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Saturday
Jun012013

JUNE 2 - FESTA DELLA REPUBBLICA

Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day) is a public holiday that commemorates the end of monarchy, and the beginning of the Italian Republic. A referendum was held on June 2, 1946to ask Italian people to decide on the form of government, following World War II and the fall of Fascism. It was the first time Italian women were allowed to vote. With 12,717,923 votes for a republic and 10,719,284 for the monarchy, the male descendants of the House of Savoy were sent into exile. (more)

Saturday
Jun012013

NONNA USED TO SAY

A cicala canta, canta e po’ schiatta. The cicada sings, sings, and then dies. –  It comes from one of Aesop's fables: the cicada spends the summer singing while the ant stores away food. When the weather turns bitter, the cicada finds herself without food and dies. Ergo: superficial people don’t go far. Pigliate 'a bona quanno te vene ca 'a malamente nun manca maje. Take the good times when they come because bad times will always be here.  (more)

Tuesday
May282013

NUMBER 17

In Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky: it is not uncommon to find buildings that do not have a 17th floor, hotels that do not have a room 17, and when it is Friday the 17th, superstitious Italians worry. Some say it is a myth created by the Ancient Romans17 is written XVII in Roman numerals, and if you change it into an anagram it becomes VIXI, which in Latin means "I have lived", implying (more)

Wednesday
May222013

WHAT I THINK ABOUT YOU

Neapolitan people are poets even when they want to tell you “you are disgusting” (fai schifo in Italian). We picked a few of the most colorful expressions, hoping you will enjoy them as much as we do. "O puorco quanno vede a te se mette a cravatta!" - When the pig sees you, he wears a tie! Ergo: even the pig (more)

Monday
May202013

THE FLIGHT OF THE ANGEL

A little girl, dressed like an angel, is about to fly at midnight in Giugliano in honor of the Virgin Mary. It is a tradition that was celebrated in the United States as well during the turn of the century by Neapolitans and Sicilian immigrants. Festivities start in the morning and the actual flight takes place during (more)

Saturday
May182013

SUPERSTITIONS – BEWARE OF FRIDAYS AND TUESDAYS

"Né di Venere né di Marte, non si sposa non si parte, né si da principio all'arte", “neither on a Friday nor on a Tuesday should one get married, start a journey, or begin a project”. Why? As all things Italian, ask and you’ll get a lot of different answers. Some say Friday is the day when Jesus died and therefore inauspicious but cannot explain why Tuesday gets the same reputation. Others say that since Tuesday (martedì in Italian) was the day named after Mars, God of War, and Friday (venerdì) after Venus (more)

Sunday
May052013

THE EXPEDITION OF THE THOUSAND

On the night of May 5, 1860The Expedition of the Thousand (Spedizione dei Mille), led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, set sail from Genoa, to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Sicily, dominated by Spanish Bourbons, and the Kingdom of Naples, the southern part of  Italy, ruled by the French). (more)

Sunday
May052013

OLD PARLATANTO

Northfield, Vermont, July 31 1940 - "Parlatanto?" The old man chuckled over the name. He smacked his lips. "No, Parlatanto is not my real name. I am born Pio Alberto Vittorio Frangini. Pio for the pope we have at that time, Alberto for the king, an’ Vittorio for his son who is born the same day I am, on November 11. Today Vittorio is king an' emperor, an' me -- hah, I got me two names, too, no? (more)

Tuesday
Apr302013

CATHI IANNONE

Cathi Iannone is an award-winning, Italian-American home cook and blog writer who is  known by her culinary alias, The Brooklyn Ragazza.  She grew up in rural Upstate New York, between the Foothills of the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes Wine Region, but has called Brooklyn, New York, her home for over 10 years, hence the alias. By day, she is a classically trained artist, designer & fine art investment consultant, but equally as defining, she is a full-blown, obsessed lover of food, wine, and traveling. (more)

Thursday
Apr252013

SPRING, FASHION AND SOPHIA’S SPAGHETTI AL LIMONE

By Caroline Chirichella - To me, Spring is the perfect time to come out of your shell. Think about it... fresh blooming flowers, Spring-cleaning, it’s all about a new start in a sense. Opening up. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a fresh start, I instantly think of fashion and of course, food. That might just be me; after all, my mother worked in the fashion industry for many, many years. I was pretty much born with heels on! (more)

Saturday
Apr202013

APRIL 21, 753 BC: THE BIRTH OF ROME

The Latins (Latini) were an Italic tribe who inhabited the region known as Old Latium (Latium Vetus), between the Tiber river and the promontory of Monte Circeo, more than 3000 years ago. They built settlements around the hills on the left bank of the Tiber river and the settlements became a city, Rome. Legend, instead, tells us that today the city of Rome is exactly 2766 years old. The story starts with Rhea Silvia, the daughter of Numitor, king of Alba Longa. (more)

Saturday
Apr202013

ANTON COPPOLA CELEBRATES A LIFETIME IN MUSIC

Anton Coppola, a native New Yorker, was honored Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by the Italian Center for Commercial Affairs (ICCA) and the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Enzo Pizzimenti, CEO of ICCA chose the prestigious (more)
Saturday
Apr062013

APRIL 6, 2009: EARTHQUAKE IN L’AQUILA

At 3:32 local time, when everybody was asleep, a shock rated 5.8 on the Richter scale - 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale - destroyed L'Aquila, the quaint capital of the Abruzzo region, and many of the surrounding villages. It was preceeded by several foreshocks and many aftershocks. 309 people are known to have died, 1,600 were injured, 65,000 became homeless. 

Monday
Apr012013

PASQUETTA, EASTER MONDAY

Easter Monday, Pasquetta (little Easter) or Lunedì dell’Angelo (Monday of the Angel) in Italian, is part of the Easter holiday celebrations. It is a national holiday, the perfect time to take a short trip to the beach or to the countryside with friends or family to enjoy the beginning of Spring, and to finish eating the Easter leftovers. “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (Christmas with your family...  more)

Friday
Mar292013

GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday commemorates the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary, a hill resembling a skullcap located very close to Jerusalem. In Italy, small and large processions take place inside or outside churches. Most of them represent the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis): Christ carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours. Almost all Roman Catholic churches have small plaques with reliefs or paintings representing theStations. In Rome, the Pope, personally or (more)

Saturday
Mar232013

PALM SUNDAY

In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory: Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter, it is the beginning of Catholic Holy Week, and it celebrates Jesus' journey into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. The earliest mention of Palm Sunday is found in the Sacramentary of the Bobbio Abbey (more)

Wednesday
Mar202013

SAN GIUSEPPE – FATHER'S DAY IN ITALY

Festa del Papà: from New York, auguri a tutti i papà italianiSaint Joseph's DayMarch 19, is Father's Day in Italy. Children make special cards for their fathers while mothers prepare (or buy) tasty zeppole and bigné, light pastry puffs filled with cream. St Joseph's Annual Bonfires are lit everywhere and they are a pagan reminder of ancient festivities to celebrate the end of winter. Giving food to the needy is also a very (more)

Wednesday
Mar202013

ROME’S SPRING FESTIVALS: CYBELE AND ATTIS

The great Spring Festival of Cybele and Attis is best known to us in the form in which it was celebrated at [ancient] Rome; but as we are informed that the Roman ceremonies were also Phrygian, we may assume that they differed hardly, if at all, from their Asiatic original. The order of the festival seems to have been as follows.  On the twenty-second day of March, a pine-tree was cut in the woods and brought into the sanctuary of Cybele, where it was treated as a (more)

Wednesday
Mar202013

SPRING EQUINOX

Snow melts, streams swell, plants bloom, the axis of the Earth raises its tilt toward the Sun, the length of daylight increases... it’s Spring! Welcome rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. To celebrate it, we selected a very important Italian poem by Giacomo Leopardi (translated by Jonathan Galassi), The Lonely Sparrow (more)

Thursday
Mar072013

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution which involved mass demonstrations and clashes with police and gendarmes. Women were extremely significant in this revolution, gathering in a mass protest to call for political rights, including the right to vote, to serve as attorneys, equal rights in civil service, and for putting an end to the war, chanting "Bread and Peace" in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers. (more)