NIAF News Monthly

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November/December 2010

A monthly bulletin for Italian American organizations and media outlets, dedicated to promoting the language, culture and traditions of Italians and Italian Americans.

Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art
One of the largest Vatican collections to ever tour North America is coming to Pittsburgh this fall! The Senator John Heinz History Center will host “Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art,” a 10,000 square-foot exhibition presenting unique objects illustrating 2,000 years of art, history and culture. The exhibition will run through January 9, 2011. The History Center is one of only three venues in North America to host the collection. The exhibition presents nearly 200 unique items from the Vatican including original works by Michelangelo and objects discovered at the tombs of Saints Peter and Saint Paul. For more information, go to Tickets may be purchased online at, via telephone at 1-888-5VATICAN or at the History Center box office during museum hours.

From Sicily to Connecticut
Paul Pirrotta, author of “From Sicily to Connecticut,” documents his emigration from Sicily to the United States. In 1970 at age 20, Pirrotta came to Connecticut where he has made it his permanent home. His book recounts his life in Sicily, his years in the United States and why he feels that his background and culture coupled with the U.S. system made him a better person. For more information, visit

Charming Sicily

Interested in traveling to Sicily or looking for new spots to see on your favorite Italian island? Pick up a copy of “Charming Sicily” by Sicilian native and freelance journalist Maria Laura Crescimanno. The book presents the top ten itineraries throughout Sicily with enchanting photos by Alfio Garozzo. It highlights the most beautiful and historic spots of the enchanting island. For more information visit and order up your copy today!

NIAF’S Heritage Tour of the Italian Lakes
Join NIAF in 2011 to visit one of the most beautiful regions in Italy – Lombardy. Our annual heritage trip will allow you to explore Milan’s astounding architecture, breathtaking countryside and the natural splendor of Italy’s lakes, including Lago Maggiore and Lago Garda, as well as their surrounding towns. Services include round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) to Milan, transfers from airport-hotel-airport, seven nights at 4-star hotels, breakfast and dinner daily, six days of sightseeing and an English-speaking tour manager. Reservations will be considered on a “first come, first-served” basis. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to travel with us! For more information, please visit or call 1-888-846-NIAF (6423).

Cinema Italian Style

Beginning November 9 through November 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, Calif., Cinema Italian Style is showing the best Italian movies ranging from fiction to documentaries. In its seventh consecutive year, this selection of contemporary Italian movies follows in the footsteps of Italian masterpieces from directors including Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti and Bernardo Bertolucci. The series opens with the Italian selection to the Academy Awards on November 9 as well as films from the Venice and Rome film festivals including “Il padre e lo straniero” by Ricky Tognazzi and “La nostra vita” by Daniele Luchetti which premiered at the Cannes film festival and won a best actor award. Visit and to learn more.

“The Italian Brothers”
The book “The Italian Brothers” tells the story of two Italian brothers during WWII who took opposite sides when Italy signed the September 8, 1943 Armistice with the U.S. and United Kingdom. The eldest, a Navy intelligence officer based in Rome, decided to join the resistance and American troops to fight the Nazis who were occupying Italy.

The youngest, a Bersaglieri officer and prisoner of the British in India, refused to cooperate with the former enemy. Both made their decisions and convinced that there was no other way to defend Italy’s dignity and their personal honor. It’s a true story of the father and uncle of La Stampa’s bureau chief in Rome, Paolo Mastrolilli, and based on documents never published.

For more information on “The Italian Brothers” go to

What's a greedy family to do when their rich patriarch leaves his estate to the church? Hire poor farmer, Gianni Schicchi, to find a way around the will! J.T. Burian Theatricals and The Georgetown Theatre Company present the perfect combination of classic literature and intellectual silliness: John Morogiello's hilarious farce adaptation of “GIANNI SCHICCHI.” Set in 13th Florence, the play is a madcap game of "Follow The Corpse," directed by Catherine Aselford. Morogiello wrote the play in the early 1990’s and since then it has been seen locally at Baltimore’s Center Stage and Rep Stage in Columbia, Md.. The show runs from November 5 through 28 at the Randolph Road Theatre in Silver Spring, Md. NIAF members receive group rate tickets ($20) for the four performances of the opening weekend. Tickets may be purchased at or call 1-800-838-3006.

Search for NIAF on Facebook and Twitter for the latest events!
November 16, 2010: NIAF Council Reception in New Haven, Conn.
November 17, 2010: NIAF Council Reception in Naples, Fla.
May 18, 2011: NIAF West Coast Gala in Los Angeles, Calif.
October 28-29, 2011: NIAF 36th Anniversary Gala Convention Weekend in Washington, DC


Please send your group or city’s news on Italian American exhibits, cultural events, scholarships and special events to: Elissa Ruffino, the NIAF, 1860 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Or write her on the internet, e-mail address:

N.B. Events/programs noted are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by NIAF.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans.

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