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Articles by: Roberta Cutillo

  • Life & People

    Imma. A Neapolitan Headstrong Pizzaiola in NY

    Imma Liguri was born in Naples, in San Giovanni a Teduccio, “not a very nice neighborhood” as she calls it. Though she grew up in the kitchen, helping out at her father’s and her grandparents’ pizzerias since she was a child, landing a job as a woman in the Neapolitan pizza industry was not easy. “There were huge stereotypes against female pizza-makers,” she explains. “There were some out there but they were looked down upon, derided.”

     

    At the age of 14, Imma started looking for additional jobs to help out her mother after she and her father split up. “I didn’t want to take money from the family, I wanted to bring more in,” she tells us. She worked in pizzerias across the city - wherever she was able to find employment through friends, only working for people she knew - for part of the day and then run back to help out at her grandparents' restaurant. 

     

    Eventually, she studied hospitality in school and continued working in Neapolitan pizzerias until, one day, a friend reached out to her on social media to tell her a new Italian restaurant would soon be opening in New York and the owner was looking for pizza-makers. “I was skeptical at first. I never dreamed of going abroad,” Imma laughs. 

     

    The restaurateur in question was Ciro Casella and he was looking to open his second New York restaurant San Matteo Pizza e Cucina in the Upper East Side. They met for a coffee in Salerno. “Every second someone came up to say hello. Ciro knew everyone!”

     

    After a few back and forths, Ciro ended up offering her a job in New York and she took it. “He hired me without ever having seen me make pizza. He took a big leap of faith with me.”

     

    And so did she. Imma didn’t know what to expect coming to New York. She was scared. Her mother, Amalia, had recently passed away. “I needed a change and I wanted to do it for her, to prove that I could really make it,” she explains holding back tears. 

     

    “I still don’t know how I got on that plane,” she says. But she did, and before she knew it, she was in the Big Apple. She arrived in 2014 and started working in the restaurant’s first location, San Matteo Pizza Espresso Bar, and then also at San Matteo Pizza e Cucina, when it opened in 2016. 

     

    “San Matteo became like a second family to me,” she recounts, “Ciro liked the way I worked.” Having long-since mastered impeccable technique in making true Neapolitan pizza, Imma likes to improvise, to experiment with cuisine as well. She likes to say that you can make anything you want with pizza dough, even desserts.

     

    “Sometimes, before my shift starts, I’ll bake some dough and fill it with Nutella to make myself and Marika (Ciro’s daughter who also works at the restaurant, ed.) some breakfast. “She gets mad because I make her eat too much. I also make little pizza dough cones and stuffed them with ice cream.”

     

    Imma also loves to mix cuisines. “My aunt was from the Ukraine and I grew up eating her food, which was usually a fusion of Italian and Ukranian dishes. She transmitted the desire to create something new by bringing together different traditions. And Fausto who works here and is an incredible pizza maker, really, he's from Mexico and is constantly teaching me new things. I love learning about different cultures through food.”

     

    And every once in a while she gets the chance to indulge in a few improvised experiments in the restaurant: “Sometimes Ciro tells me to 'invent' something fun for a customer and I do.”

     

    It’s not always easy to explain what she’s doing to American clients but she likes to try. “There was this one customer who always came in and ordered the same thing: a Margherita with sausage,” she remembers. “I went up to him once and managed to convince him to try all our specials. People like to see the chef come out of the kitchen and talk to them, they get excited and it also makes them feel safe.”

     

    Despite her young age, - the headstrong pizzaiola is only 26 years-old - Imma has taken part in numerous international competitions. Are people still surprised to see a woman pizza maker, we ask.  

     

    Imma pauses before replying: “In the US, it feels like women can do any job and they don’t get judged for it. In Italy, at least in the South, you’ll find some women who drive trucks for example, but they’re often laughed at, insulted. Here, I don’t really get people who come up and say ‘oh wow, you’re a woman.’ If someone makes that kind of remark, chances are he’s Italian and from the South.”

     

    She doesn’t let it get to her though. As she puts it, “what are they going to do, send the pizza back when they realize a woman made it?”

     

  • Art & Culture

    The Trevi Fountain Like You’ve Never Seen it Before

    Built in the 1500s and renovated during the 1700s and 1800s, Palazzo Poli is located in one of the highest points in Rome and serves as the backdrop of the iconic Trevi Fountain, a symbol of the city which attracts thousands of tourists every day. 

     

    Part of the National Institute for Graphics, the historical palazzo is being turned into a museum. Visitors will be able to tour its beautifully decorated rooms and then proceed up the spiral staircase leading the main attraction: a glorious terrace with breathtaking views of the city and of the fountain designed by Nicola Salvi in 1762, situated directly below. 

     

    From this unique perspective, visitors will have the chance to see the Roman landmark, which has been featured in countless films (most famously, La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday) in a whole new light. They will be able to admire details they’ve never seen before, like the two minutely rendered tuba-playing angels holding up the emblem of Pope Clement XII at the very top.

     

    The idea of turning Palazzo Poli into a museum came from Maria Cristina Misiti, the Director of the National Institute for Graphics. “The path is designed to introduce visitors to Palazzo Poli and to its long history in the heart of Rome, as well as that of its interesting inhabitants,” she says.

     

    Ownership of the palace was passed between many important Roman families. It belonged to the Conti family, from which Pope Innocent XIII hailed, before coming into the hands of the Corsini, who launched the construction of the Trevi Fountain. In the 1800s, it became the theatre of prestigious artistic and cultural salons hosted by Russian Princess Mariya Volkonskaya.

     

    Visitors will have to wait a little longer to experience the beauty and discover the fascinating history of this gem, which like many places in Rome and across Italy, had been quietly hiding in plain sight. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Scientists Create First Organic Artificial Retina

    Though scientists had already succeeded in making artificial retinas, the one created by the Italian Institute of Technology is the first-ever to be made out of only organic materials: precisely, 3 polymeric layers, that is, mainly composed of carbon, just like living tissue. 

    This should render it more compatibile and reduces the risk of it being rejected by the body after the operation. 

    “As compared to the two models of artificial retina currently available which are based on silicon technology," commented Fabio Benfenati, the Director of the Centre of Synaptic Neuroscience (NSYN) in Genoa, "our prototype has a number of advantages including marked tolerability, long duration and full autonomy of functioning, with no need for an external power source.”

    The aim of this artificial retina is to treat patients suffering from Retinitis pigmentosa, a rare, genetic degenerative eye disease which involves the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina (the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye) and can cause severe vision impairment.

    Its three layers are: a substrate derived from a soy protein, a conductive polymer, and a semiconductor. It works like a solar panel, converting light into electrical signal, which is transmitted to the retina’s neurons. 

    According to a study published in the international journal Nature Materials, great results were obtained when the retina was tested on mice affected by retinitis pigmentosa in 2017. The implanted retinas remained perfectly intact 10 months after the operation, with none of the materials showing any sign of degradation.

    Experiments conducted on pigs have shown that as the retina’s dimension increases, so does the risk of detachment, which could prove problematic when dealing with human patients. However, scientists are hopeful that they will soon be able to help millions of people regain their vision. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Grandparents Maintain Families but the Model is Unsustainable

    According to a report by ISTAT (the Italian National Institute of Statistics) based on data gathered in 2018, 7.4 million Italian families live off of state issued retirement pensions as their main source of income. In fact, the total number of pensioners was around 16 million that year, a figure which isn’t entirely unexpected considering how Italy has been grappling with the issue of its rapidly aging population for quite some time now. 

    What does come as a surprise is how instrmental these pensions have become in supporting Italian households, serving as strategic social safety nets not just for the pensioners themselves but for their families as well. 

    Apparently, the presence of a “pensionato” receiving a pension by the state within a “vulnerable” household can cut the risk of falling into poverty almost in half. In other words, Italy’s elders are economically supporting their children and grandchildren, as revealed by ISTAT’s data, which took into account the number of households including elderly members, but the phenomenon likely has a much larger impact since the latter often share their pensions with younger family members even when they live in separate homes. 

    This can be read as a sign that family solidarity is a strongly ingrained value that is still predominant in Italian culture, which is also the reason why grandparents are often expected to look after their grandchildren on an essentially full-time basis.

    The problem is that these pensions are issued by the state and they add up. In 2018, total pension spending in Italy amouted to 293 billion euros, that’s 16.6% of the country’s GDP. It was up 2.2% from the previous year. 

    Additionally, most of the people going into retirement today started accumulating their pensions in a time of economic growth, which does not match the state of the Italian economy today. According to the Istat report, “the weight of pensions accrued in the phases of major economic growth is becoming heavier and heavier.”

    The pension funds for the current workforce are being calculated differently in today’s economy and they are set to receive much lower proportions of their income once they hit retirement.  

    Furthermore, the report revealed that there is great inequality amongst current pension receivers. Over 36% of Italy's pensioners are getting less than 1,000 euros each month and over 12% less than 500 euros, which is already a small sum and certainly not enough to serve as the main source of income for an entire multigenerational household. 

     

    These inequalities are particularly noticeable on a geographic level with the Northern regions absorbing half of the country’s pension spending. And, as a result of irregular carreers (often interrupted by the arrival of children), women receive on average much smaller sums than the men their age. 

    Though it is nice to think of grandparents being able to provide for their families, this model is very clearly unsustainable. Retirement pensions cannot continue to support multigenerational households, it just isn't what they were designed to do. 

  • Termoli, Molise
    Facts & Stories

    Three Italian Destinations for 2020, According to the NYT

    The New York Times’s yearly review of the 52 places to go is out and features three Italian destinations: the captivating and vibrant island of Sicily, the little-known region of Molise and the walled town of Urbino, home to great Renaissance master Raphael.

     

    Sicily, a region, an island, a world of its own, really. Few places on Earth are as lively, colorful, and majestic as this simultaneously relaxing and chaotic mediterranean island, which has for millenia been a crossroads of civilizations. Its cities are both decaying and decadent, ancient yet burgeoning with life. Here, cultures have been mixing since the dawn of time, resulting in a rich and unique quality that permeates everyday life and is witnessed in the region’s art, architecture, cuisine, language(s). At the same time, vast parts of the island remain wild, almost primordial, unknown to most and eternally mysterious to all.

     

    But the reasons for nominating Sicily as the 7th place to visit in 2020 go beyond poetry; very real and concrete initiatives are taking place across the Southern Italian region, making it an unmissable destination. As the NYT piece states, “A new wave of green tourism is washing over the Mediterranean island, where nonprofit grassroots groups have begun to spearhead sustainable volunteer tourism initiatives like EtnAmbiente, which launched an app in 2019 to help locals and tourists photograph and report pollution, increasingly an islandwide problem.” 

     

    The Slow Food movement is also seeing a boom with many initiatives involving local wineries, food producers, culinary heritage associations, hoteliers and so on, all dedicated to spearheading a new wave of sustainable tourism and overall lifestyle. 

     

    The mountainous region of Molise shares a border with Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania, Puglia and has a coastline on the Adratic Sea, yet it remains to this day a “secret,” a treasure hidden in plain sight. Molise is one of those places you never - even as an Italian - think about until something or someone brings it to your attention and then you wonder how you never noticed it before - why on Earth aren’t more people talking about this magical place? 

     

    I don’t know the answer to those questions but maybe they will become obsolete now that the region has been named the 37th place to visit this year. From its pristine beaches to its centuries-old mountain tracks, from Roman ruins to lively festivals and spectacular train rides in historical carriages from the 1920s, the small but mighty region of Molise is the ideal destination for just about everyone. 

     

    Finally, the walled town of Urbino, located in the central region of Umbria, is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the art and life of Renaissance master Raphael. And what better time to enjoy the wonders of the artist’s hometown than on the year that marks the 500th anniversary of his death? There you can visit Raphael’s perfectly preserved house, once a “gathering place for some of the best artists and writers from around Italy” as well as the home to one of his first frescos, and enjoy a special exhibition of his works on view at the National Gallery through January 19. 

     

    Festivals, trade shows, and conferences of all sorts abund in Urbino: covering various spheres from dance to literature and of course music (particularly the famous Umbria Jazz Festival which takes place in August). Considered Italy’s book capital, the town hosts the Institute for Book Decoration and Illustration and is home to one of the world’s oldest universities (founded in 1506). A Unesco World Heritage Site, the hilltop town - this year’s 51st place to go - is breathtakingly beautiful and offers up incredible views of the surrounding countryside. 

  • Art & Culture

    Cecilia Alemani to Curate the Venice Biennale

    Born in Milan in 1977, Cecilia Alemani has been directing the art program of New York City’s High Line Art since 2011, working with celebrated contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Carol Bove, Nari Ward, El Anatsui, Sarah Sze, Maria Hassabi, and Simone Leigh, from which she commissioned a variety of site-specific works ranging from sculptures to installations, group shows and performances.

     

    Under her direction, the former railroad turned elevated park, which runs along Manhattan’s west side from the Meatpacking district through Chelsea and all the way to Hudson Yards, has become a recognized contemporary art venue as well as a charming promenade.

     

    Ms. Alemani was also the curator of Frieze Projects, a program of new artists’ commissions realized annually at the Frieze New York art fair, from 2012 to 2017 and already participated in the Venice Art Biennale as the curator of the Italian Pavilion in 2017, which featured site-specific works by Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Adelita Husni-Bey, and Roberto Cuoghi. Furthermore, her husband, New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni, was the artistic director of the 2013 edition of the prestigious international biennial. 

     

    She will be the first Italian woman and the fifth-ever woman in the history of the Venice Biennale, which began in 1895 and has grown to become one of the most important contemporary art appointments in the world, to curate the event, following in the footsteps of Rosa Martinez and Maria de Corral (2005), Bice Curiger (2011), and Christine Macel (2017). 

     

    “As the first Italian woman to hold this position, I understand and appreciate the responsibility and also the opportunity offered to me,” Ms. Alemani commented. “I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society.”

     

    The theme and participants have yet to be announced but the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale will take place from May to November 2021. For further information check back here in the coming months.

  • Art & Culture

    Trieste 2020, the European City of Science

    Trieste begins its year as the 2020 European City of Science. The Northeastern Italian city was chosen by the European Science Forum (Esof) over fellow finalists Leiden and the Hague, which had partenered up to represent the Netherlands. 

     

    The nomination is a recognition of the value of the area’s academic and research network comprised of the SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies), the Elettra Sincrotrone research center, the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. 

     

    In addition to seminaries, workshops, panels, and other encounters dedicated to discussing and presenting the latest advancements in the fields of technology, innovation, science, and politics, which will take place from July 5-9 during the EuroScience Open Forum, the city will also host a Science Festival from June 27 to July 11. The event will be open to the public and feature notable guests such as Swiss astronomer Didier Queloz, who was awarded the 2019 Nobel Physics Prize along with James Peebles and Michel Mayor, and Scottish biochemist Iain Mattaj. 

     

    A rich and diverse city for centuries thanks to its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean, Trieste has always been a melting pot of different cultures and traditions, a place for the exchange and diffusion of knowledge.

     

    Over the years, Trieste has produced and welcomed numerous intellectuals, from Italo Svevo author of the Conscience of Zeno, born Aron Hector Schmitz into a Jewish family, the son of a German father and Italian mother, he then “Italianized” his name following the annexation of Trieste to the reign of Italy. Pshychoanalyst Edoardo Weiss, a student of Freud, was also born in Trieste and was among the first to bring the then new discipline to Italy.

     

    Additionally, the Irish author James Joyce also spent some time in Trieste, where he moved in 1905 to teach at the Berlitz School, as were many other figures who at some point in their lives passed through the city, contributing to its development and in turn letting it influence their work, from the Austrian Romantic poet Rainer Maria Rilke to Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack.  

     

    Today, Trieste has become one of Europe’s main scientific hubs with over 30 research centers present in the area and boasts the highest number of researchers of any European city. 

     

    For more information on the Euroscience Open Forum and The Science in the City Festival, visit the official website.

     

  • Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations
    Art & Culture

    The Art of Saving Art: Italian Foreign Policy and Cultural Heritage

    Titled ‘Recovered Treasures: the Art of Saving Art,’ the art exhibition organized by the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities illustrates the vastly important work carried out by the special unit of the carabinieri - the “art squad” - dedicated to safeguarding and recovering the art and heritage of Italy and the world.

     

    On view are fifteen masterpieces recovered by the Carabinieri, including a relief from Palmira, Renaissance paintings, ancient amphorae and an illustrated manuscript.

    During the two-week display at the UN headquarters, from January 8-17, officers of the Carabinieri Command will offer guided tours, especially targeted to young students.

     

    The works are accompanied by a series of wall panels explaining the role of the Command (TPC), which was established 50 years ago on May 3, 1969, a year before the 1970 UNESCO Convention inviting member states to set up dedicated services to safeguard their cultural heritage entered into force.

     

    An operational branch of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the TPC is made up of around 270 highly qualified and specially trained military servants. They work both nationally and internationally to investigate, solve, and prevent cases involving art thefts, forgeries, illegal excavations, the traffiking of antiquities, and the protection of cultural heritage sites. They are active all across the globe, particularly in some of the most difficult conflict-heavy areas such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, the Balkans, and so on.

     

    “We are proud to have been able to bring this exhibition at the beginning of an important year, the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, which for us is an occasion to relaunch and reinforce the multilateralist message,” comments the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Mariangela Zappia.

    “We want to support multilateralism, to support the UN, and we’re doing it in many ways, including through the recovery of these incredible artworks. We do it because we believe that it means recovering cultural identity, which is not only important for how it represents our history, our past, but also for our future.”

     

    The TPC Command often handles elaborate cases involving different players that operate within vast international criminal circles. The ability to exercise international cooperation is therefore of key importance. These carabinieri are mediators exercising cultural diplomacy, one of the major strengths and focuses of Italian diplomatic efforts. 

     

    “This exhibition is also a way of remembering what Italy has traditionally always done for the protection of culture within the UN,” continues Ambassador Zappia. “Not only with the adhesion to the #Unite4Heritage campaign, the famous blue helmets of culture, to which we were amongst the very first to adhere, but also with our efforts towards obtaining a reform of the security council focused on the protection of cultural heritage in situations of conflict, which lead to a historical, groudbreaking resolution in 2017, which we want to invoke with this exhibtion.”

     

    An exhibition which was met with great interest, as witnessed by the large crowd present at the opening on January 7th, which included UN Secretary General António Guterres, who spoke to the importance of the work carried out by the unit, particularly in times of conflict. 

     

    Given the universal relevance of the subject, the exhibit, which has already been shown at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris this past October, is set to travel to Beijing later this year.

  • Fatti e Storie

    Aperitivo + tombola, a New York come a casa

    Quale modo migliore di festeggiare a New York le feste che se ne vanno, se non con un aperitivo e una tombolata napoletana? Da Cacio e Vino di Giusto Priola questo è stato possibile.

    Tra italiani, americani e newyorkesi provenienti da tutto il mondo, questo gioco da tavolo non è mai stato così internazionale.

    La formula di successo della serata? Spritz + tombola. E sentirsi come a casa è stato un attimo.

    Un’idea, quella della tombola, nata da due fratelli italo-americani, Gabriella e Giancarlo Carusone, con origini napoletane/laziali e l'amica Alaina Sinopoli che da cinque anni a questa parte portano ogni dicembre in giro per i ristoranti questa tradizione napoletana.

    "L'idea iniziale è stata quella di un'organizzazione di giovani italiani e italoamericani di New York della quale facevano parte Giancarlo e Alaina dieci anni fa'", ci spiega Gabriella. 

    "Col tempo quel gruppo si è dissolto ma visto che la tombola era di Giancarlo - donatagli da nostro nonno - e Alaina nutriva una passione per organizzare eventi, hanno deciso di perpetuare questa tradizione. Vista la mia formazione di design, Alaina mi ha chiesto di unirmi a loro e così organizzammo il nostro primo evento cinque anni fa'".

    Una serata di giochi che parte come improvvisata tra amici ma che si spinge poi oltre: "Ogni anno la location e il tema cambiano. Selezioniamo locali italiani a New York e il nostro obbiettivo è di riunire la comunità," continua la giovane interior designer. "Quest'anno è stato un grande successo, con più di 60 partecipanti!"

    Per alcuni una tombolata rappresenta l'infanzia e l'Italia, un senso di appartenenza alla nostra terra durante le feste natalizie. Mentre per chi non conosce questa tradizione, questa è un'occasione per scoprirla e sentire per un momento di essere in Italia.

    La risposta negli anni è stata accolta con entusiasmo, tanti infatti gli italiani residenti a New York che non si sono persi nemmeno una tombolata.

    Per il loro ultimo evento che si è tenuto il 10 dicembre 2019, il gruppo aveva scelto come location il ristorante Cacio e Vino. Un appuntamento che ha riscontrato un successo tale che Giusto Priola, il proprietario, ha deciso di riproporlo questo gennaio unendolo al suo aperitivo mensile con buffet.

    Perciò, chi lì per un aperitivo o chi per giocare a tombola, i partecipanti della serata hanno potuto godere di un salto nel passato attraverso gli odori di casa come quello della pizza appena sfornata o delle arancine/arancini ancora fumanti.

    Il tutto accompagnato dalle bollicine dello spritz e dal rumore del panariello che sheckerava rumorosamente i dadi. A gran voce i numeri della tombola annunciati sia in italiano che in inglese.

    Una serata newyorkese di sole usanze italiane, che molti hanno voluto rivivere o vivere per la prima volta. Una esperienza 100% italiana.

    -----

    Per maggiori informazioni e per partecipare alla prossima tombolata annuale, potete visitare il sito gestito da Gabriella e Alaina. 

  • Art & Culture

    Remembering the Great Alberto Sordi in the Late Actor’s Roman Villa

    The Alberto Sordi Museum and Foundation is dedicating a show to the beloved Roman actor 100 years after his birth. This multimedia exhibition will take place throughout various spaces inside Sordi’s beautiful roman home as well as in the square in front of the villa, where a selection of the actor’s films will be on view free of charge. The show, supported by the municipality of Rome, is set to open in March and will remain on view through June 2020.

     

    Born in Rome on June 15, 1920, Sordi, or Albertone as he is often referred to by fans, is an Italian film icon, having appeared in over 200 films over the course of his 65-year-long career. 

     

    He is mostly known for his leading roles in a series of post-war comedies, in which he portrayed the archetypal roman man, playing up his hilariously heavy accent. However, he also starred in a few dramatic films and even stepped behind the camera on several occasions to take on the role of director and collaborate on screenplays.

     

    At the age of 12, Sordi began to take part in amateur theatre productions and eventually went on to study acting at Rome's Academy of Dramatic Arts, while performing in cabarets and musicals on the side and eventually made his film debut with a small part in Mario Bonnard’s Il Feroce Saladino.  

     

    He also worked in radio, particularly dubbing American stars such as Oliver Hardy in some of the few foreign productions that Mussolini allowed to be shown in Italy. His interpretation of Ollie, who in the Italian version speaks in a comical english accent, became instantly iconic and marked Sordi’s rise to fame.   

     

    But his cinematic career really took off when he was chosen by Fellini to star in his 1952 film The White Sheik. The acclaimed director was so pleased with the actor’s performance that he returned to him for his next film, I Vitelloni, the following year.

     

    In 1954, Sordi starred in his most iconic film yet, Steno’s An American in Rome, which tells the story of Nando Moriconi, an Italian man who desperately tries to look American by adopting what he believes to be American mannerisms, habits, behaviors. In the film, Nando claims he is from Kansas City, where Sordi was invited following the movie’s release and made an honorary citizen.

     

    Since then, Sordi has starred in countless films, becoming the leading face of the  'Commedia all'Italiana' genre. His comically flawed characters, though often exaggerated, are highly relatable. Through his interpretations of the stereotypical unsophisticated lower-middle class roman man, he represented Italian society as a whole, its peculiarities and shortcomings.

     

    "My films were deliberate and never chosen at random,” he once said. “They had to reflect the reality of Italian life." This is presumably why he refused to pursue a career in Hollywood, despite receiving offers from prominent American figures such as Billy Wilder. He wanted to make films that reflected what he saw around him. 

     

    However, this didn’t stop him from receiving numerous awards throughout his career, including a Golden Globe, a Silver Bear in Berlin, a David in Italy, and a Golden Lion for his Lifetime Achievements at the Venice Film Festival. 

     

    When he passed away on February 24, 2003, all of Italy mourned him. He was beloved across the country, but especially in Rome, where on his 80th birthday in 2000, he was named ‘Mayor for a day” in recognition of his role as one of the city’s main representatives.

     

    Because of how approachable and genuine he appeared in the eyes of the Italian public, it makes all the more sense for an exhibition in his honor to be held in the intimate context of his former home in the Celio neighborhood in Rome.

     

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