Ben Lariccia

Ben Lariccia, contributing writer, Youngstown, Ohio

The Pride of Youngstown

October 2015
On June 4, 1933, the fog continued to frustrate the impatient crowd massed at the Lansdowne Airport, Youngstown's first municipal airfield. There was little trace of the single engine plane that carried the daring pilot who had decided against...


La Mia Strada / My Road

September 2015
While producing a documentary in Italy for John Carroll University, Dr. Santa Casciani (Associate Producer) introduced Michael DiLauro, Cleveland-born five time EMMY Award Winning filmmaker, to the Transumanza phenomenon, the centuries-old culture...


Brigands

August 2015
The first night of our 1992 family reunion in Montelongo, my paternal grandparents' village, Zia Mariannina and Zia Rita locked the door and then barred it with a two-by-four. I looked at my mother. Was this a movie set of the lawless Old West? The...


Italian Americans and World War I

July 2015
Though postwar U.S.A. experienced a depression that lasted until 1921, the severe economic and social upheavals that hit Italy in the wake of WWI had little parallel in the U.S. In fact, the period of the 1920s was one of general prosperity -the...


Steel Museum Offers Youngstown's Italian Heritage Online

January 2015
Mention the "Steel Museum" and Youngstowners proudly point to the modern structure at 151 W. Wood Street. Officially known as the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, the institution is operated by Youngstown State University...


Youngstown Memories of Torrone

November 2014
Il torrone è uno dei dolci natalizi più diffusi in tutta Italia e vanta origini molto antiche. Conosciuto già all'epoca dei Romani, prende il nome dal verbo latino "torrere", che significa "tostare", con riferimento alla...


Caciocavallo

September 2014
Caciocavallo, made from unpasteurized cow, sheep, or less frequently used buffalo milk, is a well-known cheese of Southern Italy and Sicily. Picture two oversized, pear-shaped cheeses, about 4 pounds each, joined at the neck by rope. This cheese...


Warren, Ohio Man's Harrowing Teenage Years in WWII Italy

June 2014
If the old saying, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," carries any weight, then John Caniglia, 88, of Warren must be one of this proverb's best exemplars. Born in Ravenna, the retired carpenter and pipe roller is the only child in his...


From Shepherds to Ohio Steelworkers

April 2014
A bronze plaque at the foot of the Statue of Liberty features Emma Lazarus' 1883 poem, "New Colossus," with its often quoted, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore."...


St. Rocco's, Youngstown

January 2014
Youngstown, Ohio, never developed a centralized little Italy. Instead, the city's mostly southern Italian settlers chose to live near the foundries, rail yards, and steel mills where Germans, Spaniards, Welsh, Slavs, Irish, African American, and...


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