Summer Is Here! Choose Your Brew!

Ann (Anncruise) sent in a photo of a delicious looking cup of Italian iced coffee.  I love iced coffee year round, which got me wondering about how many other types of  summer Italian coffee drinks there may be out there.  Here is but a few of the many tempting delights I found!  Thank you Ann, for the wonderful idea to research yet one more thing we love about Italians…their specialty coffee drinks!

As the temperatures begin to rise, bars all over Italy start serving iced coffee, a beloved summer tradition many Italians enjoy. How do you like yours?

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Italy’s Answer to Iced Coffee

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It makes sense that the Italians would invent a most exquisite coffee drink for the summer. It’s a shaken-over-ice, slightly sweetened espresso called shakerato, served in a stemmed glass, prepared in bars all over the county.

The shaking process yields a thick crema that floats on the espresso. In Italy, ice is viewed with suspicion, and you’d never be served a tall glass of coffee over lots of ice, the way iced coffee is in the U.S. Too dangerous!

(From The Atlantic.)

 

Coffee granita

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You have surely heard of granita, the Italian dessert consisting of sugar, ice and flavorings. The original recipe comes from the town of Messina, in the region of Sicily – that’s why it is also called “granita siciliana” – and it derives from sherbet, an Arabic dessert. Today we teach you how to make a real granita siciliana al caffè (Sicilian coffee granita).

The original granita siciliana is made from three simple ingredients: coffee, sugar and ice.

Prepare 10 ounces coffee using a good Italian blend. A strong Arabica blend is the best choice. In a small pot, pour 16 ounces water, 9 ounces sugar and one vanilla bean. Cook over low heat until the sugar has completely melted and has turned into syrup. Take out the vanilla bean. In a steel pan combine coffee and syrup and stir using a wooden spoon. Let chill, then put the pan in the freezer.

Now comes the most important part. After one hour, take the pan out of the freezer and use a whisk to scrape the ice. Put the pan back in the freezer and do this every 30 minutes for three or four times. Serve the coffee granita in small glass cups and add some fresh whipped cream on top. Garnish with coffee beans or a dust of cinnamon powder.

Fun fact: granita siciliana was historically eaten along with fresh crisp bread. In today’s cafes it comes served with “brioscia”, a typical Sicilian pastry.
Enjoy your granita al caffè!

 

Coffee frappe

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In Italian it’s called “frappè al caffè” and it’s usually consumed during an afternoon break rather than as a dessert. A coffee frappè is a milkshake made with Italian espresso, milk, sugar, ice cubes and chocolate powder. Some recipes also feature two scoops of coffee gelato

 

Coffee soda

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This coffee drink can’t be found everywhere in Italy: it’s a recipe from the southern region of Calabria, where it’s known by the name of Brasilena. It’s a sweet, cold drink made of Italian espresso, sparkly water, sugar, caramel and lemon juice

 

Coffee cocktail

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How about an alcoholic drink with your favorite Italian beverage, to enjoy with your friends after a nice dinner? To make a high-quality coffee cocktail you will need an Italian coffee blend, vodka, coffee liquor and some ice cubes

 

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I do not know what Piero and Max  are drinking, but it sure looks like it could be some sort of coffee cocktail!!  Looks good what ever it is!

(Credits to Filicori Zecchinis Usa…one of the most ancient coffee roasters in Italy, founded in Bologna in 1919.)

 

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Well I don’t know about you,

but I am ready to settle down in a comfy lawn chair on the beach

gazing out over the Adriatic Sea,

while sipping on my coffee cocktail listening to Il Volo.

(Oh yes, and it would be perfectly alright with me if that nice young man in the blue shirt and glasses wanted to sit right next to me.)

  Anyone want to join me?

~~Jane~~ 

 

 

 

Un Amore Cosi Grande

Daniela sent us this wonderful sneak preview of the movie the guys have been working on.

By now we all know that ILVOLO will take part in a movie entitled UN AMORE COSI GRANDE, which will be released in 2018.

This article was published a few weeks ago, that speaks of the plot of the film.

From the giornal THE ARENA

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The protagonist is Vladimir, a young Russian who lives with expedients to keep himself and the mother who has been a great soprano.

His mother convinces him to go to Verona in search of his father.

In Verona Vladimir performs his singing talent and conquers young Veronica and attracts the attention of ILVOLO manager who is looking for a debutant to launch in the trio concerts.

Of course the story will be much woven, and will be shot in St. Petersburg.

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The guys with Vladimir’s mother

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Gianluca and the actress who interprets Veronica.

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Vladimir e Veronica

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Un Amore Cosi Grande, is a film that wants to relaunch the lyrics to bring young people closer to this world up to now unknown.

Tell precisely of the “grande amore” of the protagonist for the work but also for his mother and his girlfriend.

The music of the movie will be drawn from the operas as well as some songs IL VOLO.
On the set, between a slate and the other, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, gave some explanation about their role “Recite next to professionals, but in a role that favors us because we remain Il Volo, essentially doing what is better: singing”.

Behind the shots appear at ease. “The lights we are accustomed,” say in choir boys de Flight, those of the stage of the Arena then know them very well, in fact you have organized various concerts, the last last 19 and 20 May.

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Thank you, Daniela!  

~~Jane~~

 

 

Il Volo ~ Inmenso

 

TRANSLATION:

Immense

If I’m exhausted

You reap my strengths

If I am defeated

You give me hope

If I die of anguish

You make me happy

You never left me

And you never would

If one day the road

It gets blurry

And I’m scared to complain

My sobbing assaults me

You hug my soul

I fall asleep in peace

I have never left

Of feeling your relief

Immense

Your love is immense

Who harbors me, calms me, heals me

The evils inside

Immense

Your love is immense

Unbreakable, your infinite love

Your love is eternal

Yes sometimes my anger

Clouds my sight

Conversations with me

You give me a clue

You wipe the tears

Your love is perfect

You wash my feet

And you blow my breath

Immense

Your love is immense

Who harbors me, calms me, heals me

The evils inside

Immense

Your love is immense

Unbreakable, your infinite love

Your love is eternal

Your love is immense

It transforms my life

It makes me happy

I dream you awake

Your love is immense

Immense

Your love is immense

Immense until the end

Who harbors me, calms me, heals me

The evils inside

Your love is immense

Your love is immense

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Here is a nice little bonus.  A promo video Il Volo did to promote the CD.  Even though it took them 6 attempts…they did it!

 

Jose’, also known as El Puma (cougar) is a Venezuelan singer and actor. 

Il Volo collaborated with him this past April to create this beautiful song.

Daniela says…”I like it very much and the guys are very good and they give a great contribution to the song.”

 

Videos and translation provided by our very own Flight Crew Italian Extraordinaire, Daniela Perani!

 

~~Jane~~

 

Personally Speaking ~ Dream On And Dream BIG ~

Here’s how to get a FREE CASTLE in Italy, your Majesty!

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Want a free castle in Italy? Sure, take one, your highness. But, as with everything good, there’s a catch.

As part of an initiative called the Strategic Tourist Plan, Italy is giving away 103 historic buildings — villas, inns, houses, towers, etc. to entrepreneurs willing to take them. (Yes, that means it could be you!)

All the recipient must do is pledge to renovate the buildings, which are mainly in more remote areas of the country, in a way that will diversify Italy’s tourism industry. This means transforming them into hotels, restaurants, visitor centers, spas, shops — anything that will attract tourist traffic.

This will ideally help ease crowding in popular Italian tourist hubs like Venice and Milan, instead drawing crowds to chill, lesser-known spots along cycling paths, hiking trails, or religious walking routes.

Does the work seem worth it? You’ll need to submit a proposal to the State Property Agency by June 26. So, if you’ve dreamed for years of turning a beautiful castle into a go-kart track, now’s your chance!

We always knew you were royalty. :’)

Above author, Chloe Bryan from mashable.com

 

Dream on and Dream BIG…WHY NOT?

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This could be the view out your back door!

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This could be your next door neighbor!!

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As I said…dream on and dream big!

Writing up my proposal.  I will have a new address soon for a lovely B&B, I’m sure.  I will make the croissants and Marie will make the blood orange juice!    I’ll be sure and look for a place big enough to fit ALL of the FLIGHT CREW in…and of course the guys when they are in town!

Credit to all owners of photos.

~~Jane~~ 

 

 

Italians in America? You Betcha!

Thank you Gina!

All articles from:

 

San Francisco’s Italian Consul General Looks Forward to the Year Ahead

In San Francisco fellow Italophiles, look forward to a year filled with the charm and culture that represents our native Italy. Photo by holbox

The year 2017 has begun con gusto and the San Francisco Bay Area’s Italian community, and fellow Italophiles, look forward to a year filled with the charm and culture that represents our native Italy.

On that note, Italian Consul General, Lorenzo Ortona is in his fifth month as Italy’s representative to the San Francisco Bay Area. In his statement of September 2016, Consul General Ortona expressed recognition of his important task and appreciation of the Bay Area Italian community by saying, “It has made a decisive contribution to the creation and growth of this marvelous city known and loved around the world.”

For the rest of the story ⇒ http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2017-2-14/san-francisco-italian-events2017

 


The art of making pizza to become part of the UNESCO Intangible Patrimony

 

The art of Naples’ pizza -making could become a patrimony of the world. Photo: http://www.foodtravelculture.com

Pizza finds a place on every country’s table and is topped with countless delicacies, each country creating its own – more or less – orthodox version of this quintessentially Italian food. Yet it remains Neapolitan in the  minds of all of us and having a pizza in Naples is certainly on the bucket list of more than a foodie. 
 

Neapolitan pizza, or “verace pizza Napoletana,” as it is known in Italy, has been a “specialità tradizionale garantita” (S.T.G., a guaranteed traditional specialty) since 2010: this means the European Union recognized that a true Neapolitan pizza can only be produced in a certain manner, in a certain area. Manner: with a dough as supple and simple as that of bread and only a handful of allowed toppings, like Sammarzano tomatoes, olive oil, basil and mozzarella (di bufala) or fiordilatte (cow mozzarella), to create the perfect Margherita. Sammarzanos, garlic, oregano and olive oil for the humble and flavorsome Marinara. Area: Naples.

The sweetest thing: cannolo siciliano and its amazing history

 

Cannoli siciliani have a huge identity-defining power: Italian bakeries all over the world make of their presence on the shelves a symbol of “italianità” and heritage associated with only a handful of other products. Photo by siculodoc

Cannolo siciliano: is there any other Italian dessert this popular in the world? Tiramisù may be one of its more glorious competitors, but cannolo making is an art that you can’t reproduced at home with the same simplicity. We can all make a good tiramisù in our own kitchen, but preparing cannoli right is far from an easy task. 
 
Cannoli siciliani have also a huge identity-defining power: Italian bakeries all over the world make of their presence on the shelves a symbol of “italianità” and heritage associated with only a handful of other products.

Italy’s Oscars: 14 Statuettes and Counting

Oscar nominee for “Best Documentary Feature” to Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at sea and two Italian nominees for “Best Makeup and Hairstyling” to Alessandro Bertolazzi and Giorgio Gregorini. Design copyrights: L’Italo-Americano Newspaper

As usual, the 89th Academy Awards, aka “Oscars,” ceremony – annually presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, February 26th. 

More unusual is the presence of Italian roots both in one of the event’s producers, Michael De Luca, and in the host of the evening, comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

For the rest of the story ⇒ http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2017-2-23/italy-oscars-winners

 

~~~END~~~

 

10 Reasons to Never Visit Italy

Ann (anncruise) received this article from a friend who got it from Lets-Travel-More.com.  Since I can’t go there to see the Boys this article seems appropriate.  So, if any of you believe this and decide not to go to such a horrible place AND you just happen to have tickets to a concert..say…in Verona.  Ann and I will take them off your hands.

Jane, this one will tug at your heart.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Italy

There are many many reasons why you should never visit Italy. Here are the top 10. If you have already visited Italy please do not do it again.

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10Rome

Why would someone visit Rome? Because of its history and countless monuments and statues? Art, beautiful alleys, nice people, the famous Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Vatican city and hundreds museums are a few of the reasons why you should never visit Rome.

9Florence

Never ever visit Florence. Too much romance, history and beauty. The city is not big or small. It has the perfect size and is considered one of the most walk-able cities in the world. Who wants to walk? Plus, why would someone want to visit Duomo, the magnificent Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore?

8Gelato

Gelato means ice cream. Italy is famous for having the best ice cream in the world. Who cares, who likes ice cream. Just have a look at the photo. Would anyone want to taste this gelato?

7Shopping

Another reason why you should never visit Italy and especially Milan is shopping. You will find the most famous and most expensive brands in Milan like Versacce, Gucci etc. Italians are well known for their finesse and style. I am sure you hate going shopping as well.

6Italian Red Wine

Nobody loves wine. Even if it is the best red wine in the world. Yes, Italy is known for producing the best red wine. Like we care. We drink no wine, right?

5Sicily

Another famous region in Italy to be avoided is Sicily. Actually Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean sea. It is famous for its history, its turquoise beaches, its seaside cities like Taormina and the Etna volcano you can see in the photo.

4Italian Food

I almost forget about Italian food. Don’t let the photo trick you. It is much more delicious than it looks like. Pizzas are even more delicious. Many worldwide famous chefs are Italian. Do not try Italian food, please!

3Beaches

Numerous beaches, white sand, turquoise crystal clear water and every beach is unique. Italy’s Mediterranean climate make the beaches ideal for swimming. Stay away!!!

2Venice

I am sure you have heard of Venice before as I am sure you already know why you should never visit this city. First reason is romance. Having a tour with a gondola during sunset with your partner is something very common in Venice. Plus the city is unique. There is no other city like this one. A floating city that instead of roads has canals and instead of cars has small boats called gondola. How can someone live without air pollution?

1Cinque Terre

Finally the number 1 reason you should never visit Italy is Cinque Terre. Just have a look at the photo and you will understand. Amazing beaches with turquoise water, colorful seaside villages, the best Italian food and good people are only a few of the reasons to avoid this region and Italy in general.

Italians in America ~ Ann Scavo (Anncruise)

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‘Amore’: Italian-American Singers In The 20th Century

American singer and actor Frank Sinatra sits at the piano. Getty Images

American singer and actor Frank Sinatra sits at the piano.
Getty Images

Apparently, Dean Martin didn’t much like the song “That’s Amore,” but in 1953 it became one of his biggest hits. It’s a song that seems to capture a moment in pop history when nearly every hit was performed by an Italian-American singer. The story of “That’s Amore” and the songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and others is told in a new book called Amore. Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz recently spoke with the author, Mark Rotella, about Italian singers in 20th-century America.

“That’s Amore” came from a movie called The Caddy, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; it’s about an Italian man who plays a golf pro and is followed by a faithful caddy. In the movie, when the two return to Italy and are greeted by their Italian family, they break into this song. When we hear it today, it sounds like a caricature of Italian culture. But, Rotella says, it served as an introduction to Italian culture for many Americans.

“It was one of the more obvious ones,” he says. “There were Italian singers before, but this led to other kitschy songs, like Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Mambo Italiano,’ and so many other songs that came after that were kind of kitschy but were also really pop and kind of fun.”

Rotella’s book isn’t just about Italian-American singers. It’s also about a turning point in 20th-century America when Italian entertainers started to be seen as American entertainers. Rotella says that there was a Golden Age of entertainment that started around 1947.

“This is when second- and third-generation Americans of Italian decent were coming of age,” he says. “This is post-war; it was a time of optimism. This era was basically the end of the big band and the beginning of the solo voice, and this lasted through the ’50s, up until I’d say 1964, with The Beatles.”

This was happening during a period when there was a great deal of discrimination against Italians in America. For example, this excerpt was taken from a profile on Joe DiMaggio from Life Magazine in 1939.

“Although he learned Italian first, Joe now speaks English without an accent. … Instead of olive oil or smelly bear grease, he keeps his hair slicked with water. He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti.”

These kinds of comments were acceptable in mainstream dialogue, and yet a few years later, Italian singers would dominate the pop charts.

“This is the time when so many singers were now seen on TV,” Rotella says. “They were good-looking. They had a certain sensibility, a certain attitude that was open and charming.”

Rotella says that nearly every singer he interviewed named Enrico Caruso as an influence. Caruso was the first pop artist to sell a million copies of his music, offering his recordings on flat discs for the RCA Victor Vitrolas of the time. Rotella says that this shaped the way music was sold for years to come.

“They sold so much, this really defined how music was recorded and on what medium,” Rotella says. “It was going to be Victor on the flat plastic records.”

One of the singers Rotella includes in his book is none other than the king of the golden age of Italian-American music, Frank Sinatra. Rotella calls Sinatra’s song “Fly Me to the Moon” a metaphor for all of the breakthroughs that Italian singers achieved.

“When you hear the song, it’s optimistic,” he says. “It’s kind of dreamy, forward-thinking, but it’s tough. He says, ‘fly me to the moon,’ but it’s almost as if he’s there already. This is coming at a time when music was going to change. It’s the tail-end of the success of the Rat Pack. It was at this time that almost total assimilation of Italians had happened. In ways, I feel like after this [song], there were so many Italians that followed him. Not necessarily performing Italian music; we wouldn’t necessarily know them as Italians today. This song of reaching the moon seemed to me to be every immigrant’s dream of assimilating.

(Note:  videos were added to this article ~Marie)

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Descendants from Sicilian village keep their heritage alive in America

People from Sciacca, Agrigento congregating outside the local church before leaving for America.

People from Sciacca, Agrigento congregating outside the local church before leaving for America.

Between 1880 and 1920 over four million Italians were recorded as entering the United States.  About three-fourths of these immigrants went through the Ellis Island immigration station with the majority being males between the ages of 24 and 45.

The island of Sicily and the region around Naples, both in the south, accounted for over half the Italians who moved to the U.S. looking for a better life.

According to manifest documents from the ships, so many Sicilians reported ‘Sciacca in Agrigento’ as their home village that immigration inspectors used “ditto” marks to record this information.

Many of these Italians settled in Little Italy neighborhoods all over the country, the most famous being in New York.

Discrimination between Italians in Little Italy was rampant.

Being fiercely provincial and proud of their own regions, the Italians from Naples, Calabria and Bari looked down on Sicilians, particularly those from Sciacca.

Given their humble beginnings, their descendants were taught to be proud of their Sicilian heritage.

Baseball legend Mike Piazza’s father’s family comes from Sciacca, and though he doesn’t speak Italian, the former Mets catcher is fiercely proud of his roots.

“I feel a strong tie to Sicily, since my heritage is there. My grandfather Rosario came from Sciacca, to the United States and my father grew me up following the Italian tradition. I think it’s in our DNA to strive to work hard and persevere,” Piazza said.

“One thing that was present in me was my father’s distinct love of his Italian heritage and Sicilian ancestry.

I can’t tell you how many times my father would say “Amuni a monjare, beddu”, and “mezza mortu”.

He would also take a strong stand against negative Italian American stereotypes saying that they “don’t represent the real Italians”.

Piazza also said he travels to Sciacca regularly. “It’s something I have great pride in knowing how proud my father and grandfather would be if they could see me here.”

Mike Piazza: A proud descendent of Sciacca.

Mike Piazza: A proud descendent of Sciacca.

Musician Jon Bon Jovi is another who is descended from emigrants from Siacca. In 2013, Bongiovi Sr. gladly shared his family’s pasta sauces – the recipes for which originated in Sciacca and were passed down through three generations.

Cartoon artist, director and producer Joseph Barbera, who formed Hanna-Barbera with William Hanna, is another who is descended from emigrants from Sciacca. Both his parents were born in Sciacca and he grew up speaking Italian.

Alicia Keys is another who has found out about her large extended Italian family. Her great-grandfather Michiele was from Sciacca.

Mike Marino, most famous for his hilarious segment about an Italian president from New Jersey, is another who is descended from emigrants from Sciacca.

As his grandfather once said: “YOU MAY LEAVE SICILY – BUT SICILY NEVER LEAVES YOU.”

 

How Sciacca looks today

How Sciacca looks today

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Four Presidents, a Mountain and an Italian Chief Carver: the Long Forgotten History of Luigi del Bianco

by FRANCESCA BEZZONE

Luigi del Bianco working at Mount Rushmore

Luigi del Bianco working at Mount Rushmore

Everyone knows Mount Rushmore, with its iconic representations of four of the most important presidents of US history: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, F.D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. As a child, I remember being fascinated by their stoney, gigantic faces and I often wondered how someone could have made them look so perfect and lifelike; as you would expect from a  5 year old, I thought a single sculptor spent his entire life carving the mountain on his own,  with his scalpel in one hand and a hammer in the other, failing to understand that a project of such  a magnitude had very likely involved hundreds of people through a number of years.
Even if I had known that then, I certainly would not have been aware of the essential role of Italy in the creation of the Mount Rushmore Memorial, because its recognition came only in very recent times, when a previously unknown Friuli Venezia-Giulia migrant, Luigi del Bianco, was recognised as chief carver of the monument.
Bringing justice to Luigi
History tells us that, between the 4th of October 1927 and the 31st of October 1941, 400 people worked on the sculpting and carving of Mount Rushmore. They were led by Gutzon Borglum and his son, sculptors and artists of Danish descent.
Among those 400 workers, in 1935 made his appearance Luigi del Bianco, from Meduno, in the north eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, who had studied carving in Venice and Vienna before trying his luck on the other side of the ocean and emigrating to the United States.  Del Bianco’s name became known among historians and specialists of Mount Rushmore when his own grandson, Lou del Bianco, and his late uncle Caesar, began a strenuous campaign to have the role of their own ancestor in the making of the Mount Rushmore Memorial recognised.
It was the Italian Luigi del Bianco the artist who gave to America's timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.

It was the Italian Luigi del Bianco the artist who gave to America’s timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.

Because Caesar and Lou both believed Luigi had been more than a simple worker at the site, they set on a quest: demonstrating it to the world. It was Caesar, son of Luigi, who started the amazing adventure in the late 1980s, when Rex Allen Smith published “The Carving of Mount Rushmore:” here, the name of his father never appeared. Caesar was gutted.
More than 20 years later D.J. Gladstone, the author of the ultimate work on del Bianco, “Carving a Niche for Himself” (2014), would say that talking about Mount Rushmore without mentioning Luigi del Bianco was the equivalent of talking about the Yankees without mentioning Joe DiMaggio: but how much research, work and perseverance was behind such a statement. The research, work  and perseverance of Caesar and his nephew  Lou, who explored libraries, unearthed documents and campaigned for recognition, refusing to let their relative fall into oblivion.
After Caesar’s death in 2009, Lou took up his mission in full and it’s also thanks to his relentless  efforts that Cameron Sholly, current director of the Midwest region for the National Park Services, accepted to reassess Luigi del Bianco’s role in the inception and creation of Mount Rushmore. Shelley came to the conclusion that  del Bianco’s grandson was right: Luigi had been, indeed, the main carver at the site, the artist who gave to America’s timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.
Who was Luigi del Bianco?
Chief carver at Mount Rushmore, of course, but his life held much more than that. He was born in 1892 aboard a ship near Le Havre, in France, while his parents had been returning to Italy from the United States. The family, as said, settled in the North East of Italy and it’s there that 11 year old Luigi started studying carving and understood how talented he was. Still an adolescent, he had travelled to the US for the first time and settled with relatives in Vermont: there, he became known as a skilful carver. After returning to Italy to serve his country during the First World War, he was in Vermont once more and then settled in Port Chester, where his family still resides today.
While in Port Chester, del Bianco met Borglum, with whom he began to work: it was the beginning of the collaboration who was to bring him to South Dakota and to Mount Rushmore where, as chief carver, he became responsible of refining the presidents’ facial expressions. According to The Times, he spent a particularly long time sculpting Lincoln’s face and his eyes, whose pupils were made more vibrant by inserting wedges of granite in them. He worked at Mount Rushmore from 1935 to 1941, when he returned to Port Chester. Here he died in 1969, at the age of 78, because of silicosis, a disease caused, tragically, by the same thing that gave him so much joy in life: stone.
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