August 31, 2015

A Look at the 19th Annual Festa di San Donato in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Viva San Donato! 
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Friday after work, I made my way to Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the 19th Annual Feast of San Donato. Organized by Francesca Mazza (and her gracious family) the ceremony took place outside their beautiful home at 158 Conselyea Street.

Normally held on August 7th, this year's celebration was postponed a few weeks because Franca and her family made a pilgrimage to Sassano (SA) for the Feast of San Rocco. Little by little the intimate celebration continues to grow, attracting new devotees every year. Thankfully, the change in date did not adversely affect this year's turnout.

Thank you Franca for your hard work and dedication. As always, you did a magnificent job. It was an honor and a privilege to celebrate with you and I look forward to doing so again next year. Viva San Donato!
An altar is erected in front of the Mazza residence
The reliquary sits on the altar
A close-up of San Donato's relic
Before Mass, we pray the Rosary
Nearly one hundred pilgrims celebrated Mass
Father Tom gave an impassioned homily
After Mass, devotees venerate the relic
We were treated to some delicious refreshments
Pastiera di spaghetti (spaghetti pie)
Le Chiacchiere
Thank you to the Mazza family for your kindness and generosity

Photo of the Week: Statue of Roberto Guiscardo at Montecassino

Robert Guiscard (the Cunning), Duke of Apulia and Calabria, Montecassino Abbey
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

August 29, 2015

Assunta Spina (1915)

Festival of Contemporary Music: Ensemble Dissonanzen
Monday, September 14 (6PM)

Italian Cultural Institute
686 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(212) 879-4242


Ensemble Dissonanzen will feature a live sound track of the silent film masterpiece "Assunta Spina," also known as "Neapolitan Blood," which this year marks the centenary of its production.

It was, in fact produced twenty years before the birth of Cinecittà, with shooting in the streets of Naples, offering impressive views of the city (Mergellina, Pal. Donn'Anna in Posillipo, Nisida, etc.) by a team of extraordinarily talented professionals lead by director and actor Gustavo Serena, but mainly by a bubbling Francesca Bertini, diva of silent film. Continue reading


August 28, 2015

Back For More

Scenes From the 40th Anniversary Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Arancini, stuffed with peas and ragù
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Last night, after work, I decided to stop by the Santa Rosalia Feast one more time before Sunday's procession and Mass. Unable to go on Friday (because I'll be attending the Feast of San Donato in Williamsburg) or Saturday (because I'll be attending the Feast of San Rocco in Astoria) this was going to be my last chance to partake in the festivities and enjoy the delicious Palermitano street fare.
Sfincione, Sicilian focaccia topped with tomatoes, onions and anchovies
Without my Friday Fast restrictionsI was able to enjoy the grilled meats 
Marinated peppers 
I was going to try something different for dessert,
but I couldn't resist having another Baked Iris
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

Also see:
Back For Seconds: Scenes From the 40th Anniversary Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at the 2015 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 39th Annual Festa di Santa Rosalia, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at the 2014 Santa Rosalia Feast, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 2013 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at 'The Feast'
It's Back! The Santa Rosalia Feast Returns to Bensonhurst
The Twilight of the Feast
The Feast of Santa Rosalia (18th Ave Feast)

Congratulations Therese and Giuseppe!

August 26, 2015

The Light of Southern Italy: Paintings from the 19th Century Neapolitan School

October 8th through November 5th
Monday through Saturday, 10:00am—5:00pm

Italian Cultural Institute
686 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(212) 879-4242

Opening at the Italian Cultural Institute, The Light of Southern Italy, is a carefully selected exhibition, curated by Marco Bertoli, of 34 beautiful paintings rarely seen in New York and the United States. This is the second exhibition from this collaboration at the Institute following The Macchiaioli in October 2014. And is the next step in Bertoli’s project to bring 19th-century Italian painting, in all of its diversity and splendor, to an American audience while paying tribute to the artistic heritage of the many Italians who built the dynamic Italian-American community. The exhibition highlights artists from across Italy’s southern regions including Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, and Sicily. Mastering light and chromatic effects, these painters created landscapes, seascapes, genre scenes, and portraits of great beauty.  The intensity of the light in these images transports the viewer to the Mediterranean and conveys the aura of the south of Italy which was characterized by the excavations at Pompeii, the grandeur of Vesuvius, the rugged coastline, and the humble allure of the local people. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, in his celebrated Voyage in Italy, Naples and the surrounding countryside “… have left an indelible impression.” Continue reading

August 23, 2015

Photo of the Week: Arcangelo Michele at Villa San Michele in Anacapri, Capri

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

August 22, 2015

Back For Seconds

Scenes from the 40th Anniversary Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
I had such a good time yesterday I couldn't wait to come back
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Devotees pin donations on to the saint at the outdoor chapel
Even though I abstain from meat on Fridays, I had no problem finding something delicious to eat for supper. I started off with a delicious rapini arancini
Next, I enjoyed some littleneck clams on the half shell
followed by a half dozen baked clams
with a little seafood salad on the side
I completed my meal with an espresso and one of my all-time favorite pastries, a Baked Iris (stuffed with sweet ricotta) from Villabate Alba Pasticceria
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

Also see:
Opening Night at the 2015 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 39th Annual Festa di Santa Rosalia, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at the 2014 Santa Rosalia Feast, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 2013 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at 'The Feast'
It's Back! The Santa Rosalia Feast Returns to Bensonhurst
The Twilight of the Feast

The Feast of Santa Rosalia (18th Ave Feast)

August 21, 2015

Opening Night at the 2015 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Evviva Santa Rosalia!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Yesterday kicked off the 2015 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. A neighborhood staple for 40 years, the celebration features nightly entertainment, games, rides, and plenty of delicious food. The festivities continue until Sunday, August 30th. 
Enjoy the many amusements, but please don't forget the true reason for the celebration and honor our glorious patroness Santa Rosalia. The procession from the chapel (18th Ave. and 72nd Street) starts Sunday, August 30th at 2 PM. Mass will be celebrated at St. Dominic's Church (2001 Bay Ridge Pkwy) at 3 PM.
Opening night was a blast! Meeting up with some friends for dinner and a little lighthearted revelry brought back a lot of fond memories. 
Be sure to visit our friends Jill and RoseAnn at the Big Chair
for a few laughs and a fun souvenir
Stop by Lucy's and try some of their delicious Sicilian specialties.
 Sal started me off with 
some grilled stigghiola 
Stigghiola (roasted lamb intestines)
Boiled pork hocks and feet 
Fried peppers and marinated artichoke hearts 
Grilled octopus 
Our new friend Lidia enjoyed some pig's feet salad 
For dessert, I devoured my brioche con gelato at Villabate Alba Pasticceria
Caffe Italia still makes one of the best shots of espresso in Brooklyn
For more photos visit us on Pinterest

Also see:
A Look at the 39th Annual Festa di Santa Rosalia, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at the 2014 Santa Rosalia Feast, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
A Look at the 2013 Feast of Santa Rosalia in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Opening Night at 'The Feast'
It's Back! The Santa Rosalia Feast Returns to Bensonhurst
The Twilight of the Feast
The Feast of Santa Rosalia (18th Ave Feast)

August 20, 2015

Viva San Rocco!

A Look at the 126th Annual Feast of San Rocco in NYC
Viva San Rocco!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
There was a tremendous turnout and terrific atmosphere for Sunday's (August 16th) Feast of San Rocco. I'm happy to say our concerns about the new venue were unwarranted, as celebrants (old and new) showed up in force to welcome our beloved patron to his new home at Most Precious Blood Church in historic Little Italy.
Bedecked with flowers, the packed church resounded with the beautiful voice of cantor Susan Mello and the songs and prayers of the worshippers. We were honored to celebrate Mass with Most Reverend Bishop John O'Hara and Monsignor Donald Sakano, who provided crucial support to the San Rocco Society during this difficult period. Both were instrumental in the society's amenable move from the now closed Saint Joseph's Church.
In addition to the commitment from the diocese, the near seamless transition to the new location can be attributed to the Herculean will of President Stephen LaRocca and members of the San Rocco Society, who worked tirelessly to make this event a huge success. Special thanks are in order to Bill Russo, John Amerise and the rest of the parish staff for their hard work and boundless hospitality. It was a huge privilege to be able to celebrate our faith and culture together, and be a part of this glorious 126-year tradition. Viva San Rocco!
The society's first Mass at Most Precious Blood Church in historic Little Italy
was celebrated with Most Reverend Bishop John O'Hara
After Mass, San Rocco is presented to the eager crowd
Jubilation ensued when San Rocco descended the stairs: The band played solemnly as the church bells tolled, confetti sticks exploded and people cheered for our beloved patron (photo courtesy of Bill Russo)
Devotees pin donations on to the saint  
Revelers dance in the streets 
Our pals Deacon Bill di Schiavo (from the Saints Cosmas and Damian Society of Utica, NY), Marcantonio Pezzano (from the Saint Anthony of Padua Benevolent Society of Elmont, LI) and St. Rocco's own Andrew Giordano show their support  
Our friend Kathryn Archipolo holds a wax ex-voto of a leg. Anatomical votive offerings (vote di cera) like this are made in gratitude for a Saint's intercession and healing of ailing body parts 
The procession makes its way down Bayard Street
The color guard stand proud
Our buddies Enza and Robert from the St. Francis College Italian American Historical Society join the celebration
(Above and below) Our friends from the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata always show San Rocco tremendous support
It's always great to see our friends from Club Sassanese d’America  
We briefly returned to Saint Joseph's Church (5 Monroe Street)
to pay our respects and remember our history 
A handful of devotees remain in Knickerbocker Village
Generations of the faithful carry the cinte (candle house) 
The procession saunters through Little Italy
Andrew made a couple of new friends along the way 
In my humble opinion, the Giglio Band were never better
(Above and below) There are still devotees in Little Italy as well
Photo courtesy of Andrew Giordano
Marcantonio Pezzano and Stefano Monforte performed
all our favorite Neapolitan songs and Italian American standards 
(Above and below) Back at the church undercroft, revelers trip the light fantastic