Welcome to Tutto NIAF

Italian Kids Get their Buzz from Energy Drinks

Posted on: 7/3/2013 10:30:03 AM under Personal 

You may think that when Italians need a pick me up, they reach for an espresso, but it looks like many of them are turning to energy drinks. Not only do adults choose them, but they are becoming more popular with children and adolescents. A survey of 916 students conducted in the Province of Rovigo, in the Veneto Region, reported that the usage of energy drink consumption increased significantly with age, from approximately 18 percent among sixth graders to 56 percent among eighth graders!  The study also reported that energy drink consumption was associated with tobacco and alcohol abuse.  

This is not just a problem in Italy, but throughout the entire European Union. A study commissioned by European Food Safety Authority found that approximately 30 percent of adults and 68 percent of adolescents (10-18 years old) regularly consumed energy drinks.  Even 18 percent of children between three and 10 years old were regular consumers!  

With medical experts increasingly concerned about the health effects of energy drinks, Italians might do better to stick to cappuccinos!

Read more about the studies- http://bit.ly/WcASVT and http://bit.ly/16GZ5dO


Revisiting the Voyage of Discovery

Posted on: 7/3/2013 10:27:10 AM under Personal 

An update from Alessandra Nehr, a participant in NIAF’s Voyage of Discovery Program, all-expenses paid ten-day trip to Italy for Italian American students. Alessandra, who participated in the trip last year with her brother, will be traveling to Italy again. This time she will be taking her family to some of the spots she visited while on the Voyage of Discovery.

This past summer, my twin brother Frank and I were fortunate enough to be chosen for NIAF’s Voyage of Discovery program. While in Italy, we saw various cities throughout the country, including Rome, Naples, and Salerno, among others.  Having never been to Italy before, we both were struck not only by the immense beauty present there, but also by the innate kindness of the Italian people and their willingness to work with our group. We made numerous friends in our group and had incredible experiences, all of which we will certainly remember. Whether it was having the most authentic mozzarella at a buffalo farm or celebrating Festa della Repubblica in Rome, neither of us would have traded our trip for the world. 

Upon returning to the United States, we made the typical familial rounds, first telling our parents, then our grandparents (the only other members of our family who have set foot in our ancestral homeland), then our aunts, uncles and cousins. Although almost everyone in the family had been to Canada and Mexico, only my grandparents and, now, my brother and I, were lucky enough to experience Europe. When we told them all of our travels, they seemed genuinely interested in the possibility of returning as a family the following summer. My grandparents asked us if it was something that we thought everyone in the family could appreciate, given that my youngest cousins are only fourteen, and my brother and I both agreed that they certainly would. Even without the NIAF patronage, we believed that returning to Italy would be an unrivaled opportunity to not only experience the culture of our ancestors, but it would also give the family a chance to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, one which most of us may never again have an opportunity to experience. 

We will be leaving for Italy in mid-June and plan to visit Florence, Rome, Venice, Assisi and Vasto, the hometown of my great-grandparents. Since my brother and I never got to visit Vasto while on the NIAF trip, we are really looking forward to seeing the small town about which so many family stories have been told. 

Since we spent so much time in Rome during the Voyage of Discovery, my brother and I can’t wait to take my family to one of the best gelato places in town (Giolitti), try ossobuco again at Trattoria Leoni D’Abruzzo and lamb at L’isola della Pizza, and attend the Papal Audience to see the new Pope. 

Although we are by no means experts on Italy, we are looking forward to applying what we learned on our NIAF trip to the forthcoming trip with our family.  Once again, we really appreciate NIAF giving us our first taste of Italy, and I’ll be sure to write about our journey once we return.


The New Italian Government, Will it Survive?

Posted on: 5/2/2013 12:13:02 PM under Personal 

At last, Italy has a new government! It took over two months after the country’s inconclusive election, but now Italy is on the road to recovery and ready to tackle its political crisis. The new prime minister, Enrico Letta, was confirmed by both houses of Parliament and he has assembled a talented cabinet which includes seven females and an African-Italian.

The new faces are a welcome change in Italy, but a recent New York Times article explained, “The mere formation of a government is only a start. Italy needs a government credible enough with European leaders to negotiate an easing of austerity and strong enough to enact the difficult structural reforms like strengthening the banking system, making markets more competitive and labor law less rigid, more fairly apportioning taxes and reducing bureaucracy.” 

Letta has proposed an interesting and even sometimes conflicting 18-month agenda to pull Italy out of its current crisis. It calls for tax relief, economic reform and electoral and political changes, but many wonder if the newly assembled government will last long enough to even carry out the program.  What do you think? Will Letta be able to pull Italy out of its current crisis?

Read more in the New York Times here- http://nyti.ms/132zS9q  


Branding at its best?!

Posted on: 12/12/2012 11:54:33 AM under Personal 

By Elissa Ruffino, NIAF’s Chief Brand Officer


During the first weeks of December, everyone should review what’s happening in the news and the marketplace!

Brand, branding and brand partnerships are popular buzz words today. Brands assist in the formation of new relationships, and the identification of ongoing ones. Everyone strives to establish an ongoing brand relationship with the public.

Pope Benedict XVI – a.k.a. @pontifex is now just a tweet away!  On December 12, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger started tweeting with the handle @pontifex. Questions we may be asking ourselves-- will the Pope respond in real time to events and news items that could shape a global debate? Read more in The Washington Post article by Michelle Boorstein, “The bird is THE WORD.”


In case you missed it on Saturday, December One, discounter Target and luxury merchant Neiman Marcus formed an unprecedented partnership.  They joined their brands to market a limited holiday 2012 collection. Remember when Target pioneered the idea with Italian designer Missoni last year?  It was so popular that Target’s website crashed!  With this newest brand partnership, both companies can attract a segment of new customers.  You can think of it as cross-shopping for designer brand enthusiasts at competitive prices.  Check out your local Target and Neiman Marcus for items.


 Now that the Christmas shopping season is well underway, many are flocking to outlet malls for deals.  Brand–conscious consumers will find that these stores stay true to their name. “Outlet malls are a $30 billion industry, and retailers celebrate their outlet store as a means to amplify their brand and find new customers.” Read more in “How to Shop Outlet Malls” with eight great tips by Katherine Boyle


Here are some of the latest brand partnerships with Italian American celebrities! Rocker Jon Bon Jovi just inked a fragrance deal with Avon.  Madonna has a new Truth or Dare line of perfume, and over-the–knee lace-up boots and other footwear.  Let’s not forget Jaclyn Smith, who starred in the 70s television series “Charlie’s Angels” and pioneered celebrity brand sponsorships in 1985 with Kmart. Industry experts report that for each celebrity brand that is a hit, five others flop.  Read more in “From memorizing lines to clothing lines,”


Please send your comments and thoughts on these brands and more to comments@niaf.org



Fighting to Keep the Italian Culture Alive

Posted on: 12/3/2012 12:08:01 PM under Personal 

Small businesses face struggles everyday just to stay in business, but when a natural disaster hits their world can be turned upside down. Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction throughout much of New Jersey and New York, home to many Italian Americans, and more importantly, home to some of the places that keep the Italian culture alive in the United States. A recent New York Times article discussed the devastation of a few of the beloved historical establishments in New York that are fighting to survive after the storm. On Coney Island, Totonno’s pizzeria has been temporarily shut down because of the damage, and in Brooklyn Randazzo’s Clam Bar, Jimmy’s Famous Heros and Gargiulo’s are just a few of the spots that have been damaged by the storm.

The article explained that over decades, places like Gargiulo’s, Totonno’s and Randazzo’s have evolved into much more than restaurants. "They’re community centers,” said chef Michael Lomonaco, adding, “They have anchored the community for decades.” However, three weeks after the storm hit, Antoinette Balzano of Totonno's was still waiting for an engineer to show up to survey the damage. The pizzeria has been in her family for over 100 years and although a comeback will be difficult, it is the only option for Ms. Balzano. “I just pray that I have the strength to do what I need to do,” she explained in the article. “I can’t let Grandpa go down this way.” 

This disaster brings up some interesting points for the Italian American community to consider. What does this say about the sustainability of the common Italian American model of keeping a small successful business in the family?  What does the Italian American community lose if they close?  Is protecting someone else's private business part of protecting our cultural heritage? And should our community help raise money and support to keep these businesses alive? Please, share your thoughts with us. Send them to comments@niaf.org

Learn more about how NIAF is helping to contribute to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and get involved by visiting www.ItalianAmericanRelief.org  



La Storia di Gelato, una Tradizione Italiana

Posted on: 11/26/2012 4:31:50 PM under Personal 

This month, seven miles outside of Bologna in the municipality of Anzola dell’Emilia, the Bruto and Poerio Carpigiani Foundation opened a museum dedicated to the Italian staple: gelato. The museum details the history of gelato, beginning with the ancient quests for ice partaken by Mesopotamian servants to serve at festivities and religious ceremonies. The Romans, adopting the Arabian invention of sugar syrup (shrb), created a royal treat flavored with more than 400 different types of flowers. In the 16th century, alchemist and astrologer Cosimo Ruggieri of the well-known Medici family synthesized what we know as modern gelato in Paris, where gelato became a local phenomenon. In the first half of the 20th century, gelato became popularly available with the invention of the cone, mechanical automation, and post-war batch freezers. The second half of the twentieth century saw gelato become the Made in Italy cultural phenomenon of today.

The museum has a strong focus on the recent history of gelato, particularly the involvement of the Carpigiani company, famous for its gelato machines and its sponsorship of the Carpigiani Gelato University, where students can learn the artisanal production of gelato. On display in the museum are more than 20 antique gelato machines as well as numerous documents, video interviews, and workshops. A multi-language tour is available to direct visitors through the history of gelato from the late 19th century until today. The trip is sweetened by an optional tasting at the end of the tour, with a sampling of gelatos available for purchase.

                The website of the museum, available in English and Italian, can be found at www.gelatomuseum.com.  

For more culinary and cultural inspiration, check out Pamela’s Sweet Peach blog, www.sweetpeachblog.com. She recently ran a special on food, culture, and design of Italy, focused on the Emilia-Romagna region.

NIAF thanks Joe Barrows, a senior at Georegtown University, for submitting this post.



Clicks and Picks

Posted on: 11/19/2012 1:31:23 PM under Personal 

It’s almost time to start your holiday shopping! Check out NIAF’s picks for the season’s hottest Italian designer finds! Have fun shopping the fashions and jewelry—remember, un diamante è per sempre!

Fope Gioielli - www.fope.com

Bottega Veneta – www.botegaveneta.com

Giorgio Armani – www.armani.com

Pomellato – www.pomellato.com

Roberto Coin – www.robertocoin.com

Salvatore Ferragamo – www.ferragamo.com

Verdura – www.verdura.com

Bertolucci – www.bertolucci-watches.com




Contest to Restore the Rialto Bridge

Posted on: 11/13/2012 11:31:27 AM under Personal 

The Venice City Council is organizing a competition to raise money for the restoration of the bridge. Corporations across Italy are signing up to pay to advertise on the bridge and hold events in St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Place. The city, which is already 400 million euro in debt, cannot fund the project which will cost about  five to seven million euro.  If all goes as planned the restoration will take about 18 months and will hopefully be completed by spring of 2015.

Many restorations projects in Italy have been funded by major organizations. Famous churches and palazzo throughout Italy have been funded by companies such as Prada, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton. Although several companies have expressed interest in sponsoring the Rialto Bridge project, the front-runner in the competition is clothing manufacturer Renzo Rosso, owner of Diesel. Rosso has been in contact with the Venetian mayor Girogio Orsoni and has agreed to fund the restoration in exchange for “non-invasive,” publicity placements.

Read more about the project! http://www.lagazzettadelmezzogiorno.it/notizia.php?IDNotizia=516083    


Ferrari: Record Profits from Legendary Italian Car Company

Posted on: 11/5/2012 11:03:22 AM under General 

 Cruising past the economic crisis facing the European Union, Italy’s legendary luxury car company Ferrari has capitalized on its global desirability to boast record profits. The majority of Ferrari’s sales originate in the United States and Chinese markets: 1451 Ferrari-brand supercars immigrated to the United States or China in the first half of the year. Closely following the United States and China, British, German, and Swiss buyers also showed an increased willingness to import Italian supercars. The two most popular models were the California and 458 Italia, but the 12-cylinder powerhouses FF and F12 Berlinetta also gave a strong showing. Beyond the high performance-induced allure, Ferrari attributes a significant portion of its appeal to the “Tailor Made” program, an option given to buyers to personalize their vehicles.

The business strategy exemplified by Ferrari is one that keeps parent company FIAT afloat. According to Italy’s Minister of Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Transport, Corrado Passera, FIAT augments domestic losses with profits from emerging markets like Brazil. Passera describes FIAT as existing in sintonia, in harmony, with Brazil: FIAT’s CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced plans to invest two billion euro in production of vehicles for the Brazilian market. Marchionne has followed a global strategy since joining FIAT in 2004 when he was instrumental in organizing the merger with Chrysler that took FIAT from the verge of collapse to its place as the world’s ninth largest automobile manufacturer, and first in Italy. This capitalization of foreign markets, while perhaps lacking sustainability, has helped FIAT weather the European economic crisis.

From the Ferrari-themed amusement park in Abu Dhabi to the clothing collaboration with German label Puma, Ferrari’s global presence reflects its universal desirability. No matter how bad the economic situation may be at home, Italian-designed luxury continues to prevail on the global scale.

For those who want to practice their Italian, the relevant articles from Corriere della Sera can be found here, here, and here.

NIAF thanks Joe Barrows, a senior at Georegtown University, for submitting this post.


A Profile of Scarsdale Math Teacher Roger Cappucci

Posted on: 10/22/2012 10:39:54 AM under Personal 

It’s a Tuesday in late May, when a high school freshman’s thoughts naturally turn to summer and maybe that life-guarding job at the pool. But it’s pouring in Scarsdale at the moment, so there is no sunshine to lure a math student’s thoughts away from the topic at hand: locus theorems. (If it’s been awhile since you were in high school, locus theorems are what generate circles, lines, parabolas, etc.) Besides, this is Roger Cappucci’s fifth-period geometry class, and he has shown an ability to keep his students on point.

Katy in the front row is a tennis player, so he draws a tennis court on the SMART Board to illustrate that the best route between two points is a shot “right up the middle.” There’s the way he looks every kid in the eye, makes every kid feel part of the experience. His lessons are lively and interactive, peppered with esteem-boosting affirmations: “All I need is effort. There’s no right or wrong. There’s so much talent in this room.” He turns to a student with a question. “You ready David? This is your moment. Use that beautiful mind you have.”

 Cappucci, who has been teaching math for more than 50 years (most of them at Scarsdale High School), says “beautiful” a lot. The word rolls off his tongue in four Bronxian parts: bee-yoo-tee-full. Math is a beautiful discipline. Scarsdale High is a beautiful place. He has a beautiful wife, Lucille, whom he met at a dance at St. Philip Neri Church on Grand Concourse when he was 19 years old. She is his best friend, the mother of his three sons. If something’s not beautiful, it’s fantastic. Or terrific. Good luck getting him to voice a negative thought. He didn’t last more than a half-century as a teacher by being a downer. He’s 76 and still loves teaching. As one of his fellow math teachers, Bruce Henry, puts it: “He’s got a little less hair, but his teaching’s still the same: spectacular.”

 “It’s the kids,” Cappucci says modestly. “They keep me young. People say, you’re teaching the same subject every day. Yeah, I am, but the students are different. That’s the whole idea. I’m not up there lecturing. We are exploring this discipline together.” He adds, “Math is an art form I use to develop their minds emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. Just as in life, on every level, the essential question is, ‘Why?’ As we go further, we encounter obstacles that need to be mastered through perseverance and hard work. Believing in their ability to focus and apply a strong effort to stay with a problem is vital to their success in life’s journey.

Read more about the legendary math teacher: http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Westchester-Magazine/September-2012/A-Profile-of-Scarsdale-Math-Teacher-Roger-Cappucci/


Columbus Day

Posted on: 10/8/2012 9:32:25 AM under Personal 

The Commemoration of Columbus Day

The Year 2012 marks the 41st anniversary of the observation of Columbus Day as a legal, public holiday. It also marks the 23rd anniversary of the designation of October as National Italian American Heritage Month by the President. The proclamation was made in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush.

History/Background of Columbus Day

The first celebration of Columbus Day was held in this country soon after the American Revolution.  On October 12, 1792, the New York Society of Tammany (also known as the Columbian Order) honored Columbus on the third centenary of his first voyage. In 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag was written in honor of Columbus Day.  In 1909, New York State was the first to pass legislation declaring Columbus Day a holiday.   Within a few years, October 12th became a legal holiday in more than 30 states.  Indiana and North Dakota called the holiday "Discovery Day," while Wisconsin called it "Landing Day."  Congressman McClory's bill, supported by Congressman Peter Rodino (D-New Jersey) and 14 other sponsors, ensured that all 50 states would recognize the holiday annually. 

House Representative Robert McClory (R-Illinois) proposed Public Law 90-363 on June 28, 1968.  It established the dates for several new federal holidays, including Columbus Day.  The bill was passed and went into effect January 1, 1971, officially making Columbus Day the second Monday in October every year.

Comments from NIAF

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) joins t he nation's estimated 25 million Italian Americans, the fifth largest ethnic group in America in celebrating the 41st anniversary of the observation of Columbus Day as a legal, public holiday.  Cultural and commemorative events are held in honor of Christopher Columbus on Monday, October 8, 2012 and throughout October. 

Columbus Day is not just a celebration for Italian Americans, but a day that all Americans share a common heritage.  Let us continue to commemorate the achievements of the many people who followed Columbus to America and helped build a great democracy. The Italian explorer inspires us to lead lives of courage and determination.

Background:  Christopher Columbus              

Christopher Columbus paved the way for the exploration of the Americas more than 500 years ago.  Born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, an important sea-faring Italian state, Columbus took his first sea voyage at the age of 14.  In all, he made four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and later died in poverty. His first voyage in 1492 lasted 33 days.  On October 12, one of his sailors spotted land.


NIAF Flash Sale!!!

Posted on: 10/1/2012 11:43:04 AM under Personal 

NIAF Gala Tickets

Buy Anniversary Gala ticket and get Steve Tyrell ticket FREE!

With less than two weeks to go, tickets to the 37th Anniversary Awards Gala are going fast! If you haven’t bought your tickets, NOW IS THE TIME! And thanks to the donations of our very generous donors, we are able to offer you the following special sale:

Buy one ticket to the gala and get a ticket to Steve Tyrell FREE!

Come make a weekend of it by enjoying a FREE ticket to Friday night’s “A Little Moonlight” with Steve Tyrell included with your gala ticket purchase. Dance the night away and enjoy an open bar by being serenaded by Grammy-award winning artist Steve Tyrell.


Learn more about all the wonderful opportunities NIAF has at this exclusive event by visiting www.niaf.org/gala

In order to redeem this very special offer, please contact Jerry Jones at jerry@niaf.org or 202-939-3102 to reserve your tickets TODAY!


Grammy Award-winning vocalist, Steve Tyrell has achieved great success as artist, producer, songwriter, music supervisor and performer.  Tyrell reinvented popular classics for a modern-day audience. He has sold hundreds of thousands of albums and has gained a following all over the world.  Let’s not forget his breakthrough performances in “Father of the Bride,” and “Father of the Bride II.”   


Donatella Versace, A Fashion Titan

Posted on: 10/1/2012 10:13:04 AM under General 

Donatella Versace, now at the helm of the Versace Empire, never aspired to be a fashion designer, but was handed this role after her brother, Gianni’s death fifteen years ago. Since then she has become a successful businesswoman who has helped to carry the fashion powerhouse through tough economic times including the 2008 recession.  Last year was a huge success for Versace, generating $420 million in revenue. Donatella launched an haute couture collection and collaborated with H&M to create a lower-priced line that sold out in half hour in some stores.

This year’s Versace couture show was historic on many levels, completing the passing of the torch and highlighting the titan that Donatella has become.  Celebrities such as Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Banks, M.I.A. and Jessica Alba attended the show which included 100 guests at a seated dinner. Read more about the show in the Wall Street Journal Magazine- http://on.wsj.com/Oka9jW 



The Italians of New York

Posted on: 9/24/2012 12:11:58 PM under Personal 

The Italians of New York

by Maurizio Molinari

The book offers an overview of various generations of Italians, weaving together numerous stories that highlight different epochs and different backgrounds. The reader will learn more about the experiences of old-time immigrants, as well as the achievements of recent expatriates, directly from their mouth through a series of interviews. This “new wave” consists of managers, bankers, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, entertainment celebrities, scientists, and politicians who are operating at top levels in the Big Apple. The book helps the reader to discover a whole new world and to update the cherished, but old-fashioned, image of the Italian immigrant.   

(From the Introduction)

“If you want to learn something about Italian creativity, come to New York.  Here, you will find the pride of flying the Italian colors at the Fifth Avenue Columbus Day Parade, the American patriotism of those who perished at Ground Zero, the courage of firefighters and marines on the frontline of the war against terrorism, the babel of dialects at the Arthur Avenue market, portrayals of social change in the writings of Gay Talese, stories of successful business ventures on the TV shows of Maria Bartiromo and Charles Gasparino, political passion in the battles of Mario Cuomo and Rudy Giuliani, creative imagination in the works of Gaetano Pesce, Renzo Piano e Matteo Pericoli, and provocation in the attire of  Lady Gaga… The Midtown top managers, who arrived in the past twenty years, operate in the XXI century, while on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood the “panelle” are still prepared according to the Sicilian recipes transmitted from one generation to the next.”

Maurizio Molinari is the United States correspondent for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. He is the author of 13 books including, The Jews in Italy: A Problem of Identity (1870-1938), The Left and Jews in Italy (1967-1993), The National Interest, Wall Street in the Third Millenium, No Global?, Italy Seen by the CIA (1948-2004), Obama’s Country, and The Italians of New York.

Order a copy from New Academia Publishing- orders@newacademia.com

For further information, email info@newacademia.com or go to the website www.newacademia.com       


La Festa di San Gennaro

Posted on: 9/19/2012 11:02:31 AM under Personal 

The Feast of San Gennaro, celebrated on September 19, is the oldest and biggest religious salute to the patron saint of Naples, San Gennaro.  In Italy, thousands of people gather in the Naples cathedral and Piazza del Duomo to witness the miracle of San Gennaro. A vial of the saint's blood is brought out by the priest and the hopefully, the blood miraculously liquefies. The festival, lasting eight days, also includes processions and feasting and is a great chance to witness a traditional religious festival.

Early Italian immigrants to New York brought the festival with them. Originally a one-day religious commemoration, the feast day began in September 1926 when a group gathered along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City and built a small chapel in the street to house the image of their patron Saint. They invited all to partake in the festivities and asked the devoted to pin an offering to the ribbon streamers that are hung from the statue's apron. This money was then distributed to the needy poor of the neighborhood.

Over time, the festival expanded into an 11-day street fair organized and run by people outside the neighborhood. Now it brings more than 1 million people to NYC’s Little Italy on Mulberry street for parades, street vendors, games, sausages, zeppole and other attractions. The Grand Procession is held starting at 2 p.m. on the last Saturday of the feast, immediately after a celebratory Mass at the Church of the Most Precious Blood. This is a Roman Catholic candlelit procession in which the statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the Most Precious Blood Church through the streets of Little Italy.

Similar festivals now take place in cities all over the United States. In 2002 The Feast of San Gennaro Los Angeles was founded and it is now a major event held every September in Hollywood. In 1986, the festival was brought to Las Vegas and since then has become so popular, it is held twice a year!  

Buona Festa Oggi! www.sangennaro.org


A Tuscan Garden Tutorial

Posted on: 9/17/2012 1:04:55 PM under Personal 

In her book "Italian Villas and Their Gardens," Edith Wharton details the architecture and ornament of the gardens she encountered while touring Italy with famed author Henry James.  She wrote that the reader should not "content himself with a vague enjoyment of old Italian gardens, but…extract from them principles which may be applied to home." In a recent Wall Street Journal article, designer Charlotte Moss shares eight key lessons from her grand tour of Italian estates.

·         Create an axis

·         Carve out an area for quiet conversation

·         Unify with a theme

·         Repeat elements

·         Reimagine rather than redesign

·         Have a solid plan

·         Connect the house and garden

·         Set a focal point

Read more on how to design your perfect Italian garden in the Wall Street Journal! http://on.wsj.com/T38cO7



NIAF Clicks and Picks

Posted on: 9/10/2012 3:18:32 PM under Personal 

Check out NIAF’s top picks for fall fashion! Some of the best websites for all of this season’s must haves!





Bottega Veneta


Brunello Cucinelli




Giorgio Armani






Marco Bicego


Salvatore Ferragamo







Liguria: Not Just the Sea

Posted on: 9/4/2012 11:19:04 AM under Personal 

When one mentions Liguria, small picturesque towns and seaside views come to mind, but that’s not all this region has to offer. Liguria has a rich history that allows it to prosper economically.


Liguria features a number of micro, small and medium sized companies which specialize in high-tech and high-quality fields that include electrical engineering, mechanics, medicine, robotics, shipbuilding and floriculture. Most importantly, Liguria’s seaside location contributes to its fundamental role in the “Sea Motorways.” Genoa, La Spezia and Savona rank as the first positions as origin/destination/transit of containerized cargo to and from Suez and the Atlantic.  Because of these ports Liguria receives 27.9% of the maritime traffic.


In addition to its varied business sector, tourism contributes eight percent to its regional GDP composition. Fourteen million visitors come to Liguria each year to enjoy its spectacular beaches and beautiful mountains and valleys! Learn more about Liguria and everything the region has to offer- http://bit.ly/OUXSVW  



"Let's Have That Music Play”

Posted on: 8/27/2012 12:31:00 PM under Personal 

Once again, "Let's Have the Music Play” in the memory of Sergio Franchi, the highly anticipated annual concert that is known as the most loved musical event of New England for the last 18 years and has been attracting fans by the thousands, will take place on Saturday, September 8, 2012! The hostess, Eva Franchi, wife of the great romantic tenor Sergio Franchi, once again invites all of you to come spread your picnics and sip your favorite wine as the 32-piece symphony orchestra hits the air with the most beloved Italian romantic songs accompanied by the best young tenors and sopranos of today.

This year's concert for the first time ever will feature the most prestigious national and international competition winners from the Metropolitan Opera House, the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Richard Tucker Foundation, Marcello Giordani International World Competition, the Puccini Foundation, and, of course, the top vocal talents from the AVA Academy, to name a few. Also, there will be a surprise guest, one of Sergio colleagues who is a nationally known comic.

The concert has been sold out each year, expecting over 4,000 people, so make sure to order your tickets now! Tickets may be available at the door. And, you may view Sergio Franchi's home, the memorial museum, the antique car collection and the memorial chapel. For more information about the upcoming show, please call 860-535-9429, or visit
www.sergiofranchi.com. Your ticket is your generous donation to the Foundation and will only be $30 this year. To purchase your tickets, please send a check made out to The Sergio Franchi Music Foundation, 91 Sergio Franchi Drive, Stonington, Conn. 06378. The gates open at 12 p.m. and the concert starts promptly at 3 p.m.


Guest Blog: "Road to Valor"

Posted on: 8/20/2012 12:52:23 PM under Personal 

On August 4, 2012, Road to Valor landed in the top ten list of Canadian nonfiction bestsellers for the fifth week in-a-row. Road to Valor is the true story of Gino Bartali, the Italian cycling legend and secret World War II hero and it was written by siblings Aili and Andres McConnon, the 2012 winners of the NIAF Mazzei Award in Thought Leadership. Bartali became a household name in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s when he won the Tour de France twice and the Giro d’Italia three times. But what most people don’t know is how Gino Bartali spent World War II.

In 1943, when the Germans occupied Italy, the Cardinal of Florence Elia Dalla Costa asked Gino Bartali to participate in a network to help Jews in central Italy who needed food, shelter and identity documents. Despite the significant risk to himself and his family (Jews at this time were declared enemies of state and anyone helping them could face imprisonment or deportation), Bartali stomached his fear and decided to help. Traveling throughout Tuscany and Umbria, Bartali would transport false identity documents hidden in the frame of bicycle for Jews in hiding who needed them. 

Bartali’s courage did not stop there. He also sheltered the Goldenberg family of four in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings. Giorgio Goldenberg, who was eleven at the time of the German occupation, made the following comment about Gino Bartali’s role: “There is no doubt whatsoever for me that he saved our lives. He not only saved our lives but he helped save the lives of hundreds of people. He put his own life and his family’s in danger in order to do so. In my opinion, he was a hero and he is entitled to be called a hero of the Italian people during the Second World War.” 

  Road to Valor has received rave reviews from Sports Illustrated, Reuters, the Boston Globe among various other publications throughout the U.S. Co-authors Aili and Andres McConnon have been interviewed about Road to Valor on NPR, CBS and ABC radio and their affiliates in over thirty states and outside of the United States, they have been featured on CBC radio (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) in Canada, ABC radio (Australian Broadcast Corporation) in Australia and Newstalk Ireland.  Read Road to Valor to discover the full story of Gino Bartali, whose legendary story reflects the Italian soul and character. www.roadtovalorbook.com.


By Aili and Andres McConnon

<< First < Previous    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15    Next > Last >>
Showing 1 to 20 of 283 Post