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PHOTOS BY SIMONA ARU


PHOTOS BY SEBASTIAN PIRAS


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Wednesday
Jan232013

1400 PEOPLE SAVED BY MARCONI’S INVENTION

January 23, 1909. The White Star liner Republic which left New York with 441 passengers bound for Naples was rammed before 6am by another vessel, the Florida, bound for New York from Naples with 900 in the steerage, 20 miles south of Nantucket. Her engine and boiler rooms were flooded through a hole torn in her side and she drifted helplessly (more)

Wednesday
Jan232013

ROSA PONSELLE

Born on January 22, 1897 in Meriden, Connecticut, Rosa Ponzillo was an Italian-American singer and one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years. Her parents were Neapolitan immigrants who settled on Meriden’s west side. Growing up, Rosa loved the piano but her voice was so beautiful not to be noticed and her older sister Carmela was pursuing a career as a cabaret singer. Rosa began singing popular ballads to silent-movie’s audiences while the projectionist changed film reels, and when she was only 17 her reputation led her to (more)

Wednesday
Jan232013

VANNI ARCHIVE

Architectural Photography is the photographing of buildings and similar structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects. Vanni Archive is an architectural photography studio based in New York. Valentina Puccioni and Ruggero Vanni, a team in work and in life, own the studio and have been photographing using computer postproduction since the late 1980s. Doing their own postproduction means (more)

Monday
Jan212013

BOOKER T WASHINGTON ON SICILIAN POVERTY

"The Negro is not the man farthest down. The condition of the colored farmer in the most backward parts of the Southern States in America, even where he has the least education and the least encouragement, is incomparably better than the condition and opportunities of the agricultural population in Sicily." Written by Booker T. Washington after his visits to the farmer fields near Palermo, and the (more)

Sunday
Jan202013

MALOCCHIO, THE EVIL EYE

Envy causes the “Evil Eye”, the gaze that brings about injury or bad luck to the subjet at whom it is directed. A person could be casting the Evil Eye intentionally or unintentionally and if you are even partly Italian you must have heard of Malocchio. (more)
Thursday
Jan172013

THE ITALIAN SCHOOL IN FIVE POINTS, 1855

"Early in December, 1855, the writer, with Mr. Brace, visited several families. Our reception was not such as to promise success, although, considering their distrustful and suspicious disposition, consequent upon their isolated existence, they did not treat us disrespectfully. Having thus prepared and informed (more)

Thursday
Jan172013

ANTHONY TALAMO ROSSI

"When we made the first fruit section in jars, they think we are crazy. We start to chill juice, we are crazy. But the chilled juice got so good, we had to buy a ship to move it. That's crazy too." Anthony Talamo Rossi was born on September 13, 1900 in Messina, Sicily. He founded Tropicana Products in 1947, one of the world's largest producers of citrus juice. (more)

Wednesday
Jan162013

JEALOUSY, OTHELLO’S SYNDROME

“Jealousy is a complex feeling shared by men and women of every culture and society. What differs from one setting to another and among different historical periods, are the norms and limits according to which such feelings are considered acceptable or not. Although some authors disagree and consider it (more)

Tuesday
Jan152013

9,000 YEARS OF BOCCE 

9,000 years ago people played games similar to Bocce. Polished round stone balls were found in Çatalhöyük, modern Turkey, and in an Egyptian tomb dated 3500 b.C. The Greeks played Bocce and Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, considered it a healthy activity for the young and old. But it was the Romans that made it famous throughout the Empire. They invented wooden Bocce, cheaper and easier to make and to carry around (more)

Monday
Jan142013

GIANNINI, THE FIRST MODERN BANKER

"I have worked without thinking of myself. This is the largest factor in whatever success I have attained." Amadeo Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in 1904 that later became Bank of America. By the 1930s, it was the world's largest commercial bank; by 1949, it had more than 500 branches (more)

Wednesday
Jan092013

BASEBALL'S FIRST FAMILY: DI MAGGIO BROTHERS

How many of you know that Joe Di Maggio had two brothers who played in the major leagues? Older brother Vincenzo “Vince” Di Maggio played with the Boston Braves, the Cincinatti Reds, and the New York Giants.  If Joe was the Yankee Clipper, younger brother Domenico Dom” Di Maggio (more)

Tuesday
Jan082013

JOSEPHINE MARIE CARUSO CASTANO

May 17, 1991 - 90 years old Josephine discusses her childhood and marriage to Giovanni (John) Castano; his career in Cincinnati as a scene painter for the local opera company; moving to Boston in 1930; his career there as an art dealer, his work as a teacher and as a painting restorer. "My mother and father lived in Cincinnati for many years. My father and mother came over from Naples. My father was only 18 years old and my mother was 22. (more)

Monday
Jan072013

ITALIANS DON'T GO TO CHURCH

The Sun, October 3, 1898. Open-air services were held in East 11 Street and Rev. McSweeny said that it was the first time that Catholic clergymen in this country had gone into streets to preach. In this city there are 130,000 Italians and scarcely 10.000 attend church. He found that the Italians were opposed to building or supporting churches because in Italy the Government did that. (more)

Saturday
Jan052013

BEFANA IS COMING. WERE YOU NAUGHTY OR NICE?

Befana delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5). She is an ugly old lady who rides a broomstick in the sky, wearing a black shawl and covered in soot because she enters the houses through the chimney. Befana fills socks with candy and presents if children are good or with a lump of coal or dark rock-candy if they are bad. (more)
Saturday
Jan052013

ITALIANS BROUGHT BROCCOLI TO AMERICA

Since the Roman Empire - and probably long before that since it is native to the Mediterranean - broccoli has been considered a beneficial vegetable among Italians. A cousin of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli rabé, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, broccoli is high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, it contains an anticancer compound, reduces the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, and it could reverse the damage caused by (more)
Thursday
Jan032013

PING BODIE ‘THE WONDERFUL WOP’

Italian-American Frank ‘Ping Bodie’ Pezzolo, born Francesco Stefano Pezzolo on October 8, 1887 in San Francisco, was a center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago White SoxPhiladelphia Athletics, and New York Yankees. One of the most feared sluggers in the 1910s, Bodie was a .275 hitter with 43 home runs and 516 RBIs in 1050 games. (more)

Sunday
Dec302012

ITALIAN-AMERICANS AND FIREWORKS

On New Year's Eve we wait for the famous ball drop in New York City's Times Square. In Italy people eat lentils, many wear red underwear for additional luck, and at the stroke of midnight, after kissing each other, they make a racket while watching fireworks illuminate the winter sky. Although fireworks were invented in 7th century China, Italians became the first Europeans to produce them. In the US, the Grucci and Zambelli families have been leading the industry for quite some time.

Sunday
Dec302012

NEW YEAR'S EVE LENTILS

New Year’s Eve is approaching and you know you have to eat a lot of lentils if you hope for prosperity in 2013, a tradition born most likely because of their coin-like form. Rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, lentils have been part of the human diet since the Neolithic times: 10,000 years ago they were already a staple for Eastern and European cultures. (more)

Thursday
Dec272012

HAVE YOU PLAYED ‘SETTE E MEZZO’ YET? 

Holidays: after a while, nobody talks to Grandma, nobody seems to relate to the pre-teen in the corner, your uncle is smoking outside, your aunt can’t shut up about her grandchild, it would be inconsiderate to tweet or check your FB page, you need a game that can get all generations involved. (more)

Sunday
Dec232012

TEACHER KILLED BY HER FATHER

The Evening World. New York, 1909 - Anna Mangano (22), a young teacher in Public School 121, was shot to death a few minutes before 9 o'clock this morning at Third Avenue and 103 Street by her father, Philip Mangano (53). Outbursts of jealousy had compelled the handsome woman to leave home last January and go to live in Saint Cecilia's Working Girls' Institute. Her father had threatened her life with a saber  (more)