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PHOTOS BY SIMONA ARU


PHOTOS BY SEBASTIAN PIRAS


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Thursday
Oct032013

BUTCHER, BAKER, BASKET MAKER

by Angelo F. Coniglio - I have discussed early traditions for determining given names for Italian children. Today, most names consist of one or more given names combined with family names, or surnames. Surnames are a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. Nobility and landowners may have had identifying names besides their given names, but ordinary residents of (more)

Monday
Sep302013

VENETIAN GLASSMAKING

Murano, a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, has been the homeland of master glassblowers for more than a thousand years. For centuries Italian and international tourists have brought home at least a piece of Murano’s glass art when they visited Venice, and if you look into your Grandma’s ‘treasures’ (more)

Monday
Sep302013

AMARETTO LACE CANNOLI

By Cathi Iannone - We grew up spending every weekend at our Nonna's house. I have fond memories of sitting on a chair to stir the pot on the stove, and studying her every move as she hand measured all her ingredients. After many years, I began to write her recipes down. One of my favorite memories is making cannoli with her. She let me wrap the round discs of dough around the wooden dowels and (more)

Saturday
Sep282013

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI

The ultimate Italian lover, sexy, charming, clever, funny, Marcello Mastroianni personifies the ideal man, and if that isn’t enough, he was also one of the best actors in the history of cinema. Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni was born on September 28, 1924, in Fontana Liri, a small town in the province of Frosinone, but soon his family moved to Turin and then Rome, in 1933, where he grew up. He was the son of Ida Irolle and Ottone (more)

Thursday
Sep262013

PETE PETE DAGO CHEAT

By Mari Tomasi, August 5, 1940 - “The way I look at it you got to have money to live, and if you can get it without breaking your back, so much the better. Changing sheets and polishing mirrors isn't the best job in the world, but it's not the worst, either. I got this room, a little salary, and they throw in the meals, too…” (more)

Wednesday
Sep252013

WORLD WAR I POSTERS

1917 - Italy needs meat, wheat, lard, and sugar; Food will win the war; Your sugar ration is 2 lbs per month; American Poets' ambulances in Italy; Cardinal Mercier's  appeal to the Food Administration to help starving millions; To all aliens; 1918, Thru special arrangement with the Italian government. (more)

Tuesday
Sep242013

RAVIOLI

raviolo is traditionally composed by two square or round layers of thin egg pasta dough and a sealed filling of vegetables, meats, or cheese between them. Who invented them? We don’t know, but Giovanni Boccaccio in the Decameron (1349-1353) wrote: "the only thing they did was (more)

Monday
Sep232013

THE TWO MYSTERIOUS TRUNKS

August 16, 1913, New York - Luigi Rosati, who has a fruit store in Coney Island, arrived on Thursday by Cunarder Carpathia from a visit to his old home in Italy with two trunks and two grips. He was greeted on the pier by his brother-in-law Nicola Romanelli, also of Coney Island. Custom Inspector Albert C. (more)

Sunday
Sep222013

GOODBYE SUMMER

The autumn equinox that will end summer and start fall is here. If you are living in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is rising later, nightfall comes sooner, and you are probably thinking “Wait, I am not ready!” True, fall is beautiful with its cooler, clear days, with nature changing its colors to prepare for winter, birds migrating, apple picking, wine making, climbing, hiking, etc, etc., but you can’t help feeling that it is the end of the year growth-cycle, one last burst of nature before winter. (more)

Thursday
Sep192013

BAMBINOS OF LITTLE ITALY

New York, July 29, 1906 - About the first thing that happens to the Italian baby after his arrival in this vale of woe is his introduction into the fascia, in which he spends the first year or two of hislife. The fascia is a strip of cotton, somewhat on the order of Turkish toweling, three or four yard in length and as many inches in width. It is sometimes white, but more often pink, or blue, or lemon, with raised white figures and cunningly interwoven in the goods will be pet names for the baby, "Bambino Diletto,” “Bambino di Mamma," and so on. (more)

Monday
Sep162013

TOMATOES AND ITALY, A LOVESTORY

The exact date of tomato plants’ domestication is unknown, although, by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other Central and South America’s areas. A thousand years later, when they arrived in Italy, tomato plants were sold for their beauty, grown only in vases, gardens and flower beds. Some varieties were toxic or inedible and people were discouraged from attempting to eat them either fresh or cooked. Until Italians found the (more)

Friday
Sep132013

PROVOLONE

Provolone (large provola) is a pale yellow, semi-hard, full-fat cow's milk cheese with a smooth skin, made by combining the milking from the morning and evening and by kneading the curd while it's still hot. It originated in Casilli, near Mount Vesuvius, with taste varying significantly from provolone piccante (spicy/piquant) - using goat or lamb's rennet to coagulate the (more)

Wednesday
Sep112013

JOHN CAPILLO AND THE COLUMBIA ASSOCIATION

Giovanni ‘John’ Capillo was born on February 19, 1886, in ScillaCalabria, the son of Bruno Capillo, a sailor, and Maria Fedele. He had two younger brothers: Pasquale (Pat), and Antonio (Tony). John was only 9 years old when his family decided to emigrate to America. They arrived at Ellis Island on June 1, 1895, after a very long trip from Calabria to Liguria, then weeks of sailing from Genoa to New York, traveling in steerage. They moved to 148 Mulberry Street, in Little Italy. On December (more)

Wednesday
Sep112013

PETER GANCI

Peter James Ganci, New York City Fire Department's highest-ranking uniformed officer at the time, died on September 11, 2001, during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Born on October 27, 1946, in Queens, New York, Peter lived in North Massapequa, Long Island, with his wife, Kathleen; two sons, Peter III, a firefighter, and Christopher; and a daughter, Danielle. A 33-year department veteran, decorated repeatedly for bravery, Peter Ganci joined the fire department in the 1960's: he became lieutenant in 1977; captain in 1983; battalion chief in 1987 (more)

Monday
Sep092013

PADRONES AND PREJUDICE

The Courier, May 25, 1901 - On historical grounds, every Italian should feel as much at home on American soil as the Anglo Saxon. Columbus was a Genoese; John Cabot, the discoverer of the continent of North America, was born in Venice; Verazzano, who sailed into New York harbor nearly a hundred years before the coming of Henry Hudson, was a Florentine. About a hundred thousand Italians per annum are now arriving in the port of New York. "It has long been known that on (more)

Monday
Sep092013

SCILLA

Scilla is a seaside town in Calabria located on the Purple Coast (Costa Viola), part of the Reggio Calabria province. It is the traditional site of the sea monster Scylla of Greek mythology, mentioned in Homer's Odyssey, and a tourist destination resort located on the Strait of Messina, the narrow sea passage between the eastern tip (more)

Monday
Sep092013

MENSTRUATION AND SUPERSTITION

When we hear about menstrual superstitions in parts of Asia and Africa, girls and women taught to feel that their bodies are tainted, unholy, and unhygienic once a month, we cringe. But until 60, 70 years ago Italians and Italian-Americans had similar weird anti-women prejudices. First of all, in a lot of families a woman was not allowed to enter the kitchen while having her period, could not can vegetables or fruit, (more)

Sunday
Sep082013

ST. CHRISTOPHER'S MEDAL

Gold or silver medallions with St. Christopher's name and image were commonly worn by Italian-Americans as pendants, especially during their voyage to the United States. St. Christopher is a widely popular saint usually depicted as a giant with a child on his shoulder and a staff in one hand. He is the patron saint of travelers; sailors; ferrymen; motorists and drivers; athletes; archers; bachelors; boatmen; (more)

Friday
Sep062013

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

'Normally I do not institute new fashions, there are a number of dress and shoe designers who struggle to be – different - for the sake of being different, meaning that they want to impose a startling new fashion line upon the woman. But, if designers must wait for their customers to become conscious of new styles who, then, determines fashion? The answer is: new fashion begin in the mind of the designer. He must not stifle all his ideas merely because the world is not yet ready for them. I have no season.” (more)

Friday
Sep062013

MRS GABRIELLI’S PRIDE

By Mari Tomasi, in Barre, on September 30, 1940 - The customer took change from her purse and laid it beside the dollar bill on the counter. A half-dollar, a quarter, two dimes and three pennies. She counted the money again, pointing to the bill and to each coin with a stout, work-worn finger whose nail was broken and jagged, but clean. The young man behind the counter was (more)