Category Archives: Italia ~~ Italian Life

Win a Trip to the Amalfi Coast!

Thanks again to our friends from L’Italo- Americano!

(This really is a wonderful little Italian online newspaper – please support if you are able…)


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L’Italo-Americano “The Magic of the Amalfi Coast” raffle will take a lucky winner to one of Italy’s most memorable destinations: the Amalfi Coast. From Sorrento to Salerno, this scenic and breathtaking coast with its rocky precipices, small hidden caves, and postcard-perfect beaches.

Since you’re here… we have a small favor to ask. More and more people are reading L’Italo-Americano’s stories, they read us on paper, web, they subscribe to our newsletter and engage on our social media platforms… but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organizations, instead of putting up a paywall we have eliminated it – we want to keep our coverage of all things Italian as open as we can for anyone to read and most importantly share our love with you about the Bel Paese.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

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Our raffles help us keep all this going and at the same time it gives you a chance to experience first hand our beautiful country. We partner with the best resorts, in the most sought-after parts of Italy in order to bring you the most unforgettable experience. For this raffle we chose VILLA MAGIA as partner, one of the best luxury boutique hotels in the Amalfi Coast.

We know we can count on you, and appreciate your participation in these special events.

For as little as $12, you can support L’Italo-Americano – it only takes a minute, and the rewards you might get if you win our first prize trip to Positano for 2 including airfare… is PRICELESS.

…and now L’Italo-Americano will give you more chances to WIN by increasing the number of entries for every ticket purchased!!!  You get 10 tickets for just $12!

Available Until: February 15, 2019 at 11:59 am PST

Drawing Date: February 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm PST

(although I think they got their time/date wrong?)

Click here: https://italoamericano.rallyup.com/amalficoast

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Buona Fortuna a Tutti!!

 

Jana

Win a Trip to Sicily for $12.00!

 

 

I think several of us subscribe to the electronic newspaper called, “L’Italo-Americano.”  They have quite a few interesting little articles and tidbits about Italy.  Often Gina sends me great ideas for articles, that I am sad to say, I never seem to have time to write! 😦

However, I’d like to pass along this contest they are running.  You buy tickets, for a pretty reasonable price, and are entered in to win a grand prize trip to Sicily, as well as many other prizes.  Buona Fortuna a tutti!  🙂    Jana


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It’s our richest and most beautiful raffle yet! And it’s not a coincidence. We want to celebrate with you all a very special occasion: this year, L’Italo-Americano celebrates 110 years spent to the service of the Italian American community.

“The Best of Oriental Sicily” definitely deserves the small, yet incredibly precious contribution you will give us. We are a 501(c) (3) non profit organization and, as such, your support is essential for us, as it allows the newspaper, which has been walking side by side with the West Coast Italian American community since 1908, to continue its mission of promoting the knowledge of Italy, of the Italian language and of the invaluable social and cultural heritage of il Bel Paese.

We’ll bring you to the discovery of some of Italy’s most extraordinary marvels: places, flavors, landscapes filled with history, craftsmanship and products which will show you the beauty of a country that doesn’t need to remain a dream.

Our first prize is an amazing trip to Sicily, including airfare for two (2), following an incredible tour along the breathtaking itineraries of the island’s East coast! BREAKFASTS, LUNCHES, DINNERS, WINE, PRIVATE TOURS, TRANSPORTATION, TICKETS ENTRANCE TO FAMOUS PARKS AND MUSEUMS… ALL INCLUDED!!!
THE TOTAL VALUE OF THIS DREAM PACKAGE IS 5,000 euros per person, for a total of 10,000 euros PLUS AIRFARE FOR TWO (2). BROUGHT TO YOU BY VALDINOTO TOURS AND SERVICES

Sicily: home to the heart and heritage of so many Italian Americans, it can turn from a dream into a beautiful reality for our readers, thanks to L’Italo Americano’s newest Raffle. Try to imagine how eight beautiful days in the land of Archimedes and Pirandello, Verga and Bellini would be, following the itinerary of the ultimate trip we organized for you…

Get your tickets here:  Tickets https://italoamericano.rallyup.com/sicilia110

Prizes

$12 for 1 ticket  (you’ll need to scroll down about half way until you see the actual “buy tickets” little box.

Available Until: September 28, 2018 at 11:59 am PST

Drawing Date: September 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm PST

Each ticket gives you a chance to win any prize.  When you click on the link, you’ll see the other prizes.

Some pictures from their website…can you guess where they are?

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1 - siracusa

ROMA, The Eternal City ~ by Daniela

In Italy on April 25th it’s a holiday. Liberation is celebrated, so my husband and I left for a short holiday, four days in Rome.

Piazza San Pietro - Vatican City
Piazza San Pietro – Vatican City

These days I saw fabulous things, indeed re-seen, because I’ve been in Rome many times, but every time, I discover something new that I like and that fascinates me.

The weather was magnificent, in fact I would say almost summer, but without being suffocating. Beautiful days, with a sky of an intense blue.

I returned home on the evening of April 25 and scrolling through Facebook to see if there were any news, I had the great surprise to see some beautiful photos of Rome, posted by the Ginoble family.

I had them at hand, we saw the same places on the same day and we did not meet ????

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE!!!!

Instead it was just like that, but let’s start from the beginning.

Since April 25th is a national holiday we included a visit to the Altar of the Fatherland, where our President of the Republic would present the laurel wreath to the “unknown soldier”.

And here’s what Ercole Ginoble has posted, the ceremony at the Altar of the Fatherland.

Altare della Patria - Victor Emmanuel Monument
Planes fly over the Altare della Patria – Victor Emmanuel Monument

But I was there too, here are pictures with the police in full uniform who are preparing for the tribute to the president.

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Daniela at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
Daniela at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Then I went to see the beautiful Trevi Fountain, magnificent, so white, so full of people.

But what do I see? Also Mrs. Lenora Ginoble has posted the photo of the Trevi Fountain.

I was there too!!! But we have not seen each other.

Lenora Ginoble post of Trevi Fountain

And here’s my picture.

Daniela at Trevi Fountain

Continuing on Via Condotti, we arrive at Piazza di Spagna, beautiful in these days, because the steps of Trinità dei Monti are literally covered with azaleas.

Once again, Mrs. Ginoble posted a beautiful picture.

Lenora Ginoble post of Piazza di Spanga

Really nice with the fountain of Barcaccia in the foreground …….. but once again I was there too !!!

Daniela at Spanish Steps

And what do I find out? Ernesto was there too with some friends.

Ernesto Ginoble at Spanish Steps

What a misfortune, I did not see any of them …….. but I saw a beautiful city, so I’m so happy.

I do not know what the Ginoble family has done yet, but I have continued my nice ride.

The Temple of Fortuna Virilis.

Daniela at Temple of Fortune Virile
The Temple of Fortuna Virilis is one of the best preserved of all Roman temples.

The Colosseo. Really mammoth.

Daniela at Colosseum

The Mouth of Truth ….. it did not bite my hand !!

Daniela at Mouth of Truth

Wherever we turned, there was something to admire.

Then the beautiful Vatican Museums and its masterpiece: The Sistine Chapel.

Sistine Chapel
The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel

Ok, I admit, I was sorry not to meet the Ginoble family, but then I realized that Gianluca was not with them, and thank goodness, I raised my spirits.

I confirm, for those who have not yet seen Rome, it is full of beautiful treasures and monuments.

Of course, as promised, I thought a lot about the whole crew while I was in Rome. Yes Jill, you’re right it would have been great to be able to meet all of you in Rome.

Hello Rome, we will definitely be back again …… but how many of you were in Rome?

Daniela

Credit is given to Daniela and the Ginoble family for all photos.

Continue reading ROMA, The Eternal City ~ by Daniela

~ VIA CRUCIS ~ by Daniela

In these days of proximity to the Easter festivals, many celebrations are repeated in the various countries.

One of these was also made in Montepagano, the town of Gianluca.

 Who knows the country, knows that it is a small village of Abruzzo located on a hill, with a splendid view that sweeps over the adjacent hills to reach the Adriatic Sea.

In this small town the rites of our culture and religion are maintained, and in these days we have witnessed the re-enactment of the Via Crucis.

What a great amazement to see that the interpretation of Christ was carried out by Ernesto Ginoble.

It was really a welcome surprise.

We all know that boys and their families have strong roots in our Christian faith.

The boys, as children, sang in the choirs of their churches, you also remember the emotion of Gianluca at the death of his parish priest, very sweet.

 

Ernesto was really very emotional about having to face such an important part.

Now we understand why lately he has let his beard grow, to better interpret the icon of Christ.

Congratulations Ernesto, this thing makes you honor, the whole family will have been proud of it.

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We wanted to add for everyone our best wishes for a happy and serene Easter, that is a joyful fusion of cultures, religions and races.  We hold you all in an ideal hug.

Happy Easter from the Flight Crew writers to ALL our devoted Flight Crew!!

Credit to owner of videos and photo.

c’era una volta….

Italia!  What a marvelous culture and so much older than my America.

In Italy they recognize, celebrate and preserve their national heritage and traditions with honor, pride and courage.

Here, published in L’italo-Americano, is one of those traditions.

~Marie

Sicily’s storytelling traditions

Mimmo Cuticchio performer of Il Cunto, a traditional form of Sicilian storytelling

Since the first days of language, humans have been passing on stories. From the sea shanties of Cornwall to the shadow puppetry of China, from the creation tales of Hula dancing to the drama of Caribbean calypso. Sicily is no different: its puppetry, dating back to Medieval times, is famous the world over for  telling tales of knights in battle. But there’s another story too, the tradition of cuntu, dating back to Greek theatre and based on both sung verse and spoken prose. To discover its compelling history we have to go back to the ancient world.

Many modern cultures and languages can trace their origins to ancient ancestors, typically reaching back across decades, centuries and even millennia. European languages from Spanish to Portuguese, Romanian to English, for example, all owe a large debt of gratitude to the ancient Romans. Vulgar Latin forms the basis for several languages spoken by a sizeable proportion of the world’s population, not least of course Italians inhabiting the beautiful Mediterranean peninsula and beyond.

Within some circles there is even a view that Sicilian, rather than being simply another dialect of Italian, was actually the first to have developed from ancient Latin. And certainly there are persuasive similarities that seem to suggest that words in use today evolved from Latin through Sicilian to the Tuscan that would go on to become the national language.

But whilst the language of this spectacular island obviously springs from ancient Roman roots, it also draws considerably upon the tongues of the many people who came as occupiers and conquerors, namely the Carthaginians, Arabs, French, Spanish and, most notably, the ancient Greeks.

Mimmo Cuticchio has reinvigorated this noble art through the improvisation of daily tales.

Evidence of the Hellenic Republic’s presence percolates throughout the island. From the sublime Doric temple filled landscape of southern Sicily, to the ancient theatre in Taormina on the eastern coast. Add in the language of poets and an alphabet that persisted through to the Middle Ages and it’ s easy to see how the Greek love of language and theatre evolved into the islanders’ unique storytelling tradition of cuntu.

The word cuntu is, simply enough, defined as an account, statement or novella. For locals its true cultural meaning, however, goes much deeper, conjuring up thoughts of fables, fairy tales and fantastic  anecdotes of chivalrous adventure. Sometimes puppets are used – they’re a significant part of Sicilian folklore – but for the most part cuntu is the ageless, almost extinct art of spoken word street storytelling.

Long before the age of cinema, television and social media, Sicilian cuntisti made their livelihoods breathing life into epic tales for the amusement of their audiences. But unlike classic theatre that demands a platform, stage or playhouse to host its sagas, cuntu and cuntisti need little more than a street corner, park or town square to accommodate their stories. The staging needs no painted scenery, no costumes, no smoke or mirrors and no props, because cuntu storytellers conjure everything in the minds of the audience with the pure and humble power of the spoken word.

Before they could weave their words, worlds and warriors into epic tales Sicilian cuntisti would study the art form as apprentices. Skills were passed down from father to son, specialist to student, often over the course of a youngster’s childhood or early teens, before they made their debut as adults. Pupils didn’t just need to learn the stories however, they needed to learn the art of delivery to convey every emotion from envy to desire, from betrayal to lust. They needed to learn the parts and the characters, the twists and turns they were to take and the nuances necessary to breathe life into each one, opening a  window into another world.

Cuntisti, crucially, also needed to learn to “feel” the breath of their characters, as well as that of their  audience. They told tales whilst others listened with baited breath. They used pauses and inhalations to inspire gasps and gulps, as they put flesh and bone to their characters. And they employed spoken words to develop a rhythm, driving the pace to simultaneously create a personal and collective vision. 

 It’s storytelling at its best. And what stories they told.

Classic cuntu accounts often drew on tales of saints, soldiers and bandits, especially the stories of the Paladins of France. Sometimes known as the 12 peers, the paladins were warriors of Charlemagne’s Dark Age court representing Christian valor against Saracen hoards. And although their exploits were the largely fictional creations of imaginative 8th century writers, they drew together elements of several theatrical and literary traditions to create chivalrous heroes and romantic leads that still play out in modern culture today.

Cuntisti would tell of Orlando, Charlemagne’s nephew and chief hero amongst the paladins. Or recount the exploits of Oliver, Orlando’s rival. They breathed life into Ganelon, the traitor who would later appear in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. And each of the twelve men inspired stories of gallant skirmishes and victorious romance that still resonate today.

For the ordinary populace, the arrival of the cuntisti on the streets of their town was a special event. Cuntu kept legends alive, inspiring generation after generation with suspense, battle and redemption. And they were as important to Sicilian culture as Shakespeare was to the British and Dante was to Florentines.

Today, modern cuntu adaptations are reworking ancient stories weaving contemporary living material into Greek and Saracen legends to revive this almost extinct art form. Storytellers such as Alessio Di Modica, Enzo Mancuso and Mimmo Cuticchio have reinvigorated this noble art through the improvisation of daily tales. And now, this ancient yet modern talent is reaching a new audience via the virtual streets and piazze of YouTube and social media.

So as the days shorten, the nights draw in and thoughts turn to TV box sets or binge watching the latest Netflix series, remember there is another choice. The cuntisti of Sicily now stand on every street corner of the world via the wonder of the internet, and they have a long tradition of story-telling that will fascinate and entertain just as it has for centuries. The story starts as it always has, with the words that every child recognizes: c’era una volta….once upon a time.

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Personally Speaking~Me oh my, which one do I want?

Do you ever stand there staring like a deer in headlights when looking at the vast displays of olive oil to choose from?  I know how to tell if it’s from Italy, but beyond that I am clueless.   Well, I admit I was until I came across this great article that explains what to look for!  Felice per la cottura!  (Happy cooking!)

 

When it comes to quality olive oil, Italy certainly holds the world’s first place. Yet, do we really know how to recognize a truly good olive oil from a mediocre one?

 

Here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin olive oil.

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First of allalways go for dark bottles that protect their content from light and avoid its oxidation

 

Labels should give us basic information:

The olives’ geographical origin

Their type

Where they have been pressed

Where the oil has been bottled.

 

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Checkmate to bad olive oil: here are some simple rules to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

 

Acidity should always be lower than 3%.

Olives should always be cold pressed, which means the process should take place at less than 27 degree Celsius to keep flavors intact.

Color and clearness are important parameters to recognize a quality extra virgin oil.

It shouldn’t be too liquid, as it would mean it contains high quantities of  polyunsaturated fats.

It should smell fresh, with hints of freshly cut grass, tomato peels, almonds, and artichoke leaves.

It should taste bitter and tangy, that is, rich in polyphenols!

  

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 Make sure its expiration date isn’t over 18 months from production and that price isn’t lower than 18 USD per litre (15 Euro). 

If all these parameters are met, than you got yourself a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil! Try it also to fry: it’ll surprise you. 

And of course, always check the label says 100% Italian. 

 

Article credit to L’Italio Americano,  and Varinia Cappelletti.

~Personally Speaking~ Il Sasso School of Italian Language ~

One is never too old to learn.  How did I miss this amazing looking school along my life’s journey?  I want to become a student once again and study at this incredible looking place!  My dream/wish is that  a group of Flight Crew people would all go over together and immerse ourselves in this beautiful culture,  language, and people.  To sit at tables on a beautiful patio, surrounded by flowers and country side where you view rolling hills and cypress trees as far as the eye can see, while sharing wine and our life stories with each other.  To go to the market together and choose fresh ingredients,  then  gather around a small table in a warm Italian kitchen and learn the art of making true Italian pasta.  To study and  have fun learning as a group their beautiful romantic language.    I may be a dreamer, but it’s a beautiful thought.

 Chianti near Florence

FOR OVER 30 YEARS, Il SASSO ITALIAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL …

has been running courses in Montepulciano, in the heart of Tuscany. The school offers Italian courses for speakers of other languages studying in small groups and individually. There are six different levels, corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Il Sasso also runs art history, wine, cookery, literature and current affairs mini-courses, as well as courses to prepare students for the CELI and CILS exams. The school is recognised by the Italian Education Ministry and certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards. It is a medium sized school with a reputation for excellence, and is open all year round. Students of all ages come to study here from all over the world.

 

Enjoy this fun video.  

 

 

Article excerpt and video credits to L’Italo-Americano Newspaper

Photo of Tuscany countryside from Tuscanyphotos.com