Thanks again to our friends from L’Italo- Americano!
(This really is a wonderful little Italian online newspaper – please support if you are able…)
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.
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?)
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
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…
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.
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.
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! Feliceper la cottura! (Happy cooking!)
When it comes to quality olive oil, Italy certainly holds the world’s firstplace. 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.
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 countryside 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.
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
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!