The Abruzzo and Molise Heritage Society of the Washington, D.C. area was established in June 2000 by a small group of Abruzzesi and Molisani (natives and descendants of immigrants) who eventually settled in the Washington, D.C. area.
Although the community of Italians and Italian-Americans in the Washington D.C. area is rather modest, it has a relatively large number of Abruzzesi and Molisani who recognized the need to foster the cultural heritage of these two regions specifically, as well as Italy broadly.
The Society welcomes anyone who has an interest in preserving and sharing in the rich traditions and values that are unique to Abruzzo, Molise, and to Italy in general to join!
The 2022 Ferragosto Picnic: Fun, Food And Friendship-By Maria Andrea-Yothers Ferragosto 2022 was celebrated on Sunday, August 14, back at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria, Virginia, from 3:00 – 7:00 PM. Approximately forty AMHS members, friends and family came together to celebrate with a wonderful picnic. We were treated to some delicious food prepared by some skillful cooks. Edvige D’Andrea’s sausage and peppers were a personal favorite among an abundant variety of Italian foods which were shared. There were also delicious pasta salads, cheeses, Italian salami, olives, and homemade biscotti. This year, we were treated to grilled arrosticini and caciocavallo cheese, courtesy of AMHS member Willy Meaux, who graciously grilled 100 arrostocini skewers. They, and the cheese, were quite the hit. No picnic celebrating Italia and its traditions would be complete without vino. We enjoyed plenty of red, white and rose. Many thanks to Sam Yothers for also making sure there was “birra Italiana” for those who preferred a cold beer or two on a hot day, and to Lucio D’Andrea who brought his ever-popular homemade limoncello. Attendees enjoyed games of Italian cards, bocce, and cornhole toss (courtesy of AMHS Board member John Dunkle). We also welcomed two new members, Michael Iademarco and Natalie Duncan. Many thanks to all of you who attended! Also, a special “grazie” for those who helped with set-up and tear-down. Fort Ward Park proved once again to be a perfect venue. Taking time to laugh and celebrate together was truly a wonderful and memorable event. September/October 2022
A Message from the President-Dear members and friends: I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable and relaxing summer and that you are ready to welcome the fall season. We did not have any general meetings over the summer, but we were hardly inactive. On July 31, we held a virtual event in which Daniel Piazza, the Chief Curator of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, gave a very informative presentation entitled “The Fascist Style in Italian Philately, 1922-1941”. This period in Italian stamp history was unique for a number of reasons and Mr. Piazza clearly laid them out in his excellent lecture and accompanying slides. On August 14th, we held our annual Ferragosto picnic at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria, Virginia. The weather was nearly perfect for a picnic – low eighties with some cloud cover to block out the sun. There was some light rain around 6 PM, but fortunately it came at the tail end of the day. AMHS family members and friends spent a relaxing afternoon enjoying good food, including arrosticini and caciocavallo, good drink, good fun and good company. Then, on August 27th, we presented another virtual program. Our guest speaker was Edvige Giunta, Professor of English at Jersey City University, who discussed the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of New York City. This tragic event of 1911 killed 146 female workers, many of whom were young Italian immigrants, and the subsequent outcry helped spur a movement for workers’ right and unions. The talk was excellent and covered a piece of history that is too often overlooked by the general public and, unfortunately, even by Italian Americans. Looking ahead on the calendar, AMHS will host a Happy Hour at Il Bocca al Lupo restaurant/bar on September 14 at 5:30 PM. Il Bocca al Lupo is a soccer-themed, Roman-style venue located at 2400 Wisconsin Avenue in northwest Washington, D. C. The food is authentically Italian and the environment is congenial. Check out our website for additional details on the get-together. Our next in person general meeting will take place on September 18 at 1 PM in the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center. Our guest speaker will be Eric Denker, the Senior Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art and a longtime fan of Venice. Eric will give us a talk on this unique city and his presentations are so good that listening to his talk on the 18th may very well be the next best thing to actually being in Venice. Mark the date on your calendar! Stay tuned for the grand opening of the AMHS online shop. It will feature many products available for purchase with the AMHS logo on them. The shop will greatly expand the number of products for sale and will make purchase and payment much easier and more efficient than in the past. We’ll let you know when it goes live. Have you ever thought about serving a term on the AMHS Board of Directors? We have two openings now for three-year terms that begin on January 1, 2023. The Board meets six times a year, and all the meetings are virtual. So even if you don’t live in the Washington, D.C. area, you can still lend your expertise to the Society and help to shape its future direction. If you’re interested, please contact Maria D’Andrea-Yothers (email@example.com). Fresh ideas and different backgrounds will help to keep our organization strong. Thanks for reading and have a pleasant fall season. Best regards, Ray LaVerghetta September/October 2022
Washington Area Vespisti Take Trip Of A Lifetime to Italy-By Nancy De Santi This summer, nine Vespisti of the Vespa Committee of Washington, DC, led by AMHS member Willy Meaux, set off on an epic two-week Vespa ride from Rome to a first Vespa rally in Sulmona in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo. The trip, which began June 30, 2022, then took the riders through Umbria to Spoleto and Perugia, on to Tuscany via Montalcino, Siena and Florence. Then the riders went to the Liguria area to Lerici, the Golfo dei Poeti and the first borgo of the Cinque Terre, and Carrara, followed by a second Vespa rally in Sarzana. The final stop of the journey was to Pontedera, to see the Museo Piaggio which presents the history of the Vespa from its beginning in 1946 to today. The highlights of the trip were the incredible Raduno of the Vespa Club of Sulmona including a beautiful ride to Scanno, a city with a great lake high in the mountains, and Pacentro, a historic city with a castle and fantastic views of the Peligna Valley. Next up was an incredible ride through Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo with a very challenging but thrilling route filled with hours of 180 degree turns down steep, narrow roads along the cliffs of the highest peaks of the Apennine Mountains. The riders then enjoyed the beautiful cities of Spoletto, and Perugia, a monastery stay in Pienza, two incredible days in Florence hosted by the Vespa Club of Florence, the beautiful port areas of Lerici, Sarzana and the Golfo dei Poeti, and a taste of Cinque Terre. Then it was on to the marble caves of Carrara, the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, a night in the Castello Fosdinovo, and a beautiful evening again on the Mediterranean in Orbetello before returning to Rome. It all added up to 2,000 kilometers on the Vespas and the most wonderful gastronomic experiences along the way. AMHS members may recall that Willy was our speaker at the Vespa Raduno at Casa Italiana on September 22, 2019. The event honored the Abruzzese inventor of the Vespa, Corradino D’Ascanio. The president of the Sulmona Vespa Club, Panfilo D’Angelo, was our special guest. (The Sulmona Vespa Club is a chapter of the Vespa Club of Italy). Giving a little background on the Vespa (“wasp” in Italian), Willy noted that while slower than a car, a Vespa could easily navigate Italy’s ancient and narrow roadways. Introduced to the world in 1946 as Italy was emerging from World War II in ruins, it was inexpensive to own and operate, and its commercial success led to its iconic status as a symbol of Italian culture, design, style and la dolce vita. Whipping through the streets on this simple, elegant and robust piece of automotive engineering gave riders a sense of freedom. Like all Italian inventions, it was conceived with aesthetics in mind. Willy noted that the Vespa Committee of Washington, DC Inc., of which he is a past president, has founded a new adventure travel program called “The Vespa Bridge to Italy.” He said this summer adventure was truly a bucket list trip, and a documentary movie of the entire adventure is now in production, to be released in 2023. Proceeds from the Vespa Committee’s film will go to support future opportunities for film students to go to Italy to create films about that country, its rich culture and these Vespa journeys. Willy said the Vespa Committee is very proud to have supported three collegiate film students in this first film project. Says Willy: “Get ready to binge when the film is released as we will also include the incredible Italian cuisine we discovered along the journey that was unique to each region.” Stay tuned for news about the upcoming documentary as well for news about The Vespa Bridge to Italy 2023. You can learn more about the foundation at www.vespacommittee.org. September/October 2022
Dan Piazza Speaks On History of Italian Stamps Under Fascism-By Nancy De Santi AMHS members were treated to a very interesting and informative virtual talk on July 31, 2022, by distinguished guest speaker Daniel A. Piazza, who discussed an important historical period of Italian stamps, namely the Fascist era from 1922 to 1941. Dan has been the Chief Curator of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum since 2014. He is responsible for exhibitions, acquisitions and research related to the museum’s collection of six million postage stamps and postal artifacts comprising one of the largest such collections in the world. As Chief Curator, his exhibitions have included “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights,” which won the 2016 Smithsonian Research Prize. A few of his other exhibitions were on Alexander Hamilton, on 100 years of the national parks, and on the world’s most famous stamp (in case you’re wondering, it’s the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta). Dan earned his Masters in American history from Syracuse University, where he also taught history courses and was a Fellow in the university library’s rare book collection. He lectures widely and contributes to many philatelic journals and collector periodicals. He is also a member of several national and international philatelic societies including the prestigious Royal Philatelic Society of London. Dan told us that his father’s side of the family is from Agrigento, Sicily, and his mother’s side of the family has roots in Catanzaro (Calabria), Genoa and Friuli. One of the interesting things we learned from Dan is that despite its name, over half of the material in the National Postal Museum is international. The museum opened to the public in 1993. Dan also talked about the most famous Italian stamp artist Corrado Mezzana, who designed stamps for the Fascists and the Vatican at the same time. Dan explained that great stamp artists such as Mezzana have a knack for combining pictures and text in a very small space, and so their services are much in demand. He noted that one of Mezzana’s last sets was Italia al Lavoro in 1950, featuring traditional crafts of all 20 regions of Italy. The first Fascist stamps were issued within a year of Benito Mussolini’s March on Rome in October 1922, and Dan said you can trace the development of the propaganda beginning with the Fiume D’Italia stamps, including a stamp of the controversial Abruzzese poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. Dan noted that the sale of these stamps basically funded their operations. The consistent themes of the Fascist stamps were pioneered with the Fiume stamps, he noted, including the use of allegorical or historical imagery, and the use of Latin inscriptions. These were not features of Italian stamps prior to the Fascist era, he explained. The Fascist stamps that debuted in 1923 featured a blending of futurism, art deco and the styles of the 1920s and 1930s. Dan said one of the stamps which added on a cost above the normal price was sometimes referred to as the “Blackshirt pension plan.” In 1932 on the 10th anniversary of the March on Rome, Mezzana designed stamps very important to the Fascist regime having the theme of Romanità, meaning the political and cultural concepts and practices by which the Romans defined themselves. Mezzana wasn’t a fascist, Dan explained, but rather he worked on stamp contracts and he used his talents to design Vatican stamps as well. The stamps of the period also depicted the transatlantic liner Rex which brought many immigrants to America, and Dan noted that Mussolini referred to Italian-American communities in America and Argentina as “colonies.” Interestingly, Dan explained that Mussolini seldom appeared on stamps, unlike Hitler and Franco, because it might not have been popular with the Italian public and he still had to deal with King Victor Emanuel III. Over time, however, the stamps became more militaristic, and aircraft were often depicted. Dan noted that the Fascists did have religious stamps to placate the population, although Mussolini himself was not religious. For the first time, there was a stamp depicting Jesus, but as Dan explained, it was seen as a “smokescreen” masking hostility to religion. In 1941, Hitler and Mussolini appeared on a stamp together. The Fratellanza d’armi italo-tedesca stamp even featured a Nazi swastika. Stamps were also issued for Italian East Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritreaa). The basic idea of the Fascist stamps was two-fold–as propaganda and as a way to get money from collectors. Dan noted that there is no Italian philatelic society in the United States, and he speculated that it was probably because of the past connection to Fascism. In Italy in 2019, there was an attempt to ban Fascist imagery, including stamps, but this was not enacted. He noted that there is a lot of interest in philately in Italy and there are many active philatelic societies. He was asked about the possibility of a U.S. stamp honoring Constantino Brumidi, often called the “Michelangelo of the Capitol” who was awarded a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal in large part through the efforts of our late AMHS member Joe Grano. Dan suggested organizing a group effort to write to the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee at their website, since the committee makes recommendations to the Postmaster General on stamp subjects. September/October 2022
Italian Labor Leaders Advanced Social Justice-(Ed. Note — Many Italian immigrants were prominent in the formation and advancement of the labor movement in the United States. To commemorate Labor Day, AMHS Board Member Joseph “Sonny” Scafetta, Jr. profiles three such activists who hailed from our regions in Italy and fought for social justice for working people.) Carlo Tresca Carlo Tresca was born in the town of Sulmona (population 24,221 in the 2017 Census) in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo on March 9, 1879. After graduation from high school and a year in the seminary, he went to work for four years as a secretary for the Italian Federation of Railroad Workers. He also became the editor of Il Germe (The Germ), a socialist weekly newspaper based in Sulmona. In 1904 when he was 25, Tresca was convicted of libel based on his report about the torture of prisoners in the local jail. To evade prison, he immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. His wife and young daughter soon joined him there. Also in 1904, Tresca was elected Secretary of the Italian Socialist Federation of North America (ISFNA) and became editor of Il Proletario (The Proletarian). In 1907, he resigned as editor and began publishing his own newspaper, La Plebe (The Plebian). He soon moved his newspaper to Pittsburgh where he espoused socialist ideals to Italian-American miners and mill workers. In 1909, he closed his newspaper in Pittsburgh, became a U.S. citizen, and started another newspaper, L’Avvenire (The Future), back in New York City. In 1912, Tresca quit the ISFNA and joined the Industrial Workers of the World. He became involved in various strikes, first by textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912, again by textile workers in Little Falls, New York, also in 1912, then by hotel workers in New York City in 1913, by silk mill workers in Paterson, New Jersey, also in 1913, by miners in Colorado in 1914, and again by miners in the Mesabi Range of Minnesota in 1916. In Minnesota, Tresca was arrested for murder and jailed for nine months but was eventually released without going to trial for lack of evidence tying him to the crime. With the entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917, his newspaper was suppressed under the Espionage Act. Tresca then became a frequent speaker at anti-war rallies. After the war ended in November 1918, he started another newspaper, Il Martello (The Hammer). When the American Civil Liberties Union was formed in early 1920, he became a member. In August 1920, he organized a successful picket of British ships by dock workers to protest the arrest of an Irish doctor after Ireland had gained its independence from Great Britain. During this incident, Tresca met an Irish-American political activist, Binna Martin, with whom he began an affair. When his wife learned about the affair, she left him and took their daughter with her but did not divorce him. Tresca and Martin had a son, Peter Martin, who was born in early 1923. After the birth of his son, Tresca allowed an advertisement for a birth control pamphlet to be printed in his newspaper. As a result, he was arrested in August 1923 and found guilty of publishing pornography after a trial two months later. The verdict was affirmed on appeal on November 10, 1924. Tresca entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 5, 1925, to serve his sentence of one year and one day. He was released on January 6, 1926. Tresca returned to his newspaper to publicize and raise funds for the appeal of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti of their death sentence for the murder of two men in Massachusetts. He continued his efforts until Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927. Tresca then turned the attention of his newspaper to making anti-fascist attacks against Benito Mussolini in Italy and anti-communist attacks against Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Tresca supported the republic against the fascist forces of General Francisco Franco. In 1937, Tresca was appointed by the governor of New York to be a member of the Dewey Commission which cleared Leon Trotsky of all charges made during his sham trial in Moscow. In early 1938, Tresca as editor accused the Soviets of kidnapping Juliet Stuart Poyntz to prevent her defection from the Communist Party USA because, before she disappeared, she had talked to him about “exposing the communist movement”. After communism was discredited in the United States when Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany under Adolph Hitler in August 1939, Tresca began to direct his editorial attacks against the Mafia in New York City. The withering fire of his critical public campaign drew the attention of law enforcement to focus on the Mafia. On January 11, 1943, Tresca was near his newspaper office crossing Fifth Avenue at 15th Street on foot when a black Ford pulled up beside him. A short, squat man in a brown coat jumped out and shot Tresca with a hand gun in the back of the head, killing him instantly. He was two months shy of his 64th birthday. An investigation later determined that Tresca was killed by a parolee, Carmine Galante, on the order of Frank Garofalo, under boss to Joseph Bonanno, who headed a New York crime family. No charges were ever brought because of insufficient evidence. Sources, all accessed July 25, 2021: Salvatore J. LaGumina et al., The Italian-American Experience: An Encyclopedia at pgs. 640-641 (Garland Publishing, Inc. 2000) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Tresca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulmona Virgilia D’Andrea Virgilia D’Andrea was born in Sulmona (population 24,221 in the 2017 Census) in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo on February 11, 1888. Both her parents died when she was six, so her relatives enrolled Virgilia in a Catholic boarding school in the town. During her education, she read hundreds of books, developing an affinity for poetry. She remained in the boarding school until she was 18 when she qualified as a teacher. She taught in different elementary schools in Abruzzo for the next ten years. In 1917 at the age of 29, she met an anarchist journalist named Armando Borghi at a meeting of a radical trade union which he headed. He was six years her senior. They became companions, then lived together. Although a free love advocate, D’Andrea maintained a monogamous commitment to Borghi throughout her life. During that same year, she left teaching to join the protest movement against Italian participation in World War I. The couple was subjected to house arrest and legally confined until the war ended in November 1918. Between 1918 and 1922, she gave talks and published a number of poems in Avanti! which was the newspaper of the Socialist Party in Rome. In 1922, she published her first book entitled Tormento which was a collection of 19 poems written in rhyme. Her poems reflected the tension of social protest prevalent after the war and expressed her angst in the wake of political defeats dealt the workers’ movement. The book was well received and a total of 8,000 copies were sold. After Mussolini’s March on Rome in October 1922, D’Andrea and Borghi started to receive death threats, so they decided to emigrate from Italy. They first went to Berlin, Germany, in 1923, then to the Netherlands in 1924, and finally to France in 1925. While living in Paris, D’Andrea published her second book entitled L’Ora di Marmaldo (The Hour of Marmald) which was a volume of poetic prose attacking fascism. In the Fall of 1928, D’Andrea and Borghi immigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York. In 1929, a second edition of Tormento was published in Italy. It was immediately seized by the fascist government of Mussolini who charged that it inspired revolt because it “excited the spirits”. Citing her advocacy of free love, the government then charged D’Andrea in absentia with “reprehensible moral behavior”. During the next four years, she gave speeches and conducted lecture tours across the United States to help rejuvenate Italian-American labor groups. In doing so, she connected emotionally with her working-class audiences. However, she developed breast cancer and died in New York City on May 12, 1933, three months after her 45th birthday. Borghi was at her side when she died. Before the year was over, Borghi had her collection of unpublished writings, including poetry, prose, and autobiographical memories, printed in her third and last book entitled Torce Nella Notte (Torches in the Night). It was her most successful work. In 1946 after World War II ended, Borghi returned to Italy where he lived unmarried for the rest of his life. Sources, all accessed July 21, 2021: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgilia_D’Andrea https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/8sf86b https://attackthesystem.com/2021/05/29/betrayal-vengeance-and-the-anarchist-ideal https://libcom.org/history/borghi-armando-1882-1968 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulmona Arturo Giovannitti Arturo Giovannitti was born on January 7, 1884, in Ripabottoni (population 4,937 in the 1881 Census) in the province of Campobasso in Molise. He was the oldest of three sons born to Domenico Giovannitti, a pharmacist, and his wife, Adelaide Levante. After he finished high school, he immigrated in 1901 to Canada to study in a Presbyterian seminary where he learned English and French. He then transferred to McGill University in Montreal to complete his courses in theology. In 1905, he came to New York City to study further at the Union Theological Seminary and briefly at Columbia University, but he did not graduate. Due to a lack of funds, he quit his studies and started to assist rescue missions for Italians in Brooklyn where he was appalled by the poor conditions of the immigrants. Determined to assist them, he gave up his quest for the ministry and started working in 1907 with Carlo Tresca on La Plebe (The Plebian), a socialist journal. In 1908, he joined the Italian Socialist Federation of North America. His first workers’ poem was published in the May Day issue of Il Proletario (The Proletarian) which was the Italian newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). In 1911, he became the editor of the newspaper. On January 1, 1912, in accordance with a new state law, the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts, posted new rules limiting the hours of workers to 54 per week, down from 56. When employers did not adjust wages up to compensate for the two lost hours, a strike occurred. On January 12, the IWW Local 20 called for Joseph Ettor (born Giuseppe Ettore) to come to the city to lead the strike. Ettor then called Giovannitti to come to help with relief efforts. Upon his arrival, Giovannitti gave his most famous address, The Sermon on the Commons, which modified Jesus’s Beatitudes to more aggressive stances. On January 29, a 16-year-old picketing striker named Anna LoPizzo was shot and killed during a police crackdown on an unruly crowd of workers. An Italian, Joseph Caruso, was arrested and jailed for murder. Although Ettor and Giovannitti were three miles away, they were arrested and jailed for inciting a riot. While in jail, Giovannitti wrote many poems. The most famous was The Walker inspired by the footsteps of a prisoner pacing in a cell above him at night. The trial began in Salem on September 30, 1912, eight months after their arrests. There were 19 defense witnesses who testified that the shooter was a policeman, not Caruso. Ettor and Giovannitti both delivered their own closing statements at the end of the almost two-month trial. Giovannitti’s speech brought many in the gallery to tears. After three days of deliberations, the jury acquitted all three defendants on November 26, 1912. The trial had been followed closely by the press throughout North America and Europe. As a result of his newfound fame, Giovannitti returned to his work as an editor, became a U.S. citizen, avoided involvement in strikes, and published his first book of poems, Arrows in the Gale, in early 1914. In reaction to the start of World War I later that year, he wrote an anti-war play called As It Was in the Beginning which had a...
On Deck: Two Baseball-Themed Events-By Nancy DeSanti Baseball at the National Postal Museum AMHS is pleased to offer an opportunity for a guided tour of the National Postal Museum’s baseball exhibit on Sunday afternoon, October 2, 2022. The free tour will be given by the museum’s curator, Daniel A. Piazza, who recently gave the AMHS a virtual talk on Italian stamps (see related article on page 3). The exhibit will feature stamps and artifacts including those of Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra, and it explores the surprising ways that baseball and postal history have been deeply intertwined since the early 20th century. Visitors will see a treasure trove of historically significant game-worn uniforms, jackets, hats, game-used bats, and memorabilia from “America’s pastime.” Artifacts from the stars of the major leagues make this exhibition is a “must” for anyone who loves the game. Participants are invited to meet at Casa Italiana at 1 p.m. and walk over together to the nearby museum, which is at 2nd & Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., or they can go directly to the museum. Italian Heritage Night at the Ballpark Meanwhile, on September 27, 2022, the Washington Nationals are holding their first ever Italian Heritage Night, which is a special-ticket event. Thanks to the efforts of World Series-winning General Manager, Mike Rizzo, the Washington Nationals will be recognizing and honoring Italian heritage within their team and the community. Further information is available on the team’s website at https://www.mlb.com/nationals/tickets/specials/italian-heritage. Please note the following disclaimer on the website: Celebrate Washington D.C.’s Italian culture as we host our inaugural Italian Heritage Night! Show your Italian and Nationals pride by donning your Nationals-themed Italian Heritage Day promotional item, only available with a Special Event ticket. Full information regarding item pick-up will be emailed to all special ticket event buyers 24 hours prior to the game. This is a Special Ticket Event. To be eligible for any giveaway or experience associated with this promotion, special tickets must be purchased online from the link on this webpage prior to the event. Special tickets will not be available at the Nationals Park box office. Third party purchases will not include access to this event. Ticket brokers are not eligible for this offer. Tickets purchased via this offer shall not be re-sold. This promotion is subject to change without notice. All sales are final. There are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations. September/October 2022
Siamo Una Famiglia-RIP Fr. Charles Zanoni, Life-Long Friend to AMHS The Society mourns the passing of Father Charles Zanoni on Saturday, August 20, 2022. Father Zanoni was Pastor of Holy Rosary Church when AMHS was founded in June 2000. On the occasion of the Society’s 15th anniversary, he wrote a letter to the Society, stating that he vividly remembers when AMHS President Emeritus, Lucio D’Andrea and his wife Edvige came to him to obtain support for organizing a society of men and women born in the regions of Abruzzo and Molise who live in the Washington, D.C., area. Father Zanoni was happy to give AMHS Holy Rosary Church as a reference to spread our initiative and Casa Italiana as a place for us to meet. Father Zanoni was bestowed Honorary Membership in the Society. While serving as pastor, he attended many of our events, including the annual AMHS Gala. After he left Holy Rosary Church as pastor in 2005, he never left us because of the communications we send via email, including our Notiziario; and he was a dedicated donor to the AMHS Scholarship Fund. Some of us were fortunate enough to reconnect with Father Zanoni when he returned to Washington for the Centennial Celebration of Holy Rosary Church in December 2013. No doubt several of our members have very fond memories of Father Zanoni. May he rest in peace. More Wedding Bells Still More Wedding Bells Mike DeBonis Now At Politico AMHS members may recall that in July 2018, Washington Post reporter and fellow member Mike DeBonis gave us a talk on life as a journalist in the nation’s capital. After reporting at the Washington Post for 12 years, including covering Congress since 2015, Mike has now started a new chapter in his career as he has just begun work at Politico, editing the Playbook newsletters. You can find Mike’s work at https://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-press/2022/07/15/mike-debonis-joins-politico-as-editor-of-playbook-00046039. We wish him good luck in his new endeavor! Mike is also well-known to many AMHS members through his family ties to our former President Omero Sabatini, and so Mike also traces his roots to the town of Secinaro in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo. Mike lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Dena and their two children. On To Grad School In the July/August Notiziario, we reported that AMHS member Joseph Anthony Scafetta III received his B.S. degree in mathematics with a minor in information technology at Marymount University in Arlington, Va. Joey was admitted for graduate studies in the two-year Data Science Certificate program for the Fall 2022 semester at Marymount and began classes on August 29. The AMHS wishes Joey well in his studies. AMHS Membership A warm welcome is extended to: Natalie Lui Ducan, Michael and Elizabeth Iademarco, Ann Lamar, Angela Petruzzelli, Erin Powers, Roy Sambuchino, and Daniel Stump. Birthdays Compleanni a SettembreMary Allegrino and Bruno Fusco, September 2; Richard DiBuono and Elissa Padula Sobolewski, September 3; Anthony Phillips, September 4; Sharon Callahan and Lina Marinucci, September 5; Corrado Dal Forno, September 6; Barbara Verdile, Richard Stonestreet, and Maria Marigliano, September 8; Aubrey White, September 5; Roger Galles, September 14; Rose Napolitano, September 18; Theresa Duncan, September 19; Joan Piccariello, September 22; Robert Verdile, September 25; Olimpia Micheli and Father Ezio Marchetto, September 27; David Gadren, Jeffrey Clark, Romeo Sabatini, and Maria LaVerghetta, September 29. Compleanni a OttobreEugene Giammittorio, October 4; Elizabeth DiGregorio and Kirsten Keppel, October 8; John Paolantonio, October 10; Irena DiCarlantonio, October 12; Marco Dorsett, October 14; Guy Caruso, October 21; Sarah Scott, October 22; Antonietta McDonald and Louis Alfano, October 26; Thomas Stallone, October 27; Joseph Scafetta III, October 28; Teresa Forcina, October 29; Erin Powers and RoySambuchino, October 31. Anniversaries Anniversari a SettembreTeresa & Gianpiero Forcina and Sergio & Maria Fresco, September 3; Matthew & Amelia DiFiore, September 16; and James Brady & Mary Anne Re Scherer, September 8. Anniversari a OttobreJoseph & Mary Katherine Theis, October 3; Frank & Susan Bonsiero and Robert & Susan Baldassari, October 6; Aldo & Louie Anne D’Ottavio, October 8; Rocco Del Monaco & Eileen Parise, October 9; Alfred & Diana DelGrosso, October 14; Joseph & Rose Ruzzi Sr., October 19; Michael & AntoniettaMcDonald, October 28; and Salvatore & Anna Maria DiPilla, October 30. Membership Information Category # of PersonsAssociate (Couple): 3 x 2 = 6Associate (Individual): 40General (Couple): 50 x 2 = 100General (Individual): 88Honorary: 11Scholarship: 2Student: 7Total Membership: 254 September/October 2022
Altino-By Nancy DeSanti Province of Chieti, Region of Abruzzo The small town of Altino is located in the province of Chieti on a rock spur at the foot of Monte Calvario, commanding a scenic view of the valley of the Aventino River. Situated along the Aventino valley, 12 kilometers from Lanciano, Altino rises along a small stream, the Rio Secco, which flows into the Adriatic a few miles away. The valley is richly cultivated with orchards of fruit, grapes and olives. The town has approximately 3,113 inhabitants, known as Altinesi. Legend has it that Altino was founded in 452 by Venetian refugees fleeing from Attila, who had burned the Roman military port in Altinum (known today as Quarto d’Altino). But in fact, the origin of the village dates back to medieval times. The first mention in historical documents dates back to the 12th century. In the Norman era, Altino was a fief of Bohemond I of Antioch. In the first half of the 15th century Altino belonged to the Lordship of Raimondo Anichino. The Anichino family held the castle until 1534. Later on, perhaps due to the extinction of the family, Altino came under Alvaro de Grado, Giovanni Vincenzo Crispano, the Tovo, Furia and Paolucci families. In 1861 and 1862, Altino was repeatedly attacked by brigands, and many families moved to Casoli and Chieti. What to See Church of the Madonna delle Grazie, with a fine painting on wood dated 1355 Parish Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, from the 14th century, with a rock massif Church of San Rocco Palazzo Sirolli Monumental Fountain from 1558 Nearby Brecciole, a spring of sulphurous waters believed to have healing powers Nearby Lake Serranella Important Dates May 15-16 – Feast of Madonna delle Grazie July: Historical re-enactment of threshing, with a parade of rural tools of the past Last weekend in August – Festival del Peperone Dolce di Altino e dell’Oasi di Serranella September 26-27 – Feast of Saints Cosmo and Damiano. Italiano Tradotto da Ennio Di Tullio Provincia di Chieti, Regione Abruzzo Il piccolo comune di Altino è situato in provincia di Chieti su uno sperone roccioso ai piedi del Monte Calvario, dominando una vista panoramica sulla valle del fiume Aventino. La valle è riccamente coltivata a frutteti, frutti, uva e olivi. Il paese conta circa 3.113 abitanti, detti Altinesi. La leggenda narra che Altino sia stata fondata nel 452 da profughi veneziani in fuga da Attila, che avevano incendiato il porto militare romano di Altinum (oggi noto come Quarto d’Altino). Ma in realtà l’origine del paese risale al medioevo. La prima menzione nei documenti storici risale al XII secolo. In epoca normanna Altino fu feudo di Boemondo I di Antiochia. Nella prima metà del XV secolo Altino appartenne alla Signoria di Raimondo Anichino. La famiglia Anichino tenne il castello fino al 1534. Successivamente, forse per l’estinzione della famiglia, Altino passò sotto Alvaro de Grado, Giovanni Vincenzo Crispano, i Tovo, Furia e Paolucci. Nel 1861 e nel 1862 Altino fu ripetutamente assalito dai briganti e molte famiglie si trasferirono a Casoli e a Chieti. Situato lungo la valle dell’Aventino, a 12 chilometri da Lanciano, Altino è adagiato su un crinale montuoso a sinistra del Sangro e a destra del fiume Aventino. Altino sorge lungo un piccolo ruscello, il Rio Secco, che sfocia nell’Adriatico a pochi chilometri di distanza. Da questo piccolo paese si può godere di una vista incredibile. Il fertile territorio è ricoperto da vigneti e uliveti, e in pianura vi è una ricca produzione di frutta. Le attrazioni del luogo: Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie, con pregevole dipinto su tavola del 1355 Chiesa Parrocchiale di Santa Maria del Popolo, del XIV secolo, con massiccio roccioso Chiesa di San Rocco Palazzo Sirolli Fontana Monumentale del 1558 Nelle vicinanze di Brecciole, sorgente di acque sulfuree ritenute dotate di poteri curativi Nelle vicinanze Lago Serranella Date da ricordare: 15-16 maggio – Festa della Madonna delle Grazie Luglio: Rievocazione storica della trebbiatura, con sfilata di attrezzi rurali del passato Ultimo fine settimana di agosto – Sagra del Peperone Dolce di Altino e dell’Oasi di Serranella 26-27 settembre – Festa dei Santi Cosmo e Damiano. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altino,_Abruzzohttps://www.italyheritage.com/regions/abruzzo/chieti/altino.htmhttps://www.yesabruzzo.com/altino September/October 2022
Fornelli-By Nancy DeSanti Province of Isernia, Region of Molise The town of Fornelli is located about 8 kilometers west of Isernia. The town rises near the Vardia River, on top of a hill facing Colle Ginestra where there are ruins of an ancient Italic acropolis. It has approximately 2,014 inhabitants, known as Fornellesi. Annunziata Lombardi D’Alesandro, the mother of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was born in Fornelli in 1909. Fornelli was first recorded in the 10th century as the location of one of the castles erected to defend the monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno. The town’s name most likely derives from the presence in the area of a large oven (forno) for the working of metals and to bake clay bricks used for construction works. The original name of Fornello was changed into Fornelli in the 18th century. Fornelli is known as the “The Town of Seven Towers.” The ancient town is enclosed by city walls that are some of the best preserved in Molise. The main sights are the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, the Church of St. Peter the Martyr, the Baronial Palace and the Summer Fountain. The hill on which the mother church stands suggests that it has seen the passage and the ruling of the Longobards. In the highest part of the village, there is the baronial palace that repeats the system of the ancient Lombard castle. The seven towers incorporated in the defensive walls are of the Norman and Angevin period. The main door of access to the historical center was equipped with a drawbridge that rose on the moat. During World War II, on October 4, 1942, the Germans sought to suppress the resistance in the village by executing the mayor and five other citizens, for which Fornelli was given a medal for military valor. Fornelli is surrounded by olive trees and produces a fruity and light oil. Among the local dishes are taccunell e fasciuel, a paste without eggs, cut into squares and seasoned with sautéed olive oil, garlic and beans; sciur c pastiera, a tart rice cooked in milk prepared at Easter time; cecrchiata, balls of sweet paste with honey prepared at Christmas time; ’r sciusc, bread dough and potatoes, fried and sprinkled with sugar; and coccia, batter-fried zucchini flowers. Since her mother was born in Fornelli, Nancy Pelosi visited the town in early July 2022. Pelosi’s maternal grandfather, Nicola Lombardi, born in 1878, immigrated to America with his daughter Annunziata, Pelosi’s mother, who was just three years old. After visiting Fornelli, Pelosi visited her father’s ancestral home in Montenerodomo, Abruzzo. It was from Montenerodomo where, in 1891, her paternal grandfather, Tommaso Fedele D’Alessandro, born in 1868, immigrated to America. He was the son of Giuseppe, a farmer, and Lucia Rossi. What to See Palazzo Vecchio The Baronial palace, built on the castle walls at the door of Umberto I square, has two circular Norman incorporated towers with the main façade Church of San Michele Arcangelo, consecrated in 1746, with a statue of San Michele and three paintings of the 18th century recently restored Church of St. Peter the Martyr, located in the square on which is located the fountain dedicated to Summer, and a replica of the sculpture that the French Le Mathurin Moreau presented to the World’s Fair in Paris in 1855 Important Dates A week before Easter – the “tuzza” game played with eggs August – Giornate al borgo, celebrating the medieval tradition October – Vintage festival. Italiano Tradotto da Ennio Di Tullio Provincia di Isernia, Regione Molise Il comune di Fornelli si trova a circa 8 chilometri a ovest di Isernia. Il paese sorge nei pressi del fiume Vardia, sulla sommità di un colle prospiciente il Colle Ginestra dove si trovano i resti di un’antica acropoli italica. Conta circa 2.014 abitanti, detti Fornellesi. Annunziata Lombardi D’Alesandro, madre di Nancy Pelosi, Presidente della Camera dei Rappresentanti degli Stati Uniti, è nata a Fornelli nel 1909. Fornelli è documentato per la prima volta nel X secolo come sede di uno dei castelli eretti a difesa del monastero di San Vincenzo al Volturno. Il nome del paese deriva molto probabilmente dalla presenza nell’area di un grande forno (oven) per la lavorazione dei metalli e per la cottura di mattoni di argilla utilizzati per i lavori di costruzione. Il nome originario di Fornello fu mutato in Fornelli nel XVIII secolo. Fornelli è conosciuta come la “Città delle Sette Torri”. Il borgo antico è racchiuso da una cinta muraria tra le meglio conservate del Molise. Le principali attrazioni sono la Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, la Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, il Palazzo Baronale e la Fontana d’Estate. Il colle su cui sorge la chiesa madre fa pensare che abbia visto il passaggio e il governo dei Longobardi. Nella parte più alta del paese si trova il palazzo baronale che ripete il sistema dell’antico castello longobardo. Di epoca normanna e angioina sono le sette torri inglobate nelle mura difensive. La porta principale di accesso al centro storico era dotata di un ponte levatoio che sorgeva sul fossato. Durante la seconda guerra mondiale, il 4 ottobre 1942, i tedeschi, reprimendo la resistenza del paese, giustiziarono il sindaco e altri cinque cittadini, per i quali Fornelli ricevette una medaglia al valor militare. Fornelli è circondato da ulivi e produce un olio fruttato e leggero. Tra i piatti locali ci sono il taccunell e fasciuel, una pasta senza uova, tagliata a quadrotti e condita con un soffritto in olio d’oliva, aglio e fagioli; la sciur c pastiera, una crostata di riso cotto nel latte preparata nel periodo pasquale; ceccchiata, palline di pasta dolce al miele preparate nel periodo natalizio; ‘r sciosc, pasta di pane e patate, fritte e spolverate di zucchero; e coccia, fiori di zucca fritti in pastella. Poiché la madre di Nancy Pelosi nacque a Fornelli, il Speaker ha fatto visita al paese ai primi di luglio. Il nonno materno di Pelosi, Nicola Lombardi, classe 1878, immigrò in America con la figlia Annunziata, la madre di Speaker Pelosi, che aveva appena tre anni. Dopo aver visitato Fornelli, Pelosi ha visitato la casa ancestrale del padre a Montenerodomo, in Abruzzo. Era da Montenerodomo dove, nel 1891, suo nonno paterno, Tommaso Fedele D’Alessandro, nacque nel 1868, immigrò in America. Era figlio di Giuseppe, contadino, e di Lucia Rossi. Le attrazioni del luogo: Palazzo Vecchio Il palazzo Baronale, edificato sulle mura castellane alla porta di piazza Umberto I, presenta due torri circolari inglobate normanne con la facciata principale Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, consacrata nel 1746, con una statua di San Michele e tre tele del ‘700 recentemente restaurate Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, situata nella piazza su cui si trova la fontana dedicata all’Estate, e una replica della scultura che il francese Le Mathurin Moreau presentò all’Esposizione Universale di Parigi nel 1855 Date da ricordare: Una settimana prima di Pasqua – il gioco della “tuzza” con le uova Agosto – Giornate al borgo, celebrando la tradizione medievale Ottobre – Festa della vendemmia. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fornellihttps://www.italyheritage.com/regions/molise/province-isernia/fornelli.htmhttps://italian-traditions.com/fornelli-the-country-of-the-seven-towers/ September/October 2022
Art Expert To Lecture On Four Masters Of The Venetian Renaissance-By Nancy De Santi AMHS is pleased to announce that our next in-person program will feature distinguished art expert, Dr. Eric Denker, who until recently was the Senior Lecturer of the National Gallery of Art. The luncheon meeting will take place in Casa Italiana on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at 1 p.m. The program is being co-sponsored by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center and the Casa Italiana Language School. Dr. Denker’s topic will be the “Four Titans of the Venetian Renaissance: Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and Tintoretto.” He will be dedicating his lecture to the memory of our late Holy Rosary parishioner Diego D’Ambrosio. For many years, Dr. Denker was the Head of Adult Programming and the Senior Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art. He and his staff prepared and delivered talks on special exhibitions and the permanent collection to diverse and specialized adult audiences. In particular, he was responsible for designing programs and offering gallery talks on European and American paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings. From 1998 to 2006, Dr. Denker also served jointly as the Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, overseeing the permanent collection and coordinating an active exhibition schedule that included the catalogue and show of “Whistler and his Circle in Venice.” He attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and received his doctorate from the University of Virginia. In addition to teaching 19th century art as an adjunct professor for both Georgetown University and Cornell University, Dr. Denker frequently lectures in Europe for the Smithsonian Institution and for the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice. He is the co-author, with Judith Martin (also known as Miss Manners), of the 2007 book “No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice,” exploring the contemporary visitor’s passions for the unique lagoon city. Dr. Denker is the author of seven books and catalogues, and his two most recent works are “Reflections and Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940” and“Two for the Road: Ernest Roth and Andre Smith in Europe, 1912-1930.” He also is the author of numerous articles for guidebooks about Venice and Italy. Prior to the lecture, a delicious lunch will be catered by Osteria da Nino. Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible. September/October 2022
WITH THANKS TO ROMEO SABATINI AND RYAN TURNER
The Society dedicates its website to Romeo Sabatini, who worked tirelessly for over 10 years developing and maintaining our original site; and to Ryan A. Turner who, in honor of his grandmother Rosemarie Antonelli Turner (whose father Frank emigrated from Abruzzo), gifted the Society with funds to develop this new site. The Society is grateful for Romeo’s time and for Ryan’s generosity, which bridge the past with the future for the benefit of all AMHS members and friends.