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La Gazzetta Italiana offers free issue

Posted on: 7/9/2010 3:20:11 PM under General 

La Gazzetta Italiana, an Ohio-based monthly newspaper catering to the Italian American community, is offering a free issue to readers who visit its website.

But there's more on the paper's website than the offer a free issue. This month's issue features an article on visiting the Isola d'Ischia, "Italy's Emerald Isle" with notes on where to stay, where to eat and the island's best beaches. A resource for travelers, it offers notes like "Be sure not to miss a walk around the Castello Aragonese, and step back in time in the secluded fishing village of Sant’Angelo."

Visitors can also browse the site's Recipes section to learn how to make everything from Bruschetta with Peppered Scallions to Risotto in a Lemon Cup to Swordfish Carpaccio with Arugula.

Enjoy and mangia bene!


Made in Italy: Halal Italia

Posted on: 7/8/2010 4:06:36 PM under General 

A new initiative in Italy will allow for food, cosmetics and pharmeceutical products made in Italy to be certified as "halal," meaning that their production is compliant with the laws of the Koran. The move supports a "Halal Italia" initiative by CO.RE.IS Italiana (Comunita Religiosa Islamica), a group that has participated in a trial program with the Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The "halal" certification is intended to advance the sale of Made in Italy products in Islamic nations and further the bond between Italy and Muslim majority nations, according to a release by the Italian Embassy.


BBC Radio to examine Caravaggio on 400th anniversary of his death

Posted on: 7/7/2010 1:09:37 PM under General 

Caravaggio's work has been far-reaching, even four centuries after his death at the age of 39. Here, a painting by the master appears on a stamp from Kampuchea, the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Mark your calendars for next Monday, July 12, when BBC Radio will examine the work and life of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio -- or, as he has been known to generations of art lovers, simply Caravaggio -- on the 400th anniversary of his death in July 1610 at the age of 39.

This series of on-air verbal portraits includes a discussion by John Gash, senior lecturer on the history of art at Aberdeen University. Topics include an introduction to the artist, an examination of his painting techniques including chiaroscuro, the politcal climate of Caravaggio's times, and more.

During his time, the brawling artist was known as much for the beauty of his public commisisons -- including "Martyrdom of Saint Matthew" and "Calling of Saint Matthew" -- as for his penchant for fighting and arguments.

Notes BBC Radio's website, "When Caravaggio moves from northern Italy to seek patronage and fame in Rome, the celebrity he attracts there is entwined with visceral and violent behaviour, which itself is then replicated in aspects of his work that depict sacred Christian subjects."

BBC Radio's broadcasts are available online.


Italians played vital role in American Revolution

Posted on: 7/2/2010 10:13:46 AM under General 

As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence, we here at NIAF are mindful that Italians have supported the U.S. since the beginning of our country's history. Here is just a sampling of Italians who helped the American colonies become the United States of America.

- Three Italian regiments, totaling some 1,500 men, fought for American independence: the Third Piemonte, the 13th Du Perche, and the Royal Italian.

- Filippo Mazzei, a Tuscan physician, fought alongside Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry during the American Revolution. Mazzei drew up a plan to capture the British in New York by cutting off their sea escape, and convinced France to help the American colonists financially and militarily. He also inspired the Jeffersonian phrase: "All men are created equal" when he wrote "All men are by nature equally free and independent."

- Italian officers in the American Revolution included: Captain Cosimo de Medici of the North Carolina Light Dragoons; Lieutenant James Bracco, 7th Maryland Regiment, killed at the Battle of White Plains; Captain B. Tagliaferro, second in command of the Second Virginia Regiment, a direct subaltern of General George Washington; 2nd Lieutenant Nicola Talliaferro of the 2nd Virginia Regiment; and Colonel Richard Talliaferro, who fell at the Battle of Guilford. Other Italian officers, most from Massachusetts, are on regimental rolls of the Continental Army.

- Major John Belli was the Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army from 1792 to 1794. The first settler in Scioto County, Ohio, he lived there until his death in 1809.

- Three of the first five warships commissioned by the Continental Congress of the new American government, were named Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Andrea Doria. Doria was a 16th century navy admiral from Genoa who was still fighting the Barbary pirates in his mid 80s.

- Francesco Vigo (1747-1836), is believed the first Italian to become an American citizen. A successful fur trader on the western frontier (today the mid-western states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), Vigo served as a colonel, spy, and financier during the American Revolution. He died a pauper, but in 1876 the U.S. government gave his heirs about $50,000 to repay them for Vigo's financial support of the Revolutionary War. Along with George Rogers Clark, he helped settle the Northwest territory.

To learn more about Italian American contributions to our country's history, visit NIAF's website.

Who are your favorite Italians or Italian Americans in U.S. history? Share with us!


NIAF thanks military historian Rudy A. D'Angelo for his assistance with this fact sheet.




Don't miss! Davi to perform Sinatra tribute at Hofstra

Posted on: 7/1/2010 2:39:15 PM under General 

Actor Robert Davi on the set of "The Dukes."

Mark your calendars! Actor Robert Davi ("Die Hard," "The Dukes") will perform "A Tribute To A Legend: Davi Sings Sinatra" at Hofstra University's John Cranford Adams Playhouse on July 16 and 17 at 8 pm. and July 18 at 2 p.m.

During the three performances, Davi will be accompanied by the 30-piece New York Big Band, led by Joe Battaglia.

Born in Astoria, Queens, New York in 1953 to Italian immigrant parents, Davi was inspired as a child by Italian neo-realism films and later received a drama scholarship from Hofstra University. He has been influenced by the storytelling of legendary directors Federico Fellini, Vittorio de Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti and Roberto Rossellini. His body of work includes more than 60 films, in which he collaborated with prominent directors and producers including Steven Spielberg.

For more information, visit www.hofstra.edu/HofstraEntertainment.


Italian mafia boss arrested in France

Posted on: 6/29/2010 4:48:11 PM under General 

Italian mafia boss Giuseppe Falsone was arrested in France on Friday, after more than a decade on the run, in a joint operation by police from both Italy and France, according to reporting by the BBC and National Turk.

Falsone, 40, was caught in Marseille and was believed to have undergone plastic surgery and been using false identification. He had already been sentenced to life in prison for murder and international drug trafficking.

He is thought to have been the mafia boss for Sicily's province of Agrigento.



Did you know? Italcementi plant opens in West Virginia

Posted on: 6/28/2010 11:36:47 AM under General 

Last month, Italian company Italcementi, the world's fifth largest producer of cement, opened a new plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Work on the facility began in 2006 and was completed at a cost of $500 million dollars, representing the company's largest investment in North America today.

Italcementi employs 2,300 workers at seven plants across the United States. This particular plant, which has been outfitted with cutting-edge technology, is able to produce two million tons of cement each day.

Speaking at the facility's inauguration, Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata lauded the unique collaboration in the fields of science and technology that exists today between the U.S. and Italy.

Said Terzi, "The National Science Foundation estimates that over 15 thousand scientists of Italian origin are active in the U.S. From biotechnologies to astrophysics, from nanotechnology to nuclear physics, many Italian scientists have contributed substantially, over the last decades, to the American scientific progress. As an example, let me mention the small group of Italian researchers working in Silicon Valley, who in the 1980's developed hardware and software components still essential to our computers. Thanks to them, for instance, the control room of this 'state of the art' plant in West Virginia is so advanced."

Terzi also lauded West Virginia's Italian roots, adding as he concluded that, "Let me also pay a warm tribute to the hard working Italian community in West Virginia. They are here, as representatives of a long history of dedication and commitment to the industrial and economic development of the State and the Union."



Livernano, Casalvento wines win big at L.A. Wine Competition

Posted on: 6/24/2010 11:28:08 AM under General 

Congratulations to Livernano and Casalvento Wines, two Italian varietals produced by NIAF Board Member Bob Cuillo that were recognized at the 71st Annual Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

Judged in May, the competition highlights the best wines from around the world. This year, Cuillo's Livernano, Janus Casalvento and Livernano Riserva wines all received silver medals while Casalvento Riserva 2007 took the gold medal. Auguri!

Planning a visit to Tuscany? Consider a visit to Cuillo's Livernano, which is far more than a winery. The estate is a working farm that also produces olive oil, honey, vegetables and fruits in addition to serving as an exclusive hotel complete with swimming pool.


See the Yankees' World Series Trophy at the Yogi Berra Museum

Posted on: 6/23/2010 3:24:23 PM under General 

Tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Yankees' World Series Trophy will be on display at The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J.

If you're in the New Jersey/New York area, this is an amazing opportunity to view the trophy first-hand, at a museum created by Yankee great and proud Italian American Yogi Berra. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

Can't make it tomorrow? Check out the museum's host of acitivites throughout the summer, which advance its mission to teach children about baseball and the social and cultural values taught by sports participation both off the field and on.

Upcoming summer events at the museum include a behind-the-scenes tour of Yankee Stadium on July 19 and again on August 10, a three-day Sports Business Camp from July 19-21 for high school students looking to gain insight into careers in professional sports and a Sports Broadcasting Camp featuring New York broadcasters Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle from July 24-30. 

Click here to learn more.



Did you know? NIAF funds build new dormitory in L'Aquila

Posted on: 6/18/2010 4:30:24 PM under General 

NIAF Board President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq. stands in front of the site of a new dormitory for the University of L'Aquila, now under construction thanks to funds raised by NIAF.

For the past year, a NIAF partnership with the State Department has been critical to ongoing revitalization efforts in L’Aquila – in particular, providing support to the University of L’Aquila. As part of those efforts, NIAF donations have funded the reconstruction of a new dormitory for the university.

NIAF's board members visited the dormitory, which is now under construction, during the Foundation's Mission to Italy last week. While in L’Aquila, NIAF board members also toured the city with local fire and rescue officials and met with former University of L’Aquila students who, as part of the NIAF/State Department partnership, spent the past year attending U.S. universities to continue their educations.

While in Italy last week, NIAF board members toured L'Aquila, which sustained heavy damage during last year's Abruzzo earthquake.


Race supports bid to bring Giro d'Italia to U.S.

Posted on: 6/17/2010 3:12:51 PM under General 


NIAF is proud to partner with the City of Washington, D.C., in a bid to host the start of the 2012 Giro D’Italia. In support of that effort, we invite you to join us on July 11, 2010 for the Capital Criterium, a day of bike races in the nation’s capital.

The Capital Criterium features professional and amateur cycling races, including a GiroDC2012 charity ride by local celebrities and CycleLife Kids’ Safety Races for four age categories with free helmets and goodies for all participants. A CapCrit LifeStyle Expo will showcase many of the official bid supporters working to bring the Giro d’Italia here to D.C. in 2012! Go Giro!


Registration is free for participating children. More information can be found at www.capcrit.com.


NY Times highlights San Diego's Little Italy

Posted on: 6/16/2010 9:39:03 PM under General 
A June New York Times article highlights the northern end of San Diego's Little Italy, which has emerged in recent years as haven for art galleries and home design shops. 

Jeff Schlegel reports: "LITTLE ITALY NORTH in San Diego has long been the unsung, gritty industrial cousin to the main part of Little Italy’s restaurant row, essentially cut off from its southern half by two busy streets and a decidedly different mindset. But as many of the area’s machine shops and warehouses have closed, a nascent design district, featuring art galleries and home décor stores, has taken root in their former digs."

The article highlights seven new boutiques and galleries that offer furniture, handmade crafts, limited edition prints and salvaged housewares.  Planning a trip to San Diego? Click here to read more...


Like "Cake Boss?" Get free cupcakes!

Posted on: 6/15/2010 9:42:37 PM under General 

Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J., made famous by TLC star Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, is celebrating its 100th year. On Friday, June 18, staffers will hand out free cupcakes at the PATH station in Hoboken. On Saturday, a celebratory block party on Hoboken's Washington Street will feature a tempting array of desserts. Mangia bene!


Alfa Romeo owners celebrate company's 100th year

Posted on: 6/14/2010 7:51:45 PM under General 

Alfa Romeo owners from across the country will gather outside Washington, D.C., from June 23-27, 2010 to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary at the Alfa Century Convention & Centennial Celebration

From the 1950s through the 1990s, Alfa Romeo cars offered American buyers the chance to embrace Italian design and engineering. They have continued as vintage automobiles, and now their return is promised for the 2013 model year -- an exciting announcement during this centennial year.

There are more than 4,000 members of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, many of them of Italian descent and all fans of Italian culture. Many meet monthly in Italian restaurants around the country, loan their cars to Columbus Day Parades, and coordinate All Italian Car shows and tours with counterparts from the Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, and Lamborghini clubs.

If you're an Alfa Romeo owner, it's not too late to register for the national convention. Click here to reserve your tickets today.

Are you an Alfa Romeo lover? Share your thoughts about the car company!


National Geographic exhibit explore's Da Vinci's genius

Posted on: 6/11/2010 4:17:34 PM under General 


The National Geographic Museum will host an exclusive first look at a new traveling exhibit, "Da Vinci - The Genius", on Thursday, June 17 from 9-10:30 a.m. The exhibit will officially open on the following day and will run through the summer, closing on September 12.

Created with the assistance of Il Genio di Leonardo da Vinci Museo (Italy) and Pascal Cotte of Lumiere Technology (France), the exhibit features a vast array of full-scale inventions re-created according to Da Vinci's personal codices (notebooks); reproductions of his most famous Renaissance paintings, including the Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks and The Annunciation; detailed anatomical sketches; the preparatory drawings for the Battle of Anghiari; and custom video presentations.

A cadre of Italian artisans spent the last decade studying and interpreting Da Vinci’s codices and crafting the mechanical inventions shown in the exhibition. The artisans reproduced more than 120 of Da Vinci’s machine inventions, 67 of which will be on display. Among them are Da Vinci’s visions for the glider, parachute, precursor to the modern helicopter, forerunner of the modern military tank, automobile, submarine, ball bearing and gear systems, and others that were far ahead of their time.

The exhibition will also include an insight into the “Secrets of Mona Lisa,” featuring images showcasing the work of French engineer optician Pascal Cotte. With his cutting-edge, 240-megapixel, multispectral imaging camera, Cotte was able to uncover how Mona Lisa looked as she was originally painted, distinguishing between layers of over-painting, restoration and attempts at preservation, and identifying the individual pigments used by Da Vinci.

The museum will be hosting free family drop-in programs, during which children can create their own flying whirligig, on Saturdays July 10 and August 7 and at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays July 14 and 28 and August 11 and 25.


In Italy this summer? Don’t miss these local events

Posted on: 6/10/2010 3:13:27 PM under General 


Processions are held prior to Tuscany's famed Palio.

Summertime in Italy is filled with processions, celebrations and holidays. Here are just a few of the many activities you might find while visiting this summer.

La Festa di San Giovanni – The birth of Florence’s patron saint John the Baptist is celebrated every year on June 24 with a procession and fireworks.

Tuscany’s Palio – Italy’s famous Palio horse race takes place every year on July 2 and August 16 in Siena. First run on August 16, 1656 in celebration of the Virgin Mary, the bareback race is held in the town’s semi-circular Piazza del Campo. Today the Palio is preceded by days of festivities and a historic parade featuring horses, jockeys and a rich display of medieval costumes.


The Festival of Spoleto – Also known as the “Festival dei Due Mondi” (“Festival of the Two Worlds”), this arts celebration has been held every June and July since 1958. It hosts top-class performances of opera, theatre, music and ballet, attracting internationally known artists. Click here for more details on this year’s performances.


Ferragosto – In Italy, the feast of the Assumption is a national holiday and marks the peak of the summer holiday season. The Italian name “Ferragosto” comes from the Latin “feriae augstae,” “meaning August holidays. Cities become ghost towns as Italians flock to the coasts, mountains and lakes.


What are some of your favorite Italian celebrations?



Department of Justice, Italian groups commemorate FBI founder

Posted on: 6/9/2010 3:41:16 PM under General 

Assistant Attorney General Thomas J. Perelli speaks to guests in the Department of Justice's Great Hall as Francesco Isgrò, John A. DiCicco, John J. LaCorte, Jr. and Hon. Francis M. Allegra look on.

In a ceremony at the Department of Justice today, members of Washington, D.C.'s Italian American community gathered to commemorate the life and work of Charles J. Bonaparte, the 46th Attorney General of the United States and the founder of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

For the 50th year in a row, distinguished guests from the Department of Justice, the New York-based Italian Historical Society of America and others gathered to honor Bonaparte. Born in 1851, Bonaparte's grandfather was Jerome Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon.

A portrait of Charles J. Bonaparte stands on display in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice.

In 1908 Bonaparte, a resident of Baltimore, became the 46th Attorney General of the United States. He soon discovered that he was hampered in carrying out President Theodore Roosevelt's "trust busting" policies due to the lack of a permanent investigative staff. On July 28, Bonaparte issued the order that made his special investigative unit a permanent subdivision of the Department of Justice. In 1935, what began as a 23-man force led by Bonaparte was renamed the FBI.

Speaking at the event, Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli described Bonaparte as "a bold man and a brilliant lawyer who dedicated his life to serving his country." He noted that today's Department of Justice priorities, including ending corruption on Wall Street and the department's new Access to Justice Division, are very much in line with Bonaparte's vision and work. "I think Bonaparte would feel very rewarded by what we're doing today," he noted. "...We are in many ways following his example."

Cristiano Maggipinto, the Embassy of Italy's First Counselor for Social & Consular Affairs, also spoke at the event, noting that despite the Bonaparte family's original French roots, their descendant's actions were characteristically Italian.

"The interest of the Bonaparte family in law and the administration of justice was a trait they derived from [Romans]," Maggipinto told the more than 100 guests gathered for the event, noting that the Napoleonic Code was basically an adaptation of Roman law. "Charles J. Bonaparte was very Italian from this point of view," he added with a smile.



Lombardi tickets – the perfect Father’s Day gift!

Posted on: 6/8/2010 12:11:09 PM under General 



For the dad who loves football, buy him tickets to see LOMBARDI, a new play opening on Broadway this fall, as the perfect Father’s Day gift!


The play, written by Academy Award winner and Steppenwolf Theater Company member Eric Simonson, is based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss and opens on September 23, 2010.


This original work brings the audience into the life and times of one of America's most inspirational personalities, Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi. It is directed by Tony nominee Thomas Kall (In the Heights). Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Judith Light (Ugly Betty, Who's the Boss?) head the cast.


Through an exclusive offer, get 30 percent off tickets to all performances between September 23 and November 21, 2010. To take advantage of this opportunity, visit BroadwayOffers.com and use code LOFNF506 or call 212-947-8844 and use code LOFNF506.






Voyage of Discovery participants explore Bevagna

Posted on: 6/7/2010 11:41:18 AM under General 

The 34 students participating in NIAF's Amb. Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery are continuing their exploration of Italy this week with a trip to Bevagna, a medieval town whose businesses shut down once a year for a week of re-enacting medieval crafts.

Each year, Voyage of Discovery sends college students of Italian American heritage to Italy to explore the land of their ancestors. This year's trip to Campania and Umbria will end tomorrow, after nine days.

Click below to view an interview on Italia 2 TV with community leaders and participating students about the trip:

In a new twist on the trip, Voyage of Discovery participants blogged daily about their experiences in Italy. Visit www.niaf.org/voyageofdiscovery/for posts on how these students have experienced the land of their ancestors.


Travel to Italy for $499

Posted on: 5/28/2010 2:05:50 PM under General 

Want to visit Italy this summer but worried about your bank account? NIAF sponsor Stay and Visit Italy/Orofino Tours is offering a variety of travel opportunities starting at just $499.

Choose from any of the company's Regional Modular Italy Tours, which include packages to Rome, Florence and Venice, the Amalfi Coast and Rome, Tuscany and Umbria, Sardinia, Calabria and Sicily or just Rome.

Additionally, the company offers stays at hotels in Rome, Naples, Maremma, Calabria, Sardinia and the Sicilian Islands with rates starting at $49.

Click here to learn more, call 941-870-2498 or e-mail info@stayandvisit.com and start planning your trip today!

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