Panoram Italia Toronto Feb/March 2015

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THE ITALIAN-CANADIAN MAGAZINE MAILED TO HOMES & BUSINESSES IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

THE NEW EMERGING ITALIANS

THE POWER OF

LOVE LETTERS LETTERS

BABIES OF

THE YEAR SPLENDORI

DELLA COSTA

IONICA

SICILIANA COVER: LORIS PALMA AND ANTONIETTA PETRIS TWO OF US • DUE DI NOI FEBRUARY / MARCH 2015 • VOL.5 • NO.1

PM40981004

www.panoramitalia.com


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G N L SI L A F 5 LO C HIS 01 T 2

ONLY A FEW CHOICE LOTS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR DREAM HOME.

HOMES NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

GREATER TORONTO HOME BUILDER’S ASSOCIATION BEST DESIGN

As one of King City’s most sought after locations,the Kingsview Manors Community boasts an exclusive enclave of only 65 homes backing onto the humber river, surrounded by 30 acres of conservation. Sideroad 15

Mon.-Thurs.: 1PM - 8PM Sat. Sun. & Holidays: 11AM - 6PM

Site

King Rd.

Major Mackenzie Dr.

Rutherford Rd.

Go Station

Keele St.

robertpagliariccia@intercityrealty.com

Jane St.

Robert Pagliariccia Sales Manager 416-275-5444

Hwy 400

2974 Sales Office

SOLD OUT

Sales Office Located at 2974 King Road, King City 905.539.0179

Information is correct at press time. Specifications are subject to change without notice. E.& O.E. Rendering is artists concept.

W W W. C R Y S T A L G L E N H O M E S . C O M

1 AVAILABLE


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SIBLING RIVALRY AT ITS BEST

Sibling rivalry just got more luxurious. The all-new Lexus NX series is here. Available as a turbocharged 2.0 litre or a hybrid, the all-new NX is the small SUV that’s big on technology and performance. With the bigger brother already launching to critical acclaim, a look at the RX 350 shows the continuing dedication to that pedigree. Choose from the 270 hp 6-speed RX 350, the performance-tuned 8-speed RX 350 F SPORT, or the RX 450h-featuring 295 total system net horsepower and the fuel efficiency of a compact car. Come see these exciting vehicles at our all-new 41,000 square foot facility, filled with advanced technology and friendly people. We can’t wait to see you. † Plus taxes and licensing


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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FEBRUARY / MARCH 2015 Vol. 5 NO. 1

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 LIFE & PEOPLE Carmela Sisto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Future Leader: Olivia Colacci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Hogg’s Hollow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Belinda Naccarato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Another Patch in the Quilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Power of Love Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Will You Remember Me? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

VILLA CHARITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 LIVING ITALIAN STYLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER & EDITOR Tony Zara

EDITORIAL DEPUTY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Adam Zara MONTREAL TORONTO MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR & WEB MANAGER Rita Simonetta Gabriel Riel-Salvatore ITALIAN PROOFREADER TRANSLATOR Claudia Buscemi Prestigiacomo Aurelie Ptito

ART DEPARTMENT FASHION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 EASTERN SICILY

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Sicily’s Ionian Riviera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Mount Etna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Taormina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Val di Noto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Toronto’s Eastern Sicilians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sumptuous Sicilian Cuisine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Eastern Sicilian Specialties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Teatro dei pupi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

BABIES High-Tech Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Mommy Confidential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Babies of the Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

LIVING ITALIAN STYLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

ART DIRECTION & GRAPHIC DESIGN David Ferreira MAKEUP Desi Varano

ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Gabe Palummo

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Maria Monardo

CONTRIBUTORS Rosanna Bonura • Sonia Cancian • Erica Cupido • Salvatore Difalco Alessia Sara Domanico • Amanda Fulginiti • Luke Galati Sara Germanotta • Dominic Iannuzzi • Sarah Mastroianni Romina Monaco • Emanuela Orsini • Claudia Buscemi Prestigiacomo Tanya Solari • Francesca Spizzirri 26 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2B9 Tel.: 1.800.775.9428 I Fax: 416.438.3188 or by e-mail at: info@panoramitalia.com Legal deposit - Bibliothèque nationale du Québec / National Library of Canada - ISSN: 1916-6389

SPORTS

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PHOTOGRAPHY Gregory Varano

Distribution par / by

Bocce in play at Parapan American Games . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Publications Mail Agreement #40981004

ONE MORE DAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Printed by:

Erratum:

514.337.7870 www.accentimpression.com

5th Annual Hospice Vaughan Gala, Vol. 4, No. 6, pg. 55, the article incorrectly suggested that Hospice Vaughan’s residential hospice was already in existence. The organization, is in fact, actively raising funds for the future project.

Montreal, Québec, Canada

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Toronto FEB/MAR11-16_Layout 2015-01-22 3:32 DeRose_Layout 2015-01-13110:25 AM Page 1 PM Page 9

Mary De Rose Lawyer

Diana De Rose Lawyer

Dominic De Rose Founder

Recovering what you’ve lost,we will get you there. At De Rose Barristers & Solicitors Personal Injury Lawyers, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with a genuine and compassionate experience throughout every step of the legal process. We work with our clients to ensure maximum compensation, minimal stress and a renewed sense of strength and dignity. With over 40 years of combined experience, we fight aggressively and passionately for justice, and understand that being the victim of an accident is stressful and overwhelming. Our staff of experienced and specialized lawyers know that the post-accident experience is unique to each victim and will work to provide a tailored approach to every case. The personal injury lawyers at De Rose Barristers & Solicitors blend unmatched expertise in ensuring we bring our clients and their loved ones the restitution they deserve.

We Speak Your Language

• Motor Vehicle Accidents • Slips and Falls • Orthopedic Injuries • Traumatic Brain Injuries • Spinal Cord Injuries • Long Term Disability • Fatality Claims • Dog Bite Injuries

Italian • Spanish • Ukrainian • Russian • Polish • French • Portuguese • Filipino

Contact us for a free consultation Tel: 416 780 8080

Areas of Expertise

Toll free: 1 888 860 3838

1280 Finch Avenue West, Suite 508 • Toronto, On. M3J 3K6

www.deroselaw.ca


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Subscribe or Contribute to

Only$20 for 3 years! *You can WIN an all-inclusive trip to Italy for 2! Contest Start: December 1, 2014

Deadline: Nov 6, 2015

Draws: Nov 9, 2015 Must be 18 years or older Subscribe to the magazine online at www.panoramitalia.com or fill out the attached envelope

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

A Taste of Things to Come Dear readers, ith this 9th edition of Babies of the Year, I am proud to announce that we have, to date, cumulatively featured over 2,000 babies within our pages. It really means the world to us that year in and year out, parents and grandparents make it a point to show off their new arrivals in our magazine. With this simple gesture, they are not only submitting a photo for publication, but they are also displaying their intentions of passing on their heritage to their newborns who are third, fourth and sometimes fifth generation Italian-Canadians. Let us hope that these same parents and grandparents strive to continue on this journey and make it a point to teach them the language of our roots throughout their upbringing.

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Love letters Our cover this issue is a bit of a departure from what we’ve done in the past. It’s an old black and white photo of Antonietta Petris and Loris Palma in the 1940s, a couple brought to our attention by a new special contributor to the magazine, Ms. Sonia Cancian. Theirs is a story of love across continents, bound by the power of love letters. It should put you in the Valentine’s Day mood, and perhaps prompt the men to dust off their pens and compose a heartfelt hand-written profession of love to their special someone. Facebook During the month of December, Panoram Italia hit another milestone on its Facebook page – 50,000 likes. The page more than doubled its followers organically since last February. We now have more Facebook followers than many of Canada’s most circulated daily newspapers; not too bad for an independent

Joseph J. Rizzotto B.A.(Hons), M.A., LL.B., LL.M.

has many years of experience dealing with insurance companies and claims. “It is important to hire someone that will carefully review and research each case individually in order that the appropriate action is taken quickly and is effective. Knowledge is key.” Q: I was at the grocery store and slipped on spilled liquid that was not cleaned up. What are my rights? The liquid obviously should not have been on the floor. The store has an obligation to keep its premises safe and avoid any situation of danger. It should have cleaned the floor and posted some type of warning sign to its customers. It is therefore negligent or at fault. As your lawyers, we will help you prove that the store is at fault. As a result, the store or its insurance company is responsible to compensate you for what medical treatment you need, for your loss of enjoyment, your pain and suffering, your out of pocket expenses and loss of earnings.

magazine. The formula is simple: post about things people love, without descending into stereotyping and clichés. Far too many Italian-related pages in North America do the opposite, but rest assured, our online presence is firmly aligned with our print mission of highlighting Italian-Canadian and Italian culture in an informed and professional manner. As I type this, we are at 53,000 likes and counting. Treasures of Italy Tour I must also mention that sales for Panoram Italia’s 2015 Treasures of Italy tours are well underway with departures on June 26 and September 4, 2015. This 16 day/14 night excursion is perfect for anyone looking to explore Italy’s mainland from top-to-bottom in a comprehensive way, with your favourite magazine’s stamp of approval. The tour is priced very competitively and you even have the option of extending your stay if you wish to do so. I’d also encourage you or a friend to subscribe to the magazine in order to be entered in our 2015 contest to WIN two spots aboard the tour. The draw takes place in November 2015. Eastern Sicily Our travel dossier this issue explores the beautiful Eastern Coast of Sicily, which is, admittedly and unfortunately, a place I have yet to travel to. That said, I'm glad my team has assembled such a great collection of articles to peek everyone’s appetite for Sicilian sun; it truly makes me wonder what I’ve been waiting for all these years. My recommendation: pop open a chilled bottle of limoncello and read all 18 pages in one sitting! Sincerely, Tony Zara Publisher

Have you had a trip, slip or fall? Rizzotto Law Firm handles all types of personal injury...

Q: As I reached for the lumber the entire stack fell on my head. Do I have any recourse? The lumber was clearly improperly stacked and not secured. Therefore, the store created a dangerous situation. This resulted in you sustaining significant bodily injuries. The store will suggest that you caused or contributed to the lumber striking you by you moving the lumber. With our advice and assistance we will prove the store created this situation and was negligent. Once this is accomplished, we will obtain compensation for you from the store or its insurer for your losses and your pain and suffering.

To them it’s a game...

To you it’s serious.

Q: I was walking on the sidewalk and tripped on a crack in the cement. Can I pursue the City for compensation? The crack in the sidewalk or the unevenness in the sidewalk has to be significant enough for you to seek relief from the City or its insurer. A very small crack or an uneven sidewalk barely visible to the naked eye will not result in any relief for you. Municipalities are traditionally tough adversaries. You have to prove everything to them to be successful in seeking compensation. As your lawyers we will guide you towards proving that the City was negligent and that you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering and losses.

tel: 905.264.6799 toll free: 1.866.221.8588 www.rizzottolaw.com

3700 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 700, Vaughan, Ontario L4L 8K8 PANORAMITALIA.COM

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LIFE & PEOPLE

Head of Hospice Vaughan talks about helping those in need By Emanuela Orsini armela Sisto always knew that she wanted to give back to her community. “I always wanted to volunteer,” says the 66-year-old Etobicoke resident. “I knew it would be very rewarding.” She got the opportunity to do so eight years ago as the Executive Director of Hospice Vaughan, an organization that offers free services to individuals of all ages as well as their families who are coping with a life-limiting illness or dealing with the loss of a loved one. Sisto grew up in Toronto in the St. Clair and Dufferin area, after emigrating from Italy with her parents from Molise at the young age of four. Working in human resources for over 25 years, Sisto has always enjoyed being around people. She knew that the next step of her career would be to devote herself to those in need. When the opportunity at Hospice Vaughan came along, she knew she had to take it. The organization, which was incorporated in 1995, relies heavily on donations to provide the services and programs it offers. Run by a board of directors and with the help of numerous volunteers, the staff at Hospice Vaughan provides grief and caregiving counselling, as well as different types of support and activities for adults and children. The daytime group program offers social activities for those that are terminally ill. Sisto says that individuals with loved ones that are suffering from limiting illnesses find a sense of relief from the group sessions, because they are able to connect with others dealing with the same types of issues. “When people are sick or have grievance issues, they feel that they are isolated and they may think that they are the only one that have this feeling,” Sisto explains.

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“Families come here to talk, to be together with other people because being around people makes you forget the suffering you are going through.” This year, Sisto and her team at Hospice Vaughan are raising funds to build a hospice residence in order to offer better care for their patients. The residential hospice would allow patients to have their own beds, private rooms and further accommodate families that would like a comfortable and caring setting for their loved ones until they pass on. Times have changed. When the first generation of Italian immigrants would fall ill, they went to a hospital and passed away there. Nowadays, it is common to find people struggling to take care of their parents as well as their children. Many of these individuals cannot afford to take proper care of their terminally ill parents, and this type of care within hospitals has become a struggle to find. The generation of ageing Baby Boomers further emphasizes the need for this type of support. “The ageing population will have an impact on the community,” says Sisto. Being faced with people who deal with loss and hearing their stories is a unique and challenging experience. But Sisto is always willing to provide compassion and support to those who are in need. “I hope by being here and having the types of services that we have can make a difference in the lives of people that we support.” For more information about Hospice Vaughan or to donate funds, please visit www.hospicevaughan.com or call 905-850-6266.

Photograhy by Giulio Muratori

Carmela Sisto


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FUTURE LEADER

Photograhy by Gregory Varano

Olivia Colacci Brampton makeup artist and hair stylist takes on fashion world By Erica Cupido

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his past summer, like many Italian beachgoers, Olivia Colacci spent a few nights in Sorrento before taking a boat ride to Capri. There, she saw models parade down a cliff-side runway in Dolce & Gabbana’s latest couture and indulged in a sumptuous meal while fireworks lit up the night sky. Unlike the countless tourists who are seduced by the Amalfi coast each summer, for Colacci, this was a day at work. “It was really special,” says the professional hair and makeup artist. “It was one of those moments when you want to pinch yourself.” At 24, her career has taken her around the world and behind-the-scenes in every fashion capital. In addition to working with clients and on the sets of photo shoots as a freelance hair and makeup artist, she works in New York, London, Paris and Milan three times a year to help bring designers’ visions to life. Despite having spent the last twelve months traveling, the beauty expert says she always makes a point of returning to Toronto. Growing up in Brampton, Colacci’s affinity for life in Italy began at home. Her father was born in Molise and her mother’s family is Sicilian. Italian culture was a large part of her upbringing, “from every meal to every family get together.” After spending a high school semester in Roseto degli Abruzzi with Centro Scuola, Colacci knew that she wouldn’t be away from Italy for long. Post-graduation, she began studying hair styling in Toronto before moving to Milan on a scholarship to pursue further education in hair and makeup. But says that she learned the most from on-the-job experience. “When I do the shows, I learn all of the trends for the season firsthand. It’s an education you can’t pay for.” Her hands-on approach began early. As a child, she coveted her sister’s collection of Bobbi Brown cosmetics and how-to books. “She’d hide them in her dresser so that I couldn’t reach them,” says Colacci. She remembers grabbing the professional makeup artist’s books to study the photos before she could even read. Years later, Colacci became the go-to girl for makeup touchups among her classmates after high school gym class. Once settled in Milan, her big break came when she signed with an artists’ agency. It was only fitting that the first opportunity she landed to work backstage at a fashion show was for Canadian design duo Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2. Making a good impression there led to calls to join the hair and

makeup teams at shows for Versace, Valentino, Prada and more. The ambitious artist had another ‘pinch-me’ moment when she accomplished a goal she set when she first broke in to the business - to work for Chanel. Not only has Colacci’s globe-trotting lifestyle taken her to some of the world’s most inspirational cities, it’s also given her the chance to establish a close-knit circle of friends in her industry. “We’re all from different parts of Canada, the States, Sweden, Finland, London, Denmark and Australia,” she says. “The first time doing the shows I was the one in the corner nervously setting up my station, and now it’s like seeing family.” Once they’ve put their final touches on the models, she and her friends love to catch up backstage. While downtime is rare amid the frenetic energy of fashion week, Colacci enjoys exploring her surroundings when she can. On her last trip to Paris she visited the Catacombs, and says that working in the fast-paced fashion world means that there’s always something to look forward to seeing next time she returns to any given place. Unlike being in the City of Light, touching down in Milan always feels like a homecoming. “Since we lived in Milan, we have our favourite restaurants and the baristas at the bars know us,” she says. “It feels the same as being [in Toronto]. Everything is familiar.” No matter where she goes, Colacci keeps her family up to date on her work via social media. They aren’t the only ones eager to see what it’s really like to work on photo shoots and to always be one step ahead of hair and makeup trends. She values being able to share her experiences with followers on Instagram and Twitter, and showing them that models don’t just wake up looking runway-ready. “It takes hours, time and effort,” she says, citing early call times and her ever-present arsenal of tools and products as hallmarks of working in her field. Pulling back the curtain and instilling confidence in women is something that’s always top of mind for Colacci. She takes pride in mentoring the young people who assist her. Even with the extra stamps on her passport, she loves working with her clients at home as well. In the future, she hopes to do more public speaking, educating and tutorials, so that she can teach people how to do their own hair and makeup like a pro. “It’s about making women feel more comfortable with themselves,” she says. It’s difficult not to see the beauty in that. PANORAMITALIA.COM

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FINAL RELEASE

LIFE & PEOPLE

TOP CHOICE AWARD BUILDER OF THE YEAR

Go Station Station

Robert Pagliariccia Sales Manager

SSITE ITE

416-275-5444 robertpagliariccia@intercityrealty.com

SALES OFFICE HOURS:

The H Hollow D

2974 King Road, King City

W W W. C R Y S T A L G L E N H O M E S . C O M 3-STOREY 3-STOREY MEDICAL & PROFESSIONAL BUILDING IN IN THE HEART HEART OF VAUGHAN VAUGHAN

55 years of By Sarah Mastroianni

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LEASE AND SALE AV AVAILABLE A VAILABLE FOR PROFESSIONAL OFFICES ss 3OUTH OF 6AUGHAN -ILLS .ORTH 3OUTH OF 6AUGHAN -ILLS .ORTH FROM THE NEW 3UBWAY FROM THE NEW 3UBWAY ss /FlCES FROM 3Q &T AND UP /FlCES FROM 3Q &T AND UP s #OMMERCIAL FROM 3Q &T s #OMMERCIAL FROM 3Q &T AND UP AND UP

s 3PACE AVAILABLE FOR s 3PACE AVAILABLE FOR RESTAURANT CONVENIENCE STORE RESTAURANT CONVENIENCE STORE PHARMACY CLEANERS PHARMACY CLEANERS -EDICAL 0ROFESSIONAL -IXED ss -EDICAL 0ROFESSIONAL -IXED 5SES !VAILABLE 5SES !VAILABLE s 3OLD s 3OLD

Sales Representative

Stephen Ongaro 416-990-0832 Information is correct at press time. Specifications are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E. Rendering is artists conception

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his upcoming March 17 is a day of remembrance in Toronto for the families of Pasquale Allegrezza, Giovanni Battista Carriglio, Giovanni Fusillo, and brothers Alessandro and Guido Mantella. March 17, 2015, marks the 55th anniversary of what has come to be known as the Hogg’s Hollow Disaster, a tragic accident that claimed the lives of five Italian immigrant workers while they were working in a tunnel under the Don River in Toronto’s Hogg’s Hollow neighbourhood. “There’s a real significance to all this,� says Mario Calla, Executive Director of COSTI Immigrant Services, which has played a vital role not only in the continuous commemoration Hogg’s Hollow Disaster, but also in improving the overall situation for immigrant workers in Toronto. “First and foremost, five young lives were snuffed out and the impact it had on their families was really quite significant,� says Calla. The incident happened like this: On March 17, 1960, the five Italian workers crawled 30 feet down into the cramped tunnel where they were ordered to work under the Don River. They carried no flashlights, wore no hard hats and didn’t have access to any means of communication with the outside world. When a flash fire swelled in the tunnel, the men were stricken by smoke inhalation. Parts of the tunnel collapsed, and as water was pumped in to try to put out the blaze, the environment underground became such that a successful rescue was impossible. Although the event was tragic, Calla and many others endeavor to make it known that the five workers did not die in vain. “One [positive] thing that happened as a result of this tragedy was that the occupational health and safety laws were revised for the first time since 1927,� explains Calla. “There was a commission set up to review what happened.�

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LIFE & PEOPLE

Artist Laurie Swim and Breaking Ground, March 18, 2010 Photo by: Larry Goldstein

e Hogg’s w Disaster remembrance

Breaking Ground: The Hogg's Hollow Disaster 1960, 7'x20' Photo by: Signature Studios

The incident also sparked movement within the labour unions themselves. “These were immigrants and they were expendable,” Calla says, explaining the mentality of many labour bosses at the time. “There was a totally different attitude towards workers,” he says. But not for long. Immigrant workers banded together, organized strikes and demanded fair, safe and equal treatment. “Eventually,” Calla says, “they started to get better contracts and the situation began to change.” Although the situation for immigrant workers has changed since 1960, Calla and many others remain convinced that remembering what happened at Hogg’s Hollow is extremely important for the community. That’s why in the year 2000, artist Laurie Swim approached COSTI with the idea of creating a piece of art – a quilt, in this instance – to commemoratethe incident. “It was a lovely collaboration,” says Swim, who specializes in these types of commemorative community art projects. “I did a lot of research,” she said, and noted that the project allowed her to have many meaningful interactions with people from the community. PANORAMITALIA.COM

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LIFE & PEOPLE

Pop-Opera singer/songwriter working alongside one of The Tenors By Rosanna Bonura very musician dreams of reaching a milestone in his or her career and Belinda Naccarato is living proof that it can happen. The 26-year-old pop-opera singer/songwriter is working on a self-titled demo and is collaborating with Remigio Pereira of The Tenors. The two have already written a song together in Italian titled, “Dimmi Che” that is set to be released as a single in 2015. The classical crossover demo will feature songs both in English and Italian. This collaboration will also involve the launch of a campaign and relaunch of Naccarato’s website in February/March that will market and expand her into the mainstream music scene. Working alongside Pereira has been an invaluable experience, says Naccarato. “To have one of The Tenors think I’m worth working with is such a huge honour. I’m pinching myself all the time.” It has also given Naccarato the opportunity to write more of her own material. “My music is my sanctuary. I love to write when I feel inspired or have something important to say and I always try to infuse my music with something positive and meaningful.” So what can people look forward to from her upcoming demo? “I think people can expect songs that appeal not only to the young but the old; music that transcends the generations but is still timeless and something that is inspired by wanting to share messages of meaning,” she tells Panoram. Supporting Naccarato along the way is her family and fiancé. “They are so proud that I’ve decided to follow something that is very hard to pursue. I would definitely not be where I am right now if it wasn’t for them believing in me.” Her Italian background has also been a pivotal part of her career. “I grew up loving the culture and understanding the importance of maintaining the language. Being an artist who incorporates both the Italian and English language in my music, I’m able to pay tribute to being Italian-Canadian,” she says. Naccarato always had a love for Italian music and listens to it regularly. It’s no surprise that February is her favourite month of the year because in the Italian music scene that means it’s time for the Sanremo Music Festival.

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It’s also a goal of hers to make the competition some day. “That’s been a lifelong dream and I’m still aiming to write that perfect song and be a part of it,” she says. Born and raised in Thornhill, Naccarato was only 8 years old when she started singing with the local church choir, thanks to the encouragement of her nonna. She started taking piano and singing lessons, receiving vocal training from some of the most respected coaches in the industry. Naccarato attended York University where she graduated with a degree in Fine Arts with a focus in music. This opened her eyes to the endless possibilities of where she wanted to take her own music career. “As an artist, you have to be unique and something people haven’t seen before and that’s what I strive to achieve with my sound,” she says. Today, Naccarato’s powerful voice has definitely paved the way in making a name for herself. The award-winning singer/songwriter has come in second place two years in a row at the Scotia Bank Canadian Rising Star competition with her own original compositions, “The Sound of Rain” in 2012 and “Never Let It Go” in 2013. She also placed second at the 37th Annual Johnny Lombardi Canadian Italian Song Festival. The biggest highlight of her music career so far is when she was personally asked by Italian superstar, Albano Carrisi, to sing live on stage with him at Casino Rama in 2012. The two performed a duet of “Ave Maria.” It was a pleasant shock for Naccarato. “I thought I would be a nervous wreck singing next to somebody of his caliber, but he made me feel so comfortable. When I stepped onto the stage I just had this calm come over me,” she recalls. The rest of 2015 will be a busy one for Naccarato. She has several events on the horizon, including Italian Heritage Month in June. Naccarato says the most gratifying part of her job is using her music to give back. “I do a lot of charitable work and I think people don’t see it as being something powerful, but it is. To help and move others through my music or to motivate others to create change through music is the most rewarding.”

Photo by Stephanie Amoroso

Belinda Naccarato


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LIFE & PEOPLE

Another

Patch

in the Quilt The immigrant journey to Canada By Dominic Iannuzzi

My

journey with William started in the most unlikely of circumstances. It was close to midnight on a Friday in late October and I was standing in front of an airline counter at Toronto’s Pearson airport. Having narrowly missed my connecting flight to Montreal, I needed to make alternate arrangements. And I wasn’t alone in my predicament. Pressed up against the same counter were about a dozen other people, each of them ornery and bleary-eyed, receiving the unwelcome news that they were going to spend the night in a Toronto hotel. All of us were peppering the airline agent with questions, except for the young man standing slightly behind the rest of the group. Holding a hotel voucher in one hand and a suitcase handle in the other, he just kept staring straight ahead. His attention never wavered from the woman in the blue uniform delivering our instructions, but it was obvious that he was struggling desperately to understand what she was saying. His name was William, and he was on the final leg of a journey that had begun many hours earlier from the only country he had ever known, war-torn Nicaragua. He was supposed to be on a flight to Ottawa where he would join family and friends and begin building a new life in a new place he knew very little about. Instead, he was facing a significant detour in an otherwise wellplanned itinerary. When William didn’t follow the rest of the group to a waiting shuttle bus, it was another clue that he wasn’t just another frustrated airline passenger. He looked petrified, confused by his surroundings, and unsure of what to do next. I made eye contact and asked him if everything was all right. Lips quivering, and on the verge of tears, he mumbled something to me in a tone that confirmed he could use some help. Using my shaky Italian in the hope that some of it would sound like Spanish, I succeeded in convincing him that we had to get on the bus and call it a night. The next morning, I gave William a wake-up call and sat with him through breakfast. We communicated by being patient with each other and by sprinkling our conversation with hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions. Amazingly, we managed to answer one another’s queries about our respective lives and experiences in Canada and Nicaragua. He was perceptibly more relaxed than the night before, even showing glimpses of excitement about the prospect of a fresh beginning in his adoptive country. Once back at the airport, I escorted William to the appropriate gate for his flight to Ottawa. Before we said goodbye, he expressed his gratitude for my assistance by asking me one last thing. He wanted to know what had motivated me to chaperone him through the maze of the last ten hours. I was caught so completely off guard by the question that an intelligible answer escaped me. So I simply flashed him an assuring smile and wished him well. Sitting at my own gate, I replayed William’s parting words over and over until it became clear that what had drawn me to this lost-looking stranger that night was a sense of familiarity. He had allowed me to witness first-hand what up until then had been just part of my world’s folklore. William brought to life the stories that I had heard from my parents, my aunts and uncles, and many of my friends’ parents about their own encounters with destiny many decades earlier. Indeed, he had given me a glimpse of those very scenes that had been described to me countless times. I could suddenly imagine my own father, not as a graying senior telling me a post-World War II story, but rather as a wide-eyed, smooth-faced twenty-three-year-old stepping off an ocean liner in Halifax and following the queue to the train station. It was on a mid-December day that my father, with a friend, left his tiny village in the southern Italian Apennines for the first time in his life. Within hours he was sailing to a destination halfway around the world on a ship that was 18

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crowded with passengers who were just as eager, anxious and clueless as he was. To them, Canada was more a concept than a place. It was where people worked and got paid enough money to live in heated homes and eat three full meals a day, with the occasional few dollars left over to spend at will. They couldn’t possibly fathom what was waiting for them as they approached their final destination. The language, the culture, the climate: it was all a complete mystery to them. They could have been headed to Mars and not known the difference. Following detailed instructions, my father and his travelling companion disembarked at the train station in Montreal, got on the tram and made their way to a restaurant in Little Italy. They were to wait there until someone they knew from back home came to pick them up and found them a place to stay. As day turned into night no one showed up, and a sense of fear and despair threatened to overwhelm the two young men. They were starving, had no idea where they were going to sleep that night, and had no money in their pockets to rectify either situation. The restaurant owner, having already witnessed this scene many times over, gave them some free pizza and told them they could go rest in one of the back rooms until morning. That’s how my father spent Christmas day in 1951, before finally meeting up with the people who would get him started on his new life. Getting here was only part of the narrative for immigrants. Learning to navigate in unfamiliar and sometimes hostile surroundings was an adventure all its own. There was a sense of urgency to bond with neighbours, co-workers, or anyone who spoke their language and seemed to know what they were doing. Daily life was all about learning quickly, trusting their instincts and hoping to catch a break from time to time. Ever since I could remember, I found my parents’ tales to be enlightening, fascinating and, admittedly, even very amusing. Yet, after meeting William, the stories suddenly had context, and the details had gained texture. I finally understood that those chronicles of the journey to a new world were not merely embellished accounts of sea-faring vessels, speeding trains and impossibly tall buildings. In fact, that whirlwind ten-hour stretch with William revealed to me that what I had been listening to all those years were actually epic sagas of the fear, anticipation and anxiety experienced by wide-eyed men and women barely out of their teens. So while I may have seemed like the benevolent Good Samaritan to my new Nicaraguan friend, I also got much in return: nothing less than a vivid re-enactment of my own ancestry. Today, twenty-five years later, when contemplating William’s ultimate fate, I ask myself many questions. Has his life in Canada turned out as he envisioned? How much of Nicaragua does he still hang on to? And does he feel his grip slipping each time his children struggle to find the right words in Spanish, only to switch to English to better express themselves? I pray that William has realized the immigrant’s dream of a better life. The quilt that is Canada would have added another patch.


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LOVE LETTERS

The Power of Love Letters Il Potere dell’Amore My dear Love, if you only knew how much I miss you Amore mio caro, se solo sapessi quanto mi manchi By Sonia Cancian

“I spend my entire day thinking of you! How much time do I still need to wait before I can hold you again??”

“Tutto il giorno non faccio altro che pensare a te! Quanto tempo debbo ancora aspettare prima che ti possa riabbracciare??”

“When you write, imagine that the first thing that your husband does upon returning home from work is check if there is any mail for him, and only upon seeing your handwriting does his fatigue pass.”

“Quando scrivi, pensa che tuo marito quando torna dal lavoro la prima cosa che fa guarda se c'è niente per lui, e solo al vedere la tua calligrafia, le passa la stanchezza.”

“I reread your last two letters. In them I find so much true love, so much affection, so much comfort in your words that you cannot imagine. They bring me everything I need to continue to love, to hope.”

“Ho riletto le tue due ultime lettere, trovo in esse tanto sincero amore e tanto affetto, tanto conforto dalle tue parole che non puoi immaginare, esse mi portano tutto ciò che mi occorre per poter ancora amare, ancora sperare.”

these words hurdled before me on wafer-thin paper customarily used for airmail postal delivery in the 1940s and 1950s, I wondered about the power of love, the heightening of affections and words, and ultimately, the extraordinary telepathy that these etchings of the heart evoked for the letter writers. “You won't find anything interesting in these letters,” I had been cautioned by a potential research participant prior to viewing a collection of letters. “But if you want to see them, I will lend them to you. There are about twenty pages.” It was my brother's birthday party and while the music played and friends and family cheered, Renzo had quietly confided to me about the letters that remained couched in the household cantina. Several years before Renzo and his wife Ester had fallen in love and married, she had had a long distance relationship with a young man in Rome named Giordano. In March 1957 when Ester had been compelled to leave her life in the Eternal city and join her older brothers in Montreal, Giordano had remained behind fuelled by the flaming hope of Ester's imminent return. It would not be so. As I absorbed the emotional urgency with which the letters were penned, my mind drifted to the countless women and men who had been separated from their dear ones –fiancés, lovers, spouses– in Italy and Canada in the early years following the end of World War II. What was it like to feel so unconditionally loved yet so intensely apart? Did distance make their hearts grow fonder? Did separated couples ever reunite? As a scholar, I also thought about the challenges of unearthing extraordinary love stories told through letters. How did these letters survive all this time? Under what conditions? And, what can they reveal about the intersections of romantic love and immigration? The genre itself raised a panoply of questions around themes of literacy, print culture, gender, and acceptable forms of describing the affairs

on appena queste parole mi si sono presentate dinnanzi su carta sottilissima usata di norma per la posta aerea negli anni ’40 e ’50, mi sono interrogata sul potere dell’amore, l’intensità degli affetti e delle parole, ed infine, sulla straordinaria telepatia che queste acqueforti del cuore hanno suscitato negli autori delle lettere. “Non troverai niente d'interessante in queste lettere,” ero stata messa in guardia da un partecipante potenziale alla ricerca prima di esaminare una raccolta di lettere. “Ma se le vuoi vedere, te le farò avere, sono solo una ventina di fogli.” Era la festa di compleanno di mio fratello e mentre la musica suonava ed amici e parenti festeggiavano, Renzo mi aveva confidato sottovoce delle lettere rimaste nascoste nella cantina di famiglia. Pochi anni prima che Renzo e sua moglie Ester s’innamorassero e si sposassero, Ester aveva intrattenuto un rapporto a distanza con un giovane ragazzo chiamato Giordano. Era il marzo 1957, anno nel quale Ester era stata costretta a lasciare la sua vita nella città eterna per raggiungere i fratelli maggiori a Montreal. Giordano, dal canto suo, era rimasto indietro a Roma alimentato dall’ardente speranza di un imminente ritorno della sua amata. Non sarebbe andata cosi’. Non appena recepita l’impellenza emotiva con la quale le lettere erano state scritte, la mia mente si è rivolta agli innumerevoli uomini e donne che erano stati separati dai propri cari – fidanzati, innamorati, sposi – in Italia e in Canada nei primi anni successivi alla fine della Seconda guerra mondiale. Com’era sentirsi amati così incondizionatamente ed essere tuttavia così profondamente divisi ? La distanza ha reso i loro cuori ancor più uniti? Si sono mai riunite le coppie separate? In quanto studiosa, ho anche riflettuto sulle difficoltà del portare alla luce storie d’amore straordinarie narrate attraverso lettere. Come sono sopravvissute queste lettere al tempo? In quali condizioni? E cosa possono rivelare riguardo alle confluenze tra amore roman-

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LOVE LETTERS of the heart, not to mention the overarching need to fare bella figura (make a good impression) when the letter, in many ways, embodied their love. Letters have historically been an object of acute fascination since antiquity. Public and private letters pertaining to family, business, spiritual, or personal and intimate matters have been vital to the communication of information. Yet, the elixir of letter writing has been, and remains, the love letter. Indeed, while many of us speculate that digital technologies have decidedly eclipsed the ancient art of letter writing, we should ask ourselves if the effect of a love letter is the same if sent by email, text, or other digital technologies. In other words, does technology matter in the way we express and understand romantic emotions? And, what of immigrant letters? Throughout my childhood, my father would often turn to his family’s letters tucked away in a dark-green carton luggage with which he had first crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the S.S. Argentina in December of 1951. Like other immigrants, he had carefully archived the thirty or so letters his parents had sent to him in the first years of his life in Canada. While these letters held a degree of interest to me, it was, upon visiting my grandmother Maria in Spilimbergo (Pordenone) in 1986 that my curiosity about letters, and especially love letters, was bolstered. In the kitchen, under my grandmother’s observant gaze, I witnessed first-hand the romance that had imbued my grandparents as a young married couple. My grandfather Giovanni had immigrated to Amiens, France, to work in a cinder-brick factory shortly after their wedding in 1929. To stay in touch, they exchanged letters. With words, elegantly choreographed, thoughts, carefully allegorized, and endearments of love, delicately meditated, the letters stood neatly side by side in a white shoebox –never to be seen again. No photograph was taken of that memorable moment shared between me and my grandmother. However, my grandfather’s closing words in the letters “tuo per sempre” (“forever yours”) remain firmly etched in the memory of my heart. “Love letters straight from your heart, keep us so near while apart, I’m not alone in the night, when I have all the love that you write. I memorize every line, I kiss the name that you sign. And, darling, then I read again right from the start, love letters straight from your heart.” Much as the lyrics of Love Letters, a 1945 song recently re-launched by Diana Krall echo, love letters are more than instruments of nostalgic romance. In fact, there is far more to love letters than we might assume: the time, the attention, the effort required in conveying intimate thoughts and affections in a language we normally would not use in face-to-face conversations, the effect of paper touched by the hand of an absent lover, and the calligraphy, urgently unravelling a lover's most pressing concerns. All of these elements offer a constellation of meanings beyond words. They represent a vital part of our humanity.

tico e immigrazione? Il genere letterario stesso suscita una panoplia di domande riguardo argomenti quali alfabetismo, cultura stampata, genere, e forme accettabili nel descrivere gli affari del cuore, per non parlare del bisogno onnicomprensivo di fare bella figura quando la lettera, in molti modi, rappresenta l’unico legame con il tuo amore. Le lettere sono storicamente oggetto di profondo interesse sin dall’antichità. Le lettere pubbliche e private riguardanti la famiglia, il lavoro, la sfera spirituale, o le questioni intime e personali sono fondamentali per trasmettere informazioni. Tuttavia, nella composizione delle lettere, la lettera d’amore è stata, e resta, la quintessenza. Pertanto, mentre molti di noi congetturano che le tecnologie digitali abbiano decisamente soppiantato l’arte antica della composizione delle lettere, dovremmo domandarci se l’effetto di una lettera d’amore sia lo stesso se inviata via e-mail, messaggio di testo o altre tecnologie digitali. In altre parole, la tecnologia conta nel modo in cui esprimiamo e comprendiamo le emozioni romantiche? E cosa dire riguardo le lettere degli immigrati? Durante l’infanzia, spesso mio padre tornava alle lettere di famiglia conservate in una valigia di cartone verde scuro con la quale aveva inizialmente traversato l’Oceano Atlantico sulla S.S. Argentina nel dicembre del 1951. Come altri immigrati, aveva custodito con cura le trenta lettere o giù di lì che i suoi genitori gli avevano spedito durante i suoi primi anni di vita in Canada. Sebbene questa corrispondenza suscitasse in me un certo interesse, è stato durante una visita a mia nonna Maria a Spilimbergo (Pordenone) nel 1986 che la mia curiosità riguardo le lettere, e specialmente le lettere d’amore, si è rafforzata. In cucina, sotto lo sguardo attento di mia nonna, sono stata testimone in prima persona dell’amore che si era sprigionato tra i miei nonni in qualità di giovani sposini. Mio nonno Giovanni era emigrato ad Amiens, Francia, per lavorare in una fabbrica di mattoni di cemento poco dopo il loro matrimonio nel 1929. Per rimanere in contatto, si scambiavano lettere. Con parole elegantemente presentate, pensieri attentamente allegorizzati, e vezzeggiativi d’amore, delicatamente ponderati, le lettere giacevano ordinatamente una accanto all’altra in una scatola di scarpe bianca – mai più rivista. Non fu scattata alcuna fotografia di quel momento memorabile condiviso da me e mia nonna. Tuttavia, le parole di mio nonno a chiusura delle lettere “tuo per sempre” rimarranno saldamente impresse nei ricordi del mio cuore. “Le lettere d’amore dritte dal tuo cuore, ci tengono tanto vicini mentre siamo lontani, non sono sola di notte, quando ho tutto l’amore che scrivi. Memorizzo ogni riga, bacio il nome con cui firmi. E, tesoro, poi leggo di nuovo dal principio, le lettere d’amore dritte dal tuo cuore.” Come recitano le parole di Love Letters, canzone del 1945 recentemente rilanciata da Diana Krall, le lettere d’amore sono più di uno strumento di romanticismo nostalgico. Infatti, c’è nelle lettere d’amore molto più di quanto si possa pensare: il tempo, l’attenzione, lo sforzo richiesto per trasmettere pensieri intimi ed affetto con un linguaggio che di norma non utilizzeremmo in conversazioni faccia a faccia; l’effetto della carta toccata dalla mano di un innamorato assente, e la calligrafia che svela insistentemente le sue preoccupazioni pressanti. Tutti questi elementi offrono una costellazione di significati che vanno ben oltre le parole. Rappresentano una parte vitale dell’umanità.

We provide the roses… … the rest is up to you. 130 Westmore Dr Ste 16 & 17 Toronto ON 4585 Hwy. 7 Woodbridge ON 416-745-7045 www.italflorist.com

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LOVE LETTERS

Photography by Vincenzo D’Alto

Antonietta Petris

Will You Remember Me? Ti ricorderai di me? A love story across the continents Una storia d’amore al di sopra dei continenti By Sonia Cancian

“My

adored Loris, today is Sunday, a Sunday that is filled with memories and nostalgia, the first Sunday that I am here in Canada. I have everything I need here, even today when I went to visit a friend of my father’s, I was given the red carpet treatment; the table was adorned with all of God’s blessings, every kind of delicacy was mine, but never, not even for an instant did I stop thinking of you, every passing minute reminded me of last Sunday, where we were, your face, still smiling and radiating with joy, a joy that imbues us only when we are together, when I thought of the distance that divides us, and as I think of it now, I feel my heart tightening into a knot, I become breathless, completely breathless! Oh! how much I love you, even here, yes, my darling, maybe even more so than when I was in Italy, because now I can appreciate even more your attributes, I know what treasure is mine, and the precious gem I would lose if I lost you, always be worthy, not of me, no, because I am no different from other women, I have my weaknesses and my strengths, my good and bad traits, be worthy of my love that is strong, as deep as the ocean, try to understand me, my darling, and love me forever, will you do this?” Following two years of constant writing back and forth between the Carnian 22

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“M

io adorato Loris, oggi è domenica, una domenica piena di ricordi e nostalgia, la prima domenica che sono in Canada, ho tutto ciò di cui ho bisogno, anche oggi quando sono andata a trovare un amico di mio padre, sono stata accolta con il tappeto rosso; la tavola era imbandita con tutte le benedizioni di Dio, ogni tipo di prelibatezza era per me, ma mai, nemmeno per un istante ho smesso di pensarti, ogni minuto che passava mi ricordava della scorsa domenica, dov’eravamo, il tuo volto, ancora sorridente e radioso di gioia, una gioia che ci pervade solo quando siamo assieme, quando mi sono soffermata sulla distanza che ci divide, e mentre ci penso adesso, sento il cuore stringersi in una morsa, mi lascia senza fiato, completamente senza fiato! Oh! Quanto ti amo, anche qui, sì mio caro, forse ancor più di quanto facessi in Italia, perché adesso posso apprezzare ancor di più le tue qualità, conosco il mio tesoro, e la gemma preziosa che perderei se perdessi te, sii sempre degno, non di me, no, perché io non sono diversa dalle altre donne, ho le mie debolezze e le mie forze, i miei tratti buoni e cattivi, sii degno del mio amore che è forte, profondo quanto l’oceano, cerca di capirmi, mio caro, ed amami per sempre, lo farai?”


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LOVE LETTERS town of Ampezzo, and Venice, a mere 200 km apart in northeastern Italy, Antonietta Dopo due anni d’incessante scrittura avanti e indietro tra la città di Ampezzo, Petris and Loris Palma were suddenly faced with an unprecedented obstacle: the deep Carnia, e Venezia, distanti solo 200 km l’una dall’altra nel Nord-Est d’Italia, Antonietta waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Never could they have imagined when they first met in Petris e Loris Palma improvvisamente si ritrovarono a fronteggiare un ostacolo imprevisthe summer of 1946 that their lives would be immersed in a love story that would span to: le acque profonde dell’Oceano Atlantico. Non avrebbero mai immaginato quando s’incontinents. Never could they have envisioned that migration would make a claim on contrarono per la prima volta nell’estate del 1946 che le loro vite sarebbero state assorbite one of them, and pull the other one over. The War was over, finally, and a feeling of da una storia d’amore che avrebbe abbracciato continenti. Non avrebbero mai immaginahope and euphoria abounded. Among the throngs of young men employed by the to che l’emigrazione avrebbe reclamato uno di loro, trascinandosi pure l’altro. La Guerra Società Adriatica di Elettricità (S.A.D.E.) to contribute to the final phase of la Diga del era finita, finalmente, ed abbondava un sentimento di speranza ed euforia. Tra le folle di Lumiei project (Europe’s highest dam), bordering Ampezzo, was Loris Palma, temgiovani assunti dalla Società Adriatica di Elettricità (S.A.D.E.) per contribuire alla fase porarily assigned to the region. During one of the nightly walks with friends and cofinale del progetto per la Diga del Lumiei (la diga più alta d’Europa), al confine con workers along Ampezzo’s main street Via Nazionale, Loris’s gaze caught sight of a Ampezzo, vi era Loris Palma, temporaneamente assegnato all’area. Durante una delle beautiful young woman, Antonietta Petris, the woman who would become the protagpasseggiate serali con amici e colleghi lungo il corso principale di Ampezzo, via onist of his life. Nazionale, lo sguardo di Loris notò una bella giovane, “Imagine, my dear Antonietta, how I must feel, Antonietta Petris, la donna che sarebbe diventata la OUR COVER so far away from you, as I longingly look back to our protagonista della sua vita. “Immagina, mia cara hours together,” confided Loris in Udine on his way to Antonietta, come devo sentirmi, così lontano da te, Venice. While Antonietta was moved by such heartfelt quando ripenso con nostalgia alle nostre ore assieme,” words, she worried that the city of Venice would lead confidò Loris ad Udine sulla strada per il ritorno a him astray from her affections: “Now you are in Venezia. Sebbene toccata da simili parole affettuose, Venice, your magnificent city, where everything Antonietta si preoccupava che la città di Venezia lo speaks of love, where one truly lives, will you rememavrebbe distolto dai propri sentimenti: “Adesso che sei ber me now?” She asked him not to forget her – a Venezia, la tua meravigliosa città, dove tutto parla “Write to me often, very often, tell me what you do, d’amore, dove uno vive davvero, ti ricorderai di me where you go, and I will do the same.” While their ora?” Gli chiese di non scordarla:“Scrivimi spesso, hearts, bodies, and souls yearned for an imminent molto spesso, dimmi cosa fai, dove vai ed io farò lo reunion, family and work obligations required them stesso.” Mentre i loro cuori, corpi ed anime bramavano to be apart for several months at a time. To help per un ricongiungimento imminente, la famiglia e i cement their relationship, the couple was formally doveri del lavoro imposero loro di stare separati molti engaged a few months later. On this occasion, both of mesi alla volta. Per contribuire a consolidare il proprio their parents met in Ampezzo – all except Antonietta’s rapporto, la coppia si fidanzò ufficialmente un paio di father who had not seen his family since 1928 when mesi dopo. In quell’occasione, i genitori di entrambi he immigrated to France, and from there, to the s’incontrarono ad Ampezzo – tutti ad eccezione del Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and then to padre di Antonietta che non vedeva la famiglia dal Montreal, Canada. 1928 quando era emigrato in Francia, e, da lì, alle isole The story of Antonietta Petris and Loris Palma di St. Pierre e Miquelon, e infine a Montreal, Canada. takes us from a rather ordinary love story of a young La storia di Antonietta Petris e Loris Palma ci couple falling in love at the end of the Second World porta dalla storia d’amore piuttosto ordinaria di una War to an extraordinary love story that unfolds amid giovane coppia innamorata alla fine della Seconda words of longing, resilience, music, and migration guerra mondiale, alla straordinaria storia d’amore che across long distances and time. Their letters allow us si svela lentamente tra desiderio, flessibilità, musica ed to pry open the intimate worlds of migrants and their emigrazione oltre il tempo e le lunghe distanze. Le loro loved ones as viewed and contextualized in their perlettere ci consentono di scoperchiare il mondo intimo Loris Palma and Antonietta Petris, late 1940s sonal letters written solely for one another. The letters degli immigrati e dei loro cari osservati e contestualizare part of a large private collection composed of roughly 450 love letters written zati nelle loro lettere personali scritte esclusivamente per l’altro. Le lettere appartengono between 1946 and 1949. Remarkably, both sides of the correspondence have been pread un’ampia collezione privata che conta circa 450 lettere d’amore scritte tra il 1946 e il served for nearly seventy years – a rare phenomenon that is compounded by the cou1949. Straordinariamente, la corrispondenza da entrambe le parti si è conservata per ple’s immigration to Canada, their return to Italy, and their final trek to Canada in the quasi settant’anni – un fenomeno raro caratterizzato dall’emigrazione in Canada della early 1960s. They are intimate letters written by two prolific individuals whose intercoppia, il loro ritorno in Italia, e il lungo viaggio finale in Canada nei primi degli anni est in reading, writing, Italian opera, and the world around them contribute to shedSessanta. Sono lettere intime scritte da due individui prolifici il cui interesse per la lettura, ding light on the cultural-historical cosmologies that surrounded them. la scrittura, l’Opera italiana e il mondo circostante ha contribuito a far luce sulle prospetAs Antonietta’s and Loris’s daily correspondence intensified, “life will smile upon tive storico-culturali che li circondavano. us,” declared Antonietta. They dreamed of being married and living in Venice “where Dato che la corrispondenza giornaliera tra Antonietta e Loris s’intensificava, “la vita we will have our little home, and our beautiful baby,” and La Fenice where they would ci sorriderà,” dichiarò Antonietta. Sognavano di sposarsi e vivere a Venezia “dove avremo have within reach the opportunity to attend their favourite operas. Fate, however, had la nostra casetta e il nostro bel bambino,” e La Fenice dove avrebbero avuto l’opportunità other plans. di assistere alle loro opere preferite. Il destino, tuttavia, aveva altri piani. In the span of a year or so, Antonietta was faced with the opportunity of joining Nel giro di un anno o giù di lì, ad Antonietta si profilò l’opportunità di raggiungere her father in Montreal with her mother. During this period, Loris was called for miliil padre a Montreal assieme alla madre. Durante questo periodo, Loris fu chiamato per il tary service and wrote, “my thoughts are only for you, only you, my little darling, you servizio militare e scrisse: “i miei pensieri sono solo per te, solo per te, mia piccola cara, who worries over me, and wonders what will become of me.” tu che ti preoccupi per me, e ti chiedi che cosa ne sarà di me.” Excitement and trepidation infused their lives. Yet, resilience, patience, and optiEuforia e trepidazione alimentarono le loro esistenze. Tuttavia, flessibilità, pazienza mism prevailed even in the face of extraordinary distance, “You will come here, my ed ottimismo prevalsero anche dinnanzi alla distanza notevole. “Verrai qui, Loris. Loris,” urged Antonietta in her letter, “You will come because I want you here, without scrisse Antonietta in una lettera – Verrai qui perché ti voglio qui, senza di te la mia vita è you my life is so empty!” così vuota!” Life in 1948 Montreal brought change, adventure and familiar ways. Antonietta La vita nel 1948 a Montreal portò cambiamento, avventura e abitudini. Antonietta took English classes, worked in a garment factory, attended dances at the Casa d’Italia, frequentò corsi d’inglese, lavorò in una fabbrica d’abbigliamento, andò a balli alla Casa movies, and theatre, spent time with friends, attended mass, marvelled at the magic of d’Italia, al cinema, a teatro; trascorse del tempo con gli amici, andò a messa, si meravigliò street lights and the enormity of department stores, and tolerated the frigid winters. dinnanzi alla magia delle luci delle strade ed alla maestosità dei grandi magazzini, tollerò Ultimately, it was the silence from Loris, the long delays between the letters received gli inverni rigidi. In sostanza, furono il silenzio di Loris e lunghi ritardi tra le lettere riceand delivered that was unbearable. As Antonietta defiantly wrote on May 8, 1949, “I vute e recapitate ad essere intollerabili. Come audacemente scrisse Antonietta l’8 maggio restlessly waited all of this week for your letter. You can just imagine. I would call my 1949: “Ho atteso impazientemente una tua lettera tutta la settimana. Puoi solo immagmamma every day at my break to find out if there was something for me, but the inare. Ho chiamato la mia mamma ogni giorno durante la pausa per sapere se ci fosse answer was always no. Yes, I received the letter you sent me from Ampezzo with a 15qualcosa per me, la risposta è sempre stata no. Sì, ho ricevuto la lettera che mi hai spediday delay from the other letter, and then nothing. What happened? Tell me what I to da Ampezzo con 15 giorni di ritardo rispetto all’altra lettera, e poi nulla. Cos’è successhould be thinking. Or do you want me to go crazy?” so? Dimmi cosa dovrei pensare. O mi vuoi fare impazzire?” As immigration became an avenue of change and opportunity for millions of Poiché l’immigrazione divenne una via verso il cambiamento e l’opportunità per Italians (over 27 million) over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, countless milioni d’italiani (oltre 27 milioni) durante il diciannovesimo e ventesimo secolo, innucouples – courting, engaged, and married – were separated, and many of them merevoli coppie – che si corteggiavano, fidanzate, e sposate – vennero separate, e molte penned their thoughts and affections in letters. What survives of these letters and di loro impressero i propri pensieri e il proprio affetto su lettere. Ciò che sopravvive di the extraordinary stories they unravel remains to be discovered. queste lettere e le storie straordinarie che queste svelano resta da scoprire. PANORAMITALIA.COM

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Young Man’s Loving Care for His Nonno Inspires Others at Villa Colombo In an era when few young people spend much time with their grandparents, Anthony Lorusso stands out from the crowd. Anthony, 23, caught the eye of many staff and family members at Villa Colombo over the past few years for his almost daily visits with his nonno, Antonio Lorusso, right up to Antonio’s passing on Dec. 3rd. Not only did Anthony spend many hours with his nonno, but he also helped directly with his care, advocated for him, and took him regularly for his favourite treat, espresso with a biscotti, at the Columbus Centre’s Caffè Cinquecento. He even got a job on-site, at Sala Caboto, to be close at hand.

For more than 40 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has developed and provided care for seniors, educational and cultural programs including music, dance, visual arts and culinary arts, athletic programs, and much more. The Villa Charities family includes Villa Colombo Services for Seniors in Toronto; Villa Colombo Vaughan/Di Poce Centre; Caboto Terrace, Casa DelZotto and Casa Abruzzo apartments for independent seniors; the Columbus Centre; and J.D. Carrier Art Gallery. For more information, visit www.villacharities.com

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S P E C I A L

This special section is published by Villa Charities.

S E C T I O N

“Antonio always lit up when he saw him,” says Mary Strazzeri, Administrative Coordinator, Villa Colombo. “We don’t get anyone else as young as him coming in every day - what an inspiration he has been to me and many others.”

Anthony Lorusso shares a special moment with his nonno, Antonio Lorusso Anthony’s compassion extended to other Villa Colombo residents as well. If Antonio was sleeping when Anthony arrived, he would take another resident down to the lobby for a visit before returning to his nonno. Since his grandfather’s passing, Anthony still stops in occasionally to visit them. These experiences have inspired Anthony to begin a career in long term care. He now works full time with seniors in another nursing home. “He’s done so much for dad, I don’t even know how to express it,” says Frank

Lorusso, Anthony’s father. “I’m very proud of him.” Anthony’s visits caught the attention of Villa Charities CEO Pal Di Iulio, among many others. “On most days in the last few years, summer and winter, I witnessed this young man, not just show, but put into practice that filial love and care for his nonno that Italians are famous for,” says Di Iulio. “I hope his example inspires other young people to be more caring and empathetic to their elderly loved ones.”


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DanzArts Toronto Excels in First Event of 2015 DanzArts Toronto's competitive team danced their way to two scholarships at the ASH Convention – the first major event of the 2015 dance season. Sofia Natale and Sabrina D’Addario were named Scholarship Apprentices, and Mikaela Scampoli, Kristina Scampoli, Asia Reid and Daniella Sanelli were finalist Runner-Up Apprentices. Congratulations to our scholarship winners, runners up and Daniela Sanelli, whose 'Stand Out' routine award earned her an invitation to perform her

solo, 'Inception,' at the closing show. The annual ASH Convention, held Jan. 9-11 in Toronto, was a great opportunity for 11 DanzArts Toronto competitors to experience a variety of dance classes taught by the industry’s leading dance professionals. “We are proud of all our dancers who worked so hard during classes and performed incredibly well at the showcase,” says Kathryn Miles, Artistic Director, DanzArts Toronto. “It was a great way to kick off the season.”

Photo: ASH Convention

Kristina Scampoli, Daniela Sanelli and Asia Reid put on an impressive performance at the ASH Convention

Rave Reviews for New Free Weight Gym Columbus Centre Athletic Club’s new free weight gym has opened for business, to rave reviews from members. The new 3,500 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility marks a significant expansion of the club’s workout area. With a total of 11,000 square feet, Columbus Centre Athletics now boasts one of the largest workout facilities in Toronto. The new gym features a wide array of free weights, benches and accessories; a professional grade floor; great ambiance with music, large screen TVs and great views; and ample space for lunges, rope skipping, power lifting and other training. The pre-existing 7,500 sq. ft. workout area continues to offer

a wide variety of modern fitness equipment for cardio and strength training. “The new gym is especially popular with younger members,” says Jan Sebek, Manager, Athletics Sales & Operations. “Plus fitness members using lighter weights now have safer, less congested space in the main gym.” The use of both workout areas is included in the monthly Columbus Centre Athletic Club membership fee. PANORAMITALIA.COM

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Ristorante Boccaccio Unveils 2015 Dining Event Lineup

Maitre d’ Vittorio Corapi, Capo di Cucina Tom Quan and Joe Cosentino, Director of Food Service, team up at Ristorante Boccaccio Ristorante Boccaccio, the Columbus Centre’s hidden gem of fine Italian food, has unveiled its special dining event lineup for 2015. The schedule includes six themed dinners – a perennial favourite with Ristorante Boccaccio diners – and special events on the calendar: San Valentino, Festa della Mamma and Vigilia di Capodanno (New Year’s). The themed dinners, prepared by Executive Chef Gino Marchetti, introduce diners to the wide variety of food and wines from Italy’s regions. This year’s schedule also features Ebraica - Jewish Italian Food. Beyond the special events, Ristorante Boccaccio offers a daily menu enhanced with seasonal features and daily specials from our Capo di Cucina, Tom Quan, and a well-crafted Italian wine list that emphasizes quality, affordable wines. Tom is a rising star of Italian cuisine who boasts training in Italy and roots in Ristorante Boccaccio going back to a high school co-op placement. The first event of 2015, an Abruzzo themed dinner, was held on Jan. 30th. Below is our lineup for the rest of the year: Themed Dinners Friday, March 6th - Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Friday, April 24th - Campania Friday, Sept. 25th - Emilia - Romagna Thursday, Oct. 29th - Ebraica - Jewish Italian Food Friday, Nov. 27th - Selvaggina More Special Events Saturday, Feb. 14th - San Valentino Sunday, May 10th - Festa della Mamma Thursday, Dec. 31st - Vigilia di Capodanno 26

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Plaque Proclaiming Iacobucci Lobby Unveiled at Casa Abruzzo A plaque announcing the "Iacobucci Lobby" was unveiled recently at Villa Charities’ Casa Abruzzo apartment for independent seniors. Present at the ceremony were the Hon. Frank Iacobucci, retired Supreme Court Justice, aided by his wife Nancy Eastham Iacobucci and Villa Charities CEO Pal Di Iulio, along with the Hon. Con Di Nino and Nick Torchetti, both of whom were involved with the creation of Casa Abruzzo and served as past Chairs of Villa Charities. The plaque reads: “Iacobucci Lobby: This lobby is dedicated to Justice Frank Iacobucci in memory of his father Gabriele Iacobucci, born in Cepagatti, Pescara, in grateful recognition of his support in the realization of Casa Abruzzo.”

Columbus Centre Gets Cooking with Chef Pires Chef Chris Pires, Columbus Centre’s new chef instructor, got 2015 off to a sizzling start with his first two Italian cooking classes at the Centre last month. The first class featured dishes from the Abruzzo region – polpettine (fried cheese balls), crispelle (crepes) with ricotta and tomato sauce, and an almond, lemon and ricotta cake. The participants enjoyed laughter, jovial chatter and, of course, great food. Participants in the second class learned how to make Aosta Valley cuisine. One participant said, “Chris is great. Very knowledgeable and entertaining. Great tips. I like the eat-as-the-class-was-happening approach!” Another commented simply, “Amazing! Terrific!” Chef Chris is a classically trained chef who, after 25 years in the financial world, quit to pursue his lifelong passion of becoming a chef. He was staring out of his Bay Street office window, dreaming about his passion for food, when he decided it was finally time to make a change.

UPCOMING EVENTS March Break Camps for Kids (March 10-16) 416-789-9011 ext. 248/250 cultural@villacharities.com Early bird registration ends Feb. 6 DanzArts Toronto Competitive Team March Showcase (March 29) Tickets: 416-789-9011 ext. 248/250 cultural@villacharities.com Columbus Centre School of Music Register: Spring music lessons (wk of March 23) 416-789-9011 ext. 248/250 cultural@villacharities.com

Photo: Louanne Aspillaga

Chef Chris and Sous Chef Aaron show the students how it’s done Chris went to George Brown College and Liaison College to obtain his chef certification, and opened up his own personal chef business, Food Inspires. He has since taught a variety of cooking classes at several establishments. To learn more about cooking classes at Columbus Centre, contact cultural@villacharities.com or call 416-789-7011 ext. 248.

Ristorante Boccaccio Events San Valentino - Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Themed Dinner (March 6) Reservations/information: 416-789-5555 Villa Colombo Ladies Auxiliary Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dance (Feb. 14) Tickets: 416-789-2113 ext. 2260 vcla@villacolombo.on.ca Carrier Gallery Bina Cole, Nick Biagini, Nandor Horthy & Janos Gardonyi (Feb. 5 - March 2) Harry Enchin (March 5 - April 6) Tableau Gallery, Korea (March 19 - April 6) Information: 416-789-7011 ext. 300

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LIVING ITALIAN STYLE

Go to panoramitalia.com and click on “Living Italian Style” to submit your profile!

Antonio LaRosa Nickname: Jimmy Occupation: Web & Graphics Designer Age: 22 Generation: Third Dad’s side from: Siderno Marina (Catanzaro), Calabria Mom’s side from: Trapani, Sicily Speaks: English & Italian Raised in: Oakville Clothes: Topman jacket, Denim & Supply jeans, Kennneth Cole shoes, Calvin Klein hat & scarf. Favourite boutique: Denim & Supply Fashion idol: Daniel Craig Passion: Motorsports and astrobiology Goal in life: Make it into Panoram Italia, so Nonna has bragging rights. Thing about you that would surprise most people: I’m a huge science and major comic book fanatic. Pet peeve: Uneducated or uninformed decisions Favourite dish: Veal parmigiana Your best dish: My breaded veal Best pizza in Toronto: Nonna’s, let’s be real Best panino in Toronto: Ciccio Sanwiccio 28

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Favourite aperitivo: Rum and Coke Favourite Italian saying: “Baccalà!” You know you are ItalianCanadian if: You find yourself correcting a person’s Italian pronunciation. Musical preference: Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker Favourite Italian song: Cose delle vita by Eros Ramazzotti feat. Tina Turner Italian soccer team: Juventus Sexiest Italian: Melissa Satta How long have you been reading Panoram? Two years What you like most about Panoram: It communicates tradition and culture Best memory growing up ItalianCanadian: That 2006 World Cup!

Melissa Rossi Occupation: Urban Planner Age: 34 Generation: Second Dad from: L’Aquila, Abruzzo Mom from: Cozenza, Calabria Speaks: English & Italian Raised in: Vaughan Clothes: Club Monaco camisole, blazer and skirt, Chanel booties. Favourite boutique: BCBG Fashion idol: Kate Middleton Passion: Food, travel and politics Pet peeve: Litterbugs Favourite restaurant: Church Aperitivo Bar (Queen West) Favourite dish: Homemade gnocchi with Sunday sugo Your best dish: My filet mignon with truffled mushroom risotto Best pizza in Toronto: Terroni Best caffè in Toronto: Portland Variety Best panino in Toronto: Porchetta Schiacciata at Bar Buca Favourite vino: Brunello or Barolo Favourite Italian saying: “L’amore domina senza regole.” You know you are ItalianCanadian if: Your parents speak

to you in Italian and you respond in English. Favourite Italian city or town: Rome, for its evolution, its symbolism, history and culture Musical preference: Andrea Bocelli Favourite Italian song: La mia storia tra le dita by Gianluca Grigniani Italian soccer team: AC Milan Sexiest Italian: Sophia Loren Best way to feel Italian in Toronto: Proudly representing Italy during World and Euro Cup. What you like most about Panoram: Food & Wine and Travel Sections Best memory growing up ItalianCanadian: Saving Sundays for big lunches with family and playing Tombola on Christmas Eve.


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Photography by Gregory Varano

Makeup by Desi Varano

Location: Dimmi Bar & Trattoria (Woodbridge)

Nadia Piccoli

Michael De Leo Nickname: Michè Occupation: Retail management Age: 25 Generation: Third Mom & dad’s side from: Reggio Calabria, Calabria Speaks: English & Italian Raised in: Brampton Clothes: Zara shirt, Armani Exchange overcoat, Paul Taylor pants, Rossini shoes, Massimo Dutti pants, Gucci scarf, Armani watch, Le Chateau belt. Favourite boutique: That’s Italy Thing about you that would surprise most people: I taught myself Italian. Pet peeve: People who lack class Favourite restaurant: Ristorante L’Antipasto Favourite dish: Melanzane alla parmigiana Your best dish: My spaghetti alla carbonara Best pizza in Toronto: Motorino Enoteca (Vaughan) Best caffè in Toronto: A casa mia You know you are Italian when: You don’t have one English CD in your car. Last time you went to Italy: Summer of 2013

LIVING ITALIAN STYLE

Favourite Italian city or town: Milan Musical preference: Anything Italian from Tiziano Ferro to Lucio Battisti to Gianluca Grignani to Clementino and everything in between. Italian soccer team: AC Milan Sexiest Italian: Melissa Satta How long have you been reading Panoram? Three years What you like most about Panoram: I admire the work Panoram Italia does to maintain our Italian heritage here in Canada, connecting us with each other and our roots in Italy. Most common name in your family: Frank (4) Best memory growing up ItalianCanadian: 2006 St. Clair roof top celebrating Italy’s World Cup win.

Occupation: Accounting student at Schulich School of Business, York University Age: 21 Generation: Third Dad’s side from: Udine, Friuli Mom’s side from: Campobasso, Molise Speaks: English Raised in: Oak Ridges Clothes: Aritzia blazer, Canada Goose jacket, Michael Kors boots and True Religion jeans. Favourite boutique: Mendocino Fashion idol: Audrey Hepburn Passion: Education, fitness, and travel Goal in life: To become a successful Chartered Professional Accountant and travel the world. Thing about you that would surprise most people: Math equations relax me Pet peeve: Traffic Favourite restaurant: Locale Restaurant (King City) Favourite dish: Gnocchi Your best dish: My tiramisu Best pizza in Toronto: Nino D’Aversa Best panino in Toronto: California Sandwiches Favourite aperitivo or vino: Prosecco

Preferred drinking establishment: Muzik nightclub Musical preference: Calvin Harris

You know you are ItalianCanadian if: Nutella is a staple in your kitchen. Favourite Italian song: La vita è by Nek Italian soccer team: Udinese Sexiest Italian: Claudio Marchisio Best way to feel Italian in Toronto: Going to Nonna’s for Sunday lunch How long have you been reading Panoram? Since its inception. What you like most about Panoram: Panoram preserves the Italian community in Canada while connecting us to our Italian heritage. It highlights Italian contributions to Canadian society and provides exceptional information on travel, fashion and history! PANORAMITALIA.COM

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FASHION

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Leggerissimi Spring is almost here, so pack up the coats, pull out the foulards and ditch the layers! By Alessia Sara Domanico

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implicity is trending in 2015, a fresh change for a fresh start. That undeniable nostalgia for the early 1970s that dominated the runways has set the “less is more” rule for this season so forget about layering your look. Fashion’s elite is calling for a barely there statement that will uncomplicate your wardrobe choices and your chequing account. The ladies of spring 2015 are ethereal ballerinas in tulle, linen and sheer fabrics. The ever-popular Altuzarra proposes sweeping gowns with plunging necklines for your first gala appointment this spring. Céline keeps with that ’70s vibe with its effortlessly chic jumpsuits in smooth fabrics in a wide variety of colours. Speaking of which, whites and creams are popular fixtures at all the major major maisons: Alberta Ferretti brings us romantic floor-length hippie dresses and Haider Ackerman goes for pale lavender and beige cashmere and wool that have been worked into an ultra soft (and of course extra light) blend. The likes of Hermès and Dior play it safe for a change with classic knee-length white dresses. Picking up on the ballerina persona, brands like Pretty Ballerinas and Repetto bring back their classics in new limited edition colours and fabrics, while Dior puts its own unconventional spin on the slipper with a satin pink flat shoe with a neon yellow toe-point – very Postmodern. White carries over to the men’s universe as well. Match a pair of white trousers with a colourful pullover and you have the instant prep of a Ralph Lauren ad campaign. From light colours to thread counts, keep the grammage down for jackets – opt for a suit if you can or at the very least a light trench as seen at Ermenegildo Zegna and religiously each year at Burberry Prorsum. Some brands take the light windbreaker in a playful direction for menswear: Brioni proposes a floral-printed version that looks very stylish with a pair of dark denim pants, Dunhill opts for pastel pink, and Valentino dares you to splurge on polka dots. In terms of accessories, go for weekender bags in light fabrics, hues or both. Loewe’s iconic Amazona bag in tan suede and dark brown leather makes you sophisticated and ready for anything. So now that you’ve lightened your load, jump into these new styles and feel the weight of winter and the heavy coats that come along with it roll off your shoulders. Spring has sprung!

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FASHION

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4. BRIONI 5. DIOR 6. HERMES 7. ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA 8. ALTUZARRA 9. LOEWE - MEN'S BAG 10. DIOR 11. DIOR 12. LANVIN

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EASTERN SICILY

Siracusa

Sicily’s Ionian Riviera La costa ionica della Sicilia An authentic island vacation, Italian style Una vera vacanza isolana, all’italiana By Francesca Spizzirri unique melding of Mediterranean cultures, Sicily’s Ionian Riviera is a land of ancient wonders whose varied landscape, sun-soaked beaches, vibrant culinary scene and mesmerizing charm will lure you in at every turn. The beautiful Ionian Riviera is made up of mountains, hills and glittering sea. It extends down the east coast of Sicily, from the straits of Messina, through a series of charming seaside villages and beaches to the scenic town of Taormina, the Pearl of the Riviera. It continues on through the lively lavastone city of Catania onto Siracusa, the most important city of Magna Graecia. The brooding Mount Etna dominates the coastline, her presence forever shaping and molding this fascinating region. Because of its strategic position in the Mediterranean, the island has been ruled by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards – their collective influence evident in the region’s food, fashion, architecture and traditions, giving it a unique personality. Perhaps that is why Goethe wrote that “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.” This is a land of incredible colours and flavours; a place where history

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ingolare combinazione di culture mediterranee, la costa ionica della Sicilia è terra di antiche meraviglie il cui territorio variegato, le spiagge baciate dal sole, le vivaci abitudini culinarie e il fascino ammaliante vi sedurranno ad ogni momento. La meravigliosa costa ionica è caratterizzata da montagne, colline e mare luccicante. Si estende lungo la costa orientale della Sicilia, dallo stretto di Messina, attraverso una serie di affascinanti paesini costieri e spiagge, fino alla suggestiva città di Taormina, perla della costa. Prosegue attraverso la vivace città lavica di Catania fino a Siracusa, la città più importante della Magna Grecia. Il Monte Etna, minaccioso, domina la costa, delineando e forgiando con la propria presenza questo territorio affascinante. A causa della sua posizione strategica nel Mediterraneo, l’isola è stata dominata da Greci, Romani, Arabi, Normanni e Spagnoli – la cui influenza è evidente nelle pietanze della regione, negli stili, nelle architetture e nelle tradizioni, conferendole una personalità unica. È forse per questo che Goethe scrisse: “Vedere l’Italia senza aver visto la Sicilia è come non aver visto affatto l’Italia, perché la Sicilia è la chiave di tutto.”

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EASTERN SICILY

and culture, excitement and leisure, are in perfect balance. Every curve in the coast unveils something new and spectacular. It could be a glorious cathedral built on a Greek temple in Siracusa, the lively seaside resort of Giardini Naxos south of Messina, or one of the many festivals in celebration of patron saints; Catania’s Festa di Sant’Agata is one of the most dramatic and is accompanied by spectacular fireworks. Witness a place untainted by the hands of time and experience a taste of authentic island life - Italian style. Gabriele Montenegro of Visit Sicily, describes the Ionian Riviera as “A mix among volcanic rocks and white sandy shorelines, showcasing the fantastic Baroque and the charming Taormina. It’s where the myth becomes landscape. Where the time becomes life.” The beautiful cities of Messina, Catania and Siracusa provide the ideal base; their old-world streets brimming with lavish Baroque cathedrals and palaces, historic wonders, colourful markets, great restaurants and local artisan shops. The Ionian Riviera begins at the ‘Door of Sicily’ in the ancient port city of Messina, located on the northernmost point of the island. It is here that ferries make their crossing to mainland Italy. As with most trading cities, Messina is bursting with life. A series of violent earthquakes changed the cityscape, but its grand, sweeping boulevards lined with elegant turn-of-the-century buildings remain as enchanting as ever. Ancient and noble, Messina is home to magical places like the Piazza Duomo, the Church of Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani, the Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains), and the gothicstyle Messina cathedral with its famous clock. For an unforgettable experience, visit the scenic hilltop towns of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò, where scenes from The Godfather movies were filmed. Then continue on to the lovely Castelmola, rated as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. No one can resist a visit to the picturesque town of Taormina. Perched high above the sea, its panoramic views of the coastline, the ancient Teatro Greco, the enchanting bay of Isola Bella and snow-capped Mount Etna will remain etched in your memory forever. The island’s fiery Mount Etna is a must-see. A guided climb up this active volcano is an emotionally charged experience. A thrilling way to see this wonder in its entirety is on a helicopter ride. The bird’s eye view is spectacular. At the base of Mount Etna is the vibrant city of Catania. Chaotic and full of energy, it is a feast for the senses. Living in the constant presence of an active volcano has given residents an added thrill for life. Its beautiful UNESCO-listed historic city centre is filled with grandiose palazzi fashioned out of volcanic rock that tower over baroque piazzas such as Piazza Duomo, which houses the splendid Cattedrale di Sant’ Agata and the Fontana dell’Elefante. Take a stroll through La Pescheria, the city’s famed old fish market. Catania is bustling with wonderful restaurants, lively bars and a renowned nightlife set in the most incredible surroundings. Imagine dancing the night away in a villa surrounded by orange groves or inside a botanical garden under a starlit sky. The charming seaside villages of S.Tecla, S. Maria la Scala, Acireale, Acitrezza and Acicastello are perfect for day trips. In Acitrezza, visit the fascinating Faraglioni, spectacular lava cliffs that rise out of the marine protect-

Questa è una terra dai colori e dai sapori incredibili; un luogo in cui storia e cultura, eccitazione e svago, sono in perfetto equilibrio. Ad ogni curva la costa svela qualcosa di nuovo e spettacolare. Potrebbe trattarsi di una splendida cattedrale costruita su un tempio greco a Siracusa, della vivace località costiera dei Giardini Naxos a sud di Messina, o di una delle tante sagre in onore dei santi patroni; la festa di Sant’Agata a Catania è una delle più suggestive ed è accompagnata da fuochi d’artificio spettacolari. Siate testimoni di un luogo inalterato dallo scorrere del tempo ed assaporate l’autentica vita isolana – all’italiana. Gabriele Montenegro di Visit Sicily, descrive la costa ionica come “un mix di rocce vulcaniche, bianchi litorali sabbiosi che mettono in mostra un barocco fantastico e l’affascinante Taormina. È dove il mito si fa paesaggio. Dove il tempo diviene vita.” Le belle città di Messina, Catania e Siracusa rappresentano una base ideale; le loro strade antiche traboccano di sontuose cattedrali e palazzi barocchi, meraviglie storiche, mercati ricchi di colore, ottimi ristoranti e botteghe di artigianato locale. La costa ionica comincia dalla “Porta di Sicilia” nell’antico porto di Messina, situata nel punto più settentrionale dell’isola. È qui che i traghetti fanno da spola con la penisola italiana. Come molte città commerciali, Messina scoppia di vita. Una serie di violenti terremoti ne ha cambiato il paesaggio urbano, ma i suoi viali grandi ed ampi, delineati da eleganti palazzi d’inizio secolo, rimangono incantevoli come sempre. Antica e nobile, Messina è sede di molti posti magici come Piazza Duomo, la Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani, le Quattro Fontane e la cattedrale gotica di Messina con il suo famoso orologio. Per un’esperienza indimenticabile, visitate i panoramici paesini collinari di Savoca e Forza d’Agrò, dove sono state girate alcune scene de Il Padrino. Poi continuate fino al delizioso paesino di Castelmola, classificato come uno dei borghi più belli d’Italia. Non si può resistere a una visita alla pittoresca Taormina. Incastonata in alto sul mare, con la sua veduta panoramica della costa, l’antico Teatro Greco, l’incantevole baia di Isola Bella e l’Etna con la cima Catania fish market imbiancata dalla neve, rimarrà impressa nei vostri ricordi per sempre. Il Monte Etna che fiammeggia sull’isola è imperdibile. Un’arrampicata guidata su questo vulcano attivo è un’esperienza emotivamente intensa. Il giro in elicottero è un modo eccitante di esplorare questa meraviglia nella sua interezza. La veduta aerea è spettacolare. Alle falde dell’Etna sorge la vivace città di Catania. Caotica e piena di energia, è festa per tutti i sensi. Vivere sotto la costante presenza di un vulcano attivo offre ai residenti un fremito vitale in più. Il suo splendido centro storico, patrimonio dell’UNESCO, è ricco di magnifici palazzi ricavati dalla roccia vulcanica che campeggiano su piazze barocche quali Piazza Duomo, sede della splendida Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, e la Fontana dell’Elefante. Fate una passeggiata alla Pescheria, il vecchio mercato ittico della città. Catania eccelle per gli ottimi ristoranti, i bar vivaci e una rinomata vita notturna che si svolge negli ambienti più incredibili. Immaginate di ballare tutta la notte in una villa circondata da agrumeti o all’interno di un orto botanico sotto un cielo stellato. Gli affascinanti paesini costieri di S. Tecla, S. Maria la Scala, Acireale, Acitrezza e Acicastello sono perfetti per escursioni di una giornata. Ad Acitrezza, visitate gli accattivanti Faraglioni, spettacolari picchi rocciosi laviPANORAMITALIA.COM

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EASTERN SICILY ed waters of the Cyclopi Islands. For one of the best seafood meals, head to the small fishing village of Capomulini. “Never a day without sun,” said Aeschylus of his favourite city. The largest city in the ancient world, Siracusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a treasure-trove of ancient Greek ruins set among lush citrus groves against a backdrop of blue sea and sky – it is postcard perfect. Inland, visit the Neapolis Archeological Park to see the Greek theatre that dates back

ci che emergono dalle acque protette delle isole Ciclopi. Per uno dei migliori pasti a base di pesce, dirigetevi verso il piccolo borgo marinaro di Capomulini. a base di pesce, dirigetevi verso il piccolo borgo marinaro di Capomulini. “Mai un giorno senza sole,” disse Eschilo della sua città preferita. Città più grande dell’antichità, Siracusa è patrimonio dell’umanità dell’UNESCO e sede di un tesoro di antiche rovine greche distribuite tra lussureggianti

Catania

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EASTERN SICILY to the 5th Century BC, and which still hosts popular theatrical productions. There is also a Roman amphitheatre and the ancient quarry of Latomia del Paradiso. The city is divided into two areas: the urban part and the beautiful island of Ortigia, Siracusa’s historic centre, booming with tourists who fill its magnificent baroque piazzas and stroll down medieval lanes that lead to its stunning seafront. South of Siracusa, some of the best swimming awaits you in a sea of turquoise at the Cassibile’s lagoons. Incredibly beautiful and inviting, the lagoons are located at the bottom of a great gorge, the deepest in Europe. It’s an experience like no other. Not to be missed is the “Baroque City” of Noto. It’s not only a UNESCO Heritage Site, but it also boasts one of Italy’s best bars, Caffé Sicilia, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Their granitas are heavenly! The Ionian Riviera is surrounded by green olive groves, almond trees, citrus orchards and vineyards that stretch out to sea. This bounty of fresh fish and local fare has inspired a hearty array of local dishes such as fresh fish spiced with capers and tomatoes, homemade pasta like pasta alla Norma, arancini (rice balls), gelato, granita (a semi-frozen dessert), and creamy, ricotta-stuffed cannoli that have long delighted palates across Italy. With the sun shining 300 days a year, the Ionian Riviera is a great place to visit all year long. Each season seduces you with its unique charm; however, summer is without a doubt the most popular time to visit as thousands of travellers migrate to the east coast to relax on some of Sicily’s most spectacular beaches including S. Teresa di Riva, Mazzarò, Letojanni, S. Lorenzo and Giardini Naxos. Pack your camera, sense of adventure, and set off to explore ancient relics and bask in the Sicilian sun on the exciting Ionian Riviera.

Messina

agrumeti, con un cielo e un mare blu che fanno da sfondo. È una cartolina perfetta. Nell’entroterra, visitate il Parco Archeologico della Neapolis per vedere il Teatro Greco risalente al V secolo a.C., che ancor oggi ospita famose rappresentazioni teatrali. Ci sono anche un anfiteatro Romano e le antiche cave Latomie del Paradiso. La città è divisa in due zone: quella urbana e la bellissima isola di Ortigia, centro storico di Siracusa, piena di turisti che riempiono le sue magnifiche piazze barocche e passeggiano lungo stradine medievali che conducono ad uno splendido litorale. A sud di Siracusa, vi attende una delle migliori nuotate nelle acque turchesi dei laghetti del Cassibile. Incredibilmente belli e invitanti, i laghetti si trovano al di sotto di una grande gola, la più profonda d’Europa. È un’esperienza unica. Da non perdere la “città barocca” di Noto. Patrimonio dell’UNESCO, è sede, tra l’altro, anche di uno dei migliori bar d’Italia, il Caffè Sicilia, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Le sue granite sono paradisiache! La costa ionica è circondata da uliveti, mandorleti, agrumeti e vigneti che si estendono fino al mare. Quest’abbondanza di pesce fresco e cibi locali ispira una ricca gamma di piatti tipici come il pesce fresco insaporito con capperi e pomodoro, la pasta fatta in casa come la pasta alla Norma, gli arancini, il gelato, la granita (dolce semi-congelato di vari gusti) e i cannoli ripieni di ricotta cremosa che deliziano i palati di tutta Italia. Con un sole che splende 300 giorni all’anno, la costa ionica è un posto bellissimo da visitare in qualunque momento. Ogni stagione vi sedurrà con il suo fascino unico. Tuttavia, l’estate è senza dubbio il periodo prediletto per una visita dato che migliaia di viaggiatori si spostano verso la costa orientale per rilassarsi in alcune delle più spettacolari spiagge siciliane, incluse quelle di S.Teresa di Riva, Mazzarò, Letojanni, S. Lorenzo e Giardini Naxos. Mettete in valigia la macchina fotografica, lo spirito d’avventura e partite all’esplorazione di antichi cimeli, lasciandovi assorbire dal sole siciliano lungo la costa ionica.

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Mount Etna’s main crater erupting at night

The Allure of Mount Etna A look at life and adventure near the largest active volcano in Europe By Rita Simonetta

T

he ancient Greeks called it the god of fire and the home of Cyclops, the one-eyed monster. In modern days, Mount Etna is known as the largest active volcano in Europe. At 3,350 metres above sea level, it dominates Catania, Sicily, and can be seen from just about every part of the island. “The volcano is so huge, both in a physical sense and in terms of its historic and cultural weight,” say Jürgen Horn and Michael Powell, two travelling companions who chronicled their Mount Etna adventures on the blog “For 91 Days.” And the volcano is also a treasure trove of gems. “Its shape and system are quite complex,” points out Rocco Davide

Federico, a tour guide with Continente Sicilia. “It has hundreds of craters – five active craters at the top plus more than 300 around the main ones.” Beyond its unique system of craters, there are also caves, unusual landscapes, and all those darn lava flows. “The lava flows are frequent, but the lava itself is thick and sticky; therefore, it is very slow moving,” explains Giacomo Mazza, an associate at touring company Sicily TravelNet. But there’s a darker side. The god of fire’s boiling lava and ash, which have been erupting on and off for thousands of years, are a constant threat of danger. This past June 2014, an eruption forced the local airport to close down.

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Despite this, the residents, who were born and raised near Mount Etna, take life near a volcano in stride. Antonio Di Giovanni, the founder and co-CEO of Sicily Off-Road, which operates jeep tours to Mount Etna, was born and raised near the volcano and affectionately refers to it as “a muntagna” (the mountain). “Every day when we wake up our first look is turned towards ‘her’ to know if it will be a quiet day,” he says. “We have no fear to live here. Even as children, we learn to live with the negative aspects of the eruptions like the rain of ash and sand, and so on.” Natalie Milano, a tour leader at Sicily Off-Road, has similar sentiments. “It's amazing how little importance the local inhabitants give to the fact that they are living on an active volcano. They party, have dinners and laugh while Etna is giving a show, enjoying watching eruptions as if they were watching fireworks. They are theoretically aware that an entire village could be devoured by lava, but positive that nothing like that will ever happen to them.” As part of its dichotomy, Mount Etna has given beauty and life to the residents down below who live in its shadow. Oak trees and plants cover its

sloped surface, and the nearby forest is home to frogs and squirrels. Its eruptions have made the surrounding soil fertile and created a rich agriculture that abounds with vineyards and fruit orchards. Mazza explains: “Volcanoes often accumulate rain and melted snow in their depths, which reappear in the form of freshwater springs around the base, permiting the cultivation of highly-prized crops.” From the perspective of the scient ific community, Mount Etna is endlessly fascinating with its diverse range of volcanic features. And its scientific, educational and cultural aspects were officially given the nod by UNESCO in 2013 when it added the volcano to its list of world heritage sites. The volcano’s allure continues to attract tourists from all over the world. Tourism, in fact, is the economic lifeblood of nearby towns like Adrano, Randazzo, Zafferana and Nicolosi, whose 5,000 inhabitants are mostly made up of tourists. These towns and their bustling restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts, marketplaces and wineries are indebted to the volcano. And though it’s been said that life at the top can be lonely, Mount Etna seems to be in good company.

We have no fear to live here. Even as children, we learn to live with the negative aspects of the eruptions like the rain of ash and sand, and so on.

View of Mount Etna from the hills of Taormina

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Taormina Living with gusto

Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina

By Tanya Solari

M

idway between Catania and Messina lies a chic, hillside town some 200 metres above the sea with an old-world charm and an undeniable southern flair: Taormina. In 1885, French writer Guy de Maupassant described it as “only a landscape, but one in which you can find everything that seems to have been created to seduce the eyes, the mind and the imagination,” and he couldn’t have said it better. The Pearl of the Mediterranean is a gateway to breathtaking beaches, ancient ruins and architectural styles spanning the eras, beckoning anyone who appreciates antique beauty and seaside splendour to experience the magic for themselves.

Sights and sounds Synonymous with the Sicilian good life, Taormina has long been a favourite hideaway for artists, nobles and the rich and famous, welcoming the likes of Oscar Wilde, Federico Fellini, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Elizabeth Taylor, to mention a few. But many centuries before their time, the most notable Mediterranean civilizations took turns settling in Taormina and made it their own, leaving traces of their legacy all over the city—from the spices, crops and culinary traditions to the structures that became an important part of Taormina’s rich heritage. Most monuments were reinvented with each

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EASTERN SICILY wave of invaders to reflect the Roman, Arab, Spanish, Norman and other influences that were introduced throughout history. See what remains of the Roman Odeon, located behind the medieval Corvaja Palace and the 17th century Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Discover the symbol of Taormina, the mythical, two-legged female centaur atop the baroque marble fountain on Piazza Duomo. Cross the black-and-white-paved Piazza IX Aprile to the oldest part of town and its historical Clock Tower, restored by popular demand in 1679. Wherever you go, 360-degree views of grandeur will follow. Built by the Greeks, rebuilt by the Romans and restored in the 1800s, Taormina’s most iconic landmark is the Teatro Greco, an ancient theatre dating back to the 3rd century BC with a privileged hillside location overlooking the water. Test the acoustics of this open-air auditorium that’s still in use today, particularly during the summer months when concerts, plays, fashion shows

Blue Grotto, or simply spend the day working on your tan while sipping on refreshing cocktails from one of the many beach bars. Snorkellers and scuba divers in search of dive spots other than the coral reefs of the Caribbean will also be pleased to know that the bluish green waters, abundant marine life, peculiar rock formations and hidden caves make for a unique adventure under the sea. If you fancy a little more privacy, the beaches of Spisone, Letojanni and Giardini Naxos are all within 5 km of Mazzarò. Life at these lush retreats moves at a slower pace, but there’s no shortage of shops, restaurants and bars to satisfy your need for fun and excitement. Al mercato Lined with countless cafés, posh nightclubs, tempting trattorias and pizzerias rivaling those of Naples, Corso Umberto I is the city’s main thoroughfare and

Isola Bella, Taormina

and prestigious events like Taormina Arte bring it back to life. This one-of-akind entertainment venue gets crowded with Taorminesi and tourists alike, who gather to celebrate local and international talent while enjoying dramatic vistas of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, right from their seats. Spectators are not only guaranteed a great show, but a great view as well. How’s that for added value? Beauty and the beach Visitors come from all over to bask in the sun and enjoy life’s unhurried pleasures on Taormina’s famed coastline. A €2 ride on the funicular will get you from the Old Town to the most popular beach, Lido Mazzarò, in just four minutes. With water sports equipment, lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent, you can kayak your way around Capo Sant'Andrea to Isola Bella and Sicily’s very own

your one-stop shopping area for designer fashions, hand-painted ceramics, antiques, lava figurines, and evil eye paraphernalia. For a more budget-friendly experience and a peak into the local culture, check out the variety of items on offer at Taormina’s weekly street market, whose charismatic vendors invite passersby to browse their products every Wednesday. Try your luck at bargaining for souvenirs, colourful paintings or unique additions to your wardrobe, and feast your eyes on the selection of locally grown fruits and veggies like bright red tomatoes, sweet eggplants, blood oranges, wild fennel, incredibly oversized figs and lemons, and olives used in the production of some of the world’s finest olive oils. Mount Etna has blessed the land with fertile, mineralrich soil which, combined with the mild year-round climate, provides ideal growing conditions for the enhanced produce featured in the flavourful recipes Sicilians take great pride in. Your taste buds are in for a treat!

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The Gardens of Stones from the Val di Noto San Nicola Cathedral and the church of San Salvatore, city of Noto

A visit to the heart of Sicily’s late Baroque art By Gabriel Riel-Salvatore

“V

isiting Italy without going to Sicily leaves no image in the spirit. It is Sicily that is the key to everything,” wrote Goethe in his 1787 travelogue. Although the author of Faust also visited Venice and the north during his travels, he spent most of his time in Rome, Naples (then the richest and most populous city in Italy), and in the south. The Sicilian leg of his journey impressed him particularly. The city of Taormina with its masterpieces dating back to antiquity, beautiful Palermo, and the majesty of Mount Etna, more than satisfied his thirst for culture and exoticism. In Sicily, Goethe was also exposed to the style of the Spanish nobility and the artistic patronage of the local clergy, both of whom sponsored many of the Baroque wonders of Catania and Val di Noto, which local authorities are increasingly intent on preserving and honouring. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002, the eight cities that were restored in the Late Baroque period (Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli) are unique in Mediterranean art and architecture. Rebuilt simultaneously at the peak of European Baroque art’s final flowering, these cities boast an exceptional

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architectural consistency that attests to the incredible cultural vitality that existed during Sicily’s settecento. Born from tragedy, it was the wrath of the Mountain of Mountains, Mount Etna, which forced the comprehensive reconstruction of the island’s southeastern area following the devastating earthquake of January 11, 1693. The 93, 000 lives lost to the vicious tremor, brought on by volcanic activity, barely convey the scope of the disaster, which obliterated or partially destroyed approximately 70 surrounding towns and villages. To this day, the quake’s estimated 7.4 magnitude is thought to be the most powerful to have ever struck Italy. Remarkably, the unprecedented destruction triggered a sense of resilience and creativity in the area’s residents, who quickly went to work transforming southeastern Sicily into the largest construction site of 18th century Europe. The exuberant Baroque style that emerged in Val di Noto, with overflowing volumetrics, bell-shaped spires and grandiose amphitheatres, signaled the end of its medieval period, as well as a transition into modernity and Enlightenment thought. In the words of writer Gesualdo


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EASTERN SICILY Bufalino Comiso: “We almost think of the 1693 earthquake as a blessing, albeit with a modern sense of irony, because its destructive force provided the jolt needed to initiate an ambitious period of creative urban renewal on the island.” Under Spanish rule, the reconstruction effort, supervised by the Duke of Camastra, received contributions from all social groups, including the aristocracy, the clergy, renowned architects and master stonemasons (maesteri lapidici). This collective effort, sustained over several decades, gave birth to Sicily’s Late Baroque period, which drew as much from the Baroque school of Rome, initiated by Bernini, as it did from the stylistic canons that dominated in Spain at the time. The reconstruction was also accompanied by political movements that sought to lessen the power and influence of the ruling classes in the area of Val di Noto. The Catholic Church, meanwhile, saw an opportunity to physically and symbolically project its power by erecting impressive monuments and copiously garnishing them with spectacularly ornate features of exalting religiosity. Over thirty auspicious years that some call “The Baroque Light,” the cities of Catania, Noto, Modica, Ragusa, and many others emerged from their own ashes to become real-life architectural wonderlands. The rebuilding endeavour coincided with a new Baroque expression, which later gave rise to the Rococo and Neoclassical movements. According to its UNESCO description, the area continues to amaze visitors thanks to its overall geographical and chronological homogeneity. Hailed as the “Capital of Baroque,” Noto offers one of the region’s most coherent and well realized architectural ensembles. Making great use of the pinkish limestone readily quarried nearby, the city’s two-tiered theatre provides breathtaking sightlines and imposing volumetric feaChurch of San Pietro, Modica tures that integrate characteristic porticos and opulent landings, which are also prominent in the design of San Nicola Cathedral and the church of San Salvatore. The city of Catania may be most representative of the Duke of Camastra’s urbanistic intentions, which sought to sustain a unifying aesthetic for the important structures housing the clergy and ruling elite. The resulting urban expression, with Piazza del Duomo, and the majestic Via dei Crociferi at its centre, presents an exceptional suite of religious and aristocratic buildings. Sant'Agata abbey, the Collegiata, the Benedictine monastery and Palazzo

Biscari come together as a unique mixture of space and monumentality. In addition to its many Baroque treasures, which include Duomo di San Giorgio, San Giuseppe’s church and Palazzo La Rocca, the town of Ragusa, called Ibla in ancient times, possesses two historical centers surrounded by a maze of alleys and staircases, which harken back to medieval times. Nestled in the foothills of the Iblei Mountains (Monti Iblei), Modica’s historic centre still retains a medieval character despite its generous supply of impressive Baroque structures. The Cathedral of San Giorgio di Cappadocia, whose facade rises like a sail in the wind, is considered one of the Sicilian Baroque period’s most important landmarks. Symbolic of the region’s undying fervour, it shines like a votive, complete with an image of St. George slaying the

dragon – the locals’ way of thumbing their noses at Etna’s mood swings. The architecture, urban planning and decorative style that resulted from the regenerative drive of the Late Baroque rubbed off on many other towns too, culminating in a sustained stylistic coherence throughout the area. Eternally threatened, Noto Valley must make do with the spectre of future devastation. While the earthquake of December 13, 1990, convinced authorities to pay more attention to Val di Noto’s unique treasures, it remains to be seen how much longer it can dazzle visitors before irreversible damage befalls it once again.

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EASTERN SICILY

Messina

Toronto’s Eastern Sicilians I siciliani della costa orientale a Toronto By Salvatore Difalco erhaps no one captures the paradoxical beauty of Sicily’s Ionian coast more evocatively than Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-1968), the Nobel Laureate and giant of 20th century Italian poetry, who wrote, “D'alghe arse, di fossili marini/ le spiagge ove corrono in amore/ cavalli di luna e di vulcani.” Born in Modica, Sicily, Quasimodo moved with his family to Messina in 1908 and knew something of volcanoes, with Etna looming over his shoulder. If something besides charming fishing villages, gorgeous beaches, blood oranges and soulful denizens defines the Ionian Coast, it is Mount Etna, an ineluctable presence. In one of his most celebrated poems, “Vento a Tindari,” Quasimodo immortalized Tindari, near Messina, home to the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, and also site of an ancient Greek town. The southern part of the hill where ancient Tindaris stood retains the original Greek walls. Yet neither Quasimodo nor the Greeks connect us to present day Toronto. Vito Spatafora, the regional and local councillor of Richmond Hill, served as a Board Member of the Messinesi Club of Ontario. “The folks from that part of Sicily are passionate about their traditions,” he says. Although Spatafora hails from Trapani, his wife Frances is from Milazzo (province of Messina), and her father, Andrea Maio – whose excavating company helped build the TD Bank Towers – was one of the founders of Club Messinesi. “Anyway,” he recalls, “we commissioned a replica of the Madonna del Tindari for the club chapel. The Black Madonna, as it’s known, has an interesting history.” Legend has it that the Byzantine Madonna was smuggled out of Constantinople in the 8th or 9th centuries, during the period of Iconoclasm initiated by Emperor Leo III. Buffeted by a storm, the ship transporting the statue landed at the port of Tindari. The sailors then stashed it at a local abbey, where she now stands bearing the inscription: Nigra sum sed formosa. “Artist Antonio Caruso sculpted the Madonna for us,” says Grace Isgro-Topping, the Messinesi Club’s original founder and president for 20 years. “Though it’s actually modeled after the Madonna’s second incarnation, the first lost at sea.” Currently the executive assistant to the Mayor of Orillia, Isgro-Topping conceived of Club Messinesi back in 1982, at the tender age of 19. “The inspiration arose when I had the chance to meet Francesco Paolo Fulci, the

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orse nessuno riassume la sofisticata bellezza della costa ionica siciliana con termini più suggestivi di Salvatore Quasimodo (1901 -1968), premio Nobel e genio della poesia italiana del XX secolo, il quale scrisse: “D'alghe arse, di fossili marini/ le spiagge ove corrono in amore/ cavalli di luna e di vulcani.” Nato a Modica, Sicilia, Quasimodo si trasferì a Messina con la sua famiglia nel 1908 e ne sapeva qualcosa di vulcani, con l’Etna che si stagliava alle proprie spalle. Se c’è qualcosa che definisce la costa ionica assieme agli affascinanti borghi marinari, le spiagge stupende, le arance sanguinelle e gli abitanti genuini, questo è il Monte Etna, presenza ineluttabile. In una delle sue poesie più famose, Vento a Tindari, Quasimodo immortalòTindari, vicino Messina, sede del Santuario della Madonna Nera, ed anche sito di un’antica città greca. La parte meridionale del colle sul quale sorgeva l’antica Tindaris conserva ancora le mura greche originali. Tuttavia non sono né Quasimodo né i Greci a collegarci alla Toronto di oggi. Vito Spatafora, consigliere regionale e comunale di Richmond Hill, è stato al servizio del Club Messinesi dell’Ontario in qualità di membro del Consiglio. “Le persone provenienti da quella parte della Sicilia adorano le proprie tradizioni,” afferma. Sebbene Spatafora venga da Trapani, sua moglie Frances è di Milazzo (provincia di Messina) e il padre di lei, Andrea Maio – la cui compagnia di scavi ha contribuito alla costruzione delle torri della TD Bank – è stato uno dei fondatori del Club Messinesi. “Ad ogni modo, - ricorda - abbiamo commissionato una copia della Madonna del Tindari per la cappella del circolo. La Madonna Nera, com’è noto, ha una storia interessante.” La leggenda narra che la Madonna bizantina fu portata via di nascosto da Costantinopoli nell’ VIII o IX secolo, durante l’iconoclasmo iniziato dall’imperatore Leone III. Colta da una tempesta, la nave che trasportava la statua approdò al porto di Tindari. I marinai dunque la conservarono presso un’abbazia del luogo, dove adesso si trova con la scritta: Nigra sum sed formosa. “L’artista Antonio Caruso ha scolpito la Madonna per noi,” dice Grace Isgro-Topping, fondatrice iniziale del Club Messinesi e presidente per 20 anni. “Sebbene si rifaccia, in effetti, alla seconda personificazione della Madonna, essendo la prima dispersa in mare.” Attualmente assistente esecutivo del sindaco di Orillia, Isgro-Topping ideò il Club Messinesi nel 1982, alla tenera età di 19 anni. “L’ispirazione nacque quando ebbi l’opportunità d’incontrare Francesco Paolo Fulci, l’ambasciatore italiano in

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EASTERN SICILY

Italian ambassador to Canada, who was from Messina. He loved the idea of bringing together paesansi from the area, scattered in communities like Oshawa, Barrie, Niagara Falls. Our first gala, at the Casablanca in February 1983, drew more than 400 people. The ambassador, who attended, was blown away. With his encouragement, and some financial backing from Messina, the Club was initiated.” She recalls with fondness the many galas and events the Club staged over the years. “We brought in traditional folk groups and folk dancers, held language and citizenship classes, took kids to Sicily. Connecting the generations was key.” Standing president of the Messinesi Club, Roberto LaRosa, 83, reports declining membership. “Unfortunately many of the original members are dying off,” he laments. “We still gather each week for Tuesday night rosary service, and every Friday for some cards. But we’re down to about 65 members now.” Isgro-Topping, who also founded the Ontario Confederation of Sicily in 1993, says it’s natural. “Clubs ebb and flow. We’ve had a good run of it for 30 years. And I’m sure it will rebound as younger generations grow up and seek a return to their roots.” An unyielding connection to roots is thematic for Sicilians from the Ionian Coast and their offspring. Born and raised in Toronto, Cora Ruscica, 27, whose grandparents Joe and Cora Ruscica came from Pachino in Siracusa, has kept the flame alive. “My nonno passed away in 2011,” Cora says. “And though he achieved success in Canada, he never lost his affection for Pachino. And we’re trying to continue his legacy and maintain our own connection to Pachino.” Joe Ruscica made his name and fortune in the GTA handling specialized road construction, and the family business continues to thrive, currently linked with the companies Thorncrete and Boltcrete. But his philanthropic bent also perseveres in the form of the Joe Ruscica Endowment Fund. “My sister Samantha, some cousins and I work directly with SickKids,” Cora explains. “My nonno started the fund to help subsidize expenses for patients not covered by OHIP. We’re also involved with the production of the Festa di Maria Assunta – a Pachino tradition – at our parish, St. Brigid Catholic Church. It’s a three-day event on the second-to-last weekend of August, culminating in a Sunday procession. It’s a real celebration of our Pachino roots.”

Canada, originario di Messina. Gli piacque l’idea di riunire compaesani di quell’area, sparpagliati nelle comunità di Oshawa, Barrie, Niagara Falls. Il nostro primo gala, al Casablanca nel febbraio del 1983, attirò più di 400 persone. L’ambasciatore, che participò, rimase esterrefatto. Con il suo incoraggiamento, e qualche aiuto finanziario da Messina, nacque il Club.” Ricorda con affetto le molte serate di gala ed eventi organizzati dal Club negli anni. “Abbiamo invitato gruppi musicali e di ballo folcloristici, tenuto corsi di lingua e per la cittadinanza, portato i bambini in Sicilia. Mettere in contatto le varie generazioni era fondamentale.” Il presidente in carica del Club Messinesi, Roberto LaRosa, 83 anni, parla di iscrizioni in calo. “Purtroppo, molti dei soci iniziali stanno scomparendo” si lamenta. “Ci riuniamo ancora ogni martedì sera per recitare il Rosario, ed ogni venerdì per giocare a carte. Ma siamo scesi a circa 65 membri adesso.” Isgro-Topping, che ha anche fondato la Confederazione dei siciliani dell’Ontario nel 1993, dice sia naturale. “I club hanno alti e bassi. Andiamo avanti da 30 anni. Sono certa ci si riprenderà non appena le generazioni più giovani cresceranno e cercheranno di tornare alle proprie radici.” Un legame solido con le proprie radici è il filo conduttore per i siciliani della costa ionica e la loro progenie. Nata e cresciuta a Toronto, Cora Ruscica, i cui nonni Joe e Cora Ruscica giunsero da Pachino, Siracusa, mantiene viva la fiamma. “Mio nonno è morto nel 2011,” dice Cora. “Sebbene fosse riuscito in Canada, non ha mai perduto il suo affetto per Pachino. E noi stiamo provando a valorizzare questo lascito, a mantenere il nostro legame con Pachino.” Joe Ruscica si è fatto un nome e ha fatto fortuna nella GTA gestendo costruzioni stradali specializzate, e l’azienda di famiglia, attualmente associata alle compagnie Thorncrete e Boltcrete, continua a fiorire. La sua propensione filantropica persiste inoltre nella forma del Fondo Benefico Joe Ruscica. “Mia sorella Samantha, alcuni cugini ed io lavoriamo direttamente con il SickKids,” spiega Cora. “Mio nonno ha cominciato la raccolta fondi per aiutare a coprire le spese dei pazienti che non beneficiano dell’OHIP. Siamo anche coinvolti nell’organizzazione della Festa di Maria Assunta – tradizione di Pachino – nella nostra parrocchia, la chiesa di Santa Brigida. Si tratta di un evento di tre giorni durante la penultima settimana di agosto, che culmina con la processione domenicale. È una vera celebrazione delle nostre radici pachinesi.”

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EASTERN SICILY

Sumptuous Sicilian Cuisine By Amanda Fulginiti

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rom Palermo to Taormina and everything in between, Sicily is a feast for the eyes. Naturally, a region so full of things to see would equally have so much to taste. Step aside Emilia-Romagna or bella Toscana and say hello to the sumptuousness of Sicilian cuisine. Dishes are heavily ingredient-driven; most dishes revolve around fish, offal (organ meats), fresh fruit and vegetables. Here, the importance of quality and simplicity is stressed for every dish, and cucina povera (peasant food) is still favoured over cucina nobile (dishes made with more luxurious ingredients). Many Sicilian cooks have over the years embraced the ingredients brought over millennia ago by occupying foreign armies, from the Greeks and Romans to Arabs, Normans and Spaniards.

Cannolo

Antipasti Caponata: A typical Sicilian dish that consists of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar and mixed with capers in a sweet and sour sauce. Gatò di patate: A kind of potato and cheese pie. Sfincione: A local type of pizza made with tomatoes, onions and (sometimes) anchovies. Prepared on thick bread and typically found in a bakery rather than in a pizzeria. Arancini: Fried rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese.

Arancini

Primo piatto Pasta alla Norma: Originating in Catania, this is one of the most popular and classic pasta dishes to be savoured. It is made with tomatoes, fried eggplant, grated ricotta salata cheese, and basil. The story goes that the dish was named for the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.

Soups Maccu di favi: One of the oldest of all Mediterranean soups, it was served for centuries as the midday meal of peasants. The soup is made with dried fava beans, wild fennel, and chili pepper. Toasted bread is placed in soup bowls and drizzled with olive oil, and the soup is ladled on top. The name comes from “maccare” which means “to crush.”

Farsumagru: A popular and premier meat dish that features a thin slice of beef rolled around a stuffing of breadcrumbs. The name means “false lean,” because it is a simple-looking meat roll whose insides bulge with a rich stuffing of eggs, cheese, prosciutto, salami, and peas. It can be eaten hot or at room temperature. Maccu di favi

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EASTERN SICILY Secondi Merluzzo alla Siciliana: Grilled European sea bass with tomatoes and olives. Cuscusu: The climax of Arab-Sicilian cuisine. Here, semolina grains are slowly poured into a large, round terracotta dish with sloping sides called a mafaradda and formed into small pellets by hand. The process of raking, rolling, aerating and forming the pellets is called incocciata by the Sicilians. Once the cuscusu pellets are formed they are then steamed over boiling fish broth in a couscoussiere (a specialty pot used to cook the dish). The fish broth is made using a three-to-one ratio of white fish to oily fish. The fish used to make the broth is not eaten. Small fish or shrimp are cooked and enjoyed with the cuscusu. Pesce spada alla ghiotta: This Messina specialty is a dish made with swordfish cooked in onion and tomato sauce with potatoes, olives, capers, celery and black pepper. Merluzzo alla Siciliana

Dolci Granita: A semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavourings. In Sicily, unlike other areas, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. Granita with coffee is very common in Messina, while adding almonds is popular in Catania. Combining it with a brioche is a typical breakfast in summer time. Often a palate cleanser between meals, it is most typically enjoyed as a slush-type drink during hot summer days. Pignolata: Hailing from Messina, it is a soft pastry half covered or iced in lemon and half covered in chocolate. Cannoli: Meaning “little tube,” probably the most well-known edible treat to come out of Sicily. Fried pastry dough lovingly filled with sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta. They range in size from “cannulicchi,” which are no bigger than a finger, to the fist size proportions found south of Palermo. Historically they were prepared as a treat during Carnevale season. Pignolata Femminello

Vino Frutti Biondo comune: The “common blonde” orange. Tarocco: A high-quality blood orange found in Catania, Siracusa and Francofonte from November to January. Femminello: This is the lemon that makes up 80% of Sicily’s lemon crop, found in Catania, Siracusa, Messina and Palermo.

The soil and the climate in Sicily are ideal for growing grapes, mainly due to Mount Etna. A wine-making tradition has operated since the Greeks set up their first colonies on the island. Well-known red wines include the Cerasuolo di Vittoria and the Nero d’Avola, mainly those produced around Noto (Siracusa). In addition, various dessert wines are produced, such as the famous Marsala, Moscato and the Malvasia delle Lipari. More typical Sicilian drinks are the limoncello, a lemon liqueur, and the Amaro Siciliano, an herbal drink, which is often consumed after meals as a digestif. There is also Amaro Averna, which is produced in Caltanissetta. The herbs, roots and citrus rinds are allowed to soak in the base liquour before caramel is added. Averna is sweet, thick and has a gently herbal bitterness.

Limoncello

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Eastern Sicilian Specialties

Ricette preparate dallo Chef Roberto Marotta del ristorante Nodo di Toronto. Nativo di Messina, Sicilia.

Pesce Stocco a’ghiotta o alla Messinese (Serves 4 / 4 prozioni) Ingredients / Ingredienti • 2 lbs (900 g) stockfish (dried cod) / stoccafisso (merluzzo essiccato) • 1 white onion, finely chopped / cipolla bianca, finemente tritata • 4 potatoes, cubed / patate a cubetti • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil / olio extravergine d’oliva • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped / spicchi d’aglio, finemente tritati • 2 lbs (900 g) of peeled tomatoes / pomodoro pelato • 1 cup white wine / vino bianco • 2 oz (56 g) salted capers (rinsed) / capperi salati (sciacquati) • Handful of Sicilian green olives (pitted) / manciata di olive verdi siciliane (disossate) • Salt and black pepper to taste / sale e pepe nero a piacimento 46

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Instructions / Istruzioni Soak cod in cold water for 2-3 days. Change water once a day. Pat dry. Cut fish into 4 squares. Warm olive oil in a non-stick pot and sauté onion and garlic. When onion is golden, add fish. Then pour in wine and let reduce by 3/4. Add potatoes, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Pour in 1 cup of water and cover. Let cook for 30-45 minutes on very low heat. Remove lid and add capers and olives. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crostini (optional). Immergere il merluzzo in acqua fredda per 2-3 giorni. Cambiare l’acqua una volta al giorno. Tamponare per asciugare. Tagliare il pesce in 4 quadrati. Riscaldare l’olio d’oliva in un tegame antiaderente e saltare la cipolla e l’aglio. Quando la cipolla si dora, aggiungere il pesce. Quindi versare il vino e farlo evaporare di 3/4. Aggiungere le patate, il pomodoro, sale e pepe. Versare 1 cup di acqua e coprire. Lasciare cuocere per 30-45 minuti a temperatura bassa. Rimuovere il coperchio ed aggiungere i capperi e le olive. Guarnire con prezzemolo tritato. Servire con dei crostini (facoltativo).

Photography by Giulio Muratori

Recipes prepared by Chef Roberto Marotta of Nodo Restaurant in Toronto. He hails from Messina, Sicily.


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EASTERN SICILY

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he east coast of Sicily takes full advantage of its culinary treasures, so it is only fitting that the first featured recipe showcases the versatility of stockfish. Another staple from eastern Sicily is Pasta alla Norma, which was named after the opera Norma by Catania-born composer Vincenzo Bellini. The star of this pasta dish is eggplant, one of the most popular vegetables in Sicilian cuisine. costa orientale della Sicilia trae grande vantaggio dai suoi tesori culinari. Ciò spiega la pletora di ricette a base di pesce, incluse alcune a base di stoccafisso. Un altro pezzo forte della Sicilia orientale è la pasta alla Norma, così chiamata per la Norma, opera del compositore catanese Vincenzo Bellini. La star di questo piatto è la melanzana, uno degli ortaggi più rinomati della cucina siciliana.

La

Pasta alla Norma (Serves 4 / 4 porzioni) Ingredients / Ingredienti • 5/8 lb (280 g) rigatoni • 1/2 lb (230 g) eggplant (long or Sicilian) / melanzana (lunga o siciliana) • 3/4 lb (340 g) peeled tomatoes / pomodoro pelato • 1 ¾ oz onion, chopped / cipolla tritata • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil / olio extravergine d’oliva • 5 basil leaves / foglie di basilico • 1 garlic clove, chopped / spicchio d’aglio tritato • 4 tbsp canola oil / olio di canola • 2 tbsp of salted ricotta (grated) / ricotta salata (grattugiata) • Salt and pepper to taste / sale e pepe a piacimento

Instructions / Istruzioni Cut eggplant into cubes and lightly salt. Leave them to drain any excess water. Add oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic and onion. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes. In another pan using canola oil at medium heat, fry eggplant until golden brown and add to tomato sauce. Meanwhile, boil rigatoni in salted water. When cooked, toss the pasta with the sauce. Add basil and salted ricotta. Tagliare la melanzana a cubetti e salare leggermente. Mettere a scolare per eliminare l’acqua in eccesso. Aggiungere l’olio in una padella e saltare l’aglio e la cipolla. Aggiungere i pomodori, il sale e il pepe. Cuocere per 15-20 minuti. In un’altra padella, utilizzando l’olio di canola a temperatura media, friggere la melanzana fino a doratura ed aggiungere il sugo di pomodoro. Nel frattempo, cuocere i rigatoni in acqua bollente, salata. Una volta cotti, mescolare la pasta e il sugo. Aggiungere il basilico e la ricotta salata.

Tips / Suggerimenti Before frying the eggplant, it is best to cut it into pieces, put in a colander, sprinkle with salt and place a weight on top for 10-15 mins. This will remove the excess liquid contained in the vegetable and remove its bitterness, which will result in a sweeter and crunchier eggplant. Prima di friggere la melanzana è meglio tagliarla a pezzetti, metterla in un colapasta, spolverarla con del sale e mettervi un peso sopra per 10-15 minuti. In questo modo, si toglieranno il liquido in eccesso contenuto nell’ortaggio e il gusto amarognolo, con il risultato di una melanzana più dolce e croccante. PANORAMITALIA.COM

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EASTERN SICILY

La tradizione siciliana del teatro dei pupi

Claudia Buscemi Prestigiacomo

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el 2013, i siciliani Dolce e Gabbana dichiararono il proprio amore alla Sicilia portando in passerella elementi del patrimonio artisticoculturale dell’isola. Tra carretti e maioliche, fecero la loro comparsa anche i pupi. Dichiarata dall’Unesco Patrimonio orale e immateriale dell’umanità nel 2011, secondo la maggioranza degli studiosi l’opera dei pupi risale a metà dell’800 quando, durante la dominazione spagnola, lentamente questa forma d’intrattenimento si diffuse sempre più a sud. Il teatro dei pupi s’incentra tradizionalmente sulle gesta dei paladini di Carlo Magno intorno ai temi cavallereschi di giustizia, amore e fedeltà, propri di un genere letterario della Francia medievale. Nel 1500 furono poi ripresi in opere della letteratura italiana quali L’Orlando Furioso di Ludovico Ariosto o La Gerusalemme Liberata di Torquato Tasso. Perché “patrimonio orale”? Le gesta narrate venivano tramandate oralmente di generazione in generazione. Le rappresentazioni, inoltre, venivano suddivise in cicli, puntate. Rientrava dunque nella maestria del puparocuntista interrompere il racconto in un momento chiave e incuriosire lo spettatore a tal punto da garantirne il ritorno allo spettacolo successivo. 48

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Nel corso dei secoli i temi trattati sono rimasti pressoché invariati, tuttavia non senza un certo sperimentalismo. A tal riguardo,Lina Scalisi, storica e docente presso l’Università di Catania, afferma che lo sperimentalismo è sempre più presente e cita come esempio una “rappresentazione del Faust [...] in cui i pupi hanno dialogato con gli attori con un esito veramente felice.” Alfredo Mauceri, drammaturgo e direttore artistico del Teatro e del Museo dei pupi di Siracusa, ricorda il detto: “Sunu Orlando e Rinaldu cha pottunu u pani a casa” (“Sono Orlando e Rinaldo che consentono un guadagno certo”), per dire che le storie dei paladini di Francia sono le più rappresentate. Spiega, tuttavia, che sono stati anche creati nuovi filoni, alcuni dei quali volti a rendere omaggio a Siracusa attraverso antichi miti e leggende. “I pupi hanno una duttilità che va oltre il loro normale spazio, superano la teatralità per diventare essenza d’arte,” spiega Mauceri. In generale, in Sicilia, vengono distinte due scuole principali: palermitana e catanese. Secondo Mauceri, tale classificazione è erronea considerato che: “già nello stesso territorio catanese esistono differenze di costruzione e messinscena dei pupi tra Catania e la vicina Acireale” [...]“Siracusa ha un suo


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EASTERN SICILY stile, un modo del tutto diverso di mettere in scena gli spettacoli; [...]” Se i contenuti rappresentano un elemento comune tra le varie scuole, lo stesso non dicasi per l’aspetto strutturale. A tal proposito, spiega Mauceri: “I pupi siracusani hanno un’altezza di ottanta centimetri e il viso realizzato in cartapesta, cosa non riscontrabile nelle tradizioni delle altre due città. Inoltre, per le armature si utilizzano rame, ottone e alpacca abbinandoli tra loro, con applicazioni in contrasto o rivestendo il pupo con un unico metallo arricchito da sbalzi e ceselli [...] Altre differenze si riscontrano nel colore delle vesti dei personaggi principali, come Rinaldo ad esempio, che veste di rosso a Palermo, di verde a Catania e di giallo a Siracusa.” Scalisi, a proposito delle differenze costitutive riguardanti altezza, articolazioni e dimensioni, afferma: “A differenza della scuola palermitana, quella catanese è caratterizzata da pupi più alti e più raffinati nelle vesti anche se meno flessibili e, quindi, meno adattabili a spazi piccoli.” Per quanto riguarda l’avvento della tecnologia, entrambi concordano. Secondo Scalisi è: “la maniera per “esportarla” fuori dai confini italiani.” Per Mauceri, similmente, “i nuovi devices possono veicolare il messaggio molto più di un cartellone posto all’angolo della via.” Da cosa va dunque protetto questo patrimonio? Scalisi non ha dubbi: “...ogni patrimonio immateriale ha un nemico/amico che è il tempo. Esso si fonda infatti su saperi trasmessi generazionalmente da alcune famiglie, il che vuol dire che se si interrompe questo circuito, gli effetti saranno devastanti [...] Un pupo di per sé è un oggetto inanimato. Sono i pupari a renderlo vivo e a permettergli di raccontare e raccontarsi.”

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BABIES

High-Tech Baby By Sara Germanotta sk any new parents and they’ll tell you that having a child is a lifechanging experience. Faced with such a huge responsibility, most moms and dads want to make sure they have everything they need to facilitate the daunting task of raising another human being. Nowadays, that means more than just diapers and a stroller. There are a multitude of high-tech products available that promise to make parenting easier. From DVDs designed to develop an infant’s IQ, to souped-up baby monitors and even ‘smart’ diapers that can analyze a baby’s urine. Elias Makos is a technology expert and New Media Host at Breakfast Television who says the market for high-tech baby products is growing exponentially: “The trend in tech is connected items, and child care and baby items are no exception to this rule. So the traditional baby monitor is seeing upgrades that connect it to your Wi-Fi network at home, and then allow you to monitor it on your smart phone from anywhere you are.” He adds, “Products like the Pacifi Smart Pacifier record your baby’s temperature and sync it to your smart phone. Of course, now you’re putting a Bluetooth-connected device in your child’s mouth. Something I would not do, personally.” But do these gadgets really make life easier for new parents? Not everyone is sold on the idea. Carmela Aiello is the owner of Bambino Furniture. They’ve been selling baby furniture and accessories since 1984. Aiello says she’s seen a huge shift in the market since they first opened their doors 30 years ago: “I see people come in here and they’re just so confused because there’s so much information out there and so many products available now that they don’t know where to start. It was much simpler before.” Aiello, who is the mother of a 21-year-old son, says many of the products available today are gimmicks that probably won’t stand the test of time. “All this high-tech stuff is not really necessary. I think that parents need to concentrate on being more hands-on with their babies, doing more activities with their children. Some people buy these gadgets and they use them in place of interacting with their kids.”

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Karey-Ann Mac Whirter and her husband, Ben Venditelli, have a twoyear-old child. The couple have invested in a few high-tech items for their baby, including a wireless video monitor. “The monitor has been super helpful as I have more liberty to move about. I can even be outside in the summer while baby sleeps and I can check in on her without travelling in the house and upstairs,” explains 39-year-old Mac Whirter. The couple also purchased a $400 baby swing that claims to soothe baby by mimicking mother’s movements. “My daughter hated it and still preferred my arms,” admits Mac Whirter. “So I guess it didn’t really mimic mom’s movements.” For her part, Aiello says items such as high-tech swings are just a waste of money. She points out there are only a handful of tried and true items that new parents really need: “A good stroller with good wheels, a safe car seat that meets the latest safety standards, a good mattress for your child, and comfortable, cotton bedding. That’s the important stuff. Not these high-tech gadgets.” Technology expert, Elias Makos, agrees: “As much as I love technology, I think most of these products are the result of the tech industry's traditional role of throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks. We’re seeing ridiculous products everywhere so of course we'll see this with baby products. It’s easy money to be made selling to proud parents who want to feel like they’re providing the best for their baby.” Although parents’ desire to purchase the most up-to-date gadgets for their baby comes from a good place, mom Karey-Ann Mac Whirter admits sometimes these products can make parenting more stressful by feeding into people’s fears. She offers this advice to fellow moms in the market for baby gear: “There are definitely some ridiculous gadgets out there. I would even go so far as to say that people are led to believe they are bad parents if they don't buy them. Research is key. If you want to invest in any of these gadgets, read some reviews and talk to some parents. You will quickly find out what is useful and what is a gimmick.” PANORAMITALIA.COM

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Mommy Confidential How stay-at-home moms and moms who work from home can maintain a sense of self – and their sanity – while raising a family By Sara Germanotta

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hen Panoram Italia editor, Gabriel Riel-Salvatore, asked me to do a piece on stay-at-home moms and moms who work from home, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a subject I know a bit about. Last year, after more than a decade of working as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), I gave up a permanent, full-time job that I loved to stay at home and take care of my two young sons. It’s one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. I was torn between the need to raise my kids and wholly be there for them in every way and my hard-earned career. I chose to put my professional dreams on hold so I could be the constant for my children. It was the right decision for my family and I am blessed to be able to spend so much time with my little guys. But I’d be lying if I say that my ego didn’t take a hit; I didn’t realize until I gave it all up how much of my sense of self was connected to my career. Being a stay-at-home parent, or one who works out of the home, can be a pretty thankless job sometimes - the hours are long, the pay stinks. But, the rewards are immeasurable if you can keep from losing yourself in the never-ending demands of motherhood. In Canada, the most recent numbers show that one in five couples have one employed parent and one stay-at-home parent, according to Statistics Canada. The majority of stay-at-home parents are women, although more and more fathers are stepping up to the plate as well. In 2011, 12 per cent of Canadian fathers chose to stay home with their children. As well, a recent public opinion poll from the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada found that 76% of Canadians believe that children under six should be at home with a parent. Loneliness & Isolation Jessica Gallant says being a stay-at-home mom was not part of her life plan; it just sort of happened: “After the birth of my child, my life changed – as it does for every parent. But for me everything I thought I knew about the world, and my place and role in it, changed,” explains the 38-year-old. “When my maternity leave was coming to an end, I was not ready, emotionally, to go back to 52

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work full-time. I had an overwhelming desire to stay home with my daughter and actively participate in her development.” Gallant and her husband, Johnny Macri, decided that she would leave her job as a Social Engagement adviser for a large Canadian retail company and hold down the fort at home while he would continue his career as creative director of marketing for Cirque du Soleil. Gallant says the benefits of being a stayat-home parent are numerous, but there are some challenges as well. “For me, the biggest challenge is the isolation. At this point, my social life pretty much revolves around my husband’s friends and co-workers and there are moments where I feel almost invisible,” admits Gallant. “There are so many times when everyone is sharing stories of exciting projects they are working on, people they are meeting, places they get to travel to, and I feel left out. People do not naturally question what I do on a daily basis. What I do is almost a conversation closer,” she says. Feelings of loneliness and boredom are a big issue for many stay-at-home moms. Rosangela Chiarappa is a psychologist and certified life coach. She offers these tips to break the isolation: Keep in contact with old friends. Organize a meet up for coffee or keep in touch by phone if getting together proves difficult. This way you will feel in the loop. Make a plan to get out of the house every day. Take a walk with the baby, run errands or volunteer at your kid’s school. Keep active with your interests and hobbies. Being a stay-at-home mom does not change who you are, so make the time to keep doing what you love. Guilt Another issue for many stay-at-home moms and parents who work from home is finding time for themselves. Sometimes even taking a shower or going to the bathroom without an audience is a luxury. It’s a challenge Melissa Gentile is often faced with. The 27-year-old has two children – six year-old Enzo and five-


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BABIES month-old Elena. She is also a real estate agent who works from home. “It is difficult to find time for myself. My time is usually when I get my nails done or relax in my bath,” laughs Gentile. “Spending time and taking care of my family is my number one priority and I would feel too guilty taking that time away for me and not giving it to my kids. My time will eventually come.” But psychologist Rosie Chiarappa says it’s essential for stay-at-home parents to put aside feelings of guilt: “Take care of yourself. This is not a luxury but rather a necessity. If you put your health at risk you will not be able to care for your family the way you want,” she explains. “Put aside feelings of guilt; they serve no purpose.”

I've lost a bit of my partner, I've lost a bit of who I am as a professional woman. And I'm okay with that for now because I know that one day Alerio won't need me the way he needs me now.

Losing yourself Vicki Odorico is a part-time Sociology teacher at John Abbott College. She works two days a week and spends the rest of her time at home with her 17month-old son, Alerio. Odorico and her husband, Montreal comedian Franco Taddeo, decided early on that they did not want to put Alerio in daycare. Although going back to work part-time has allowed Odorico to keep her footing on her career, the 34-year-old says she sometimes struggles to keep up: “In terms of being a woman and a wife, I've definitely lost part of myself,” admits Odorico. “My priority has been Alerio and sometimes it's a little disheartening and frustrating to know that I've lost myself, I've lost a bit of my partner, I've lost a bit of who I am as a professional woman. And I'm okay with that for now because I know that one day Alerio won't need me the way he needs me now.” For her part, Chiarappa says self-esteem issues often come up when women allow their roles as mothers to supersede everything else. She says it's important for stay-at-home moms – and mothers in general – to avoid falling into this trap: “This myth of the supermom is unrealistic. If your expectations are unrealistic you will set yourself up for disappointment and feelings of inadequacy.” She continues, “It is ok to be imperfect. Your children will be fine if one night you order a pizza because you're tired, or hire a babysitter and have a date night with your husband to reconnect. Give yourself permission to breathe and remember there is no shame in seeking help.”

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BABIES OF THE YEAR

Babies of the Year 2014 I neonati dell’anno 2014

1-Rudy Leandro Trubiano February 11, 2014 Tania Simoncelli & Yann Trubiano

2-Aryana Khosla Simoncelli March 28, 2014 Rina Khosla & Daniel Simoncelli

3-Giuliano Renato Cavalluzzi January 22, 2014 Cinzia Marcovecchio & Nicola Cavalluzzi

7-Téa Rose Campione April 5, 2014 Jessica Asselin & Joey Campione

8-Danaka Carosielli November 13, 2014 Annette Vaccaro & Marco Carosielli

9-Joseph Fiorenzo Moshopoulos May 26, 2014 Melanie Nardozza & Alex Moshopoulos

13-Lily Giovanna Dolce August 2, 2014 Émilie Gagnon Thibault & Jason Dolce

14-Stefano Antonio Cicora October 24, 2014 Loredana Romanelli & Giulio Cicora

19-Giuliano Dante Farinaccio September 10, 2014 Carla Boyling & Giovanni Farinaccio

20-Matteo Ciocca July 29, 2014 Marie-Josée Lamy & Raffaele Ciocca

25-Vittoria Anna Argento March 9, 2014 Jennifer Silva & Rio Argento

26-Eva Lilly Racanelli August 28, 2014 Stephanie Passucci & Gianni Racanelli

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5-Jasmine Rodi July 20, 2014 Danielle Bouffard & Lucas Rodi

6-Noah Henri Oldfield May 5, 2014 Melissa Mastrocola & Tom Oldfield

10-Philip James Boscato May 4, 2014 Sophia Panayotidis & Michael Boscato

11-Reigna Reis Macri June 16, 2014 Veronica Reis & Nicodemo Macri

12-Luca Gauthier June 16, 2014 Tanya D'Amico & Brian Gauthier

16-Sofia Teresa Maria Goffredo March 25, 2014 Marilina Ruscitti & Raffaele Goffredo

17-Simona Baratta February 17, 2014 Tanya Cella & Carmine Baratta

18-Ava Ally Fox May 2, 2014 Nadia Farinaccio & Andrew Fox

21-Dalia Rose Di Iorio August 4, 2014 Melissa Miglialo & Gabriele Di Iorio

22-Viviana Grace Galasso June 13, 2014 Nadia Stellato & Vince Galasso

23-Giuliano Pigafetta September 14, 2014 Maria Cerone & Giovanni Pigafetta

24-Emma Luisa Colatosti September 7, 2014 Emily Antonucci & Dino Colatosti

27-Ginevra Lo Verso July 21, 2014 Josie Cammisano & Maurizio Lo Verso

28-Camila Cirrincione May 20, 2014 Tania Di Zazzo & Joe Cirrincione

29-Livia Lozza June 21, 2014 Marie-Pier Therrien & Lino Lozza

30-Alexander Bruno November 8, 2014 Giovanna Lancellotta & Giorgio Di Lillo

15-Emma Santeusanio May 6, 2014 Melissa Spinelli & Mike Santeusanio

4-Adrian Mancini-Bevilacqua February 6, 2014 Maggie Mancini & Tommy Bevilacqua


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BABIES OF THE YEAR

31-Anthony Gabriele Gennarelli November 4, 2014 Pina Grandillo & Gabriele Gennarelli

32-Sienna Veronica Pitacciato July 11, 2014 Claudia Aragona & Anthony Pitacciato

37-Sofia & Rayan Mahboobi September 25, 2014 Darlene Jaja & Ali Mahboobi

42-Luca Michele Cefaloni October 26, 2014 Julia Sciscente & Michael Cefaloni

43-Milan Anthony Niro October 30, 2013 Mary Marcangione & Tony Niro

33-Tristano Missori November 20, 2014 Sabrina Di Iorio & Massimo Missori

34-Thomas Kastrantas August 5, 2014 Laura Vena & Billy Kastrantas

35-Romeo Hart Cucuzzella Leal February 4, 2014 Francine Cucuzzella & Rui Leal

36-Natalia Donatella Calla November 16, 2014 Lucia Iacovelli & Marco Calla

38-Vasco Gazzaruso January 2, 2014 Elisa Argondizzo & Fabio Gazzaruso

39-Serena Botros May 29, 2014 Carmelina Sciascia & Robert Botros

40-Sandy Rose Bentivegna July 16, 2014 Rosalie Sciascia & Anthony Bentivegna

41-Alessia Beatrice Beltrano March 3, 2014 Tammy Karawi Beltrano & Patrizio Beltrano

44-Gabriella Christine De Minico September 6, 2014 Adrianna Guerrera & Carlo De Minico

45-Sophia Jarrouche July 22, 2014 Melania Cartillone & George Jarrouche

46-Olivia Mambro May 3, 2014 Laura Saviano & Carmine Mambro

47-Sofia Costantino December 12, 2014 Michelle Marchese & David Costantino

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BABIES OF THE YEAR

48-Melina Ida Arduini June 13, 2014 Assunta Forte & Giuseppe Arduini

49-Olivia Santori October 5, 2014 AmĂŠlie Gosselin & Alex Santori

50-Serena Vardaro Lalonde November 7, 2014 Josie Vardaro & Eric Lalonde

51-Giordano Rossi November 20, 2014 Melissa Cannavino & Mike Rossi

52-Matteo David Gallucci September 30, 2014 Melanie Funk & Arthur Gallucci

53-Luca John Ruggeri September 1, 2014 Jessica Visconti & Rosario A. Ruggeri

54-Julian Ruggeri July 9, 2014 Shanel Leger & Benedetto A. Ruggeri

55-Letizia Galve September 2, 2014 Ada Nazzari & Carlos Galve

56-Evan Caswell October 31, 2014 Rosa Rossi & Matthew Caswell

57-Leo Ciarlo May 15, 2014 Tania Decobellis & Johnny Ciarlo

58-Mia Cadia De Palma November 17, 2014 Rosemary Iafigliola & David De Palma

59-Camila Cirrincione May 20, 2014 Tania Di Zazzo & Joe Cirrincione

60-Olivia Rose Caporicci June 3, 2014 Sylvie Beaudin & Nando Caporicci

61-Marciano Riti July 13, 2014 Enza Iacono & Stefano Riti

62-Daniella Marie Notarangelo March 6, 2014 Pamela Nocella & Robert Notarangelo

63-David Palma September 26, 2014 Christine St-Pierre & Patrick Palma

64-Giada Lombardi October 16, 2014 Melissa Pezzullo & Joe Lombardi

65-Emma Carmela Stivaletta September 30, 2014 Antonella D'Angelo & Fernando JR Stivaletta

66-Stefano Joseph Capraro January 10, 2014 Elisa Mucciacciaro & Vittorio Capraro

67-Gisele Lebel September 24, 2014 Cynthia De Sanctis & Eric Lebel

68-Fabrizio Longo Koufos July 7, 2014 Alessia Longo & George Koufos

69-Gemma Barone-Tiberio February 4, 2014 Carmela Barone & Nunzio Tiberio

70-Alessio Angelo Marguglio March 20, 2014 Vanessa Giancioppi & Roberto Marguglio

71-Massimo Malacria September 19, 2014 Virginia Parente & Luigi Malacria

72-Eva Caruso May 11, 2014 Sabrina Della Sala & Fabio Caruso

73-Michael Lapolla February 2, 2014 Francesca Accardi & Anthony Lapolla

74-Milena Nicolina Di Iorio August 1, 2014 Sabrina Cavallaro & Anthony Di Iorio

75-Fabiano Amato June 25, 2014 Vanessa Antonacci & Vincenzo Amato

76-Nicolas Luongo June 10, 2014 Tonia Theodorou & Carmen Luongo

77-Ava Elisa Caputo August 25, 2014 Ivana & Anthony Caputo

78-Marco Hranyczny March 11, 2014 Samantha Perri-Hranyczny & Mike Hranyczny

79-Gia Alessandra Menchella January 25, 2014 Michele & Michael Menchella

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80-Gianluca Ethan Perri August 11, 2014 Christine Rapa-Perri & Matt Perri

81-Michael Christian Orellana July 14, 2014 Christina Carelli & Carbe Orellana

82-Valentino & Francesca Alpinelli April 17, 2014 Jennifer Di Francesco & Pietro Alpinelli


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BABIES OF THE YEAR

83-Olivia Failla March 28, 2014 Laura Morrello-Failla & Stan Failla

84-Michael Darrin Hoy January 15, 2014 Sonia Campoli & Darrin J. Hoy

85-Alessia Santelli May 7, 2014 Kimberly & Marco Santelli

86-Alexander Andreopoulos October 12, 2014 Luciana & George Andreopoulos

87-Juliana Sofia Chiappetta December 19, 2014 Lisa & Andrea Chiappetta

88-Nicola Joseph Di Nardo June 5, 2014 Monica & Michael Di Nardo

89-Sebastian Ciavarella December 9, 2014 Sandy & Paolo Ciavarella

91-Francesco Gaetano Amato October 19, 2014 Veronica & Salvatore Amato

92-Nina Terzopoulos September 24, 2014 Elvira Lupo-Terzopoulos & Chris Terzopoulos

93-Leila Michela Galati October 31, 2014 Laura Moretti-Galati & Tony Galati

94-Frank Carlo Scarfo July 27, 2014 Maggie & Carm Scarfo

95-Victoria Rosemarie Niro July 8, 2014 Carmela & Antonio Niro

96-Talia Grazia Genevieve Vescio September 12, 2014 Stefania & Nick Vescio

97-Paolo Marco Bonofiglio August 22, 2014 Claudia Di Ruscio & Tony Bonofiglio

98-Giorgia Camaioni November 8, 2014 Anna Fuoco-Camaioni & Carmine Camaioni

99-Julia Katie Camaioni July 12, 2014 Shannon & Mauro Camaioni

100-Leo Gigi Camaioni June 17, 2014 Sandra Esposito-Camaioni & Marco Camaioni

103-Giuliana Grace Cappuccitti April 8, 2014 Cristina & Sebastian Cappuccitti

104-Gabriel Xavier Pompeo January 10, 2014 Alessandra & David Pompeo

90-Francesca Romana Nicoletti October 20, 2014 Lucia Vani & Massimo Nicoletti

102-Gabriel Zorzi 101-Gemma Mary-Anne Spizzirri October 27, 2014 May 17, 2014 Marika Finaldi & Michael Zorzi Lucia Brizzi-Spizzirri & Ettore Spizzirri

105-Nathan Chapman July 20, 2014 Maria (nee) De Pasquale & Bret Chapman

106-Sofia Catia Di Cillo March 28, 2014 Stefania & Michael Di Cillo

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EVENTS

Gala Laziale 2014 and eventually came to Canada where he established one of the most successful flower shops in the GTA. Greatly involved in community affairs, he gives resources and time to a large number of charitable institutions. “As long as our dear Lord continues to give me the gift of a healthy life, I feel obliged to reciprocate and give something back to the community – whether it be at the cultural level or the religious.”

From left: President of the Lazio Federation Marino Moscone, John Tersigni, Antonietta Tersigni, recipient Carlo Tersigni, l’Onorevole Fucsia Nissoli, and Danny Tersigni.

Million Dollar Smiles Bear Drive

Volunteers Phyllis De Simone and Alessandra Piccolo

Santa got a little help this holiday season when kind-hearted volunteers brought smiles and good cheer to children dealing with life-threatening illnesses and special needs. Held at the Vaughan Monte Carlo Inn on December 13, the Million Dollar Smiles Bear Drive Program (MDS) broke its record when it delivered giant stuffed teddy bears to 260 children across the

GTA. “I started with one child in the first year and then ten children in the second. It all began with a milestone birthday. I had turned 40 and knew it was time to give back,” explains Founder and Director of MDS Anna Mangiafridda Lopes, who made her first delivery seven years ago. “The bear is really a symbol of connecting. Hearing stories from the volunteers afterward and what they got out of it makes me smile,” she says while reflecting on the charity’s humble origins. Created as a means of providing emotional support to these youngsters and their families, the not-for-profit organization continues to remain grassroots. Through individual and corporate sponsorships the Christmas delivery includes $100 Toys R Us gift cards as well as smaller bears for siblings. The charity also recruits volunteers to build backyard playgrounds for children to enjoy while they go through their various medical adversities. This year MDS projects the completion of fifty such playgrounds. “We all have it in us,” replies Lopes when asked where her passion comes from. “We are all special and our purpose is to give and not to receive. It’s so simple. This is my purpose. Million Dollar Smiles creates a mood on a much more positive level – not only for the child but the whole family.”

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ITALIAN-CANADIAN PUBLICATION Panoram Italia’s Greater Toronto Area and Greater Montreal editions are consumed by over 400,000 readers per issue.

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Photography by Gregorio Riccio

Home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as the Eternal City, Lazio is a spectacular region of Italy, and the Lazio Federation of Ontario has helped preserve its ancient and cultural traditions. The 28year-old organization, which is the umbrella of roughly 30 clubs representing regional By Romina Monaco towns and cities, has created a relatively new mandate acknowledging men and women of Laziale origin for their contributions to Canadian society. Held on the evening of November 7 at the Riviera Parque Dining, Banquet & Convention Centre in Vaughan, the Gala Laziale presented three of its own with the “Laziale Dell’Anno” Award. Receiving the first award was Carlo Tersigni who, from his humble beginnings as a construction labourer, rose to become owner and President of Belmont Concrete Finishing, one of the largest concrete companies in Canada. Hailing from Lazio’s Pescosolido Forcella, he is revered for his contributions to Canadian industry including his support of numerous charities such as A Child’s Voice Foundation, Villa Charities and Crime Stoppers of York Region. Also recognized was Professor Bruno Magliocchetti, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. A native of Veroli in Frosinone, he is steadfast in his commitment to maintaining Italian culture not only via his profession but also through his involvement in several social and cultural organizations both in Canada and Italy. “I feel proud to be a Laziale,” says recipient Romolo Mazzucco. Co-founder and owner of Carisma Florists, he was born in Tufo di Minturno


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EVENTS

Hazel McCallion Tribute Dinner

Photography by Luca Viorel

Nothing could keep feisty and energetic Hazel McCallion from making another memorable appearance in her beloved city of Mississauga. Presented by the Mississauga Italian Canadian Benevolent Association (MICBA) and held at Le Treport Wedding & Convention Centre on December 6, the tribute dinner for McCallion recognized the renowned politician and her 36 years as the city’s mayor. Guests attending the tribute dinner lined the dance floor and applauded as the 93-year-old recent retiree was driven into the facility Italian-style in none other than a Gucci Fiat 500. “The evening was a huge success,” says MICBA co-founder Carmela Liparoti who met Ontario’s longest-serving mayor 26 years ago upon the organization’s inception. “I felt it was important to pay tribute to a woman who is an inspiration and a mentor to me personally. She was instrumental in MICBA’s development and helped us with dealings we had with city council. Hazel is a firm believer in volunteerism,” she explains, adding that with McCallion’s support the not-for-profit charity went on to create a seniors’ home, longterm care facility, licensed daycare and non-profit housing for Mississauga residents. While on the podium, the woman also referred to as “Hurricane Hazel” for her straightforward and no-nonsense political style thanked ItalianCanadians for their valuable contributions and stated that although she had retired from public life, she would continue her community involvement. In addition to these heartfelt words the evening was also brimming with speeches from delegates and politicians as well as compelling performances by musical artists. In her ongoing efforts to support MICBA, copies of her autobiography Hurricane Hazel were on hand with $10 of each sale benefitting the charity. As a token of appreciation, guests walked away with a commemorative Hazel Bobblehead sporting an Italian soccer jersey.

From left: Grace Lombardi, Lenny Lombardi, Carmela Liparoti, Hazel McCallion, Frank Trevisan and Emcee Tony Monaco.

7th Annual Black and White Ball Every day 27 Canadians are diagnosed with brain tumours and it’s estimated there are 55,000 people in this country currently living with the disease. Assisting in raising awareness is the Joe Di Palma Brain Tumour and Pediatrics Foundation. On November 7, the volunteer-based charity held its 7th Annual Black and White Ball in Vaughan, attracting members from the community and beyond. Named in loving memory of Joe Di Palma who passed away from a brain tumour in 2006 just shy of his 36th birthday, the vital organization is an advocate for treatment and research. It also provides muchneeded support to intracranial tumour patients and their families. An evening of elegance, hospitality and goodwill, the lavish soiree raised well over $60,000 for The Pencer Centre at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. To date the foundation has managed to raise a staggering $450,000 for the cause. Bittersweet as it was, the event proved to be fun-filled with a riveting performance by the Michael Bublé tribute band Hollywood, dancing, gourmet dining, door prizes, live and silent auctions and a caricature artist.

2014 Gala Committee with Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

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EVENTS

Tullio Guma Retirement Celebration

From left: National Congress of Italian Canadians President Fabio Gesufatto, COMITES President Gino Cucchi, Former Consul General of Italy Dott. Tullio Guma, Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Pastorelli, and Villa Charities President and CEO Pal Di Iulio.

Italian Language Students at U of T Mississauga Showcase Matrimonio all’italiana Duplicity, romance and Neapolitan passion take centre stage at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s (UTM) theatrical production of Matrimonio all’italiana. The widely celebrated comedy-drama presented by students enrolled in Italian at the Department of Language Studies spotlights a crafty Neapolitan prostitute who feigns illness as a means of fooling her longtime paramour into an unseemly marriage. Based on the play Filumena Marturano, the 1964 film adaption starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The decision to choose Matrimonio all’italiana was based on its rich, cultural qualities, says Department Community Liaison, Bianca Marchione. “It gives students a different way of learning Italian language and culture,” she explains, adding that the play is performed in its original Neapolitan dialect with subtitles available to audience members. As a participant and third generation Italian-Canadian, Marchione says the experience encourages her to embrace the richness as well as the idiosyncrasies of Italian subculture. She is also very keen on sharing this unique experience. “Being in this play and being so devoted, I have such a newfound passion for this course. Through working on the project I have bonded with all of my fellow students and have built so many great relationships. We really have become like an Italian family,” she says. All students taking part in this UTM group, also known as the Maschere Duemondi Theatre Company, earn a literature credit. With show dates scheduled for the weekends of February 21-22, and February 28-March 1, the

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The students of The Maschere Duemondi Theatre Company

production marks 50 years since the release of the iconic film and 30 years since the passing of its playwright, Edoardo De Filippo. For ticket inquiries contact italianplay.utm@utoronto.ca.

Photography by Luca Viorel

After faithfully serving for two years as Consul General of Italy, Tullio Guma said goodbye during an emotional retirement celebration on December 10 at the Columbus Centre in Toronto. Hosted by the National Congress of Italian Canadians – Toronto District (NCIC), Villa Charities and COMITES, the cocktail reception attracted over 200 guests who gathered to give this popular dignitary a heartfelt send-off. The event honoured and recognized 40 years of Guma’s diplomatic experience – the last two as official representative of the Italian government in Toronto. No stranger to our country, Guma served as First Counsellor for Social Affairs at the Embassy in Ottawa from 1987 to 1992. Since September 2012 he has dedicated himself to the interests of the ItalianCanadian community both locally and abroad. Guma has been instrumental in reinforcing bonds between Italian cultural institutions and has facilitated business relations between the two countries. “He strengthened the connections between various groups and leaders within Toronto’s Italian-Canadian community. He was an active participant and helped us greatly by supporting our various initiatives,” explains NCIC President, Fabio Gesufatto. “I wish Tullio continued success and good health upon his retirement and hope he will always consider Canada to be his second home.” Succeeding Guma is Giuseppe Pastorelli, former Italian Consul General of Boston.


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SPORTS

Lee Prioriello (left) with Youth Bocce Canada

Bocce at Toronto’s Parapan Am Games By Luke Galati

It

was in his hometown of Bojano, Campobasso, Molise, where Lee Prioriello watched his first game of bocce. At the time, he was only 12 years old – an onlooker, watching the men of the town play. Sixty-one years later, without skipping a beat, he describes it as “love at first sight.” Prioriello, now 73 and residing in North York, still has a deep passion for the game. He is the founder and president of Youth Bocce Canada, an organization that supports athletes with special needs. Prioriello’s office walls are covered with shiny trophies, most of them from his playing days. At one point, he was ranked the fifth best in the world – and he has the hardware to prove it. There are also framed photographs all around the room that show him with former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, Pope Benedict XVI, plus dozens of student-athletes with special needs and disabilities. “If it wasn’t for this sport, none of this would have happened,” he says. Youth Bocce Canada, which has been in existence since 1994, gives high-school students and young adults the chance to participate in the sport, travel the world to play in tournaments, and offers financial assistance to special needs athletes and parents. With the help of private companies – currently 72 sponsors – just over 20 years after inception, Prioriello has developed a program that serves over 400 students. For many athletes with disabilities who live in wheelchairs, bocce is a chance to show what they’ve got. The game shifts the perception of disabilities, and for bocce athletes, the fans and supporters, it’s a reminder of what is possible. Alison Levine is one of those athletes. The 24-year-old, who has a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, dreams of winning a gold medal at the Paralympics one day. But, for now, she has her sights set on making Canada proud at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games taking place August 7-August 15. The Parapan Am Games, which are held after the Pan American Games, will showcase the skills and talents of athletes with physical disabilities. Bocce tour-

naments will be played by wheelchair athletes, many living with cerebral palsy, or related conditions. Levine is looking forward to competing. “I’m so happy that we’re going to have a big game here – the home court advantage in Canada.” All bocce events will be held at the state-of-theart Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ont.. “To see these athletes perform at a world-class level is pretty exciting, because it’s going to change people’s attitudes of abilities about abilities versus disabilities,” says Leo Plue, executive director of the Abilities Centre. He describes the Abilities Centre, and the sport of bocce as, “a microcosm of our society, where people of all ages and abilities come and participate together.” Bocce is an Italian sport, which dates back to the Ancient Romans. In fact, throwing balls toward a target is one of the oldest games known to mankind. The word “bocce” comes from the Latin word, “bottia,” which translates as “boss.” The word’s origin is likely due to the nature of this game that’s based on strategy, pinpoint accuracy and precision. Bocce was first introduced to the Paralympics at the 1984 New York and Stoke Mandeville games. There are four levels, depending on ability. “It is a sport for the most severely disabled individuals,” Levine says. “We have to have a certain level of disability to even be eligible for the sport. In daily life that minimum is considered to be extremely impaired.” Alison Levine “This game is not a contact sport, where people can get hurt,” explains Prioriello. “Here you don’t get hurt. You don’t have to be tall, strong, and fast. Regardless of your ability, you can play this sport.” By training and playing bocce, Levine has seen the power of the sport firsthand. “What it’s taught other people and myself is that no matter what life throws at you, whether you’re in a wheelchair, or you can’t move anything but your eyes and maybe a finger, you can do anything. If you want it bad enough, you can do it. There’s enjoyment of life, no matter what condition you’re in.” PANORAMITALIA.COM

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ONE MORE DAY

One More Day with a loved one Anna Camerino If I could spend one more day with a deceased loved one it would be with my mother Anna who passed away on February 12, 2012. I would love to take her to bingo because that’s what she loved to do and then after take her for dinner at the Mandarin. Yes, an Italian who loved the Mandarin! I would just tell her how much I appreciate what a strong mother and role model she was to me and that I’m grateful that I was lucky enough to have her for the 43 years that I did. Carla Camerino

Giovanna Trasente If I had one more day with my mom, we would spend it singing Backstreet Boys' songs, baking, and laughing. We would spend time together baking her amazing banana-walnut chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Also, we would sing Mamma Mia karaoke songs! She loved to sing along and dance without a care in the world. I would hug her and tell her how much I love her, how much I admire her strength, and appreciate everything she has ever done for me. She is forever missed and always in my heart. Alessandra Caparelli

Nonno Carmine Muccilli Give me one more day and we would talk for hours; we'll discuss life, your childhood and the meaning of love. You will teach me how to make wine, so fresh and so sweet and we will go to McDonald's for a little treat – you will order a Big Mac, and I would do the same. Nonno, I miss saying your name. I miss when you sneezed and blew the roof off the house. We would go through albums of pictures and you would tell me a tale, of how the roosters almost got you as you jumped on to a rail. You would sing me a song with the spoons on your lap, and it was the smile that got me, not the sound of the tap. If only I had one more day; I would tell you that you are such a handsome man. I was proud of you and cherished the time you had with me on this earth and that I was so lucky to be your grandson. It was a privilege to have you in my life. I would thank you for teaching me life lessons, about money and friends, and how appreciative that I was Nonno for being my teacher, my friend. You are on my mind every minute of the day. If only I had one more day, I would ask for another day. Angelo Rico 62

PANORAMITALIA.COM


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