eNotizie - September 2011


Join Us for NIAF’s Anniversary Gala and Convention!!
We’re counting down the days to NIAF’s 36th Anniversary Gala and Convention Weekend, October 28-29, at The Washington Hilton in the nation’s capital. This is the premier event of the year for celebrating Italian American heritage and all things Italian, and the tables are filling fast so don’t wait! You won’t want to miss it!

This year’s list of honorees is exemplary of Italian and Italian American Achievement: Hon. Capri Cafaro, Ohio State Senator; Dion DiMucci, Rock and Roll Legend; Hon. Frank J. Guarini, Former Member of Congress; Frank G. Mancuso Sr., Former Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio; Emma Marcegaglia, President of Confindustria; Paolo Scudieri, Managing Director of Adler Plastic S.p.A.; and Hon. Santo Versace, President of Gianni Versace S.p.A. and Chairman of the Board of Fondazione Operation Smile Italia.

The Gala Mistress of Ceremonies will be Emmy Award-winning journalist Maria Bartiromo.

In keeping with our tradition of hosting the president of the United States, President Barack Obama has been invited to attend. Confirmed celebrities include Frankie Avalon, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Dana Brunetti, Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, Deana Martin, Joe Pantoliano and Mike Piazza. They will be joined by President of Italy Hon. Giorgio Napolitano and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Besides the Reception and Gala, Saturday night, October 29, the two-day convention will feature a nonstop schedule of special receptions, entertainment, seminars, celebrity cooking demonstrations and many other activities, including:
  • Expo Italia – Showcasing the Best of Italy! Vendors will offer samples of olive oils, chocolates, gelato and pasta, in addition to displaying top-of-the-line products from Italy, Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29. Attendees can shop in the NIAF “Via Condotti” row of exclusive salon boutiques. Highlights will include an opportunity to see the latest Italian luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and Maserati, sampling of Peroni Nastro Azzurro Beer, and wine tasting from Nuschese Wine of Capital Wines. And bring your best throws! The United States Bocce Federation will set up a bocce court during the expo with demos, instructions and celebrity games. For more information, contact Rebecca Bartello at 202-939-3114 or email
  • This year, The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Education Luncheon will feature a special tribute to the late Geraldine A. Ferraro, on Friday, October 28. It will be a great opportunity to acquaint yourselves with The NIAF Geraldine A. Ferraro Women’s Leadership Forum which will provide mentors to young Italian American women pursuing careers in public service.
  • The Italian-American Vote, Does it Count? – A conference featuring leading political strategists and D.C. insiders discussing the impact of Italian American voters on national elections, Friday, October 28.
  • NIAF Grant Recipient Presentation on Friday, October 28. Authors Fred Gardaphé and Dominic Candeloro will discuss their new book, “Reconstructing Italians in Chicago,” presenting their work as a model for Italian Americans in other cities. The book resulted from a 2008 NIAF-supported conference.
  • NIAF-Sbarro Health Research Organization International Workshop on “New Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research,” on Friday, October, 28, presented by Dr. Antonio Giordano, MD, Ph.D.
  • Back by popular demand: On Friday night, October 28, dinner and dancing at Glacier Vodka’s Salute to the Martini, featuring The Radio King Orchestra and, of course, Glacier Potato Vodka, with open bar, dinner and dancing.
  • The Celebrity Luncheon with Live and Silent Auction Showcase featuring entertainers and sports stars on Saturday, October 29!
  • The Chairman’s After Hours Celebration, featuring live entertainment, following the Gala, Saturday, October 29.
For tickets and the best weekend package deal (discounted rates that include Expo Italia, conferences, luncheons and Friday Night Entertainment), register today at

Dion DiMucci Maria Bartiromo Santo Versace Emma Marcegaglia
Frank G. Mancuso Sr. Frank J. Guarini Paolo Scudieri Capri Cafaro

Celebrity Luncheon and Auction at the Gala
We’re returning this year to our traditional auction format and will be holding the live and silent auction during our Celebrity Luncheon, Saturday, October 29, from 11a.m.-2p.m. Enjoy a delicious lunch while perusing, bidding and winning some of the most unique items you’ll see all year!

Bid on this year’s must-have Prada purse or take 40 of your closest pals on a dinner cruise around the Statue of Liberty aboard a luxury yacht! Plan next summer’s vacation with a one-week stay at the Villa Undulna Spa in Tuscany, or hop aboard MSC Cruises’ ship Poesisa for a seven-night Caribbean cruise! There are also items from the fall line of the top fashion houses including Miu Miu, Max Mara, Bruno Magli, Salvatore Ferragamo and Fendi. And here’s something different: Win the auction to have StoryCorps, one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, professionally record your family’s history and provide you with a CD to share and pass down to your loved ones (a copy will also be preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress).

Plus, there are sports memorabilia, dinner packages, spa treatments and more! Purchase wines from some of the finest vineyards in the country. And maybe even win vacations to places all over the world, including Las Vegas, Hawaii and Italy.

All the proceeds from the auction go to support NIAF’s scholarships, grants, heritage travel and mentoring programs. Not only will you be supporting our mission and celebrating your culture, but you could also walk away with some fabulous items!

To reserve your tickets for the Celebrity Auction Luncheon, please contact Xavier Atizol at 202-939-3100. If you have any question about the auction, please contact Katie Rictor at 202-939-3122 or

NIAF Youth Gala
For an alternative to NIAF’s Anniversary Gala, attendees ages 18-30 can enjoy “The NIAF Youth Gala: A Millennial Generation Event in Maschera,” featuring dinner, dancing and DJ (ID is required). Tickets for the black-tie Youth Gala cost only $125! Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m. to midnight, at the Washington Hilton’s Lincoln East/Monroe Room. For more information and tickets, contact Alexandra Dall at or call 202-939-3118.

Act Now to Reserve Your Rooms at the Washington Hilton
By booking your room(s) within our room block at the Washington Hilton, you enable us to continue negotiating the very best rates on your behalf. Please book your reservation directly on the Hilton Website or call the Hilton directly at 202-483-3000 and refer to the “NIAF” room block. You will receive lower room rates and other benefits for booking your room at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

It’s Not Too Late to Be a Gala Sponsor!
The deadline has been extended until September 12 for placing your full-page sponsorship ad in this year’s Anniversary Gala Souvenir Journal. Provide your own already designed ad or provide your message (corporate logo and/or high-resolution photo optional) and we’ll create an ad for you that will be seen by thousands. For more information and advertising specs, see the advertising form at or contact

Veterans Transition Program during NIAF Gala Weekend
NIAF is offering an opportunity for Italian American veterans who are passionate about achieving success in their return to civilian and transition to business life to participate in an inspiring day with successful business leaders and other driven individuals. No matter where you are in your return from duty, you are encouraged to apply. The 2011 NIAF Veterans' Day program, on Thursday, October 27, will feature a panel of successful business leaders who will speak about their experiences. It will also provide an opportunity for veterans to be paired with a mentor. The day will be followed by a special military-themed black tie dinner at the National Archives and NIAF's 36th Annual Anniversary Awards Gala weekend. Applications are due by September 9. For more information, please visit

NIAF Invites Special Guest Paul David Pope to Speak at This Year’s Gala
Paul David Pope, a third generation Italian American businessman and philanthropist, will bring his remarkable family story—a tale of rags-to-riches success, political and boardroom intrigue, and unprecedented publishing infamy—as a special guest at this year's NIAF 36th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on October 29th.

Pope's grandfather, Generoso Pope Sr., left Italy at 15. He worked his way up from the sand pits of Long Island to become a construction magnate and New York City kingmaker. He left his deathbed blessing his youngest son, Gene, to lead the family business—a decision that would rend the family to pieces and ultimately force Gene out on his own. Gene would, in the end, found the National Enquirer—and in the process create the modern tabloid media world of today.

Like his father and grandfather before him, Paul Pope has forged his own identity in the world, and much of that identity has to do with his Italian American heritage. As head of Pope Entertainment Group, he was chief sponsor of the New York Historical Society's exhibit, "The Italians of New York: Five Centuries of Struggle and Achievement." He's also received awards from the Consul General of Italy in New York, the Italian Apostolate of the Archdiocese of New York, and the Order Sons of Italy in America.

Drawing upon his family's rich heritage and his own unique personal experiences, Pope will be a compelling element in this year's Gala celebration.

“Let’s Have That Music Play”
Once again, the highly anticipated annual concert that is known as the most loved musical event of New England and for the last 17 years has been attracting its fans by the thousands is COMING BACK!

Hosted by Eva Franchi, wife of the great romantic tenor Sergio Franchi, the 17th annual memorial concert “Let’s Have That Music Play!” will take place at the 240-acre Franchi Estate in Stonington, Conn., on Saturday, September 10.

The concert will feature the world-famed tenor Marcello Giordani, from the Metropolitan Opera, one of the most significant tenors of his generation who frequently gifted the Sergio Franchi Foundation with his great talented and unwavering support. Giordani will be joined by the American tenor James Valenti, the newest, young leading sensation poised on the edge of international stardom, capturing his audiences not only through his brilliant voice but with his handsome and elegant stage presence. Also returning is Michael Amante, who is known as the “People Tenor” for his charming and engaging performances; Giada Valenti, the beautiful and talented, singer and songwriter from Venice, Italy; and introducing Alfio, an Italo-Australian singer and songwriter rightfully known as “The Voice of Passion,” just to name a few. The star-studded event will be accompanied by conductor Jeff Domoto and his 32-piece symphony orchestra! The concert program will include the 13 grant recipients who were the winners of the Metropolitan Opera House and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

The concert has been sold out each year. More than 4,000 people are expected. So make sure to order your tickets now! Tickets may be available at the door. For more information about the upcoming show, please call 860-535-9429 or visit Your ticket is your generous donation to the Foundation and will only be $30 this year. To purchase your tickets, please send a check made out to The Sergio Franchi Music Foundation, 91 Sergio Franchi Drive, Stonington, Conn. 06378.

Legal Council Reception
NIAF is cohosting with Gianni Minutoli and Sal Tamburo of the law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP the NIAF Legal Council Kickoff Reception. Mike’s Deli will cater the hors d’eouvres; open bar with cocktails, beer and wine. Information about the NIAF Legal Institute is the main course. For Legal Council and Executive Business council members only. Thursday, September 22, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at NIAF Headquarters, 1860 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Please RSVP to Beatrice Santacroce at or call 202-939-3120. Interested in becoming involved in future NIAF Legal Council events? Contact or

Golfing for Good Causes
Mark your calendars for the Ninth Annual NIAF Sarazen Memorial Cup Golf Tournament at Hopkinton Country Club in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, October 10. The tournament will pay tribute to Gene Sarazen, the legendary Italian-American golfer, and will benefit the NIAF Gene Sarazen Scholarship Fund and the Italian Home for Children in Boston.

Hopkinton Country Club features a private, 18-hole, par-72, 6,711-yard championship golf course designed by British architect Ian Scott Taylor. Foursomes start at $1,250. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Hopkinton Country Club is located at 204 Saddle Hill Rd., Hopkinton, Mass. Contact: Suzanne Delaney at, or call 978-851-0200.

NJIIAHC “Achievements of Italian Americans” Conference
The New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission will hold its Eighth Annual Congress on October 15 with the focus on “Achievements of Italian Americans 1861-2011.” Hon. Samuel A. Alito Jr., Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Cosponsored by NIAF, the Consulate of Italy in Newark, the Consolato Generale d’Italia a New York and Consolato Generale d’Italia a Filadelfia, the conference will begin with a continental breakfast and welcome from the NJIIAHC chair Dr. Gilda Rorro Baldassari. The day’s agenda includes panels on Italian dialects and assimilation as well as achievements of Italian Americans, particularly in the legal field. NJIIAHC will announce the winners of its curriculum renaming contest.

The NJIIAHC Congress will be held October 15, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Rutgers University, College Avenue Student Center, 126 College Ave., New Brunswick, N.J. Visit for information.

NIAF Graduates 2 Leaders (G2L) Workshop at NJIIAHC Congress
During the New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission’s Eighth Annual Congress, NIAF’s Graduate 2 Leaders (G2L) program will hold workshops for university students, college graduates and young professionals, ages 21 and older, focusing on professional leadership skills. Visit for more information on NIAF’s G2L workshops.

Free registration for NIAF members; non-members fee is $25 and includes the NJIIAHC Conference, the G2L workshops and an annual membership to NIAF. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required: Contact Alexandra Dall at or call 202-939-3118.

NJIIAHC Curriculum Naming Contest
Think you have a way with words? The New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission is looking to rename its curriculum (currently called “The Universality of Italian Heritage”) with a contest. Open to N.J. high school students! Winners and their schools will receive prizes at the 8th Annual Congress on October 15. Visit for information, entry form and official rules. This is one example of NIAF’s grants at work. Buona Fortuna!

Alfio Releases new CD!
Famed Italian-Australian singer and songwriter Alfio is back with a brand new cd, “tutta Italiana” which pays special homage to his Italian heritage and takes us on a sentimental journey through an album of Italian songs.

Alfio performed at the Chairman’s After Hours event following the NIAF’s 35th Anniversary Awards Gala last October, and will be performing this month at The Sergio Franchi Music Foundation’s 17th annual memorial concert, “Let’s Have That Music Play!” To check out Alfio’s other tour dates, hear song clips and purchase the new cd, visit his website:

  • Congratulations to NIAF Board Member Kenneth J. Aspromonte on his upcoming induction into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) during its 33rd Annual Induction and Awards Gala, October 22, 2011, at the NIASHF Museum in Chicago. During his baseball career, Aspromonte played second base with the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs. He managed the Cleveland Indians from 1972 to 1974. He’ll be inducted into NIASHF with former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Michigan State men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo, and four-time Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero. For tickets and additional information, visit or call 312-226-5566.

  • Congratulations to NIAF General Counsel Arthur J. Furia, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Shutts & Bowen LLP, on being selected South Florida Business Journal Key Partner.

  • Congratulations to NIAF Board Member Rocco B. Commisso, Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, the nation’s eighth largest cable operator, on announcing plans to build the company’s new corporate headquarters on a 200-acre site in Blooming Grove, N.Y. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo lauded the decision saying Mediacom’s plans are “a sign to all business that New York is a place to invest and grow.”

  • Congratulations to NIAF member Angela Gerst on the publication of her debut novel “A Crack in Everything,” published this month by Poisoned Pen Press.

Last Chance to See the Capitoline Venus Exhibit

Photo by Rob Shelley
Don’t miss the exhibit of the famed Capitoline Venus, one of the best-preserved sculptures from Roman antiquity, which ends on Monday, September 5, in the West Building Rotunda of the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C. This important, 2nd century AD, marble statue from the Capitoline Museum in Rome has left Rome on only one other occasion—when Napoleon seized it in 1797.

The exhibition is part of The Dream of Rome project initiated by the mayor of Rome to exhibit timeless masterpieces in the United States from 2011 to 2013. It is also part of Italy@150, a series of events and activities around Washington and in the United States to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification. For more information, visit the National Gallery of Art’s Website:

Culinary Artistry
While at the National Gallery, dine at its Garden Café Italia where famed Chef Fabio Trabocchi of the Penn Quarter restaurant Fiola has reinvented the menu with fare inspired by the “Italian Master Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection, 1525–1835” exhibition, on view in the West Building through November 27.

The Garden Café Italia is located in the West Building near the entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW and is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. To make reservations for groups of eight or more, please contact the café manager at 202-712-7454.

Ludovico Einaudi at the Kennedy Center
Don’t miss the Washington D.C. debut of Maestro Ludovico Einaudi at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Italian composer and neo-classical pianist is a super star in Italy, sharing the pop charts with the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga while scoring films and trailers for films such as “Black Swan” and “The Reader.”

Einaudi is scheduled to perform his original repertoire on solo piano at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on Tuesday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $45. For more information, visit the Kennedy Center website, or call the Kennedy Center box office at 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600.

Book Your 2011 Trips to Italy and a Mediterranean Cruise with NIAF
Tour the Italian Lakes regions, spend leisurely days exploring Southern Italy or take a cruise of the Greek Islands

Tour of the Italian Lakes!
This is a journey through breathtaking landscapes, enchanting rustic towns and gastronomical delights that you’ll never forget. Your seven-night vacation traveling with NIAF and Unitours will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after resting by Italy's scenic lakesides. While visiting these picturesque lakes, you will also have the opportunity to spend a day in Milan, Italy's fashion capital and home to the majestic Duomo and Teatro della Scala Opera House. Travelers enjoy an authentic Italian lunch (pranzo) at an Agriturismo at Ristorante Hostaria Una Rara in Franciacorta! Chef Ennio Zanoletti (pictured with one of the tour guides Marina Marelli) prepares the specialties. For details, visit and click “Travel,” or contact NIAF’s partner, Unitours, at 1-888-846-6423.

Take NIAF’s Southern Lights Tour
Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii on your must-see list? Now’s the time to sign up for NIAF and Perillo Italy Vacations’ 2011 Southern Lights Tour. Spend nine days and seven nights exploring undiscovered parts of Italy as well as visiting your favorite popular sights, including visits to Naples, Amalfi, San Giovanni Rotondo and Gargano. For details, visit and click “Travel” or call 1-800-Italy-25.

10-day Mediterranean Cruise in 2012
NIAF and Trek Tours Ltd. are pleased to present a 10-day Mediterranean Cruise with dates from spring through summer 2012. Fly round-trip to Rome and cruise the Mediterranean on the classic MS Noordam to Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tunis and Carthage, Palermo and Naples. Joyous patterns of tile work will enliven your path as you experience Renaissance art, see the latest fashions and enjoy the flavor of fresh Italian bread dipped in estate-pressed olive oil.

Pre- and post-cruise vacation packages are available to extend your voyage in Rome. For details or to book your cruise, visit and click “Travel,” or contact Pam Salimeno at NIAF’s partner, Trek Tours, at 1-800-370-0357.

Announcing Spring 2012 Travel Packages to Italy!
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) continues its popular travel programs to Italy by offering four nine-day/seven-night tours departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City beginning in March 2012:
  • Campania…A Land That Will Capture Your Heart” visits the cities of Agropoli, Amalfi, Anacapri, Avellino, Benevento, Capri, Caserta, Naples, Paestum, Pompeii, Positano, Salerno and Sorrento.
  • “The Enchanting Hill Towns of Umbria & Eastern Tuscany” tours the cities of Arezzo, Assisi, Cortona, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Orvieto, Perugia, Pienza, Siena and Todi.
  • “Grand Tour of Sicily 2012” will go to the cities of Agrigento, Catania, Cefalu, Etna, Erice, Monreale, Noto, Palermo, Siracusa and Taormina.
  • “The Jewels of the Riviera with a touch of Piedmont” visits the cities of Cinque Terre, Genoa, Monte Carlo, Nice, Pollenzo, Portofino, Rapallo and Santa Margherita.
Trips include round-trip flights from New York (JFK) to Rome, breakfast and dinner daily, and English-speaking tour manager. Airfare and all current departure taxes and fuel surcharges also are included. Costs range from $2,649 to $3,069 per person based on double occupancy and month of departure.

For information and reservations, contact: Marianna Pisano at or call 800-777-7432. When making reservation, mention the promo code: NIAF.

Support Our Sponsors
Treat yourself to a special gift from You’ll find a diverse range of gifts all in one place! Food hampers, luxurious body care products, Deruta ceramics, Rita Cardi Murano glass jewelry, Cuoieria Fiorentina leather pieces and Venetian fashion accessories. We offer UK & International delivery (UPS / FedEx Air Express). Just visit NIAF members will receive a 10% off discount. Please contact Katie Rictor for more information on receiving this discount (202-939-3122 or

NIAF e-Newsletter compiled
and edited
by Don Oldenburg

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