Italian American Museum for Washington, DC Inaugurated (IAMDC)

Domenico Bellantone

Calling it an “an historic day for our Italian and Italian American community,” on December 15, 2020, CISC President Francesco Isgro, together with CISC Chair Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Italian Embassy First Counselor Domenico Bellantone, & donor Commendatore Robert Facchina cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC). Due to covid-19 restrictions the event was limited to 10 people.

Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio congratulated the CISC Museum Committee at a luncheon earlier at Villa Firenze and stressed the key role of people and culture in our Italy-US relations, as well as “the contributions that Italians and Italian Americans have made in the nation’s capital.”

Francesco Isgro
Robert Facchina

“So many historic events this year! But today is truly an historic day for our Italian and ItalianAmerican community. Thanks to the vision of Fr Ezio Marchetto, the generosity of Robert Facchina, and the hard work of our museum committee, we have built a museum that truly reflects the vast contributions that ItalianAmericans have made to our nation’s Capital. This museum is a reality today because of two years of volunteer work of our Board Member Elizabeth Di Gregorio and Parish Council member Anna Isgro, who served as co-curators. Thank you, Liz and Anna. And thanks also to our great museum designer David Fridberg. Thank you also to Tom Sweeney, Ciro DeFalco, Willy Meaux, the Marconi Project Team, for their work in recording the stories of members our community,” said Isgro.

“The Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc., our nonprofit organization, was officially established in mid 2017 with the principal purpose of promoting and preserving programs and cultural activities for the ItalianAmerican Community in Washington DC. Within a year we were able to attract more than 100 Founders, financial donors, to support our mission. And most importantly we were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Robert Facchina’s generosity, which helped us establish our museum — in record time! We have been fortunate to have a Board of Directors where every member has contributed and continues to contribute to the success of our organization,” added Isgro.

Michéal Castaldo’s 2018–2019 East Coast Christmas Concert Tour Raised over $39K for Various Churches and Organizations

New York City—Michéal Castaldo’s 2018–2019 East Coast Christmas Concert Tour helped raise over $39,000 (in ticket sales and sponsorship) for the following churches and organizations located in the U.S. and Canada:

November 17, Christmas in Italia at Richwood United Methodist Church, in Richwood/Mullica Hill, NJ. The sold out concert was proudly supported and sponsored by Fulton Bank, Mt. Laurel; Giacomo Gattuso, Gibbstown; Heritage Winery, Mullica Hill; Hometown Transport, Woodstown; Kaitanna Solar, Mullica Hill; Kelley Funeral Home, Pitman; Martins Specialty Sausage Co., Mickleton; Mathis Funeral Home, Glassboro; Republic Bank, Glassboro; Total Quality Drilling, Newfield; A Tour of Italy Gift Shop, Smithville; Peach Country Tractor, Mullica Hill; Alfonso Palladino, Paulsboro; Berkshire, Hathaway, Fox & Roach Realtors, Amy Reuter, Realtor and Classic Cleaners, Glassboro; Federal Credit Union, Millville; Smith Funeral Home, Mantua; The Candy Box, Richwood; Weiss Department Store, Paulsboro; Sons of Italy, Paulsboro; Caterina & Vernon Dawson, Mickleton.

December 1, Christmas in Tuscany at the New Dorp Moravian Church in Staten Island, NY. This concert event was sponsored by Nurnberger Bierhaus, Joyce Fernandez, Dorothy Ambrosino, Colonel Clean, David and Bailing Young, and Sounds Big Productions, NYC. Food, wine, and other beverage contributions provided by The Gables LBI – NJ, Holtermann’s, and the Cake Chef.

December 9, Italian Christmas Concert in Town Plot, a fundraiser for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Waterbury, CT. The concert was sponsored by Jerry Padula, Esq., Francesca’s Deli Norwalk – CT, Aitoro’s Norwalk – CT, LC Foods New Haven – CT, John Zaffina Contracting, Westport – CT, and New York City Olive Oil Coop (NYC, NY).

December18, Christmas in Italia at Blessed Sacrament Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Majestic Castle Music Productions and Blessed Sacrament Church partnered to help promote the Italian culture and heritage at this Italian Christmas Concert featuring the Odin String Quartet while raising funds to help Out of the Cold Program, St. Vincent de Paul, and ShareLife reach their fundraising goals for 2019. This concert was sponsored by Temperance Partners, Bernardo Funeral Home, Corazza & Palummo Charted Accountants, Teatro Verde, International Productions, Famiglia DiCecco, and New York City Olive Oil Coop. This is just a snippet (90 second video) of what the concert audiences experienced, Password: concert

December 27, Italian Christmas Concert in Buffalo, a sold out fundraiser at The Alden Presbyterian Church. Majestic Castle Music Productions, Mrs. Maria Foss, and The Parlato Family, Alden NY, partnered to help promote the Italian culture and heritage at this Italian Christmas Concert while raising funds to help Danny’s Helping Hands and The Children and Youth of the Alden Community.

Two of the concerts were sellouts, and more than 1900 people attended. The holiday tour concerts benefit the hosting churches and organizations while sharing the spirit of Christmas and the reason for the season with all involved.
Castaldo’s holiday concerts fill the hearts of audiences with the spirit of the holidays. Accompanied by the Castaldo String Quartet, he performs classic Advent and Christmas carols from his chart-topping, best-selling album, “Extravergine: Christmas in the Mediterranean.”

Castaldo is an award-winning, Italian tenor, who sings in the style of Andrea Bocelli. When putting his voice to a particular melodic song, the results are nothing short of wondrous. Castaldo’s rich operatic voice, strong but soft, is perfect in pitch and tempo and always on key. Castaldo, who studied music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has toured North America and Europe, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Rainbow Room, Shea Stadium, Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and Italy’s Teatro F. Cilea and Pescara Opera House. His passionate performances consistently thrill audiences with sweeping romanticism. For more information about Michéal Castaldo, visit

To learn how your church can benefit from being part of the 2019–2020 Michéal Castaldo Italian Christmas Concert Tour, contact Charlotte Jayne at 631-256-6515 or

Brera Modern to open after Palazzo Citterio revamp – English –

Some 40 years of vicissitudes later, Palazzo Citterio will become part of the Brera Art Gallery with its over 6,500 square meters of modern and contemporary art. The official handover to museum director James Bradburne is expected to come in June after all the various systems installed have been tested, the culture ministry’s Lombardy region museum chief Marco Minoja said during the presentation of the restoration. Then the Brera Modern will begin being set up, with twentieth-century collections from the art gallery and such works as Carlo Carrà’s ‘Allegory of Work’, which the ministry purchased last year.

Source: Brera Modern to open after Palazzo Citterio revamp – English –

‘Once we’re dead, we’re dead’: Dolce and Gabbana say label will die with them


“Once we’re dead, we’re dead. I don’t want a Japanese designer to start designing Dolce & Gabbana,” Gabbana, 55, said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Dolce, 59, added that the pair had refused “every offer to buy the brand”.

“You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not free, what do you do? You don’t go to the grave with a coffin stuffed with money,” he said.

Source: ‘Once we’re dead, we’re dead’: Dolce and Gabbana say label will die with them

Pasta and present: Italian American St. Joseph Society dines first, walks it off in annual parade

“My father comes from the bottom of the boot — he lives for wine, women and mozzarella,” said Greco, whose accent sounds at home in the Bronx or Chalmette. “My mother from Naples cares about the five Fs: family, food, friends, faith forever. That’s what my life revolves around.”

Source: Pasta and present: Italian American St. Joseph Society dines first, walks it off in annual parade

THE HOLY NAME Art of the Gesù: Bernini and his Age


This landmark exhibition, organized to commemorate Fairfield University’s 75th anniversary, features artistic treasures from the Roman church of the Gesù never before seen in America: Bernini’s bust of Roberto Bellarmino (patron saint of Fairfield University), Gaulli’s monumental painted wood model of the apse, a gilt bronze altar sculpture by the versatile painter, draftsman and sculptor Ciro Ferri, the sumptuous jeweled cartegloria from the altar of St. Ignatius, and the magnificent embroidered chasuble of the church’s great benefactor, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. These masterpieces are joined by more than fifty paintings, sculptures, rare books, precious objects, drawings, prints, and historical documents by Bernini, Domenichino, Gaulli, Ciro Ferri, Carlo Maratti, and Andrea Pozzo, among other Italian Baroque masters, on loan from American museums and private collections.

Source: THE HOLY NAME Art of the Gesù: Bernini and his Age

A caccia dei capolavori italiani rubati e finiti all’estero –

La scultura di Tiberio e una statua di marmo raffigurante il generale Druso minore. Le due opere sono tornate a casa solo l’anno scorso. Al termine di un’indagine lunga quasi quindici anni i carabinieri del Comando tutela patrimonio culturale hanno scovato i due splendidi reperti in America. Il ritratto scultoreo dell’imperatore era finito nell’abitazione di un collezionista newyorchese, la testa marmorea del generale, invece, faceva bella mostra nelle collezioni del Cleveland Museum of Art.

Source: A caccia dei capolavori italiani rubati e finiti all’estero –

Making violins

Listen closely enough as you walk through one fabled Italian forest, and you might just imagine you’re hearing music. Seth Doane has sent us a Postcard from the Dolomites:

The stunning beauty of the Dolomites is apparent to anyone who visits Italy’s Alps. But Fabio Ognibene sees much more in this forest: He selects wood that’s just right for making musical instruments.

Source: Making violins

Frank Stella on Six Decades of Experimentation and Change


The New York–based Stella, now 81, burst onto the scene barely out of college with his “Black Paintings,” sober geometric studies composed of wide black stripes separated by chalky white lines. These won him inclusion in “16 Americans,” the famed 1959–60 group show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He stayed in the forefront of art, working with famed gallerist Leo Castelli, relentlessly pursuing geometric form and never repeating himself. By the 1990s, he had moved from sober grids on canvas to ebullient three-dimensional sculptures, a path he continues to follow.


Source: Frank Stella on Six Decades of Experimentation and Change