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Before wishing you happy holidays...

Letizia Airos (December 09, 2015)
Editorial. This issue celebrates creativity on the streets of Harlem, spotlighting three Italian artists’ contributions to the wonderful Audubon Project. And, as we do for every end-of-year issue,we’ve also nominated a “Person of the Year.” Two people, actually, two women from Puglia, two rivals on the court and friends in real life—tennis players Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, stars of the all-Italian US Open women’s final.


I’ll start with the last few lines of a poem written by Giuseppe Ungaretti at Campo di Mailly in May 1918, during the First World War:


To enjoy

but a minute of life's

first life

I look for an innocent

country


In these few words the great 

twentieth-century Italian poet conveys 

all the anxiety of finding no country 

untouched by the destruction and 

suffering of the war. Unfortunately, 

not much has changed. We wanted 

nothing else but to begin this editor’s 

note with a simple “happy holiday” 

but couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. Instead we suggest taking a moment 

to reflect before the celebrations. 


From New York to Paris 

and the World 

We hope that the celebratory 

atmosphere, especially among families 

and regardless of ethnicity or religious 

affiliation, does not make us forget 

what humanity is going through in 

this historic moment. Many will not be 

able to celebrate, and post-9/11 New 

York continues to nurse a wound that 

no Freedom Tower can heal.


 

On the Cover 
As you can see from the cover, this issue celebrates creativity on the streets of Harlem, spotlighting three 

Italian artists’ contributions to the 

wonderful Audubon Project. And, as 

we do for every end-of-year issue,

we’ve also nominated a “Person of 

the Year.” Two people, actually, two 

women from Puglia, two rivals on the 

court and friends in real life—tennis 

players Flavia Pennetta and Roberta  Vinci, stars of the all-Italian US  Open women’s final. In our opinion, as people around the world tuned in to watch them play, the fact that these two female competitors were  also (and remain) friends bore an  important message. You’ll recall their spontaneous embrace, which may have trumped their sense of national pride at having “conquered America.” 

 



The most important message of their embrace, which takes on new meaning in these times of war, is that of friendship. 

 


Arrivederci Baronessa!
 

Speaking of women, we would like to take this occasion to bid a final  farewell to an extraordinary person, a model of cultural and philanthropic industry. This special woman has dedicated her own time and energy to the Italian culture she only recently 
departed.


Baronessa Zerilli-Marimò was that rare figure, a benefactress, a patron of the full spectrum of Italian culture and founder of NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. The Casa, a  center of Italian cultural and academic events in the West Village, was her pet project. Mariuccia founded the center in 1990 to honor the memory of her husband Guido, a pharmaceutical industrialist, diplomat and refined intellectual, using her inheritance to 
help charity causes.


Over the years  it became an amazing, unique place. Mariuccia’s patronage was special indeed, all the more precious for being  carried out without preconceptions or conditions and with the utmost respect for diversity. We all wish her farewell. Rest assured, she will always be with us. She left behind passion and love and a daughter:  her—and our—Casa Zerilli-Marimò.

 

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And we want to take that step with you, our readers. Our choice is to offer our content free of charge, not only on the web but in print (with this free-press magazine) and on TV (our show airs on the prestigious Public Broadcasting Station of the City of New York—NYC Life). Choosing to not have a commercial publisher cover our costs and influence our editorial decisions was hard. And if we are to continue in this fashion, we need your help. We exist thanks to those who appreciate our work and support us through sponsorships and donations. Now it is easier than ever to lend your support thanks to the “Friends of i-Italy 2016” program.

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And now, at long last...
Happy Christmas-New Year’s Eve. And a happy 2016 to all. Let’s hope next year brings peace. 

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