February 28, 2015

A Kid From Philadelphia: Mario Lanza, the Voice of the Poets

Lecture and Book Presentation by Emilio Iodice at the Italian American Museum

Thursday, March 12th (6:30PM)
Suggested donation of $10 per person

In A Kid from Philadelphia: Mario Lanza, The Voice of the Poets, Emilio Iodice explores the life of one of the greatest lyric opera talents of the 20th century. Today, his life, music and films are undergoing a revival of popularity by a generation who longs for an artist with a commanding stage presence. Mario Lanza once had an unusual ability to crossover from the elite world of opera into popular music and Hollywood films.

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

To reserve a place for this event, please call the Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000 or email:ItalianAmericanMuseum@gmail.com

February 27, 2015

The Traditions of Saint Joseph at the IAM

Lecture by Uff. Joseph V. Scelsa, Ed.D.
Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa speaks at last year's St. Joseph lecture
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Thursday, March 19th (6:30PM)
Suggested donation of $10 per person

Italian American Museum Founder and President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa will explore the history and traditions of St. Joseph's Day

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

To reserve a place for this event, please call the Italian American Museum at (212) 965-9000 or email: ItalianAmericanMuseum@gmail.com 

February 23, 2015

The Divine Feminine in Sicily and Southern Italy

Wednesday, February 25th
6:30 p.m.— 8:30 p.m.
Harrison College House, Heyer Sky Lounge
[Upenn ID required to enter, or contact lillyros@sas.upenn.edu]

Before Christianity, the people of Sicily and Southern Italy celebrated the mother goddess and other female divinities with fervor. We will discuss some of the ancient myths and mystery cults of these divine feminine icons, the ancient sites in Sicily and Southern Italy dedicated to them, and how age-old rites have been transformed into contemporary rituals celebrated utilizing music, dance, and food.

Food will be served.
Taste pastries eaten to celebrate divine feminine.
Learn to dance a tarantella.

Led by Allison Scola of Experience Sicily.
Blog | Boutique Tours | Travel Planning

February 22, 2015

Photo of the Week: Marina Grande, Capri

Pulling into the port of Marina Grande in Capri 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 20, 2015

Ponderable Quote from “The Bourbons of Naples in Exile” by Guy Stair Sainty

“Garibaldi consecrated his triumph by a plebiscite on 21 October 1860 but this failed to confer legitimacy upon the new regime in the eyes of those who observed its execution. In the provinces, local officials simply falsified the records but this was more difficult to accomplish in the principal cities, where only a minority of those qualified actually voted. The voting was open, so dissent was immediately identified and the turncoat Romano himself oversaw the ballot in Naples, monitored by Piedmontese troops and Garibaldi irregulars. Even those qualified to vote were often semi-literate and lacking in experience of the democratic process. It was sufficient for soldiers simply to invite the electors to vote for annexation, their weapons a visible threat to those who dared demonstrate their loyalty to the Bourbons. Six months later, a former Piedmont Prime Minister remarked that ‘there must have been some mistake about the plebiscite as we have to keep sixty battalions in the south to keep the people down.’ 
“The British Minister in Naples reported that ‘the corruption which has prevailed in every branch of the administration during [Garibaldi’s] dictatorship has far surpassed anything that was known even in the corrupt times which preceded it.’ Garibaldi cannot be exempted from responsibility for the ‘kleptocrats’ with whom he surrounded himself and whose profiteering he ignored. Alexandre Dumas, for example, the author of a tedious but oft-quoted panegyric to the dictator’s virtues, managed to be appointed curator of the archaeological museum, which he apparently perceived as his own personal reservoir of antiquities. The private fortune of the royal family, some 11 million ducats, the equivalent of about £40 million in today’s money, disappeared within a few days of the occupation of Naples, and soon thereafter, the entire gold reserves, which represented more than 60 per cent of the reserves in all of Italy, were removed by the Savoy government.”
* Quoted from “The Bourbons of Naples in Exile” by Guy Stair Sainty in Monarchy and Exile: The Politics of Legitimacy from Marie de Médicis to Wilhelm II edited by Philip Mansel, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, p. 258

February 19, 2015

Announcing the U.S. Premiere of Francesco Marino's "Misteri" by the New York Festival Orchestra

Composer Francesco Marino
Thursday, March 5th at 7:30 PM
Merkin Concert Hall
at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th Street
Tickets: $30; $20 for students/seniors
Reservations: (212) 501-3330 or at the Merkin Concert Hall box office

The NEW YORK FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, under the baton of music director/conductor Hideaki Hirai, will appear March 5 at Merkin Concert Hall in the "Mostly Beethoven Festival," performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major with brilliant young pianist Ivan Donchev, a pupil of Aldo Ciccolini; Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart; and U.S. premiere of "Misteri" (Mysteries) for Piano and String Orchestra by contemporary Italian composer Francesco Marino.
"Misteri" takes the form of a structured dialogue between string orchestra and piano.  The initial thematic material in the high register returns towards the end, amplifying it as in "Unanswered Question" by Charles Ives, leading up to an emotional climax in which the piano is the protagonist.
The New York Festival Orchestra debuted in December 2013 in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall to a sell-out audience, with a program that included the monumental Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, which Maestro Hirai conducted entirely from memory.  
HIDEAKI HIRAI, who has "a talent deeply ingrained in his genes" (The Den),  is one of the most gifted young conductors from Japan.  He was born into a celebrated musical family, and studied piano, violin and composition with his grandfather, composer Kozaburo Hirai and cello with his father Takeichiro Hirai, noted cellist whom Pablo Casals designated as his successor.   Hideaki graduated from the University of  Rochester (New York) with a Bachelor's degree in political science, and studied conducting under David Effron at the Eastman School.  He completed his Master's degree in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of the John's Hopkins University under Frederik Prausnitz, followed by further studies under Otakar Trhlik at the Janacek Academy of Music (Czech Republic) and his mentor Sir Colin Davis in London.
Highlights during the 2012/13 season include his sensational debut at the Wiener Staatsoper, immediately followed by a successful return during the 2013/14 season, and his successful debut in Salzburg for the Austrian premiere of his own acclaimed opera Princess from the Moon (Kaguya-hime). In December 2013 "Maestro Hirai made a remarkable Carnegie Hall debut" (The New York Culture Examiner), with rave reviews that called him "especially impressive, dynamic, confident, justly deserving of the standing ovation" (The New York Concert Review)  conducting the Beethoven 9th Symphony with the New York Festival Orchestra (NYFO).  Following that success, NYFO appointed him Music Director and Conductor, starting with the 2014-15 season.
Since 1998, Hirai has collaborated with the Czech Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra both in the Czech Republic and abroad, and now serves as Principal GuestConductor.  He has conducted numerous orchestras in Europe and Asia, including the Danish National Radio Symphony, Janacek Philharmonic, Karlsbad Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Martha Argherich Music Festival in Beppu, Japan, and more. In 2001 Mr. Hirai was chosen by Lorin Maazel as one of the ten promising conductors in Asia.
Also known as an opera conductor, Maestro Hirai has been a frequent guest conductor with the New National Theater in Tokyo, and is composer of the 2003 opera Princess from the Moon, which received rave reviews in performances in Australia, Tokyo, and Prague, with a U.S. premiere scheduled in Los Angeles in August 2015.   His second and third operas, True Love of Komachi and White Foxwere equally successful.
IVAN DONCHEV "...is gifted with extraordinary musical and instrumental skills," remarked famed pianist Aldo Ciccolini, with whom Donchev has a duet program that debuted at the Fenetrange Music Festival in France.  The pianist began his musical studies at the age of five in his native Bulgaria and made his concert debut with the Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twelve, performing Haydn's Piano Concerto in D. In 1997 he was awarded "Talent of the Year" by the city of Burgas. Donchev is a top prize winner of 19 awards in Bulgaria, Dublin, Romania and Italy.  At the age of 16, Ivan won the "Chopin Prize" by the Chopin Society in Darmstadt, and made his international debut at the famous Gasteig Hall in Munich, initiating a brilliant career.   He has been described as "refined and concentrated" (Qobuz Magazine, France), "full of temperament" (The Darmstatder Echo,Germany) and gifted with "impeccable technique and remarkable ability to excite" (Il cittadino, Italy). Donchev has appeared in concert in Bulgaria, Germany, UK, Italy, Romania, France, Slovakia, Ireland, and South Korea. 
Now a resident of Rome, Donchev has guested with orchestras throughout Europe, including the Florence Chamber Orchestra, Kronstadt Philharmoniker, Mozart Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra, and Razgrad Philharmonic, among others. His many recordings include the world premiere of Vito Palumbo's Quadro Sinfonico Concertante, as well as Tchaikovsky and Liszt. His last CD (Beethoven piano and violin sonatas recorded with violinist Ivo Stankov) received five stars from the UK magazine Musical Opinion.
FRANCESCO MARINO (composer) studied composition, piano and band instrumentation in Italy and is a prolific composer of chamber music, which has been played by the Symphony Orchestra MAV of Hungary, Windsor Symphony of Canada, Philharmonica "Mihail Jora" Bacau of Romania, Philharmonica Khmelnitsky in Ukraine, and many more.   The native of Naples has also composed for short films and documentaries, and has made many recordings that are played throughout the world.
Marino was artistic director of the Festivals "Apollo e Dioniso," and "Ascolta la Ciociaria," and organizer and director of cultural events.  He edited the presentation of more than 60 Italian and European premieres, and has taught music courses at Tor Vergata University in Rome.
His awards and prizes include Certificate of Honourable Mention in the 2005 edition of the International World Composers Competition, and he has been awarded the following titles: the honor of Knight of the Order by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano; "Badge of honor for the wounded during service," by the Ministry of Defence; "and "Silver Cross" for his services rendered in the Carabinieri Corps.
For more information about the New York Festival Orchestra, please contact:
Kalin Ivanov, Executive Director
Phone: (718) 871-5041
Email: info@NYFO.org
Web: www.NYFO.org

Press Contact:
Audrey Ross
(212) 877-3399

Upcoming Speaking Engagements With Anthony V. Riccio, Author of "Farms, Factories and Families"

Author Anthony V. Riccio will discuss his latest book Farms, Factories and Families: Italian American Women of Connecticut. For updates and additional speaking events please visit www.anthonyriccio.com

• March 1: Sunday 2:00pm
New Haven Museum
New Haven, CT

• March 7: Saturday 1:00pm
North Haven Library
North Haven, CT

• March 14: Saturday 1:00pm
Edith Wheeler Library
Monroe, CT

• April 25: Saturday 3:00pm
Brookfield Library
Brookfield, CT

• June 6: Saturday 10:00am
New Britain Public Library
New Britain, CT

• June 13: Saturday 1:00pm
Torrington Library
Torrington, CT

Also see:
Anthony Riccio's "From Italy to America" Travels to Ravello, Italy
Anthony Riccio Featured in 'Act Two' Magazine
A Look at Anthony Riccio's 'From Italy to America '
Preserving Living History: Interview with Oral Historian and Photographer, Anthony V. Riccio

February 18, 2015

Celebrate the Culture and Cuisine of Sicily With Michela Musolino at Dominican College

Friday, February 27 @ 7:00 PM
Enjoy an evening of authentic Sicilian food and wine, traditional Sicilian music and dance while learning about the culture and history of Sicily. Michela Musolino will be joined by the amazing musician and folklorist, Phil Passantino for a presentation of the story of Sicilian folk music. They'll also present some traditional dance and a mini concert.
$60 per person/$100 per couple
Make your reservations early – seating is limited
Call (845) 848-7406
Email specialevents@dc.edu
Make your check payable to Dominican College
Mail your check to:
Dominican College, Attn: Siena House,
470 Western Highway, Orangeburg, NY 10962
Pay by credit card by calling (845) 848-7406

February 17, 2015

"Farms, Factories and Families" Author Anthony V. Riccio Interviewed on WQUN

Historian, photographer and author Anthony V. Riccio was interviewed this morning about his new book Farms, Factories and Families: Italian American Women of Connecticut on New Haven County's AM1220 WQUN. The interview will be aired Monday, February 23rd at 8:45. It will be streaming at WQUN.com after the radio broadcast.

February 16, 2015

Michéal Castaldo to Release Toglimi il Respiro (Take My Breath Away)—An Italian Rendition of the Top Gun Theme Song

Toglimi il Respiro CD cover
Photo by Mark Kopko
Michéal Castaldo will officially release a digital single of Toglimi il Respiro (Take My Breath Away) on Vital Records on March 3, which is first day of the love song’s 30th year. The arrangement is by Michéal Castaldo and Stein Berg Svendsen, who also produced it for Majestic Castle Music Productions, New York, NY. Recorded and performed by Castaldo, the digital single will be available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and other digital music stores everywhere.
Castaldo, an Italian tenor who sings in the style of Andrea Bocelli, is honoring the song because it’s the theme song of so many people in love. Toglimi il Respiro, the Italian version of Take My Breath Away, was written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock. Moroder is an award-winning Italian-born singer, songwriter, record producer who has written many hits for Donna Summer as well as songs for David Bowie, Blondie, and others.
Take My Breath Away is the love song from the film Top Gun (1986), starring Tom Cruise. It was recorded by Berlin and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1986. Take My Breath Away peaked at number one in 1986 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the charts in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, and Belgium. 
The original Italian version of the song was recorded by Cristiano Malgioglio in 1987. Other notable artists that have covered this song are Jessica Simpson in 2004 and the British Classical Crossover vocal group Blake in 2007.
For more info about the recording and the artist/co-producer, Michéal Castaldo, go to www.michealCASTALDO.com
Amazon link: tinyurl.com/noukn4q
iTunes link: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/micheal-castaldo/id367910625
YouTube live performance link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML_RWzLsCsI
YouTube lyric video link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDmOpGca1R4

Contact Information:
Majestic Castle Music - Vital Records, Inc.

New York City, New York 10001

Contact Person:
Charlotte Jayne
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (631) 256-6515
email: email

February 15, 2015

Photo of the Week: Cupid with Fish

Cupid with fish at Dr. Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele in Anacapri, Capri
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 13, 2015

Sanguinaccio di Carnevale

Photo courtesy of Lopes Sausage Co.
With Carnevale winding down and Shrove Tuesday (Martedí Grasso) coming up, there’s little time left to make the traditional dishes connected with the season before Lent. For some Neapolitans this means sanguinaccio di Carnevale, a rich, delicious pudding made with pigs blood.
Thanks to Danielle Oteri's popular "Sanguinaccio: From Mexico, Naples to Brooklyn" (see Il Regno, March 26, 2014), we've received several inquiries from our readers where they can get the hard to find ingredient necessary to make authentic versions of this "exotic" dish.
Since my friend Patrick is absolutely bonkers about the pudding and makes his own familial version each year, I contacted him and asked where he gets his. Happy to oblige, he swears by Lopes Sausage Co. (304 Walnut Street), a Portuguese butcher shop located in Newark, New Jersey. Established in 1965, Lopes is famous for their chorizo and linguica, but they also sell pasteurized pig's blood for morcilla, a Spanish-style blood sausage. Pat says they offer it by the gallons, but if requested before hand they will sell it in smaller quantities.
For the history of sanguinaccio and Elena Loguercio’s recipe see Sanguinaccio: From Mexico, Naples to Brooklyn.

February 8, 2015

Photo of the Week: Fresco inside the Castel Nuovo

Fresco inside the front entrance of the Castel Nuovo in Napoli
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 7, 2015

The Search for our Ancestry (IX)

On-Line Census Searches
By Angelo Coniglio
If you still live in the place where your immigrant ancestors settled, your local public library probably has hard copies of the US Census covering your location.  However, if you live elsewhere, you must search on-line censuses.  I find that even for local information, using on-line searches is easier than using hard copies, which must be searched by town, enumeration district, ward, etc.  On-line venues permit searching by name of the individual, so knowing the street address, or even the city, is not required, to do a broad search over many years of censuses.  
Many public libraries have free access to subscription sites holding these records, and Mormon FamilySearch Centers allow patrons free access to subscription genealogy sites.  There are dozens, if not hundreds, of sites.  Here are the most popular ones dealing with censuses. 

is the site maintained by the Mormon church.  It’s free and allows users to order microfilms containing US Federal Census records, as well as a host of other federal, State, local and foreign records.  Many records are now also available there on-line, as images of original documents. The site offers many free on-line lectures and tutorials. Henceforth, I’ll refer to this site as familysearch.org

Free sites that include information about federal censuses and/or access to records include the US National Archives site at http://www.archives.gov/ which features pages for each decennial census and lists the questions asked on each; and  http://stevemorse.org/census/ which allows searching of the latest census available, that of 1940, in several different ways. 

is a subscription site which has all the released US Federal Censuses, from 1790 through 1940.  They can be searched by inputting a person’s name.   It offers free two-week trial subscriptions and a variety of monthly or annual subscriptions, depending on the region of interest (US, world, etc.)   Many public libraries, as well as Mormon FamilySearch Centers, allow free access.  In my columns I’ll refer to this site as Ancestry.com

While searching on-line, many new researchers are frustrated when they can’t find information using an ancestor’s name they ‘know’ to be correct.  Let’s consider the problem. 
Misspelling on original records: One of the ways that the Sicilian populace was suppressed, through the early 1900s, was that public education was limited.  Many of the Sicilians of the ‘Great Migration’ to America were illiterate.  That, plus the fact that often American census takers, clerks, and other officials did not speak the immigrants’ language resulted in errors even on official documents.  This can include misspelling by sound: ‘Gelia’ instead of Giglia, etc. 
Misspelling by computer transcribers: Even if the name is correct on the original record, indexers unfamiliar with the name may record it in the data base incorrectly.   This can include misspelling by looks: (‘u’ instead of n; ‘j’ for i; ‘i’ for e, and so on.

Switching given names with surnames:  Immigrants often gave their surnames first.  A clerk or transcriber might not know if the name should be ‘Alessi Rosa’ or Rosa Alessi. 

Be prepared to look for ancestors using wide variations from the presently accepted names.  If you have no luck on one site, try a different one; the name may be mispelled and indexed incorrectly on one site, but correctly recorded on another.  If you know that a neighbor of your ancestor had a simpler name, try searching for the neighbor.  Your ancestor may be recorded on the same census sheet as the more easily found neighbor.
Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel (La Ruotaia), based on his genealogical research of Sicilian foundlings.  Order the book in paperback or on Kindle at www.bit.ly/racalmuto. Visit his website, www.bit.ly/AFCGen, and write to him at genealogytips@aol.com.

February 6, 2015

Craco Vecchio’s Church of San Nicola—La Chiesa Madre

Lost Beauty—San Nicola’s architecture is still visible on the exterior view (left) but the beautiful artwork and fixtures partially shown in the 1990 photo (right) have been lost. Photographs of 1990 from Jospeh D. Rinaldi
Reprinted from the February 2015 Craco Society Bulletin
Craco Vecchio had several churches in it but the Church of San Nicola Vescovo was the central one giving it the name “Chiesa Madre” or the Mother Church. Recently, a photograph of the baptismal font from there was given to the Society. This is important since it is the only photograph we are aware of showing the inside of the church before it was abandoned after the Frana. 
Baptismal Font 
Courtesy of Fil Francavilla
The font was used for centuries and everyone today who traces their ancestry to Craco either was or had ancestors baptized using it. 
According to Note Storiche del Comune di Craco the history of the town written in 1986:
The Church of San Nicola Vescovo (Chiesa Madre) measured 48 ft. at its maximum width and 90 ft. at the maximum length. It was erected in three different stages: the main section in the thirteenth century, an additional section in the sixteenth century, and in the eighteenth century the dome and some additional windows were added. The interior was restored in the last century and decorated on the initiative of Archpriests Molfese and Giannone, with paintings of the Neapolitan school.
This sacred church contains a mixture of styles: a bit Romanesque with a facade that does not have a cornice and some classic Byzantine domes that suggests a presence of the Greek Empire in the area. It has been restored several times: late in the eighteenth century, just after the unification of Italy, and again in 1903.  
The church has maintained, until the seventies of this century, chapels (with attached tombs), private property and brotherhoods. 
They were: 
The Altar of the Chapel and Society San Sacramento (with burial). They possessed some land, animals and a couple of houses in the seventeenth century. The administrator who held power was a brethren elected by the SS. Sacramento. In the eighteenth century they gave as a gift to the Chiesa Madre ten ducats a year and other contributions for processions, masses, etc. 
The Altar of the Chapel and SS. Crucifix of the Brotherhood of Mount of the Dead, founded in 1683. They possessed much wheat and other assets and were governed by an administrator, a conservative, and other officers, elected by the Brothers utilizing precise instructions. They donated to the Church thirty-one ducats and twelve carlini per year. They also paid more money for assistance to the families of their dead brothers, for the celebration of the harvest, and so on. 
The Altar of the Chapel and SS. Rosario. They were founded in the late seventeenth century. They donated to the Church twenty ducats a year, owned land and were governed by an administrator.  
The Altar of the Chapel of the Holy Cross. They were founded around 1642. They gave the Church two carlini a year. 
The Altar of the Chapel of St. Giovanni Evangelista. The Nigro family belonged to this brotherhood. They donated four carlini per year as a gift.  
The Altar and Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. First was run by the Mazzilli family, then the Montemurro family. Their gift to the Church was one carlino per year.  
The Altar and Chapel of St. Anthony. Founded at the end of the seventeenth century, their donation was two carlini per year.  
Altar of San Leonard (Magliari family). Two carlini per year. 
The Altar and Chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (the Nigro family). They donated to the Church four carlini per year.  
The Chiesa Madre which once possessed a great deal of land to- day owns practically none; a few houses and a small tithe.
Entryway—a view of the interior entryway is shown in a 1990 photograph (left) of the church after it was abandoned. Right is a more recent photograph of the same area showing the deterioration that has occurred. This view provides a glimpse of an alcove like the one that held the baptismal font.

February 4, 2015

Lecture/Concert: Southern Italian Peasant Music in a Post Modern World: From Lomax to Today

February 11th (6:00pm)

In 1954 Alan Lomax made a historic year long trip through Italy making ethnographic field recordings of the music that defined every-day Italians' identity and way of life. These documentations were the first of their kind for Italy, and stand as a valuable testimony of an extremely rich diversity of expression that was already beginning to give way to modernization and social change.

Inspired by the field work of Lomax, David Marker, a young field recorder, Italian American and NYU student, has made a significant effort to document what remains of this music today. In comparing the recordings of Lomax to contemporary recordings, a picture of changing cultural identity and values becomes apparent. This presentation will showcase a handful of select recordings from Lomax's 1954 trip as well as a number of recordings from Marker's contemporary work. 

Additionally, Marker and another Italian American musician, Dominic Porco, will perform live music rarely heard in the US. Alan Lomax's daughter, Anna Lomax Wood, director of the Association for Cultural Equity, and who was in Italy in 1954 with her father, will be part of the discussion.

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University
24 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò has been offering for years an intense calendar of events in many different cultural and social fields, such as art exhibits, concerts, lectures, screenings and previews, literary presentations and awards, and other events open to the public, all of which pertinent to Italian culture and made available - in English - for an American audience. Unless stated otherwise, all events are FREE and open to the general public. It is not possible to reserve seats and seating will take place on a first-come first-serve basis.

For more information visit www.casaitaliananyu.org

Around the Web: Saint Agatha

Photo courtesy of Made in South Italy Today
La festa (the feast) of St. Agatha is the most important religious festival of the city of Catania.
The festival takes place every year 3 to 5 February and 17 August.
One million people among the devotees, pilgrims, tourists and onlookers from all over the world will visit Catania. It is considered one of the three major Catholic celebrations around the world for public attendance.
The first date is that of the martyrdom of the saint of Catania, while the date of August reminds the return of her remains to Catania after they were stolen and brought to Constantinople by the Byzantine general George Maniakes as spoils of war and where they remained for 86 years. Continue reading

February 3, 2015

Basilicata Region Forms Immigration Museum

Lagopesole Castelo—Built between 1242-1250 by Frederick II the castle became the home to brigands in 1861 lead by Car- mine Cracco. Already a major tourist attraction with a museum and restored rooms. It has the reputation of being the most beautiful and most mysterious castle in Basilicata. On August 12th an event is held to commemorate the arrival of Frederick.
Reprinted from the February 2015 Craco Society Bulletin
In January the Consiglio Regionale della Basilcata rewrote the constitution and renamed the organization of associations outside Italy to “Lucani nel Mondo” (Lucani of the World) to better reflect the composition of member organizations. 
With the new structure they also started the creation of “Il Museo dell’emigrazione” (The Immigration Museum) at Lagopesole Castle in Avigliano. The new museum is scheduled to be opened on May 22, 2015 to coincide with “Giornata dei Lucani nel Mondo” (Day of the Lucani in the World). 

February 2, 2015

Photo of the Week: The Cloister at Villa Rufolo

The Moorish style court or cloister at Villa Rufolo in Ravello 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 1, 2015

Villa Palagonia Announce Chicago Mini-Tour

Allison Scola and Joe Ravo of Villa Palagonia
Friday, February 6th, 2015 Clark House Concerts
Doors open 7:15 PM, music at 8 PM
Please make a reservation for street address
Oak Park, IL 60303
(708) 848-2205
Price: $15

Peter and Nancy Clark will graciously hosts Villa Palagonia for an intimate evening of music, stories, and treats in their home. Reservations are required. Address details will be given once you have been in contact with the Clarks. Please call Nancy at (708) 848-2205 to reserve your spot!

Saturday, February 7th, 2015
Folkstage - 8 PM CST
(Listen Live! 9 PM Eastern on wfmt.com)
5400 N. St Louis
Chicago, IL 60625
Price: Membership to Chicago's FM 98.7

Hosted by Richard Warren, Folkstage is an uninterrupted, one-hour concert broadcast featuring some of the best traditional and singer-songwriter talent in folk music. The live concerts can be are heard Saturdays at 8 PM CST/9 PM EST on WFMT (98.7 FM) or streaming at http://www.wfmt.com, immediately preceding the broadcast of the renowned folk show, The Midnight Special.

For more info visit http://www.allisonscola.com
For more about Villa Palagonia visit http://villa-palagonia.com
Also, check out Allison's fantastic website Experience Sicily

New Books

Some new and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. All are available at Amazon.com

Calabria: The Other Italy by Karen Haid

Publisher: Mill City Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2015
Paperback: $14.12
Language: English
Pages: 280

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Vici Vindiciae: The Vindication of Giambattista Vico: Ingenuity and Laughter by Giorgio A. Pinton

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: January 11, 2015
Paperback: $9.00
Language: English
Pages: 162

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• Secret Naples by Valerio Ceva Grimaldi and Maria Franchini 

Publisher: Jonglez Publishing 
Publication Date: February 7, 2015 
Paperback: $17.97 
Language: English 
Pages: 400 

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• Baltimore's Little Italy by Suzanna Rosa Molino

Publisher: The History Press
Publication Date: February 23, 2015
Hardcover: $14.68
Language: English
Pages: 160

The Ethics of Ornament in Early Modern Naples: Fashioning the Cerosa di San Martino (Visual Culture in Early Modernity) by J. Nicholas Napoli

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Hardcover: $99.69
Language: English
Pages: n/a

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Inventing the Pizzeria: A History of Pizza Making in Naples by Antonio Mattozzi

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication Date: November 19, 2015
Paperback: $24.65
Language: English
Pages: 160

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Click here to see more books