November 20, 2017

Photo of the Week: Ruins at Paestum

Remnants of buildings at Paestum, Salerno
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

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

Angel by Giuseppe Sanmartino
Nov. 21, 2017—Jan. 7, 2018 (Tree-lighting daily at 4:30pm, with additional ceremonies on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30 and 6:30pm)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York

The Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a long-established yuletide tradition in New York. The brightly lit, twenty-foot blue spruce—with a collection of eighteenth-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene at its base—once again delight holiday visitors in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Set in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid, with recorded Christmas music in the background, the installation reflects the spirit of the holiday season. The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

November 19, 2017

Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Evviva Santa Elisabetta d'Ungheria!
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
November 19th is the Feast Day of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, patron saint of nurses, the poor, the homeless and widows. Living a life of prayer and sacrifice, her compassion towards the sick and the poor endeared her to the whole of Christendom. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. The accompanying photo was taken at Most Precious Blood Church (109 Mulberry Street), the national shrine of San Gennaro, located in New York City's historic Little Italy.
Prayer to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Our father in heaven, Your servant, Saint Elizabeth brought care to the sick, food to the hungry and hope to the hopeless, grant us thy blessing that we may follow in her footsteps with love and joy in our hearts. Amen.

Argenio Returns to New York City Just in Time for Christmas

Silk pocket square with coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
From November 26th thru December 1st, acclaimed fashion designer Salvatore Argenio will be presenting his highly anticipated new collection of Neapolitan haute couture at the Best Western Plus Hospitality Hotel at 145 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017. To make an appointment contact the maestro at or visit

November 18, 2017

Vincenzo Bellini's Norma at the Metropolitan Opera

Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Opera
New production Sept. 25th–Dec. 16th

Metropolitan Opera

30 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023

Norma is perhaps the archetypal bel canto opera, a style of singing that flourished in Italy in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Its principal features are beauty of tone, legato phrasing, and the delivery of florid ornamentation. The score of Norma is characterized by extraordinary melody punctuated by sharp moments of raw drama. The primary functions of the clear orchestral writing are to move the drama along with vigorous rhythm and to inform certain moments with feeling and emotion. Continue reading


The Presepe Napoletano: A Presentation by Anita Sanseverino and Lou Barrella

Tuesday, November 28th @7:00PM

The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere
79 Howard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301

The Presepe Napoletano is more than a Nativity scene! It is a unique art form which combines the birth of Christ with the daily life of the people of Naples. This art form places Naples at the center of the monumental event of the birth of Christ! The art form reached its pinnacle in 18th century Naples, but still continues today. Come and learn the history of this art form and appreciate the detailed re-creation of the traditional Presepe as crafted by local artist, John Miniero. Two new original presepe creations will be displayed.

An award-winning photographer dedicated to the subject of Italy, as well as a lecturer and scholar of Italian history and culture, Sanseverino began her career by photographing New York City more than 20 years ago. She is a recipient of the Woman of Achievement in the Arts Award, and has had solo exhibitions at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center, the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Wagner College, Ramapo College and the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Her work highlighting the unique beauty of the Puglia region of Italy was featured in BRIDGE Apulia-USA Magazine. Her photographs are on permanent display at the Frederick Gallery in Spring Lake, New Jersey and at Wagner College, and are held in various private collections in the United States, Italy, and Argentina.

Please reserve in advance for this wonderful program so that we can plan accordingly for the group.

Suggested Donation: Non-Members $25; Members $22

Refreshments and light fare will be provided.

Pre-payment is recommended and appreciated. We accept credit cards over the phone.

For any questions or to register for this program, please call 718-273-7660 or E-mail

Parking will be located directly across the street at Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.

November 17, 2017

In the Musical Wonderland of Alessandra Salerno

Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Monday, Nov. 27th @ 6PM—8PM

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

The artist from Palermo, and guest of honor at the past NIAF annual gala, will introduce herself by singing and playing at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Merimò.

She’s a young voice between the past and the future. Considered the spiritual winner of “The Voice of Italy 2015,” Salerno’s music is enchanting.

“Alessandra is able to create a world from which I would never leave. When I hear a voice like hers, I want to stay in that world and remain in silence for a minute after I leave it…” (Robi Facchinetti – Pooh)

Alessandra Salerno’s “blind audition” is used as the Promo for the show one week prior to its first broadcast. According to WebTopTrends Italia, it has become a true web phenomenon with over 2 million web views, over 40 thousand shares, and her name at the top ten most commented Tweets. In Latin America, her video has 3 million web views and over 50 thousand shares.

As the original interpreter of Rosa Balistrieri, she has a repertoire that includes various genres. She also has a production under her own name. And surprise–she also plays the autoharp: “I began to study it after falling in love with June Carter and Johnny Cash.”

Q & A with Stefano Albertini (Director of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò) and Letizia Airos (Editor in Chief of i-Italy Network)

Naples '44 at Film Forum, New York

November 16, 2017

Feast of San Giuseppe Moscati

Evviva San Giuseppe!
November 16th is the Feast Day of San Giuseppe Moscati, the "Holy Physician of Naples." Born on July 25th, 1880 in Benevento, Giuseppe was the seventh of nine children of Rosa (née de Luca, Marchesi dei Roseto) and Francesco Moscati, a magistrate from Santa Lucia di Serino. He studied medicine and surgery at the University of Naples, graduating summa cum laude in 1903. In 1906, during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, he risked his own life evacuating patients from the crumbling Riuniti Hospital in Torre del Greco.
With the outbreak of WWI, Dr. Moscati volunteered his services and cared for thousands of wounded soldiers. After the war, he returned to his practice in Naples caring for the poor at the Hospital for the Incurables. Not only did he refuse payment from his impoverished patients, Dr. Moscati would often give them money for their prescriptions. He tragically died on April 12th, 1927 at the age of 46. Beatified on November 16th, 1975 by Pope Paul VI, he was canonized just sixty years after his death on October 25th, 1987 by Pope John Paul II. He is the patron saint of physicians and bachelors. To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a prayer to Saint Giuseppe Moscati. 
Prayer to Saint Giuseppe Moscati
Dear St. Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient. Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favors. Soothe the pains of our suffering people; give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted and hope to the despondent. May our young people find in you an ideal, our workers an example, the aging a comfort, the dying the hope of eternal salvation. To all of us be a pattern of industriousness, honesty and charity; so we may comply with our Christian duties and glorify God our Father. Amen.

Malta Walks NYC (November 2017)

This Tuesday, November 21st at 7:30 PM join the Order of Malta Auxiliary for their monthly “Malta Walk” street ministry. Volunteers meet every third Tuesday of the month at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral parish house at 263 Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan to prepare and distribute food to the homeless.

Anyone interested in supporting this noble endeavor can contact the Order of Malta Auxiliary at or call 917-566-3937. For additional information, the Order can be found on Facebook at

Also see:

Auxiliary Malta Walk in NYC, October 2017
Auxiliary Malta Walks in NYC, July 2017

• Supporting the “Malta Walks” Street Ministry

Mass in Honor of Sant'Agnello Abate di Napoli in Asbury Park, New Jersey

November 14, 2017

Congratulations Cav. Thomas Barra on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George

Cav. Thomas Barra
Sunday, November 5, 2017, Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Congratulations Cav. Thomas Barra on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.

The Mediterranean Diet: Past, Present and Future

A Tribute to Ancel Keys and Flaminio Fidanza
Wednesday, November 15th @ 6:00 PM

Italian American Museum and The Ph.D. School in Cultural Heritage, Educational & Territory Faculty of Humanities University of Rome Tor Vergata cordially invite you to attend a seminar on the Mediterranean Diet.

Orlandino Greco
Chancellor, Regione Calabria
Ancel Keys a Nicotera

Antonino De Lorenzo
University of Rome Tor Vergata
The Healthy Value of Mediterranean Diet

Franco Salvatori
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Territory and Health: A Journey Through the Italian Food Landscapes

Fabio Parasecoli
The New School, New York
Knowing Where It Comes From: Labeling Traditional Foods to Compete in a Global Market

Msgr. Hilary Franco

Light refreshments will be served
Suggested donation of $10 per person

Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013

For reservations, call 212-965-9000 or fax at 347-810-1028

Neapolitan Crèche at the Art Institute of Chicago

Photo courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago
November 18, 2017 — January 7, 2018

Art Institute of Chicago

(Gallery 209)
111 S Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603

After its widely popular debut in 2013, our spectacular 18th-century Neapolitan crèche returns once again this holiday season. One of the very few and finest examples of such a work outside of Naples, the crèche is an intricate Nativity scene that reflects the vitality and artisanship that the city is still known for. The Art Institute’s crèche features over 200 figures—including no less than 50 animals and 41 items of food and drink—all staged in a spectacular Baroque cabinet with a painted backdrop. Elaborate, complex, and wondrous, the Neapolitan crèche is a rare example of the genre and a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition for the Art Institute.

Sacred imagery reenacting the Nativity has its roots in fourth-century Rome but by the 13th and 14th centuries, in part due to its association with St. Francis of Assisi, such scenes had become a permanent feature of Neapolitan churches. During the 18th century, the period from which most of the figures of the Art Institute’s crèche date, these relatively simple tableaux underwent a transformation into highly dramatic and theatrical renderings. Traditional sacred elements of Nativity scenes—the Holy Family, wise men, angels, and shepherds—were combined with profane aspects not of Bethlehem but of contemporary Neapolitan life—rowdy tavern scenes and bustling street activities—in dazzling displays of artistic techniques. Churches, wealthy citizens, members of the nobility, and the royal family all competed to commission the most complex presentations of this popular art form from leading artists and artisans, the same people who were creating monumental sculptures and altars for churches and palaces. These artists rendered figures in oil-painted terracotta to achieve the most realistic expressions in crèches and constructed painstakingly detailed costumes of luxurious fabrics that mimicked the fashions of the time. The Art Institute’s crèche represents the pinnacle of this artistic practice, born of the centuries-old tradition of Nativity scenes yet bursting with the energy of 18th-century Neapolitan life.

Due to the fragility of the original silk costumes and exquisite embroidery, the Neapolitan crèche can only be on view for a few weeks every year. Don’t miss your chance to revel in Baroque artistry this season!

Source: Art Institute of Chicago

November 13, 2017

The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George Investiture Mass in Washington DC

After Mass, Dama Rosanna Minervivi and Cavs. Vincent Gangone,
John Napoli and Charles Sant'Elia show their Two Sicilies pride.
Investiture by command of His Royal Highness Prince Carlo Maria di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, by the Grace of God and Hereditary Right, Duke of Castro, Head of the Royal House of Bourbon–Two Sicilies, Grand Master of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House
Sunday, November 5th, I had the honor of joining Her Royal Highness, Grand Prefect and Dame Grand Cross of Justice with Collar, Princess Beatrice of Bourbon–Two Sicilies, our US Delegate H.E. Cav. John M. Viola and the rest of my esteemed brethren in welcoming some 30 new and promoted Knights and Dames into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George and Royal Order of Francis I at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave.) the official chapel of the Order in Washington, DC. 
The Investiture Mass was concelebrated by Cav. Rev. Msgr. Charles Antonicelli, Cav. Rev. Msgr. W Ronald Jameson, Cav. Rev. Msgr. Christopher Hynes, Cav. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Economos Romanus V. Russo, Cav. Rev. Msgr. James Watkins, Rev. Fr. Michael Duffy, Cav. Rev. Fr. Michael Lankford-Stokes, Cav. Rev. Fr. Dr. Richard Seagraves, and Cav. Rev. Fr. David Skoblow, Esq. Sadly, due to illness His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Prior of the Delegation, Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice, was unable to attend.
Masters of Ceremony were Deacon James Garcia and Chancellor Pasquale Menna; Marshals Cav. Nicholas Nicholson and Cav. Joseph Sciame; Lectors Hon. Michael Steele and Dr. Catherine Stevenson; Organist Suzanne Bechamps and Cantor Ellen Kliman; and Offertory gift bearers Cav. George Malone and Dama Susan Malone.
Postulants Hon. Wayne Bacchus, Thomas Barra, and Rocco Berardi
Honors and promotions of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George were presented to Hon. Samuel Alito, AJSC, Knight Grand Cross of Merit; Hon. Dominic Massaro, Knight Grand Cross of Merit; Nicola D’Elia, Knight Commander Jus Patronato of Grace; Baron Dr. Robert Alessandro LaRocca, Knight Commander of Justice; Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, Knight Commander of Ecclesiastical Grace; Timothy Pickles, Knight Commander with Star; Rev. Fr. William Farge, SJ, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rev. Fr. Michael Lankford–Stokes, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rt. Rev. Msgr. Economos V. Russo, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Rev. Fr. David Skowblow, Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace; Hon. Anita Bevaqua McBride, Dame of Merit with Star; Hon. Wayne Bacchus, Knight of Merit; Thomas Barra, Knight of Merit; Rocco Berardi, Knight of Merit; Nicholas Caiazzo, Knight of Merit; Linda Carlozzi, Dame of Merit; Aileen Mary Ann Shapiro Carlucci, Dame of Merit; Robert Edward Carlucci, Knight of Merit; Luisa Maria Cristfano, Dame of Merit; Nicholas Fedeli, Knight of Merit; Cav. Vincent Gangone, Knight of Merit; Rosanna Minervini, Dame of Merit; Joseph Panepinto, Sr., Knight of Merit; Joseph Panepinto, Jr., Knight of Merit; Marc Reynolds, Knight of Merit; Dr. Thomas Rossi, Knight of Merit; and Debra Costa Turano; Dame of Merit.
Contantinian sword, spurs and celestial blue collar with Cross,
symbols of our Order's oath to defend the faith
Honors and promotions of the Royal Order of Francis I were presented to H.E. Dama Dr. Margaret Badum Melady, Dama di Commenda; Louis Andre Mendola-Mantegna, Knight Commander; Scott MacMillan Baron Rathdown, Knight Commander; and Hon. Ambassador David Thorne, Knight Commander.
After Mass we adjourned to the historic Decatur House (748 Jackson Place) on Lafayette Square for a Benefit Dinner to help raise money for the hurricane victims in Texas. Following the cocktail reception in the courtyard, guests relocated to the dining hall where we were welcomed by Master of Ceremony Chancellor Menna. 
Newly knighted Joseph Panepinto Sr. and Joseph Panepinto Jr.
with HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone
Before enjoying our sumptuous repast, Cav. Msgr. Hynes delivered the Invocation and H.E. Cav. Viola offered a heartfelt toast. Between courses, we were given a brief history of the house and reminded of the heroics of US navel officer Commodore Stephen Decatur Jr. and his Sicilian pilot Salvatore Catalano during the First Barbary War (1801-1805). 
Individuals were recognized for their service and felicitations were offered to our new brethren. I was especially moved by the reinstitution of Don Nicola D’Elia of Toronto to the Jus Patronato Commandery, which was stricken from his ancestors in 1861 after the conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Don Nicola and his family expressed great joy and pride in reclaiming their familial history and patrimony.
Don Nicola D’Elia with his proud family
After dinner HRH Princess Beatrice warmly addressed the audience. Referring to us as family, she encouraged us all to hold on to our traditions, remember our roots and to keep our faith. She received a rousing standing ovation.
The evening came to a close with the Benediction by Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Russo.
Congratulations to our new and honored confratelli and consorelle, we wish you all the best and much success in the Order. Thank you to the Knights and Dames of the Order of St. Michael of the Wing, The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, Johanniter Order and the Order of Malta for celebrating with us.

We remember in our prayers our Prior, His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, asking our heavenly patron St. George to assist in his recovery.
Dama Rosanna Minervivi flanked by uniformed knights,
Vice Chancellor Patrick O'Boyle and Cav. Anthony O'Boyle.
(L) Dama of Merit miniature ribbon.
(R) Knight Commander Jus Patronato of Grace miniature medal
(L) At the Decatur House, Chancellor Hon. Pasquale Menna and Cav. Msgr. Hynes. (R) A few remarks and toast by Delegate John M. Viola
(L) HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone addresses the audience.
(R) A few words before Cav. Rt. Rev. Economies Russo leads us in prayer
(L) Our beloved Delegate was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Comitati Delle Due Sicilie USA. (R) Cavs. Sant'Elia and O'Boyle
Cav. Lt. Col. Robert Ruffolo and Cav. John Napoli
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Also see:
For Altar and Throne: Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
Investiture and Mass in the Presence of the Royal Family of the Two Sicilies at St. Patrick's

Feast of Saint Frances Cabrini

America's first saint
November 13th is the Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants. The first United States citizen to be canonized, she came to America on March 31, 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII to help Italian immigrants. She founded numerous institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the uneducated and the sick, including the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
To commemorate the occasion I'm posting a Prayer to Mother Cabrini. The accompanying photos were taken at the Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in Washington Heights, New York.
Prayer to Mother Cabrini
Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Thy mercy, and grant, we beseech Thee, through the merits of Thy faithful Servant, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Thy Holy Will. (here name your request) St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.

Siege of Gaeta (1860)

HRM 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

Traditional Mass for Feast of St. Albert the Great

Wednesday, November 15th @ 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena
869 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Our Parish will offer a Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite for the Feast of the Saint Albert the Great, O.P., Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and teacher of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Mass will take place on November 15 at 7 pm at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer.

The Schola will sing the Taverner’s Missa Sancti Wilhelmi devotio, Palestrina’s Justus ut palma (I); and Willaert’s O salutaris hostia.

November 12, 2017

Congratulations Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos V. Russo on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George as Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace

Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos Russo receiving medal of the Order
from Delegate Cav. John Viola. Sunday, November 5, 2017,
Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo courtesy of Cav. Charles Sant'Elia
Congratulations Cav. Rt. Rev. Economos Romanos V. Russo on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George as Knight of Ecclesiastical Grace. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.

Presepio Napoletano at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center in Tuckahoe, New York

Westchester Italian Cultural Center 
One Generoso Pope Place
Tuckahoe, New York 10707

Presepio Napoletano opens November 17, 2017 @ 7:30PM. 
Join us for the unveiling of our newly refurbished, handcrafted, authentic Neapolitan presepio. This newly expanded exhibit will be enhanced with new effects like lighting, smoke, sounds and even smells. 

Grand opening of Presepio will be followed by light desserts and coffee.

For more information or to schedule a guided tour or group visit please call 914-771-8700.

Suggested donation: $10

November 11, 2017

Congratulations Dama Debra Costa Turano on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George

Dama Debra Costa Turano with HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone
Sunday, November 5, 2017, Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Congratulations Dama Debra Costa Turano on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.

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 zeppoleL'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

Chef Giuseppe Marrone and Acqua Restaurant Featured on Best NYC

Our pal Chef Giuseppe Marrone and Acqua Restaurant Featured on Best NYC

November 10, 2017

Congratulations Cav. Marc Reynolds on Your Investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George

Cav. Marc Reynolds with HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone
Sunday, November 5, 2017, Cathedral of St. Mathew the Apostle, Washington DC
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Congratulations Cav. Marc Reynolds on your investiture into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. All the best from your friends at Il Regno.
May you never cease to emulate our heavenly patron with alacrity to follow in the footsteps of His only begotten Son, who is our alpha and our omega, our beginning and end.

Feast of Sant'Andrea Avellino

Evviva 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. 

November 9, 2017

A Look at the National Italian American Foundation’s 42nd Anniversary Expo and Gala

The flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies at the entrance of the Expo Siciliana
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
In partnership with our friends from the Comitati delle Due Sicilia USA and Argenio Napoli, Il Regno descended on Washington DC Saturday morning for the National Italian American Foundation’s 42nd Anniversary Expo and Gala at the festively decorated Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Unfortunately, we were unable to make Friday night’s kick off party.
Celebrating Sicily, NIAF’s 2017 region of honor, a wide variety of merchants and vendors set up shop and displayed their wares throughout the convention hall. As expected the expo was predominantly Sicilian, but other regions of southern Italy were well represented. For example, Rossella Rago and her delightful nonna Romana from the popular Cooking With Nonna web show were promoting their new eponymous cookbook loaded with traditional recipes from Puglia. 
Neapolitan high fashion was on display in our Salvatore Argenio stall, which featured an array of top quality articles from Argenio’s elegant and stylish Borbone collection. Silk ties, watches and ladies handbags emblazoned with the historic coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies were clearly the hot items.
Our Comitati table, laden with buttons, books, pamphlets and flyers about the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, was also well received. We drew many interested attendees, including, to our great delight (and surprise), HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone delle Due Sicilie.
Working hard, we were unable to partake in the many lectures and programs the expo had to offer, but whenever possible we made time to visit friends and make new connections. I was fortunate enough to catch the beginning of Tony De Nonno’s enchanting presentation of the century-old Papa Manteo Sicilian Marionette Tradition. Well attended, I was happy to see so many children enjoying the show.
As luck would have it, our booth was close enough to the stage to enjoy the musical stylings of Villa Palagonia, a Sicilian American folk-pop duo featuring our friends Allison Scola and Joe Ravo.
With nearly all of our merchandise snatched up, the 2017 expo came to a successful close.
Packing up the remnants of our stock, we retired to our rooms to freshen up and change into our finest finery for the upcoming gala.
With fortuitous timing, we ran into HRH Princess Beatrice and her aide-de-camp Count Justin Morin-Carpentier in the hotel lobby, and to the envy of our colleagues, had the great honor of escorting them to the cocktail reception. Naturally, our fellow Constantinians and socialites rallied around our Princess and vied for a moment of her time. 
Nearly two thousand attendees (by my estimation) packed into the enormous dining room. We took our seats, greeted the other guests at our table, and enjoyed a delicious dinner and live entertainment by Alessandra Salerno, the Sicilian Tenors and Emmy-nominated Alfio, among others.
After Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi’s invocation and the singing of the American and Italian National Anthems by Carmelo Sorce, co-hosts Maria Bartiromo and NIAF President John M. Viola took the stage and began the award ceremony.
This year’s honorees were Jon DeLuca, NIAF special achievement award in business; Vittorio Grigolo, NIAF special achievement award in music; Alessandro Profumo, NIAF special achievement award in finance; Nick Stellino, NIAF special achievement award in humanitarian service; Andrew M. Cuomo, in recognition of his longstanding support of the Italian American community and his leadership on behalf of Columbus Day and saving Columbus Circle statue; and HRH Princess Beatrice di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, NIAF special achievement award in philanthropy.
The event came to a close with NIAF’s Board of Directors honoring a clearly emotional John Viola, who announced he was stepping down as President and Chief Operations Officer last September to pursue other ventures. A true warrior and champion of our people, we wish him all the best and much success in the future.
John dutifully and competently served as NIAF President and COO over the past six years and will be leaving big shoes to fill. Having gotten to know him personally in recent years, I am sure his presence will be sorely missed. His love for his people and culture is an inspiration to us all.
Far from over, the fun continued well into the night at the “Italian Karaoke After Party” in the hotel bar and lounge. Spirit of choice in hand, my friends and I watched with great amusement the ardent attempts at singing and dancing by the young at heart. A stick-in-the-mud, I resisted my friends prodding and I spared my fellow revelers the agony of my singing voice.
Festively decorated elevator doors
Cavs. Charles Sant'Elia and Vincent Gangone manning the Comitati table
A few of the items we had to offer
HRH Princess Beatrice, accompanied by Count Justin Morin-Carpentier
and Hon. Pasquale Menna visit our Comitati booth
Cav. Sant'Elia showcasing Tribeca Vini's latest offering:
Sertura Greco di Tufo DOCG
Cav. Anthony O'Boyle lends a hand at the Argenio booth
Argenio's high quality accessories were clearly hot items 
(L) Nonna Romana and Rossella Rago promote their terrific new cookbook.
(R.) Mayor Pasquale Menna shows off his new Argenio cufflinks 
Our new friends from Regnum Siciliae Imports LLC 
Traditional Sicilian terra cotta head planters
The great Prof. Gaetano Cipolla of Arba Sicula 
Our friends from the Italian American Podcast,
Dolores Alfieri and Anthony Fasano
Tony De Nonno and friends
Tony De Nonno entertaining children of all ages
Villa Palagonia 
Portraits of HRM King Carlo di Bourbon and HRM King Ferdinand I 
Portraits of HRM King Ferdinand II and HRM King Francis II
HRH Princess Beatrice addresses the audience 
Her Highness gets a standing ovation
Cavs. O'Boyle, Gangone and Sant'Elia dressed to the nines
(L) The enchanting Alessandra Salerno with autoharp beautifully interpreting Rosa Balistrieri. (R) Alfio brings down the house
Stylish John Viola does an amazing Lou Monte
Revelers cut loose and dance the night away