By Nancy DeSanti, 1st Vice President-Programs
Our first in-person program of the year will feature Carla Gambescia, author of “La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z.” The luncheon meeting will take place at Casa Italiana on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.
Carla’s book, recently revised and expanded, is a light-hearted series of mini-essays on everything from Arlecchino to Zanni (A to Z) — Arlecchino being the engaging trickster Harlequin of the Commedia dell’Arte, and Zanni being the practitioners of a madcap (or zany) form of comedy (think Roberto Benigni). A walking encyclopedia of Italian culture and history, Carla is planning to have a trivia quiz to test our knowledge — like how did the Colosseum get its name? But not to worry; she said if we get 5 right out of 12, we will have done well.
Carla, who lives just north of New York City in Chappaqua, opened and ran an Italian restaurant for 12 years which was known not just for delicious food but also for transforming the interior for fun Italian-themed events. She also had a successful career in marketing and advertising.
Her family roots are in Sulmona in Abruzzo. She traces her love for all things Italian to her mother’s interest in the Renaissance masters. Carla’s passion grew when, 25 years ago, she went on a bicycle trip in Sicily, where she said “something magical happened … I fell deeply in love with the land of my ancestors.” Being very adventurous, she has hiked or biked in all 20 regions of Italy and recently led a bicycle tour in Sicily, from Palermo to Agrigento. During the summer of 2021, she led two trips to northern and southern Italy.
AMHS members may recall that this program was originally scheduled for March 2020 but was canceled at the last minute when Casa Itaiana shut down due to the COVID pandemic. We are pleased that we are now finally able to offer this wonderful program — two years later (it seems like another lifetime!).
We invite AMHS members and their family and friends to make their reservations at www.abruzzomoliseheritagesociety.org and scroll to the Events section. A delicious lunch catered by A Modo Mio will be served before the talk. Carla’s book will be available for purchase/signing afterwards. This AMHS event is being co-sponsored by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center (CISC) and the Casa Italiana Language School (CILS).