eNotizie – December 2018

Buy a NIAF “Make Sunday Italian Again” Spoon for Christmas!
If you’re still looking for the ideal gift for this holiday season, look no further than a NIAF Make Sunday Italian Again customized wooden spoon. It is perfect for cooking Sunday dinners as well as for holiday meals. All proceeds benefit and further NIAF’s mission of preserving, protecting and promoting our Italian heritage. To purchase the spoon, visit:

This Month: Winter Issue of Ambassador Magazine
The new issue of NIAF’s acclaimed, glossy magazine is here! Stories from Puglia to the Bronx! The cover story starts with “A Star is Born,” which showcases the cinematographic chemistry between its two award-winning actors of Italian descent, then looks at 12 other “Italian chemistry” must-see films. Other features: A visit to authentic, luxurious estates in Puglia and an inside view of an ancient dance still performed in Puglia today! Delicious holiday recipes from Mary Ann Esposito and 2018 NIAF Gala Honoree Lidia Bastianich. A holiday gift guide to excellent Italian wines under $20. Plus books reviews, Christmas gift ideas and more!

NIAF’s 43rd Anniversary Gala in Review!
If you haven’t already, check out the online review and photo gallery from NIAF’s 43rd Anniversary Gala Weekend in October. NIAF hosted 2,500 Italian Americans and special guests from Italy in a weekend-long celebration of our heritage and culture in Washington, D.C., and it was a memorable and magnificent time! The nation’s premier Italian American gathering, this year’s NIAF Gala was presented by the 2018 NIAF Region of Honor, Puglia; so, the weekend’s theme was everything Pugliese. Highlighting the weekend was Saturday evening’s black-tie Gala Awards Dinner, featuring a feast of Pugliese-inspired dishes and wines and recognizing the achievements of six distinguished honorees. To see the complete Gala coverage and photos, visit:

NIAF’s 2018 Region of Honor: Puglia
NIAF’s 2018 Region of Honor is Puglia, the famous heel of Italy’s boot that boasts sun-bleached coasts, Medieval towns on mountainsides, and agricultural communities still relatively untouched by tourism.

You can see photos and videos from NIAF’s visits to Puglia from our 2018 Voyage of Discovery program and our Board of Directors’ Mission to Italy via our social media channels. You can also see Puglia showcased at our 43rd Anniversary Gala in Review on our website. We will continue to celebrate Puglia through this month! To learn more about Puglia, visit:

NIAF Museum on Italian Immigration is Open!
The Museum recounts the hardships that Italian immigrants faced from enduring the journey across the Atlantic by ship, to living in the United States and to their successes in the fields of music, entertainment, government, business and the extraordinary achievements of Italian American women. Open to the public Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., except for holidays; Closed December 20-January 1. Admission is free. For more information, visit:

2018 Grant Winners for the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum
NIAF and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) are excited to announce that Anton Evangelista’s “Il Signor Jackson” and Tim Moriarty’s “The Field Afar: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno” were winners of the 2018 Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum grant. Spearheaded by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the Film Forum is an initiative to fund films depicting and exploring the Italian American experience for the benefit of future generations.

“The Field Afar” “Il Signor Jackson”

For more information, visit:

Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Endows $1.5 Million to Voyage of Discovery
NIAF announced that U.S. Ambassador Peter F. Secchia, who formerly served in Italy, has committed $1.5 million to endow the Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery, a first-time travel to Italy program for young Americans of Italian descent. The program is one of NIAF’s most important initiatives, having sent more than 800 Italian American students on their first trip to Italy since the program’s beginning. “With the Ambassador’s second generous gift, NIAF will be able to double the number of students accepted into the program for 2019,” said NIAF Program Director Gabriella Mileti. Read the press release here: 

Voyage of Discovery Applications are Open!
NIAF’s Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program, provides all-expenses-paid, two-week tours for Italian American college students. The purpose is to strengthen their Italian American identity by bonding them to the country, culture and heritage of Italy; to help them gain an understanding of their heritage and a pride in preserving that heritage for the next generation; and to understand the historical significance of Italy and the current contribution Italy is making to the United States and the world. The trip also offers students the opportunity to perform community service in areas of need during their stay in Italy. To learn more and apply, visit:

Applications for NIAF 2019 Scholarships Now Available!
Applications for NIAF scholarships are now open! Scholarships range from $2,500 – $12,000 and are awarded to undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, medical, and legal students. If you are Italian American or if you are studying Italian in college, apply today! Deadline is March 1, 2019. For more information, contact Julia Streisfeld, Program Manager of Scholarship, Grants and Youth Engagement, at or 202-939-3114, or visit:

Calling All Voyage of Discovery Alumni
We’re creating an alumni database of past participants in NIAF’s Voyage of Discovery and NIAF’s Gift of Discovery programs and we need your help! Did you or someone you know participate? If so, let us know. Please email your name, Voyage of Discovery year, and any other information you’d like to share about your experience to

Join NIAF’s Facebook community!
Like NIAF? Then be an active part of our online community and “like” NIAF’s Italian American, pride-studded Facebook page! NIAF on Facebook is an exponentially  growing online community with everything but your Sunday dinner table — news, views, recipes and trivia. Anything Italian, Italian American or NIAF, it’s there! Plus, contests, giveaways and free tickets to shows, concerts and events across the country! Those of you who already follow us, grazie mille for your support! Join us at

The Italian American Podcast
The National Italian American Foundation is proud to be the official sponsor of The Italian American Podcast, the first podcast dedicated to helping Italian Americans learn about and celebrate their heritage. Hosts Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri interview celebrities and nonnas alike, bringing you an authentic Italian American experience. Listen to the Podcast’s latest episodes here:

Join NIAF Today!
Want to be part of a larger Italian American community? It’s easy to join the National Italian American Foundation. With NIAF membership, you’ll be standing up for your family heritage and supporting future generations of Italian Americans. Our core mission is to preserve Italian American heritage, strengthen the ties between the United States and Italy, and support through scholarships, grants and other programs the education of new generations of Italian Americans. By joining, you not only will help us fulfill that mission but you’ll also enjoy many member benefits, including:

  • Opportunities to network with prominent political and business leaders
  • Cultural and educational events
  • Access to NIAF’s member-only website pages
  • Annual subscription to NIAF’s acclaimed Ambassador Magazine
  • Discounts for NIAF events and merchandise
  • Great money-saving deals through NIAF’s partners, and much more!

For more information about NIAF and its exciting benefits, visit

Give back to the Italian American community and donate to NIAF in our #WeAreNIAF campaign. No matter how large or small, your gift allows us to provide scholarships and grants for Italian American students and continue our work in Italian cultural programs throughout the United States. Every donation counts! To learn more about what we do and how you can help, go to

NIAF Corporate Sponsor Discounts
Heads up, NIAF members! Check out all money-saving discounts, exclusive deals and membership benefits that NIAF Corporate Sponsors offer through your NIAF Membership Portal. Sign in with your NIAF password at:

Shop at AmazonSmile and Support NIAF!
Here’s your opportunity to donate to NIAF without costing you a cent! Support the work of NIAF when making purchases on by going to and selecting the National Italian American Foundation as your charity of choice. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to NIAF. AmazonSmile offers the same selection and low prices as Amazon, and customers can still use their Amazon account. The only difference is that, at no extra cost, you are donating to a great cause!

Saint/Sinner: In Her Own Words and Music
The Italian Academy at Columbia University will host a Mango Baroque Chamber Ensemble recital titled “Saint/Sinner: In Her Own Words and Music,” performed by soprano Marguerite Krull. The recital will include Italian music from 1650 to 1720 by women: Barbara Strozzi, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani and Isabella Leonarda, and takes place on December 5 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. For details, visit:

Stony Brook University’s 15th Annual Italian Cinema Festival
The Center for Italian Studies at Stony Brook University and Artisci Soul are co-sponsoring “Italy on Screen Today/Edizione III” to promote Italian films. The films will be in Italian with English subtitles. Free and open to the public. December 8 – 9 from 2 – 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit:

Adriana Trigiani presents new book “Tony’s Wife” in Brooklyn
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and St. Nick’s Alliance are co-sponsoring Adriana Trigiani’s presentation of her new book “Tony’s Wife,” at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Tony’s Wife” is a magnificent epic of life in a traditional Italian family undergoing seismic change in a fast-paced, modern world. Free and open to the public; December 6 at 7 p.m. Visit:

10th Annual Aferro Art Sale & Artisan Market in Newark, N.J.
Come out to Gallery Aferro’s End-of-Year Open House! From December 8-22, Gallery Aferro will have an affordable gift market selling art from locally, nationally and internationally known artists. The prices of the art ranges from $50 – $500, with limited edition prints, photographs, paintings, artist books, T-shirts, music, and more. Gallery Aferro will also host a day-long, potluck party on December 15, featuring art for sale, food, $5 family portraits, and more. For details, visit:

Enhance Your Cookbook Creations with Amy Riolo!
The National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) will host award-winning, bestselling author, chef, TV personality and Mediterranean diet advocate Amy Riolo, who will share inside tips on how to publish a cookbook. December 4 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., in a private residence in Washington D.C. To purchase tickets, visit:

“Ladri di Bicicletti [Bicycle Thieves] Film Screening
In conjunction with NYU’s NeoRealismo exhibition, “Ladri di Biciclette” (1948) will be screened in Italian with English subtitles. Simply constructed and rich in human insight, the film embodies the greatest strengths of Italian Neorealism: emotional clarity, social rectitude and brutal honesty. December 6 at 6:30 p.m. To RSVP, visit:

Cristina Fontanelli’s 15th Annual Christmas in Italy at Carnegie Hall
Award-winning singer and PBS-TV host for Andrea Bocelli and ll Volo, Cristina Fontanelli presents her annual musical celebration, Christmas in Italy. Songs and arias include “Mamma,” “Ave Maria,” and Neapolitan favorites such as “Torna a Surriento.” The children of the Little Language Studio of Brooklyn will sing the traditional Italian Christmas carol “Tu Scendi dalle Stelle” and dance to “Dominick the Donkey.” December 9 at 3 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. Purchase tickets here:

Migration and Belonging Roundtable
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute will host a roundtable conversation exploring the ways political economies, cultural influence, and national boundaries affect the individual, their movement, and society at large. The conversation will be moderated by Donna Chirico with panelists Richard Alba, George Andreopoulos, and Peter Vellon. Free and open to the public. December 5 at 6 p.m. To RSVP, please call 212-642-2094.

New Film “Quanto Basta” Screening
The N.I.C.E. Film Festival is kicking off its 28th season with screening “Quanto Basta”! The film’s director, Francesco Falaschi, addresses the issue of Asperger syndrome. A Q&A session with the film’s director will follow the screening. The film is in Italian with English subtitles. December 4 at 5:30 p.m. To RSVP, visit:

Epiphany Celebration Honoring Three Wise Women in Washington, D.C.
The National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) will host an Epiphany Celebration Honoring Three Wise Women on January 10, 2019. The three women honored are neuroradiologist Andrea Giacommetti, MD; the Dean of Students at Georgetown Visitation Girls’ Preparatory School Eve Grimaldi; and Program Director & Researcher at the National Cancer Institute Lynn Sorbara, PhD. At Maggiano’s Little Italy from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets on sale until January 4, 2019. For details, visit:

Calabrian Rapper Kento Presents His New Memoir
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and York College will co-host Calabrian rapper Kento’s (Francesco Carlo) presentation of his memoir “Resistance Rap” on December 6 and 11. NIAF IALC Member and Calandra’s Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri will host a round-table conversation with Kento on December 11.  For more information, visit:

Frist Art Museum’s New Exhibition
The new exhibition, Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy, presents an intimate view of life in the Renaissance through art commissioned to celebrate marriage and family. Drawing on a selection of outstanding marriage chests, panels, and a variety of domestic objects belonging to the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy, the exhibition is on view until February 18, 2019. For details, visit:

Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA)
IAMLA’s new exhibit Italianità: Italian Diaspora Artists Examine Identity, runs until January 13, 2019. Exploring the concept of “italianità,” which translates to “Italian-ness,” it features more than 20 artists whose work showcases the complex nature of the Italian diaspora and celebrates the beliefs, traditions and defining characteristics of this movement. For more information:

At Casa Belvedere—Staten Island
The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere’s Culinary Classes offer recreational and educational culinary experiences on a year-round basis. Daytime and evening classes are held in Casa Belvedere’s state-of-the-art Cucina Colavita Kitchen and are available for adults and children.

For more information on these and other Casa Belvedere programs, visit or call 718-273-7660.

Italian Brooklyn: Photographs by Martha Cooper
Renowned photographer Martha Cooper documents Italian American vernacular expressive culture in 1980s Brooklyn. These 39 photographs were part of various documentation projects undertaken by folklorists three decades ago. Her exhibition at the Calandra Italian American Institute is on display until December 14. All events are free, open to the public, and held at the Calandra Institute. RSVP by calling 212-642-2094.

Turn on Italics TV
For monthly cable-TV programming for the Italian American community, tune in to Italics, the Italian American TV magazine, produced by The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College in New York and hosted by Anthony J. Tamburri, dean of The Calandra Institute. Check your local New York and New York State cable-TV listings for Italics, or find it on CUNY-TV website, and on-demand on the YouTube channel and Facebook.

Everybody Loves Italian! On the Radio!
Join hosts Frank Granieri and Dominic Mevoli to celebrate the everyday Italian American family and experience, plus interviews with personalities, stories, recipes and more! Sundays 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., on WWDB 860 AM Philadelphia; and streaming worldwide! Find them on Facebook at For more information, visit:


Congratulations to longtime NIAF friend, contributor to Ambassador magazine and NIAF Gala Honoree Mary Ann Esposito for the publication of her new cookbook, “Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy.” Esposito is a trailblazer who helped spark a billion-dollar food media industry and paved the way for countless other TV chefs. She is the host of PBS’s Ciao Italia, which is TV’s longest running cooking show in history!  This latest cookbook has more than 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos and scenic pictures of Italy—the perfect gift for the holidays! To buy her cookbook, visit:

Support Our Sponsors

Your Italian Passport
Whether you are hoping to determine if you are eligible for Italian citizenship, looking for assistance with collection of your family’s vital records, or merely looking for translation of your documents in preparation for your appointment with the Italian consulate, Your Italian Passport is here to help!

Your Italian Passport is a U.S.-based company offering comprehensive services for Italian Americans seeking to obtain Italian dual citizenship. Like so many things Italian, Your Italian Passport is a business of organic roots grown over time with care and committed to giving personalized attention to each and every client.

Visit our website and be on your way to living la dolce vita! As always, NIAF members receive a 10 percent discount on all services offered. A new world awaits with Your Italian Passport! Contact us today!


Say “Buongiorno” in the eternal city with a cappuccino!
Starting May 2, 2019, fly nonstop to Rome from the beating heart of the United States with Alitalia’s new flights between Washington and Rome. Arrive in Rome refreshed and enjoy Italy’s favorite breakfast, a delicious cappuccino and hot croissant, before beginning your day visiting Rome’s famous sites. Or just take in the city’s mood where history and modern life mix by strolling down its cobblestone streets and its spacious piazzas. Visit:

Alitalia presents its new uniforms designed by Alberta Ferretti
Alberta Ferretti created a timeless and elegant uniform dedicated to Alitalia ground and inflight personnel. The new Alitalia collection, which debuted this month, combine both practicality and elegance. The uniforms, created as a result of employee feedback, are designed in lightweight and breathable fine gauge blue wool for the comfort and well-being of the employees to perform their everyday duties in diverse environments.

Reach more than 170,000 NIAF members and Italophile readers by
sponsoring an upcoming edition of NIAF’s monthly e-Newsletter!

NIAF e-Newsletter edited by Natalie Wulderk