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Amazon in Italy

Posted on: 11/29/2010 9:43:11 AM under General 

Amazon Now In Italy!

Amazon has launched a new Italian-language site, www.amazon.it, to boost the nation’s e-commerce sector.  Clients in Italy who wanted to buy products through Amazon had to use another country’s site which, in return, meant extra delivery costs for goods.  With products set to grow rapidly, items currently include books, music, films, videogames, watches, toys and electronic & computer goods.

“This is only the beginning: over the next few months we’ll enrich our range with even more (product) categories,” founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said.

 Here's the full article from ANSA.










Thanksgiving Wishes From NIAF

Posted on: 11/24/2010 9:15:10 AM under General 

On Thanksgiving the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) thanks our sponsors, members and friends who have supported our gala convention weekend, programs and events throughout 2010. Thanks for helping us sustain our educational initiatives and celebrate our rich heritage. Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Rabbi Discovers Her Secret Jewish Roots in Calabria

Posted on: 11/22/2010 9:19:52 AM under General 

Rabbi Barbara Aiello, an Italian American from Pittsburgh, Pa., discovered her family’s secret Jewish roots and became a Rabbi in 1999 with a mission—she goes throughout the region of Calabria teaching Italian Jews their history. Her father was a liberator of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and told her “you must do something for the Jewish people.” According to scholars, there were 50,000 Jews living across Calabria 500 years ago and Rabbi Aiello explains there’s more to uncover about their heritage.


Watch the video “The Secret Jews of Calabria” and learn more about Rabbi Barbara Aiello’s project.









Posted on: 11/16/2010 11:55:08 AM under General 

Tigers are on the verge of disappearing!    Leonardo DiCaprio has his eye on the tigers.

In a recent Washington Post article “If we save the tigers, we’ll save the planet” written by actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and Carter S. Roberts, they cite the following startling facts-

“A century ago, some 100,000 tigers roamed the wilderness across much of Asia. But 100 years of human overhunting of tigers' prey, such as deer and wild pigs, and of poaching driven by demand for tigers' skins and other body parts has been catastrophic. As few as 3,200 tigers remain, living in only 7 percent of their original natural habitat…. The tiger is what conservationists call an "umbrella" species. By rescuing them, we save everything beneath their ecological umbrella - everything connected to them - including the world's last great forests, whose carbon storage mitigates climate change.”

Click here for the article in the Washington Post.

DiCaprio asks in the article- Should we care in the U.S.?  We have no wild tigers roaming our plains and forests.

What he does point out is that we have tigers in captivity- twice as many in the wild worldwide!

Learn more at info@savetigersnow.org



Mall in Rome

Posted on: 11/16/2010 10:42:02 AM under General 

Mall in Rome, Italy?

ItalianNotebook.com, the daily email from Italy for lovers everywhere, recently shared with its subscriber’s news about EUROMA2, Rome’s enormous shopping mall with its 240 stores and marble obelisks reaching from the first to third levels.

“On any rainy, late Sunday afternoon at EUROMA2, you will find yourself surrounded by young families with babies in strollers, small children chasing one another, grandmas and grandpas, people with their dogs, families sitting at tables enjoying gelato or snacks. The atmosphere here tends to be charged with a wonderful celebratory feeling, as hundreds of people seemed happy just to be there with their family and their friends, whether or not they had made a purchase. Basically, these Romans are using the mall in exactly the same way as they would a neighborhood piazza in town!”

Read more

Does the concept of a mall in an Italian city bother you? 

From the article, is the atmosphere described differently from malls found across the U.S.?


The Story of Former World War II Prisoner of War Louis Zamperini

Posted on: 11/15/2010 5:07:56 PM under General 

The new book release “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand covers the trials of Former World War II prisoner of war and Olympian Louis Zamperini: a story of his survival, redemption and resilience.  Now 93, Zamperini spends his postwar life as an inspirational speaker.



The Washington Post History Review by Gary Krist notes "Not that there's much in 'Unbroken' that will be unfamiliar to devotees of wartime narrative nonfiction. Readers of books .... will recognize many of Zamperini's tribulations, from the harrowing episodes of air combat over the Pacific to the long weeks battling sharks and hunger on a flimsy life raft to the mind-boggling brutalities of incarceration in a Japanese POW camp.  Rarely, however, has a single man had to endure such an extraordinary array of woes."


Read the book review in the Washington Post and an additional article from the New York Times.


NIAF honored Zamperini at its annual luncheon during the Foundation’s 33rd Gala Convention Weekend in 2008.  Learn more about NIAF honoring him at http://www.niaf.org/news/index.asp?id=616.


Revival of Advanced Placement Test in Italian to Create Renaissance

Posted on: 11/12/2010 3:21:23 PM under General 

The College Board will reinstate AP Italian in the fall 2010 with the first tests given in spring 2010. It’s a win for advocates including NIAF who raised money to save the test.  See complete article in Washington Post .

Learn more about NIAF’s involvement—Former Congressman and NIAF Chairman Emeritus Hon. Frank J. Guarini pledged a $250,000 challenge grant to NIAF AP Language and Culture:



Italy’s Ambassador Giulio Terzi to the United States offered an e-mail statement about the reinstatement of the tests:

"Today is an important day for those who recognize the role of Italian language in the development of human society, economy and culture: Dante's Italian in literature; Gaetano Filangieri's in his letters to Benjamin Franklin on the U.S. Constitution; Federico Fellini's and Pier Paolo Pasolini's in modern cinematography; the Italian of Valentino in design and fashion; the Italian in science and technology spoken by Enrico Fermi and today by the 70 physicists working at the Fermilab in Illinois.”


High school students look for AP courses when choosing a foreign language to give them an advantage when applying to college.  Did you study Italian in high school?  If so, would you take the AP test in Italian if it was available?



A Promise to Disabled Veterans 40 Years in the Making Reached D.C. this Week

Posted on: 11/12/2010 10:42:28 AM under General 

South Florida philanthropist Lois Pope hosted the groundbreaking of The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C. across from the U.S. Botanic Garden.  She was joined by actor Gary Sinise who is also an Italian American and the memorial’s national spokesperson.  To read more information click here.


Did you ever have a goal/dream that took years to realize?  Was it worth the wait?


Actor Gary Sinise, right, breaks ground with Gordon Mansfield and other guests at a ceremony for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in D.C.

Photo by Bill O'Leary-The Washington Post


Pompeii House of Gladiators Collapses

Posted on: 11/8/2010 2:19:52 PM under General 

In the news today, the 2,000-year-old "House of the Gladiators" in the ruins of ancient Pompeii collapsed, sparking debate on whether the Italian government is doing enough to safeguard a world treasure.

Click here to read more.

What do you think of Italy's preservation efforts?


NIAF mourns passing of Hank Stella

Posted on: 10/28/2010 2:19:20 PM under Personal 

NIAF's staff and board mourn the passing of Hank Stella, a longtime NIAF supporter who died on Wednesday, October 27, 2010. His death comes a month to the day after the passing of his younger brother,  NIAF Chairman Emeritus Frank Stella.

Hank Stella was proud of his Italian American heritage. He was an advocate for organizations that promoted it, while also supporting many other charities in South Florida. He will be missed.


Join us TODAY for NIAF's Expo Italia

Posted on: 10/23/2010 8:47:24 AM under General 

Haven't visited NIAF's Expo Italia yet? Join us today! This two-day Best of Italy exhibit offers the best of Italy and the United States: classic and luxury cars, Italian coffee and gelato, gowns, jewelry, books, music, fine wines, hair products and more!

Also today, NIAF will host our AUCTION SHOWCASE from 2-3 p.m., with offers to bid on a number of luxury packages including travel opportunities, sports memorabilia, luxury goods and more. Additionally, our SILENT AUCTION continues throughout the day.

Here's a look at what you'll find in Expo Italia today:

A display of treats from the kitchen of Washington, D.C.'s Cafe Milano.

A classic FIAT on display in celebrate of the 2011 U.S. release of the 500.

A sampling of the delectable dishes on display and for sale in Expo Italia.

One of many luxury cars on display in NIAF's Expo Italia this weekend.

So, join us today! We'll be waiting for you!


NIAF to celebrate RAI’s presence in U.S.

Posted on: 10/20/2010 11:46:39 AM under General 


RAI's Paolo Garimberti will accept a special award on behalf of the company during NIAF's 35th Anniversary Gala.


During NIAF’s gala dinner, Foundation International Vice Chair Hon. Louis J. Freeh will present Paolo Garimberti, president of RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana an award specially recognizing the 50th anniversary of the company’s presence in the United States. The NIAF award recognizes the company’s dedication to quality programming and commitment sharing Italian culture with the U.S. and the world at large.


It's not too late - plan to attend NIAF's Convention and Gala!!

Posted on: 10/14/2010 3:45:09 PM under General 

NIAF’s 35th Anniversary Gala is just a week away, but there is still time for tickets to some of the weekend’s most exciting events, including:


- A Friday, October 22, 2010 a cabaret-style evening of dinner, dancing and cocktails featuring actor Robert Davi in “Davi Sings Sinatra: A Tribute to Sinatra, The Great American Songbook and America.” Following Davi, the acclaimed Radio King Orchestra will perform.


Haven’t heard of the Radio King Orchestra? Click below to watch them on “The West Wing” in 2003.



- A Friday, October 22 screening of “No Kidding, Me 2!!!” a groundbreaking documentary by Italian American actor and director Joe Pantoliano (“Memento,” “The Matrix”) detailing his own battle with clinical depression and the struggles of five other people, each with a different mental illness.


Interested in learning more? Click below.



- A Saturday, October 23 Sports Roundtable & Celerity Luncheon, “Talking Points” featuring panelists ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and Tony Reali in addition to Univision República Deportiva host Fernando Fiore and guests Mike Piazza and Jerry Colangelo.


- And, of course, NIAF’s 35th Anniversary Gala, featuring emcee Giuliani DePandi Rancic and special guests Danny DeVito, Linda Fiorentino, Annabella Sciorra, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Mike Piazza, Lidia Bastianich, Michael Badalucco, Robert Davi and more…


There are far too  many weekend activities to list here, so be sure to visit www.niaf.org for more details about NIAF's 35th Anniversary Convention and Gala. We'll see you in Washington, D.C.!


President of Italian Republic issues condolences on passing of Stella

Posted on: 9/29/2010 1:33:25 PM under Personal 

Roma, 29 settembre 2010

Il Presidente Napolitano ha appreso con vivo rammarico la notizia della scomparsa di Frank D. Stella, uomo d'affari, filantropo, eminente rappresentante degli italo-americani.

Generoso promotore di numerosi progetti culturali, tra... i quali si ricorda il restauro del teatro dell'opera di Detroit, Frank Stella si è distinto per l'impegno profondo e instancabile a favore della comunità italiana d'America. Egli contribuì in particolare alla diffusione della lingua e della cultura italiana e fu fondatore e presidente per lunghi anni della NIAF.

I valori di libertà e solidarietà di cui fu alfiere sono l'eredità che egli lascia ai cinque figli e a tutta la vasta e qualificata comunità dei cittadini americani di origine italiana.


NIAF mourns loss of Chairman Emeritus Stella

Posted on: 9/27/2010 6:09:20 PM under General 

Frank D. Stella


Members of NIAF’s Board of Directors, staff and supporters mourn the loss of Foundation Chairman Emeritus Frank D. Stella, who passed away Monday, September 27, 2010 at the age of 91. He will be greatly missed.


Born in 1919 in Jessup, Pennsylvania, to parents of Italian heritage whose family hailed from Umbria, Mr. Stella attended the College of Commerce and Finance at the University of Detroit. After graduating in 1941, he was drafted and served in the Army Air Force until 1946; during those years, he worked for the Army’s food services program.


His experiences procuring dining equipment for the Army were a valuable introduction to the food services industry. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1946 at the end of World War II, Mr. Stella returned to Detroit and – with his brothers Andy, Fred and Joe – founded The F.D. Stella Products Company, which to this day designs and distributes dining equipment within the food services industry.


Although his business began by selling ice-makers, it soon grew to be an industry innovator, providing door-to-door equipment design and engineering for markets, restaurants and bars. As America grew and took to our nation’s new highways, fueling demand for new places to dine and drink, The F.D. Stella Products Company grew as well, providing these fledgling businesses with tables, chairs, carpeting and complete interior packages. Later, the company forged strong ties with a number of franchise businesses, including Little Caesars Pizza and Domino’s Pizza.


Mr. Stella joined the NIAF Board of Directors in 1978, bringing to our organization his finely honed business acumen, years of experience in public service and fierce dedication to his Italian American heritage. He served as NIAF Chairman from 1990 to 1999, and prior to that served President of the Board for more than nine years. 


As chairman, Mr. Stella focused on strengthening NIAF’s institutes and affiliate organizations while enhancing the Foundation’s relationship with Italy. Once asked what aspects of his work for NIAF brought him the most pride, Mr. Stella responded, “To have witnessed the growth and solid foundation of the NIAF and to share with our national Italo-American community our own headquarters, which permanently symbolizes our presence in Washington and the nation.


Through his dedication, he in turn galvanized new generations of NIAF leaders, said NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., adding, “On a personal note, Frank was a great inspiration, role model and colleague to me. He supported my nomination to [Foundation Board of Directors] to join as then its youngest Board Member. For that reason, I am committed to supporting the nomination of the best and brightest young leaders to serve on NIAF’s Board.”


Mr. Stella and his late wife, Martha, had seven children: Daniel, Mary Anne, William, Philip, Marsha, James and Stephen. In 1994, he lost both his wife and his eldest son, Daniel, in whose memory he established NIAF’s Daniel Stella Scholarship Fund.



Festival celebrates Italian American heritage today in Mitchellville, MD

Posted on: 9/26/2010 9:08:13 AM under General 

Don't miss the 48th Annual Italian Festival in Mitchellville, Md., TODAY, Sunday September 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Join fellow Italian Americans to celebrate our heritage and culture -- not to mention enjoy some delicious cannolis and homemade pizza!

Bring the whole family -- the festival includes children's games and pony rides!


NIAF celebrates 25th anniversary of staff senior director

Posted on: 9/22/2010 12:41:27 PM under Personal 


Actress Sophia Loren and NIAF Senior Director Jerry Jones behind the scenes at a NIAF gala.


Today Foundation staff members are celebrating the career of NIAF Senior Director Jerry Jones, who recently marked her 25th anniversary with the National Italian American Foundation.


An integral member of the Foundation’s staff, Jones coordinates everything from gala ticket sales to member services to IT support with efficiency, flair and an occasional mischievous twinkle in her eye. Prior to joining NIAF’s staff, Jones worked for the National Center for Urban and Ethnic Affairs.

We congratulate Jerry on her years of service with NIAF – and we congratulate NIAF for keeping such a driven, competent staff member for 25 years!


NIAF leadership, youth gather in New York to network, celebrate Sicily

Posted on: 9/13/2010 1:37:44 PM under General 


Author Robert V. Camuto and NIAF Executive Vice President Salvatore M. Salibello pose with a copy of Camuto's book, "Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey."


Last week, Robert V. Camuto, an award-winning journalist and travel writer, shared his latest book with NIAF board members, Foundation council members, media professionals and recent college graduates during a private reception at the University Club in Manhattan.


“PALMENTO: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey” recounts a year of travels in Sicily, sharing Camuto’s personal discoveries about the island and its people. He relates magical stories, but also observes that Sicily is changing for the good – more young people want to remain and cultivate the island. He particularly focuses on a new generation of Sicilian winemakers, noting that Sicily has grown to produce the greatest quantity of wines in all of Italy.


View the book trailer below:



NIAF’s leadership including Linda R. Carlozzi, Esq., Robert E. Carlucci, Hon. Frank J. Guarini, Salvatore Salibello and Michael A. Zampardi joined area coordinators Susan Paolercio and Vincent Zuccarelli in addition to Italy’s Consul General in New York Francesco M. Talo’ as they sampled wines from Mount Etna, including Biondi 2008 Etna Bianco and Graci 2008 Etna Rosso.

The private event was held in conjunction with the Frank J. Guarini/NIAF Media Forum. Media professionals from New York’s print and broadcast outlets met to learn more about NIAF and enjoy the camaraderie of the evening.


Earlier in the day, NIAF hosted its Graduates to Leaders (G2L) Mentoring Workshop for young Italian American professionals and recent college graduates. The seminars focused on networking and entrepreneurship skills. Speakers including Mario Casella, president of AmCast Inc., Tomaso Veneroso, founder & CEO of GCG Group Capital and NIAF regional vice president Michael A. Zampardi, managing director of Vitru Management LLC, discussed how network and social media can help entrepreneurship. Another seminar showcased success stories of Italian Americans throughout the centuries. Speaking on the topic were Edwin Garrubbo, founder of Creative Commerce, Robyn Imbimbo, founder of Noline NYC, and Anthony Tamburri, Ph.D., dean of The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.


After the workshop, the group joined other guests at the private reception.



Frattini discusses immigration issues, rights in U.S. university lecture

Posted on: 9/9/2010 3:40:55 PM under General 

In a lecture at the University of Wisconsin last week, Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, the equivalent of the U.S. Secretary of State, discussed immigration and the rights of immigrant workers, emphasizing the global nature of migration issues. In his speech, he explored how Italy has experienced recent immigration to its shores and what nations around the world can do for and expect of migrants.


Said Frattini, “Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Yet I believe that we need to change –if not completely – our traditional way of thinking about migration as a world of loss and sorrow. In Italy, in particular, we have been holding an open debate on immigration for years now. This is most likely because our country’s history has traditionally been linked to the phenomenon of emigration and it is only fairly recently that we have had to face immigration issues. For a long time we have seen immigration essentially as a tragic phenomenon that involved the world’s poorest people. We felt morally obliged to provide assistance and support to these people once they had reached terra incognita, regardless of any evaluation of whether they had respected the legal migration procedures or of the social impact of their influx."


Citing U.N. statistics, Frattini noted that there are more than 200 million migrant workers throughout the world, 31 million of whom legally reside in the European Union. Additionally, the almost 4 million migrants legally residing in Italy now account for 7.1 percent of the population. “These figures are too large to warrant a passive or individualistic approach,” Frattini said, “a single state cannot cope with such onerous figures…This is particularly true in the European Union, where we have created an area that envisages the free movement of people. And it is especially true in Italy, given our geographical location as a bridge between two continents. When migrants land on the shores of Sicily they can easily move on: to Austria, say, and then to Germany and the Netherlands. The issue does not stop at Italy’s borders: it becomes European.”  


Frattini encouraged countries around the world to look at migration as a source of enrichment – to both their new country of residence and their country of origin, which receives support from those who find work in other locales – and not a threat. The minister advocated for fundamental rights of migrant workers, access to clear information for potential immigrants and cooperation between countries of settlement and origin to curb the flow of illegal immigration.


“Integration itself is a two-way process,” Frattini added. “Legal migrants must see their rights recognised and their duties assigned. As a matter of fact, the acquisition of rights goes hand in hand with the acceptance of duties. If migrants want to be fully integrated in our societies they have to abide by the law, learn the local language and respect our values such as human rights, women's rights and even the duty to send children to school. They should also get acquainted with both our traditions and cultural heritage. In other words, legal migrants should not only restrain themselves from pursuing aggressive strategies against the fundamental values of the destination country but they also have to acquire the necessary cultural and social means in order to actively interact with local people.”


To read his speech in its entirety, click here.


NIAF Chairman Jerry Colangelo talks USA Basketball in Washington Post

Posted on: 9/7/2010 11:38:07 AM under General 


NIAF Chairman Jerry Colangelo


Basketball fans shouldn’t miss yesterday's Washington Post article, U.S. struggles to meet expectations,” which features NIAF Chairman Jerry Colangelo speaking candidly about USA Basketball’s efforts to win a world championship.


On Monday, USA Men’s Basketball prepared to face Angola in Round 16 of the FIBA World Championship. (Team USA ultimately won with a score of 121-66, advancing to a Quarterfinal game against Russia on September 9.) In addition to facing stiff competition, the young team – which does not include many of the NBA players who competed for the U.S. two years ago at the Olympics – continues to cope with the high expectations of international fans who want to see Olympic-quality wins. Notes writer Brian Mahoney, “They expect the United States not only to win the tournament, but also every game and perhaps even every quarter along the way.”

Colangelo explained: "I think there is a certain element that does persist that because we have USA on our jersey, that's good enough," USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "And as the world competition has improved, it gets very challenging, especially with a young, inexperienced group of guys, regardless of how much talent we have.

"Personally, I'd rather be hunted like that than the opposite."

NIAF's most recent issue of Ambassador magazine featured an article on "Return of the Gold," a new book by sportswriter Dan Bickley that highlights Colangelo's leadership of the team and its 2008 gold medal win during the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Click here to read the article, which features a longer interview with Colangelo about his career, his Italian American heritage and his efforts to build a better national team.

Click here to read yesterday's Washington Post article in full.

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