriatic in Termoli, the medieval churches in villages, exhibits from the time of the Samnites, and the statue of the emigrant waving goodbye and holding a suitcase." It was this image of the Molisano leaving his home for the new world that inspired Kirsten and Maestro Bruno Fusco, portraying the immigrant, to open her presentation at the luncheon with a lively dance of Molise. President Dick DiBuono, who had asked Kirsten to represent AMHS at the Molise conference, opened the meeting and introduced Kirsten. The event included a luncheon prepared by AMHS member Rocco Caniglia and his assistants.
World-renowned flutist Andrea Griminelli, and the Knights orchestra, performed a program that included pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and Bizet at the Italian Embassy on Sept. 24. The recital was part of a cultural program sponsored by Italy's UniCredit bank. The bank's chief executive, Federico Ghizzone, said the evening was inspired by a 16th century painting by Savoldo called Portrait of a Young Man with a Flute, which is part of the UniCredit art collection, one of the largest in Europe, and which was on display at the event. The painting, he said, speaks "of the interplay of art and music, two cultural fields framing this evening's event and in which we are particularly active." The program served to launch UniCredit's "Art Crossing" project, which seeks to share the bank's "artistic heritage with a broad audience and celebrate all aspects of art -- painting, sculpture, photography, music, dance, theater, cinema, literature, design and architecture," according to UniCredit Chairman Dieter Rampl. The project's goal is also to inspire young talent and encourage them to pursue and appreciate all art forms. Ambassador Giulio Terzi said that the event showed UniCredit's "strong commitment in promoting Italian cultural and artistic expression worldwide, especially in the universal languages of music and art."
Ann Marie and Bill Leali Celebrate 45 Years The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was the site earlier this year of a special Archdiocese of Washington Marriage Jubilarian Mass. Couples married for 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years, and any year beyond 50 were invited to attend the Mass. Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington was the celebrant and homilist. Holy Rosary parishioners, Bill and Ann Marie Leali, pictured at left with Cardinal Wuerl, celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary this summer.
Top right, Portrait of a Young Man with a Flute by Savoldo; center, UniCredit chief executive Federico Ghizzone; bottom, flutist Andrea Griminelli.
Washington D.C., October 2011 Editor-in-Chief: Lydio F. Tomasi, c.s. Executive Editor: Francesco Isgrò
Founded in 1960 An Italian American Gazette of the Greater Washington DC Area
Editorial Board: Anna Bujatti (Italy), Pino Cicala, Enrico Davoli, Dona De Sanctis, Anna Isgrò, Gemma Puglisi, Fred Rotondaro Board of Trustees: Franco Nuschese, Stephanie Razzano, Beatrice Tierney
Voce Italiana’s View
Americans of Italian Origin Redefine Their Identity An often ignored fact is that Italians were drawn to the New World from the very genesis of “America.” Even aside from the famous Italian discoverers and explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, Giovanni da Verazzano, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci, there are the lesser-known Enrico da Tonti, and Fathers Saetta and Chino. Further, Fathers Anthony Ravallo, Gregorio Mengarini and Joseph Cataldo worked among American Indians. Artists and educators like Costantino Brumidi, Adelina Patti, Lorenzo de Ponte and hundreds of Italian Jesuits were brokers of culture. During the American Revolution we find Finizzi, Talliaferro, Mazzei, Vigo and others who volunteered their services. Despite the contributions of their compatriots, however, the masses of Italian immigrants who came to America at the end of the last century were looked upon with suspicion and considered illiterate, inferior and mafiosi by many. Fortunately, that image and perception of Italians and their descendents has largely disappeared, except in some television stereotypes such as Sopranos and the infamous Jersey Shore. These changes were possible thanks to the growing integration of Americans of Italian descent into our multi-ethnic society. From Rudy Giuliani, the “anticrime” mayor of New York to the new governor Andrew Cuomo to Leon Panetta, the new head of the Pentagon, Italian names are present in the most important and sensitive positions. Many of these success stories are narrated in a new book by Maurizio Molinari, a correspondent of the daily La Stampa, entitled Gli Italiani di New York (Laterza,
2011). From Diego Piacentini, number two at Amazon, to the architect and designer Giovanni Pesce, to Lady Gaga (Stefani Angelina Germanotta), and Lamberto Andreotti, administrator at Bristol-Myers Squibb, the gallery of portraits is very rich. The culinary world is dominated by Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali. Molinari does not neglect the more humble stories of “frontier priests,” or of firemen and policemen who gave their lives for the security of the citizens of this country. Indeed, it is here that we find the key to the integration of Italian Americans: their presence “en masse” in police and military forces. The determination with which Italians in uniform, from Joe Petrosino onward, have fought the Mafia, has slowly succeeded in redeeming the image of an ethnic group and of erasing prejudice against them. A glance at today's armed forces, sacred to Americans who look upon the military as defenders of freedom and the American lifefstyle, proves the point. Admiral Edmund Giambastiani rose to become the second highest ranking officer in the military, Gen. Peter Pace served as chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and is now on the Secretary of Defense's Policy Board, and today all eyes are on Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, chief of staff of the entire U.S. Army.--LFT
‟From Amazon's Diego Piacentini to architect and designer Giovanni Pesce to Lady Gaga, the gallery of portraits is very rich.”
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Letters to the Editor Kudos to Voce
Dear Editor: Your publication is marvelous -- keep up the great stories! As a tour guide, I proudly show Voce Italiana to my many tourists who visit here. They love it! Cordially, Gilda Del Signore Washington D.C.
An Italian American Reality Check
Dear Editor: The media, entertainment and advertising industries have a vested interest in promoting the Italian American gangster, Guido, and Guidette image. They have billions of dollars to promote and hype their negative productions, which many Italian Americans are not only okay with, but also become enablers by honoring many of the actors who consistently play negative Italian roles, at their banquets, Columbus Day
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parades and Italian Feasts. Then there are the many TV, radio hosts and programs that promote these shows and individuals for ratings and profit. Again I ask: Would another ethnic group tolerate this? Why do we Italian Americans allow our heritage and culture to be defamed and ridiculed? Enough is enough. It’s time to wake up and smell the espresso! It’s time for us to stand up and defend our heritage and culture. It’s time to say to the entertainment industry and Italian American actors that the constant portrayal of Italian Americans as gangsters, Guidos, and Guidettes is not acceptable. We demand positive roles, films, and programs. Let's make it perfectly clear that you are either with us or against us-and that goes for those who support you! Manny Alfano Italian American One Voice Coalition Bloomfield, N.J.
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Washington D.C., October 2011
Rising Stars: From Folk to Classical to Rhythm and Blues
duce and distribute fresh olive oil at affordable prices. His new albums link the singer with his roots in the Calabrian olive groves.
Middle of Nowhere Kristin Cifelli www.myspace.com/kristincifelli kristincifelli.com In her third album, singer-songwriter Kristin Cifelli expands on her repertoire
Can’t Control Myself Gina Sicilia www.myspace.com/ginasicilia ginasicilia.com The earthy, bluesy voice of singer-songwriter Gina Sicilia, 25, hit the music scene in 2007, in a debut CD called “Allow Me to Confess.” The recording earned Sicilia a nomination in the Best New Artist Debut category at the 2008 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tenn. As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, Sicilia’s voice has “impres-
Voce's collection of new recordings from three young singer-songwriters
of powerful yet subtle, lyric-driven songs, influenced by folk, pop and country music. With her “unforgettable voice, at times soothing and at times full of intense energy,” as one reviewer describes it, Cifelli has become a popular presence in East coast venues. This latest recording, called “Middle of Nowhere,” is set to expand her fan base nationwide. The CD will be available after Nov. 15 from cdbaby.com.
Cifelli has been featured on the Oxygen Network, the Fox 25 Morning Show and VH1, as well as in Billboard magazine, the Boston Globe and the Associated Press. She has played in legendary venues, including Boston’s Club Passim and New York’s The Bitter End. A winner of the John Lennon Songwriting award, she has shared the stage with numerous celebrated performers, including opening for Aimee Mann with the Boston Pops at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Bostonbased Cifelli is also a voice professor at the Berklee College of Music. Her father is a native of Castelpetroso in Molise, Italy. Olive You Micheal Castaldo www. michealcastaldo.com Singer, songwriter and producer Micheal Castaldo is preparing to introduce two new recordings: “Olive You: Classic Italian Songs to Feed the Heart,” and “Extravergine: A Mediterranean Christmas” on Nov. 22. A tenor, Micheal sings classical Italian songs in Italian and English, in the style of Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Il Divo. His music plays on more than 40 Italian
Discovering Hawaii’s Italian Heritage Although Italians have never been numerous in Hawaii, their contribution is part of the islands’ past and present. Among the first Italians to visit Hawaii was Paolo Emilio Botta, who came in 1828 aboard the French ship Heros for a two month stay. The son of Carlo Botta, an Italian author, Paolo Botta’s observations of sympathetic interest regarding Hawaii were included by his father in the 1841 Italian edition of a book recounting his voyage to and experiences in Hawaii. Some years later, Captain John Dominis, an American of Italian ancestry, sailed into Honolulu, bringing with him his New England wife and small son. An affluent seacaptain, Dominis built the finest residence in Honolulu. but on a voyage to China in 1846 to obtain furniture for his home, he disappeared at sea. His son John Owen Dominis grew up in the elegant home his father had built and took his bride, Princess Lili’uokalani, there to live. It was her personal home for the rest of her life, and after her death it was
purchased by the Territory of Hawaii as the governor’s mansion. The home still contains many articles associated with Lili’uokalani and the Dominis family. Located on Beretania Street near the Capitol and ‘Iolani Palace, it bears the name of Washington Place. John Owen Dominis, a businessman of prominence, received King Kalakaua’s appointment as governor of the island of O’ahu, and then, upon his wife’s ascension to the throne, became Prince Consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was a quiet man, living comfortably in the shadow of his royal wife, who relied heavily upon his wise counsel. He is one of the few non Hawaiians to be buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Nu’uanu Valley. In the 20th Century, Italians in Hawaii have continued their traditional contributions to the varied pleasures of their fellows. A fledgling business in Hawaii in 1913 affected by the Italian genius of Henry Ginaca was the pineapple industry. Ginaca, company engineer for The
radio stations around the world. His single titled, “Pray’r,” hit the number 1 spot on the Amazon.com classical chart. Castaldo's earlier critically acclaimed CD, “Aceto” was dedicated to his late father and includes 14 classic and two original Italian songs. Castaldo has also produced and written songs for Grammy winner Jose Feliciano, among others. He often performs for charitable causes, helping to raise more than $45,000 last year. Originally from Calabria, Castaldo was raised in Toronto, Canada and now lives in the U.S. His family's olive groves in the foothills of Calabria continue to proHawaiian Pineapple Company, invented a machine for peeling and coring pineapples thus facilitating the canning process, and making that delicious fruit not only a wonderful source of trade and revenue for the Hawaiian people but a gift to the world in general. Adding that special Italian touch of hospitality offered to tourists to Hawaii. Arthur Benaoa brought to Hawaii from Milan in 1927, became managing director of the Territorial Hotels Co., in charge of the Royal Hawaiian, the Moana and the Seaside Hotels, and the Wai’alae Golf Club. Another Italian, Domenico Moro, born in Sicily, was the leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band from 1941 to 1955, gladdening the hearts and ears of music lovers in Hawaii. The Italian influence is obvious to one walking through Hawaiian streets lined with restaurants and pizza parlors, large and small, that waft spicy aromas on Hawaiian breezes. And those discerning folks who search beneath the surface discover other images of the Italian influences that permeate and enrich all strata of the Hawaiian lifestyle. *Submitted by Gilda Del Signore
sive range and depth…she’s going to get ever better with age.” Her third album “Can’t Control Myself” is a mix of her own songs with renditions of popular Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner tunes, expanding her range into 1960s soul and Americana. The CD has already hit the About.com list of the 10 best blues albums of 2011. It is available at ginasicilia.com. Philadelphia-based Sicilia is a Temple University graduate, whose father emigrated from southern Italy and settled in Newtown, Pa.
Washington D.C., October 2011
The newspaper Voce Italiana is the Italian Italian American Gazette of the greater Washington area. Voce Italiana is the oldest Italian Amer...