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PHOTOS BY SIMONA ARU


PHOTOS BY SEBASTIAN PIRAS


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Monday
Aug192013

THE GREAT LENTINI

Frank (Francesco) Lentini was born on May 18, 1889, in Rosolini, with three legs, two sets of genitals and one rudimentary foot growing from the knee of his third leg. So, in total, he had three legs, four feet, sixteen toes, and two sets of functioning male genitals, which included all that existed of a conjoined twin jutting from the right side of his body. “I am here to tell you that there are lots of people in the world who are a great deal worse off than I am, who have far less to live for, and who have but a fraction of the (more)

Saturday
Aug172013

WALTER LANTZ

Space MouseWoody WoodpeckerAndy PandaHomer PigeonChilly WillyCharlie ChickenWally Walrus and many more characters were created by one legendary artist: Walter Benjamin Lantz. He made more than 800 short films, about 200 of them featuring the woodpecker (more)

Saturday
Aug172013

ELBA AND THE TUSCAN ARCHIPELAGO

Elba is a green oasis within the Tuscan Archipelago, an island of endless horizons: crystal clear water, sundry beaches, granite rocks, stories of people blessed by the sun. It is the third largest island in Italy, after Sicily and Sardinia, and it is part of the province of Livorno. Each of the hundreds of beaches in Elba is different: you can find long ones with golden sand, black sandy ones, with (more)

Thursday
Aug152013

TONAZZI, GRANITE SHED OWNER IN VERMONT

Vermont, August 12, 1940 - About a dozen sheds are strung along the banks of the river in the lower stoneshed section. Opposite the last shed on a knoll across the cement road is a red brick house. There is a carved urn on the step landing. “I had it built when I bought that shed over there,” Mr. Tonazzi said with a wave of his hand towards the long sprawling building. “I was born in Baveno, Italy. That's in northern Italy, near Lake Maggiore. I studied sculpturing for (more)

Thursday
Aug152013

FERRAGOSTO: THE TRIUMPH OF CHICKEN

Grilled, roasted, stewed, millions of chickens are eaten by Italians during the Ferragosto festivities. Romans eat pollo alla romana (roman-style chicken) aka pollo con i peperoni (chicken with peppers), that can be served hot or cold, perfect for picnics, wonderful leftover. The traditional recipe calls for a chicken cut into pieces, cooked in a pan with 3 sliced peppers, four (more)

Thursday
Aug152013

FERRAGOSTO

Ferragosto is an ancient holiday loved by Italians, celebrated on August 15. The term Ferragosto is derived from the Latin Feriae Augusti (Augustus' rest), which was a celebration introduced by the emperor Augustus in 18 BC., so this is Ferragosto 2031. The Ancient Romans had many festivities during August to celebrate the harvest and the end of (more)

Wednesday
Aug142013

FERRARI AND LAMBORGHINI’S SPITE

In 1958, Ferruccio Lamborghini’s tractor business was booming, so he traveled to Maranello (a town in the region of Emilia-Romagna, home of Ferrari S.p.A) to buy a Ferrari 250GT, a two-seat coupé with a body designed by renowned coachbuilder Pininfarina. The Ferrari was great but it had a couple of problems. It was too noisy (more)

Monday
Aug122013

RICOTTA

Creamy, fresh, slightly sweet, light ricotta ("cooked twice") is an Italian cheese made from sheep milk whey, the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained for the production of cheese. A byproduct, nothing is wasted! It takes over 2 and a half gallons of milk to produce 2 pounds of cheese, and the residue from that process is whey. Ricotta can be also produced with milk from cows, (more)

Monday
Aug122013

EDDIE ARCARO

Eddie Arcaro is one of the best-known jockeys in the history of horse racing, called "the Master" for his riding skills, good sense of pace and the ability to switch his whip from one hand to the other during a race. Eddie rode five Kentucky Derby winners -- a record he shares with Bill Hartack -- a record six Preakness winners and six Belmont winners. Born on February 19, 1916, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Pasquale and Josephine, Italian immigrants, George Edward Arcaro weighed just three (more)

Saturday
Aug102013

CAGLIARI

Sardinia’s largest city and its capital for centuries, Cagliari is a heaven for tourists. Like most Italian cities it offers succulent food, art, culture, and entertainment but it also offers one of the most beautiful bays of the Mediterranean, a five-mile-long beach with fine sand and crystal water, wetlands with pink flamingos. It is like being in the Caribbean surrounded by monuments, museums, castles, (more)

Saturday
Aug102013

POURING WITH YOUR LEFT HAND

During dinner, you don't eat with your mouth opened, you don't speak when you are chewing food, you keep your hands on the table, and you don't lean toward the plate. Table manners we learned as children. Did you also know that you should never pour wine or water with your left hand? Big Italian no-no, superstitious people will think you are bringing them bad luck. You don't pass a drink, you don't pour a drink, and you never give a toast with your left hand. And if you turn your (more)

Saturday
Aug102013

BREAKFAST IN NAPLES IN 1901

In an article in the Century Magazine on Breakfast in Naples, Mary Scott Uda writes: “In the short and simple annals of the poor in Naples there is no getting up and lighting the fire to cook the family breakfast. The wayfarer arriving on an early train or a reveler returning from some gay ball at dawn sees the first movement of the immense wheel of human appetite in the shape of a dismal looking creature muffled in a ragged overcoat, and shuffling sluggishly (more)

Friday
Aug092013

FRANCESCA BRAGGIOTTI 

Francesca Braggiotti, an Italian-American dancer, actress and dubber, was born in Florence on October 17, 1902, to Isidoro, an Italian tenor, and Lily, an American mezzo-soprano from Boston. Both her parents were converted to Buddhism; she was the second of eight brothers and sisters, all destined for success in the arts. The family settled in Brookline, Massachusetts, after (more)

Thursday
Aug082013

1903 - PANORAMA WATER FRONT AND BROOKLYN BRIDGE FROM EAST RIVER, NEW YORK

This film depicts the East River shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan starting at about Pier 5 (the New York Central Pier) opposite Broad Street, and extending to the Mallory Line steamship piers just south of Fulton Street (more)

Wednesday
Aug072013

Baicoli, most famous Venetian biscotti

By Maria Liberati - Baicoli were prepared and served in Venice in the 18th century, usually accompanied with zabaglione (a light foamy dessert made of egg yolks, sugar and marsala, whipped together over a gentle heat). They were the typical biscuits of the Republic of the Serenissima, always present at home, but (more)

Tuesday
Aug062013

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Cacciatore or alla cacciatora (hunter style) is an easy traditional dish prepared with a chicken (pollo alla cacciatora) or a rabbit (coniglio alla cacciatora), 2 pounds of tomatoes, one medium onion, 1 carrot, rosemary, half a glass of wine or two tablespoons of vinegar, salt and pepper. That’s the basic recipe. It is an (more)

Tuesday
Aug062013

NEW YORK BALLET DANCERS IN 1870

The ballet seems at last to have found a home in New York, and to have become one of the permanent institutions of the great city,—witness the triumphs of The Black Crook, of Humpty Dumpty, and the spectacular plays of the Grand Opera House.  It must be confessed that it is well done here.  The Black Crook carries off the palm.  Its ballets are the best arranged and the (more)

Monday
Aug052013

What’s in a Name? The Sicilian naming convention

by Angelo F. Coniglio - Genealogical research, after all, revolves about names.  The names of ancestors and relatives are the keys that connect us to them, and help to put flesh and bones on the dry statistics we may find.  To identify individuals, most western (more)

Sunday
Aug042013

LACE FROM THE ISLAND OF BURANO

Burano, an island in the Venetian Lagoon, is the oldest place for lace craftsmanship. One of the most famous legends about Burano’s laces narrates that in ancient times a betrothed fisherman, while fishing outside the lagoon, stopped to hear the mermaids sing. It was known that mermaids would sometimes sing to sailors to hypnotize them, to distract them from their work causing them to walk off the deck, or cause (more)

Sunday
Aug042013

MARIA BONFANTI

Born in Milan on February 16, 1845Maria Bonfanti is one of the most important dancers in history. Her father died when she was an infant, and when she was nine her mother sent her to the dance academy of Carlo Blasis  where she studied for 5 years. At sixteen, she made her stage debut; six months later she was the prima ballerina at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. On September 12, 1866, she danced for the first time at 3,200-seat Niblo's Garden in New York in The Black Crook, known as "the first musical comedy", which ran for two years, followed by The White Fawn, another musical (more)