I TA L I A
Fiore Di Zucchini www.panoramitalia.com
oyster perpetual datejust et oyster perpetual lady-datejust
here is much excitement surrounding the Spring 2005 edition of PanoramItalia. The original goal of this magazine was to create a vehicle celebrating and paying tribute to our fantastic heritage. Judging from the response to our first three issues, I would have to say that we are well on our way to acheiving that goal. Many readers have gotten in touch to tell me how they feel about the magazine. Let me say that nothing gives me more pleasure than receiving your letters filled with excitement and praise for our project - make sure to keep them coming! Our advertisers are also riding that wave of enthusiasm. PanoramItalia is a magazine with staying power - its coffee table quality ensures that it is proudly displayed and is passed from one eager hand to another. Our advertisers realize that the magazine's tremendous popularity is a perfect way to reach their targetted customers. I look forward to our continued partnership with them and to welcoming new advertisers on board in the future! Beginning with the 2004 issue, we shipped 10,000 complimentary copies to Italian homes in the West Island, Laval, Cartierville, St-Laurent, Outremont, Westmount and the town of Mount-Royal and 2000 Toronto families. The initiative was extremely well received and we will continue with it, this time focusing on the east of the Island, sending
to St-Leonard, Montreal North, Rivière des Prairies, Ville D'Anjou and LaSalle. Another 40,000 copies will be distributed through a special mailing list, via targetted businesses and special events, and of course, through our everexpanding subscription list. This last option is the best way to guarantee that you'll never miss out on an upcoming issue and ensures that each one is delivered straight to your door! To all those who are kindly expressing their support through subscription, PanoramItalia and its advertisers have devised a special way to say thank-you. Several gift certificates including everything from fine dining to fabulous hair salons and discounts at some of Montreal's finest jewellers will be included with each issue. You'll also want to check out the fantastic contest that is offering subscribers an opportunity to win a free trip for two to Italy. What could be better? Finally, 2005 marks the first time that we will be publishing two editions of the magazine in one year. You can look forward receiving our Fall / Winter issue at the beginning of November. In the meantime, on behalf of the PanoramItalia staff and myself, it is our sincere hope that you will thoroughly enjoy our latest effort. It is truly a pleasure to bring these stories to you. Happy reading!
'edizione primaverile di Panoramitalia è attesa con grande interesse ed entusiasmo. Sottolineare la variegata ricchezza dell'eredità ed identita italiana in Canada è stato fin dall'inizio e rimane lo scopo della rivista. Partendo dalle numerose ed entusiastiche reazioni ricevute dopo le prime tre edizioni, mi sia permesso di affermare di aver intrapreso la strada giusta per raggiungere il traguardo che mi ero prefisso Tanti sono i lettori che hanno tenuto ad esprimere il loro consenso e plauso tramite lettere e telefonate di apprezzamento e di incitamento. Pregiati lettori, le vostre testimonianze ci riempiono di gioia e di soddisfazione e sono sprone per noi tutti a Panoramitalia a continuare e migliorare il nostro lavoro. Continuate a scriverci!
Outremont, Westmount e nella citta' di Mount-Royal e 2000 famiglie a Toronto. L'iniziativa ha ricevuto un consenso talmente straordinario che abbiamo deciso di ripeterla anche quest'anno spostando la nostra attenzione sull'est dell'isola; spediremo nelle citta' di StLeonard, Montreal Nord, Rivière des Prairies, Ville D'Anjou e La Salle. Altre 40,000 copie saranno distribuite, inviate attraverso una lista che comprende attivita' commerciali ed eventi speciali, pubblici e privati e certamente il nostro affezionato pubblico che ha sottoscritto l'abbonamento a Panoramitalia. Quest'ultima opzione vi garantisce di ricevere la rivista alla votra porta di casa, al vostro ufficio e di essere sempre aggiornati con le novita' di Panoramitalia.
Il vostro entusiasmo ed apprezzamento sono condivisi dai nostri partner e sponsor commerciali che mettono in bella vista nei loro uffici, anzi lo espongono in luoghi strategici con fierezza perchè sanno che la nostra rivista è il veicolo di un messaggio di qualità, di stile, di eleganza e di meticolosa ricerca. I primi tre numeri di Panoramitalia sono andati a ruba permettendo cosi' ai nostri sponsor di ottenere i fini commerciali voluti presso un numero crescente di lettori. Data la conferma di qualità che ne determina il successo, i nostri sponsor e partner sanno che puntare su Panoramitalia si è rivelata una scelta vincente. Mi sia consentito di ringraziarli e di invitarli a continuare ad avere fiducia in noi per mezzo di nuove e sempre piu' importanti collaborazioni.
Ai nostri abbonati saranno inviati certificati regalo/sconti spendibili in rinomati ristoranti, gioiellerie, saloni di bellezza ed altre attivita' commerciali che contribuiscono al successo della nostra rivista. Un gesto per ringraziare il vostro supporto a Panoramitalia ed un modo simpatico e generoso di conoscere i nostri sponsor. L'abbonamento portera' anche un fantastico viaggio regalo in Italia per due persone al fortunato lettore/sottoscrittore che vincera' il nostro nuovo concorso viaggio/premio. Un altro modo per dirvi Grazie!
Dell'edizione del 2004 abbiamo inviato 10,000 copie gratuite a case di Italiani nel West Island, Laval, Cartierville, St-Laurent,
Il 2005 segnera' anche il nostro impegno a pubblicare una seconda edizione annuale della rivista. La vostra attesa sara' premiata con un'edizione autunno/inverno all'inizio del prossimo Novembre. Da parte mia e dello staff di Panoramitalia, non resta che augurare a voi tutti una piacevole lettura di quest'ultima edizione di storie di vita e di gioia, la mia gioia nel pubblicarle. Buona lettura!
19 Scenes of Italy
27 Planeta, a great family of wines
Catch the buzz - Vespa
46 Itâ€™s all in the family - Marina Orsini
52 The Philosopher King - Dino Tavarone
How Sweet it is - Sandra Buonamici
68 Hitting the high notes - Gerardo Dâ€™Argenio
74 Il Mister - Nick De Santis
82 Bold Strokes - Julie Siciliano
88 Cinema Italiano
The Jewel garden
118 Tales from the Jazz man - Vic Vogel
124 Land of milk & Corn Flakes - Pier 21
128 Isabella Caporicci
132 Ciao Giulio Rivera
136 Shattered Hopes - a future denied
140 The Legend of the Great Torino
Founding Editor / Publisher: Tony Zara Graphic design : CASSI DESIGN (514) 327-4404 www.cassidesign.com Conceptual Photographer Geraldo Pace (514) 915-0150 www.geraldo-pace.com
Printer : Accent Impression Inc. (514) 337-7870 www.accentimpression.com Paper: Chorus Art Silk, Cover & Text Cartiere Burgo
PANORAMITALIA 9300 Henri-Bourassa West, Suite 100 Ville St. Laurent (Qc) H4S 1L5 Tel.: 514-337-7870 / Fax: 514-337-6180 or by e-mail at : firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you!
Translation by/par: BG Communications International Inc. 1100, boul. Crémazie Est, bureau 703 Montréal (Qc) H2P 2X2 Tél. : (514) 376-7919 / 1 800 870-7919 www.bgcommunications.ca Publications Mail Agreement # 40981004 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 9300 Henri-Bourassa West, Suite 100 Ville St. Laurent (Qc) H4S 1L5 e-mail: email@example.com
Tony Zara publisher of Panoramitalia, was born in Guglionesi, Campobasso in 1954. He immigrated to Canada in 1962 along with his parents, Adamo and Giulia, and his younger brother, Peter. A graduate of Concordia University (1977), he worked in industry for Xerox Canada and Kodak Canada before starting his own commercial printing company in 1989. While being president of Accent Impression Inc. is a truly rewarding experience, his true passion is flying the Italian flag as high as possible through PANORAMITALIA. Writer: Filippo Salvatore Associate professor of Italian Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Filippo Salvatore received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is a specialist of Italian cinema, which he taught for ten years at the University of Montreal. He is the author of many books, four of which are Antichi e Moderni in Italia nel 600 (1987), Le cinéma de Paul Tana (1997) in collaboration with Anna Gural-Migdal, Fascism and the Italians of Montreal (1998), and Ancient Memories, Modern Identities, Italian Roots in Contemporary Canadian Authors (1999), and editor of the volume I, Protagonisti Italiani di Montreal (2000). Born in Parma in 1969, Ignazio Blanco, holds a Doctorate degree in Economy and a Master’s in Marketing. After having worked in the industrial sector in Europe, he was transferred to Canada in 1998, to manage operations for an Italian-based company. Since 2000, he is the General Director of Alfagomma Canada. Pino Asaro has been a contributor to such high profile auto racing and sports publications as Autosprint, Guerino Sportivo, Rombo, La Gazzetta dello Sporto, and The Gazette since 1976. Pino was also the host of TeleItalia’s ‘‘SportSette’’ and a soccer analyst at TQS.
Since she first learned to speak, Shauna Hardy has adored talking to people, telling stories, and sharing her opinions. She’ll lecture you on fashion, share a killer Portobello mushroom recipe, and critique Nanni Moretti’s latest film in a single breath. When she’s not running around town trying to find the perfect cappuccino, this freelance journalist is busy working for several publications including The New Canadian Magazine, Flare and of course, Panoramitalia! Luigi Sorella, nato a Milwaukee (USA) nel 1968, vive a Guglionesi (Italia) dove lavora come graphic designer e webmaster nella computer technology society ARS idea studio. Ricercatore di architetture storiche e di sistemi per la catalogazione digitale ha pubblicato, con altri autori, La Chiesa di San Nicola a Guglionesi (1997), Cavalli e cavalieri (2002), Il Convento di San Francesco d’Assisi a Guglionesi (2003) e Sant’Adamo di Guglionesi (2005). Reporter freelance collabora con la rivista Made in Molise, cultura, turismo e natura e con diversi website di informazione e di comunicazione culturale. From brand identities to communication brochures, web sites to packaging concepts, large projects or small, Cassi Design has devoted itself to delivering design excellence. Founded in 1995 by Julie Siciliano and Flano Castelli, Cassi Design is a full-service agency with an intimate studio culture. Its talented staff have made it their goal to provide the highest quality of service. Attention to detail, unique marketing and design experience and highly creative minds are what makes the Cassi team so special. We are thankful to our prestigious clients for their continued support. At Cassi Design, we’re crafting communications!
letters to the publisher Thank you so much for this free issue. Your magazine is “TOP NOTCH”. Although my mother came here at 9-years-old, she still remembered all the experiences, hardships, and successses. She shared many stories with us. Every time I read someone’s story I get all emotional and think of all the sacrifices my parents and grandparents made for us.
Just a letter to let you know how I enjoyed reading PanoramItalia. You sent a free subscription to our daughter and she passed it on to us. Looking forward to the Fall/Winter magazine. Continue the good work. I can’t express how I enjoyed it. Just Great! Thank you, L. Tufano
Thanks, Elisa On behalf of the Pier 21 Society, I would like to extend a thank you for featuring Pier 21 in the three past volumes of PanoramItalia. Over the past five years, Pier 21 has heard from thousands of alumnus and their families across Canada. Their openness and willingness to share their stories of how they made Canada their home affirms that Pier 21 is a very unique entity. Their stories, like yours of your voyage on the Vulcania when you were eight, are universal and carry a simple message. Pier 21 was pleased to assist you in this opportunity to help increase the profile of Canada’s Immigration Museum and gratefully appreciates the support of your publication and we look forward to working again with you in the future. Kind regards, Robert Moody CEO, Pier 21 Society I just obtained your latest 2004 issue of PanoramItalia and was very impressed with the magazine. I am interested in acquiring the 2002 and 2003 issues, if they are still available. My husband is Sicilian and I read there was a section on Sicily. He is very interested in this. I am from Friuli and the section on Pier 21 is very interesting. I arrived on this Pier on Jan. 5, 1954 with my parents and sister of 4 years of age. Thank you, Marisa Parrino
Congratulations, once again an exceptional issue. Annalisa Piccolo revue Félicitations pour votre Panoramitalia. J'ai passé des bons moments de détente à la feuilleter en plus d'apprendre des secrets italiens... J'ai de plus en plus le goût de faire un long voyage en Italie. J'ai des amis italiens qui vont appréciés cette lecture également et comptez sur moi pour leur passer le mot. Longue vie à Tony Zara et son projet et bravo à toute son équipe de "pros". Lucie Rheault I am truly impressed with the magazine, excellent photos, interesting articles, very professional production. I was at Le Pascha, my son was getting a haircut when Vince Tassone gave me a copy to read. At first I did not think much since it was consistent with the upscale magazines Vince carries. I figured it was a new production from Italy until I came across the advertisement for Capitol. At this point I went back to the beginning of the magazine and noted it was a Montreal production. I was very pleased that a magazine of such caliber was in fact a local creation. It was very nostalgic for me to read the articles of Cicoria, Pier 21, and to see former classmates (grade school) Frank Reda and Tony Di Guglielmo making sausages. However the best surprise was to see that you are the publisher. Congratulations! Best Regards, Tony Rosato
Thank you for the wonderful complementary issue of your magazine. Received it today and I cannot put it aside to do my chores. They can wait. I look forward to the next issue, as will my daughter in Toronto. Thank you, Helen Carenza It was a great pleasure for me to receive the 2004 issue, as I am very proud of my roots. I was pleased to see that Filippo Salvatore, is a writer - I went to school with his cousin with the same name, and that Tony Zara, has the same birthplace as my parents. It made me feel very happy and good to see that we Guglionesani are visible. I will subscribe to this great magazine. Best of luck and success ! Alberto Di Carlo
I greatly enjoy your magazine. It is so cultural and informative. The photography is stupendous. I get goose bumps and I want to be in Italy and know more about it as I turn the pages of your lovely magazine. I chose my dad for the gift subscriber because he is an Italian immigrant who neve returned to Italy in over 50 years. I want him to revel in his memories of his homeland. My mother-in-law lives in Italy and while she was staying here with us, entirely enjoyed reading and browsing through your edition. Now, I will have the great opportunity to read the magazine in two places. I can read it at home in the little free time that I have and as well educate my children about their origin. I can then read and look at your magazine some more when I visit my dad. With this magazine at hand it will spark many informative conversations with my dad about our great Italia!!! Thanks, Miriam Patone-Barile
Dear Tony, Imagine my surprise to find a courtesy issue of your beautiful magazine in my mailbox with "your" story inside. It is really beautiful - the paper, the colour reproduction, the articles!! I was excited to share your story with my mama ... she so loved your mama, Giulia. I read it to her in English and then I even ventured trying to read it in Italian ..... she laughed, but coached me along. My mama's memory is failing but she still has fond memories of your mother. Sadly her eyesight is poor so she could barely see the pictures, which were truly fabulous, but she was very pleased and proud of you! I will be subscribing to support your fine efforts! Keep up the great work! Here's to our fine heritage!! Congratulations! Ciao Lynn Gallaro Dear PanoramItalia, My name is Bianca Ranieri, I’m a 14-year-old girl. We received the 2004 edition(with the basil on the cover), and my mom brought me the 2003 edition (with the tomato and the egg as the cover). I understand the articles and by understanding them I enjoy them even more. I'm very proud to be an Italian, but by reading PanoramItalia, I realize the sacrifices my grandparents had to go through to start a new life in Montreal, therefore my pride of being an Italian shows even more. Your magazine represents the start and the roots of the Italian community in Montreal, and I'm glad that the written language can also be understood by me, a 14-year-old. Therefore, I asked my parents to subscribe to PanoramItalia. Keep up the good work, Grazie Mille Bianca Ranieri
Pino carissimo, Mi compiaccio per la tua interessante attività di giornalista Culturale riguardante con alto e profondo amore l’Italia, e con specifica competenza lo Sport, l’Arte, la Storia e quanto di italiano è conosciuto e ammirato nel mondo. La Rivista PANORAM (Italia 2004) è non solo luminosa nelle taglio formale, nelle pagine stupende, nell’ottima qualità della carta, nei caratteri belli e nitidi, nelle riproduzioni di interessanti figure, ma anche (e direi soprattutto) nei testi, nella sostanza puramente culturale. L’ho esaminata con fecondo interesse compiacendomi con tutti coloro che l’hanno istituita e la animano mantenendo alto il grande e belnome d’ITALIA. Il tuo ampio articolo “Italia, cuore di calico” è ben calato dentro la storia e dimostra una tua specifica cultura monché lodevole passione per la tematica trattata. Sento il dovere di esprimere a te, al Direttore e a tutti I collaboratori viva gratitudine di Italiano e di uomo di Scuola e di Cultura. Continuate cosi a onorare l’Italia e tutti gli Italiani che amino le lore grandi e ammirate origini ve ne saranno infinitamente grati. Cerro al Volturno (Isernia) Zio Vincenzo Thank you for the magnificent issue with the basil on the cover, received in the mail. I enjoyed it very much, - including the spectacular photos by Geraldo Pace. I will pass the issue on, and consider subscribing myself, as well as giving it to a friend for Christmas. Keep up the wonderful work! Antoinette Taddeo
I was so impressed with the book, pictures & images, that I decided to subscribe to your magazine. I was born in Italy, but came here in 1949. I was only 1 1/2 years old. I especially enjoyed the articles on the immigrants that came from Italy. We also arrived in Halifax although I do not remember, but my sister who was 5-years-old, does remember. Thank you so much for such good memories, and keep up the good work. P.S. I do come from “Le Marche” so it was really beautiful for me. Gabriella Piccioni Récemment, je découvrais les éditions I et II de la revue Panoramitalia au salon de coiffure Estetica. Je suis artiste graveure et l’Italie me passione. J’y ai fait plusieurs voyages, et ce pays est toujours pour moi une véritable source d’inspiration. Votre revue Panoramitalia me plait énormément. Les photos de Geraldo Pace sont particulièrement très belles. La mise en page et l’impression de l’ensemble de la revue sont de très grande qualité. Les articles sont bien écrits et le contenu de la revue est fort intéressant pour tous, autant pour les italo-canadiens que pour les canadiens qui ne sont pas d’origine italienne. Les réalisations importantes de votre communauté, installée ici depuis seulement quelques générations, montrent bien leur influence bénéfique sur le développement de la culture québécoise et canadienne. Il n’y a rien de tel qu’un mélange de diverses cultures! Cependant, me permettriez-vous de vous faire une suggestion? Je pense qu’un apport significatif de la langue française serait un atout dans votre revue, car elle donnerait une image plus globale du parcours des italo-canadiens. Plusieurs personnalités francophones d’origine italienne souhaiteraient certainement participer à la réalisation des futures éditions. Je souhaite une longue vie à Panoramitalia. Lucie Jolicoeur Côté Montréal, QC
Montreal, April 4, 2005
Montreal, 4 Aprile, 2005
Dear Mr. Pacetti,
Egregio Onorevole Pacetti
Let me take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for the message you sent on November 30, 2004 to your colleagues in the House of Commons and to myself concerning the high appreciation and esteem you felt and expressed about the quality of Panoramitalia.
Mi sia consentito di approfittare dell’ occasione per inviarLe un sentito ringraziamento per il messaggio che Lei ha avuto la gentillezza di far parvenire il 30 Novembre scorso ai Suoi colleghi della Camera dei Deputati con copia conforme al sottoscritto nel quale esprimeva il Suo apprezzamento e considerazione quanto alla qualità della rivista Panoramitalia.
Rest assured that the Panoramitalia team will continue to bring forth in the coming issues graphically elegant, meticulously researched and socially thoughtful articles about the past, present and future role Canadians of Italian descent played, are playing and, I am convinced, will continue to play in building and enriching the collective economic well-being and cultural identity of our nation. Please accept my best wishes for a meaningful role in the legislative branch of our government. Antonio Zara Publisher, Panoramitalia
Le garantisco che tutta la redazione di Panoramitalia continuerà nei prossimi numeri a pubblicare articoli eleganti da un punto di vista grafico, meticolosamente precisi quanto al contenuto e con un chiaro contenuto sociale per far sì che venga apprezzato nel suo giusto valore il ruolo economico e culturale che i Canadesi d’origine italiana hanno svolto, stanno svolgendo e continueranno a svolgere in avvenire nell’arricchire l’identità collettiva del nostro Paese. Le auguro di continuare a svolgere un proficuo lavoro nell’assemblea legislativa del nostro governo nazionale. Ad majora! Antonio Zara, Editore, Panoramitalia.
G E R A L D O
P A C E
w w w. g e r a l d o - p a c e . c o m
ABOUT THE COVER
a visit to “Chez Nino”, one of my favourite fruit and vegetable shops at the Marché Jean Talon. Nino has some of the most beautiful produce I have ever seen and will go to just about the ends of the earth to find exactly what his customers desire. I nervously explained to him that I required a zucchini flower with the zucchini still attached. He didn’t bat an eyelid. “No problem,” he assured me. He would have them flown in and seeing as they needed to be for a magazine cover, he would have them hand-picked to make sure that each flower was absolutely perfect. Nino placed the order on Friday and by early Monday morning I was excitedly holding forty beautifully packaged flowers. I knew that my time was limited - once removed from their cellophane cocoons, the flowers begin to wilt within half an hour. Their life expectancy is about as short as a our Canadian spring! I went to work immediately, preparing for a long day’s worth of non-stop shooting. Determined not to leave any room for error, I processed the films that evening and began hurriedly searching for that perfect image. There it was, the last shot of my very long day - unique, delicate and gorgeous - the cover that I had envisioned. Fresh and colourful it was the perfect representation of Prima Vera. You can guess what we had for dinner that night! Zuchinni flower from “Chez Nino”, Marché Jean Talon
There are times when I wish that inspiration could come as conveniently as turning on and off a tap. Ideas would just tumble on the heels of each other, each one more beautiful and attainable than the last. But creativity doesn’t flow that smoothly. Instead there are anxious hours filled with thinking and note-taking, pacing and worrying. There is the excited flash of possibility followed by the crush of unachievable reality. I had been labouring over my ideas for this issue’s cover shot for a while. I needed something edible and colourful. Something that would symbolize Spring’s fragility and Summer’s bounty while still conserving an Italian flavour. Finally, on a cold January day, a thought that had been percolating for a while started to take shape. What better symbol to use than the Fiore di Cocooch - the beloved zucchini flower? Unfortunately my timing was off - it was the middle of winter, would my flash of inspiration end in disappointment? I scoured the vegetable markets in the area, but came home empty-handed. My next stop took me to the growers at the local green houses, but their news was equally dismal. Nothing was available and it would take weeks to grow a single flower, let alone a zucchini. Although I was disappointed, I knew there was still one man who might be able to help me with my quest. I decided to pay
You can guess what we had for dinner that night!
— Geraldo Pace
This recipe is for approximately 8 zucchini flowers. If possible, purchase zucchini flowers with the zucchini stems still attached at the end of the flowers.
[ Preparation ]
1 egg 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/3 cup milk 1/4 to 1/3 cup San Pellegrino mineral water big pinch of sea salt 3 twists fresh ground pepper
In a medium size round bottomed bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Add the egg and lightly beat together. Add milk and stir until smooth, eliminating all lumps in the batter as much as possible. Add San Pellegrino water, to make the batter more liquid; it will also "fizz" and make your batter lighter. Your batter should be the consistency of cake mix or pancake mix. You can add more flour or water if you feel you need. Fill a deep frying pan with about 1/4 inch of olive oil. Heat on medium high to high. Test the heat of your oil by dropping a little drop of the batter in the oil; it should cook immediately. Holding the flowers by their stems, dip them in the batter and lay in the frying pan. Dip the flowers one by one, and lay them in the pan like the numbers on a clock while they cook. When gold and crisp on one side, turn them one by one, using tongs, onto their other side. Drain on a plate with paper towels very quickly. Add a touch more sea salt and fresh pepper. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and serve while hot.
Buon appetito !! 17
Discovering Italy is a fantastic voyage of the senses. Armfuls of books have been devoted to describing its rich culture, its colourful inhabitants and its mouthwatering cuisine. But sometimes words simply fall short, they are inadequate when it comes to trying to convey the dramatic beauty of the Amalfi coast, the romance of Veniceâ€™s canals, the majesty of Romeâ€™s architecture or the tragic history of Pompeii. Sometimes, it is only through a photograph that the imagination can properly take flight. This Spring, we thought we would treat you to a whirlwind trip of our favourite country. No need to pack a bag or reach for your passport. Just sit back, relax and feast your eyes upon our visions of Italy. Whether these photographs allow you to experience these regions for the first time or stir up memories from days gone by, we sincerely hope that you enjoy them. Who knows - you might just discover your next vacation destination!
Planeta una grande famiglia di vini a great family of wines by Ignazio Blanco
“TO MAKE QUALITY WINE THAT PEOPLE CAN AFFORD” Penny Murray, Planeta’s Marketing Director
Planeta makes its mark as an excellent Italian winery. It embodies the strength of Sicilian tradition and the unique character of a land that is all too often known for its problems rather than its culture. It produces a wine that combines the sun, citrus fruits and fruits of an arid, harsh land and unites Sicilians in their desire to create and affirm a product of international level that is born and bred in Sicily. Planeta e’ il nome di una splendida realta’ vinicola italiana. Planeta e’ il risultato del coraggio della cultura siciliani, dell’unicita’ di una terra troppo spesso conosciuta per I suoi problemi che per le sue arti. Planeta e’ un vino che incorpora il sole, gli agrumi, i frutti di una terra arida e dura, ed abbraccia i siciliani nella voglia di creare e dimostrare il valore di un prodotto di qualita’ internazionale nato e cresciuto in sicilia.
The story of the Planeta vineyards began in 1985 in the countryside near Sambuca in the province of Agrigento. It stemmed from Alessio's passion for wine making and the entrepreneurial spirit of his uncle, Diego, who already owned his own co-operative. In 1972, when Diego became chairman, he brought together a number of small local wine growers and the co-operative has now reached international proportions (Cantine SetteSoli, Menfi). Alessio
La storia dei vigneti Planeta inizia nel 1985 nelle campagne di Sambuca, in provincia di Agrigento. L’incontro di una passione per l’arte vinicola di Alessio e lo spirito imprenditoriale dello zio Diego gia’ alla guida di una cooperativa che nel 1972, quando ne diventa presidente raggruppa piccole cantine locali e che oggi ha raggiunto dimensioni internazionali (Cantine SetteSoli di Menfi). Alessio guarda ad alcuni terreni storici della famiglia, al ricordo del nonno Don Vito, barone Planeta di Santa Cecilia e la contrada Ulmo con il lago Arancio
turned his attention to land that had belonged to his grandfather, Don Vito, baron Planeta of Santa Cecilia, and
(…e come avrebbe potuto chiamarsi un lago in Sicilia) che improvvisamente appare a chi si incammina per quelle torride stradine siciliane. Un lago che incornicia un pezzo di terreno splendido per l’inserimento dei primi vitigni e ne caratterizza la maturazione lenta e perfetta
Contrada Ulmo with Lake Arancio (named after the orange groves that are so common in Sicily) that suddenly
There are no simple answers in Sicily... (…e come avrebbe potuto chiamarsi un lago in Sicilia)
Penny mi parla del clima, deL sole, della terra e del lavoro di uomini per renderla fertile.
4 comes into view as you drive down those torrid Sicilian 4 attraverso un microclima temperato. Alessio divide questo suo inizio con roads. The lake provides a backdrop for an area of land that is ideal for planting the first vines and that characterizes the
Carlo Corino, eminente firma del mondo vinicolo internazionale. Con lui riceve il supporto necessario per le idee fortemente innovative e
slow ripening made perfect by a microclimate. Alessio sought assistance in the venture from Carlo Corino, an eminent figure in the international wine world. Corino gave him the support he needed for his innovative and highly ambitious idea of creating a wine of international quality
definitivamente ambiziose di avere un vino di qualita’ internazionale prodotto in Sicilia. Si decide di iniziare con lo Chardonnay insieme ad altre viti locali come il Nero d’Avola, il Grecanico e l’aggiunta di un Sauvignon Blanc. All’interno del baglio in pietra del ‘500 oggi appendice commerciale e sala d’assaggio vini, interrompo Penny Murray
produced in Sicily. They decided to start with Chardonnay
che con il suo musicale accento londinese stava pazientemente
and other local wines such as Nero d'Avola, Grecanico and
raccontandomi la storia di una famiglia e di un vino, di tanti vini, per
chiedere il motivo del successo riconosciuto nel mondo dello
...this splendid sun seems to be part of the wine. ...questo splendido sole sembra essere presente nel vino.
In a 16th century stone baglio or fortified farmhouse, that is today used for commercial purposes and as a wine tasting room, I interrupt Penny Murray, who with her musical
Chardonnay Planeta che stiamo assaggiando. In Sicilia le risposte non sono mai semplici. Penny mi parla del clima, del sole, della terra e del lavoro di uomini per renderla fertile. Mi parla di cedro e limone verde,
London accent, is patiently telling me the story of the family and its wines, to ask her what is behind the success of the world-renowned Planeta Chardonnay that we are tasting. In Sicily, answers are never straightforward. Penny tells me about the climate, the sun, the land and the hard
ricordi di menta e salvia, nocciola con ritorno di miele di zagara. Ed io al mio primo bicchiere, inizio a respirare questi frutti tropicali e questo splendido sole sembra essere presente nel vino. Dimentico di completare la tipica prassi di assaggio che vuole il vino non bevuto ma sputato nel cestello, e me lo bevo. Il periodo di sperimentazione della prima cantina
work that goes into making it fertile. She talks about citrons and green lemons, hints of mint, sage and hazelnuts with a return of orange blossom honey. As I taste my first glass, I
Planeta dura 10 anni. Nel 1994 esce il primo Chardonnay che come dicevo riceve gli onori della critica e celebra le scelte della famiglia Planeta come vincenti e destinate ad un mercato mondiale. Durante gli anni di
begin to breathe in those tropical fruits and this splendid sun seems to be part of the wine. I forget the normal tasting procedure and instead of spitting the wine out, I drink it.
crescita e sperimentazione dei vitigni, si aggiungono delle pedine importanti. Francesca, figlia di Diego, che ritorna da Milano dove ha avuto esperienze lavorative in ambito commerciale con una
Ancora oggi ricordo con gioia la visita alle cantine Planeta, e mi chiedo che fine abbiano fatto quelle bottiglie mezze piene che abbiamo lasciato sul tavolo del baglio in pietra...
4 multinazionale estera, e Santi, fratello di Alessio concentrato sugli aspetti commerciali italiani. Il gruppo solidifica l’unione con la semplicita’ e la certezza di avere tutti gli elementi per crescere mantenendo quel rapporto famigliare che li contraddistingue e che ne definisce l’unicita’. L’azienda inizia anche ad assumere il profilo di un fascino internazionale che arriva da lontano; dalla moglie di Diego, inglese in una Sicilia fatta di un dialetto irriconoscibile e da contraddizioni sociali, un fascino trasmesso con fierezza e nobilta’ alla figlia Francesca. E nobile potrebbe essere anche uno dei commenti miei sul secondo assaggio che, agli occhi sempre piu stupiti di Penny per la definitiva mancanza di etichetta, faccio del Santa Cecilia, nome attribuito per ragioni commerciali al Nero D’avola. Una vite locale siciliana, tipica dell’area di Noto; un vino sincero e vivo dico io, ma per gli esperti che accompagnano questo meraviglioso viaggio nel vino Planeta, si possono scorgere profumi tipici del tufo di Noto o la polvere, che d’estate si solleva nelle strade dei vigneti. E poi la frutta, carrube, fichi. E io mi bevo anche questo bicchiere. Alla meta’ degli anni ’90, la decisione di investire su altri terreni e la scoperta di un’area nei pressi di Menfi che verra’ dedicata principalmente ai vitigni internazionali e alle uve rosse. Nascono I vigneti della Dispensa con il Merlot, Syrah (che trova in Carlo l’esperienza di ricordi australiani particolarmente felici), il Cabernet Sauvignon. La realta’ di Melfi raggiungera’ presto I 200 ettari disponibili, adibiti strategicamente anche alla ricerca e alla sperimentazione delle nuove tipologie di vigneti da implementare. Una ricerca che ha sempre trovato Alessio un convinto profeta. La stima e lo sguardo attento alle realta’ francesi, alle loro capacita’ di innovazione nella tradizione secolare di un prodotto di qualita’ blasonato eppure
4 The trial period for the first Planeta winery lasted 10 years. In 1994, it produced its first Chardonnay that was, as I have already stated, acclaimed by the critics and marked the success of the Planeta family in international markets. As the winery expanded and experimented with grape varieties, several important components were added. Francesca, Diego's daughter, returned from Milan where she had been working in the sales department of a foreign multinational and Santi, Alessio's brother, concentrated on domestic marketing. The group was brought closer together by the certainty that it had all the elements it needed to expand and develop whilst maintaining the family environment that makes it so unique. The winery also began to assume a certain international charm when Diego's wife came to Sicily from England, a land with its incomprehensible dialect full of social contradictions. This charm has been proudly and
sempre in grado di ricreare nuove attenzioni. Una passione non celata per le cantine piemontesi, nel nord d’Italia dove le capacita’ produttive sono decisamente ridotte e dove la qualita’ deve compensare un aspetto commerciale per vari motivi spesso in secondo piano. Una ricerca che porta anche alla creazione di prodotti giovani, leggeri, freschi con un pizzico di arroganza. Nascono la Segreta Bianco e la Segreta Rosso. Ho la gioia di portare ai piaceri dell’olfatto la Segreta Bianco; un bianco elegante e giovane. Un vino fresco leggero disinvolto ma completo. Si puo’ notare il profumo tipico dello Chardonnay che rinforza il Grecanico, splendido vitigno siciliano, ed in questa semplice formula svelato il segreto della “segreta” dove le viti autoctone diventano una spledida melodia se accompagnate da viti internazionali che ne amplificano le caratteristiche e ne accentuano la voce. Penny cerca di attirare la mia attenzione sulle varieta’ Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, e Fiano presenti nel Bianco. I miei pensieri sono invece rivolti a ricordi miei d’infanzia in Sicilia a casa della nonna, ai polipi pescati a mani nude da mio padre e portati a tavola lessati con un po’ di prezzemolo, limone, sale pepe e olio. Alle patelle che si staccano dagli scogli e che appartengono in Sicilia e solo in Sicilia alla categoria frutti di mare, e ai piatti di pasta facili e
4 nobly passed on to their daughter, Francesca. "Noble" is 4 leggeri che oggi io cucino per mia moglie e mio almost certainly one of the words that come to mind when I taste my second wine, Santa Cecilia, the commercial name given to the Nero d'Avola. Needless to say, my total lack of etiquette causes Penny to raise an eyebrow or two. This is a local Sicilian grape variety, indigenous to the Noto area. It is, in my opinion, a sincerely intense wine, but for the experts that accompany me on this wonderful journey towards the discovery of Planeta wine, it has hints of the typical aromas of the Noto tufa or dust that is raised in the roads around the vineyards
figlio e che sembrano essere perfetti abbinamenti per questo vino splendido. E mi bevo anche la Segreta Bianco. Tra il 1997 ed il 1998 nascono forse I progetti piu’ ambiziosi legati da un nome, “Progetto DOC” destinati alla valorizzazione di vitigni tipici della sicilia come il Nero d’Avola, il Frappato ed il Moscato di Noto, unico vino dolce di casa Planeta. L’antica contrada Buonivini attribuisce il nome all’azienda di Noto in provincia di Siracusa
in the summer. It also has hints of fruit, carobs and
dove un clima caldo ed asciutto, la tipologia del
figs. I drink this glass too. In the second half of the
terreno prevalentemente calcarea, costituiscono
1990s, the family decided to invest in other land and
elementi perfetti per le varieta’ locali. Inizia ad
discovered an area near Menfi that they then used
evidenziarsi una decisa scelta dei vitigni per la
mainly for international grape varieties and red grapes.
storica appartenenza territoriale muovendo da
The Dispensa vineyard was established where Merlot, Syrah (that brings back fond memories of Australia
una scelta puramente di varieta’ ad una ricerca
to Carlo) and Cabernet Sauvignon are produced. The vineyards in Menfi soon covered a total of 200 planted hectares, some of which were also used for
“terroir” in cui si descrive l’unicita’ del vitigno e del suo prodotto non solo per la capacita’ biologica della pianta, ma per l’influenza del clima e dei fattori ambientali. L’opportunita’ di
research into new grape varieties. Alessio has always
ottimale terreno/vigneto. Il concetto di
Alessio, Santi e Francesca Planeta
4 been firmly convinced of the importance of this research.
4offrire un vino finalmente puro e storicamente siciliano diventa un
He also has great respect for the French wine scene and the French winegrowers' ability to use innovation in the age-old tradition of an aristocratic quality product that never fails to excite attention. He has a clear passion for the Piedmont wineries in the north of Italy where production is significantly lower and where quality must compensate for commercial aspects which, for a number of reasons, often take second place. This research has also helped to create young, light and crisp wines with a touch of arrogance, wines like Segreta Bianco and Segreta Rosso. With great pleasure I taste Segreta Bianco, an elegant
desiderio imprescindibile per la famiglia Planeta che dalla vendemmia 2003 imbottiglia un Nero d’Avola interamente prodotto nella regione d’origine. Nel ragusano altri ricordi di famiglia nella casa del fratello di Diego, Gigi dove si faceva un vino tipico di Vittoria, il Cerasuolo. Alessio riscopre i ricordi attraverso questo vino leggero e fruttuoso che nasce dal Nero d’Avola e dal Frappato. Sono viti che ricevono un carattere particolare dalla costituzione a prevalenza di sabbie rosse del terreno. La particolarita’ di questa struttura determina sbalzi termici rilevanti causa l’incapacita’ delle sabbie di mantenere il calore. Resta il ricordo di 3 fratelli e 4 sorelle uniti nella pigiatura, e di quando il vino era il
young white wine. It is an uninhibited but full, light, crisp
e’ uno dei vini che preferisco. Il mio esordio non stupisce Penny che
wine. It has the typical aroma of a Chardonnay that gives
teme le mie parole siano dettate piu’ dall’entusiasmo che dallo stile.
strength to the Grecanico, a splendid Sicilian grape variety.
Aggiunge che il tono fresco e disinvolto di questo rosso gentile,
This simple formula unveils the secret of the "Segreta"
accompagna anche il pesce. Perso nel mio sorriso, non mi dispiacierebbe
where the indigenous grape varieties reach new levels of
vedere la tavola imbandita di pizze rustiche, olive nere, verdure grigliate, le famose arancine di sicilia e al centro questo rosso fruttuoso e splendido. Rendo onore al Cerasuolo di Vittoria e mi auguro che un po’ del barocco siciliano della zona accresca ed incoraggi la mia cultura ormai nordamericana. La storia della famiglia Planeta arriva ai nostri giorni
excellence if accompanied by international vines that enhance and accentuate their qualities. Penny tries to draw my attention to the Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Fiano grape varieties in the white wine but my thoughts are lost
premio di una giornata di lavoro piena di sole. Il Cerasuolo di Vittoria
Time is essential when growing vines and here the pace of life seems to be perfectly in step with Nature. Ci vuole tempo per far crescere le viti, e da queste parti il ritmo di vita sembra sia in sintonia con la natura. in memories of my childhood in Sicily at my grandparents' house. I remember the octopus that my father caught with his bare hands and was served boiled with parsley, lemon, salt and pepper and olive oil, the limpets that we used to pry off the rocks and that only in Sicily are considered shellfish and the light and easy pasta dishes that even today I cook for my wife and son and are a perfect accompaniment to this splendid wine. I drink the Segreta Bianco too. Between 1997 and 1998, probably the most ambitious project known as "Progetto DOC" was launched in order to enhance the status of indigenous Sicilian grape varieties such as Nero d'Avola, Frappato and Moscato di Noto, the only sweet wine that Planeta produces. The winery at Noto in the province of Siracusa takes it name from the historical Contrada Buonivini where a hot, dry climate and predominantly calcareous soil are perfect for the local varieties. Planeta now began to select grape varieties that historically belonged to the area and moved away from selection that
4 was based solely on different varieties towards the search for an optimum balance 4 con il riconoscimento della stampa francese che between the soil and grape variety. It gave considerable importance to the concept
li inserisce fra i cento migliori vigniaioli del
of terroir, the unique nature of the vine and its product that is not only based on
mondo. Un riconscimento dovuto ad una
the characteristics of the vine but also climate and environmental factors. The Planeta family was now driven by a strong desire to produce a wine that was exclusively
famiglia molto piu’ numerosa, la stessa che fa la vendemmia, che vede il vino nascere, che ogni
Sicilian and after the 2003 harvest bottled a Nero d'Avola that was produced entirely in the region of origin. In the province of Ragusa, there were more family memories at the house of Gigi, Diego's brother, where they used to produce a local
anno raccoglie le olive e che durante I periodi di meno lavoro rimane in forza all’azienda perche’ parte di un gruppo vincente e parte di
wine in Vittoria called Cerasuolo. Alessio relived those memories through this light and fruity wine that is a blend of Nero d'Avola and Frappato. The soil,
una filosofia che viene da lontano. Ci vuole tempo per far crescere le viti, e da queste parti
consisting predominantly of red sand, gives these grape varieties their distinctive flavor. This is determined by sudden temperature changes that are caused by the
il ritmo di vita sembra sia in sintonia con la natura. L’assaggio e’ terminato probabilmente
inability of the sand to maintain heat. There were some vivid memories of the past
per mia incapacita’ di sostenerne altri e di celare
when three brothers and four sisters would press the grapes together and when wine was the reward at the end of a hard day's work under a hot sun. Cerasuolo
questo splendido sorriso di gioia infantile che dal primo bicchiere di Chardonnay e’ apparso
di Vittoria is one of my favorite wines. Penny is not surprised by what I say but
sul mio viso. All’esterno un Uliveto chiude
attributes my comments to enthusiasm rather than style. She adds that the fresh
questa cornice siciliana fatta di sole e di profumi, fatta di arte e di coraggio. Fatta da siciliani che hanno realizzato I loro sogni con la semplicita’ e la forza di un territorio che ha tanto da offrire e che tanto ha offerto negli anni.
and uninhibited tone of this delicate red wine can also accompany fish. Lost in my smiling thoughts, I imagine that the table is full of savory pies, black olives, charred grilled vegetables, the famous Sicilian arancine or rice balls with this splendid fruity red wine in the center. I finish off the Cerasuolo di Vittoria and express the wish that the Sicilian baroque architecture in the area will enrich and stimulate my cultural identity that has, after all these years, almost become NorthAmerican. The story of the Planeta family has reached the present day and has been highly acclaimed by the French press that has placed it among the hundred best wineries in the world. This is just recognition for a family that over the years has grown from strength to strength. The same family harvests the grapes, sees the
Ancora oggi ricordo con gioia la visita alle cantine Planeta, e mi chiedo che fine abbiano fatto quelle bottiglie mezze piene che abbiamo lasciato sul tavolo del baglio in pietra... g
wine take form, gathers the olives each year and when there is less work to do remains at the winery because it is part of a winning group and a deep-rooted philosophy. Time is essential when growing vines and here the pace of life is perfectly in step with nature. The wine tasting is over probably because I am unable to taste any more and to hide that splendid smile of childish delight that has been imprinted on my face since the first glass of Chardonnay. Outside, an olive grove completes this Sicilian backdrop of sun, fragrances, art and courage. It is a backdrop created by Sicilians who have fulfilled their dreams by resorting to the simplicity and strength of an area that has offered so much over the years and still has so much more to offer. Yet I’m still asking myself where those half-full bottles we left on the table have gone... g
by Shauna Hardy
Originally envisioned as a convenient and economical way to get about town, the Vespa earned international acclaim thanks to its forward-thinking design. The zippy little machine became a world-wide obsession, symbolizing the light-hearted joy and exuberance that lie at the very core of the Italian spirit. In 1945, Enrico Piaggio had a serious dilemma on his hands. As a stipulation of the allied peace agreements, his aeronautic factory was strictly forbidden from manufacturing its signature products. With 10,000 employees already jobless, the Italian visionary was desperately searching for a new product that would capture the hearts and the pocketbooks of his countrymen. The mood was melancholy after Wo r l d Wa r Tw o .
Ideato originariamente come un mezzo economico e conveniente per girare in città, la Vespa ha ottenuto un successo internazionale unanime grazie al suo design d'avanguardia. Questo vivacissimo mezzo di trasporto è diventato un vero fenomeno mondiale, che simboleggia la gioia di vivere e l'esuberanza degl'Italiani. Nel 1945, Enrico Piaggio si trovò di fronte ad un serio dilemma. Così come stipulato nei trattati di pace degli alleati, alla sua industria aeronautica venne formalmente impedito di continuare a produrre i suoi prodotti classici. Con 10000 operai senza lavoro, questo visionario Italiano era disperatamente alla ricerca di un nuovo prodotto capace di catturare i cuori e le tasche dei suoi connazionali. Dopo la Seconda Guerra Mondiale regnava una certa malinconia. Un sentimento generale di frustrazione era onnipresente ed i trasporti erano tra i motivi d'irritazione più frequenti, soprattutto a causa della povertà delle famiglie e dei prezzi esorbitanti delle automobili e della benzina. Ispirandosi alla bicicletta, Piaggio ideò un progetto per creare un veicolo economico e versatile, che univa praticità e stile. Soprannominato paperino per il suo aspetto un po' goffo, il primo prototipo ricevette un'accoglienza mista di derisione e disdegno. Determinato a concretizzare la sua idea, Piaggio affidò al suo Capo progettista, Corradino D'Ascanio, che ironicamente non amava molto le motociclette, il compito di rimodernare il prototipo iniziale. Molto ambiziosamente, D'Ascanio partì con l'idea di correggere tutti i difetti che lui attribuiva alle due ruote più massicce. In poco tempo, presentò a Piaggio i piani di un due ruote elegante, comodo, di facile maneggevolezza sulle strade e che fosse attraente sia per i consumatori maschi che per le donne. D'Ascanio rese il veicolo più gradevole all'udito collocando il motore sotto la
NICKNAMED PAPERINO FOR ITS AWKWARD-LOOKING APPEARANCE, THE INITIAL SCOOTER PROTOTYPE WAS MET WITH RIDICULE AND DISDAIN.
SOPRANNOMINATO PAPERINO PER IL SUO ASPETTO UN PO' GOFFO, IL PRIMO PROTOTIPO RICEVETTE UN'ACCOGLIENZA MISTA DI DERISIONE E DISDEGNO. 4 Frustrations were running high and transportation was proving to be a major irritant due to restrictive household budgets and the exorbitant price of cars and gas. Taking his inspiration from the bicycle, Piaggio hit upon a plan to create an affordable, versatile vehicle that combined practicality with style. Nicknamed paperino for its awkward-looking appearance, the initial scooter prototype was met with ridicule and disdain. Determined to forge ahead with his plan, Piaggio enlisted his head design engineer, Corrandino D’Ascanio, to revamp the original offering. Ironically, D’Ascanio didn’t like motorcycles. He ambitiously set out to develop a model that would correct all the wrongs he perceived in the bulkier, nosier machines. Shortly thereafter, he presented Piaggio with plans for a sleek scooter that was comfortable to ride, manageable on the roads and appealed to both male and female consumers. D’Ascanio made the machine easier on the ears by shifting the engine to the back of the scooter beneath the rear wheel, he made it easier on the eyes by concealing the vehicle’s unsightly machinery beneath a candycoloured, modern-looking shell. He also moved the gear-lever onto the handlebar for better manoeuvrability and made changing tires a snap by replacing the typical fork support with an arm-like mechanism.
Carlo & Pasqua le Pala dino in Santa C roce D i Maglia no CB - Italy
4 ruota posteriore e più gradevole alla vista dissimulando la meccanica dietro un moderno guscio colorato. Ebbe anche l'idea di spostare la leva del cambio, collocandola sul manubrio per ottenere più manovrabilità e facilitò il cambio delle gomme sostituendo il tipico sostegno a forcella con un meccanismo a braccio. La carenatura aerodinamica del modello originale da 98cc. fu disegnata specificamente per proteggere i viaggiatori dalla polvere delle strade, in modo di portarli a destinazione molto più serenamente. Felicissimo del risultato, Piaggio battezzò il veicolo senza farsi troppi scrupoli, notando che il sibilo del motore, così come il suo corpo stretto al centro e massiccio alle estremità, aveva le caratteristiche d'una… Vespa. La Vespa divenne un vero fenomeno dal momento in cui il primo esemplare uscì sul mercato, nel 1946. Nei primi cinque anni furono venduti ben 100 000 esemplari. Se la Vespa soddisfaceva l'obiettivo utilitario del Signor Piaggio, il veicolo cominciò ben presto a sviluppare una personalità propria, diventando un simbolo di romanticismo spensierato e di libertà. I detentori di una Vespa erano gente alla moda, temerari, amanti del rischio che ridevano di buon cuore e si godevano la vita. La popolarità della Vespa spiccò il volo, oltrepassando le frontiere italiane, con stabilimenti di produzione che spuntavano in posti remoti così come l'Australia, il Sud Africa, l'Iran e la Cina. Con gli anni, Piaggio continuò ad incrementare il suo successo, inaugurando più di 100 modelli differenti, con variazioni destinate a migliorarne la velocità e le prestazioni.
4 The aerodynamic stress-bearing body of the original 98cc vehicle was specifically designed to protect riders from the dirt on the roads, ensuring that they arrived at their destination in unruffled style. Delighted with the final result, Piaggio unwittingly christened the scooter when he noted that the whine of the engine combined with the vehicle’s narrow middle and bulbous rear section resembled the features of a wasp - una vespa. Vespa-mania thundered into existence almost as soon as the scooter rolled into the marketplace in 1946. Within five years, 100,000 Vespas had been sold. While the machine easily satisfied Piaggio’s original utilitarian goal, the scooter began to take on a personality of its own, becoming a symbol of carefree romance and easy-breezy freedom. Those who owned Vespas were fashionable and daring, they took risks, they laughed loudly and enjoyed life. The scooter’s popularity soared, spreading beyond Italy’s borders with production plants springing up in such far flung countries as Australia, South Africa, Iran and China. Over the years, Piaggio continued to build on his success, unveiling over 100 different models and variations that focused on increased speed and performance. Largely regarded as a leisurely touring vehicle, the perky machine’s more unique accomplishments are a tribute to its design and quality.
THOSE WHO OWNED VESPAS WERE FASHIONABLE AND DARING, THEY TOOK RISKS, THEY LAUGHED LOUDLY AND ENJOYED LIFE. 42
4 Generalmente considerato come un mezzo da passeggiata, le realizzazioni di questo vivace veicolo a due ruote sono un omaggio al suo design e la sua qualità. In mano ad appassionati di avventure estreme, la Vespa è stata portata fino al Circolo Polare Artico ed è stata usata per coprire tratte di proporzioni epiche, quali Milano-Tokyo e Parigi-Saigon. Se l'apprezzamento del suo design iconico e delle sue capacità di trasporto economico hanno mantenuto questo motorino in voga per più di 50 anni, l'attuale trend retro ha aiutato ancora maggiormente a mantenerlo sotto le luci della ribalta. In quanto Presidente del Club Vespa di Montreal, Mauro Petraccone capisce perfettamente il fascino tutto italiano della Vespa. Petraccone ha acquistato il suo primo modello classico nel 1989 e non è mai stato capace di contenere il suo vizio. Oggi ne possiede sette modelli e non pensa minimamente che questo sia un oltraggio. "Quante paia di scarpe possedete?" ribatte. "È la stessa cosa, ci sono modelli per una passeggiata veloce, altri per una più comoda, ogni modello ha delle caratteristiche che si adeguano a varie occasioni." Il Club, che si potrebbe definire meglio come una libera associazione di un centinaio di appassionati, organizza pittoresche passeggiate su strade secondarie della regione di Montreal. Petraccone sorride quando cerca di descrivere le sensazioni di una passeggiata in Vespa. "È assolutamente sensazionale," dichiara. "Visto che non c'è niente che ci separa da quello che ci circonda ci si sente molto più vicini alla natura. Si vedono e si annusano cose che non si possono notare quando si viaggia a tutta birra in macchina." A differenza delle motociclette normali, che spesso obbligano il conduttore a piegarsi sul veicolo, il design della Vespa permette una posizione di guida molto più comoda. "È letteralmente come volare seduti in poltrona," descrive Petraccone.
I DETENTORI DI UNA VESPA ERANO GENTE ALLA MODA, TEMERARI, AMANTI DEL RISCHIO CHE
CUORE E SI GODEVANO LA VITA.
4 Used among extreme adventure enthusiasts, Vespas have been driven 4Benché un fenomeno di nostalgia all the way to the Arctic Circle and have been used on extensive tours including rides from Milan to Tokyo and Paris to Saigon. While an appreciation for the iconic design and economic transportation capabilities have kept the scooter in style for well over 50 years, the current retro trend is turning the glare of the spotlight up a few notches. As president of the Montreal Vespa Club, Mauro Petraccone fully understands the allure of the Italian-made machine. Petraccone bought his first vintage-model machine in 1989 but wasn’t able to put a cap on his habit. He now owns seven different machines. Does he think it’s an outrageous number? Absolutely not. “How many different pairs of shoes do you own?” he counters. “It’s the same thing - a fast ride, a relaxed ride, each machine is used for a different occasion.” The club, which can be more aptly defined as a loose gathering of 100 Vespa enthusiasts, organizes picturesque rides on secondary roads within the Montreal region. Petraccone grins when he tries to describe the feeling of touring. “It’s absolutely thrilling,” he says. “Since there is nothing separating you from your surroundings, you just feel that much closer to nature. You see things and smell things that you might not normally notice if you were gunning down the road in a car.” Unlike regular motorcycles which often force riders to be hunched over the machine, the design of the Vespa scooter also allows for a much more laid-back ride. “It’s literally like flying along on a Lay-Z-Boy,” describes Petraccone. Although sentimental nostalgia has turned vintage Vespas into a hot commodity, the company has continued to produce new models that cater to the desires of contemporary riders. The 50cc ET2 and 150cc ET4 are equipped with the latest conveniences including electric starters and automatic shifting. Building on the celebrated Vespa design, the Grand Turismo 200 melds tradition with modernity. The environmentally-friendly scooter has a spacious stowaway compartment under the seat and surpasses the projected European and American standards for air and noise pollution. It’s the perfect choice for anyone craving a little speed and plenty of style. Not much has changed in the past 50 years. Since helping to dissipate the heavy post-war cloud that hung over Italy, the Vespa has become a timeless symbol of elegance, and beauty, paying tribute to the country’s sunny spirit. Whether you’re zipping around on the latest model, or touring on an old classic, the allure of the Vespa is undeniable. To ride the feel-good scooter means gaining admittance into a world defined by unfettered freedom and good taste.
abbia tramutato i modelli d'annata in merce rara, la Piaggio ha continuato a produrre modelli che tengono conto dei desideri dei conduttori moderni. L'ET2 da 50cc. e l'ET4 da 150cc. sono muniti di tutte le comodità più moderne, come l'accensione elettrica e la trasmissione automatica. Affidandosi al celebre d e s i g n d e l l a Ve s p a , i l GranTurismo 200 fonde la tradizione con la modernità. Questo scooter ecologico possiede un compartimento spazioso sotto il sedile e sorpassa le norme anti-inquinamento europee ed americane sia per gli scarichi che per il rumore. È la scelta perfetta per tutti coloro che cercano un po’ di velocità e molto stile.
È cambiato poco negli ultimi 50 anni. Dopo aver aiutato a dissolvere la pesante nube che oscurava l'Italia nel dopoguerra, la Vespa è diventata un simbolo senza tempo di bellezza e di eleganza, rendendo omaggio allo spirito soleggiato del bel paese. Non importa che stiate viaggiando a bordo di uno degli ultimi modelli, o passeggiando su uno dei vecchi classici, il fascino della Vespa è innegabile. Passeggiare a bordo di questo motorino del buonumore significa ottenere l'accesso ad un mondo di libertà e di buon gusto. g
Contact Mauro Petraccone 514.927.6276
our people by Shauna Hardy
it ’s all in the family
her father. Growing up in the tiny village of San Martino, in the Le Marche district, Ermelindo Orsini’s days were filled with tender, pastoral images. He began shepherding sheep at the age of five, trekking through fields and mountains, drinking milk directly from the flock’s udders when he needed sustenance. His passion for the outdoors continued long after he immigrated to Montreal in the 1950’s. Marina’s interest in nature was cultivated as a child, when father and daughter would watch documentaries together. These days, the chestnut-haired Montrealer is more
- it is a way of keeping her father’s spirit alive. “It’s a part of my dad that I always carry with me. In the country, I am surrounded by everything that he loved. Every time that I step out onto my balcony, he always appears to me.”
When I meet Marina Orsini on an early summer’s day in Little Italy, I can’t help but feel that I am being welcomed by the poster girl for a perfect summer’s day. The thirtyseven-year-old actress is the epitome of warmth and light-hearted exuberance; femininely wrapped, that day, in a bright t-shirt and flippy skirt. She radiates simple joy - a feeling that lingers even after our interview has concluded. Orsini strides towards me, calling my name, smiling and waving. Though we have never met before, I feel that I am being greeted by an old friend. As we begin our chat, she apologetically pulls a cell phone from her purse and sets it on the table. “My mother is baby-sitting my son,” she says simply. “I need to make sure she can reach me … just in case.” It is this sentence that sets the tone for the next two hours. Although we could be talking about her ever-lengthening list of accomplishments or her upcoming projects, it becomes clear that the subject of family is never far from her mind.
“I’m always saving mice from the pool, touching insects, I love investigating life,” she reveals. This reverence for the natural world also serves a more personal purpose in Orsini’s life - it is a way of keeping her father’s spirit alive. “It’s a part of my dad that I always carry with me. In the country, I am surrounded by everything that he loved. Every time that I step out onto my balcony, he always appears to me.”
Orsini has just completed the commute from her home, affectionately referred to as “The Nest”, in the Eastern Townships. “I love being around nature,” she professes. “I’m a city-girl, but the country keeps drawing me back - it’s like a magnet.” Her deep love of the outdoors is something she inherited from
likely to be studying the animal kingdom in a more up-close-and-personal manner. “I’m always saving mice from the pool, touching insects, I love investigating life,” she reveals. This reverence for the natural world also serves a more personal purpose in Orsini’s life
If it is Orsini’s father who provided a love for the rural life, it is her French-speaking mother, Verna Young who balances it out with a passion for the heart-pumping urban environment. While on the surface, the two lifestyles might seem entirely at odds, Orsini is not surprised
by their union. “My mother’s own mother died when she was a child, she became the instant caretaker for her sisters at a very young age. No wonder she was drawn to an Italian family. She fell in love with the values - the support, the sense of community and love. 4
Blouse by Giovanni Dâ€™Amico Geraldo Pace
Photographers: Céline Lalonde • Pierre Duriy
4 She took on a husband and gained surrogate parents at the same time!” Her mother is so deeply embroiled in the Italian culture that she insists her grandchildren address her as nonna. As a child growing up in Montreal’s Ville Emard district, Orsini profited from her multi-cultural background. She spoke French at home, was schooled in English through Grade 12 at St. John Bosco Boy’s School and then James Lyng High School, while attending Italian school on Saturday mornings. Orsini possesses an almost brazen curiosity - an ardent desire to learn everything she can about life. “My heart is as much Italian as it is English Canadian and French Canadian,” she states clearly. “I feel like I got the whole package. The three cultures have made me stronger as a woman and as a person. They nourish me and give me a sense of control. I feel as if I’m armed to handle any situation.” Orsini’s self-assurance was an important tool when she was asked to audition for her first television series, Lance et Compte. Although she had acted steadily on high school stages and in the comfort of her own bedroom, the
into the spotlight, but actually cemented what she wanted to do in life. “That first day on the set was such a big revelation for me,” she says. “I just felt so at home - there was a joy and a comfort in experiencing and expressing these emotions. I was having so much fun. I had never set a goal of becoming an actress, I simply was one.” Orsini’s strong voice resonates with respect and admiration when she talks about how her parents helped to shape her adventurous spirit. “My parents encouraged me and pushed me, but never too hard,” she says. “They were an example they gave me the desire to really go-for-it and really take advantage of what this life has to offer. They have given me so much confidence - such a strong belief in myself. Everything that I am, everything that I have achieved comes from how I grew up.” And, her achievements are great. Orsini’s tri-lingual flexibility has paid off handsomely in her role selection as an actress, letting her bounce easily between the French, English and Italian screens. Whether she’s emulating real life heroes in Dr. Lucille: The Lucille Teasdale Story or deconstructing the finer
Represented by: AGENCE Ginette Achim
“My heart is as much Italian as it is English Canadian and French Canadian,” she states clearly. “I feel like I got the whole package. The three cultures have made me stronger as a woman and as a person. They nourish me and give me a sense of control. I feel as if I’m armed to handle any situation.” beguiling teenager’s television experience was limited to a few commercials she had shot while working as a model. Undeterred by her somewhat green professional status, Orsini greeted the challenge happily. “There is a freshness and a strength to your teenage years,” she says. “I was very adventurous - I just went ahead and did it.” After three auditions, she was awarded the part of Suzie Lambert, a role that not only propelled her
points of relationships in the TVA series Cauchemar d’Amour, Orsini has earned a life-long fan base who cannot get enough of her charm and depth. Her work has been rewarded with countless awards, including, a 2003 Gemini for her role as Karen Champagne in CBC television’s biker saga The Last Chapter: The War Continues. I mention that this last accolade is impressive, given that she was competing against four
4 other actresses who were performing in their mother tongues. For the first time during our interview, Orsini seems to become slightly self-conscious. She thinks for a moment, breezily passes over the observation and replies: “I take my work very seriously, I am passionate about it. But all these accomplishments, - they’re nice, they’re icing on the cake, but they were never my goal.” She makes light of the fact that she can act equally and convincingly well in three different languages, preferring to focus instead on the larger picture. “You have to be close to life. With acting, you can make believe up to a certain point, but you have to
feeling in the world. There can be so much pressure with life, with work, socially - you have to perform. Family provides a shelter from all of that pressure. I could never imagine being too far away from them.” The importance of family has taken on an added dimension now that Orsini has a child of her own. “It’s such an incredible responsibility,” she confides. “Children are like sponges they absorb and imitate all of your actions, everything that you say. It has brought home the enormous influence that you have in shaping a person’s life.” It has
outlook that seems to be the Orsini legacy, a life philosophy that the actress hopes will be passed on to the next generation. “The most important thing that I want to teach my son? To have a curiosity and a respect for life,” she reveals. “I want him to take everything that life has to offer him. The courage to walk his path - that is what I wish for him, and to make some fabulous discoveries along the way!” Twice during our interview, passers-by stop to say a word. “That smile!” exclaims one man admiringly. “You could see it from a hundred miles away - that smile will still be
“I think it’s only with the passing years that you truly start to understand all that your parents have done for you. Italy is my dad. It’s incredible to stay in the house in San Martino where he was born. I think you miss your parents more as you grow older. When I see the mountains, I see my Dad as a young boy. Being there is such a reassuring feeling, it gives you answers about who you are, about the life that you are building and about where you are going.” stay connected, without it you’re just fumbling around in the dark. That connection is what feeds me in life. I truly appreciate my life, I’m blessed and I try to recognize that every day. My eyes, my ears, my heart are always open to recognize all the beautiful things that life brings. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Orsini’s heart always leads her back to her family. The actress revels in the companionship that her relatives share, basking in their ability to celebrate life’s simplest moments. Most recently, the entire family, including a 90year-old uncle sped out to the Eastern Townships to attend her son’s spring recital at the local pre-school. No one would dream of missing the event. Everyone showed up, camcorders in hand, ready to capture the joy of a fleeting moment. “I love being with them,” she confesses. “My family makes me feel wealthy, that is the place where I feel at my best: secure, completely myself. It’s an energy that feeds you, it’s absolutely the best
also served to deepen her already great appreciation of her own parents. “I think it’s only with the passing years that you truly start to understand all that your parents have done for you. Italy is my dad. It’s incredible to stay in the house in San Martino where he was born. I think you miss your parents more as you grow older. When I see the mountains, I see my Dad as a young boy. Being there is such a reassuring feeling, it gives you answers about who you are, about the life that you are building and about where you are going.”
there when she is eighty.” Her fans are never star-struck, instead, simply eager to share a moment. People are naturally drawn to the actress, not because of her profession, but rather because of her exuberance and warmth. You cannot help but want to spend time with her - to share a thought, to be caught up in her all-embracing laugh. No matter the subject, her words tumble forth easily, passionately, optimistically. It is these last three words that colour her entire personality. Quite simply, Marina Orsini is magnetic. g
She laughingly recalls the all too common adolescent stage when teens intentionally shun the characteristics that unite them with their parents. “It’s so natural, at that point, to want to rebel, but my mother has always been my first inspiration. I couldn’t be more proud of being like her. My parents impress me - they always worked as a team. They were such hard-working people with such a love and a passion for life.” It is this joyous
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our people by Shauna Hardy
Dino Tavarone PHILOSOPHER KING With his buttery baritone voice, dark looks and serious demeanour, it is easy to see why Dino Tavarone was cast as Guiseppe Scarfo, the beguiling Montreal mafia boss in the award-winning mini-series Omerta. My imagination desperately wants to believe that I am interviewing this fictional character and happily runs through the stereotypical list of what it takes to be a gangster. Displays a lethal mix of charismatic charm and cool rationale. Check. Possesses a commanding voice that would make most people (including me) shake in their boots. Check. Eagerly discusses economics and the state of the human condition. Check. No, hold on. While the actor’s imposing appearance might suggest one story, his thoughts and observations reveal a far gentler man who is content to contemplate the world at large, lose himself in his art, and chase after his beloved Jack Russell terrier - Jackie. I have learned my lesson - never be taken in by appearances.
with his parents in 1960. The voyage was tinged with both bitter and sweet emotion. “The hardest part was actually leaving Italy, pulling away from the dock, saying our goodbyes,” he confesses. “It was absolutely heart-wrenching, but 12 hours into the voyage, everything changed. There was music, guitars and accordions - we were like
snapshots - vivid in their black and white detail. “I remember the ocean and then seeing one small house and a huge field. I remember thinking - where are all the houses? Where is the town? In Italy, I was used to seeing villages surrounded by incredible mountains. Here, everything just seemed to keep stretching out,” he says. “I can see images of our train, the people that slept stretched out in the luggage racks above us, the sounds of people making music.”
“Think of immigration as a tree,” he explains. “If it is still young, it can easily adapt. But when it is full-grown, the roots have already formed. It is that much more difficult to transplant.”
Together with his two sisters, Rosa and Tonia, Dino Tavarone left his small town of Veteri, Lucania and boarded the Saturnia
a family on the boat.” United by their sadness and their excitement, people formed strong ties that lasted throughout the journey. But the festive atmosphere quickly faded upon reaching the Canadian shore. The sharp pain of separation was re-awakened as newfound friends departed for different destinations. Tavarone’s memories of arriving in Canada are laid out as if they were a series of
His family’s own solitary journey began when they left that train and settled in Montreal, on St. Laurent boulevard in the heart of Little Italy. Tavarone confesses that as a teenager, he didn’t truly understand all that his parents, Alessandro and Domenica, had sacrificed. While the journey was portrayed as an exciting adventure that would substantially benefit the children, it still carried a heavy toll. “You cannot imagine immigration - you have to live it,” states Tavarone. “It is infinitely easier on the children. The adults might be the ones taking the decision, but it is an incredibly altruistic decision.” The actor illustrates his theory with typically thoughtful imagery.
Photographers: Céline Lalonde • Pierre Duriy
4 “Think of immigration as a tree,” he explains. “If it is still young, it can easily adapt. But when it is full-grown, the roots have already formed. It is that much more difficult to transplant.” Tenacity, according to Tavarone, is the defining characteristic that unites every immigrant’s story. There are no illusions that the transition is going to be anything but a difficult one, and yet everyone moves forward with a steely-eyed commitment to providing a new way of life. “Immigration
with his friends and by pouring over books. Over the years, Tavarone became a jack-of-all trades, specializing in everything from ballet shoe manufacturer to mechanic. But nothing ever really held his interest. His true passion lay in his private artistic pursuits - the paintings that he gladly laboured over and the amateur theatre group that he joined at the urging of a friend. “I loved the stage,” he states. “But I was very timid, very nervous. I would forget everything around me once I was on that
Represented by: AGENCE Ginette Achim
This is where Tavarone’s ability lies - his characters are so humane, so full of potential, so flawed that the audience can’t help but relate to them and to hope for them. It is his simple, intense realism that has won Tavarone so many accolades. He is living proof that talent does not necessarily shine only at a young age. is supposed to be about finding a better way of life and yet there is such huge sacrifice involved,” he says. “Time, money, distance, friends. With so much loss, you sometimes do have to question if enough is being gained in return. But at the same time, immigrants bring a richness to a country. They will take on jobs that not everyone necessarily wants to embrace in order to feed and support their families. These contributions are indispensable to helping a culture grow.” Tavarone’s own tenacity played out in his desire to learn the French language. The teenager bypassed high school, electing to hold down a job so that he could financially contribute to his family. He taught himself the new language during his spare time, picking it up on the street, through conversations
stage, but it was an incredible experience.” Then one day, fate intervened. Tavarone got a call from a production company regarding the casting for a new series. Someone had attended one of his performances and was certain he would be perfect for a part. Tavarone scoffed at the idea, certain that the caller was a joking friend. He auditioned nonetheless, winning the much lauded role of Omerta’s Guiseppe Scarfo. Things got off to a rocky start and, within two months, the entire production had been re-arranged. The only person left standing from the original series was Tavarone. “That’s how I became an actor,” he says with the laugh. “By the miracle of the Madonna.” Regardless of whether it was divine intervention, sheer talent or a combination of both, the actor’s first professional role proved to be a watershed
4 experience, earning him a Gemini nomination for best actor and paving the way for future roles in numerous film and television productions including Mambo Italiano, Café Ole, 2 Seconds and Il Duce Canadese. A consummate thinker, Tavarone takes a philosophic attitude toward his craft, relishing in the chance it gives him to delve deeply into the psyche of his characters. “I create an entire life story for each person that I play. I have to understand how they each got to this specific point in their lives. Take Guiseppe Scarfo, for example, he is still my favourite character,” he admits with a grin. “He was a brilliant man, he could have been a surgeon if he wanted to. But after his parents died in a fire, he was left to his own devices. He was a charismatic man who had to look elsewhere for guidance.” The description is so realistic that I begin to empathize with Scarfo’s situation. We sit, pouring over his life, deconstructing its details as if it were part of our own world, forgetting that it actually sprang from words on a page. This is where Tavarone’s ability lies - his characters are so humane, so full of potential, so flawed that the audience can’t help but relate to them and to hope for them. It is his simple, intense realism that has won Tavarone so many accolades. He is living proof that talent does not necessarily shine only at a young age.
tory that it involves. It is amazing to see that the things that were important centuries ago, are still important to us today. The means of communication might have changed but the themes are always the same.” But in a society that increasingly searches for the fastest shortcuts to all of life’s challenges, Tavarone worries that culture and tradition might be sacrificed in the names of ease and comfort. “Culture is a torch that we all carry within us, everybody has it, everybody ignites it. It
But the journey isn’t simply about gaining an understanding of one’s roots, it’s also about marking the passage of time. “Re-visiting history is essential,” says Tavarone. “It brings back the people in your life, people that you loved, people that you hated. It serves to remind you how all of these people have affected and influenced your life. It pays tribute to the course your life has taken.” When I ask him, if he is pleased with his own life’s path, Tavarone gives me a wry smile. “It is too difficult to be happy in this society,” he answers. “It implies that you are not paying attention, that you are simply staring at your own navel and not looking beyond yourself. There are always moments of happiness, but that is just what they are - moments.” Instead, Tavarone strives for understanding, plumbing life’s philosophic depths while striving for simplicity. “So many people get caught up in the details,” he reveals. “People are unaware of how little it takes to impact a life. We get so many gifts without even realizing it, just from a person’s words, just from their actions.” Tavarone has managed to achieve a rare thing. Rather than adhering to the lightening fast pace and instant gratification that defines so much of our society, he has elected to let life unfold at its own pace, contentedly determined to appreciate each facet, good or bad, as it is presented to him. His attitude is enviable. May we all be so lucky. g
“Culture is a torch that we all carry within us, everybody has it, everybody ignites it. It unites generations, it is something that is shared, it cannot be taught, instead it is felt. But everything is moving so fast, nowadays. It takes a lot of work to keep traditions alive and I’m not so sure that we want to devote as much time anymore,” he admits heavily.
Having returned to Italy on numerous occasions, Tavarone is exhilarated by the country’s past. “Italy is so filled with culture I love it. Not because it is specifically, my culture, but more because of the sense of his-
unites generations, it is something that is shared, it cannot be taught, instead it is felt. But everything is moving so fast, nowadays. It takes a lot of work to keep traditions alive and I’m not so sure that we want to devote as much time anymore,” he admits heavily. Tavarone reveals that he is now prepared to re-live a portion of his own personal history, desiring to head east once more and retrace his journey to Pier 21. “It will send me back into my own personal archives,” he explains. “Standing there, it will come back to me - the boat, the benches, the voyage. Even after all these years, I’m still in the middle of the ocean, I’m neither Canadian or Italian. I am Italian by nostalgia, Canadian by nature.”
our people by Shauna Hardy
s soon as I open the
door, I am overcome by that
familiar heavenly scent. My
mouth begins to water and I
am suddenly, giddily excited.
WEET IT IS
ne might go so far as to draw comparisons to a child in a candy store, except that the situation is far superior - I’m a grown
woman in a pasticceria. I sit down at a marble-topped bistro table and admiringly survey the scenery. Glass display cases house decadent assortments of cannolli and mille-feuille. Behind another case lie mountains of lip-smacking delicacies - melt-in-yourmouth almond paste cookies, crunchy biscotti and creamy shortbreads. Above my head, a chandelier adds a touch of sparkle to the surroundings. Owner Sandra Buonamici joins me, happily proffering a café latte and a plate of her favourite cookies.
“...Just a couple of cookies with a nice cup of coffee, that’s sometimes all that I want.” “I just love sweets!” she confesses. “When I’m at home, sometimes I’ll skip dinner to make room for a sweet. Just a couple of cookies with a nice cup of coffee, that’s sometimes all that I want,” she reveals contentedly. Buonamici’s passion for all things sugary is understandable. Growing up, the first generation Canadian got to fulfill the fantasy that so many children dream about - her home was located directly above the quaint little bakery that her parents purchased when she was six. A brief stop in the bakery for a tempting treat was just part of her regular after-school routine.
Pastry recipes were probably the furthest thing from
Building upon her father’s success, Buonamici’s aesthetically
Sebastiano Buonamici’s mind when he originally immigrated
trained eye began searching for ways to add her own little
from Ascoli Piceno in Italy’s Le Marche district. Working as
touches to the store. “It’s important to be surrounded by
a construction worker in Montreal when he first arrived, he
pretty things,” she reveals. “I wanted to have an upbeat
suddenly changed tracks when he was irresistibly drawn to
store. I changed the logo and added boxes and ribbons.
the charming little bakery that a friend was selling in the
It’s really the attention to detail that brings the ultimate
early seventies. “This is literally where I grew up,” says
satisfaction. I get such a rush when I wrap my cookies in
Buonamici. “Spending time in the bakery was just a regular
one of those little boxes. I want to give my customers a
part of life - everybody worked here - cousins, sisters,
really attractive package so that they feel proud when they
boyfriends, husbands. It became a way of spending time
walk out the door.”
with family.” But, while it might seem logical that Buonamici would immediately take over the business from
But Sandra’s quest for quality doesn’t just stop at the pretty
her father, the youngest of four children had a different
packaging. The San Marco bakery is renown for its addictive,
route in mind. Trained as an aesthetician and a masseuse,
good taste. “I think it’s important to follow your own instincts.
Sandra was pursuing other avenues, but the call of divine
I do things my way - the right way!” she jokes. “I absolutely
desserts was much too loud not to be heeded.
refuse to skimp on ingredients. I’m not going to buy lower grade products because I’m on a budget.
happens in those cases is that somewhere along the line you end up having to redo something. I’ll spend a little extra money so that everything is done flawlessly the first time around.” A perfectionist to the hilt, Sandra and her staff of 7 bakers (including her brother-in-law Carlo Marte) are unfazed by the mountains of cookies that they produce each week. High profile hotels and eager customers alike (some of whom have been frequenting the San Marco bakery since its early days), snap up 30-40 kilograms of almond cookies and 20 kilograms of shortbreads each week. And that’s not even counting the time that is devoted to creating the San Marco’s eye-popping wedding cakes. “You have to understand that the cake is just as big a decision as the gown for the bride. It’s another expression of her personality,” she underlines. “It has to be DELICIOUS. Beautiful, elegant and original. My staff and I will do anything for a bride. I just love to see my clients getting the same rush that I get - that’s what makes me happiest.” When Buonamici finally gets a brief moment to herself, one would think that she might want to leave her work behind her. But this passionate baker can’t seem to escape the sweet grip of sugary treats. While a vacation is usually defined by sightseeing, relaxing and perhaps, a little shopping, Buonamici’s version is encompassed by visits to pastry shops. The smells, the tastes, the presentation - there is no better way to appreciate life, or a culture, than through it’s food. A trip to New York is nothing without a stop at Magnolia Bakery for a light-as-air cupcake topped with velvety icing. And what about Italy? A radiant smile breaks out over her face, Buonamici’s eyes fill with bright excitement. “I just feel like a kid when I go to Italy! I’ll just sit on a bench and savour everything. There is nothing better in the world!” she confesses. On Buonamici’s last trip, disaster struck, she was stricken with the flu. She walked by the shops, appreciating the view but barely able to touch any of the food. “It was such a sad trip,” she says shaking her head. “I would take a small bite out of the desserts, but there was no passion to it.”
“Desserts are truly a form of happiness.” If you close your eyes and picture your favourite dessert an interesting phenomenon tends to happen. Your heart begins to beat a little faster, you feel giddy and excited, you begin to smile and a warm feeling - not unlike the first flush of love - tends to spread throughout your body. Desserts are truly a form of happiness, something that is not lost on Buonamici. Her desserts are not simply her business, they embody what is most important to her. “I’m not a complicated person,” she professes. “Eating, drinking and my friends - those are the most important things in life!” Although she will always leave room for a decadent little treat, nothing gives the bubbly baker more pleasure than seeing a smile of excited anticipation on another person’s face. While she might love sweets, Sandra Buonamici loves the pleasure they bring to her clients even more.
Bowl by Lalique available at LUCAS, Ogilvyâ€™s
Delicious Cookies Vanilla Sable
1.8 kg butter 1.2 kg icing sugar 30 egg yolks 5 whole eggs 3 kg all purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla
1.8 kg butter 1.2 kg icing sugar 30 egg yolks 5 whole eggs 2.8 kg all purpose flour 200 gr. Cocoa
Whip butter and icing sugar, then add eggs a little at a time. Add remaining ingredients Refrigerate overnight. Sables can be shaped into a log form and then cut into 1 inch circles, or the dough may be rolled out and shaped with a cookie cutter. Bake at 360ºF, 10 minutes.
4 1/2 lbs all purpose flour 2 lbs brown sugar 8 eggs 1 lb butter 1 1/2 Crisco 2 lbs almond toasted (soak 2 hrs in hot water) Bake 1 ounce cinnamon 1 pinch vanilla Add butter, crisco and sugar together and mix, then add eggs and rest of remaining ingredients. Shape dough into a lasagna pan. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove from pan and cut dough into 2’’ wide by 1/4’’. Bake 360ºF, for 15 minutes.
3 lbs sugar 3 lbs finely ground almonds 12 ounces flour all purpose 1 liter egg whites pinch vanilla pinch cinnamon Preheat oven 400ºF. Blend ingredients together, the batter should be soft and a little liquidy. Drop batter with a tablespoon onto a baking sheet, keeping 6 inches between each cookie. Flatten with a fork evenly into round 3 1/2 circle. Sprinkle icing sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, with a metal spatula, remove cookie and drape over a rolling pin.
Baci di Dame 1/2 pd unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder – sifted Filling: Apricot Jam Preheat oven 350ºF. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high, add salt and vanilla. Lower speed and add flour and cocoa powder. Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes. When cooled, using a small pastry bag, pipe a small amount of jam onto one side of cookie, and place second cookie on top.
Brutti e Buoni 1 1/2 cups finely chopped hazelnuts 3 large egg whites, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted and cooled. Preheat oven 325ºF. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time, beating constantly at high speed. Fold in hazelnuts and chocolate. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until cookies are firm.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs 3/4 cups sugar 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup toasted almonds
1 lbs almond paste 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds 2 1/4 cups sugar. Grated rind of 1 lemon 6 egg yolks Sugar for sprinkling over amaretti.
Preheat oven 325ยบF. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and foamy. Add orange zest and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, then almonds. Mold dough into two 14 by 2 inch logs. Bake 30 minutes until firm and golden. Transfer log onto cutting board with a large chef knife. Cut logs diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
Chiacchere 1 lbs all purpose flour 5 tbs sugar 1 pinch vanilla 1 oz confectioners sugar 3 eggs 1 tbs white wine frying oil 4 tbs butter Mix flour, sugar, salt, vanilla on a pastry board, making a well. Break eggs in the center and add wine. Knead dough for about 10 min, cover dough and let rest in a cool place for 1 hour. Knead dough again for 10 min, then make 1/8 inch thick roll. Cut dough with a pastry wheel into 3 inch wide and 4 inch long piece, and form into a pin wheel shape. Preheat oil in a deep pan, when oil is hot fry the piece of dough.
Pasticcini 1kg almond paste 1/2kg sugar egg whites 1/2 teaspoon lemon essence 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Blend ingredients together, until batter resembles a thick oatmeal. Take a pastry bag fitted with a star dip and pipe in any preferred shape. You may garnish with almonds or cherries. Leave out over night for cookies to dry, then bake at 350ยบF, for 10 minutes.
Knead almond paste and finely chopped almonds, sugar and lemon rind. Work in the egg whites with a wooden spatula a little at a time. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain dip and pipe small even dollops (size of a toonie). Sprinkle sugar. Let dry for 2 hours. Preheat oven 310ยบF. Bake for about 12 min.
Scarpe di Cavallo 4 cups flour 2 cups Crisco 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 egg yolks 1 envelope yeast 1 cup warm milk
Filling 1/2 cup sugar 1 lbs walnuts 1 lbs dattes 1 tbs water 1 egg white 1 pinch cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, add flour and sugar and salt together, then Crisco, yeast and egg yolks, add milk and mix well. Refrigerate overnight. Remove dough and start forming balls the size of golf balls. Flatten ball with a rolling pin, add filling and roll dough like a cigar. Form cookie into a shape of a crescent, sprinkle sugar and bake at 350ยบF, for 10 minutes or until golden.
Occhie di Bue 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 pound + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 whole egg 1 egg yolk 3/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon orange zest In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter and mix at low speed. In a separate bowl, combine egg and egg yolk, vanilla and orange zest, and lightly beat with a fork. Add to flour mixture and beat on low. Turn dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead dough. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven 350ยบF. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick, cut out equal amounts of solid circles and rings (2-1/2 Inches) and bake 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Dust rings with cocoa powder and place over solid circles Fill with jam or chocolate.
Courtesy of San Marco Bakery
our people by Shauna Hardy
“NOTHING COMES EASILY,” HE REVEALS. “YOU HAVE TO REALLY WORK AT IT. THAT’S MY MOTTO - WORK, WORK, WORK AND, YOU HAVE TO BE NICE TO PEOPLE. EVERY MORNING, I MAKE A POINT OF SAYING HELLO TO ALL OF MY WORKERS. I’VE BEEN ON THE OTHER SIDE, I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE. Each person is born with a life’s passion. A talent that fills the heart with such enthusiastic joy that one can barely think of anything else. But this passion also carries a heavy responsibility. It is a gift that cannot be ignored, it must be acknowledged, celebrated, and pursued. Sometimes out of fear and insecurity, a person will turn their back on that talent. Sometimes it has to be temporarily shelved while attending to greater responsibilities. But it is always there, waiting patiently to be discovered and enjoyed. This is the story about the happy consequences that occurred when one man was given the opportunity to become reacquainted with his passion. While growing up in the town of Avellino in Campania, Gerardo D’Argenio merrily pursued his love of singing, becoming a member of his local parish choir and relishing in his talent. But responsibility came to weigh heavily upon the 14-year-old’s shoulders shortly after his family immigrated to Montreal in 1951.
“There were just the three of us - my mother, my father and myself - my father developed leukemia and I knew that I needed to help him.” With single-minded determination, D’Argenio turned his attention away from his dream of a singing career, quit his lessons and launched himself fully into the business of supporting his family. D’Argenio was briefly employed at a dress factory, worked at a delivery service, and then moved on to a service station to pump gas and wash cars. The unrelenting schedule of continuous 18 hour days did little to carve a dent in his determination. The youngster focused solely on his father’s peace of mind. “His health was failing fast,” D’Argenio reveals. “The only thing that he wanted to know before he died was that everyone was going to be taken care of. He needed to know that his family was going to be alright.” D’Argenio embraced the automotive industry, seizing every opportunity he could to learn the mechanics of the trade.
He was promoted to manager of the service station and then spent another 6 years working as a lift truck mechanic for Wajax. Never content to stay on one rung for too long, D’Argenio persistently pushed himself to keep moving up the career ladder. He became the owner of a service station in Ville St-Laurent and then, in 1971, began selling used cars in its lot. “The hours were even longer, the work was even harder because it was ours!” he laughs. From there, it was only a short jump to a whole new level - he began searching for a car franchise. D’Argenio was soon presented w i t h two options.
“RIGHT BEFORE I GO OUT ON STAGE FLASHES OF WHAT COULD GO WRONG RACE THROUGH YOUR BRAIN - A FORGOTTEN NOTE, A MISSED WORD. YOU’RE ALL ALONE IN FRONT OF 500 PEOPLE AND EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT YOU. THE NERVES DRY OUT YOUR MOUTH SO IT FEELS AS IF YOU’VE SWALLOWED A SPOON OF SAND. YOU JUST HAVE TO PUSH THROUGH THE FEAR, TALK YOURSELF THROUGH THE PROCESS AND LEARN HOW TO KEEP GOING.” 4 “There was an opportunity with Mazda and with Fiat,” he says. “ Of course, I’m a sentimental fool, I had to choose Fiat!” The car dealership began as a little operation with four people, but it soon began to grow exponentially in size. D’Argenio continued to add new franchises to his roster, with Fiat being dropped in favour of Saab and Subaru. By 1976, D’Argenio was recognized as Subaru’s biggest dealership with a distributing agreement that stretched from Ottawa through the Maritimes. Business kept growing. By 1985, D’Argenio was operating a sleek BMW showroom on boulevard St-Martin in Laval. In 2001 D’Argenio built a new dealership all to BMW specifications on their new location on Chomedey Blvd. Today, it is recognized as the biggest dealership in Eastern Canada, employing 104 people. Although D’Argenio is somewhat modest about his triumphs, he recognizes exactly how they were achieved. “Nothing comes easily,” he reveals. “You have to really work at it. That’s my motto - work, work, work and, you have to be nice to people. Every morning, I make a point of saying hello to all of my workers. I’ve been on the other side, I know what it’s like.” “You have to make people feel appreciated, make them feel as if they are part of a family. You can’t sit behind a desk to build a business, you have to meet, you have to greet, you have to be with the customers.”
The mid-eighties also provided a lifechanging meeting for D’Argenio. “I bumped into my former music teacher,” he says. “We agreed to meet and that Saturday all I thought I was doing was heading over to enjoy a coffee and a catch-up conversation. When I got up to leave, my former teacher shook his head. He dragged me into the other room where there was a piano and said ‘You’re not leaving - I want to see what you’ve got.’ I was reluctant, but I started to sing. When we finished, he told me we were going to start studying together once a week.” D’Argenio threw himself into the lessons with characteristic zeal, developing his strong baritone voice, happily mastering classical Neapolitan songs and operatic arias. The passion that he was forced to relinquish as a teenager was back with full force. Soon he was singing with his church choir, performing solos under the direction of choirmaster Mike Di Salvia. Gerardo D’Argenio’s personality is defined by unfettered generosity. Unable to enjoy a gift without sharing it, he began to examine how his voice could assist those around him. “God has given me a lot,” he explains. “I have a beautiful family and business. Why not share my time with people that need it? I believe that we need to use the little we know to benefit someone else.”
“It is important to me to help my community, to help children. I like to give, I like to help.” Together with his choirmaster, D’Argenio began performing charity events, helping to raise funds for the church and other charitable organizations. His singing was not only giving pleasure to other people, it was helping to build schools and hospitals all over the world. Determined to keep striving, D’Argenio founded his own organization - The Foundation Groupe Belle Music, which performs two yearly concerts in December. The singer takes his fundraising goal very seriously, approaching major sponsors for the events. It is not uncommon for the function to net over $20,000 with every single penny going toward disadvantaged children. While D’Argenio is grateful for being reunited with his favourite activity, he admits that his passion does not come without its challenges. “I get very nervous and very emotional when I sing,” he reveals. “Right before I go out on stage flashes of what could go wrong race through your brain - a forgotten note, a missed word. You’re all alone in front of 500 people and everyone is looking at you. The nerves dry out your mouth so it feels as if you’ve swallowed a spoon of sand. You just have to push through the fear, talk yourself through the process and learn how to keep going.”
4 D’Argenio’s mental tenacity and clear focus are paramount to his success as a singer, they are also the keystones that have allowed him to achieve so much during his lifetime.
just get involved with the day-to-day activities. The first year made such an impact upon me. You remember things so differently as a child, your perspective as an adult changes so much.”
Never one to rest on his laurels, D’Argenio admits that he finds it hard to disconnect himself from his work and the care of others. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit for both business and pleasure. But when I’m on the beach, I can’t relax.” His mind constantly flutters back to his business or is consumed by the hardship that he sees around him. “I vacationed in Mexico at a beautiful resort that literally treats you as if you were a king. But as soon as you step outside the resort’s walls, you see so much misery. It’s so terrible, it hurts me - I cannot stand to see it and not do anything.” The one place that succeeds in truly easing D’Argenio’s mind is Italy. It took the entrepreneur 20 years to return to his homeland for the first time - four children and a growing business being the reasons for the long delay. Now he makes a point of visiting once a year. “It is truly my land,” he explains. “I love Canada and I wouldn’t say a word against it, but Italy is my roots. I feel different when I am visiting, as if I’m truly part of something that is bigger than myself. In Italy, I am able to disconnect myself completely and
Overlooking the gleaming BMW showroom floor, Gerardo D’Argenio’s 2nd floor office is peppered with framed snapshots. On one wall, shots of the singer in mid-performance hang beside a regal photograph of his father in military uniform. On the opposing wall, space is reserved for D’Argenio’s nine grandchildren and his wife. One only has to take a cursory glance around this space to understand everything that is of importance to this man. Another clue is given away by the enormous brass paperweight that handily sits atop a stack of documents on D’Argenio’s desk. “Do It Now”, it reads. What could be more appropriate? Success doesn’t come from following the best laid plans (they too often go awry) or waiting for the perfect moment to put them into play (it never comes). Instead it occurs by adapting to the circumstances that life continually supplies. It occurs by the grace of a
large heart and a generous spirit. It occurs through family, friends and community ties. Although his life did not unfold the way he had planned, Gerardo D’Argenio happily admits that if he could live it over again, he would choose exactly the same course. This is the admission of a truly successful man. g
IT TOOK THE ENTREPRENEUR 20 YEARS TO RETURN TO HIS HOMELAND FOR THE FIRST TIME - FOUR CHILDREN AND A GROWING BUSINESS BEING THE REASONS FOR THE LONG DELAY. NOW HE MAKES A POINT OF VISITING ONCE A YEAR. “IT IS TRULY MY LAND,” HE EXPLAINS. “I LOVE CANADA AND I WOULDN’T SAY A WORD AGAINST IT, BUT ITALY IS MY ROOTS. I FEEL DIFFERENT WHEN I AM VISITING, AS IF I‘M TRULY PART OF SOMETHING THAT IS BIGGER THAN MYSELF. 72
Nick DeSantis, rookie head coach of the Montreal Impact, attracted plenty of media attention when his team won the recent A-League Championship. French and English media, along with the local Italian community papers, devoted editorial pages and columns of coverage to the outgoing and charismatic De Santis. His passion and love for the game have influenced every aspect of his life. With family roots stretching back to Guglionesi and the media spotlight trained upon his every move, it only seemed logical that we feature him in PanoramItalia.
DE SANTIS FAMILY In 1958, Vincenzo De Santis and wife Maria departed Guglionesi, Italy looking for a new life in North America. Soon after settling in Montreal, Vincenzo along with his brother Tommaso, began working as butchers - a trade they mastered in Guglionesi. The brothers worked themselves up through the ranks at Les Viandes Mammola, eventually buying the butcher shop. In 1967, the De Santis family along with brother Tommaso moved to a farm they had bought in St. Isidore to raise and trade live stock. But the harsh Canadian winters quickly drove them back to the Villeray district of Montreal in January, 1968. By this time, Vincenzo and Maria had begun to build their family - Daniela, their daughter, was two-years-old and newborn baby Nick came along to join her on September 11, 1967. Another daughter, Pina completed the picture in 1974.
Nick De Santis, il nuovo allenatore dell'Impact di Montreal, ha suscitato una notevole attenzione nei media portando la sua squadra alla vittoria nel campionato della A-League. I media francofoni ed anglofoni, così come i giornali della comunità italiana, hanno dedicato pagine di editoriali e di articoli sul carismatico e socievole De Santis. La sua passione per il calcio ha influenzato ogni aspetto della sua vita. Viste le sue origini Guglionisane e con i riflettori della stampa che seguono ogni suo movimento, ci è parso un atto dovuto presentarlo in PanoramItalia.
LA FAMIGLIA DE SANTIS Nel 1958, Vincenzo De Santis e sua moglie Maria lasciarono Guglionesi per cominciare una vita nuova in America. Poco dopo essersi stabiliti a Montreal, Vincenzo, con suo fratello Tommaso, iniziò a lavorare come macellaio – un'attività nella quale avevano fatto esperienza a Guglionesi. I due fratelli fecero strada presso Les Viandes Mammola e finirono con acquistare la macelleria. Nel 1967, i De Santis, sempre con il fratello Tommaso, si trasferirono in una fattoria che avevano acquistato a St. Isidore per allevare e commerciare bestiame. Ma il duro inverno canadese li riportò molto velocemente nel quartiere Villeray, a Montreal, nel gennaio del 1968. A questo punto, Vincenzo e Maria avevano già cominciato a fondare la loro famiglia. Daniela, la loro figlia, aveva due anni ed il piccolo Nick si aggiunse l'11 settembre del 1967. Un'altra figlia, Pina, completò il quadro familiare nel 1974.
Nick De Santis….
by Pino Asaro
4 Almost every summer, Mamma Maria, would take her kids 4 back to Guglionesi to spend time with her own aging mother. It was while on one of these fateful trips that her brother, Zio Pompeo Zarlenga, presented Nick with a very special treat - his very first pallone. At that time, it was the only leather ball in Guglionesi. In no time flat, Nick became the envy of every village child and a very popular play mate. It was also this infamous little leather ball that sparked Nick’s great passion for the game of soccer.
Quasi ogni estate, Mamma Maria tornava a Guglionesi con i suoi bambini per trascorrere un po' di tempo con sua madre. Fu in uno di questi viaggi che suo fratello, Zio Pompeo Zarlenga, offrì al piccolo Nick un regalo molto speciale: il suo primo pallone. All'epoca, quello era il solo pallone di cuoio di tutta Guglionesi. Ben presto, Nick divenne l'invidia dei bambini di tutto il villaggio ed allo stesso tempo un compagno di giochi molto ricercato. Fu quello stesso pallone che suscitò in Nick la sua grande passione per il gioco del calcio.
The impresario’s introduction to the organized game of soccer began innocently enough at the age of seven. While playing soccer one Friday night with a friend in the ruella behind the De Santis’ Villeray home, Nick decided to follow his playmate to practice. The coach, Nicola Sbarra, was so impressed by Nick’s ball handling abilities that he immediately put him in the scrimmage game which resulted in a 5-2 win, with Nick scoring every single one of his team’s goals. The coach and team mates were so impressed with Nick’s abilities that he was enthusiastically invited to join the Patrioti Team of Consolata Parish. While the reception given by his new team was a welcoming one, the reception at home took on a slightly different tone - it seems that the feisty little seven-year-old had left home without alerting his parents. While he had spent his hours on the field impressing his new teammates, his parents had been worrying themselves sick at home. When the youngster finally arrived home, he received a beating from his parents that continues to sting his memory today. Relieved to find their son safe and sound, Maria and Vincenzo lent their whole-hearted support to Nick - granting him permission to pursue his passion and ferrying him to practices and games. A naturally gifted athlete, Nick was also developing into a very good hockey player. But a broken right wrist and the realization that he might not have the size to succeed in hockey, proved to be the variables that kept De Santis chasing after his soccer dreams.
La sua iniziazione al calcio organizzato avvenne quasi per caso all'età di sette anni. Un venerdì sera, mentre giocava a pallone con un amico nella stradina dietro la residenza dei DeSantis, a Villeray, Nick decise di seguire il suo compagno ad un allenamento. L'allenatore, Nicola Sbarra, rimase così colpito dalle abilità di controllo di palla di Nick, che lo arruolò immediatamente in una partitella nella quale Nick segnò tutte le reti della sua squadra, aiutandola a vincere con un netto cinque a due. Le capacità di Nick stupirono letteralmente l'allenatore ed i suoi compagni di squadra e tutti lo invitarono con molto entusiasmo ad aggregarsi ai Patrioti della Parrocchia della Consolata. Se l'accoglienza che gli fu accordata dai suoi compagni di squadra fu molto calorosa, quella che lo aspettava a casa era tutto il contrario. Sembra che il vivace ragazzino di appena sette anni fosse partito da casa senza avvisare i suoi genitori. Mentre lui era sul campo a mettere in mostra il suo talento calcistico davanti a suoi nuovi compagni, i suoi genitori erano a casa a preoccuparsi per la sua assenza. Quando finalmente tornò a casa ricevette, dai suoi genitori, una di quelle strigliate che ancora oggi lo fanno rabbrividire. Una volta rassicurati dal ritorno del loro figlio, Maria e Vincenzo diedero il loro pieno sostegno al piccolo Nick, accordandogli il permesso di dare sfogo alla sua passione, accompagnandolo a partite ed allenamenti. Essendo un atleta di talento naturale, Nick era diventato anche un promettente giocatore di hockey. Ma una frattura ad un polso e la consapevolezza di non possedere la statura necessaria per riuscire nell'hockey, furono argomenti validi per convincere definitivamente DeSantis ad inseguire il suoi sogni calcistici.
Under Sbarra’s guidance, De Santis developed into a technically sound offensive midfielder with good vision and leadership qualities. His passion and the intensity with which he approached every game made Nick a natural winner. At the age of ten, the Patriots won the Pee Wee championship in the Montreal-Concordia region. The team was invited to the Les Jeux du Quebec in Joliette. For the first time De Santis slept away from home for five days. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime with The Patriots winning the tournament and every player being awarded a gold medal. Young Nick was also chosen to be the flag bearer for the Montreal-Concordia Region at the Closing Ceremonies. In the years that followed, De Santis continued to excel. He was a regular choice in the Under 15 to Under 18 divison for the Select Teams of Montreal-Concordia at the Provincial Games. After the 1985 season, at the age of 17, Nick was recruited by a good friend of his, Tony Incollingo, to join the Jean Talon Soccer Association which would compete in the new semi pro circuit - the Quebec Soccer League. In 1987, he was drafted by the Steelers of Hamilton for the Canadian Soccer League. But De Santis never
Sotto la direzione del Signor Sbarra, De Santis divenne un mediano offensivo molto dotato, con una buona visione del gioco e buone qualità di leadership. La sua passione e la veemenza con la quale Nick si preparava per ogni partita, fecero di lui un vincente naturale. All'età di dieci anni, i Patrioti vinsero il campionato Pee Wee nella regione Montreal-Concordia. La squadra fu invitata ai Jeux du Québec, a Joliette. Per la prima volta, De Santis dormì lontano da casa per cinque giorni interi. Fu un'esperienza indimenticabile. I Patrioti vinsero il torneo e ogni giocatore ricevette una medaglia d'oro. Il giovane Nick fu anche scelto come porta-bandiera per la regione MontrealConcordia alle cerimonie di chiusura dei giochi. Negli anni seguenti, De Santis continuò ad eccellere. Venne convocato regolarmente nelle selezioni Under 15 ed Under 18 della regione Montreal-Concordia per i giochi del Quebec. Dopo la stagione 1985, all'età di 17 anni, Nick fu arruolato da un suo buon amico, Tony Incollingo, nella Jean Talon Soccer Association, che doveva competere nella nuova lega semiprofessionale: la Quebec Soccer League. Nel 1987, fu selezionato dagli Steelers di Hamilton della Canadian Soccer League. Ma De Santis non giocò mai per gli Steelers. A quell'epoca era occupatissimo con la
THE COACH, NICOLA SBARRA, WAS SO IMPRESSED BY NICK’S BALL HANDLING ABILITIES THAT HE IMMEDIATELY PUT HIM IN THE SCRIMMAGE GAME WHICH RESULTED IN A 5-2 WIN, WITH NICK SCORING EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS TEAM’S GOALS. THE COACH AND TEAM-MATES WERE SO IMPRESSED WITH NICK’S ABILITIES THAT HE WAS ENTHUSIASTICALLY INVITED TO JOIN THE PATRIOTI TEAM OF CONSOLATA PARISH.
4 played in steel town. By that time he was busily touring with 4 the Under 20 National Team preparing for the World Cup in Chile. The following season, Montreal was awarded a franchise, the Supra, to which Nick got traded. He played with the Supra, as a starting defensive midfielder, until the end of the 1992 season, which marked the demise of the league. The following year, the Saputo Group came to the rescue saving the game of soccer for Nick and thousands of soccer enthusiasts with a new franchise - the Montreal Impact. This new franchise was entered in the American Professional Soccer League which at the time was the highest category at the professional level. For the local players like Nick, this was an opportunity of a lifetime. De Santis made the most of it, helping the team to win the North American Championship in 1994, and later becoming captain from 1995 to 2001. By the 2002 season, De Santis was flirting with the idea of coaching, and accepted the role of assistant to Robert Lilley. Strongly ambitious, he set his goals upon eventually becoming head coach - little did he know in what a short amount of time his goal would be achieved. The Impact were again eliminated in the early rounds of the play-offs in the 2003 season, as it had been the case in the previous years. At season’s end, Nick was vacationing in Italy and was a guest of his friend and former team mate, Enzo Concina in Piacenza. They had just returned from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milano, where they attended a classic - The Derby between AC Milan and Inter. During that evening, he received a call from Montreal Impact’s team President, Joey Saputo. He informed De Santis that Bob Lilley would not be returning as head coach for the Impact, and offered him the position. With characteristic calm, De Santis reveals that he was neither surprised, shocked, or intimidated by the call. Although he took a few days to give his answer, he knew he was ready for the challenge.
squadra nazionale Under 20, la quale era in tournée per preparare la Coppa del Mondo in Cile. L'anno seguente, Montreal si aggiudicò una squadra, il Supra, alla quale Nick fu trasferito. Giocò con il Supra, come mediano difensivo titolare, sino al 1992, anno nel quale la lega andò allo sbando. L'anno seguente il gruppo Saputo venne alla riscossa, salvando il gioco del calcio per Nick e per migliaia di appassionati con la creazione dell'Impact di Montreal. Questa nuova squadra fu arruolata nell'American Professional Soccer League, che all'epoca era il massimo calibro calcistico professionale. De Santis approfittò al massimo di questa nuova occasione che gli si presentava, aiutando la sua squadra a vincere il campionato Nord Americano nel 1994 e diventando il capitano della squadra dal 1995 al 2001. Già nel 2002, De Santis considerava la possibilità di allenare ed accettò il ruolo di assistente di Robert Lilley. Molto ambizioso, si fissò l'obiettivo di diventare un giorno l'allenatore titolare. Ma non poteva certo immaginarsi che avrebbe raggiunto il suo traguardo in così poco tempo. Nella stagione 2003, così com'era successo nelle stagioni precedenti, l'Impact fu eliminato in uno dei primi turni dei Play-offs. Dopo la fine della stagione, Nick si concesse un periodo di vacanza presso il suo amico ed ex compagno di squadra Enzo Concina, a Piacenza.
On November 20th, 2003, Nick De Santis was introduced as the head coach of the Montreal Impact. In the weeks that followed, he requested a team meeting with the team’s veterans. He asked them for their unconditional support. “I told them of my intentions, and if they believed in me, they had to act as role models for the rest of the players…and they did it very well,” he admits with a smile. In fact they did so well, that the Impact went on to win the 2004 A-League Championship almost ten years to the day, from the 1994 Championship Title. Not bad for a rookie coach. “I was able to bring together a great coaching staff that includes Peter Pinizzotto, Andrea Pietrantonio, and Youssef Dahha,” claims Nick. Of course, his ability to help players gel, spot the right team chemistry and ignite a winning attitude didn’t hurt either! Soccer also played an important role in De Santis’ personal life as well. Nick was introduced to his wife Anna Tsouluhas by mutual friends, almost ten years ago while attending a soccer game in Toronto which involved the visiting Montreal Impact. Was it love at first sight? We’ll never know for sure. What we do know is that Anna, a graduate student who was studying in Toronto at the time, later decided to continue her studies in Montreal at Concordia University. “She came after me it was that simple,” says Nick matter of factly. The rest, as they say, is history.
Vincenzo DeSantis and wife Maria
While De Santis and I are enjoying a particulary good prosciutto and funghi pizza at a popular eatery on Saint-Laurent boulevard in Little Italy, I ask the soccer hero how he views himself. The answer is almost anti-climatic: “I consider myself passionate, emotional, and simple,” he says. “Yes, very simple.
Someone who likes the simple things in life - good food and travel. My wife, Anna and I enjoy visiting Italy at the end of each soccer season and spend two to three weeks with family and friends.” I should add, he also likes a nice home, judging from the cozy Tudor cottage they have recently purchased in Town of Mount Royal. While Anna might agree to her husband’s finer qualities, she does reveal a couple of good natured wifely pet peeves. Used to a tidy house, and without any children of their own, Anna claims De Santis is constantly picking up after his two nephews, Gianluca and Francesco when they visit. Things will
Saputo informò De Santis che Bob Lilley non sarebbe ritornato al suo posto di allenatore dell'Impact e che il posto era a sua disposizione. Con la sua flemma caratteristica, DeSantis racconta che non fu né sorpreso, né intimorito dall'offerta. Anche se si diede qualche giorno per rifletterci sopra, Nick sapeva di essere pronto per l'incarico. Il suo amico Enzo, che giocava per il Piacenza, nella Serie B italiana, fece capire a De Santis che era giunto il momento di fare un passo importante nella sua carriera calcistica e questa era l'opportunità ideale. Nick DeSantis fu presentato come allenatore dell'Impact il 20 Novembre 2003. Nelle settimane che seguirono l'annuncio ufficiale, Nick organizzò un incontro con i veterani della squadra, chiedendo loro un sostegno assoluto e senza riserve. "Li ho informati delle mie intenzioni e ho detto loro che, se credevano in me, dovevano servire come modelli per il resto della squadra… e lo fecero molto bene," ammette con un sorriso. Infatti, lo fecero così bene, che l'Impact vinse il campionato 2004 della A-League, esattamente dieci anni dopo la loro ultima vittoria. Niente male per un allenatore esordiente. "Sono stato in grado di costruire un'eccellente équipe tecnica, con Peter Pinizzotto, Andrea Pietrantonio e Youssef Daha," dichiara Nick. Sicuramente, sarà risultata utile anche la sua bravura nel saldare lo spogliatoio e infondere nei giocatori una mentalità vincente. Il calcio ha avuto un ruolo importante anche nella vita personale di De Santis. Nick conobbe sua moglie, Anna Tsouluhas, tramite amici comuni, quasi dieci anni fa, quando assistette ad una partita di calcio dell'Impact a Toronto. Si trattò di amore a prima vista? Non si saprà mai. Ma sappiamo che Anna, che conseguiva una laurea a Toronto all'epoca, decise di continuare i suoi studi all'Università Concordia di
The speech of victory
Santis realize it was time to take his career to the next level, and this was the perfect opportunity.
Allo stadio Giuseppe Meazza di Milano, assistettero ad una delle partite più importanti del calcio italiano, il derby tra Milan ed Inter. Quella sera, Nick ricevette una telefonata dal Presidente dell'Impact di Montreal, Joey Saputo.
Moment of tension
4 Enzo, who played for Piacenza in the Italian Serie B, made De 4
Montreal. "Mi ha semplicemente seguito," dichiara Nick con concretezza. Il resto è storia. Seduti in un ben frequentato ristorante della Piccola Italia, mentre assaggiamo una pizza ai funghi ed al prosciutto particolarmente buona, chiedo al nostro eroe del calcio qualche considerazione su se stesso. La risposta è quasi anti-climatica "Mi considero come una persona passionale, emotiva e semplice," dice De Santis. "Si, molto semplice. Sono qualcuno che apprezza le cose semplici della vita, il buon cibo, i viaggi. Mia moglie ed io apprezziamo molto recarci in Italia alla fine di ogni stagione, per trascorrere due o tre settimane con la famiglia e gli amici." Dovrei aggiungere che apprezzano anche una bella dimora, a
4 only get worse once his sister’s new born baby Gabrielle can get 4 in on the fun. While this couple knows how to balance their everyday routines, Anne takes the lead when it comes to running the household, claiming that “Nick is good at using his charm with women as a negotiating tool.” He might let his wife handle the dirty work as the administrator of household issues, but claims Anna with a laugh, he is also very organized and neat. He likes to make the bed most mornings - the problem is, she’s usually under the covers while he’s doing it!
giudicare dal gradevole villino in stile Tudor che hanno recentemente acquistato a Ville Mont Royal. Anna concorda con alcune della qualità di suo marito, ma ci rivela anche alcuni dei suoi particolari più intimi. De Santis tiene molto a che tutto sia in ordine dentro casa perciò, non avendo figli loro, è sempre al seguito dei suoi due nipotini, Gianluca e Francesco, raccogliendo tutto ciò che loro lasciano in giro quando vengono a trovarli. Le cose non faranno che peggiorare quando la neonata di sua sorella, la piccola Gabrielle, ci metterà del suo. Se la coppia De Santis è abile nel condividere i compiti quotidiani equamente, Anna si prende più responsabilità casalinghe dichiarando che "Nick è molto abile nell'usare il suo fascino con le donne come attrezzo di negoziazione." Forse lascia alla moglie alcuni degli incarichi casalinghi, ma Anna ammette con un sorriso che Nick è molto ordinato ed organizzato. "Gli piace rifare il letto ogni mattina, il problema è che spesso io sono ancora sotto le coperte quando lo fa!"
While Nick’s Montreal soccer career flourished , he also contributed substantially to the national team. DeSantis was drafted by Tony Taylor, the Under 20 Canada’s team coach, to take part in the World Cup in Chile and later in the Pan American games in Indianapolis. With Taylor, he was promoted to the senior squad for the 1990 World Cup qualifying round. Nick played two games and remained a member of the roster. Unfortunately, a serious knee injury kept him from being selected for the squad involved in the 1994 USA World Cup qualifying round. But, he would get another chance four years later at the 1998 qualifying round at the World Cup in France. “Tony Taylor saw the potential in me,” claims Nick. “Something I cannot say about Bobby Lenarduzzi.” For the record, De Santis played in 1989 for Lenarduzzi at the World Footsal (FIFA indoor 5 a side) Tournament in Holland. To quote Nick’s feelings concerning Lenarduzzi - “When Bobby became coach, my national team career had gone on a negative side. But then again, today I understand, not every coach could like every player, everybody has a different mentality.” The next call came in 1997 for a game against Iran. It was an exhibition game in Toronto prior to which, Lenarduzzi warned De Santis that it would be his last if he did not perform to his expectations. “I remember I played one of my best games” claims De Santis, “and I was later chosen on the roster for games against Jamaica,
La carriera calcistica di Nick è stata soprattuto centrata a Montreal, ma questo non gli ha impedito di contribuire alla causa della nazionale canadese. De Santis è stato arruolato da Tony Taylor, il commissario tecnico della nazionale Under 20, per partecipare alla coppa del mondo in Cile ed ai Giochi Pan-Americani di Indianapolis. Con lo stesso Taylor, Nick fu promosso alla nazionale senior per le qualificazioni dei Mondiali del 1990. Nick giocò due partite da titolare continuando a far parte della rosa. Sfortunatamente, un grave infortunio al ginocchio gli impedì di essere selezionato nella nazionale che partecipò alle qualificazioni dei Mondiali statunitensi del 1994. Ma Nick ebbe un'altra possibilità durante le qualificazioni per i Mondiali francesi nel 1998. "Tony Taylor ha riconosciuto il mio potenziale," dichiara Nick. "Non potrei dire altrettanto di Bobby Leonarduzzi."
Nick DeSantis and wife Anna
Nick DeSantis and the author
Per la statistica, De Santis giocò per Leonarduzzi nel 1989 ai Mondiali di calcetto (cinque contro cinque) in Olanda. Per citare i sentimenti di Nick riguardo a Leonarduzzi : "Quando Bobby è diventato commissario
El Salvador, and the USA. Unfortunately we did not qualify, and by then I was over 30, which marked the end of my national team aspirations.” As a player that is. But who is to say that sometime in the near future he may not be linked again with the Nazionale Canadese as head coach. Any bets? g
tecnico sapevo che la mia carriera con la nazionale aveva preso una piega negativa. Ma oggi capisco che non tutti gli allenatori possono apprezzare tutti i giocatori, ognuno ha la propria mentalità." La successiva chiamata in nazionale avvenne nel 1997, in una partita contro l'Iran, a Toronto. Era solo un'amichevole, ma prima della partita Leonarduzzi avvertì De Santis che quella sarebbe stata l'ultima chiamata per lui se non avesse soddisfatto le aspettative dell'allenatore. "Ricordo di aver giocato una delle mie migliori partite," dichiara De Santis, "e fui selezionato ancora per le partite contro la Giamaica, l'El Salvador e gli Stati Uniti. Purtroppo, non ci qualificammo, e io avevo già trent'anni, fu la fine delle mie aspirazioni con la nazionale." Almeno come giocatore. Chissà che in un futuro abbastanza prossimo Nick non possa ancora incrociare la Nazionale canadese come allenatore? Vogliamo scommettere? g
our people by Shauna Hardy
S T R O K E S
J U L I E
S I C I L I A N O
hether itâ€™s the dramatic simplicity of the 40 Westt restaurant logo, an intricately designed wedding invitation, or the funky
packaging for the new line of Ya-Ya sauces, Julie Sicilianoâ€™s artwork has always attracted attention. The gifted creative director has always gravitated toward the beautiful, working in a variety of artistic mediums for as long as she can remember. But turning her favourite past time into a full-fledged career required unwavering determination. While her peers chose safer, more sedate fields, Siciliano decided to pursue her own dream. She immersed herself in an environment that is as demanding as it is creative, becoming the heart and soul of Cassi Design, a bustling design firm in Montrealâ€™s St-Leonard district.
As far back as high school, family, friends and teachers realized that Siciliano’s talent as an artist would figure prominently in her life. Although the first
enjoyed most of her academic subjects, she struggled with the class that makes many teens cringe, algebra. Rather than letting her suffer unnecessarily, her high school principal took the extremely unconventional decision of letting her drop the subject entirely. “Instead, he assigned me two art classes, it was fantastic!” Although she was excited about pursuing her passion, her parents were more reserved about her decision. “My mother kept saying to me, ‘Why do you want to do this? Do you really want a crazy life with a job that’s going to keep you up until three o’clock in the morning? Why don’t you just think about taking a nice, steady job as a secretary?’” Siciliano remembers. “But I needed to have a creative life. That is still something that my mother doesn’t understand.”
While mother and daughter can’t see eye to eye on the subject, Siciliano does understand where her mother’s point of view originated. Her parents, Rosaria Corbo and Francesco Siciliano had immigrated to Canada from Calabria hoping for a better life. Working the land “in campagna” while living in Italy, her father often had to spend as long as a week at a time away from his wife. Immigration seemed to be the answer. “Like so many people, my parents were under the impression that life would be much easier in North America,” states Siciliano. “But that wasn’t the way it worked out. They arrived with a suitcase, which held everything they had. My father had to go from door to door looking for work. It was very difficult.” The dreams of financial security and stability proved to be illusive, becoming instead the much-hoped-for goals of the next generation. “My parents wanted me to have an easier life than they had,” admits Siciliano, “but the kind of life they envisioned for me just felt too restrictive. Life might have been a lot more predictable, but I just couldn’t imagine it for myself.” After graduating from Dawson College’s esteemed graphic design programme, Siciliano began working for the prestigious firm Ogilvy and Mather. While thrilled with her experience, she eventually grew tired of just being a number in a large company. “There was so much time devoted to lengthy meetings, I was losing my creative edge. I wanted to become an art director and get my hands into the real stuff rather than just executing other people’s ideas,” she says adamantly. Moving to a smaller operation provided greater satisfaction but there was still something missing. Life outside the agency’s door had provided Siciliano with a wonderful husband and two daughters, Leandra and Nathania, with whom she badly wanted to spend more time. With her courage in hand, Siciliano set off on her own. Her first
challenge was to design the logo for the Baton Rouge restaurant chain. Soon business was booming and it was obvious that the next step would be to open her own agency. “It started off as a kind of a joke,” laughs the creative director. “I remember being surrounded by eight people at our first Christmas party and I thought to myself ‘This is real!’ But I always dreamed of having my own office, of having a reception area where clients walk in and see my company’s logo on the wall.” When the gifted creative director and her husband decided to merge their two companies and launch their own agency, the pair hit upon a name that reflected a little bit of both of them. Fusing the first letters of each of their own last names, Castelli and Siciliano, they created Cassi Design. Over the past ten years, a steady stream of clients have walked into the colourful offices. Siciliano and her talented staff of 10 work on everything from logo concepts to catalogues and flyers, magazine advertising to website designs and, of course, the PanoramItalia layout. Cassi’s clients are widely varied including architectural and law firms, restaurants, and a company that specializes in replacement parts for recreational vehicles. When asked about her favourite part of the job, Siciliano’s eyes light up; her enthusiasm is contagious. “I love working on a company’s corporate image. When meeting with a client following our briefing, several proposals are suggested ranging from the sleek ultra-modern to the more conservative. Offering our clients different viewpoints on how best to their represent respective businesses through a visual is our firm’s main focus. Being able to meet our client’s needs is of utmost importance.”
Siciliano continues to keep pushing her creative limits, combining the love of her heritage with a powerful talent. “The most important thing is to have fun with what you are doing. I love interacting with my clients and providing simple, beautiful creations for them,” she says easily. “The fact that some of my clients come and speak to me in Italian makes my job even more enjoyable!” The designer’s handiwork isn’t just appreciated by her clients. It was her artwork that sparked the romance with her husband. A get-well card that Siciliano had designed for her brother after a soccer injury caught teammate Flano Castelli’s eye when he visited the hospital. “He couldn’t believe what I had created while I was waiting for my brother to come out of surgery,” says Siciliano. “Although we had been acquainted with each other for years, the card made him realize that there was a whole other side of me that remained to be discovered.” Knowing how much he enjoyed her artwork, Siciliano created beautiful cards to mark special dates throughout their courtship. The cards are now housed in an album that is a loving tribute to their relationship. While speaking fondly of her husband, Siciliano confesses there is a certain irony to the fact that she married a man that hails originally from Campobasso, Italy. “When I was growing up I promised myself that I would never, ever marry an Italian,” she states. “I would date almost any other culture, but never my own.” She admits that part of her reluctance was the fact that she didn’t really feel any pride about being Italian. “I used to look at some of my ethnic friends and they were so proud of their heritage,” she admits. “But at our house, we never talked about Italy, we barely mentioned it.”
Concentrating on the well being of their three children, Siciliano’s parents focused firmly on the future, turning their backs upon the past and making very little reference to it. It was only when she began to visit Italy at the age of 16 that Siciliano began to gradually change her opinion about her heritage. “I was in Rome with my parents and I was absolutely amazed. I was seeing everything that I had studied about in my art history books,” says the designer in wonder. “It was truly inspirational!” At the same time, she met her extended family - something that touched her deeply. The strong emotions she experienced helped her to identify with her father. “I now understand what he was going through,” says Siciliano, “We are both very emotional people and it was just too difficult for him to speak about everything that he had left behind.” The creative director’s passion for Italy is practically palpable. She has returned to the country several times, becoming more and more enraptured with every trip. “When visiting my husband’s home town, Santa Croce di Magliano in Campobasso, I just could not believe the scenery. Just looking out the window, witnessing so much beauty, took my breath away. The rolling hills of golden wheat fields juxtaposed with the sunflower patches, against the light blue sky. It could
have been a painting. I turned to my husband and said ‘How could your parents leave all of this to come to Canada? The only good thing is that it gave me a chance to meet you!’” Experiencing the world through Siciliano’s eyes is something that her friends and family welcome. Through her observations, her daughters and her husband have begun viewing life in a different way, leading a richer version simply by immersing themselves in the details. “I’m always showing my daughters the colours in a sunset or pointing out the shape of a flower,” she admits. “Beautiful, simple things make everyone happy, you just have to take the time to see them.” Italy has become a major source of inspiration for Siciliano. Its culture, its countryside, its history, its art fuel her spirit, prompting her to delve deeper into everything she has to offer as an artist. Her heritage has become her collaborative partner, igniting her imagination, fanning her ambition, encouraging her to reveal her passionate, romantic character in beautifully bold strokes.
“Beautiful, simple things make everyone happy, you just have to take the time to see them.”
by Filippo Salvatore
Il Cinema Italiano
A century of masterpieces and protagonists Un secolo di capolavori e protagonisti
Spaghetti, Ferrari, Armani, Mussolini, mafia, Chianti: here are some of the words that come to mind to the average North American when he thinks of Italy today. They are clichés, of course, and the mafia one is a particularly deleterious one, (but how pervasive is it in the collective psyche, especially south of the border!). Clichés do not correspond exactly to reality, but they do contain some truth. Gastronomy, fashion and cinema are three fields where the contribution of Italy to the world in the course of the last century has been and remains particularly significant. PanoramItalia has chosen to focus in this issue on Italy’s contribution to cinema, a daunting task because of the quantity and quality of the works and directors involved. The choice of the topic comes at a very appropriate time because 2005 marks the centenary of the birth of cinema as an art form in Italy. This article presents a bird’s eye view of some of the masterpieces and of the protagonists of the seventh art, Italian style.
Spaghetti, Ferrari, Armani, Mussolini, Mafia, Chianti: ecco alcune delle parole che vengono in mente all'Americano medio, quando pensa all'Italia. Sono tutti cliché, non c'è dubbio, e quello della mafia è particolarmente deleterio (ma così diffuso nella mente collettiva, soprattutto negli Stati Uniti!). I cliché non descrivono esattamente la realtà, ma ciò non toglie che possano contenere qualche verità. La gastronomia, la moda ed il cinema sono tre campi nei quali il contributo dell'Italia a livello mondiale, nel corso dell'ultimo secolo, si è fatto sentire in modo particolare. PanoramItalia ha deciso di concentrarsi, in questa edizione, sul contributo dell'Italia al mondo del cinema, un'impresa scoraggiante se si pensa alla quantità ed alla qualità delle opere e dei registi implicati. La scelta di questo tema giunge in un momento molto appropriato, poiché il 2005 segna il centenario dell'apparizione del cinema, quale forma artistica, in Italia. Questo articolo rappresenta un panorama di alcuni dei capolavori e dei protagonisti della settima arte, Italian style.
Filoteo Alberini and the birth of Italian Cinema.
Filoteo Alberini e la nascita del cinema italiano
Italy and France are the countries where cinema as a new art form was born in 1895. In France Louis and Auguste Lumière developed the Cinétographe, a combination of camera-projector and claw for moving film strip. They patented it on February 13, 1895 and on December 28 of the same year they presented for the first time to a paying audience at the Grand Café in Paris a series of short pieces recorded from real life such as L’arrivée d’un train en gare . In 1895 Filoteo Alberini patented his Kinetograph, a device for making, printing and projecting films. It is only in 1905 that independent production and shooting really began in Italy. Il 1905 Filoteo Alberini and a partner, Dante Santoni, built Italy’s first studio in Rome and shot La Presa di Roma / The Capture of Rome, the first example of what was soon going to become a national genre, the historic spectacle. The Alberini-Santoni company was incorporated in 1906 as Cines and remained important in film production until the 1930’s. In 1906 Ambrosio founded another production company in Turin specializing in melodramas and comedies starring the comic Cretinetti. In 1908 Cines produced a version of Gli Ultimi Giorni di Pompei/The Last Days of Pompei. Ambrosio’s main competitor
L'Italia e la Francia sono due paesi nei quali il cinema, come nuova forma di espressione artistica, è apparso nel 1895. In Francia, Louis e Auguste Lumière svilupparono il Cinétographe, un insieme di cinepresa, proiettore e morsa per svolgere una pellicola di film. Lo brevettarono il 13 febbraio 1895 ed il 28 dicembre dello stesso anno presentarono, per la prima volta davanti ad un pubblico pagante, al Grand Café di Parigi, una serie di cortometraggi tratti da scene della vita dell'epoca, come l'arrivo di un treno alla stazione. Nel 1895, Filoteo Alberini brevettò il suo kinetografo, un espediente per realizzare, imprimere e proiettare dei film. Ma è solo nel 1905 che la produzione indipendente di film debuttò in Italia. Nel 1905, Filoteo Alberini ed un suo socio, Dante Santoni, crearono il primo studio cinematografico di Roma e girarono "La presa di Roma," il primo esempio di quello che sarebbe successivamente diventato un genere nazionale, lo spettacolo storico. La ditta Alberini-Santoni fu incorporata nel 1906 con nome di Cines e rimase una realtà importante dell'industria cinematografica italiana sino agli anni trenta. Nel 1906 Ambrosio creò, a Torino, un'altra compagnia cinematografica. Questa era specializzata in melodrammi e commedie che avevano come interprete principale il comico Cretinetti.
The 1920’s mark a period of crisis Gli anni venti segnarono un periodo di
4 in Turin was Giovanni Pastrone’s Itala-Film. By 1910 several 4 Nel 1908, Cines produsse "Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei." Il maggior production film companies existed in Rome, Turin, Milan and Naples. They constituted the commercial backbone of what grew into a specific national cinema.
Giovanni Pastrone’s Cabiria, the first masterpiece of Italian Cinema. In 1914 Pastrone directed Cabiria, the masterpiece of the peplum genre, or costume epic. The script was by the famous poet-soldier Gabriele D’Annunzio. Cabiria is set during the second Punic war; it recounts the invasion of Italy by the Carthaginian general Hannibal and the liberation of beautiful Cabiria by the noble-
competitore di Ambrosio, a Torino, era la Itala-Film di Giovanni Pastrone. A partire dal 1910, diverse compagnie cinematografiche erano apparse a Torino, Milano e Napoli. Queste costituirono la colonna vertebrale di quello che sarebbe divenuto il cinema nazionale.
Cabiria, di Giovanni Pastrone, il primo capolavoro del cinema italiano Nel 1914 Pastrone diresse "Cabiria", un capolavoro del genere peplum, un dramma storico con costumi d'epoca. La sceneggiatura fu scritta dal celebre poeta-soldato Gabriele D'Annunzio. La storia di "Cabiria" si svolge durante la seconda guerra punica e racconta
Alessandro Blasetti and [behind him] the cinematographer Vaclav Vich on the set of “Un’avventura di Salvator Rosa”.
hearted giant Maciste (Bartolomeo Pagano). Innovative techniques such as traveling shots, sumptuous studio sets and exteriors shot on location in the Alps and in Africa made of Cabiria a remarkable work. It became an international box-office success and was imitated by American directors Cecil B. De Mille and D.W. Griffith.
l'invasione della penisola italiana da parte del generale cartaginese Annibale e la liberazione della bellissima Cabiria dal gigante buono Maciste (interpretato da Bartolomeo Pagano). Tecniche innovative, quali le riprese in movimento, i decori suntuosi e le riprese esterne, girate in loco sulle Alpi e in Africa, fecero di "Cabiria" un'opera notevole. Divenne un successo internazionale e fu imitata da registi Americani come Cecil B. De Mille e D.W. Griffith.
The forerunners of neo-realism Besides costume films, Italy also produced works admirable for their realism, such as Nino Martoglio’s Sperduti nel Buio/ Lost in the Darkness (1914), a parallel treatment of rich and poor life set in Naples or Febo Mari’s Cenere/Ashes, set in Sardinia and interpreted by the grand dame of Italian theatre Eleonora Duse. These realistic works are regarded as pioneer examples of what was going to be called the neorealist style in the mid 1940’s. By 1916 Italian cinema began
I precursori del neorealismo Oltre ai film in costume, l'Italia ha anche prodotto opere ammirevoli per il loro realismo, come "Sperduti nel buio" (1914) di Nino Martoglio, uno sguardo parallelo alla vita dei ricchi e dei poveri a Napoli. Oppure "Cenere" di Febo Mari, girato in Sardegna ed interpretato dalla grande signora del teatro italiano Eleonora Duse. Queste opere realistiche hanno spianato la strada a quello che sarebbe successi-
in production and distribution.
crisi della produzione e della distribuzione.
4 feeling the growing competition from abroad, namely from the USA 4 vamente stato chiamato lo stile neorealista, verso la metà degli anni and Germany. By 1922 the industry was almost crippled and only a tiny fraction of the films shown in Italian theatres were homemade. The 1920’s mark a period of crisis in production and distribution.
The emergence of two great directors: Mario Camerini and Alessandro Blasetti The end of the silent era saw the emergence of two directors, Mario Camerini and Alessandro Blasetti. Camerini’s documentary Kiff Tebi (1927) and Rotaie/Tracks were shot on location in Africa and Sicily. Blasetti’s Sole/Sun (1929) is a drama (almost completely lost and an imitation of soviet realism à la Eisenstein) set during the
Quaranta. Già nel 1916, il cinema italiano cominciò a risentire della concorrenza straniera, per la precisione degli Stati Uniti e della Germania. Nel 1922 l'industria cinematografica italiana era severamente menomata e solo una piccola parte dei film proiettati nelle sale erano prodotti in Italia. Gli anni venti segnarono un periodo di crisi della produzione e della distribuzione.
L'ascensione di due grandi registi: Mario Camerini ed Alessandro Blasetti La fine dell'era del cinema muto segnò l'ascensione di due registi, Mario Camerini ed Alessandro Blasetti. I documentari "Kiff Tebi"
Lia Bosco in “Sole” by Alessandro Blasetti.
reclamation of the Pontine Marshes, south of Rome (one of the economic achievements of the fascist regime that had seized power under the leadership of Benito Mussolini in 1922). With the arrival of sound in the movies, the first talkie to be produced and released in Italy by tycoon Stefano Pittaluga was Gennaro Righelli’s La Canzone dell’Amore/ Love Song in 1930 (script by famous playwright and Nobel prize winner Luigi Pirandello).
Fascism and the rebirth of national cinema In 1931, a new law on cinema is approved. A tariff is imposed on imported or dubbed foreign films and tax credits are given to homeproduced ones. These measures facilitate the rebirth of the Italian film industry in the 1930’s. Many escapist comedies are produced like Patatrac by Righelli, Rubacuori by Brignone, and La Segretaria Privata by Alessandrini. Stefano Pittaluga dies in 1932 and it is
(1927) e "Rotaie", di Camerini, furono girati sul posto, in Africa ed in Sicilia. "Sole" (1929) di Blasetti (quasi completamente pe duto), un'imitazione del realismo sovietico alla Eisenstein, tratta della bonifica delle Paludi Pontine, a sud di Roma (una delle grandi opere del regime fascista che aveva preso il potere nel 1922, sotto il comando di Benito Mussolini). Con l'arrivo del sonoro, il primo film parlante ad essere prodotto e distribuito fu quello del magnate Stefano Pittaluga, diretto da Gennaro Righelli, "La canzone dell'Amore" nel 1930 (con sceneggiatura del premio Nobel Luigi Pirandello).
Il fascismo e la rinascita del cinema nazionale Nel 1931 viene approvata una nuova legge a favore del cinema che sottopone tutti i film stranieri, importati o doppiati, ad un'imposta e che prevede, inoltre, dei crediti fiscali per i film di produzione italiana. Questi provvedimenti facilitarono la rinascita dell'industria
...works that cater to popular taste are produced... ...furono prodotte anche una serie d'opere d'evasione rivolte a soddisfare i gusti popolari.
Umberto Melnati [centre] and Vittorio De Sica [right] in Il signor Max by Mario Camerini.
4 Emilio Cecchi, a renowned film and literary critic, who takes over 4 cinematografica italiana durante gli anni trenta. Verranno prodotte the Cines production company. Cecchi imitates the Hollywood approach to film making and calls upon important intellectuals like Pirandello, Alvaro, De Stefani, Bonelli to become script-writers. The sound tracks are the works of talented composers such as Malpiero, Caggiano, or Rota. Under Cecchi’s stewardship a new director of documentaries emerges, Raffaello Matarazzo. Blasetti is a prolific director and releases Terra Madre/Mother Earth (1930), a praise of agriculture and rural rethoric, Resurrectio (1931) and 1860 (1934), one of his best films. It is the story of a Sicilian boy during Giuseppe Garibaldi Spedizione dei Mille, (a major episode of the process of Italy’s political unification in the 19th century). Vecchia Guardia/Old Guard (1935) is another of Blasetti’s films – a semi-official fascist work that narrates an episode on the March on Rome in 1922- . Another fascist feature was Gennaro Righelli’s L’Armata Azzurra/The Blue Army (1932), a tribute to Italy’s air force which was under the able command of Italo Balbo.
Il cinema dei telefoni bianchi In the 1930’s, besides the propaganda genre, a series of escapist works that cater to popular taste are produced as well. Camerini’s works include Figaro e la Sua Gran Giornata/ Figaro And His Great Day (1931), Gli Uomini che Mascalzoni/What Scoundrels are Men (1932) starring the young and dashing Vittorio De Sica, a name to remember both as a popular actor and later on as one of Italy’s great directors. Gli Uomini is the
molte commedie di evasione, come "Patatrac" di Righelli, "Rubacuori" di Frignone e "La segretaria" di Alessandrini. Stefano Pittaluga muore nel 1932 e sarà Emilio Cecchi, rinomato critico letterario, a prendere il suo posto alla direzione della compagnia cinematografica Cines. Cecchi imiterà i metodi di produzione Hollywoodiani, chiedendo ad intellettuali di spicco come Pirandello, Alvaro, De Stefani e Bonelli di diventare sceneggiatori. Le colonne sonore sono opera di compositori di talento quali Malpiero, Caggiano o Rota. Sempre sotto la direzione di Cecchi emerge anche un nuovo regista di documentari, Raffaello Matarazzo. Blasetti è un regista prolifico, produce "Terra Madre" (1930) - un elogio all'agricultura ed alla retorica rurale - "Resurrectio" (1931) e "1860" (1934) una delle sue opere migliori, la storia di un ragazzo siciliano durante la spedizione dei mille di Giuseppe Garibaldi, un episodio importante del processo d'unificazione politica dell'Italia, nel 19° secolo. "Vecchia guardia" (1935) è un altro dei film di Blasetti – un'opera fascista semi-ufficiale che narra un episodio della marcia su Roma, nel 1922. Un altro lungometraggio fascista fu "L'armata azzurra" (1932) di Gennaro Righelli, un tributo alle forze aeree italiane agli ordini di Italo Balbo.
Il cinema dei telefoni bianchi Negli anni trenta, oltre al genere propagandistico furono prodotte anche una serie d'opere d'evasione rivolte a soddisfare i gusti popolari. Le opere di Camerini includono "Figaro e la sua giornata" (1931), "Gli uomini che mascalzoni" (1932), con interprete principale un giovane e smagliante
“Camicia Nera” by Giovanni Forzano (1933)
Sandro Salvini and leda Gloria in “Terra Madre” by Alessandro Blasetti
“Vivere!” [‘36] by Guido Brignone
The term diva became synonymous of a famous actress.
Il termine diva è diventato sinonimo di un’atrice famosa.
International success brought also the birth of the star-system in early Italian cinema. The term diva became synonymous for a famous actress. During the 1910’s the most adulated dive or divas were Italia Almirante Manzini, Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli, Lina Cavalieri, Hesperia and Maria Jacobini.
The Divas of the 1930’s The most popular dive of the 1930’s are Isa Miranda, Elsa Merlini, Doris Durante (mistress of Pavolini, the Minister of Popular Culture), Assia Noris (wife of director Camerini), Luisa Ferida (shot with her companion Osvaldo Valenti just before the end of WWII for ideological reasons), Clara Calamai (who scandalized the public with her naked breasts, the first in the
history of Italian cinema, in La Cena delle Beffe/ Supper of the Tricks (1941) and last, but not least, Alida Valli, destined to become one of the most beloved actresses in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In 1935, Carmine Gallone shoots Casta Diva, composer Vincenzo Bellini’s unhappy love story for soprano Maddalena Fumaroli.
Il termine diva è diventato sinonimo di un’attrice famosa. The term diva became synonymous of a famous actress.
Il successo internazionale ha prodotto inoltre la nascita del fenomeno delle attrici famose o dive nel cinema italiano. Da allora il termine “diva” è sinonimo di un’attrice famosa. Nei primi decenni del Novecento le dive più adulate erano Italia Almirante Manzini, Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli, Lina Cavalieri, Hesperia e Maria Jacobini.
Assia Noris Alida Valli
Le dive degli anni '30 La dive per eccellenza furono Isa Miranda, Elsa Merlini, Doris Durante (amante del Ministro della Cultura popolare Pavolini), Assia Noris (moglie del regista Camerini), Luisa Ferida (assassinata per motivi ideologici insieme al compagno Osvaldo Valenti sul finire della Seconda Guerra Mondiale), Clara Calamai (che scandalizza le platee con il suo seno nudo, il primo nella storia del cinema italiano,
ne "La cena delle beffe" del 1941) ed ultima ma non meno importante, Alida Valli destinata a diventare l'attrice più amata del cinema italiano degli anni Quaranta e Cinquanta. Nel 1935, Carmine Gallone gira "Casta Diva" la storia d'amore sfortunata tra il compositore Vincenzo Bellini e la soprano Maddalena Fumaroli.
The aim was to transform Rome
L'obiettivo era quello di trasformare Roma
4 prototype of the glossy, sentimental comedy or drama set 4 Vittorio De Sica, un nome che ricorderete sia per i suoi ruoli popolari against a glamorous background, sneeringly referred toby Marxist critics as the cinema dei telefoni bianchi or white telephones cinema. Some other popular titles are Guido Brignone’s Paradiso (1931) and Vivere (1936) a sentimental intrigue enlivened by the voice of the singer Tito Schipa, Gennaro Righelli’s Al Buio Insieme/ In The Dark Together and Carlo Bragaglia’s O la Borsa o la Vita/ The Wallet Or Your Life (1933) and La Fossa degli Angeli (1937).
che per il suo contributo come uno dei migliori registi italiani di tutti i tempi. Gli uomini è il prototipo della commedia brillante, girata in ambienti d'alta società, beffardamente soprannominata dai critici marxisti come il cinema dei telefoni bianchi. Altri titoli di spicco sono le opere di Guido Frignone "Paradiso" (1931) e "Vivere" (1936) - un intrigo sentimentale illuminato dalla voce del cantante Tito Schipa; "Al buio insieme" di Gennaro Righelli, "O la borsa o la vita" (1933) e "La fossa degli angeli" (1937) di Carlo Bragaglia.
The Progetto Imperiale to stem out Hollywood
Il Progetto Imperiale per sradicare Hollywood
The Cines production company is sold in 1933. The support of Count Galeazzo Ciano, the Duce’s son in law, allows Luigi Freddi, the head of Mussolini’s propaganda bureau in 1923, to be appointed at the Direzione Generale della Cinematografia. Freddi’s task is to resurrect national cinema. Production, scriptwriting, distribution, the founding of specialized magazines such as Cinema or Bianco e Nero, the stemming out of the Hollywood pervasiveness on Italian screens and the alliance of cinema with the fascist regime are the tenets of Freddi’s policy. In 1935 he elaborates the “Progetto Imperiale” (the imperial project). Italy has to underline in its cinematic production indigenous topics drawn from its illustrious history. The coordination of Italy’s film industry is attached to one of the country’s leading banks through which funding is granted to state-approved productions. (Legge Alfieri, 1939).
La compagnia cinematografica Cines è venduta nel 1933. Il sostegno del Conte Galeazzo Ciano, il genero del Duce, permette a Luigi Freddi, il Capo dell'Ufficio della Propaganda di Mussolini nel 1923, di ricevere l'incarico della Direzione Generale della Cinematografia. Il compito di Freddi è di far rinascere il cinema nazionale. La produzione, la scenografia, la distribuzione, la creazione di riviste specializzate, quali "Cinema" o "Bianco e Nero," lo sradicamento della penetrazione di Hollywood nelle sale italiane e l'alleanza tra il cinema italiano ed il regime fascista sono alla base delle politiche di Freddi. Nel 1935 elabora il Progetto Imperiale. L'obiettivo è di spingere l'industria cinematografica italiana a sviluppare temi indigeni, tratti dalla sua illustre storia. Il coordinamento dell'industria è legato ad una delle istituzioni finanziarie più importanti del paese. I fondi venivano attribuiti alle opere approvate dallo Stato (Legge Alfieri 1939).
into H ollywood on the Tiber. in una Hollywood sul Tevere.
4 The establishment of Cinecittà and the 4 La creazione di Cinecittà e del Centro Centro Sperimentaledi Cinematografia in 1935 Sperimentale di Cinematografia nel 1935 1935 is also the birth date of the establishment of the still existing and renowned Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, a film school attended by almost all the protagonists of neorealism. In 1937, the Cinecittà Studios were opened in Rome. It had 16 stages of modern equipment and boasted Europe’s best production facilities. The aim was to transform Rome into Hollywood on the Tiber. The new policy which restricted imports and encouraged financially local productions saw a dramatic increase in the quantity of Italian films, an average of about 80 feature length films per year.
Il 1935 è anche l'anno di fondazione dell'ancora attuale e rinomato Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, una scuola cinematografica dove hanno studiato quasi tutti i protagonisti del neorealismo. Nel 1937 aprirono a Roma gli studi di Cinecittà. Con 16 palchi e macchinari tra i più moderni, questi erano dotati delle migliori strutture d'Europa. L'obiettivo era quello di trasformare Roma in una Hollywood sul Tevere. Le nuove leggi che limitavano le importazioni e incoraggiavano la produzione cinematografica locale contribuirono ad una crescita vertiginosa delle produzioni italiane, che raggiunsero una media di ottanta film all'anno.
Colonialism in Africa and Italian cinema
Il cinema italiano ed il colonialismo in Africa
In 1937, Carmine Gallone shoots the epic feature Scipione l’Africano, which recounts the destruction of Carthage by the Romans and implicitly glorifies Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia in 1936. This is also the latent aim in Goffredo Alessandrini’s Cavalleria / Cavalry (1936), in Augusto Genina’s Squadrone Bianco / The White Squadron (1936), in Romolo Marcellini’s Sentinelle di Bronzo/ Bronze Sentries (1937), set in Somalia , and in Goffredo Alessandrini’s Luciano Serra Pilota (1938). This last film deserves special attention.
Nel 1937 Carmine Gallone gira il film epico "Scipione l'Africano" che racconta la distruzione di Cartagine dai Romani e glorifica implicitamente la conquista italiana dell'Etiopia, avvenuta nel 1936. Questo è anche il tema latente di opere come "Cavalleria" di Goffredo Alessandrini (1936), "Squadrone bianco" (1936) di Augusto Genina, "Sentinelle di bronzo" (1937) di Romolo Marcellini – girato in Somalia – e "Luciano Serra pilota" (1938) di Goffredo Alessandrini. Quest'ultimo film merita un'attenzione particolare.
On left page: 1. Inauguration of Cinecittà On this page: 2. “Uomini sul fondo” by Francesco De Robertis 3. “L’assedio dell’Alcazar” by Augusto Genina. 4. Fosco Giachetti, “Lo squadrone bianco” 5. Massimo Girotti and Michela Belmonte in “Un pilota ritorna” by Roberto Rossellini
...directors present Italy as a i registi presentavano l'Italia come
4 Luciano Serra pilota
4 I film di guerra di Alessandrini, De Robertis The script for Luciano Serra is by young Roberto Rossellini, one e Genina (1940-1943) Luciano Serra pilota
of the future founding fathers of neorealism.The main role of this saga where the family problems of a pilot and the war in Ethiopia are exalted, is played by Amedeo Nazzari, one of the leading actors along with Vittorio De Sica, Gino Cervi and Fosco Giachetti of Italian cinema in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Luciano Serra Pilota and the other mentioned films are grandiloquent and retorical works that find partly their justification as propaganda tools, the moral duty of a great country like Italy to bring civilization to underdeveloped Africans. The propaganda intent is there and it has been repeatedly underlined, yet, retrospectively, it is propaganda of a soft kind if compared with Hollywood war films. The common denominator of the “African” films in the 1930’s is this: directors present Italy as a new, emerging, imperial power that challenges the other great European countries and participates in the
Camillo Pilotto in “ Scipione l’Africano” by Carmine Gallone.
noble mission of bringing a higher kind of civilization to underdeveloped countries. It is no surprise that Scipione L’Africano and Luciano Serra Pilota won the Coppa Mussolini at the Venezia film festival and enjoyed great success in Italy.
The war dramas of Alessandrini, De Robertis and Genina (1940-1943) The war drama that extols the courage and the sacrifices of Italian soldiers at war is a genre that continues until September, 1943. September 8 is a date of crucial importance in 20th century Italian history. It marks the signing of the armistice between Italy and the Anglo-American Allies and the switching of military alliance. The central and northern part of Italy are part of the Republic of Salò, still under fascist rule until
La sceneggiatura di Luciano Serra è del giovane Roberto Rossellini – uno dei padri fondatori del neorealismo. Il ruolo principale di questa saga, che mette in risalto i problemi familiari di un pilota durante la guerra in Etiopia, è interpretato da Amedeo Nazzari, che con Vittorio De Sica, Gino Cervi e Fosco Giachetti fu uno degli attori principali del cinema italiano degli anni trenta e quaranta. "Luciano Serra pilota" e gli altri film sopraccitati costituiscono opere magniloquenti e retoriche che si giustificano, in parte, come mezzi di propaganda, che cercano di promuovere l'obbligo morale di un paese come l'Italia a civilizzare i popoli sottosviluppati dell'Africa. L'intento propagandistico è ben presente ed è stato sottolineato varie volte. Tuttavia, col senno di poi, quella del cinema italiano è una propaganda all’acqua di rose se paragonata con quella dei film di guerra hollywoodiani. Il filo comune dei film "africani" degli anni Trenta era il seguente :
“La nave bianca” by Roberto Rossellini
i registi presentavano l'Italia come un nuova potenza coloniale che faceva concorrenza agli altri Stati europei nella nobile missione di diffondere una civiltà superiore nei paesi sottosviluppati. Non è sorprendente che "Scipione l'Africano" e "Luciano Serra Pilota" vinsero la Coppa Mussolini al Festival dei film di Venezia e riscontrassero un grande successo in tutt'Italia. Il dramma di guerra che esalta il coraggio ed i sacrifici dei soldati Italiani è un genere che continuò fino al settembre del 1943. L'8 settembre fu una data cruciale nella storia italiana del 20° secolo. Fu la data dell'armistizio tra l'Italia e le forze alleate anglo-americane e del cambio delle alleanze militari. L'Italia centrale e settentrionale facevano parte della Repubblica di Salò, ancora sotto il controllo del regime fascista fino al 25 aprile 1945, l'Italia meridionale era controllata dalla
new, emerging, imperial power... una nuova potenza coloniale
4 April 25, 1945, and the southern part under the Savoy dynasty 4 dinastia dei Savoia ed il comando del Generale Pietro Badoglio. and the military command of General Pietro Badoglio. It has been a tragic episode of recent Italian history that engendered a civil war between fascists and anti-fascists and left profound scars that only recently are finally disappearing. G. Alessandrini shoots in 1939 Abuna Messias, a romanticized version of bishop Massaia in 19th century Africa, and in 1942 Giarabub, a war drama set in Libya. Commander Francesco De Robertis Uomini sul Fondo/ Men at The Bottom released in 1941 presents the life of a group of heroic sailors in a submarine. In 1940 A. Genina shoots L’Assedio dell’Alcaraz/ The Siege of the Alcazar, an episode of heroic fascist resistance at Alcaraz during the Spanish civil war, and in 1942 Bengasi, an episode of the war in Libya.
Questo episodio tragico della storia italiana scatenò una guerra civile tra fascisti ed anti-fascisti che lasciò segni profondi che si stanno cancellando solo oggi. Goffredo Alessandrini gira, nel 1939, "Abuna Messias," una versione romanzesca della storia del Vescovo Massaia nell'Africa del 19° secolo e nel 1942 "Giarabub," un film di guerra basato in Libia. "Uomini sul fondo" (1941), del Comandante Francesco De Robertis, rappresenta la vita di un gruppo di marinai eroici in un sottomarino. Nel 1940 Genina gira "L'assedio dell’Alcaraz" un episodio eroico della resistenza fascista ad Alcaraz, durante la Guerra Civile Spagnola e nel 1942 "Bengasi," un episodio della guerra Libica.
La trilogia fascista di Roberto Rossellini Roberto Rossellini’s “fascist” war trilogy By the start of the war in 1939, the Italian film industry was under fascist control and most films were either patriotic works or light
All'inizio della guerra, nel 1939, l'industria cinematografica italiana è sotto il controllo fascista e la maggior parte dei film sono opere patriottiche o commedie leggere destinate a distrarre il pubblico dalle sue
“Luciano Serra Pilota” (‘38), by Goffredo Alessandrini Alida Valli in “Piccolo mondo antico” by Mario Soldati
“Il comandante” by Francesco De Robertis
entertainment to distract the public from their sufferings as the tide turned by 1942 in favour of the Allies. Roberto Rossellini, then in his thirties, is part of this war genre with a trilogy: La Nave Bianca/e White Ship (1941), Un Pilota Ritorna/A Pilot returns (1942) and L’Uomo dalla Croce/The Man with the Cross (1943). The first presents the life of wounded soldiers on a ship, the second the escape of a pilot from Greece and the third, the deeds of a priest against godless communists during Italy’s military campaign in Russia.
sofferenze quotidiane, soprattutto dal 1942, quando gli Alleati cominciarono ad avere la meglio nella guerra in corso. All'epoca Roberto Rossellini è un giovane trentenne e partecipa a questo genere di cinematografia con una trilogia : "La neve bianca" (1941), "Un pilota ritorna" (1942) e "L'uomo dalla croce" (1943). Il primo narra la vita di soldati feriti a bordo di una nave, il secondo la fuga dalla Grecia di un pilota ed il terzo le opere di un prete contro comunisti atei durante la campagna militare italiana in Russia.
Two new voices: Castellani and De Sica
Due nuove voci : Castellani e De Sica
The fascist censorship was not all pervasive, as it was in Germany at the time, and allowed several talented directors to
La censura del regime fascista non era altrettanto diffusa come quella nazista in Germania. Ciò permise l'ascensione di alcuni promettenti registi, tra
Italian cinema became, the il cinema italiano divenne il mezzo di trasmissione di una
4 emerge. The names that stand out among them are Renato 4 questi i nomi che godono di maggior fama sono: Renato Castellani ("Un Castellani (Un Colpo di pistola, 1941); Vittorio De Sica, already famous as an actor of sentimental comedies, who directs (Rose Scarlatte, 1940, Teresa Venerdì, 1941 and I Bambini Ci Guardano, 1943) and Luigi Zampa (L’Attore scomparso, 1941). The writer turned filmmaker Mario Soldati who shoots ( Piccolo Mondo Antico,1941) – a convincing and “calligraphic” adaptation of Antonio Fogazzaro’s novel of the same title, set in mid 19th century Lombardy at the time of the unification of Italy. Between 1941 and 1943, four films set a new tone for what was going to become the esthetic of neorealism, a revolution in both Italian and international cinema. M. Soldati’s Piccolo Mondo Antico is shot on location at Valdossola and presents believable characters and the impact of a child’s death in the life of a young couple in Valdossola, a region of Italy still under Austrian domination. V. De Sica’s (and Cesare Zavattini’s) I Bambini Ci Guardano is a realistic drama of a marital break-up as seen from the young son’s eyes. A. Blasetti’s Quattro Passi tra le Nuvole (co-scripted with Zavattini, again) is a renewed involvement with the realities of everyday life and underlines the gallant behaviour of a salesman to save the reputation of a girl. The most significant and innovative work of the early 1040’s is Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione.
The first neorealist masterpiece: Ossessione Ossessione, shot in 1942 and released in 1943, is Luchino Visconti’s opera prima. Freely based upon James Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, it is a frank account of adultery and murder set against the grim reality of life in the Po river valley. Ossessione met with legal difficulties that prevented it from being released internationally. In Italy it met resistance from the fascist censors for its immoral plot and was only shown to limited audiences. But they were the ones that counted, young filmmakers eager to renew the themes and the language of cinema. Ossessione’s impact was remarkable and it soon became a reference point.
Massimo Girotti and Clara Calamai in “Ossessione” by Luchino Visconti
colpo di pistola," 1941), Vittorio De Sica, gia famoso per i suoi ruoli in commedie sentimentali ("Rose Scarlatte," 1940, "Teresa Venerdì," 1941 e "I Bambini Ci Guardano," 1943) e Luigi Zampa ("L'attore scomparso," 1941). Mario Soldati, scrittore diventato regista, girò "Piccolo Mondo Antico" (1941) un adattamento convincente e calligrafico del romanzo omonimo di Antonio Fogazzaro, che si svolge nella Lombardia del 19° secolo, durante l'unificazione d'Italia. Tra il 1941 ed il 1943, quattro film gettarono le basi di quello che sarebbe diventato il neorealismo: una rivoluzione estetica nel cinema italiano ed internazionale. "Piccolo Mondo Antico" di Mario Soldati, basato sul romanzo di Antonio Fogazzaro, che mette in scena personaggi realistici, (la giovane coppia Franco e Luisa ed il dramma della morte della loro bambina) a Valdossola, una parte della Lombardia ancora sotto il controllo austriaco. "I bambini ci guardano," di Vittorio De Sica (e Cesare Zavattini), è il dramma realistico di una separazione matrimoniale vista dagli occhi di un giovane figlio. "Quattro passi tra le nuvole" di Blasetti (ancora scritto in collaborazione con Zavattini) è un rinnovato coinvolgimento con le realtà della vita quotidiana e sottolinea i modi galanti di un venditore intenzionato a salvare la reputazione di una giovane donna. La più significativa ed importante opera dei primi anni Quaranta è senz'altro "Ossessione" di Luchino Visconti.
Il primo capolavoro neorealista: "Ossessione" "Ossessione," girato nel 1942 e distribuito nel 1943 è l'opera prima di Luchino Visconti. Basato sul romanzo di James Cain "Il postino suona sempre due volte," questo film, ambientato nella triste realtà della Pianura Padana, tratta apertamente di temi come l'adulterio e l'omicidio. A causa di difficoltà legali, "Ossessione" non fu distribuito all'estero e in Italia fu proiettato solamente ad un pubblico ristretto a causa di una certa resistenza dalla censura fascista per la sua trama immorale. Ma a vederlo furono quei pochi che contavano, giovani
Roberto Rossellini and Anna Magnani
expression of moral and social truths
nuova posizione morale, l'espressione di verità sociali e morali
4 The end of WWII and the birth of a new realism 4 registi desiderosi di sviluppare nuovi temi ed un nuovo linguaggio The dramatic events of the war from 1943-45, with its huge load of destruction, social and political chaos, economic misery, civil war, constituted for Italy a tragedy. Nonetheless, out of the rubble of bombed out houses and of moral degradation, engendered in a talented group of directors reaching artistic maturity an irresistible desire to begin anew, to look at reality without any veils, to tell the truth about the necessity of human dignity, to look at the downtrodden as respectable citizens. Italian cinema became, as the war was ending, the vehicle for a renewed moral position, the expression of moral and social truths that twenty years of fascism had prevented or merely disregarded.
Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City Neorealism was first used in 1942-43 by Italian critics like Umberto Sbarbaro and Giuseppe De Santis to describe Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione, but it was Roberto Rossellini’s Roma Città Aperta/ Open City, in 1945 that sanctioned the term internationally. Neo-realism stands for new realism, the first having been verismo, present in the literary works of novelist Giovanni Verga in the 1880’s. Verga’s masterpiece I Malavoglia was adapted to the screen in 1948 by Luchino Visconti in his La Terra Trema, one of the defining works of neorealism. Between 1945 and 1950 neorealism became a conscious, full-fledged movement. The most significant films, were shot on actual location, were often interpreted by nonprofessional actors, brought on the screen episodes from the immediate past or dealt with unresolved social and economic problems. It was the willingness and the capacity to view reality without any veils, to achieve visual and moral authenticity, as Rossellini, put it, that enabled several directors to bring about an esthetic and thematic revolution. The war had destroyed Italy but it had rejuvenated the national spirit. Rome Open City is a raw, newsreel-like depiction of a true event. It tells the hunting down, capture and torture of a Communist resistance leader by the Gestapo in Rome, as well as
Paisà, Roberto Rossellini
cinematografico. L'impatto di "Ossessione" fu notevole ed il film divenne in poco tempo un punto di riferimento.
La fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale e la nascita di un nuovo realismo Gli avvenimenti drammatici del 1943- 45, la guerra e la distruzione, il caos sociale e politico, la povertà, la guerra civile, furono una tragedia per l'Italia. Tuttavia, dalle rovine delle case bombardate e dalla degradazione morale, emerse un nuovo gruppo di registi che raggiunsero una maturità artistica con l'irresistibile desiderio di ricominciare, di osservare la realtà senza nessun velo, di raccontare la verità sulla necessità di dignità umana, di considerare anche la gente più oppressa come cittadini meritevoli di rispetto. Alla fine della guerra il cinema italiano divenne il mezzo di trasmissione di una nuova posizione morale, l'espressione di verità sociali e morali che venti anni di fascismo avevano impedito o semplicemente trascurato.
"Roma città aperta" (1945) di Roberto Rossellini Il termine neorealismo venne usato per la prima volta nel 1942-43, da critici italiani come Umberto Sbarbaro e Giuseppe De Santis, per descrivere l'opera di Luchino Visconti "Ossessione." Ma fu "Roma città aperta" (1945), di Roberto Rossellini, che ratificò il termine a livello internazionale. Neorealismo significa nuovo realismo, ovvero una nuova forma stilistica che succedeva al verismo, presente nelle opere letterarie di Giovanni Verga, negli anni 1880. Il capolavoro di Verga "I Malavoglia" fu adattato per lo schermo nel 1948 da Luchino Visconti con il titolo "La Terra Trema," una delle opere che hanno definitivamente consacrato il termine neorealismo. Tra il 1945 ed il 1950 il neorealismo divenne un movimento maturo e consapevole. I suoi film più significativi venivano girati sul posto, spesso interpretati da attori non professionisti, illustrando episodi del passato immediato o trattando problemi sociali ed economici irrisolti. È stata la disponibilità a lasciar parlare la realtà senza intervenire dall'esterno, senza forzare le scene entro schemi che ne avrebbero falsato l'autenticità,
Vittorio De Sica “Ladri di biciclette”
The three masterpieces of Italian neo-realism are: I tre capolavori del neorealismo italiano sono
Alida Valli in “Senso” (1954)
4 the shooting of a priest who helps him. Clever integration of authentic 4 come disse Rossellini, che ha permesso a diversi registi di far emergere settings, streets and apartments in Rome, and believable characters, boasted by the superlative performances of Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi, resulted in a landmark in postwar cinema.
Rossellini trilogy of the war Other neorealist films soon followed, including Rossellini’s Paisà/Paisan (1946). It consisted of six episodes, each in a different region of the country, from Sicily to the northern Po valley, each dealing with an aspect of interaction between the Italian people and the liberating American army. Germania Anno Zero/Germany Year Zero (1947) concludes Rossellini’s trilogy of the war. It is a somber study of the corrupting influence of a former Nazi school teacher on the mind of Edmund, a Berlin boy who ends up poisoning his sick father and finally commits suicide.
Neorealist titles to remember Other important neorealist films are Vittorio De Sica’s Sciuscià/Shoeshine (1946) and Ladri di Biciclette/Bicycle Thief (1948) his masterpiece; Aldo Vergano’s Il Sole sorge ancora/ Outcry (1947); Alberto Lattuada’s Senza Pietà/Without Pity (1948); Pietro Germi’s In Nome della Legge/Mafia (1949) and Il Cammino della Speranza/ The Path Of Hope (1950); Giuseppe De Santis Caccia Tragica/Tragic Hunt (1947), especially Riso Amaro/Bitter Rice (1949) interpreted by a new sex symbol, Sivano Mangano scantily dressed in hot pants as she falls in love with a handsome scoundrel (Vittorio Gassman) and suffers in the rice fields ofnorthern Italy and Roma Ore 11/Rome 11 O’ Clock (1952). The three masterpieces of Italian
una rivoluzione estetica e tematica. La guerra aveva distrutto l'Italia ma aveva ringiovanito il suo spirito nazionale. "Roma Città Aperta" è un film crudo, una narrazione quasi documentaristica di un fatto vero. Narra la caccia, la cattura e la tortura di un capo comunista della resistenza, da parte della Gestapo, a Roma e la fucilazione del prete che lo aiuta. Un'integrazione molto riuscita dei luoghi reali (strade ed appartamenti della città umana), così come la veracità dei personaggi, esaltati dalle superlative interpretazioni di Anna Magnani e di Aldo Fabrizi, fecero del film un punto di riferimento del cinema del dopo-guerra.
La trilogia di Rossellini sulla guerra In poco tempo, altri film neorealisti seguirono, tra i quali"Paisà" (1945) di Rossellini. Formato da sei episodi, ambientati in regioni diverse del Paese, dalla Sicilia alla valle del Po al nord, ogni episodio illustra un aspetto del rapporto tra gli Italiani e l'esercito americano che li liberò. "Germania Anno Zero" (1947) conclude la trilogia diretta da Rossellini sulla guerra. È uno sguardo tenebroso dell'influenza corruttiva di un ex insegnante di scuola nazista sulla mente di Edmund, un bambino di Berlino, che finisce con l'avvelenare suo padre ammalato per poi suicidarsi.
Neorealismo: i titoli da non dimenticare Tra gli altri film importanti del neorealismo troviamo due opere di Vittorio De Sica: "Sciuscià" (1946) e "Ladri di Biciclette" (1948) il suo capolavoro; "Il Sole Sorge Ancora" (1947) di Aldo Vergano; "Senza Pietà" (1948) di Alberto Lattuada; "In Nome della Legge" (1949) e "Il Cammino della Speranza (1950) di Pietro Germi; "Caccia Tragica" (1947) e, in modo particolare, "Riso Amaro" (1949), interpretato dal nuovo sex-symbol Silvana Mangano che,
Roma Città Aperta, Ladri di Biciclette and La terra Trema "Roma città aperta", "Ladri di biciclette" e "La terra trema"
Sofia Loren, “La Ciociara by Vittorio De Sica
“La Terra Trema” by Luchino Visconti.
4 neo-realism are: Roberto Rossellini’s Roma Città 4 succintamente vestita, s'innamora di un attraente ladruncolo ( Aperta/Rome Open City, Vittorio De Sica’s Ladri di Biciclette/Bicycle Thief and Luchino Visconti’s La terra Trema/The Earth Trembles (1948).
De Sica’s Ladri di Biciclette Vittorio De Sica appeared in more than 150 films and directed some 25 of them, four of which won Oscars as best foreign films: Shoeshine, The Bycicle Thief, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. De Sica has had a creative relationship with Cesare Zavattini, author and scrip-writer. They have given the world with Ladri di Biciclette one of the great films of all times. They examine the harsh economic reality in Rome in the aftermath of the war with incisive simplicity and sincerity. The film tells the theft of a bicycle, an indispensable tool of work, and the desperate search through the streets of the city to find it, and especially underlines the personal emotional drama between a father and his son. De Sica also shoots Miracolo a Milano/Miracle in Milan (1950) and Umberto D (1952). Miracolo is a satire, an allegorical treatment of the plight of the poor in an industrial setting, whereas Umberto D is a poetic treatment of loneliness and old age. Only with La Ciociara/Two Women, (1960) based on a novel by Alberto Moravia and enhanced by the excellent performance of Sofia Loren and with Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini (1971) based on the novel by Giorgio Bassani and interpreted by Dominique Sanda, De Sica proved himself capable of being inspired and direct significant works.
(Vittorio Gassman) mentre lavora nelle risaie dell'Italia settentrionale e finalmente "Roma Ore 11" (1952) tutti e tre di Giuseppe De Santis. I tre capolavori del neorealismo italiano sono "Roma Città Aperta" di Roberto Rossellini, "Ladri di Biciclette" di Vittorio De Sica e "La Terra Trema" (1948) di Luchino Visconti.
"Ladri di Biciclette" di De Sica Vittorio de Sica ha interpretato più di 150 film e ne ha diretti circa 25, quattro dei quali hanno vinto l'Oscar del miglior film straniero: "Sciuscià, " "Ladri di Biciclette," "Ieri, Oggi e Domani" ed "Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini". De Sica ha avuto un rapporto creativo con l'autore e sceneggiatore Cesare Zavattini che ha dato luce a "Ladri di Biciclette," uno dei più grandi film di tutti i tempi. In quest'opera viene esaminata la difficile realtà sociale a Roma nell’immediato dopo-guerra con una sincerità ed una semplicità incisiva. Il film narra il furto di una bicicletta, un mezzo di lavoro indispensabile, e la ricerca disperata tra le vie della città per ritrovarla, esplorando in modo particolare le emozioni di un padre e suo figlio. De Sica gira anche "Miracolo a Milano" (1950) e "Umerto D" (1952). Miracolo è una satira, un trattamento allegorico delle condizioni dei poveri in un'ambientazione industriale, mentre Umberto D. è un trattamento poetico della solitudine della vecchiaia. Solo con "La Ciociara" (1960) tratto da un romanzo di Alberto Moravia ed esaltato da una splendidainterpretazione di Sofia Loren, e con "Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini" (1971) tratto dal romanzo di Giorgio Bassani ed interpretato da Dominique Sanda, De Sica ha dimostrato di essere capace di lasciarsi ispirare da opere importanti e saperle dirigere.
"La terra trema" di Visconti Il secondo lungometraggio di Luchino Visconti é un adattamento 107
The early 1950’s can be called Rossellini’s “Bergman period”. I primi anni cinquanta possono essere denominati "il periodo Bergman" di Rossellini.
4 Visconti’s La Terra Trema
4 del romanzo "I Malavoglia" di Giovanni Verga, un classico del
This is Luchino Visconti’s second feature, an adaptation of Giovanni Verga’s novel I Malavoglia, a classic of late 19th century verismo literature that presented in a very naturalistic style the demise of a family of Sicilian fishermen after several attempts to improve their economic life. Verga was idolized in the aftermath of WWII by Italian leftist intellectuals, like Visconti or De Santis, and taken as a model of realism, which they wanted to imitate, hence the term neo-realism or new realism. The ideological and didactic tone of the film is mitigated to a large extent by the transition to a touching human drama. Visconti uses non professional actors and has them speak in the local dialect of Acitrezza. Yet the documentary element is combined with elaborate compositions of the frames and stunning lighting effects. The esthetic sophistication rescues La Terra Trema from becoming a piece of Marxist propaganda.
verismo del 19° secolo che illustra in un modo molto naturale, la rovina di una famiglia di pescatori siciliani, dopo numerosi tentativi di migliorare la loro sorte. Verga era adorato da intellettuali di sinistra come Visconti e Di Santis nel dopo-guerra. Era un modello del realismo che loro volevano emulare, da ciò deriva la parola neorealismo o nuovo-realismo. Il tono ideologico e didattico del film è mitigato dalla transizione verso un dramma umano commovente. Visconti usa attori non professionisti e li fa parlare nel dialetto locale di Acitrezza. Tuttavia, gli elementi documentaristici sono uniti ad inquadrature elaborate e sbalorditivi giochi di luce. La sofisticazione estetica salva "La Terra Trema" dal diventare un’opera di propaganda marxista.
The break with neorealism: Rossellini and Visconti in Transition
I primi anni Cinquanta possono essere denominati "il periodo Bergman" di Rossellini. Il regista incontrò l'attrice svedese Ingrid Bergman, i due s'innamorarono e si sposarono, ma solo dopo aver vissuto insieme da amanti, cosa che scandalizzò e titillò l'opinione pubblica, suscitando molto clamore (Il caso ha voluto che due dei personaggi tedeschi in Roma Città Aperta -1945 - erano chiamati Ingrid e Bergman!). Ingrid Bergman divenne la protagonista di Stromboli (1949) e di Viaggio in Italia (1953) uno dei più importanti film di quest'epoca ed uno dei migliori dodici film di tutti i tempi secondo i critici francesi. Il film racconta la visita a Napoli di una coppia britannica durante la quale la loro noiosa mentalità è penetrata dal gusto italiano di vivere e di morire. I due arriveranno sull'orlo del divorzio prima di raggiungere una miracolosa riconciliazione durante una processione. Con questo film, boicottato dalla stampa inglese e dunque di poco successo, Rossellini trasferisce il centro d'interesse delle sue tematiche dai temi sociali all’analisi psicologicha e comportamentale. Questo sarà una fonte d'ispirazione per Michelangelo Antonioni che, insieme a Federico Fellini, sarà il regista più importante del cinema italiano degli anni Cinquanta e Sessanta. La transizione dal neorealismo ad una passione quasi operistica è evidente nel film "Senso" (1954) di Visconti, un’irresistibile ed illegittima storia d'amore, nella Venezia del 19° secolo, tra un'aristocratica, la Contessa Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) ed un ufficiale austriaco immorale che finisce con l'essere fucilato per la sua codardia. g
The early 1950’s can be called Rossellini’s “Bergman period”. He met Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, fell in love with her, married her, after living as lovers which caused quite a clamor and both scandalized and titillated public opinion (Strangely the names of two German characters in 1945’s Rome Open City were Ingrid and Bergman!). Ingrid Bergmann became the protagonist of Stromboli (1949) and of Viaggio in Italia/Strangers (1953). It is one of the most significant and important films of this period, one of the twelve greatest films of all time, according to French critics. It deals with a visit to Naples of an English couple. While there their stodgy mentality is assaulted by the Italian gusto for both life and death and they are driven to the brink of divorce only to achieve a miraculous reconciliation during a procession. With this film, boycotted by the English language press and consequently a flop at the box-office, Rossellini shifts the focus from social themes to psychological analysis and emotional behaviour. This is the main source of inspiration of Michelangelo Antonioni, the most important director together with Federico Fellini of Italian cinema in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The transition from neorealism to a semi-operatic grand passion is evident in Visconti’s Senso/ The Wanton Contessa (1954), a turgid and illicit love affair set in 19th century Venice between an aristocrat, Contessa Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) and an immoral Austrian officer who ends up being shot for his cowardice. g
La rottura con il neorealismo: la transizione di Rossellini e Visconti
Via Roma Guglionesi, Campobasso
Part two of the article “From Neo-Realism to the Present” will appear in the next issue.
La seconda parte dell’articolo “Dal Neo-realismo ad Oggi” verrà pubblicata nel prossimo numero.
by Shauna Hardy
The of the
JEWEL GARDEN When you close your eyes to imagine an
Italian feast, there is always one element that stands out above all the rest. Whether itâ€™s playing a supporting role in pasta sauces and stews or taking centre stage on a plate adorned simply with basil leaves and mozzarella - its sweet, tart taste is always greeted with mouth-watering anticipation. 111
It is an activity that melds food with mirth, uniting families and giving them a chance to celebrate in each other’s company. Originally cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico, the tomato made its way back across the ocean with Christopher Columbus during the sixteenth century. The ruby-coloured fruit won the hearts of millions and even gained a new title - the love apple. While its aphrodisiac capabilities might be questionable, the obsession with this culinary staple is very real. For many there is no more elegant symbol of summer than a vine heavily laden with the fruit. The first sharp days of autumn herald the beginning of the canning season, an important ritual that stretches the warmth of the sunny season’s bounty into the dreary winter months. But, for many, the beloved tradition also holds a second, more sentimental meaning. Each Labour Day weekend, Helen Roselli Alfieri and her husband Adamo Alfieri gather together with the rest of Helen’s extended family to
mark two very special occasions. They happily celebrate the wedding anniversary of her parents Rosaria and Domenico Roselli while steeling themselves for their annual canning marathon. “The canning is a real stress reliever,” admits Rosaria, “Although by the end of it, you don’t want to know anything about tomatoes!” Sons, daughters, in-laws, grandchildren and friends, clad in their tomato finery (old running shoes and baggy t-shirts) commune in her basement for a two-day period filled with conversation, song and 40 formidable bushels of tomatoes. In the 35 years that she has been making her pomodoro pelate, Rosaria has never broken away from her 81-yearold mother’s recipe. The formula might run low on ingredients, but it takes an exacting eye to produce the best results. In fact, it wasn’t until she was well past 70 years of age, that
Antonietta D’Ambrosio Fioriti, a native of Campobasso, relinquished her title of forelady and let her daughter take over the reins to lead the team. Domenico Roselli is the appointed tomato expert. A few days before the labour-intensive task is to begin, he stops by Montreal’s Jean-Talon market to choose his produce, passing over selections that are overly green and training his gaze upon plump ripe 50 pound bushels that are just within perfection’s reach. After a strong cup of coffee on the first day, the real work begins. Each tomato must be rinsed and then placed in a pot of boiling water. With the authority of a watch dog, Rosaria surveys the pot, gingerly removing tomatoes as soon as their skins have begun to pucker. With her wooden spoon at the ready, Rosaria stands watch, forbidding any one else from coming too close to the water. “It’s so hot. No one else can do this job - what if they were to get burned?” she says protectively. Thanks to Rosaria’s perfect timing, the skins of the tomatoes slip off with relative ease. The fruit is then cored and squeezed lightly (very lightly) to get rid of any excess water. Meanwhile sterilized jars containing one teaspoon of sugar (to cut down on the acidity) and one teaspoon of salt (for a little flavour) have been prepared. Each jar also contains a spring of parsley, a few basil leaves and a thin
slice of sweet red pepper. Working with 12 jars at a time, the tomatoes are added to each container until it is filled to the three-quarter mark. Then, using a wooden spoon, the fruit is mashed slightly to get rid of any air pockets. This is where things tend to get gloriously messy. Tomato juice inevitably spurts from the jars and laughter reigns supreme. Once the air has been removed, each jar is topped up with another layer of tomatoes and then sealed shut. Rosaria’s daughter Helen is always grateful to have a few strong hands to help out. “There are just some parts of this job that you need a man to do. One year, I was the person responsible for sealing most of the jars. By the end, I had a lid-shaped bruise on my hand because of all the twisting!” she says. Domenico is waiting at the ready for the final step. Using a small, portable propane stove, he boils the jars for half an hour, wraps them in a blanket and then places them in a box. The heat merges the delicate flavours of the mixture, creating a truly heady blend. The finished jars are then carted away, and the process begins all over again. A brief respite from the assembly line is offered during the lunch hour when everyone gathers for scrumptious sandwiches on crusty bread, sweet treats, and of course, a glass or two of wine.
The entire neighbourhood is familiar with the Roselli family tradition. “It’s so funny because people will tease us about it,” says Helen, “yet they are always dropping by to lend a hand for an hour or two. People are so busy these days. Outside of funerals and weddings, we don’t get to see each other that much. This gives us the perfect excuse to have a really good visit.” This year, a family friend from just down the street decided to join in on the festivities. As a French Canadian, Aline Baril, was completely unfamiliar with the tomato canning experience. She was so enraptured by the entire event, that she shot a how-to video for her sister who lives in the Maritimes and presented it to her along with a bushel of tomatoes as a birthday present. “Aline just loved the whole experience,” says Rosaria. “She can’t get enough of the tomatoes. Instead of putting them in a pasta sauce or soup, she just adds a little oil and garlic and eats them right out of the jar. They taste that good!” While having access to the summerfresh taste during the darkest months of winter is one incentive for the activity, it is obvious that it is not the most important one. Despite the heavy lifting, the rivers of escaping juice and the 12-hour shifts, the Rosellis cannot imagine forgoing their beloved tradition.
“Nobody wants to make the tomatoes, but everybody wants to make the tomatoes,” Rosaria admits with a chuckle. They might grumble, but deep down everyone realizes how much fun they really have. The youngest generation has already begun to look ahead, planning how they will handle the tradition. “My 14-year-old niece told me that one day I’ll be coming to her house to make the tomatoes,” says Helen. Canning is a symbol of community, a symbol of family. It is about stepping away from life’s hyperactive pace and spending two days surrounded by the people you love. It is about gossip and laughter and practical jokes. It is about remembering that sometimes, just sometimes, the simplest, most mundane tasks are responsible for bringing you the most pleasure.
[to be] by Shauna Hardy
I can’t help but think it’s appropriate that I am meeting Montreal jazz virtuoso, Vic Vogel, at Else’s. A favourite hang-out for musicians and writers alike, this cozy little bohemian bar, located in the heart of the Plateau, is the ultimate symbol of good conversation. It doesn’t matter if you’re engaging in a heated debate, being entertained by a masterfully told story, or eagerly attempting to unburden your soul - this is the place to do it. Today, I am hoping for the second option. From sharing his recipe for chicken paprikash to discussing his celebrity collaborations, Vic’s anecdotes are always impeccably narrated. His timing is perfect, his characters are colourful, the events are staggeringly true. Today, Vic Vogel has come to talk and I have come to listen. Growing up just around the corner from Else’s on De Bullion street, Victor Stefan Vogel revelled in the immigrant experience. His father, a Hungarian gypsy violinist, had immigrated to North America during the 1920’s. “He thought he was coming to America,” laughs Vogel. “You can imagine his surprise when he turned up in Quebec City!”
Undeterred by the geographical bump in the road, Vogel’s father began saving his pennies, as soon as he could afford it, he hired a horse and carriage and drove himself and his heritage - eight giant barrels of homemade wine - to Montreal.
The Vogel household was typical of many European immigrant families - it thrived on good food, good wine, strong family ties and of course good music. A favourite Vogel anecdote relates to how he first learned to play the piano. The instrument was originally bought for his brother, Frank, and the younger Vogel was strictly forbidden from ever touching it. Displaying a carefully honed ingenuity that has served him well throughout his life, the five-year-old Vogel sought to find a loop-hole in the agreement. Using his wax crayons, Vogel carefully re-created the piano’s keyboard vertically on the side of the living room door.
At each lesson, Vogel would position himself at the makeshift board, imitating everything that his brother was learning. Then, one day, catastrophe struck Frank had tired of the instrument and his father planned to sell the piano the next day. Vic let out a roof-raising howl of outrage. A deal was struck - the piano could stay, but there would be no more lessons, Victor acquiesced. I stare at Vogel in disbelief. This is a man who has performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Jerry Mulligan, accompanied Tony Bennett and Shirley Maclaine. Many of his albums have been certified gold and platinum. There is an award tucked away for the score he created for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
He is the only musician to ever participate in all 25 editions of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. “How could you have not had a music teacher as a child??!!” I ask incredulously. “I learned by what felt right,” he tells me simply.
4 “Why is that such a difficult thing to imagine? If you know the rules, you automatically have boundaries. Society focuses too much on technique, it’s a form of control. The way I learned totally stretches your imagination. You have no limits, it’s the way I’ve been doing it ever since.” Ever since his days on De Bullion street, Vogel admits to having a fascination with all things Italian. He was just a small child when he first made contact with the culture, but as with all events in the musician’s life, it was unforgettable. “There was an old man, who worked as an organ grinder - he even had the trained monkey that would hop up on his back! My Dad pointed at him and said ‘He comes from the same place as Pinocchio’ this is what I thought it was to be Italian. Boy, was I disappointed when I showed up at an Italian wedding and there wasn’t an organ-grinder in sight!” In the schoolyard Vogel was sympathetic to the sting his fellow immigrants suffered as a result of being foreigners. “There was this really sweet girl, Matilda. She lost a couple of toes during the war and the guys would tease her mercilessly. I had to become her protector,” he says gallantly. “Especially since we had so much in common…” He pauses for a moment. I am caught in the flow of his story, trying to peer around the next bend, trying to anticipate what these two school mates must have in common.
“… after all, we both knew what great sandwiches were - good crusty bread, hot peppers and slices of meat. The Canadians had no idea what they were missing!,” he says with a loud guffaw.
“Somewhere there is an Italian in all of us,” theorizes Vogel. “It’s about having an appreciation for wine and women and song, for friendship and good food. Just look at the contributions Italians have made in art, in music - they absolutely cannot be denied. Look at Michelangelo who humbly explained away his own genius by saying that he simply chips away at what he does not need - that’s unbelievable.” Vogel admits to applying Michelangelo’s philosophy to his own field. “It’s about creating space in the music, creating enough room to breathe and enough room to experience the necessary elements. When I play, I don’t think anymore. You just become an extension of something bigger. I know what’s at the beginning of a piece and I know what’s at the end - everything in between is an unknown. My manager used to have a flashlight that he would shine at me when it was time for me to finish a solo - it reminded me to come back down to earth.” After playing for years in clubs all across the city, Vogel formed le Jazz Big Band and became a band leader.
“I wanted to do things my own way. You can’t be controlled when you’re the one in control - I wanted to really push boundaries.” Vogel’s musical musings have taken him all over the world and there are tales from everywhere that he has travelled. His memories of Italy are outrageous. They resemble diary entries: thick with detail, tinged with rosy-hued romance. There is the disgraced nobleman who lets musicians play at his inn only if he is allowed to join in on the drums (it was a contract stipulation). There is the discovery of an illicit affair between a local conductor and his beautiful first violinist (it was a scandalous situation). There is the 150 different kinds of goat’s cheese that he samples at a local Torino cheese shop along with a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a bottle of grappa (it was complete gratification). Vogel’s love of food comes across in almost every story that he tells. “It’s the only time that I forget about music,” he reveals. “The pots and pans are an orchestra to me, it’s just as creative - just like jazz. I consider cooking at art - it should be equal to all the other arts.”
And when it comes to culinary philosophy Vogel believes that the Hungarian and Italian cultures are closely linked. “Both cultures focus on having the best when it comes to food - the best ingredients, the freshest herbs, seasonal produce.”
4 The other element that unites bothcultures? The ability to laugh regardless of the situation. Vogel uses an example from his own heritage. “Look at the first line of the chicken paprikash recipe - Steal a chicken. It’s about survival, but it’s also about giving that reality a humorous twist. You just have to laugh.” Vic Vogel looks to me as if he’s had a lot of laughter in his lifetime. With his flowing white hair, matching goatee and mischievous grin, he reminds me of a very jolly grown-up version Saint-Nicholas.
What is the secret to the ever-present twinkle in his eye? “Don’t expect more from life, but always be amazed when you get more I never wanted to be more than a good piano player in a club. I’m happy with my life because I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.” These days time seems to have turned back upon itself. Vogel has settled in Little Italy, in a little house that backs out onto the Jean-Talon market. The entire neighbourhood knows to come through the back because the front door bell doesn’t work. Once again the Hungarian culture has overlapped with the Italian. His father’s old still is in constant use. “My neighbours and
I make wine together, we make pear and prune grappa. Everyone knows where to go if they’re looking for grappa.” He adores the market, not only because of its produce but because it serves as a cultural touchstone.
“The older generation is dying, the younger is forgetting - you need a practical reminder of where you come from, the taste of another kitchen makes people aware they are not alone, it unites them and makes them aware of culture, real culture.” Whether he’s entertaining people with his music or with his anecdotes, Vic Vogel is truly a force to be reckoned with. He does not simply tell stories, he expertly re-lives them, filling a room with his intense charisma. A listener might know the beginning and an ending of a tale, but they can never be certain where they will be lead in between the two points. Vogel skilfully shoots off in all directions, interweaving story-lines, juggling characters, adding dramatic pauses and comic flourishes with artistic flair. Jazz music isn’t just what Vic Vogel plays, it is what he embodies. g
by Carrie-Ann Smith
Canada is and was historically a land of opportunities. A quick word search of Pier 21’s story collection database reveals that over a dozen alumni stories include the oft-heard, well-loved and somewhat misleading phrases “land of milk and honey” and “streets paved with gold”. The extent to which Canada perpetuated this myth of prosperity, in that it was an overflow of the United States mythos or that it sprang from the letters home of earlier immigrants eager to be joined by their friends and relatives, cannot be known. Suffice it to say, people had high expectations and this is reflected as alumni tell their stories. Strangely, a term just as commonly recalled is the unlikely, "corn flakes". It is not as odd as it may seem at first; if you landed at Pier 21 in the 1950s, you had to walk a floor covered with corn flakes to get to that street paved with gold. In a 1980 oral history interview with Therese Lamie, retired Pier 21 Immigration Officer Frank Wright explains: “After the people were examined, given their papers, given their money advances, they would pick up their baggage. The customs officer would examine their baggage, they would go down to the end of the ramp where they would go to the second floor. They would exchange requisitions for their tickets. So, they have their ticket, immigration papers, [went] to the immigration doctor and received immigration papers, and on their way down the ramp they were given a package of corn flakes, a package of tobacco/or cigarettes and cigarette papers. They didn't know what corn flakes were and by the time they reached the second floor the corn flakes were usually scattered all over.” That smell is connected to memory is almost as hackneyed as the idea of “streets paved with gold”, but it is
undeniable. The aroma of well-trod flakes combined with that of confiscated meat, cheese, and hundreds of bodies in one room had to have made an impression. Other senses also came into play; the sound of crunching underfoot, and the unique taste, helped keep corn flakes alive in the memories of former immigrants as well. In the following story excerpts Pier 21 alumni recall their introduction to the breakfast cereal and, whether they realized it at the time or not, their words reveal how corn flakes helped shape their first impressions of Canada. The memories of W.A.T. Van den Byllaardt of the Netherlands and Andolfatto Severino of Italy fall into the mixed message category. Mr. Byllaardt recalls that his family was, “presented with a box of ‘ready to eat bowl’ of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and a Bible.” For Mr. Severino it was, “a small bag containing a booklet with health tips (VD), some chocolate bars and a small box of cornflakes that
nobody knew what to do with...” Welcome to Canada gentlemen. In the “I think I’m going to like it here” category are the memories of two young girls. Cecile Bacinski had been in a displaced persons’ camp for months preceding her arrival so her sentiments should not come as a surprise. She wrote, “Everyone has memories of that time, new land, new life,
“We were then ushered into the immigration building to be examined by doctors. We watched TV and ate corn flakes for the first time without milk as one would eat potato chips.”
4 what I do remember mostly was the food, especially ‘Kellogg’s Corn Flakes’ to this day I have yet to eat them and not think of the cafeteria there on Pier 21. What an impact it left on this young child...nothing more than Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, after all it was the most delicious food after the hunger of past years...As they offered the second helping, I 'abused' that generosity.” Cathy Bos wrote,
Eva Kende also left Hungary after the revolution but she wouldn’t notice the proliferation of flakes until her family had boarded the train in front of Pier 21, “The train was fabulous. We have never seen anything like it. Luxurious plush seats, friendly black porters in crisp uniforms and boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in every nook and cranny. We have never seen corn flakes before and never had cereal for breakfast. Tasting this freebie we decided it was a Canadian equivalent of potato chips and snacked on it during the whole trip.”
Some people loved them, some people hated them, some were struck by the novelty of the box. Ole Falkeisen from the Netherlands wrote, “My first recollection of a good Canadian meal came in the form of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes served in a mini-box. Never having seen this “We had our first corn flakes and potatoes before, I wondered in with the skin on. Bacon and eggs, amazement if everyone in Canadian style, went down very well. My Canada ate out of little onemeal boxes!” Estonian, Aljas mother insisted we eat all the food, to Peep, writes that she was, show our appreciation.” “highly amazed at the way Corn Flakes was packed and The Hungarian revolution led to the served in individual cut-open boxes.” arrival of Yolan Bencsik, whose story is an amazing drama of failed revo- The history of the corn flake itself is lution and heroic escape. His first an interesting one. Though the details peaceful moment in months may of exactly how the invention occurred have been the one that he describes vary, the story essentially goes like this. While running the Sanitarium here: a.k.a “The San” in Battle Creek,
Michigan, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a Seventh Day Adventist who advocated a strict vegetarian diet for his patients, was experimenting in an effort to invent a breakfast alternative to meat and eggs. He baked boiled wheat on a tin pan and left it out overnight. When he rolled it out the next day the individual grains fell into flakes. Dr. Kellogg was religious about all of his beliefs but not commercially minded, so he sold the rights to the product to his brother Will who, much to the displeasure of J.H., sweetened the flakes and formed the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906. The charm of this 'American Dream' story and the fondness of the quotes from Pier 21's alumni mask the tremendous irony implicit in the provision of Kellogg's Corn Flakes to new immigrants. Dr. Kellogg was a strong proponent of Eugenics; he blamed immigrants for society’s ills and actively promoted diet and exercise among America’s educated and wealthy as a means of strengthening the 'superior' Anglo-Saxon / American race. Sir Francis Galton had coined the term Eugenics in 1883 to express the idea that science could help give the more suitable races or strains of blood (i.e. white) a better chance of prevailing over the 'lesser' races. This fundamentally racist theory gained popularity in
4 Britain, the United States, and Canada. In his work "Plain Facts for Old and Young", Kellogg wrote, “through complete submergence into another race the American race was fast dying out, its place being filled by emigrants of different lineage, religion, political ideas, and education." (Burlington, Iowa, Segner and Co., 1889) What would such a man have thought upon seeing his flakes strewn about the Immigration Hall of Pier 21, or being raised to hungry foreign mouths? Were the marketing team at Kellogg’s in the 1950s fans of irony or just ahead of their time in the area of branding and the merits of customer loyalty? Their success is beautifully illustrated in the excerpt below. Of all the Pier 21 corn flakes stories (and there are a perforated box full), none match Mary Caravaggio’s memories for detail and affection: “We sat in the Reception Hall and waited for processing. As we
waited, a gift was given to us. We were so happy and excited. It was a small box, which read Corn Flakes on it. I started opening the carton not knowing what was in it. We were all curious. We opened the
inside wrapper and took a few Corn Flakes to taste them. The flavor wasn’t what we expected. It didn’t taste very good. It had very little flavour and it was an odd texture. We had never eaten anything like this before. These weren’t Frosted Flakes, which were not on the market yet. Looking around, children and adults alike were making faces to express their dislike of the Corn Flakes. The adults were putting the boxes down but the children began tossing the rest at each other and in no time the flakes were covering the floor. We were tired, restless, and weary from days spent on the ship and the thought that we still had days to spend on a train sitting on hard, wooden seats until we would reach the place we would call home, obviously our manners were forgotten. As I moved around the Reception Hall, I felt the crushing of the Corn Flakes under our feet. The crunching sound under the feet of others is
imbedded in my memory. Even today the crackling sound brings me back to that day, the memory forever in my mind and soul. It didn’t take long to get accustomed to Corn Flakes. After the two-day ride to Toronto, we met with family and settled into the home we shared with cousins. Morning breakfast consisted of cereal; Corn Flakes were always on the table. To my aunt’s surprise, two large boxes weren’t enough and she would grudgingly go and buy more.
“Corn Flakes have become a staple in my life in Canada. It is always available in my kitchen. I thank Canada’s immigration system for introducing us to Corn Flakes.” As for Dr. Kelogg we will never know whether the colourful scenes at Pier 21 had him turning in his grave, or if the intervening years would have seen his views alter. All we can know for certain is that whether you are talking about cereal or citizenship, you can’t buy the kind of loyalty that Mary Caravaggio describes - you have to give it away. g
I was ten years old when I embarked on a journey that would influence my life forever. Little did I realize that visiting my family’s roots would open my mind to a world full of excitement and knowledge.
City life was very different from life in a small village. Climate, language, culture, and being far away from loved ones required some adjustment on our part, especially for my parents; nostalgia often took centre-stage for them. Their roles were very defined during that period. My father was the breadwinner. He was an exemplary provider for his family, ultimately becoming a successful businessman thanks to working long hours, often seven days a week. My mother was a stay-at-home wife and mother. Her days were endlessly filled with domestic endeavours. She cared for her husband and her children but also made herself available to other family members who stayed with us during their own transitions. Her role was made even more challenging due to the fact that she had to organize her life without the guiding hand of a mother or sister.
On October 4, 1953 my mother, my brother Joe and I completed our pioneering voyage to “the land of opportunity”. We were the first from our small village to cross the Atlantic by air. My father had moved to Canada one year earlier and was anxiously awaiting to be reunited with his young family. For him it would mark the end of a difficult period of loneliness and adjustment. Within nine months, my family was honoured with its very first Canadianborn addition - my sister, Maria Libera. Her birth further cemented the integration of our family into the Canadian lifestyle. As there was no returning to our former life, we looked toward the future with determination, eagerness and the hopes of success, knowing that each hurdle we encountered had to be surmounted. These were feelings that were commonly shared amongst most immigrants of the early 50’s.
In 1957, after four years in tight quarters, my parents purchased their first house in N.D.G. Although my parents always had, in the back of their minds, a desire to one day return to Italy, they realized deep down that it was only a dream. Canada was where they were carving their life. Buying a house made it even more of a reality. A new home brought much excitement and much hope for the future. For me, it also marked the beginning of school life. I can still recall the anxiety and fear of detaching myself from my father on that first day of school when he handed me over to the nun who would be my teacher. Mother St. Maria Francis was a gentle, kind person who would embrace me with much affection. But to a small child with limited English language skills, she was perceived as the enemy or perhaps even a strega. Her habit had large pockets, and I remember her saying
to my father “Don’t worry, Mr. Caporicci, she is so cute and tiny, I’ll just put her in my pocket.” Although it was intended as a playful reassurance, it only made me cry the more in fear. My father later admitted that it was just as trying for him and that he, too, had to fight back tears.
It didn’t take very long for me to immerse myself in my surroundings. But, being Italian often made me feel as if I were branded. I would often find myself the target of ridicule because of how I dressed, what I ate or how I spoke. I remember dropping out of my beloved ballet classes because I had a dance teacher who would always ask “Did you have your spaghetti?”, just so she could get a big laugh from the rest of the class. At that time, I was ashamed to be Italian - my greatest desire was to be English like my friends. Even my name “Isabella” was an embarrassment. Why couldn’t I have a simple name like Jane, or Cathy or Patricia? Why couldn’t we eat ordinary food like peanut butter and jelly instead of going in the fields and picking cicoria? In 1961, shortly after the birth of my youngest sister, Anna, our family embarked on a vacation that would be like no other. We were on our way to Italy, and little did I realize that it would be a trip that would change my way of perceiving the world around me. Our daily conversations were often peppered with talk of Italy and the relatives who lived there. I was filled with anticipation at finally experiencing what I had heard so much about.
The scenes are still so vivid in my mind.
I was t en years old ...
4 Many winding curves on dusty, barrier-
less roads lead us to our destination - the tiny village of Provvidenti, the smallest commune in the entire province of Campobasso. It is a picturesque spot nestled among valleys and peaks. Driving along the country roads you can see abundant fields of wheat, vineyards, olive and fruit trees. There was a stillness about it - almost like stepping back into the Middle Ages. The antiquated stone buildings had a majestic and solid appearance. The roads were narrow and lined in cobblestones. The lighting inside was dim and the amenities were limited. Thankfully, my father had the foresight to have a bathroom built before our arrival so that we wouldnâ€™t have to use the vasetto. Everything was rather primitive and I was amused that the mattress I had to sleep on was made of wool and cornhusks. No wonder it was so lumpy! Homes had no television, no telephone, no refrigerator, and no running water. I was intrigued by the simplicity of life and by the way people related. The barter system was often used while buying food items in the local shops - exchanging a few eggs for some slices of mortadella was common. I remember thinking how great it was that I could buy things without actually having money! In the early morning I could hear the rooster sing his Buon Giorno and I could see the local people busily start their day, heading out to work on their land. My grandfatherâ€™s little donkey was a big attraction and my brother, sisters and I discussed how we would have loved to have him as a pet at home in Canada. My grandmother was the owner of the local bar and general store. She even made ice cream which meant that we kept her very busy that summer! I liked what I saw - it was all so different. The language, the customs, and the culture intrigued me. There was an underlying richness, beauty and warmth, which tugged at my heart. I loved the fact that here, in Italy, I was part of a much bigger family. Besides my immediate family, I had grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a feeling of belonging, a feeling of rootedness. Everything was
memorable and when the time came to depart, I was sad. Returning to Montreal reaffirmed my desires of wanting to know more about my homeland and feel more Italian. No sooner had I returned to Canada, had I already started to plan on my next trip to Italy. In the meantime, I wanted to learn about everything Italian. I began with Italian books so that I could learn how to speak the authentic Italian language and not the dialect. I was fortunate enough to have an uncle, who lived in Italy, who was a teacher,. He sent me several language books at different levels of instruction. I was on my way to discovering a new world. Again, in 1965, I was off to Italy for a summer vacation. I was a teenager, this time, and was eager to assimilate myself into the Italian culture. I soon acquired an ear for Italian music and cherished every minute of listening to it. The songs were so romantic! Bobby Solo, Little Tony and my favourite one of all, Gianni Morandi. Even today, when I hear these classic old songs, I cannot resist singing along - it brings me back to a time of innocence and discovery. The Italian way had a definite charm to it and I found myself embracing it rather than shying away as I had previously done as a child in Canada. I began to learn more about the countryâ€™s history, discovering that Italians had always been forerunners in civilizing the world. Gaining an understanding about their culture and their traditions was not only important, it was something to be proud of. I immersed myself in everything that was Italian - books, theatre, movies, music, cooking. In University, Italian literature became my honours focus. Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Macchiavelli and
Manzoni became my newfound friends. I knew that, without a doubt, being Italian would not only enrich my life, it would strengthen my pride in who I was. The more I learned and experienced, the prouder I became of my roots and being a part of such a rich heritage. I cannot diminish, however, my pride in being Canadian or my gratitude for the opportunities that have enriched my life. I have had the best of two worlds. Just as
it is possible to love more than one person, so too it is possible to love more than one country. Canada has been my home for the past fifty-one years, but Italy has, and always will have a special place in my heart defined by feelings of tenderness and nostalgia. Perhaps it can be compared to a first love - something that is cherished and never forgotten. I cannot deny the sadness I feel when I encounter sons and daughters of Italian descent who cannot communicate in their mother tongue and have no knowledge of what their culture holds. It truly is tragic - they are dismissing a world of wealth. By not knowing about the great men in our history, including Columbus, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci, their world is incomplete. Knowing and understanding your heritage gives meaning to what you do, it brings your life full circle. My first trip to Italy captivated my curiosity and broadened my interests. It also made me proud to be Italian. It is a pride I wish every person of Italian origin to have. The Italian way is inspirational. Fashion, art, music, soccer, Ferraris, pasta, espresso, gelato. Each word conjures an image and culminates in living la Dolce Vita. g
VENEZIA IN MASCHERA The Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association (CIBPA) held their first annual Ball at the Windsor Hotel on February 19th 2005. Over 200 people attended wearing an array of costumes of ancient Venice. Mr. Rocco Di Zazzo was the Honorary President of the evening and provided excellent organization. The Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Gerard Tremblay was present and was most impressed with the quality of the costumes and the overall enjoyment that evening. There were prizes for the most original costume and the grand winner won a trip for two to Venice. You can view the CIBPA website for more photos at www.cibpamontreal.com.venetiangala.
by Luigi Sorella
Ciao Giulio! Guglionesi, 16 March 1978 – There was a feeling of spring in the air as I went to school that morning with only my black school apron on and no coat. The almond tree in the school garden was covered in a mantle of sweet-smelling white blossom and it was so warm we left one of the two windows open during the lesson. I could hear the chirping of swallows as they swooped and dove back and forth but I couldn't see them - 4 E's classroom was on the first floor and the sky was nowhere to be seen.
Guglionesi, 16 Marzo 1978 - Quella mattina si avvertiva la primavera nell’aria e a scuola andai con il mio grembiule nero, senza cappotto. Nel giardino dell’istituto l’albero del mandorlo mostrava il candore dei suoi profumi e durante la lezione una delle due finestre restava aperta. Si sentivano cinguettare le rondini nelle loro confuse rincorse, ma non le vedevo dal mio banco. L’aula della classe “IV E” era al primo piano dell’edificio scolastico, inutile cercare il cielo.
Giulio Rivera & classmates with fifth grade teacher Del Torto
4 Our teacher asked us what gifts we would like for
Giulio Rivera, in V elementare (1966), con la scolaresca del maestro Del Torto
4 La maestra chiedeva quale fossero i regali preferiti
our First Communion in May, the same day as my birthday. She told us about a wonderful story called "Heart: A School-Boy's Journal" and we realized that Edmondo De Amicis's book would be our present. The end of the school year was not far off and there would be plenty of time to live the adventures of Garrone and his friends. The book was assigned to us as reading for the school summer holidays but since Miss Polifemo was a substitute teacher, she did not come back the year after.
per la nostra prima comunione, che a Maggio avrei festeggiato insieme al compleanno. Parlava di una bella storia da leggere, “Cuore”, e qualcuno di noi intuì che il suo regalo fosse uguale per tutti: il libro di Edmondo De Amicis. La chiusura dell’anno scolastico non era così lontana e c’era tempo per conoscere le vicende di Garrone e dei suoi piccoli amici. Quel regalo si presentava come il compito assegnato per le vacanze estive. Ma la maestra Polifemo era una supplente e non sarebbe tornata l’anno dopo.
All of a sudden, Italia, the school caretaker, knocked on the classroom door. It was not her usual knock and she was quite out of breath. She handed our teacher a large book with a message from the school head saying that lessons would end early that day and the day after. This time, the news did not make most of us happy because Italia was crying and sobbing as she read it. Normally smiling and cheerful, she dried her eyes several times with a white handkerchief which she held in her hand in a crumpled ball and put in the pocket of her blue apron and took out several times before she left. She whispered something in our teacher's ear who was visibly disturbed by what she had to say.
All’improvviso Italia, la bidella della scuola, picchiò sulla porta della nostra classe. Non era il solito picchiare. Affannata consegnò al docente un grosso libro dove c’era scritto il messaggio del direttore scolastico: quel giorno, e l’indomani, le lezioni sarebbero terminate in anticipo. La notizia rese contenti pochi di noi, perché la lettura fu accompagnata dal pianto e dai singhiozzi di Italia. Lei, sempre sorridente, che più volte si asciugò le lacrime con un fazzoletto bianco. Lo stringeva in mano come una palla stropicciata, e prima di andare via lo ripose più volte nella tasca del suo grembiule blu. In segreto aveva sussurrato qualcosa alla maestra, che rimase turbata, e non poco.
The bell rang not long after and there wasn't time to solve the math problem. I remember that that day we learnt about the metric equivalence of surfaces, something I grasped without any difficulty. In no time at all, I had picked up my book, exercise book and pencil case and flung them into my old satchel that I had had since the third year of primary school and was already out on the school lawn. That day I didn't even have to bother with my coat.
Il suono della campanella arrivò presto e non riuscimmo a scrivere la risposta al problema di matematica. Fu il giorno in cui imparammo le equivalenze metriche delle superfici, una nozione che compresi senza grosse difficoltà. Il tempo di raccogliere il libro, il quaderno e l’astuccio delle penne, disordinatamente infilati nella mia vecchia cartella a spalla - la portavo con me dalla terza elementare - ed ero già fuori, sul prato della scuola. Quel giorno non avevo nemmeno il peso del cappotto.
I remember the blue sky suspended between the trail of a white cloud that has just vanished. I looked for the swallows as they darted backwards and forwards-outside the classroom, their swerving and diving seemed even more disconcerting than their chirping. With flapping wings that glistened in the sun, they hid behind the branches of the almond tree in blossom above me. The mothers, who already knew that lessons had finished earlier, were waiting near the school gate in their slippers. Guglionesi, the town nestled in the delightful Molise hills already knew what had happened but I didn't.
Ricordo il cielo, di colore azzurro, sospeso tra le scie di una nuvola bianca che da poco non c’era più. Cercavo la corsa delle rondini, che fuori dalla scuola mi sembrava ancora più inquietante del loro cinguettare. Ali trepidanti, adombrate dai bagliori del sole e nascoste dietro i rami del grande mandorlo in fiore, sopra di me. Vicino al cancello della scuola c’erano le solite mamme, in pantofole e già al corrente dell’uscita anticipata. Guglionesi, il paese sulle amene colline del Molise, sapeva, ma ignoravo cosa.
My parents and grandparents were emigrants and I was born in Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin in the north of the United States of America when my parents were working there. A few years earlier, some of my family had returned to live in Guglionesi. My relatives had kept an old habit from America and they would speak amongst themselves in English on special occasions so that we children couldn't understand what they were saying. My parents and grandparents were emigrants and I was born in Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin in the north of the United States of America when my parents were working there. A few years earlier, some of my family had returned to live in Guglionesi. My relatives had kept an old habit from America and they would speak amongst themselves in English on
Sono figlio e nipote di emigranti, nato a Milwaukee (nel Wisconsin, uno stato a nord degli Stati Uniti d’America) durante il soggiorno dei miei genitori nella terra del lavoro. Da qualche anno una parte della famiglia era tornata per cercare un futuro qui, a Guglionesi. Restava tra i parenti una vecchia abitudine, portata via dall’America: dialogare in inglese tra gli adulti nelle occasioni particolari, in modo che noi bambini non fossimo al corrente del loro argomentare.
Invano ascoltavo quelle parole, che talvolta sembravano avere un senso per l’ansia della pavida voce. Così a casa mi fu difficile capire cosa stesse succedendo, e continuavo ad ignorare il motivo di quella giornata tanto strana. Due anni prima avevo vissuto una situazione simile in famiglia, un lungo periodo di discussioni in inglese fino a quando nacque il mio secondo fratello. Questa volta, però, non riuscivo ad associare il 133
Giulio Rivera in military service Giulio Rivera durante il servizio militare di leva
4 special occasions so that we children couldn't understand what they were saying.
I tried to grasp what they were talking about but all I could understand were their frightened tones. And so, even at home, I was unable to understand what was happening on this strange day. Two years earlier, something similar had occurred at home when a long period of discussions in English had ended when my younger brother was born but this time it seemed highly unlikely that Italia's crying and leaving school early could be connected in any way with the birth of a third brother. I finally understood what had happened on March 16, 1978 when I saw the news. A special edition on TV, which was still in black and white, announced the tragedy at Via Fani in Rome where a group of terrorists called the Red Brigade had abducted a member of parliament, Aldo Moro, and had shot dead his five body guards in the attack. One of the policemen who had mercilessly been gunned down was a young man from Guglionesi, Giulio Rivera. A prominent Italian weekly wrote about the terrible destiny that persecutes poor women in the countryside like an ancient curse. They give birth to children who want to escape a life with very few prospects and, like Giulio, join the police force unaware of the fate that awaits them. The television showed shots of several places in Guglionesi, the Relatives at Giulio Rivera funeral / Funerali di Giulio Rivera. Parenti dell'agente Castellara gardens, the church, part of the old town, Giulio's house and the heart-rending grief of Giulio's mother as she bent over her son's body. Giulio was twenty-four and had been in the Police Force for four years. Everyone knew him as a sociable, cheerful person who was lively and sensitive. His body riddled with eight bullets, he died in the seat of the white car he was to drive on his last journey as he escorted Moro, the politician. In the afternoon, we had one of our First Communion classes that was held in the nursery school run by a group of nuns. Giulio's house was a few doors along from the school and I distinctly remember the obituary notices that covered the old walls of the humble dwellings in that old part of town.
4 pianto di Italia, l’uscita anticipata dalla scuola con l’eventualità di un terzo fratello!
Fu il telegiornale a svelarmi il dramma del 16 marzo 1978. Un’edizione straordinaria alla TV - ancora in bianco e nero - annunciò la tragedia di Via Fani a Roma, dove un comando di terroristi, con il nome di Brigate Rosse, sequestrò l’onorevole Aldo Moro, trucidando nell’agguato, a colpi di arma da fuoco, le cinque guardie della scorta. Tra gli agenti, uccisi senza alcuna pietà, c’era un giovane di Guglionesi, Giulio Rivera. Un noto settimanale italiano scrisse del tremendo destino che perseguita, come una maledizione antica, le povere donne di campagna. Mettono al mondo dei figli che vogliono sfuggire dalla miseria di una vita poco generosa di prospettive, entrando come Giulio nel corpo della Polizia, inconsapevoli del destino che li attende. Nelle immagini televisive furono mandate in onda vari luoghi di Guglionesi, Castellara, la chiesa Madre, un vicolo del borgo antico, la casa di Giulio, fino allo straziante dolore della mamma, china sulla salma del figlio. Giulio aveva ventiquattro anni e da quattro anni era arruolato nella Pubblica Sicurezza. Chi lo ha conosciuto racconta di un giovane socievole, allegro, tanto vivace quanto sensibile. Muore, crivellato da otto proiettili, sul sedile dell’auto bianca che stava guidando per l’ultimo viaggio, dietro quella dello statista Moro. Nel pomeriggio ci aspettava un incontro di catechismo nell’asilo infantile gestito dalle suore, uno dei tanti momenti di preparazione alla prima comunione. La casa di Giulio si trovava a poche porte dall’istituto delle religiose, e ricordo i numerosi manifesti di cordoglio che coprivano le vecchie mura di quelle umili dimore del centro storico. L’incontro di catechesi incominciò con una preghiera alla memoria del giovane agente e forse per la prima volta pregammo davvero, e tutti insieme. La notizia aveva commosso le famiglie di Guglionesi, ovunque se ne parlava ed ognuno aggiungeva un tassello alle vicende umane della famiglia Rivera. Passai le notti insonni, a chiedere un bicchiere d’acqua, senza alcuna sete, per spezzare l’inquietudine del buio, dove si riflettevano quelle immagini di tragedia e di panico. Nella domenica successiva, il giorno del funerale - tenutosi tre giorni dopo l’agguato di via Fani -, la gente di Guglionesi, un po’ curiosa e un po’ affranta, era quasi tutta per le strade, sotto una pioggia a tratti insistente, avvolta da un freddo tornato per cancellare le promesse della primavera. Ero uno dei chierichetti che nel corteo presbiterale precedeva la bara coperta dalla bandiera tricolore, portata a spalla dagli amici di Giulio, scortata da una schiera di poliziotti con i mitra in braccio, accompagnata dalle lacrime dei familiari e da un silenzioso seguito di gonfaloni istituzionali. Si sentiva trascinante il rumore dei passi sulle vecchie basole vesuviane, scandito dal lento rintocco dell’ultima campana.
The class began with a prayer in memory of the young policeman and for the first time in our lives, we all really prayed. The news had profoundly moved the families of Guglionesi. They talked of nothing else and each one added another piece to the human vicissitudes of the Rivera family.
The class began with a prayer in memory of the young policeman and for the first time in our lives, we all really prayed. The news had profoundly moved the families of Guglionesi. They talked of nothing else and each one added another piece to the human vicissitudes of the Rivera family.
Funeral at Santa Maria Maggiore in Guglionesi Funerali di Giulio Rivera. Il sagrato della Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore a Guglionesi
4Esperina, la mamma, pianse durante l’intero rito
4 For nights I lay awake in bed asking for glasses of water without being thirsty just to break the uneasy wall of darkness that reflected those images of tragedy and panic. The funeral was held on Sunday, three days after the via Fani attack. Nearly all the inhabitants of Guglionesi, drawn by a mixture of grief and curiosity, were there in the pouring rain enveloped by a cold spell that had returned to cancel out the first signs of spring. I was one of the altar boys in the procession and walked ahead of the coffin draped in the Italian flag and carried by Giulio's friends. It was escorted by a line of policemen holding machine guns, accompanied by the tears of members of his family and a silent cortege of institutional banners. The noise of footsteps on the old Vesuvius flagstones could be heard marked by the slow tolling of the church bell. His mother, Esperina, cried throughout the funeral service. "Goodbye Giulio" was her last farewell to her son. In the words of the authorities, he had served his country whereas for his superiors, he had served his duty, for his avengers, he had been sacrificed for a cause, for the academics, he would become a part of history and for all those who loved and knew him, he would have been fifty years old today. g
funebre. “Ciao Giulio” fu il suo estremo saluto a quel figlio che aveva servito la patria – dissero gli uomini di Stato -, che aveva svolto fino in fondo il suo dovere – commemorarono i suoi superiori –, che era stato sacrificato per un’ideologia – rivendicarono i suoi giustizieri -, che resterà nella storia – giudicarono gli eruditi - e che oggi avrebbe compiuto cinquant’anni – ricordano quanti gli hanno voluto bene. g
Brother Angelo & mother Esperina / Il fratello Angelo e la mamma Esperina
Alla Memoria di Giulio Rivera Caro Giulio, a nome mio personale e dei guglionesani del Canada, ti diciamo addio e ci inchiniamo reverenti davanti alla tua salma. Tu sei e resterai per noi il bravo ragazzo che abbiamo conosciuto, il povero figlio di contadini che è sfuggito alla disoccupazione ed all'arretratezza sociale accettando di fare un mestiere in cui si mette quotidianamente a repentaglio la propria vita. Putroppo il destino ha voluto che fossi tu a pagare con il tuo sangue l'adempimento del dovere. È difficile tradurre a parole tutto il cordoglio che proviamo. Tu sei uno di noi, un fratello, che è stato barbaramente assassinato. E la tua scomparsa suscita in noi un moto di inevitabile rancore contro coloro che hanno scelto la violenza gratuita per far valere la propria opinione. Noi siamo gente di poche parole. Esprimiamo con il silenzio il nostro dolore. Avremmo voglia di piangere, ma non possiamo. Dobbiamo liberarci del groppo che ci stringe la gola con discrezione. La tua tragica fine ci ha fatto comunque capire quanto labile sia la differenza tra la vita e la morte, quanto facile sia attentare contro le istituzioni democratiche, quanto deciso debba essere il nostro proposito per salvaguardarle.
Giulià, velâsse tante fa sscì sti làcreme da l'ucchie, ma se l' tocche cu dâte ze schièttene.
È questa la promessa solenne che ti facciamo: batterci costantemente, fino alla morte, se necessario, per la democrazia e per il rispetto della dignità umana. Pervengano ai tuoi genitori ed a tutta la tua famiglia, ed ai cari degli altri quattro agenti uccisi con te, le nostre più sincere condoglianze. Filippo SALVATORE, Montreal, Aprile 1978 135
by Tony Zara
Shattered Hopes a future denied When a life is cut short, brutally short, as in the case of my beloved friend Giulio Rivera, the human spirit has a tendency to accept, and, with time, forget. Of course, we who are left behind must experience all the human emotions designed to aid in overcoming such a loss - the inevitable disbelief, grief, desperation seem almost insurmountable - especially if you have lost a child.
Speranze perdute ed un futuro negato Quando una vita viene interrotta troppo presto, brutalmente presto, come nel caso del mio caro amico Giulio Rivera, lo spirito umano tende ad accettare e, col tempo, dimenticare. Certamente, noi che rimaniamo, dobbiamo vivere tutte le emozioni fatte per aiutarci a superare questa perdita; l'inevitabile incredulità, il dolore e la disperazione sembrano insopportabili, specialmente quando si perde un figlio.
Esperina Pace, Giulio’s mother, lost her youngest child that fateful day March 16, 1978. He was only 24-years-old. She, as well as others, was cruelly denied the opportunity and pleasure to see her son realize his dreams and aspirations. He was certainly on the right track. Like Esperina Pace, la madre most Italian young men of di Giulio, ha perso il his time, he used the figlio più giovane quel armed forces and then the giorno fatale 16 marzo police to find his way in del 1978. Aveva solo 24 life. And that he did. You anni. Lei, così come altri, see, Giulio was a natural si è vista privare dell' born leader, with plenty of opportunità e del piacere charisma and an aura of di vedere suo figlio invincibility about him. realizzare i suoi sogni, le Cool, self-assured and yet sue aspirazioni. Giulio extremely human, his era sicuramente sulla demeanour reminded me strada giusta. Come of Arthur Fonzarelli from molti giovani italiani Happy Days. It is no della sua età, aveva wonder that he was trovato un obiettivo alla chosen to be bodyguard to sua vita grazie all'esercito the Italian Prime Minister, First from right Giulio Rivera with Guglionesi friends / A destra Giulio Rivera con alcuni amici di Guglionesi prima ed alle forze Aldo Moro. Being awarded dell'ordine poi. Giulio the prestigious detail of Giulio was a natural born leader, with plenty of charisma and an era un leader nato, con working as bodyguard to aura of invincibility about him. Cool, self-assured and yet carisma da vendere ed the Italian Prime Minister un'aura di invincibilità. might certainly have been extremely human, his demeanour reminded me of Arthur Calmo, sicuro di sé, ma looked upon as a glorious Fonzarelli from Happy Days. It is no wonder that he was chosen comunque molto umano, stepping stone toward a to be bodyguard to the Italian Prime Minister, Aldo Moro i suoi modi ricordavano good career in the police molto quelli di Arthur force. But we will never Fonzarelli, della serie televisiva Happy Days. Non è know what might have been. sorprendente che venne scelto come guardia del corpo del Presidente del Consiglio, Aldo Moro. Ricevere un incarico One can assume that Giulio had high hopes for the future. Hopes prestigioso come quello di essere la guardia del corpo del and dreams of securing a good, steady income - something that Presidente del Consiglio Italiano avrebbe certamente potuto eluded most young men of this time - enabling him to make plans essere interpretato come un glorioso trampolino di lancio per for his future. Hopes of finding the right young woman to una brillante carriera nelle forze dell'ordine. Ma non sapremo accompany him through his life’s journey. Hopes of raising a mai quello che lui sarebbe diventato. family he could call his own, bestowing upon them all the things that he was not able to enjoy while growing up. Possiamo supporre che Giulio avesse grandi speranze per il Meanwhile, we, Giulio’s peers, experienced the enchantment of futuro. Ambizioni e sogni di garantirsi uno stipendio buono e marriage, the birth of our first born, the purchase of a family 136
Giulio Rivera during firing exercise
Giulio Rivera with public security colleagues
Giulio Rivera durante l'esercitazione di tiro con arma da fuoco
Giulio Rivera con alcuni colleghi della pubblica sicurezza
4 home, a successful career and the
4 sicuro – una situazione quasi
exciting possibility of becoming a grandparent. He was brutally denied all of these wonderful feelings.
I am positive that he would have been a great husband, a wonderful father and a very successful provider had he been given the chance. You see, I knew Giulio very well. We were related through marriage. We spent practically the entire first eight years of our lives together. We were both born in 1954. I a little older than he by only a couple of months, but he certainly more mature than I. Being the first born and pampered by my young mother, I was not as aware as he being the youngest of four siblings and wise to the ways of the world. We often played together. He, always the one in charge. Protective, for he knew I was a little timid. I felt as if he were my older brother.
irraggiungibile per i giovani dell'epoca – in modo di poter fare progetti per il futuro. La speranza di trovare la ragazza giusta che sarebbe stata al suo fianco durante il lungo percorso della vita. La speranza di creare una famiglia che sarebbe stata la sua e dare loro tutto ciò che non aveva potuto avere lui quando era bambino. Nel frattempo, noi, i suoi coetanei, abbiamo vissuto le meraviglie del matrimonio, della nascita del nostro primogenito, dell'acquisto della nostra prima casa, di una carriera di successo e della possibilità di diventare nonni. Lui è stato brutalmente privato di tutto ciò.
Sono sicuro che sarebbe stato un buon marito, un padre meraviglioso e che non avrebbe fatto mai mancare niente alla sua famiglia, se solo ne avesse avuto l'opportunità. Vedete, io Then we became separated by that great Atlantic ocean. 1962 conoscevo Giulio molto bene. Eravamo parenti acquisiti. was the year my family left for Canada - they were fortunate to Abbiamo praticamente trascorso i primi otto anni della nostra remain at home. Growing up in Canada, I had an opportunity vita insieme. to make many wonderSiamo nati nel ful new friends, most of Then we became separated by that great Atlantic ocean. 1962 was 1954. Io ero più which I still share my life the year my family left for Canada - they were fortunate to remain at vecchio di lui with today, but I never home. Growing up in Canada, I had an opportunity to make many solo di qualche forgot Giulio. He was one mese, ma lui era of the people that I longed wonderful new friends, most of which I still share my life with today, sicuramente più to see again. I thought but I never forgot Giulio. He was one of the people that I longed to maturo di me. that day would never Essendo il see again. I thought that day would never come. come. primogenito ero molto viziato da mia madre, mentre lui, essendo l'ultimo di Then, in the summer of 1972, I returned to Italy. Crossing quattro figli, era molto più accorto e furbo. Giocavamo spesso that ocean on that big 747 jet with its red, white and green tail insieme. Era sempre lui che comandava. Era molto was the longest ride of my life. My only consolation was Don protettivo con me, perché sapeva che ero un po’ timido. Mi McLean’s American Pie playing on the headset. By the time I sentivo come se fosse il mio fratello maggiore. touched down in Rome, I knew all the words - no easy feat considering the length of the song. Poi fummo separati dall'immensità dell'oceano Atlantico. A few days later, I was standing on the street corner on the main street of our village waiting for the bus to take me to the beach when I suddenly noticed a young man approaching me. It was a miraculous coincidence. Our eyes met. I said to him spontaneously, “Are you Giulio Rivera?” He said immediately, “Yes. And you are Tony Zara.” It was hardly to be believed considering we hadn’t seen each other in ten years, looked nothing like we did as children and we hadn’t seen a picture of each other since I had left Italy.
Correva l'anno 1962 quando la mia famiglia emigrò in Canada – loro avevano la fortuna di rimanere a casa. Crescendo in Canada, ebbi l'opportunità di fare molte nuove conoscenze, amici meravigliosi che fanno ancora parte della mia vita, ma non ho mai dimenticato Giulio. Era una di quelle persone che desideravo sempre rivedere. Ma pensavo che quel giorno non sarebbe arrivato mai. Poi, durante l'estate del 1972, tornai in Italia. La traversata dell'oceano su quel grande aereo 747, con la sua coda verde, bianca e rossa, fu il più lungo viaggio della mia vita. Il mio solo conforto era American Pie, di Don McLean, che suonava nelle mie cuffie. Quando atterrai a Roma ne conoscevo tutte le parole, una bell'impresa considerando la lunghezza di quella canzone. Alcuni giorni dopo, mentre mi trovavo all'angolo della strada più importante del nostro villaggio ad aspettare l'autobus che andava verso la spiaggia, notai un ragazzo che mi si avvicinava. Fu una coincidenza meravigliosa. I nostri occhi s'incrociarono e gli dissi spontaneamente "Tu sei Giulio Rivera." Lui rispose immediatamente, "Si. E tu sei Tony Zara." Era quasi da non credere, considerando che non ci vedevamo da dieci anni e che
Page of weekly newspaper Pagina di un settimanale italiano
A few days later, I was standing on the street corner on the main
street of our village waiting for the bus to take me to the beach 4 non avevamo per niente lo stesso aspetto di when I suddenly noticed a young man approaching me. It was a miraculous coincidence. Our eyes met. I said to him spontaneous-
quando eravamo bambini e che non ci eravamo nemmeno rivisti in fotografia da quando avevo lasciato l'Italia.
Riprendemmo immediatamente da dove ci eravamo lasciati. Come sempre, si prese ogni Tony Zara.” It was hardly to be believed considering we hadn’t cura di me quel giorno lì. Lui era un giovane uomo. Osservandolo interagire con gli seen each other in ten years, looked nothing like we did as children altri ragazzi si vedeva chiaramente che era rispettato da tutti. Non trascorremmo and we hadn’t seen a picture of each other since I had left Italy. abbastanza tempo insieme, ma ero comunque 4 We immediately picked up where we left off. As usual, he took grato che il mio desiderio di rivederlo si realizzasse – poco good care of me that day. I felt safe and secure with him. He importa la durata del nostro incontro. had become a young man. Observing him interact with his Sei anni dopo, nel 1978, ricevetti la terribile notizia. Giulio era friends, I could tell he had their respect. We didn’t spend morto. Era perito alle mani di un gruppo di giovani enough time together, but I am thankful that my wish was particolarmente crudeli e confusi, convinti di poter cambiare il granted and that I was able to meet him again - no matter how mondo per il meglio tramite azioni di una violenza inspiegabile. brief our encounter.
ly, “Are you Giulio Rivera?” He said immediately, “Yes. And you are
Six years later - 1978 - I received the terrible news. Giulio was dead. He died at the hands of an especially brutal bunch of misguided young people who thought they could change the world for the better through acts of unspeakable violence. They were wrong. Kidnapping Aldo Moro and killing his entire entourage of bodyguards in the process solved nothing. It simply became an unspeakably horrific moment that shattered the hearts of millions - its only achievement a wellspring of sadness and pain. Sometimes, when a life is cut short, brutally short, the human spirit has a tendency to accept, and, with time forget. But this can never be the case for Giulio Rivera. Your bravery, your decency, your desire to put the safety of others ahead of your own has allowed you to earn your rightful place in the immortal history of our beloved country. Without knowing it, you became an inspiration to all of us - a shining example of protection, hope and brotherly love. We will not forget, Giulio. I carry your memory with me wherever I go. I can never forget. g
Crowd at Giulio Rivera funeral / Funerali di Giulio Rivera
Si sbagliavano. Il rapimento di Aldo Moro e lo sterminio di tutto il suo entourage di guardie del corpo non cambiò nulla. Rimase semplicemente un momento terribile della nostra storia che ha frantumato i cuori di milioni di persone, ottenendo solamente la diffusione di dolore e sgomento. A volte, quando una vita viene interrotta troppo presto, brutalmente presto, lo spirito umano tende ad accettare e, col tempo, dimenticare. Ma ciò non sarà mai vero nel caso del mio amico Giulio Rivera. Il tuo coraggio, la tua dignità, il tuo desiderio di mettere la sicurezza degli altri prima della tua, ti hanno permesso di guadagnarti un posto meritato nella storia del nostro amato paese. Senza saperlo sei diventato un motivo d'ispirazione per tutti noi, un esempio di difesa, di speranza e d'amore fraterno. Non dimenticheremo, Giulio. Ti porto nei miei ricordi ovunque vada. Non ti dimenticherò mai. g
Giulio Rivera funeral proceedings / Funerali di Giulio Rivera
by Pino Asaro
Legend Great Torino of the
the Heart and Soul of the Azzurri! The War Aftermath.
Just as a radiant sun brightens the
morning after a stormy night, that same such brilliance should have awaited the resurgence of the Azzurri , following the bloody and destructive effects of the Second World War. Contrary to the
season, le anime del calcio (the teams executives) were determined to unify the two leagues, and a Serie A was re-established as a Girone Unico or a single round robin.
L’Italia is back in Europe!
first world conflict of 1915-1918 during which most of the National Team members perished, the same could not be said for the 1940-1945 war. Neri and Fiorini, both victims of the war, were the only teammates who were lost. And while the activity of the Italian championship resumed a level of normality, the Azzurri were far from taking part in any form of competition. FIFA, the world soccer governing body, following a highly debated political decision, suspended indefinitely both Germany and Italy. With the end of the war, the heavy clean up operation had begun and life in Italy slowly began returning to a regular pace. Despite the devastation left behind by bombs, and the heavy loss of human lives, the country laboured hard to find some form of peace. The prisoners of war slowly began making their way back from the concentration camps, students were resurfacing from their hideouts, and the rebuilding process was under way. Theatres had returned to show Hollywood movies - it was the time of Stan Laurel,
Oliver Hardy, and Clark Gable. The Italian cafés were now becoming “American Bars” and whisky was the liquor of choice along with the espresso. In the town halls, le balere (night clubs), goers would dance the boogie-woogie. On the sport papers, lots of interest was captured by the English FA cup and the Inter-British championship. In Italy, the soccer season was soon re-established with a Serie A for northern teams and a mix Serie A and B for the “centro-sud”. This formula only lasted for the 1945-46 season. By the following
On the international front, the suspension imposed by FIFA did not last long. L’Italia, the reigning World Champion and two-time winner in 1934 and 1938, Olympic Champion in 1936, with International and University trophies, could not be excluded from international competition and had to be re-admitted. Following another controversial ruling, FIFA lifted the sanction against Italy, confirmed the suspension to Germany and imposed a new ban to Japan. However, this latest ruling was not meant to last much longer than the first. Once lifted, the real problem however, for both Germany and Italy, was to find European nations, who would want to face the two “enemies”. Very few were the National Federations, willing to extend an olive branch to Italy and especially Germany for that matter. Unexpectedly, the Federcalcio (FIGC) received an invitation from neighbouring Switzerland for a friendly match to be played in Zurich on November 11, 1945. The
was also a Torino player. No less than ten players were among the starters from I Granata - an Italian National team record which still stands. Sentimenti VI, the goaltender from Juventus was the only intruder. Italy would win 3-2 on two goals by Gabetto and one by Loik. The Torino block was composed of Ballarin, M a r o s o , G r e z a r, R i g a m o n t i , Ca s t i g l i a n o, Me n t i I I , L o i k , Gabetto,Mazzola, Ferraris II.
4 Swiss were to play Spain, when a
series of strange circumstances and fate, made the Iberians withdraw. This was the break the Italian dirigenti (executives) needed. And the opportunity was seized. At the head of the Federcalcio was Ottorino Barassi, and the coach for the Moschettieri, as the Italians were also affectionately referred to, continued to be Vittorio Pozzo. The maestro, had no easy task to rally the best available talent. The soccer forces were still divided between il Nord e il Sud. There was no surprise, and lots of scepticism by the tifosi of Italy’s centro-sud upon learning that the selection of players was limited solely to teams based in the north.
Pozzo, who lived in Turin, had confided on the nucleus of Torino’s granata (the team colors). Among these were the legendary Valentino Ferraris II, Loik, Mazzola, Castigliano, Grezar, Ballarin, and Maroso. The cross town rivals, Le Zebre, from Juventus, contributed the goaltender Sentimenti IV, Parola, and Piola, who was making his 31st appearance as an Azzurro. The right-winger Bavati from Bologna completed the squad. That first post war game against the Swiss ended in a tie, 4-4 after a thrilling duel. The Azzurri were down at the half 2-1 with the only
Italian goal scored by Piola on a penalty kick. In the second half, Italy scored three unanswered goals by Loik and two by Biavati. But the Swiss had taken full advantage of a young and inexperienced Italian defense to score two goals and equalized the score. Worth mentioning is the performance of the Swiss centerforward Amado’ of Sicilian origins, who scored three of the four goals.
Il Grande Torino cuore e anima azzurra It took over a year for the Azzurri to see action again. This occurred against Austria in Milan, on December 1, 1946 in a game won by Italy 3-2. The same score decided the outcome of the following game against Switzerland, played in Florence on April 27, 1947. Pozzo decided to start no less than nine of Torino’s players. For the record, Il Toro (nickname for the Torino team) was the dominating team in Serie A. I Granata had been crowned Italian Champions by winning the Scudetto in a shortened 1942-43 season, and four consecutive titles from 1945-46 to 1948-49. Weeks after having played the Swiss, Pozzo, had to decide the final roster of the the squad who would play the powerful Hungary in Torino on May 11. The only replacement was to be Parola at center-half, with Rigamonti, who
Pozzo’s Goodbye to the Azzurri The Olympics of 1948 were held in England. Italy was invited to take part in the soccer tournament with the best amateurs it could field. Despite a promising win against the USA by a convincing score of 9-0, the Azzurrini fielded by Pozzo, faded against Denmark and lost 5-2. With this loss, the Italians were eliminated. The resignation of the legendary Vittorio Pozzo, as National Team Director soon followed and was unequivocal. He stepped down amidst relentless criticism for his old fashioned style of coaching. He went on to resume his career as sports journalist at La Stampa, the Torino newspaper. After much debate and speculation, the Federcalcio (FIGC) chose to assign the technical direction of the National team to Novo, an executive of the Torino team, Copernico, the coach from Torino, and Aebi of Inter. The latter refused, as did Pozzo, who turned down an offer to stay on as a technical consultant. With the new coaching staff in place as of January 1949, the Azzurri enjoyed two good outings. Novo and Copernico’s Azzurri, had a convincing win over Portugal 4-1 in Genova, February 27, with goals from Menti, Carapellese, Mazzola and Maroso. The second win of significance came in Madrid against Spain, 3-1. Lorenzi, Carapellese, and Amadei
4 were the goals scorers. The core of
the roster remained composed of Torino players with the rotation of Annovazzi, Boniperti, Lorenzi, Amadei and Carapellese. Sporadic appearances were made by Tognon, Becattini and Eliani.
The Superga Tragedy Il Grande Torino was one of the strongest teams, not only of Europe but of the entire world. Its fame and reputation had no boundaries. The Front Office, would regularly receive invitations to play exhibition games outside Italy. And on one such occasion, management accepted to play in Portugal, against Benfica of Lisbon. The friendly game was to honor the great Portugese star, Jose Ferreira, a personal friend of Valentino Mazzola, the captain of Torino. The game was a real feast of goals and ironically ended with a loss of 4-3 for Mazzola e compagni. On May 4, 1949 the team was on the flight back from Lisbon to Torino aboard a tri-turbo prop FIAT G212 of the LAI (Linee Aeree Italiane). Bad weather caused by thick fog and heavy rains made the airline change course and cleared to land at Malpensa airport near Milano. Il Conte Rosso, the private coach owned by the team was sent to Milan to greet the team.. By early evening came the news of a civilian airliner that had crashed on the hillside of the Basilica of Superga, which dominated the hills surrounding Torino. Copernico, Italyâ€™s assistant coach, who had been informed of the
change in the flight plan, fearing it might be the same plane carrying the team, jumped into his car and drove towards Superga. As he got half way up the hill, amidst the confusion of emergency and service vehicles, Copernico encountered an acquaintance employed at the Questura (police station), and a loyal fan of Torino. He was hysterical. Copernico immediately understood, and as they embraced, they wept in each others arms. In all 31 persons perished. Between 17:01 and 17:04, of that May 4, the Great Torino disappeared in that fiery crash. Arguably the greatest Italian team of all times was gone. The loss was tremendous to the families, to the friends, the countless fans of the Toro, the Nazionale, of the game. There were ten granata players on the Squadra Azzurra: Valerio Baccigalupo (5 caps), Aldo Ballarin (9), Eusebio Castigliano (7), Guglielmo Gabetto (6), Giuseppe Grezar (8), Ezio Loik (9), Virgilio Maroso (7), Valentino Mazzola (12), Romeo Menti II (7), Mario Rigamonti (3). Emilio Bongiorni, a French national had 5 caps for France and Julius Schubert, had one cap for Czechoslovakia. The maestro Vittorio Pozzo, was asked to perform the heart wrenching task of identifying I suoi ragazzi (his boys), as he had often referred to them. With the end to their young lives they became instant legends of the Grande Torino, il cuore e lâ€™anima azzurra. At the funerals held on May 6, more than half a million people attended the long procession of military trucks carrying the coffins of the heroes. To close the procession, an empty Conte (the Red Rosso
Coach) followed. The same coach which had carried the precious cargo to home or away games. Among the thousands of floral arrangements received from every corner of the world, one made of red roses stood out. The ribbon read Jose Ferreira, Ai Miei Piu Grandi Amici. To honour these young men, and their families, a friendly game was organized at the Comunale di Torino (stadium), on May 22, 1949 between the great River Plate team of Argentina and the Torino Simbolo. Eleven of the best European stars donned the Torino colors. The Simbolo was composed of: Sentimenti IV, Manente, Furiassi, Annovazzi, Achilli, Nyers, Boniperti, Nordhal, Hansen, Ferrari II, and Lorenzi. The game ended 2-2 with the proceeds going to the families of the deceased heroes. Gone but remembered, then and forever! g
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