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Articles by: Giulia Madron

  • Life & People

    The IACC Honors Lawrence Auriana

    Almost as in a movie, two vintage Maserati cars parked at the main entrance of the Essex House on Central Park South, together with vintage motorcycles inside, is the surprise that awaited the many guests who attended the annual event hosted by the Italy America Chamber of Commerce: the “2014 IACC Spring Luncheon.” Among the participants, present was the Consul General of Italy Natalia Quintavalle and other representatives of prominent New York Institutions.

     What were these fantastic vintage vehicles doing there? Where did they come from? The mystery was unveiled, as Lawrence Auriana was presented the special “2014 Business and Culture Award,” by the President of IACC, Claudio Bozzo.

    “Everyone knows about his collection of cars and motorcycles but unfortunately only a few know about the amount of work and the fights he made in order to help Italians when they came here and the new ones that are coming here,” affirmed Bozzo. “Lawrence Auriana is a great example for all of us. I think we should learn from him how to conduct our businesses because if we can be half as successful as he was, we would be unbelievably happy.” The president of IACC refers here above all to Lawrence E. Auriana, whom for decades is very active in the Italian American community and who is a true column in the Columbus Citizen Foundation where he is a treasurer.  

    Mr. Lawrence E. Auriana is also a businessman and a successful entrepreneur as well as the Co-Chair of Kaufmann Growth Equity Team at Federated Investors, Inc. Beside his successful career, Auriana is the proud owner of an incredible collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, which has been his passion since he was only a boy.

    “I bought my first car when I was 12 years old," said Auriana. “Now I have approximately 100 cars, all Italians cars” he specified.

    The pieces that were shown at the Essex House were part of his exclusive collection. One of them, explained Auriana, was owned by Domenico Modugno from 1957 to 1960.

    The choice of exhibiting two Maseratis was not made by chance. This year, in fact, the Italian automotive house celebrates 100 years of its great success.

    “Italy America Chamber of Commerce is a great organization,” said, visibly proud, Andrea Soriani, Director of Brand Marketing at Maserati North America. “It helped our business a lot. They’ve been very active to promote the Made in Italy, to promote Maserati and what it represents: style, design, fashion and most of all engineering.”

    2014 is also a special year for the IACC, which celebrates its 127th anniversary since its foundation. President of one of the oldest Chamber of Commerce of the United States, in his second mandate is Claudio Bozzo, also President of Mediterranean Shipping Company Usa.  

    Everyone agrees, that ever since he was elected, he has given a new thrust to the Chamber of Commerce, initially changing the entire board, which brings in major Italian and Italian-American corporations.

    The Italy America Chamber of Commerce does a very good job in establishing contacts and creating networks with all the Italian and Italian Americans in New York, who all contribute in a very important way to enhancing the position of Italy in this city” said Consul General of Italy Natalia Quintavalle.  

    "Being part of the board of the IACC is a great and exciting experience," said Massimiliano Cattozzi, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Intesa San Paolo. "First of all you get in touch with the most important people of the Italian communities here. You get in touch with them in a work environment.  You first establish a  professional respect which represent the best start than you can have. Second of all, because you are working so much with them, you become friends. And the third important thing of being part of it is that you will see and live at the very beginning all the new projects that the Italian community is bringing to New York." 

    “Among the great merits of the IACC there is also the fact that they give a lot of voice to the young members of the chamber of commerce. They are a strong group, very active and dynamic who organize a lot of activities in New York,” affirmed Lucia Pasqualini, Deputy Consul General of Italy, “a great resource for Italy and for New York.”  

    Indeed, the General Consulate of Italy in New York recently started a cooperation with the Young Executives Committe of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce (YEX) through the organization of initiatives aimed at strengthening the relationship between the young Italians in New York and the Institutions that represent them.

    “I am very happy to have such a successful Spring Luncheon today. For us, this is a great opportunity to say thank you to many people who are close to the YEX community and help us in our journey towards bigger and better events to come,” affirmed Salvatore Ambrosino, IACC Liaison at YEX Committee.  

    “I am very proud to receive this award today,” said Mr. Auriana. “This is a very important organization. It has been serving the interests of the Italian community for 127 years, and they are doing an excellent job.”

    “It’s important for Italy, because Italian businesses should focus more of their attention on the American market,” continued Auriana, highlighting the importance and the responsibility of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce in regards to the boosting of Italian businesses in the US.     

    And among the members of the board of the Chamber of Commerce, there is a representation from Piaggio: “As Piaggio, we are proud to be part of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce. We are here to support all the Italians that are coming from Italy that want to create companies in America. We are here to support all of you. And this is our job every day,” said Miguel Martinez, President & CEO Piaggio Group Americas. It is from them that we have learned that the first prize in the treasure hunt, which will be organized by the consulate will be a Piaggio vespa!

    The Italy America Chamber of Commerce celebration couldn’t have a better finale.  A wonderful event welcoming the 2014 Spring in New York and remembering all the amazing success achieved this year. However, “the best is yet to come” and we are all looking forward to it.   

  • Life & People

    The (YE)X Factor

    Fun, original, lively and of course…. Italian. These adjectives perfectly describe the “Aperitivo Italiano” event organized by the Young Executives Committee of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Italy, and hosted by “Zio Ristorante” in New York.

    The initiative was aimed in particular at all the young professional Italians who live in the Big Apple.

    The perfect occasion to meet new people, catch up with old friends, and enjoy an Italian aperitivo consisting of delicious food, crisp drinks and also….playful atmosphere. Yes, because the YEX and the Italian Consulate of New York came up with quite an original entertainment for the evening.

    They organized a quiz game whose objective was to make young Italians aware of the services offered by the Consulate General of Italy in New York.

    As we all know (well... maybe not everyone yesterday, but definitely today we do!) and as was well explained by Lucia Pasqualini, Deputy Consul General, the AIRE is the official registry of Italian citizens residing abroad.

    Italians who have lived in a foreign country for more that 12 months, should register in order to take advantage of services offered by the Italian consulate, such as, voting abroad or the issuing/renewal of a passport.

    Many of the guests who attended the “Aperitivo Italiano” event took the quiz and answered the questions asked.

    However, out of all the quiz participants, only two people  apperently knew all there is to know about AIRE…and the irony is that they are not even registered yet! 

    Massimiliano Fidanza and Giulia Madron (yes... the author of this article!), were both awarded a  dinner at “Zio Ristorante” as a prize for the winners of the quiz. 

    The evening turned out to be very successful as people enjoyed themeselves and all seemed to have lots of fun.

    This is only one of the many initiatives organized by the Young Executives Committee of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce.

    The YEX organization focuses on networking as well as business development opportunities for Young Professionals in the New York City area. Its members are all emerging leaders in all types of businesses and its activities include not only social events but also interesting educational seminars and charity events.

    The board of the YEX includes some very talented young professionals from different backgrounds and whose efforts make the development of this organization possible, while also receiving very positive community feedback throughout the years of its activity.

    Becoming a member of the YEX is a simple process. Membership is open to all young professionals , and joining is completely free of charge.

    We are proud to bring you a personal insight of what YEX is, does and stands for, and we encourage all to check out their activity as well as read more about AIRE.
    Cheers and hoping to see more of you at future events!
    Giulia 

    For more information about membership and activities of YEX  send an e-mail to: [email protected] or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YexYoungExecutivesCommittee

  • Fatti e Storie

    Zucchero conquista il Madison Square Garden

    Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari fa esplodere di musica il Madison Square Garden. Il cantante e cantautore Italiano ha esorcizzato il suo pubblico con un concerto durato ben 3 ore senza intervalli. 

     

     Una serata indimenticabile che ha riunito i fan especialmente tra  gli Italiani della Grande Mela. “Devo parlare in Inglese?”, ha chiesto il re del blues al pubblico che e’ esploso gridando “Italiano!”, confermando la propria maggioranza all’interno dell’immenso teatro newyorkese.
     
    Il concerto, al Madison Square Garden, fa parte della tournee Americana del cantante. 40 concerti fra Stati Uniti e Canada. Ma sicuramente, l’appuntamento di New York rimarrà a  lungo nella memoria dell’artista.
     
    Nell’arena, simbolo dei piu’ grandi eventi newyorkesi, Zucchero si e’ esibito con i suoi amici, altri famosissimi artisti Italiani ed internazionali del panorama musicale. Il cantante emiliano ha duettato prima con la sempre dolcissimaElisa (“Blu” e “Luce”) per poi proseguire con uno dei suoi ultimi successi “Guantanamera”, cantato con la straordinaria ed intensa Fiorella Mannoia.
     
    Poi ecco una fantastica performance, accompagnato dalla tromba di Chris Botti e l’interpretazione di “Baila Morena” con Fernando Fher Olvera, leader della band Mana’. Successivamente ecco arrivare un Jovanotti esplosivo che ha fatto irruzione sul palco con un’originale interpretazione di “Il Mare” per poi tornare, verso fine concerto, sulle note di “Good Times”. “New York, voglio vederti ballare!” ha esclamato il rapper Italiano facendo saltare tutti dalle sedie.   
     
    L’ospite piu’ atteso era Sting. Prima di cantare assieme le bellissime “Muoio per Te” ed “Every Breath You Take”, Zucchero ha scherzato dicendo che il suo amico non ce l’avrebbe fatta ad essere li sul palco. Tempo pochi secondi e il cantante Inglese e’ trionfalmente apparso accompagnato dalle urla e dagli applausi del pubblico sempre piu’ in estasi.
     
    Non sono mancati momenti toccanti. Commoventi sono state le performance delle canzoni “Soul Man” e “You Are so Beautiful” ,cantate assieme all’ottantenne Sam Moore, apparso sul palco in un abito rosso fiammante.

    Emozionante anche l’omaggio a Luciano Pavarotti con la proiezione del video musicale che vede Zucchero e il tenore Italiano, nonche’ caro amico, interpretare “Miserere”.

     
    Tra il repertorio proposto dal re del blues non potevano mancare i pezzi che hanno segnato la carriera dell’artista a partire dagli anni ‘70: “Con le Mani”, “Diamante”, “Cosi’ Celeste”, “Diavolo in Me” chiudendo il concerto sul ritmo funcky di “Per Colpa di Chi”.
     
    Le luci del palco si spengono in un teatro che lascia il suo pubblico piu’ che sazio. Il ricordo del concerto continua a vivere lo stesso: video, foto, messaggi su telefonini e social network per riempire la notte newyorkese e poter dire: io c’ero.
     
    E per Zucchero ora e’ tempo del rush finale del tour Americano. Dopo New York, l’artista sara’ ad Atlanta, Miami e Clearwater Beach.  Esperienze diverse in un’America che ha saputo conquistare con la sua musica , ma anche con il suo coraggio e umiltà.
     

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  • Life & People

    Madison Square Garden. An Unforgettable Evening with Zucchero and Friends

    Zucchero, Sugar Fornaciari set Madison Square Garden on fire Wednesday night. The Italian singer and songwriter won over the love of the entire audience with a 3 hour concert he performed without a single interruption.
     

    It was an unforgettable evening which brought together all his fans and especially the Italian and Italian Americans residing or visiting the Big Apple. At the beginning of the show Zucchero asked the audience: “Should I speak English or Italian?” and got a pound response from them: “Italiano!,” confirming the majority of those present inside the theater.
     
    The concert at the Madison Square Garden is one of the major stops on Zucchero’s Americana tour, which is to deliver forty concerts all over the United States and Canada. Yet the concert in New York was certainly the highlight of the tour and definitely a day that even the artist, as he stated, will never forget.
     
    Zucchero has filled to the brim a venue which has hosted some the greatest New York events, Madison Square Garden, where he performed together with other famous Italian and international performing artists. The show opened with tree of Zucchero's songs, but he was soon joined on stage by none other than his daughter, Irene Fornaciari.
    The second duet of  the evening was a grand performance with Elisa Toffoli of “Blu” and “Luce.” The artist than shared the stage with one of Italy's beloved female performers, Fiorella Mannoia singing Zucchero's latest hit “Guantanamera.” Zucchero conned to surprise his fans with a performance with the trumpeter and composer Chris Botti and another duet singing “Baila Morena” with Fernando Fher Olvera from the Mexican band Mana’.

    Soon after, an explosive entrance by Jovanotti took place with an original interpretation of the song “Il Mare” and again toward the end of the show, Jovanotti came back performing “Good Times.”

    “New York, I want to see you dancing,” shouted the Italian rapper, getting everyone on their feet and dancing to the beat. 

     
    Some of the most memorable performances of the night were certainly “Soul Man” and “You Are so Beautiful” sung with the 80 year old Sam Moore who appeared on stage dressed in a flaming red suit. Zucchero also paid  homage to the late Luciano Pavarotti performing via a previously recorded music video featuring Zucchero and the Italian tenor in the duet of “Miserere.”  
     
    However the most awaited guest of the evening was saved for last. Zucchero joked saying that one of his friends couldn’t make it to the show, but a few seconds later Sting made his triumphant entrance and the duo sang  “Muoio per Te” and “Every Breath You Take,” leaving the audience in pure ecstasy. 
     
    Certain songs from the repertoire of the Italian “king of blues” could not be missed, as many of them marked important steps in the career of the artist starting back in the 1970s: “Con le Mani,” “Diamante,” “Cosi’ Celeste,” “Diavolo in Me” closing the concert with the energetic and funky rythm of “Per Colpa Di Chi.”
     
    Although Madison Square Garden is slowly cooling down after Zucchero's Wednesday night's fantastic performance, the Americana tour is far from over as the singer goes on to perform in Atlanta, Miami and Clearwater Beach. Then, maybe, Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari will finally be able to take a vacation…after all performing for three hours non-stop must be quite a workout…

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  • Facts & Stories

    Ciao Gabo

    A myth for the literary world, a figure that has inspired generations of readers. The author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez died in Mexico City at the age of 87.

    A man, Gabo (this was how people called him), who lived his life between literature and civil committment.

    Born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1928, he was a child of turbulent periods in South America. Through his powerful words he embodied the values of the revolution that would soon change the destiny of his homeland.

    Considered the most famous and influential writer in Spanish after Miguel De Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, Marquez achieved an incredible success with his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, written in 1967. His magical realism and passion for civil issues became a symbol of Latin America’s popular culture and tradition.

    Through his works, which are the reflection of the history of Latin America, Marquez was able to mark an era in which South American literature could establish its identity all over the globe.

    His prose, considerations and teachings will cross the ends of the earths and will be on the lips of many other authors whom he inspired. Other famous novels by Marquez are Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Autumn of the Patriarch.

    “He was a writer who changed the life of his readers,” said President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos declaring 3 days of national grief for the death of the author. On Twitter,  Santos wrote: “One hundred years of solitude and sadness for the death of one of the greatest Colombians that ever existed.” Moreover, the President of Colombia thanked Marquez for reminding the world that “Colombia and Latin America aren’t and will never be condemned again to one hundred years of solitude and that we’ll have a second chance.” “For Colombians,” continued the President, “Gabo did not invent magical realism, but he is the best representative of a country that is itself a magical realism.”

    Gabo is not with us anymore but his words will last forever and we want to remember him like this:

    “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

    “There is always something left to love.”

    “Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.”

    “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

    “A true friend is the one who holds your hand and touches your heart.”

    “A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.”

    “Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.”

    “The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.”

    “Crazy people are not crazy if one accepts their reasoning.”

    “I became aware that the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love.”

    Ciao Gabo. You will be dearly missed... 

  • Events: Reports

    Celebrating The Canonization of Two Popes in New York

    To celebrate the canonization of the Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, The Consulate General of Italy in New York and the Consulate General of Poland will organize a special event that will be held on April 27th at 7 pm at the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

    For the Polish Consulate General, this is the 9th edition of such celebration and the initiative is the perfect occasion to commemorate the life, the work and the mission of the Polish Pope John Paul II. This time will be even more special because on the same day, Pope Francis, in the Vatican City in Rome, will canonize two of his predecessors: John XXIII and John Paul II.

    Because of the importance of such celebration, both the Consulate General of Italy and the Consulate General of Poland in New York have organized a wonderful concert to which all are welcome to participate. The music program will include performances by Edyta Kulczak (Mezzo Soprano), Francesco Pavesi (tenor) and organist Eugeniusz Wawrzyniak.

    In addition, selected excerpts of both Pope’s encyclicals will be read in the Polish language by a popular Polish jazz singer Ursula Dudziak, in English by Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown (the third largest city in the State of Pennsylvania) and in Italian by Antonio Monda, an Italian writer, director, journalist and NYU professor.

    All are welcome.
    Admission is free.
    Registration not required.


    Program:
    Readings by:ANTONIO MONDA
    Italian writer, film director, journalist and professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 1994, he moved to New York City where, in exchange for an apartment on the Upper East Side, he worked as a superintendent, and began writing for La Republicca as well as teaching at NYU. His first book on American cinema, the Magnificent Illusion, won the Efebo d’Oro as the best film book of 2003, another one, Do You Believe?, was translated into several languages. Antonio Monda is the US cultural correspondent for La Republicca and he has a video column on RaiNews 24 called Central Park West. He collaborates also with Vanity Fair, Uomo Vogue and the Italian TV channel La7. He is the founder and co-host with Mario Sesti of Viaggio nel Cinema Americano (A Journey into American Cinema) a series of public interviews at the Rome Auditorium with major film personalities such as Tim Burton, Joel and Ethan Coen, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, Sean Connery, Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon.URSZULA DUDZIAK
    Popular Polish jazz singer also widely known in the U.S. Her song Papaya (first recorded in 1976) became a hit in 2007 in Asia and Latin America, with an added characteristic motif of Papaya Dance. Since 1964 till the end of the 1980s, she collaborated with the Michał Urbaniak Band. Together they performed many times at the Jazz Jamboree Festival in 1969-1972. For her solo performances utilizing electronic devices, One Woman Show, she was named Singer of the Year by Los Angeles Times in 1997. She performed in duo with Bobby McFerrin at Jazz Jamboree Festival in Warsaw. She published a number of albums and played with Ron Carter, Gil Evans, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Sting. Urszula Dudziak was bestowed with the Knight's Cross Order of Polonia Restituta and the Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis.
    www.urszuladudziak.plED PAWLOWSKI
    Mayor of Allentown, the third largest city in Pennsylvania. Ed received his master’s degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the University of Illinois and his bachelor’s degree from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he met his wife Lisa. They have two children, Mercy and Alex, who both attend Allentown public schools. In 2005, Ed was encouraged to run for mayor by business and community leaders. Over the past few years, Ed has worked tirelessly to improve Allentown and as a result, no less than a half billion dollars in new development projects have sprung up in every section of the city. The tenure of the Pawlowski administration has been characterized by action, purpose, a strong sense of urgency, and endless energy.
    www.allentownmayor.comMusic program by:EDYTA KULCZAK (MEZZO SOPRANO)
    Resident performer of the Metropolitan Opera since her debut as Flora in La Traviata in 2003. She commands a distinguished position among the world’s foremost classical singers. Edyta has sung numerous performances under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Placido Domingo, Lorin Maazel and James Levine, to name a few. She performs many leading roles, Carmen and Dalila at the top of the list, with opera theaters throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric, Tulsa Opera, Savonilla Opera and New Orleans Opera. In addition, Edyta Kulczak has performed recitals and symphonic concerts in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in a recital of Janacek songs accompanied by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in Zankel Hall and was a soloist in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in Vivaldi’s Gloria.
    http://www.edytakulczak.com/FRANCESCO PAVESI (TENOR)
    Tenor, debuted in 2011 at Carnegie Hall in a concert organized by "Italian Academy Foundation", he has collaborated with many great conductors including Alberto Veronesi, he was featured on international Radio and TV program such as BBC, RAI, Radio svizzera Italiana, Radio 24 and ICN radio. His version of "Ah Mes amis" from "La figlia del reggimento" by Gaetano Donizetti was selected as the theme song for a weekly broadcast dedicated to the tenor voice on RSI (Radio Svizzera Italiana). He was given in Parma with the "Nadia Andreani" Award for the best young artist of the year 2010, in addition he was also awerded with "Claudio Barbieri international competition in 2012". Currently he is preaparing to direct two musical Festival in Parma encompassing multilple musical genre (opera, jazz, sacred music).
    www.facebook.com/gullistringquartetpavesizarbaEUGENIUSZ WAWRZYNIAK
    Member of the Concert Artist cooperative – an American organization of soloists and ensembles from around the world. He studied in prof. Romuald Sroczynski’s organ class in Poznan, Poland. He has been living in Belgium since 1989 and he continued his career at the Royal Conservatory in Liège and in Brussels. Eugeniusz has performed in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, USA and Poland. He recorded music for the Belgian radio station Radio 3 and Polish Radio. He also cooperates with the Philharmonic Society in Poznan, Poland. Since 1990 he has been working as an organist at Notre Dame de Miséricorde Church in Charleroi, Belgium. He also teaches piano and organ at Atélier Musical de Manage. As the President of Musical Association “CONCERTO” in Charleroi, he is involved in cultural life in Wallonia, organizing organ, choral and chamber music concerts as part of Automne Musical de Marchienne festival (Musical Autumn in Marchienne).
    http://www.ammconcerto.org/en/founder

  • Events: Reports

    Gino Bartali, a Champion on Two Wheels

    To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Gino Bartali, France will host an Italian Festival “Homage to Gino Bartali” in order to remember one of the greatest cyclist in history.

    The event will take place in Louhans on April 25th, 26th and 27th. The initiative is organized by the Musée du Vélo and by the Hotel Moulin de Bourgchâteau in collaboration with “La Voce,” the Italian magazine in France.

    In the Festival, which will bring together many cycling lovers, expected is the participation of Andrea Bartali, son of the champion, Faustino Coppi, Bartali’s historical “rival,” as well as many other Italian athletes.

    The official opening will be held on April 25th at the Cinéma Eden with the screening of the movie "Le voleur de bicyclette" by Vittorio De Sica and the presentation of the Italian racers. On April 26th, after a mass at the Moulin of Louhans, there will be an inauguration of the plaque dedicated to Gino Bartali and his transit through the French city in 1954. After, a series of conferences, exhibitions and artistic representations will be held to commemorate the Italian champion who passed away in 2000.

  • Life & People

    Sweet Treats for Obama from Apulia

    One of the advantages of being a public figure like President Obama is that people will name to streets, monuments and and dishes after you. This is exacty what pastry chef Angelo Bisconti did, inventing, nearly five years ago, the “Pasticciotto Obama,” a chocolate version of this typical of the Apulia region cake.

    On the occasion of Obama’s visit to Rome on March 27th, Bisconti, a huge fan of the US President, will distribute, for free, 5,000 chocolate "pasticciotti."

    From 7am, the chef from Apulia will park a van in front of the American embassy in Rome and offer these delicious treats to the public.

    “It is a welcomingfor the US president,” said the master of the “pasticciotti Obama,” whose dream is to meet the President in person. “I know it will be difficult to meet him in person, but I will be there. I owe this to him since he has changed my life and my professional career.”

    Indeed, the “pasticciotto Obama” gained popularity all over the world. Created in 2009, initially Bisconti produced 50 pasticciotti a day. After five years of the pastry's success, their production exceeds 15,000 pieces every week.

    The initiative is supported by Bisconti’s home town, il Comune di Campi Salentina, near Lecce. Even the sign you see when you enter the town reads: “Campi Salentina, city of the ‘Pasticciotto Obama’.” The Commune of the city asked the American embassy in Rome to have the American delegation, which will visit the city next week, to try the chocolate treats of their pastry chef.

    It is not the first time that chef Bisconti tries to meet his “hero.” In 2009 he came to the United States hoping to meet the President and present him the chocolate “pasticciotti” he named after him.

    “I would like to meet the President and tell him how much my people love him and are proud of him. For us, he is the person who will help save the world from the huge crisis and problems we are going through. I wanted him to know that everybody in Salento supports him,” said Bisconti during an interview for i-Italy.

    However, they never had the chance to meet in person. Maybe this time in Rome he will get his chance and we all hope for that! Good luck chef!

  • Facts & Stories

    A Real Sister Act Hits the World!

    She's 25 years old, Sicilian and has a voice that thrills! If you consider she is also a nun, well, God really blessed her! Sister Cristina Scuccia impressed the judges during her performance at The Voice of Italy2 singing, in her angelic voice, we must say, “No One” by Alicia Keys. 

    The format of the tv show is different this year. The four judges on the program do not see the contestants’ faces. They just listen to their voice and then turn around if they decide that he or she should pass to the next round.

    This time they had a double surprise! After turning around stunned by such voice, they were even more astonished when they saw the black habit and a silver cross.

    "Yes, I am truly, truly, a sister," said Sister Cristina to the judges who asked her if she was really a nun.

    Sister Cristina is now a global phenomenon. Her video on youtube reached 13 millions views in only 3 days, beating Korean rapper PSY, famous for his “Gangnam Style,” whose video took 18 days to reach 10 millions views.

    The voice of Sister Cristina is hitting the web and it’s going viral. Everyone talks about her, and shares her performance video on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Famous actress Whoopi Goldberg, who already brought to the stage a singing nun in the movie “Sister Act,” tweeted the video. “For when you want a taste of sister act!,” commented Goldberg.

    Moreover, the attention of the media has been huge. From People Magazine, Le Figaro, The Guardian, The Hollywood Report to the Huffington Post US, the news of the singing nun is spreading all over the world. And of course, it’s impossible not to remember another voice talent, the English Susan Boyle who shocked the judges of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009.

    “I received a gift and I want to share it with you,” said the Sicilian Sister who lives in Milan. “I’ve always had a passion for singing since I was a little girl. The idea of participating in a talent show came from the invitation of Pope Francis to give testimony of the word of God in the everyday life.”

    It’s not the first time that Sister Cristina has participated in a talent show. Last year, for instance, she won the fifth edition of the Good News Festival, a singing contest dedicated to Christian music organized by Tv2000, the broadcasting station owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference.

  • Life & People

    New York Laughs with Fabio Volo

    The congeniality of Fabio Volo won  over New York. On Wednesday, March 19th, Italian writer, actor, voice acting, radio and television presenter presented his last book “La Strada Verso Casa” (The Road Home) at The Italian Cultural Institute.

    His latest novel tells the story of two brothers, Marco and Andrea, who are complete opposites but whom life events force to get close again.

    Marco never made a choice for his life. He listen only to himself keeping away the people who loved him. Andrea, on the other hand, knew how he wanted to live his life and got married to Daniela. Marco has had a lot of women but Isabella is his first truelove. But even with her, he was never able to make any decisions as to what he wanted to do. So he keeps living in neutral, never putting his life into gear by making a real choice. And sometimes life falls apart...

    La Strada Verso Casa, which soon will be translated into English, is truly an engaging book. It talks about a love story that has to do with the wonderful as well as the sad moments of our lives. It also adresses pain and our struggles.  Fabio Volo does an excellent job in this novel, he makes us laugh but also touches our deepest emotions.

    With five million copies sold, Fabio Volo's books have made him unquestionably one of the most read authors in Italy.

    To those who criticized him for his way of writing, he answers: “I share some of the things they say about me. However, I am who I am. My books convey emotions, because I tell contemporary life, without structures.”

    “I think it’s silly that you can’t read my book, because Dostojewski is much better. When you read books, you learn to recognize that every book has a different function,”said Volo. “All those intellectuals, especially in Italy, talk about a world that doesn’t exist anymore. Machiavelli has not been here for many years now, ” he jokes.

    During the presentation at The Italian Cultural Institute, Volo talked not only about his book but how this book reflects upon many moments of his life. He also talked about his childhood, the memories, the encounters he had in life, the books he read and all those things that made him become the person he is today.

    Many people attended the event and at the end, they couldn’t wait to take a picture with this Italian phenomenon who seduced the world with his hilarious personality.

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