Piero Coming to Washington in 2015

The first major retrospective exhibition ever presented of paintings by the imaginative Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522) will premiere at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from February 1 through May 3, 2015. Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence will showcase some 40 of the artist’s most compelling works. With themes ranging from the pagan to the divine, the works include loans from churches in Italy and one of his greatest masterpieces, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels (completed by 1493), from the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence.

“We are delighted to share the brilliance of Piero di Cosimo—the Renaissance’s most spellbinding storyteller—with our visitors,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. “This is also the first time the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence has co-organized a paintings exhibition with another museum and we look forward to many more projects with our Italian partners.”

After Washington, a different version of the exhibition, including work by Piero’s contemporaries, will be on view at the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence from June 23 through September 27, 2015, entitled Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522): Pittore fiorentino “eccentrico” fra Rinascimento e Maniera.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Galleria degli Uffizi, Soprintendenza Speciale per il patrimonio storico, artistico, ed etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze.

The exhibition is supported by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation. The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art provided additional funding.

Lucia Dalla Montà, Director Education Office, Italian Embassy, Honored by Lido Civic Club

At a ceremony held at the Italian Embassy, the Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC, honored Lucia Dalla Montà , Director of the Education Office at the Italian Embassy, who was presented with the Lido Civic Club Appreciation Award in recognition of her contribution in promoting the study of the Italian language in the United States and in reinstating the AP Italian Language and Culture Exam. The award was presented by Lido Civic Club President Francesco Isgro at the Lido Club’s Annual Scholarship Awards Reception.

Italian Embassy Counselor Michele Pala welcomed the guests on behalf of Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and thanked the Lido Club for not only honoring Dalla Monta but also for its support for the teaching of the Italian language.

Lucia Dalla Montà, Francesco Isgrò

Prof. Montà was born in the Province of Padua. After receiving her teaching diploma and several certifications she began to teach elementary school, at a time when changes were unfolding in the Italian school system, such as the “active school” movement and the mainstreaming of children with special needs. She developed a passion for helping students increase self-awareness and self-confidence, and for the special needs of handicapped students.

Resuming her studies at the University of Padua to further her education in Pedagogy, she wrote her final thesis on intercultural educational issues. She graduated with the maximum score and also became certified to teach history and philosophy. She then began a nine-year period as a middle school Principal in the province of Venice. Continuing her special interest in intercultural studies, she became Assistant Professor of General Pedagogy at the University of Padua’s Psychology Faculty, where her work included writing articles, preparing educational materials, researching educational issues in culturally-mixed families and participating in European educational projects.

She was then selected to be Principal of the Italian State School in Madrid, where she implemented many educational innovations over her five-year term. As Principal of this school of about 1,000 students, she gained invaluable multicultural and intercultural experience in dealing with the particular challenges of an Italian school in Spain.

After again winning a National Selection, she was appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Education Office at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., where she has dedicated much energy and passion to the successful reinstatement of the Italian Language and Culture Program as an Advanced Placement (AP) program in the U.S. She designed the “Observatory on the Italian Language in the United States,” as well as strategic plans, sponsorship programs for teachers and students of Italian, a communication plan that includes a brochure, and the website www.usspeaksitalian.org, among numerous other initiatives.

She also coordinates the six Italian Education Offices in the U.S. and is the main reference point for AP-related data collections. She has been active with many teachers’ associations and has worked to create a teachers’ community in the Washington, D.C. area. During her time here, she has established close relationships with local scholastic authorities with whom she developed and concluded significant agreements to increase and improve Italian programs in the Washington area and beyond.

Isgro noted that Prof. Dalla Montà was an action and results-oriented individual, noting, for example that when she first met with Lido Club representatives who asked her how they could be of help, she immediately came up with concrete ideas. One of them was that the Lido Civic Club provide grants to students in the Washington area who take the AP Language Exam. As a result, this year the Lido Club has donated more than $2,200 to the Casa Italiana Ente Gestore to administer the grants.

At the event, the Lido Civic Club presented the winners of the 2014 scholarship awards. The Lido Club awarded $50,000 in scholarships to seven worthy college students of Italian descent. Special congratulations were extended to Martina Costagliola, twice the recipient of the Lido Club’s Dominic F. Antonelli, Jr. Scholarship.


Titian’s Danaë in Washington to Celebrate Italy’s presidency of the Council of the European Union

To celebrate the commencement of Italy’s presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Italian government is bringing to Washington’s National Gallery of Art, one of the most sensual paintings of the Italian Renaissance—Titian’s Danaë (1544–1545).

“We are very pleased to continue our excellent cooperation with a prestigious institution such as the National Gallery in Washington on the occasion of the presentation of Titian’s Danaë,” said the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero. “We are particularly delighted that this exhibition will launch in the U.S. the Italian Presidency of the European Union, an important opportunity also to further strengthen the friendship between the two sides of the Atlantic.”

“The richness of the Gallery’s collection of Venetian 16th-century painting includes the largest holdings in the United States of works by Titian and his studio, with 13 paintings, eight prints, and two drawings,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. “We are most grateful for the generosity of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples and are pleased to present the Danae in such close proximity to other related works by Titian, celebrating the genius and legacy of one of the world’s most influential painters.”

The Danaë is one of several examples of the genre of erotic mythologies in Western art popularized by Titian. Two other examples of this genre by Titian from the Gallery’s permanent collection—Venus with a Mirror (c. 1555) and Venus and Adonis (c. 1560)—are also on view in the West Building, in gallery M-23.

“The Special Superintendency for Historic, Artistic and Ethno-anthropologic Properties of the City of Naples Museum Hub and the Palace of Caserta is particularly pleased to collaborate in this extraordinary event for promoting the excellence of Italian culture in the United States,” said Fabrizio Vona, superintendent, Cultural Heritage for the City and the Museums of Naples and the Royal Palace of Caserta.


The painting will be on loan from the Capodimonte Museum, Naples— and will be on view July 1 through November 2, 2014, in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. Italy’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union runs from July 1 through December 31, 2014.


Honoring the memory of American Law Enforcement Officers – National Police Week, May 11-17

Thousands of law enforcement officers, their families and friends, honored their fallen heroes during the annual National Police Week observances in Washington, D.C.   Most of the events  were held around the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and included the arrival on May 12 of thousands of officers on bicycles who traveled hundreds of miles to raise money for the memorial.  The highlight of the week was a candlelight vigil on May 13, which was open to the public and attended by as many as 20,000 people.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week.  Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.

The Memorial features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. The names of 286 fallen law enforcement heroes were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year.


Maria Bartiromo, Winner Urbino Press Award 2014

Maria Bartiromo, one of the nation’s most noted financial journalists, is the winner of the 2014 Urbino Press Award. Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero will formally make the announcement on April 15, 2014, at the Italian Embassy where Bartiromo will give an acceptance speech.

Maria Bartiromo

Bartiromo is currently the business news anchor and global editor for Fox Business Network and most recently was anchor for CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo.” A winner of two Emmy Awards, she is also a magazine columnist and author of several business books. She has been called “the Sophia Loren of financial journalism.” Bartiromo has ben nicknamed the “Money Honey” due to her striking looks and for being the first woman to report live from the raucous floor of the New York Stock Exchange and “Econo Babe”. We call her a “rock star”!

In 1995, Bartiromo became the first journalist to report live on a daily basis from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where she covered breaking news for the network’s unscripted and fast-paced business morning program, “Squawk Box.”

Bartiromo, who has served as Grand Marshal of the Annual New York Columbus Day Parade, and has hosted the annual NIAF gala dinner in Washington, has said that she grew up “in an Italian- American home in an Italian-American neighborhood with very traditional Italian culture of hard work, love of family, and respect for others…members of the Italian American community, like those of the many ethnic groups that have helped build America.”

The Urbino Press Award, now in its ninth year, has become an annual tradition in Washington’s diplomatic and journalistic arena since it was first was presented in 2006 at the Italian Embassy.

The prize is assigned each year in recognition of excellence in journalism to American reporters who, through their commitment and daily work maintain the ability to inform millions of people and do so in an exemplary fashion. Past recipients of the award include: Diane Rehm (2006), Michael Weisskopf (2007), Martha Raddatz (2008), Thomas Friedman (2009), David Ignatius (2010), Helene Cooper (2011), Sebastian Rotella (2012) and Wolf Blitzer (2013).

The actual award is presented at the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino in June. The recipient travels to Urbino to participate in a ceremony and then holds a “Lectio Magistralis” at the Palazzo Ducale.
The city of Urbino, which during the Renaissance gave life to one of the most enlightened courts of Europe, symbolically reinstates its court, once enriched by illustrious thinkers such as Baldassarre Castiglione and Torquato Tasso. The revived court includes the voice and experience of today’s reporters, the outstanding interpreters of the events that are changing our world.


Italian American Community Mourns Passing of Joseph Coccia, Jr.

The Montclair State University community mourns the passing on January 3, 2013, of Cav. Joseph Coccia, Jr., a loyal friend and founder of the University’s Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America.

Joseph Coccia, Jr.

Joseph Coccia, Jr.

Coccia dedicated his life to preserving Italian American culture and heritage, and through the Institute and Coccia Foundation, he educated young people about Italian language, life, food, business and history. The Coccia Institute at Montclair State partners with national and state organizations to promote an understanding of the important links between Italy and America and to advance an interest in Italian and Italian American fields of study, both among scholars and the general public.  Read more…


Joseph Coccia Jr. wanted everyone to love Italy’s rich history and culture as much as he did. “He wanted to show people it’s not all about the negative. It’s not all about the Mafia and tough guys. … He wanted to promote all the positive things,” said Coccia’s daughter, Elisa.  Read more . . .