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PHOTOS BY SIMONA ARU


PHOTOS BY SEBASTIAN PIRAS


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Thursday
May022013

SORELLE FONTANA

Zoe (1911-1979), Micol (1913), and Giovanna (1915-2004) Fontana were born in Traversetolo, a small town outside Parma (Emilia-Romagna). Her mother Amabile ran a dress shop founded by her own mother, Zeide, in 1907. They learned their skills very early. Zoe and Micol moved to Milan in the early 1930s, while Zoe got married and moved to Paris to study couture and headed back to Rome in 1937. Her sisters, Micol and Giovanna, followed her in 1940 and the trio struggled because of Second (more)

Wednesday
May012013

PORTELLA DELLA GINESTRA MASSACRE

On May 1, 1947, during Labour Day celebrations in Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily, 11 people were killed and 27 wounded in what is called  the Portella della Ginestra Massacre. Sicilian separatist leader and bandit Salvatore Giuliano and his gang were held responsible although many people believe that they were used as scapegoats by the mafia in cahoots with wealthy landowners and politicians. On April 20–21 there was a surprise victory by (more)

Monday
Apr292013

FAVA BEANS

On the first of May, a national holiday, it is a tradition for Roman families to take a trip to the countryside and eat fresh fava beans with pecorino cheese. They remove the beans from the smaller bright green pods, shell them, take a little bit of pecorino, eat them together. A perfect gastronomic marriage you must try to understand. Fava bean (vicia faba), aka broad bean, is a variety of bean native to the Mediterranean coasts; it is among the most ancient plants in cultivation and one of the easiest to grow. Along with lentils, (more)

Saturday
Apr272013

BUCCELLATI'S NEW PENDANT EARRINGS 

All styles are entirely made of gold, silver and platinum, with rare stones or enriched by precious engravings. The pieces handcrafted with the “tulle” or “honeycomb” technique are embellished by diamonds. Earrings have had a thousand of meanings in history: they were talismans in the Genesis, then a type of “insurance” for the pirates, and even (more)

Saturday
Apr272013

WOMEN'S BODIES

This shocking half-hour documentary by Lorella Zanardo shows the scantily dressed,  surgically altered women who parade across primetime Italian television.  "This project took off as a matter of urgency. It all started with (more)

Saturday
Apr272013

Bottarga, Sardinian Caviar Too Hard To Find

As chef/author Anthony Bourdain put it, “While there's bottarga made elsewhere from other fish, I think this is the best in the world.” A Mediterranean delicacy, bottarga is the roe pouch of the grey mullet salted, pressed, air-dried, and then coated to be preserved. It is prepared today as it was 3,000 years ago and it has a bright, briny flavor. (more)

Saturday
Apr272013

An interview with Nick D'Agostino III

Nicholas D’Agostino III is the president and CEO of D’Agostino Supermarkets, a chain of New York food stores that is a cultural emblem for the city, and that embodies all the ideals of the American dream. Third generation Italian-American, Nick grew up learning and living the trade.  “My mother is Irish, so I grew up with Italian and Irish relatives in the Upper West Side, but in school and at the stores there were mostly Italians. (more)

Friday
Apr262013

ELLA TAMBUSSI GRASSO

Ella Tambussi Grasso was an Italian-American politician, and the first woman elected governor of Connecticut. This was a historic election, making Grasso the first female to be elected governor of a US state "in her own right" (all three female governors preceding Grasso had been married to men who were governor of their states). Ella Giovanna Oliva Tambussi was born on May 10, 1919 in Windsor Locks, to Giacomo and Maria (more)

Thursday
Apr252013

ITALIAN AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR II

During World War II, an estimated 1.2 million Americans of Italian descent served in the U.S. military, constituting one of the largest segments of the US combat forces of about 12 million. However, elderly Italian mothers and fathers were not allowed to visit sons in the U.S. armed forces, who were assigned to military installations. (more)

Wednesday
Apr242013

ITALIANS IN THE LOWER EAST SIDE AND LITTLE ITALY

A gallery of images we update weekly. The New York's Lower East Side was possibly the only place in the United States where you could find Italians from the North, Center and South living together in a relatively small area.

Tuesday
Apr232013

PAOLO'S AWAKENING

by Jacob A. Riis, 1898 - Paolo sat cross-legged on his bench, stitching away for dear life. He pursed his lips and screwed up his mouth into all sorts of odd shapes with the effort, for it was an effort. He was only eight, and you would scarcely have imagined him over six, as he sat there sewing like a real little tailor; only Paolo knew but one seam, and that a hard one. Yet he held the needle and felt the edge with it in quite a grown-up way, and pulled the thread just as far as his short arm would reach. His mother sat on a stool by the window, where she could (more)

Monday
Apr222013

JAY DEFEO: A RETROSPECTIVE

until June 2, 2013 - Whitney Museum - 945 Madison Avenue - New York

This retrospective is the definitive exhibition to date of the work of Jay DeFeo (1929—1989). At the outset of her career in the 1950s, DeFeo was at the center of a vibrant community of Beat artists, poets, and musicians in San Francisco. Although she is best known for her monumental, almost two-thousand-pound painting The Rose (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)
Friday
Apr192013

GIULIA CONCILIO

Fonderia is showcasing 10 remarkable young photographers who are either Italian born or Italian-American. The first one is Giulia Concilio. Born in Rome in 1991, Giulia has a passion for visual arts and writing. She is studying Art at the University of Rome La Sapienza. See also: GIULIA'S VALENCIA.

Wednesday
Apr172013

VINCENT PAZZETTI

The first Italian-American to be named All-American, quarterback Vince "Pat" Pazzetti was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on January 2 1890. He was named to the National Football Hall of Fame in January 1961. A three-sport star at Wellesley High School, Pazzetti advanced to Wesleyan University for two football seasons in 1908 and 1909. In 1910, he went to Lehigh University where he graduated in 1913 with a bachelor's degree in mining engineering. He then became the captain of the football team (more)

Tuesday
Apr162013

PETER AGOSTINI

Peter Agostini:  [I was born on February 13th, 1913] in New York, in Hell's Kitchen which is over on the west side and it takes in the territory of about Thirty-Fifth Street to Fifty-Fifth Street between Ninth and Eleventh Avenues.

Colette Roberts:  It's north of Chelsea more or less. (more)

Sunday
Apr142013

PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA IN AMERICA

Feb 12 – May 19, 2013 - The Frick Collection - 1 East 70th St. - New York

The Frick Collection is presenting the first monographic exhibition in the United States on Piero della Francesca, bringing together seven works, including six panels from the Sant’Agostino altarpiece — the largest number from this masterwork ever reassembled for display. These are joined by the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels, Piero's only intact altarpiece in this country. (more)

Saturday
Apr132013

SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT MRS. GERBATI'S (ca 1940) Barre, Vermont

The Sunday afternoon session at Mrs. Gerbati's was in full swing. In the kitchen the talking was mostly in Italian. The old grandmother who sat in the corner by the stove spoke nothing else. Her face was deeply wrinkled, her eyes dull, (more)

Friday
Apr122013

FEAST-DAYS IN LITTLE ITALY - by JACOB RIIS, 1899

The rumble of trucks and the slamming of boxes up on the corner ceased for the moment, and in the hush that fell upon Mulberry street snatches of a familiar tune, punctuated by a determined drum, struggled into the block. Around the corner came a band of musicians with green cock-feathers in hats set rakishly over fierce, sunburnt faces. A raft of boys walked in front, abreast of two bored (more)