NIAF 2014 Photo Contest Winners

The theme of the NIAF’s 2014 Photo Contest was “Finding Italy Beyond Italy”—whether it’s in your city, your neighborhood, your own backyard, your Sunday dinner, or your child, just not in Italy.

NIAF thanks all of the many entrants worldwide who submitted their photographs illustrating Italy outside of Italy! NIAF’s judges examined 20 semi-finalists that stood out for their technical quality and composition, but most of all for best expressing the contest theme. The judges chose a First Place Winner and five Second Place winners.

The First Place Prize: NIAF is proud to host the winner and a guest at NIAF’s 39th Anniversary Weekend Gala on October 24-25, providing a two-night stay at The Washington Hilton, and tickets for all Gala events including the special NIAF “The Wildest Comes to Washington D.C.” Casino Night on Friday, the popular NIAF Wine Tasting on Saturday, and the Gala Awards Dinner Saturday night.

All winning photos will be displayed at NIAF Central during the Gala as well as published in NIAF’s social media pages and in the upcoming winter issue of Ambassador magazine. And all winners will receive one-year NIAF associate memberships.

Keep your cameras ready for the NIAF 2015 Photo Contest!


 First Place Winner

Chiara Zanni Rich
Washington, D.C.
Camera: Nikon camera

I am a huge sports fan and I was coming back with my husband from a sport-viewing event where we rooted for the Italian national volleyball team playing the World Cup. Our team won and I decided to do the “Italian way,” and wear the flag around my shoulder to show my excitement. My husband was slightly embarrassed! As we were crossing the Mall, we thought it was a great light and we took a few pictures.

The Vespa, the Italian flag, [and] I am an Italian living in the USA and rooting for our national team, I think this is why it represents Italy outside Italy. This is what I strive to do every day, to represent what makes me proud of being Italian outside of Italy!


 Second Place Winner

David Camhi
New York, N.Y.
Camera: Heiland Pentax

This photo was taken at a street festival in lower Manhattan. This man stopped long enough to watch and enjoy some of the activities that were going on. The old fellow was a hard worker and represented the tremendous effort the Italian people put forth in helping to build up the USA.


Second Place Winner

Doris Vecchia
Palm Springs, California
Camera: Kodak

Chef papa Vecchia teaching his three sons to cook in Winthrop, Mass., in the 1950’s. Sharing his art and love of Italian food, that will stay with these boys for the rest of their lives. Truly Italianità!


Second Place Winner

Hans Wolfgang Müller Leg
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Camera: Nikon D3000 – Lens VR- 18/55 mm 3.5 /5.6

This picture was taken in Uribelarrea, a little town approximately 100 km. from Buenos Aires City. The name of the man is Oscar Perfumo, an Argentinian (85 years old) and son of Italians immigrants, one of million who started to build this country over the past century. He has worked all his life in the farm. One of his brothers was a great football soccer player of [Club Atlético] Boca Juniors, the most popular football team of Argentina.


 Second Place Winner

Lou Vigliotti
Bel Air, Md.
Camera: Canon Power Shot SD 1400 IS

This is a hand-painted mural in the Little Italy section of downtown Baltimore. The photo says it all about Italy and Italians: The open door welcoming all, food (the way to a person’s heart), drink (birra & vino to celebrate) and, of course, amore! Love of our Italian heritage.


Second Place Winner

Laura Marie Mortelliti
Manlius, N.Y.
Camera: unknown

This is a photograph of my triplet brother John on a rainy, windy visit to Ellis Island to search for the names of our ancestors on the wall. The photo expresses “Italy Beyond Italy” because it recalls the struggles of our ancestors—their bravery, persistence and work ethic.

My two brothers and I mirrored their persistence in that we did not give up even though it was torrentially raining. This meant a great deal to us. We had traveled from Syracuse, N.Y., to find our family names on the wall. We are 100 percent Italian, with many of our closest relatives having left Italy in the last years Ellis Island was open.

The search for a better life, freedom, cultural identity, cultural loyalty, and homeland are all represented in this photograph. Behind John, through the fog and rain, rises Manhattan, largely built by the skilled Italian stoneworkers. My relatives were hired as stoneworkers and brought to America as short time workers to build Duke University. They stayed and started their own roofing company in the greater New York area.

Due to my ancestors’ involvement, I have a deep appreciation for the great role Italian immigrants played in building The Big Apple. Seeing the hundreds of names on the Ellis Island wall gave us a sense of unity and connection. We knew, standing on the island off the coast of this young country, we were connected to many other Italians, all of whom draw their identities and values from The Boot across the ocean. Standing in the rain, we three triplets, on the verge of entering college, felt blessed. This trip, this moment, brought us closer to our roots and our fellow Italian Americans.