May 30, 2017

May 29, 2017

Feast of Saints Cuono and Conello

Martirio di San Cuono e figlio
May 29th is the Feast Day of Saints Cuono and Conello, the Iconium Martyrs. Father and son are the protectors of Acerra, a town in Campania, just northeast of the city of Naples. They are invoked for bountiful crops and protection from natural disasters, such as drought, earthquakes and Mount Vesuvius. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a Prayer in Italian to Saints Cuono and Conello. The accompanying photo of the Martyrdom of Saint Cuono and Son by E. Fiore (1867) is located in the Cattedrale di Acerra (photo courtesy of San Cuono e Conello on Facebook).
Preghiera 
O gloriosissimi Martiri Cuono e Figlio, Nostri potenti Avvocati e Protettori, mercé la vostra potente intercessione fate che il clementissimo Iddio sia sempre propizio a noi Acerrani da Lui a Voi affidati: liberandoci da tutti i flagelli, che meritano i nostri peccati. E soprattutto Vi preghiamo impartirci le grazie necessarie per salvare le nostre anime e con Voi godere Iddio eternamente in Cielo

Sfilata dei Turchi e Festa di San Gerardo — Parade of the Turks and the Feast of Saint Gerard

Potenza, Basilicata
Potenza's annual Festa di San Gerardo (May 29th) recalls the town's desperate defense against Saracen raiders. Mooring their galleys on the Basento riverbank, a band of corsairs made their way towards the unsuspecting townspeople of Potenza. Legend has it that if not for the miraculous appearance of San Gerardo La Porta, flanked by angels, the town would have suffered the usual horrific fate met by so many other unfortunate victims of Moslem piracy across the Southern Italian seaboard—death or slavery. The sight of the celestial host before them caused panic among the marauding infidels, allowing the city's defense to organize and drive them off.
The Saint's intercession is celebrated with a magnificent parade called Sfilata dei Turchi or The Procession of the Turks. Dressed in picturesque costumes—Christian knights on horseback and Turkish pirates (including the Grand Vizier on a horse drawn carriage) complete with replica slave ships—march along the parade route. Children dressed in white (representing angels) and the effigy of San Gerardo La Porta follow them, to the crowd’s delight.
After the parade the celebrants are treated to jousting competitions and horse races.

Four Weeks of Southern Italian Folk Dance Mondays at the Bernie Wohl Center

Photo courtesy of Iwona Adamczyk
Goddard Riverside's Bernie Wohl Center
647 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024

Folk singer Michela Musolino will teach 4 one hour and fifteen minute workshops on traditional Southern Italian Dances from the regions of Sicily, Calabria, Puglia and Campania Monday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:45pm at the Goddard Riverside’s Bernie Wohl Center in NYC. In this class cycle the dances presented will be: June 5th- the Sicilian Tarantella; June 12th- the Calabrese Tarantella; June 19th - the Tarantella del Gargano/Carpinese; June 26th - the Tammurriata Pimontese. Musolino will share with students a brief history of the dances at the start of the workshops and run through a warm-up with them. Students will be introduced to the identifying rhythms of the accompanying music and will learn the steps particular to the dances. As these traditional, yet current, dances are an expression and celebration of community, the focus of the workshop is for the students to experience the joy and fun of dancing as a collective! The workshop is open to all ages and skill levels. Students should wear comfortable clothes and footwear.

The 4 week session is $40 in advance here on Eventbrite.

Drop-ins are also welcome; individual classes are $12 at the door.

www.michelamusolino.com

May 28, 2017

Arba Sicula Presents an Evening of Sicilian Music, Poetry and Dance at St. John’s University

The enchanting Michela Musolino
I’m a firm believer that if the remnant of our community is to survive we need to participate in culturally relevant and edifying social gatherings to help strengthen our faith, family and community ties. Last Monday, I attended such an event at St. John’s University in Queens, New York organized by Prof. Gaetano Cipolla of Arba Sicula and Michela Musolino of Rosa Tatuata. Two titans of our community, Prof. Cipolla and Michela do an incredible job promoting Sicilian culture and folkways through literature, lectures, travel, dance, music and more. 
To the delight of the audience, Room 416A in the D’Angelo Center was momentarily whisked away to the jewel of the Mediterranean, as Michela and Rosa Tatuata performed their heartfelt brand of Sicilian roots and folk music. The setlist included an array of traditional love songs and laments, including A’ Virrinedda, Mamma vi l'Haiu Persu lu Rispettu, O Nici, and Tiritera di Bagheria, a child's nursery rhyme about the Holy Family.
Halfway through their set, the band took a brief intermission so Prof. Cipolla could recite Nino Martoglio’s “Cummattimentu di Orlandu e Rinardu,” a poem written in Sicilian based on the epic duel between the Paladins Orlando and Rinaldo to conquer princess Angelica’s heart. It was recited dramatically in English by poet Stanley Barkan.
Visiting from Catania, Sicily, Maestri Giuseppe and Giovanni Bonaccorsi joined the band on stage to demonstrate their prowess in Santamaria, the ancient Sicilian art of short fencing. The brothers masterfully twirled their cudgels and fighting staffs while parrying their opponent's blows to the rhythm of the music.
Afterward, attendees mingled and enjoyed some complimentary refreshments. Copies of Prof. Cipolla’s many books about Sicily were also available for purchase.
It was an amazing night, which once again left me wondering why so many of our people are surrendering their time-honored traditions and culture for an atomistic, materialistic, and deracinated existence. We commend the efforts of Arba Sicula, Prof. Cipolla, Michela Musolino and all the other groups and individuals that promote our rich culture and identity. Your important work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Prof. Gaetano Cipolla and just a few of the many books he has written and published about his beloved Sicily
Rosa Tatuata enthralled the audience with their performance
Michela used several types of frame drums during the performance
(Above and below) Maestri Giuseppe and Giovanni Bonaccorsi
demonstrate their martial prowess
 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo

Only in Naples — Book Presentation with Author, Katherine Wilson at the Italian American Museum

Thursday, June 1st @ 6:30 PM

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
(Corner of Grand & Mulberry Streets)
New York, NY 10013

Suggested donation of $10 per person

Q&A and light reception will follow the program.

Copies of the book will be available for sale and autograph.

For reservations, please call the Italian American Museum at 212-965-9000, or email: ItalianAmericanMuseum@gmail.com

RSVP Code: MC0601

May 27, 2017

Festa della Madonna delle Milizie — The Feast of Our Lady of the Militia

Scicli, Sicily
Every year on the last Saturday in May, the town of Scicli (a Baroque jewel in the province of Ragusa, Sicily) the locals celebrate the miraculous triumph of Count Roger of Hauteville over the Saracens in 1091. 
The festival commemorates the divine intercession of the Blessed Mother on behalf of the Norman forces at a critical point in the battle. Overwhelmed by the paynim's superior numbers and fearing defeat, Count Roger invoked the aid of the Virgin. Mounted on a white charger and dressed in full military regalia the apparition of Our Lady appeared on the field-of-battle, leading the Normans to victory. The triumph was of great importance for the Christian reconquest of the island.
As part of the jubilant festivities the Sciclitani dress in period costumes (Christian and Moslem) and parade an equestrian statue of the Madonna through the bustling streets with much fanfare. Among the local delicacies served for the occasion is a delectable cream puff shaped like a turban called testa di turco, or Turkish heads. 
A painting immortalizing the battle can be found inside the Chiesa Sant'Ignazio, Scicli's beautiful eighteenth-century Duomo.

Join Rosa Tatuata for an Evening of Song and Dance at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Saturday, June 3rd @ 7:30 PM

Monadnock Center for History and Culture
19 Grove Street
Peterborough, NH 03458

Love of Sicilian and Southern Italian roots music is what drives Rosa Tatuata to passionately interpret the traditions and melodies of their ancestors. Just as their name comes from Tennessee William’s beloved play about the happy, raucous collision of immigrant and American cultures; likewise Rosa Tatuata’s performance relates that indelible commingling to their beloved audience through song!

Fueled by their research into traditional instruments like the tamburo (Sicilian frame drum), organetto, marranzano and zampogna (Southern Italian bag-pipes), Rosa Tatuata introduces traditional songs into different musical contexts that rhythmically mirror the co-mingling of Old & New World. With an enchanting mix of ballads and dance tunes, Rosa Tatuata will take your imagination to sunbathed Southern Italy and the clear, crystal-blue waters surrounding Sicily.

Source: monadnockcenter.org

www.michelamusolino.com

May 26, 2017

Commemorating the Battle of Bitonto in NYC

Attendees take a commemorative photo outside ACQUA
Photos by New York Scugnizzo and Cav. Charles Sant'Elia
For the ninth year in a row, tri-state area neobriganti, Borbonici and friends came together in solidarity to commemorate the Battle of Bitonto (May 25, 1734), the pivotal engagement between the forces of HM Carlo di Borbone and the Austrian Empire for the crowns of Naples and Sicily. The Bourbon victory redeemed the ancient kingdom (il Regno) and ushered in the Golden Age of Naples. 
Normally held in Brooklyn, this year the event was moved to ACQUA Restaurant (21 Peck Slip) in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport. The change in venue coincides with Chef Giuseppe Marrone’s move to the restaurant. In addition to being a great admirer of Giuseppe’s cooking, he is a fellow traveler and brother, and we wanted him with us.
Our celebration began a little early at the bar with aperitifs and toasts to our ancestors and our once and future kings. When all our guests arrived, we were seated and treated to a sumptuous repast, replete with southern Italian delicacies, including arancini, burrata di bufala, pizza Margherita, and polpo alla griglia.
The beer and wine flowed, as did the laughs and interesting conversation. Our party even did a little singing with Neapolitan American entertainer Marcantonio Pezzano leading the way. Among others, Marco sang a beautiful invocation to the Madonna di Monte Vergine, with the rest of us joining in the chorus.
This year's invitation
Before calling it a night, we capped off our enjoyable evening with some shots of limencello and amaro (my favorite digestivi), and awarded the door prizes.
This year’s prizes included a Salvatore Argenio lacquered wood jewelry box embellished with the Cross of the Constantinian Order of St. George; a Salvatore Argenio blue silk tie with coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; a Salvatore Argenio white face watch with royal stemma and black leather wrist band; a bottle of Mastrodomenico Mos from Basilicata; a bottle of Fontana Reale falanghina del Beneventano from Campania; a bottle of Aitala Etna Bianco from Sicily; a fifty dollar gift certificate for Acqua Restaurant and a couple of CD’s of the Concertos for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Hyperion, 1999). The prizes were generously donated by Il Regno, Tribeca Vini and Acqua Restaurant.
Once again, I cannot thank Chef Marrone enough for hosting our celebration in his wonderful restaurant. He is a true friend and lavish with his hospitality. Dinner, of course, was delicious and the service was great. Luca, Daniele and the rest of the hardworking staff accommodated our every need and did an incredible job making us feel right at home. We couldn't have asked for anything more.
Special thanks to my esteemed confratelli and consorelle for your much appreciated support and friendship. It was an honor and a privilege to celebrate our history and culture with you and I look forward to doing it again next year at the Tenth Annual Battle of Bitonto Commemoration. Viva ‘o Rre! 
Marco regaled us with a few Neapolitan folk songs
Classic bruschetta with diced tomato and onion, and the more adventurous, but oh so delicious, red caviar and salmon mousse 
Affettati e formaggio
Burrata di bufala e prosciutto di Parma 
Pizza Margherita
Polpo alla griglia
This year's big winners: (L) Stephen won the Salvatore Argenio jewelry box and (R) Michael went home with the Salvatore Argenio silk tie
Rosanna won the bottle of Aitala Etna Bianco from Sicily
Bruno walked away with the smart looking Salvatore Argenio white face watch with royal stemma and black leather wrist band
For dessert we enjoyed some torta di ricotta, cannoli, sweet strawberries and torta di lava cioccolato
Also see:
Chef Giuseppe Marrone Takes the Helm at ACQUA Restaurant and Wine Bar at Peck Slip, NYC

Feast of San Filippo Neri

Viva San Filippo!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
May 26th is the Feast Day of San Filippo Neri (Saint Philip Neri), the Apostle of Rome. Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular clergy, he is the patron saint of joy and protector of Roseto Valfortore, a small town in the Province of Foggia in Apulia. To commemorate the occasion I’m posting a prayer to St. Philip Neri. The accompanying photo was taken at The Oratory Church of Saint Boniface in downtown Brooklyn.
A Prayer to St. Philip Neri
O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture’s promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation. Hear us, we pray, especially in this need (make your request here). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen.

Congratulations Robert on your Graduation!

Robert Nash
St. Francis College Class of 2017
Caps off to our friend Robert Nash on his graduation from St. Francis College; an impressive academic achievement! We couldn’t be happier for you!
An Accounting Major with a Minor in Economics, Robert was the recipient of the Robert B. Catell Endowed Scholarship for academic success, Franciscan spirit and community service. He was also inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society ΑΛΔ and the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Economics Society ΟΔΕ.
From all of us at Il Regno, we wish you the best of luck and much success in your future endeavors. Congratulations and God Bless you.

May 25, 2017

Celebrating the 2017 Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte in Clifton, New Jersey

(L) The Madonna del Sacro Monte. (R) Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary  Photos by New York Scugnizzo
In what had to be the nicest day of the year so far, over two hundred pilgrims gathered at Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey Sunday morning for the Feast of the Madonna del Sacro Monte. Unable to attend this glorious celebration of our Duesiciliano faith and culture the past two years, I was thrilled to return and happy to say that the feast has not only grown in numbers but also in quality.
Celebrant and homilist the Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio (Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey and Chaplain of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George) sung Mass outside the Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary located in the serene grove behind the church. 
Afterward, worshippers processed with great fanfare around the monastery grounds with the statue of the Blessed Mother three times before settling in the picnic area, where revelers enjoyed a festive luncheon with traditional southern Italian fare and music. 
In addition to my fellow Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, it was great to see members of the San Rocco Society of Potenza, San Cono Society, the Our Lady of the Snow Society, Club Sassanese D’America and the Knights of Columbus, among others, come out and show their support. 
On top of the fellowship, good food and dancing, partygoers also enjoyed a very competitive game of “pass the provolone,” a humorous take on “hot potato,” where the winner gets the cheese. T-shirts, southern Italian food products and religious articles were available for purchase.
The fête was organized by the friendly and welcoming Sandu Manghesi del Cliento Club and the Società Organizzata da Gioiese in Nord America (SOGNA), who uncompromisingly maintain their special devotion to the Madonna del Sacro Monte. 
As always, it was an honor and a privilege to celebrate our faith and culture together; God willing, we shall do it again next year. Evviva Maria!
Members of the Sandu Manghesi del Cliento Club 
Cavalieri Vincent Gangone and John Napoli flank HE Cav. John M. Viola
Celebrants make their way to the chapel for the Missa Cantata
(L-R) Cav. Gangone and Cav. Tom Portelli flying the flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
(L) Devotees with a beautiful candle house. (R) Members of the Knights of Columbus color core in full regalia show their support 
The Missa Cantata was celebrated by the Very Rev. Msgr. Cav. Joseph Ambrosio 
Worshippers line up for Holy Communion 
After Mass, these cute-as-a-button flower girls line the procession path with rose petals 
Devotees pin donations on to the statue of the Blessed Mother
Our pal Brian McGuire served as crucifer during the procession
(L) Our pal Robert and adorable Catherine enjoying the festivities. (R) Msgr. Ambrosio accompanied by his Constantian brethren 
Members of the congrega carry the statue of the Madonna del Sacro Monte
The Tony Neglia Band 
(L) We ran into our dear friends Elena and Vinnie. (R) Neapolitan American singing sensation Marcantonio Pezzano had partygoers dancing
Revelers danced the tarantella 
It was the perfect day for a picnic
Marinated sliced pork and peppers sandwich 
Sausage and peppers hero
Some delicious zeppoli for dessert