November 30, 2013

Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Patron of Amalfi

Saint Andrew the Apostle
November 30th is the Feast Day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, patron of fishermen and protector of Amalfi. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Andrew. The accompanying photo of the Saint was taken at the memorial mass for the deceased members of the Saint Andrew Society at Saint Michael's Church in New Haven, Connecticut. At the turn of the 20th century, large numbers of immigrants from Amalfi settled in New Haven, so its not surprising the veneration of the Saint is strong there. The picture of Amalfi from the sea (below) was taken during a boat ride along the Amalfi Coast. 

Prayer to Saint Andrew

O glorious Saint Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, Saint John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother, Saint Peter, to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus. Amen.
Amalfi Coast
Photos by New York Scugnizzo

November 27, 2013

"Cucina Della Nonna" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Participants and organizers pose for a photo
Photos by New York Scugnizzo

By Giovanni di Napoli

On Sunday (Nov. 24th) I had the great pleasure of attending Cucina della Nonna ("Grandma's Kitchen"), the first of hopefully many celebrations of Neapolitan food, family, and culture sponsored by the Region of Campania (Regione Campania). The event included participants from several mutual aid societies originating from Campania — specifically the towns of Sacco, Teggiano, Sassano and Quaglietta — located in the provinces of Salerno and Avellino respectively. 

I showed up to the event at the San Cono Society headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and watched masterful women demonstrate how they prepare their families’ gastronomic specialties. It was great to see these cooks get their children and grandchild involved with the cooking and preparation. The intoxicating aromas immediately brought me back to my childhood, reminding me of my grandmother's kitchen and the many wonderful meals we shared together as a family. 

The food was incredible! Cavatieddi rianisi, Savuzicchia cu' pipajuoli, Oacciarieddi cu' li fasuli, Trippa cu' patanj, Carna ri puorcu cunzata, Rava juoli cu senzifero, Cunigliu mbuttunatu, and Fusiddi cu sugu ri cunigliu were just some of the traditional dishes we enjoyed. Roasted chestnuts and a cheese course followed the tasty entrees. And, at the end, we indulged our sweet tooth with an assortment of delectable homemade desserts.

I am grateful that the members of the societies put on the event, and I’d like to give a special thanks to the ladies who worked so hard preparing and cooking all the delicious food. It was an unforgettable experience!
Father Vincent says a few words before saying grace
(Above and below) The nonnas demonstrate some of their time-honored culinary techniques, handed down over several generations 
(Above and below) Like all successful events, a great deal of planning
and hard work took place behind the scenes
(Above and below) A feast fit for a king! 
(Above and below) The ladies put the finishing touches on the platters 
before serving an army of hungry guests 
(Above and below) Some of the delicious sweets we had for dessert 
The accordionist kept the party rolling,
playing our favorite waltzes, tangos and tarantellas
(Above and below) Revelers trip the light fantastic
Placards give brief descriptions of the four towns—Sacco, Quaglietta, Teggiano and Sassano—represented at the dinner
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

Screening of "Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy" at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy (2009), 77 min. Roman Paska, dir.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 (6 PM)

In Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy, actor John Turturro takes audiences on a haunting, intimate journey to his maternal homeland of Sicily. While exploring the island's vanishing traditions, he is taken under the wing of Mimmo Cuticchio, one of the few remaining practitioners of opera dei pupi, the distinctively Sicilian art of puppetry. Filmed during preparations for I Morti, the Sicilian observation of All Souls' Day, this evocative, magical-realist documentary was directed by Turturro's longtime collaborator Roman Paska, himself a world-renowned puppeteer. Paska's film is both a portrait of Sicily and an homage to the art of storytelling.

Post-screening discussion with the director led by Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute.

Free & Open to the Public

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor
New York, New York 10036
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)

RSVP by calling (212) 642-2094

For further information see www.qc.edu/calandra.

November 25, 2013

Feast of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1650)
Workshop of Bernardo Cavallino
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 25th is the Feast Day of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria (Saint Catherine of Alexandria), virgin and martyr. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer in her honor. The accompanying photo was taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

Prayer to Saint Catherine
of Alexandria

Glorious Saint Catherine, virgin and martyr, help me to imitate your love of purity. Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires. Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully. O Saint Catherine, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.

Say Hello to Marilyn for Me

The “Yankee Clipper” Revisited
“Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio
By Niccolò Graffio
Since I began writing for this blog, my articles have dealt mainly with famous indigenous inhabitants of Southern Italy/Sicily. It behooves me to mention, though, since the destruction of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1861, the majority of the members of our ethnos were born outside the borders of the modern state of Italy in what I like to term “the Sicilian Diaspora”. I happen to be one of them.
The loss of our national identity (through conquest), plus the dispersal of so many of our people to the far corners of the world, have acted in many if not most cases to erase our ethnic identity as we become submerged in a greater “Italian” identity (though as second-class Italians, since we are, after all, “Southerners”). Example: if one just takes a cursory look at the names of famous “Italians” in American history books, one gets the feeling nothing great was ever done by a Southerner. It was all done by “Northerners” such as Columbus, Vespucci, Marconi, etc. If one believes Hollywood, the only “contribution” made to Western societies by Southern Italians is in the formation of criminal organizations (thanks to films like “The Godfather Trilogy” and TV shows like “The Sopranos”). Continue reading

November 21, 2013

Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 26, 2013–January 6, 2014

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028-0198
Info: 212-535-7710
TTY: 212-570-3828

Gallery 305

The Museum continues a longstanding holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree, a favorite of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene—embellished with a profuse array of diminutive, lifelike attendant figures and silk-robed angels hovering above—adorns the candlelit spruce. Recorded music and lighting ceremonies add to the enjoyment of the holiday display.

The annual Christmas display is the result of the generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication of the late Loretta Hines Howard, who began collecting crèche figures in 1925 and soon after conceived the idea of combining the Roman Catholic custom of elaborate Nativity scenes with the tradition of decorated Christmas trees that had developed among the largely Protestant people of northern Europe. This unusual combination first was presented to the public in 1957, when the Metropolitan Museum initially exhibited Mrs. Howard's collection. More than two hundred eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche figures were given to the Museum by Loretta Hines Howard starting in 1964, and they have been displayed each holiday season for nearly forty years. Linn Howard, Mrs. Howard's daughter, worked with her mother for many years on the annual installation. Since her mother's death in 1982, she has continued to create new settings for the Museum's ensemble and additional figures that she has been lending to the collection. In keeping with family tradition, Linn Howard's daughter, artist Andrea Selby Rossi, now joins her mother each year in creating the display. Continue reading

Simona De Rosa in "41st Parallel"

November 19, 2013

The Italian-American Experience in New Haven: A Talk by Anthony Riccio

Anthony Riccio at the Bellarmine Museum of Art
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Anthony Riccio will present his Italian-American oral histories and photographs at a talk in the New Haven Museum at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Riccio is shelving and delivery supervisor in Sterling Memorial Library.

The event, titled “The Italian-American Experience in New Haven: A Talk by Anthony Riccio,” will coincide with the New Haven Museum’s current exhibition “Beyond the New Township: Wooster Square,” which offers an in-depth and often personal view of the neighborhood’s 18th-century beginnings and the evolution of industry and immigration in New Haven. Admission is free; donations are welcomed.

Riccio is the author of four books. He spent nine years recording and photographing elderly Italian-Americans from New Haven’s old neighborhoods to produce his second book, “The Italian-American Experience in New Haven: Images and Oral Histories.”

The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located at 114 Whitney Ave. For more information, visit the website.

Source: Yale News

Also see:

St. Anthony's Relics Visit New York

750th (1263 - 2013) Anniversary of the Discovery of Saint Anthony's Relics by Saint Bonaventure
Basilica of Sant'Antonio di Padova
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
The Franciscan Friars invite you to join them in welcoming Saint Anthony of Padua on the occasion of the 750th Anniversary of the Discovery of Saint Anthony's Relics by Saint Bonaventure. St Anthony will be visiting us in the form of a precious relic from his Basilica in Padua, Italy. The relic will be accompanied by one friar from the Messenger of St Anthony in Padua.

Saturday, December 7
Most Precious Blood Church
70 Bay 47th St. (Bath Beach Area), Brooklyn
Veneration at 4:00 PM
Vigil Mass at 5:00 PM

Sunday, December 8
St. Anthony of Padua Church
155 Sullivan St. (SOHO), Manhattan
Mass at 11:00 AM

Monday, December 9
St. Patrick's Cathedral
5th Avenue at 50th Street, Manhattan
Welcoming of the Relics Mass 7:00 AM
Mass 9:00 AM
Veneration from 10:00 to 8:00 PM

Tuesday, December 10
St. Patrick's Cathedral
5th Avenue at 50th Street, Manhattan
Veneration from 8:00 to 5:00 PM
Closing Mass at 5:30 PM

Wednesday, December 11
Our Lady of Pompeii Church
25 Carmine St. - West Village
(near 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street), Manhattan
Veneration at 5:00 PM
Mass at 6:30 PM

Thursday, December 12
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church
110-06 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY
Mass at 12:05 PM

Our Lady Star of the Sea Church
5411 Amboy Road
Staten Island
Veneration at 5:00 PM
Mass at 7:30 PM

Friday, December 13
Saint Lucy's Church
833 Mace Ave. (Bronxwood Avenue), Bronx
Veneration at 4:00 PM
Mass at 6:00 PM

Saturday, December 14
St. Catherine of Sienna
33 New Hyde Park Road, Franklin Square, Long Island, 
Vigil Mass at 5:00 PM
Vigil Mass at 8:00 PM
Veneration before and after each mass

Sunday, December 15
Basilica of Regina Pacis
1230 65th Street, Brooklyn
Mass at 12:00 Noon

For more information please contact Anthonian Association 
anthonianassociation@gmail.com
(347) 738.4306
fax: 347.738.4306

November 15, 2013

Presepio Napoletano at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center

On view: 
Friday, December 6, 2013 through Saturday, January 11, 2014. 

Exhibit Hours: 
Monday - Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm 
Friday 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
Hours subject to change 

Nativity scenes are very popular in Italy and are generally found in every household during the holiday season. The nativity scene originated in Italy in the 13th century when Francis of Assisi asked Giovanni Vellita from the Village of Greccio to create a manger scene. Today many artisans are dedicated to the craft of creating handmade figures for presepi. 'Presepio Napoletano' represents rich cultural and spiritual traditions. The landscape is handcrafted in wood, cork and paper mache. The figures are made of terra cotta, hemp and wire many of which stand more than a foot tall. For more information or to schedule a guided tour or group visit please call 914-771-8700. 

Suggested donation: adults $10, children 18 years of age and under $5.  

Presepio Opening Night

December 5, 2013 (6:30pm)
Admission: Members $15; Non-members $25

Join noted food historian, Francine Segan, for a lively presentation on the many splendors of Christmas and New Year in Italy in occasion of the opening of the exhibit, Presepio Napoletano. Discover the special foods, wines, and traditions of the holiday period.Take a "behind the scenes" peek at the Neapolitan artisans who for centuries have hand crafted wooden crèches; learn about the many living Nativity scenes popular throughout Italy. After the talk enjoy an assortment of chocolates by Italy's renowned chocolate maker Perugina. Must register in advance and prepay.

Sponsored by the Westchester Italian Cultural Center
One Generoso Pope Place
Tuckahoe, NY

Contact: Patrizia Calce (914) 771-8700 (ext. 109) 

November 13, 2013

Siege of Gaeta (1860)

HM King Francis II
By Giovanni di Napoli
"I do not know what the independence of Italy means. I only know the independence of Naples!" – Francis II on the idea of Italian unification
November 13th, 1860 marks the beginning of the Siege of Gaeta. Under the command of General Enrico Cialdini the Piedmontese forces sought to finish off the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies begun by Giuseppe Garibaldi on May 11th, 1860. (1) The resistance was the heroic last stand of the one hundred twenty six year old Bourbon dynasty in Southern Italy against the House of Savoy.
Without a formal declaration of war Garibaldi’s redshirts disembarked at Marsala, Sicily, under the guard of British warships. Thus began their improbable subjugation of the independent and sovereign Kingdom. Capitalizing on a recent revolt, Garibaldi stoked the flames of rebellion with false promises of wide-ranging social reforms that, of course, were never to materialize. By the time the discontented masses of Sicily realized the true nature of the invasion, the course of events could not be stopped. It should also be noted that without the help of corrupt traitors, massive bribery, treacherous revolutionaries and Masonic elements the so-called "Thousand" could never have defeated the largest standing army on the Italic peninsula. Continue reading

November 11, 2013

Feast of Saint Martin of Tours

Grape harvest
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
November 11th is the Feast Day of Saint Martin of Tours. Traditionally a time of feasting and revelry, the commemoration coincides with the Fall harvests and the drinking of new wines before the penitential season of Advent. Coincidently, among his spheres of influence, Saint Martin is the patron of wine makers and is credited with introducing viticulture to parts of Gaul. 

Cantina del Vesuvio vineyard
in Trecase, Campania
In Southern Italy the Feast is typically celebrated with wine tasting and regional delicacies, such as fried cod or zeppole. L'Estate di San Martino, or Saint Martin's Summer, denotes a period of unseasonably mild weather similar to our Indian Summer. Due to climate changes this is less pronounced than in the past, but some of the traditions associated with the seasonal cycle persist, including celebratory bonfires and winter food preparations. Many, however, celebrate with a simple glass of fortified wine and biscuits.

In celebration I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Martin of Tours.(*) The accompanying photo of a grape harvest painted on ceramics is from Vietri. The picture of the cluster of grapes was taken at the foot of Mount Vesuvius at Cantina del Vesuvio, a vineyard in Trecase, Campania famous for its Lacryma Christi (Christ's Tears) and Greco di Tufo varietals.

Prayer to Saint Martin of Tours

Dear well-beloved Saint, you were first a soldier like your father. Converted to the Church, you became a soldier of Christ, a priest and then a Bishop of Tours. Lover of the poor, and model for pagans and Christians alike, protect our soldiers at all times. Make them strong, just, and charitable, always aiming at establishing peace on earth. Amen.

(*) Prayer to Saint Martin of Tours was reprinted from a prayer card.

November 10, 2013

Feast of Sant'Andrea Avellino

Viva Sant'Andrea!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 10th is the Feast Day of Sant'Andrea Avellino (Saint Andrew Avellino), patron saint of stroke victims and against apoplexy. He is also the protector of Castronuovo di Sant'Andrea (formally Castronuovo), a small town in the Province of Potenza in Basilicata, where he was born in 1521. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer to Saint Andrew Avellino. The accompanying photo was taken at Saint Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church (35-60 158th Street) in Flushing, New York.

Prayer to Saint Andrew Avellino Against Sudden Death 

I. O most glorious saint, whom God has made our protector against apoplexy, seeing that thou thyself didst die of that disease, we earnestly pray thee to preserve us from an evil so dangerous and so common.  Pater, Ave, Gloria. 
  
Verse  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.   
Response  From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us O Lord. 

II. O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with apoplexy, we earnestly beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God. Pater, Ave, Gloria. 
  
V.  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy. 
R.  From  a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord. 

III. O most glorious saint, who didst endure, before dying, a terrible agony, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael delivered thee, we earnestly beseech thee to assist us in the tremendous moment of our death.  Pater, Ave, Gloria. 

V.  By the intercession of St. Andrew, stricken with apoplexy. 
R.  From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord. 

Amen. 

November 8, 2013

Geraldine McCaughrean's "Monacello: Anything but Perfect" Available Online

By Lucian

As a fan of Southern Italian folklore, and an avid promoter of our people's traditions and culture, it was no surprise that I fell in love with Geraldine McCaughrean's children's series about Monacello, based on one of the most popular spirits of Naples.

Unfortunately, due to the current state of the book industry, the third installment in the series will not be published. We were very disappointed, as we posted reviews of the first two books and were looking forward to the third. However, Ms. McCaughren has not let us down!

She is generously providing the latest book on-line free of charge.

We wanted to thank her and spread the word. Below is a letter from her website explaining how to access it. 
IMPORTANT NEWS! 
A solution to the mystery of Monacello 3 
I am very sorry to say that it has been decided not to go ahead with the publication of the final part of the Monacello trilogy (That's how the book industry is right now, I'm afraid.) I feel really badly towards readers who, having bought the first two books, have been left hanging. 
So I have decided to PUBLISH PART THREE, Monacello: Anything but Perfect, RIGHT HERE, ON THE WEBSITE. 
In due course, I am hoping all three books can published in one satisfying volume for people coming to the story for the first time. But for those of you who have already embarked on Monacello's search for his roots, the concluding adventure of the 'Little Monk' will be available here, free of charge, NOW! 
Just go to the Books logo, Book of the Moment and click on Monacello: Anything but Perfect.

Also see:

November 6, 2013

Western Sicily Revisited: An Archaeology of Cross-Cultural Encounters

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jurow Lecture Hall, Silver Center for Arts and Science
32 Waverly Place or 31 Washington Place (wheelchair access)

PROGRAM

9:30am Welcome
Matthew S. Santirocco, Senior Vice Provost, Professor of Classics, and Angelo J. Ranieri Director of Ancient Studies, NYU

Clemente Marconi, James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology; Director, IFA Excavations at Selinunte, IFA-NYU

10:00am Western Sicily before the Greeks: Mycenaeans and Others along the Mediterranean Seaboard
Massimo Cultraro, CNR Catania

10:45am Monte Iato: A Native Settlement in Western Sicily
Christoph Reusser, University of Zurich

11:30am Tyranny in Selinus
Nino Luraghi, Princeton University

12:15pm The Cult of Demeter at Selinunte: A Reassessment
Caterina Greco, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage of Agrigento

1:00pm LUNCH BREAK

2:00pm The Getty Hexameters
Christopher Faraone, University of Chicago

2:45pm Greeks and Non-Greeks in Selinunte between the Archaic and Hellenistic Periods: A Revision
Clemente Marconi, IFA-NYU

3:30pm Building Local Responses: Ritual Architectures in Western Sicily (8th-5th Centuries B.C.E.)
Meritxell Ferrer Martin, Stanford University

This conference is co-sponsored by the NYU Institute of Fine Arts and is being presented in conjunction with the IFA's annual report on the IFA-NYU excavations on the Akropolis of Selinunte.  That annual lecture, by Clemente Marconi, will take place on November 7 at 6:00pm at the IFA, 1 East 78th Street.

This conference is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact ancient.studies@nyu.edu

Christmas Concert Featuring Michéal Castaldo at Saint Lucy's Church, Newark, New Jersey

Fundraiser for National Shrine of St. Gerard

Michéal Castaldo
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Friday, December 13th (7:30PM)

Majestic Castle Music Productions presents Italian Christmas Concert featuring Michéal Castaldo and John J. Cali School of Music Strings at Saint Lucy's Church.

Admission $25
Doors open at 7PM

St. Lucy's Church
118 Seventh Avenue
Newark, NJ 07104

Secure Parking on and off site

For tickets contact:

St. Lucy's Church
(973) 803-4200

The Italian Tribune
(973) 860-0101

Majestic Castle Music
Toll Free (877) 642-7271

To purchase tickets online:

Also see:

November 5, 2013

Upcoming Poetry Readings by Maria Terrone

Maria Terrone
Award winning poet Maria Terrone will read from her forthcoming poetry book, Eye to Eye. The new collection will be published by Bordighera Press in 2014. For a preview visit Redux, an online literary journal, which also offers stories behind two of the author's poems, "Spaccanapoli" and "Two Doors."

• Author's Showcase at National Arts Club

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 (8PM)

15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-3424

• Lunar Walk Reading Series at Two Moon Art House & Café

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 (4PM)

(between 2nd and 3rd Streets)
Park Slope, Brooklyn 11215
(631) 559-2852

Also See: