August 31, 2013

Acclaimed Calabrian Singer-Songwriter Michéal Castaldo to Perform at the Italian American Museum

Michéal Castaldo's latest cd titled,
"Bergamot: Like a Breath of Fresh Air"
Thursday, September 5th (7:00 PM)

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013

Please join us for a special musical performance by independent Classical Crossover artist Michéal Castaldo.  Michéal's latest cd, Bergamot, is a lively, upbeat recording of original, Calabrian folk, Italian classics and classic American hit songs, all sung in the Calabrian language.  The music on this cd preserves Michéal's southern Italian culture, is very unique and creative and features Mediterranean tempos which bring in a flavor of Greek, Byzantine and Spanish influence. 

Copies of the cd will be available for sale and signing.

Suggested donation of $10 per person


To reserve a place for this special double feature, please call the
Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000 or email:

August 30, 2013

Knight Without Fear and Without Reproach

Giuseppe Petrosino - a true “supercop”

Lt. Joe Petrosino, NYCPD, Badge #285
Photo courtesy of
By Niccolò Graffio
“When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death – this is heroism.” — R.G. Ingersoll: Speech in New York, May 29, 1882
Growing up, like many American-born boys, I was enamored with tales of superheroes, men with “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men” who used their powers in the fight against evil. The names of these fictitious heroes no doubt would ring a bell with many who are reading this article: Superman, Spiderman, Thor and Daredevil, to name just a few. To a young boy like me it was exhilarating to read of the exploits of these people in comic books, even if in the back of my mind I knew they didn’t really exist (except in the world of imagination). Of all of them, my favorite was always Batman.

Why Batman, you say? Simple: unlike the others, Batman wasn’t blessed with extraordinary powers no real human could possess. True, he was highly intelligent, very athletic and a capable fighter, but nothing about Batman (except perhaps, some of the technology he utilized) was out of the realm of the possible. In short, Batman was a “normal human.” I guess then you could say he was my favorite because I could most identify with him. Continue reading

August 29, 2013

A Look at Boston's 94th Annual "Feast of All Feasts!"

The 2013 Feast of Sant'Antonio di Padova da Montefalcione
Viva Sant'Antonio!
Photos courtesy of Bobby Maida
Dear readers, our friend Bobby Maida, recently returned from his trip to Boston's North End, where he and members of the East Harlem Giglio Society and Sons of San Paolino di Nola participated in the annual Feast of Saint Anthony. Bobby was kind enough to share some of his wonderful photos with us.
The New York contingent presented a plaque to Boston's San Antonio di Padova da Montefalcione Society declaring their support and solidarity 
(Above and below) An explosion of confetti rains down on the crowd 
The procession makes its way through Boston's North End
(Above and below) Along the route, devotees make donations 
Bobby and the guys had the privilege of carrying the Saint 
The festivities continued deep into the night
At midnight Saint Lucy joined Saint Anthony
For more fantastic pix by Bobby Maida visit

August 28, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Feast of San Padre Pio, Tuckahoe, New York

Photo courtesy of Bobby Maida
Sponsored by the Generoso Pope Foundation

September 20th—22nd
Hours: Friday 5PM—9PM; Saturday 2PM—10PM; Sunday 2PM—7PM

Generoso Pope Foundation
24 Depot Square
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
(914) 793-7777

Free Admission

Food • Live Entertainment • Vendors

Friday, September 20th at 6 PM: After Mass will be a procession from the Church of the Assumption (100 Pleasant Avenue) into Depot Square.

Sunday, September 22nd at 7 PM: There will be a procession from Depot Square to the Church of the Assumption.

Danny Vecchiano & The Giglio Band will lead both Processions

* All schedules and activities are subject to change, so please check with organizers for any updates.

August 26, 2013

A Look at the 2013 Festa di San Rocco in Astoria, Queens

Viva San Rocco!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
On Saturday, August 24th, I had the great privilege of attending the annual Festa di San Rocco sponsored by Societá Gioventú Quagliettana in Astoria, Queens. As always, our Quagliettana brothers and sisters did an outstanding job hosting the celebration, but this year was a little extra special for me because I had the thrilling opportunity to carry the Saint. 

After a wonderful service by Father Vincent at Saint Joseph's Church (43-19 30th Ave.), we enjoyed a delightful meal and some music outside the society's clubhouse at St. Rocco's Place (37-04 28th Ave.). The festivities lasted deep into the night.

I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Quagliettana Society for their hard work and generosity. Viva San Rocco!

Passing on the love and devotion
Family and friends pose for a group photo outside the society clubhouse
This lucky young man had the honor of carrying the relic 
The color guard beam with pride
The procession makes its way to Saint Joseph's Church
Devotees carry votive candles
(L-R) Vice-treasurer Rocco Fasano,
Father Vincent and President Vincenzo Carpinelli
(Above and below) Members of the ladies auxiliary sing devotional hymns 
Exiting a packed Saint Joseph's Church
After Mass we made our way back to the society clubhouse 
Michael Aromando and The Metropolitan Festival Band 
The revelry continued into the night with great food and music
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

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August 25, 2013

Feast of Santa Patrizia, Patroness of Naples

Saint Patricia (1625) by Leonardo Carpentiero
Photo courtesy of Electra Napoli*
By Giovanni di Napoli
August 25th is the feast day of Santa Patrizia (Saint Patricia), patroness of Naples. Each year the faithful gather at the Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno (Church of St. Gregory of Armenia) to venerate the saint and view the miraculous liquefaction of her coagulated blood. The church, believed to have been built by Saint Helena (c. 246-330 AD) on the site of the Roman Temple of Ceres, underwent several significant renovations and is the latest resting place of Santa Patrizia and her relics. Continue reading
* Photo reprinted from The Treasure of San Gennaro: Baroque Silver from Naples, Electra Napoli, 1987, catalogue for the exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum of Art (Oct. 28, 1987 - Jan. 18, 1988).

August 24, 2013

Feast of San Bartolomeo

Viva San Bartolomeo!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
August 24th is the Feast Day of San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartholomew), Apostle and martyr. He is the patron saint of tanners, plasterers, cheese merchants, and those who suffer from nervous tics and neurological diseases. Widely venerated across southern Italy he is the principal patron of Lampedusa (AG), Lipari (ME), Giarratana (RG), and San Bartolomeo in Galdo (BN), among others. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to St. Bartholomew. The accompanying photo was taken at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and Saint Stephen's Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Prayer to St. Bartholomew

Almighty and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach your Word: Grant that your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Legacy of Our Buried Past

Vesuvius looming over the temple of Jupiter at Pompeii
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Lucian

The anniversary of the destruction of Pompeii reminded me of my visit to the ruins. It was easy to feel that greatness while walking among the stones of the ancient city, preserved for centuries by the deadly ash of Vesuvius. It also humbled me to behold the legacy of the eruption, a destructive force of nature that, within a day, turned a vibrant city into a tomb.

Vesuvius has erupted several times since Pompeii. The last was in 1944, destroying a B-25 Bomber group located in Capodichino Airport (Aeroporto di Napoli, Capodichino) in Naples. The Allied occupational forces, which had taken the city a few months earlier, assisted in evacuating nearby villages. This was a relatively minor eruption compared to 1906, 1872, or 1631. Earlier eruptions during the Roman Empire caused ash to fall as far as Constantinople. In 1845 the Osservatorio Vesuviano (geological observatory) was opened in the Kingdom of Naples, and is the oldest scientific institution dedicated to studying volcanoes. Surviving the Risorgimento, it was allowed to continue its work, and can still be seen today after miraculously escaping the lava flows of the 1872 eruption. Continue reading

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August 22, 2013

Opening Night at 'The Feast'

Thankfully the rain subsided and the crowds began to arrive
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Contrary to all the rumors I heard, this year's Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn is back. 

After work, I made my way to 18th Avenue to partake in the opening night celebration. Highlights include:
Venerating Santa Rosalia at the outdoor chapel 
Enjoying some delicious seafood...
...or sausage & peppers...
...and a wide array of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
I had brioche con gelato (Zuppa Inglese) and espresso
at Villabate Alba Pasticceria and Bakery
The Feast will run through September 1st! 

There will be a Procession from the chapel (18th Avenue & 72nd Street) at 2 PM on Sunday, September 1st. Mass will be celebrated at Santa Rosalia Church (6301 14th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11219) at 4 PM.

Also see:

Announcing the 2013 Feast of Santa Rosalia, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

August 21, 2013

A Look at NYC's 124th Annual Feast of San Rocco

Evviva San Rocco!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Hundreds attended Sunday's celebration at Saint Joseph's Church
(5 Monroe Street) in Two Bridges, New York
Members of the Saint Joseph Society of Lodi, New Jersey (above) and Figli Maria S.S. Addolorata of Brooklyn, New York (below) were among the celebrants
Contingents from the Gioiosa Marina Social Club of Brooklyn,
New York (above) and San Rocco Societa di Mutuo Soccorso
of Fort Lee, New Jersey (below) also participated
Our friends from the Societa Gioventu Quagliettana
of Astoria, Queens joined in the festivities 
The color guard and standard bearer lead the way
The procession makes its way down Catherine Street towards Little Italy
Along the route, devotees pin donations onto the saint
There were light refreshments and dancing in the streets
outside Vanella's Funeral Chapel (40 Saint James Place)
The parade rolls down Little Italy's bustling Mulberry Street
Devotees carry votive candles during the celebration
Tony and Son's Festival Band were awesome
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

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