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Art In The Age Of Google

Posted on: 2/8/2011 10:11:35 AM under General 
 

Last week, Google unveiled its Art Project with access to some of the art treasures and interiors of 17 museums in the U.S. and Europe

Author Roberta Smith in NYT article notes “…..virtual tours mesmerizing, world-expanding tool for self-education.  You can spend hours exploring it, examining paintings from far off and close up, poking around some of the world’s great museums all by your lonesome.“

Another aspect of the Google Art Project is its Street View program for indoor use. You can navigate through the salons at Versailles looking at ceiling murals with 360-degree navigation.

Read more here.

In the comfort of your home or office one can now view art without any crowds or waiting on long lines with the Google Art Project. Looking at the world’s masterpieces - It’s nothing like standing before the real thing.  Agree?  Disagree?



 
 

Venice And The Sea

Posted on: 2/7/2011 9:52:51 AM under General 
 

The Venetians have an old phrase to describe their city’s precarious relationship with the sea: sempre crolla ma non cade” (always collapsing but never falls.)

Many may remember reading or seeing photos of the city during the disastrous flood of 1966.   In 2009, there were 10 serious floods, a record in Venice. By November 2010 there had already been 10.  

In 1987, the Italian government commissioned the Consorzio, composed of some of Italy’s biggest construction and engineering firms to build movable gates attached to caissons, huge concrete structures each about the size of a 20-story building to stop the flooding, on the three inlets leading to the Venetian lagoon.   MOSE, Italian for Moses, is the name given to the project. Now  20 years later, The MOSE project is two-thirds done, but the controversy continues.  Many locals still think that MOSE is a joke.  Signs reading “NO MOSE” are still visible around town.  The city called “aqua alta” (high water) has a problem. 

If you lived in Venice, would you agree or disagree with the Venetian families that the gates are not needed.

 



 
 

Kahn In Venice

Posted on: 2/4/2011 11:37:22 AM under General 
 

Architect Louis I. Kahn’s exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, “Kahn in Venice,” showcases his love and relationship for Italy.  While Kahn is known for his buildings, including the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., he spent time in Italy in 1928 and 1950.  The exhibit includes his 1968 project for a congress hall in Venice and travel sketches of street scenes, gardens and buildings in the hill towns of Tuscany and other well-known Italian cities.

“The architecture of Italy will remain as the inspirational source of the works of the future,” said Kahn.

The exhibition runs through March 19, 2011.  Read the full article with more information from the New York Times Style Magazine. 

 

Photo courtesy of the Sue Ann Kahn Collection-Louis Kahn’s 1951 pastel sketch of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice is one of the highlights of the “Kahn in Venice” exhibition.

 If you could build something in Italy, what would it be?



 
 

150 Italia Essay Contest

Posted on: 1/24/2011 2:37:02 PM under General 
 

Attenzione ragazzi! In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, NIAF is holding an essay contest open to all high school students asking: “What does it mean to be Italian American in 2011? Why is your Italian heritage and culture important?” Check out all the details at http://bit.ly/gfsGB5 and be sure to submit your essay by 4/30/11.

For more information contact Alexandra Dall at 202.939.3118 or adall@niaf.org or Riccardo Skeem at 202.939.3136 or rskeem@niaf.org.

 



 
 

Timeless Tenets At Core Of Palladio’s Classicism

Posted on: 1/21/2011 8:01:13 AM under General 
 

Italian Renaissance Architect (1502-1580) Andrea Palladio is considered the Western world’s most influential architect.

 

Roger K. Lewis, a columnist at the Washington Post, asks -Why has Roman classicism been so pervasive for 2,000 years? Some answers can be found in a new exhibition “Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey” in Washington, D.C. at the National Building Museum.

 

Lewis, a practicing architect and a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland, explains in the article, “Palladio’s lasting influence resulted from his being in the right place at the right time - along with his extraordinary talent, ambition and energy. He lived and worked in Italy during the 16th century, when Renaissance intellectual ferment was at its peak. The architectural legacy of ancient Rome was being uncovered, documented, analyzed and extolled for ideals of beauty - symmetry, proportion, harmony of elements - unappreciated during the Middle Ages.” 

 

“In 1570, at the age of 62, Palladio took the step that cemented his reputation and influence for hundreds of years. He published 'The Four Books of Architecture,' his treatise showing what one needed to know to design beautiful, classically styled buildings. The comprehensive treatise was an architectural handbook and historic reference, but it was also a very effective marketing tool.”

 

Read why Palladio’s creative designs and his treatise became a Renaissance hit. Take a look at Washington D.C.’s best modern architecture. Do you see any designs that embrace classicism in architecture?

 



 
 

NIAF’s Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program

Posted on: 1/20/2011 2:45:57 PM under General 
 

Don’t miss out—NIAF’s Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program applications are due tomorrow!  Go to www.niaf.org/voyageofdiscovery or contact Riccardo Skeem at 202.939.3107.  Check out photos from last year’s Voyage of Discovery at http://on.fb.me/gBAlKa.

 

Contact: Riccardo Skeem
Phone: 202.939.3107
Email: rskeem@niaf.org



 
 

Celebrating Italy's 150th Anniversary Of It's Unification

Posted on: 1/18/2011 1:21:46 PM under General 
 

Italy commemorates the 150th anniversary of its unification in 2011.  To celebrate and mark its significance, President Giorgio Napolitano launched celebrations with raising the Italian flag in Reggio Emilia, Italy where the flag was first selected more than 200 years ago on January 7, 1797.  During the event, Napolitano honored Turin, Florence and Rome, the three cities that have served as Italian state capitals, with reproductions of the original flag and handed out copies of the Italian constitution to students from local schools. 

 

Napolitano stated during his address that “…we cannot, as a nation, think of the future without memory and consciousness of the past.  It serves us, it helps us to retrace the contradictions and harshness of the path that brought us in 1860 to become a united nation…” 

 

Read the entire article from ANSA.

 

Photo by ANSA



 
 

The Eyes Have It! Mona Lisa

Posted on: 1/14/2011 10:47:05 AM under General 
 

An Italian researcher Silvano Vinceti claims that he has found letters and a number in Da Vinci's famous painting of the Mona Lisa.

 

Alessandro Rizzo of the Associated Press writes in a recent article: Italian Researcher: Symbols found in Mona Lisa. "This is just the latest theory about a painting that has never ceased to intrigue scholars, art lovers and casual viewers alike.  Others have claimed the painting is really the portrait of a man, or a self-portrait, while speculation over the reason for the model's famously enigmatic smile has ranged from pregnancy to mourning."

   

Read more about Vinceti's claims, his group of historians and researchers findings.

   

If you set out to unlock a secret, your mind can lead you in many directions.   Do you agree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 

Lava Poured Down Mount Etna

Posted on: 1/13/2011 4:43:49 PM under General 
 

One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Etna, has had tremors since Tuesday night.  Lava poured down its side on Wednesday night but is showing “rather weak” activity.  Read more from CNN.



 
 

Lido Civic Club Gala

Posted on: 1/12/2011 12:23:46 PM under General 
 

The Lido Civic Club of Washington, D.C. presents their Past Presidents’ Night Gala on January 22, 2011 at the Capital Hilton.  The event honors over eighty years of Italian American contributions along with the community service of Jane Ford Salzano and her family with their efforts in redefining the paradigm for support of individuals impacted by autism.  Go to http://lido2011.eventbrite.com for more information.



 
 

Trash Crisis In Naples

Posted on: 1/7/2011 1:55:06 PM under General 
 

Months after a perpetual trash crisis, Naples, Italy is finally returning back to normal.  But even though military personnel were sent to help clear the rubbish during the Christmas holiday, thousands of tons of garbage still uncollected clutter the streets in Melito, Casalnuovo, Giugliano, Pozzuoli and Quarto.

 

Meetings with Naples Mayor Rosa Russo Iervolino and other local representatives have been established to help develop a plan to alleviate the growing problem.  While plans to open additional dumps have been pushed aside in spite of residents’ uproars, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is still optimistic about the situation.

 

Read the full article and tell us your thoughts—what could Naples do to solve this issue?

 

Photo by ANSA



 
 

La Befana

Posted on: 1/6/2011 10:16:21 AM under General 
 

Today Italians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and the tradition of La Befana.  Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas and the arrival of the three Wise men.  This national holiday also includes the tale of a witch known as La Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills children’s stockings with toys and sweets for the good ones and coal for those who have been bad.  Buona Festa oggi!



 
 

Fact Or Fiction-Who's Planning To Buy A Stake In AS Roma

Posted on: 1/5/2011 10:50:36 AM under General 
 

Word on the street says Giants owners Steve Tisch and John Mara have teamed up with Jets owner Woody Johnson.  For what you ask?  To devise a plan to buy a controlling stake in the Italian soccer team AS Roma.  Il Manifesto, a daily newspaper in Rome, Italy, stated on Tuesday that the three reportedly made an offer to buy the team three years after George Soros and Joe Tacopina put in an unsuccessful bid to buy the club.

 

While Il Manifesto reported the dollar amount has not been made public, Tisch, Mara and Woody have denied making a bid.  With an estimated value of $308 million, the club has been seeking an outside buyer since last summer while UniCredit de facto controls the group.  Check out the New York Post for the full article.

 

Who do you think will end up buying the stake?

 

Jets owner Woody Johnson, left, and the Giants owner John Mara.  Photo credit: Anthony J. Causi, New York Post


 
 

Babbo Natale

Posted on: 12/21/2010 12:11:55 PM under General 
 

In Italy, Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) brings gifts to children on Christmas morning.  The term “babbo” is used widely in the Tuscany region to address one’s father.  Read more about Babbo Natale at Italiannotebook.com, the daily e-mail from Italy…for Italy lovers everywhere!

I Migliore Auguri di Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo dalla NIAF!

 



 
 

2011 Tribute to Sinatra with Actor Robert Davi

Posted on: 12/17/2010 2:01:54 PM under General 
 

Actor and singer Robert Davi will perform “DAVI SINGS SINATRA: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, the Great American Songbook, and America,” at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 8 p.m.  Backed by a 50-piece orchestra, Davi will bring to life his love letter to Sinatra and The Great American Songbook. 

 

On Friday night during NIAF’s 35th Annual Awards Gala Weekend, Robert Davi headlined the Foundation’s evening extravaganza with more than 1,000 guests.

 

Music industry legend Phil Ramone is currently finishing Robert Davi’s first album “Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance,” which will be released in the spring of 2011 by a major label.

 

Tickets can be purchased at The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office or through Ticketmaster.

 



 
 

Plans for Italian American Museum in Battery Park

Posted on: 12/14/2010 11:57:56 AM under General 
 

Third-generation Italian American Joseph J. Grano, Jr. is planning a museum devoted to Italian heritage at the northern edge of Battery Park in Manhattan.  This museum will not only have elements of la dolce vita, but also capture the experience of Italian immigrants.  And even though an Italian American Museum opened two years ago on Mulberry Street, Grano still plans to make the museum a reality with costs totaling around $25 million.

 

“Almost every ethnic group, from the Greeks to the Jews to the Irish, all have museums,” Mr. Grano said.  “It’s about time that Italian Americans memorialized their culture so that succeeding generations can understand their contributions to society.” 

 

Exhibits will include da Vinci’s works and composers as well as an entrance surrounded by a Roman chariot and a Ferrari are ideas Grano envisions.  Click here to read more about his museum ideas.

 

In May, NIAF honored Grano with the Foundation’s Special Achievement Award at its “NIAF Night in New York.”

 

If you were to open a museum, what would you showcase?  What ideas would you want for your museum?



 
 

Shop Creatively This Holiday With NIAF

Posted on: 12/7/2010 4:22:54 PM under General 
 

Don't want to give the usual presents this year (cough, cough, pack of socks, pajamas, etc.) for Christmas?  Check out some items below to really put a smile on someone's face.

Not Coal this Christmas but Bricks!

Commemorate your family’s past and celebrate their future with a brick on NIAF’s Walk of Honor. Place your family’s name on the walkway at the Foundation’s headquarters in our nation’s capitalVisit: http://www.niaf.org/walkofhonor/index.asp .

 

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich Autographed Books to Delight Cooks and Children!

You can now purchase Lidia’s newest cookbook “Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Sicily” ($40) and her first children’s book “Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen, Nonna Tell me a Story” ($20). Get your autographed copy today, contact Rebecca Bartello at NIAF at Rebecca@niaf.orgor call 202/939-3114.  

 

Make the Joy of the Holiday Season Last - Purchase Broadway Tickets to “Lombardi.”

Grab tickets for the 7 p.m. performance on January 11, 2011 of Lombardi, the inspirational American play about the life and career of Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi, starring Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years).  Location: Circle in the Square Theater: 1633 Broadway, NY, NY

Tickets: $90 each (orchestra seating rows C, D, E) includes a special meet and greet opportunity after the show with the cast.  Only 50 tickets are available and will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis, so act now!  To purchase, contact Rebecca Bartello at 202-939-3114 or rbartello@niaf.org.   For information on the show visit: http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/circleinthesquaretheater/theater.php.

 

 

 



 
 

Marcella Leonetti-Tyler Named NIAF Regional President

Posted on: 12/3/2010 11:39:27 AM under Personal 
 

Marcella Leonetti-Tyler, executive director of public relations and marketing at California State University, Northridge, has been named the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) regional vice president for the Far-West Region South.  The region encompasses the western section of the United States in addition to Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.  NIAF Board Member Jeffrey M. Capaccio, Esq. will continue to serve as Regional Vice President for the Far-West Region North. 

 

“The NIAF Board of Directors is proud to appoint Marcella, an outstanding leader in public relations, to further strength the expertise of our Foundation,“ NIAF President Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq. said.

 

A 20-year member of NIAF, Ms. Leonetti-Tyler recently served as the Foundation’s regional coordinator in Southern California.  With an extensive history of community service, especially in the Italian American community, she was the Los Angeles County chair of the Columbus Quincentennial

Committee, a member of President George W. Bush’s National Columbus Celebration Committee and co-authored a Quincentennial cookbook. She is one of the founders of the Historic Italian Hall Foundation in Los Angeles and currently serves on its board.

    

Ms. Leonetti-Tyler is a member of the National Italian American Political Caucus, Sons of Italy, the National Organization of Italian American Women and the Italian Cultural Society.  She received the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business Award” in 2003, the Phi Beta Delta “International Scholars Award” in 2005 and the “Excellence in Public Relations and Marketing Award” from her university peers in 2008.

   

A long-time member of the Public Relations Society of America, Ms. Leonetti-Tyler was the recipient of the Joseph Roos Community Service Award in Southern California.  She also is active in League of Women Voters, Town Hall, Los Angeles, and World Affairs Council.

    

In 2005, she was designated Cavaliere Ufficiale al Merito della Republica Italiana (The Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy) by the President of Italy. She also serves as a director in the American Society of Italian Legions of Merit.

    

A resident of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Ms. Leonetti-Tyler is married to Richard Tyler, well-known Los Angeles public relations executive. They have four children.

 

 

 

 

 



 
 

Brooklyn Keeps Its Italian Flavor

Posted on: 12/1/2010 11:05:56 AM under General 
 

Even though Brooklyn, New York keeps changing, the Italian American neighborhood retains its Italian flavor.  Known since the1950s as Little Italy, Bensonhurst still has its Italian American eateries and shops between 70th and 80th streets on 18th Avenue.  And even though this area is known for its Italian taste, there’s still room on 18th Avenue for other international businesses including Chinese restaurants, a Mexican buffet and a Polish grocery store.

 

“We’re still here, doing what we’ve done for the past 20 years, but the neighborhood is changing,” said Frank Gassoso, owner of Frank and Sal’s Prime Meat Market near 80th St.  

 

Read more about Brooklyn’s Little Italy in the New York Post.

   

Have you been to Brooklyn’s Little Italy?  If not, which Little Italy have you been to across the U.S.?

 



 
 

At Vogue Italia

Posted on: 11/30/2010 9:24:03 AM under General 
 

At Vogue Italia, a broadened horizon

The Washington Post Columnist Robin Givhan discussed how Vogue Italia’s Editor Franca Sozzani launched diversity on the runways and the fashion world in her November 28, 2010 article, “Editor of Vogue's Italian edition celebrates black and brown women and fat ones, too.”

“Fashion is woven into the personality of Italy's industrial capital, where mom and pop businesses have blossomed into international brands and fashion week's evening bacchanals - which have attracted everyone from soccer stars to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - are as crucial to dealmaking as lobbyists are to Washington.”   

Three years ago, Sozzani noticed that all the models looked the same, so homogenous. “We cannot use only girls who are the same,” Sozzani said. 

In July 2008, Sozzani published an all-black issue of Vogue Italia. Vogue Black went live in February.”  The issue allowed her to discuss diversity in fashion at the same time, send a message. Sozzani also has been labeled a trailblazer and started Vogue Curvy, a plus-size fashion site. “Under the prestigious banner of Vogue Italia, Sozzani now celebrates black and brown women, fat girls and obese ones, too,” writes Givhan.

Where is Vogue Italia today?  Here’s the editor’s view-

"Italian Vogue magazine is an experimental magazine - that's the impression people have," Sozzani says. "I don't think it's experimental; it has a vision. It can't please everybody. I don't want to please everybody." Still, Sozzani has decided that she will happily embrace anyone - black, brown, thin, fat - who sees the world as she does, comments Givhan.

 To learn more, click here.

 



 
 
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