History & culture

Time to Play Tombola!

December 2018 |
When I was a young girl living in Italy, I particularly loved the holiday season that brought back delicious munchies such as torrone (Italian nougat), panettone (Italian Christmas cake), pepatelli (almond and honey biscotti), and the money that my...

The Feast of Seven Fishes - Cultural Images That no Longer Exist

December 2018 |
La tradizione del succulento cenone tutto a base di pesce della Vigilia di Natale continua a  mantenersi immutata tra le famiglie italiane ed italo americane. Negli Stati Uniti è nota anche  come la Festa dei Sette Pesci, intesa come...

The Italian Internment

December 2018 |
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor – a U.S. naval base on the island of Oahu – destroying or damaging 18 ships and over 300 aircraft and killing or wounding almost 3,500 Americans. The next day, President...

Il Maggio di Accettura

November 2018 |
The Maggio di Accettura is an ancient pagan wedding festival celebrated by the townspeople of Accettura, a mountain village of about 2,000 people in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. But, it’s not just any wedding ceremony. In honor of...

Italy Unites for Assisi's Feast of St. Francis

October 2018 |
Il 4 ottobre si celebra la festa di San Francesco, il ‘poverello di Assisi’ e santo tra i più amati e venerati in tutto il mondo e che nel 1939 venne proclamato Patrono d’Italia da Papa Pio XII. Da allora ogni anno una regione diversa – che...

Halloween in Italy - An old Tradition in the New Generation

October 2018 |
When an Italian thinks of a mask-wearing festival in Italy, the first thing that comes to mind is Carnevale. When an Italian thinks of fall celebrations, All Saints Day and All Souls Day may be what come to mind as well. There are already many...

The Cassone in Renaissance Italy

October 2018 |
Large decorative chests known as cassoni remained the most popular type of furniture in use in the homes of the Italian urban elite during the 14th through the 16th centuries. They were one of the trophy furnishings of rich merchants and...

Thinking About Italians

October 2018 |
During my first airplane ride to the U.S., a blonde hostess asked me if I wanted ice in my ginger ale. I kindly declined thinking to myself “ice, with this cold?” It was October, we were thousands of feet above the ground and I was already...

Le Superstizioni Italiane

October 2018 |
With the arrival of fall comes many things. The air is crisper, the leaves are crunchier and the superstitions are numerous. Superstitions come in a variety, from the mundane to the extreme. In October, the belief in these superstitions becomes...
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