Saturday, April 18, 2015

16th ANNUAL NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE AN EXCLUSIVE SCREENING OF ITALIAN CINEMA






Festival Will Spotlight the Regional Premiere of “Do You Remember Me?”
Followed by Celebration of Italian Culture, Fashion and Music

Newport Beach, Calif. (Saturday, April 18, 2015) – On Tuesday, April 28th 2015 the 16th annual Newport Beach Film Festival will present its Italian Spotlight, an evening celebration of Italian cinema and culture. The event will feature the Orange County premiere of the highly acclaimed film, Do You Remember Me? (Ti Ricordi Di Me) (2014), followed by a festive post-screening gala.
Director Rolando Ravello brings together an excellent cast that flawlessly fills Do You Remember Me? with brilliant comedy, wit, and performances that are worthy of praise. A modern fairy tale, the story focuses on two people who meet in their therapist’s office and embark on an unexpected courtship. With its outstanding script and on-screen chemistry, Do You Remember  Me? Is a beautiful film that is both romantic and complex.

“The Festival continues a proud tradition of presenting the very best in Italian Cinema. Do You Remember Me? is a festival and critical favorite. We are very excited to screen Rolando Ravello’s newest work,” stated Gregg Schwenk, CEO of the Newport Beach Film Festival.

The Spotlight film, Do You Remember Me?, will screen on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. at Triangle Square Cinemas (1870 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92627). The post-screening celebration will take place at the SOCO Courtyard (3303 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626).

The event will include select tastings from top Orange County restaurants, traditional entertainment as well as multiple DJs.  Hosted bar by Stella Artois, Rémy Cointreau and Tito’s Vodka.
The Newport Beach Film Festival Italian Spotlight is supported by SOCO, Italian Heritage Culture Foundation, Instituto Italiano di Cultura – Los Angeles, L’Italo Americano, Consulate General of Italy – Los Angeles, Italian Film Commission, Italian American Museum Los Angeles, L'Italo-Americano, Italia.org, and Portal Languages. Admission to the Italian Spotlight film and the post-screening party is $45.00.  Post-screening party only is $30.00
For ticket information and updates visit www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com



About The Newport Beach Film Festival
Celebrated as one of the leading film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival has evolved into a prestigious multicultural event, attracting over 55,000 attendees to Southern California. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a fresh and diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe. Located along the pristine Orange County coastline, the Newport Beach Film Festival offers attendees an optimal setting to experience filmmaking at its best. With its action packed slate of film screenings, red carpet galas, international spotlights, nightly receptions, compelling conversations with filmmakers, fashion shows, music performances and industry seminars, the Newport Beach Film Festival has quickly gained recognition among filmmakers and audiences worldwide. The 16th annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs April 23th – 30th, 2015 and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world.



Festival Contact: Italian Spotlight Event Contact:
Cory Ceizler Name: Andrea Zavala
Quartararo & Associates (Q&A) Email: italyspotlight.nbff@gmail.com
Cory@QandAMarketing  Phone: (951) 907-0174
(818) 497-7750

Saturday, February 7, 2015

PBS SERIES “THE ITALIAN AMERICANS,” NARRATED BY STANLEY TUCCI AND FEATURING TONY BENNETT, DAVID CHASE, JOHN TURTURRO, CONGRESSWOMAN NANCY PELOSI, GAY TALESE AND MORE, TO AIR FEBRUARY 17 & 24, 2015

WETA, in Partnership with the National Italian American Foundation, to Hold a Multi-City Screening and Public Discussion Tour

 THE ITALIAN AMERICANS, a new two-part, four-hour documentary series about the Italian experience in America, will premiere on PBS on Tuesdays, February 17 and 24, 2015, 9–11 p.m. ET (check local listings), WETA announced today. The series, written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Stanley Tucci, explores the evolution of Italian Americans from the late nineteenth century to today, from “outsiders” once viewed with suspicion and mistrust to some of the most prominent leaders of business, politics and the arts today.

In support of the broadcast of THE ITALIAN AMERICANS, WETA, the producing public television station for the series, in partnership with National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), the nation’s leading organization for Americans of Italian heritage and a community engagement partner for the project, are organizing public screenings and discussions that will explore Italian contributions to American culture, and how Italians redefined American identity. Screening events are scheduled to take place in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The tour launched in Seattle on September 23 at NIAF’s annual Festa Italiana Luncheon in conjunction with the NIAF/Frank J. Guarini Media Forum at the Seattle Yacht Club, where filmmaker Maggio served as the keynote speaker and presented the audience with highlights from the series.

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS reveals the unique and distinctive qualities of one immigrant group’s experience, and how these qualities, over time, have shaped and challenged America. Unlike other immigrant groups, many Italians did not come to America to stay. At the turn of the 20th century, most came to work, earn money to support their families, and eventually return home. Nearly half of the first generation Italian immigrants did return to Italy. For those that made America home, their struggle to maintain a distinct Italian culture was guided by remarkably powerful ideals of family that had always been at the center of their lives. In the Italian family, the needs of the collective came before the individual — a value system often at odds with American ideals of freedom and personal choice. While the power of the Italian family became a source of strength, it also bred suspicion, popularized in popular media as a dark, criminal element. This clash of culture echoed through generations of Italian Americans and, as they entered positions of political, social and cultural influence, it has left its mark on the American landscape.

“The first waves of Italian immigrants in this country weren’t embraced very warmly by mainstream society,” said Maggio. “There were basically held at arm’s length and looked upon with a certain amount of disdain and suspicion.  But eventually, the children of those first immigrants, and their children, began to gain a foothold in positions of power, and would become some of the most influential and important leaders of American life in the 20th century.”

Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and chief executive officer of WETA, said, “This series will share with public television audiences a universal aspect of the immigrant story — the struggle of a group to adapt to a new environment and become participants in American life — while also spotlighting the distinct experience and unique, engaging culture of Italian Americans.”

“Our series strips away the stereotypes about Italian Americans to reveal a complicated and rich narrative, little understood by most Americans,” said Jeff Bieber, executive producer for WETA. “As we have shown in all our initiatives on immigration, American history is far more muddled and chaotic then what is typically taught in school. The more we understand our sometimes troubled past, the stronger we become as a people.”

John M. Viola, president of NIAF, said, “When our NIAF leadership team first had the opportunity to view this film, we were so thrilled to find a project that told our community’s story in an objective and engaging manner.  John Maggio has created the film that I had wished to see for so many years and I believe that everyone in our community who tunes in will find something of themselves and their family in this wonderful project.”

Through extensive archival materials and interviews with scholars and notable Italian Americans such as Tony Bennett, Dion DiMucci, David Chase, Gay Talese and John Turturro, who speak from personal experience, THE ITALIAN AMERICANS tells the story of those who played vital roles in shaping the relationship between Italians and mainstream American society. These include the stories of the following individuals:

Amadeo Giannini, who founded the Bank of Italy in 1904 in San Francisco to help Italians who could not secure loans or financial assistance elsewhere. He would later build it into the largest financial institution in the country and rename it Bank of America.
Arturo Giovannitti, the union activist and poet who led the Lawrence Textile Strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912.
Rudolph Valentino, who introduced a new image of the sex symbol to movie audiences of the 1920s, yet still endured the prejudices directed at Italians of southern extraction
Joe DiMaggio, who became one of the most celebrated baseball players of his generation, but whose parents were labeled “Enemy Aliens” during World War II.
U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who each broke new ground for Italian Americans in public service

The series also presents the expertise and insights of historians, scholars, journalists and authors including Donna Gabaccia, Thomas Guglielmo, Gerald Meyer, Robert Orsi, Mary Anne Trasciatti, Lawrence DiStasi, Bruce Watson, Stephen Fox and Selwyn Raab.
A companion book of the same title by journalist Maria Laurino, published by W.W. Norton, will also be released in December 2014, tied to the project activities.

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., and Ark Media, in association with John Maggio Productions. The series executive producers are Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan. The series writer and producer is John Maggio. The producers are Muriel Soenens and Julia Marchesi. The music composer is Gary Lionelli. The editors are George O’Donnell and Seth Bomse. The narrator is Stanley Tucci. Special thanks to project community engagement and promotion partner The National Italian American Foundation (www.niaf.org). Corporate funding is provided by DelGrosso Foods. Foundation funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the Annenberg Foundation. Major funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by the Public Broadcasting Service.

###

About WETA
WETA Washington, D.C., is one of the largest producing stations of new content for public television in the United States. WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL, THE KENNEDY CENTER MARK TWAIN PRIZE, IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including THE STORY OF CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES, premiering in Spring 2015. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

About NIAF
The mission of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is to serve as a resource for the Italian American Community; to preserve the Italian American heritage and culture; to promote and inspire a positive image and legacy of Italian Americans; and to strengthen and empower ties between the United States and Italy. For more infomraiotn, visit www.niaf.org.

About PBS
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, non-profit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. More information about CPB is available at www.cpb.org.

CONTACT:
Dan Roberti/Brian Moriarty, Dan Klores Communications (DKC), 212-685-4300; Daniel_roberti@dkcnews.com/brian_moriarty@dkcnews.com

Monday, December 29, 2014

In Partnership with 'Cinema Made In Italy' Presents New Film - INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO IN 3D



Submarine Deluxe and History Films Present…
INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO IN 3D
Directed by Julian Jones

"With over 6,000 pages of handwritten notes and drawings, Leonardo da Vinci’s private journals are the most comprehensive documents that chronicle the work of the world’s most renowned inventor, philosopher, painter and genius. Inside the Mind of Leonardo uses this precious collection of writings and drawings to recount Da Vinci’s story in his own words, and combines them with stunning visual effects and 3D technology to re-create the mindscape and ideas of mankind’s greatest polymath.

In a powerfully haunting performance, award-winning actor Peter Capaldi portrays Leonardo and dramatically narrates passages and monologues taken directly from the artist’s journals. Capaldi captures the passion of Leonardo’s ambition, his opinion of the world and his views on art and life. From the epic to the ordinary, Inside the Mind of Leonardo explores how Leonardo experienced the world around him. Following a biographical narrative, the feature captures the artist’s thwarted ambitions, hurt, anger –and sexual desire — as documented within his diaries, but also the everyday-ness of normal life: his shopping lists, health tips and even bawdy jokes."

To find a screening near you - http://insidethemindofleonardo.com/screenings/



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Italian American Christmas, Food, Family and Love

Merry Christmas to all my Italian American Girl readers, hope you all had an amazing holiday and I'm looking forward to a prosperous and healthy New Year.  This year for Christmas, as we always do my mother and sister baked and cooked some our favorite dishes. I posted a lot of our cookies and traditional cookies on my Facebook page here -- Italian American Girl  My sister is becoming quite the baker with her cookies, which resemble those of my mother's.  My mother fried her traditional zeppole, which obviously are a staple every year.  With each passing year, I get more and more sentimental about the traditions and maintaining the recipes and 'ways' that my mother always did.  Thank God, my sister is the skilled one when it comes to cooking and baking, but for me it's about the company, serving the food and always the right coffee.   This year, we had all of our get togethers, accompanied by Lavazza coffee.  Usually, we have espresso, since they've come out with their new drip coffees, I'm able to offer cafe Americano to my friends as well, who are not so versed in espresso.  There is nothing like the aroma and consistency of this coffee.   If you want to venture into a new coffee for the New Year, I highly recommend.  You can shop Lavazza here http://www.shoplavazza.com  



**This post was sponsored by Lavazza** 



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Going Back to Italy

It's been a long time since I've been back to Italy or my parents home town in  Italy.  The reasons for not going back seem to get more complicated and I seem to get busier with either life or work.  Going to Italy used to very important to me to at least visit once a year.  My parents haven't been back in a while either just for reasons of life, getting older and handling their financial business and issues here.  As I've posted in the past, my parents are in a place now where the time has come where they have to either have sell off or condense their lives.  My parents have always managed to live a modest life, work hard and own their own homes, but are faced with many challenges here in America as seniors.  As the daughter of senior parents it's not easy taking care of all those things, my parents are complex people, who don't like you in their business, but I guess we're past that now, my siblings and I try very hard to be care givers, but as many of you with strong headed people --especially Calabrese parents--- that task is not easy.  It's a very strange day when you realize your once strong parents are getting old, are old and now need your help.  I'm sure throughout your life you get upset with you parents for different reasons and then the day comes when you realize your roles are reversed.  So, getting mad anymore is gone and now we as children have to do our best to take care of our parents, even if we still don't agree with them.. ( I laugh as I write this, because they are so damn stubborn!)

I travel often for either work or pleasure, but it seems lately more domestically, my goal is to get back to Italy soon and do my normal visit and stay in our home town in Italy.  There is nothing like Italy and it's my second home, but America is my first and our lives are here.  I'm sure many children of immigrants struggle with this sort of identity crisis.  I love my Italian family as well and sometimes I get upset when I hear they think Americans live like KINGS, and in essence I feel we work very hard with every reward earned.  Today was a day of reflection and an inside scoop to the journey of getting back to Italy.  I will be in Italy in the next few months, stay tuned.

-Margaret

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lavazza Passionista, Making Your Best Coffee Recipe!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LIGABUE Italy's Record-Shattering Rockstar Announces American Debut - October Dates!

New York, NY — Renowned Italian singer, songwriter, film director and author Luciano Ligabue caps a record breaking quarter-century career with his first-ever concert appearances on the American continent.  Taking off from Manhattan's Terminal 5 on October 19th, the iconic performer makes stops in Los Angeles (October 22nd at the Whisky a Go Go) and San Francisco (October 24 at the DNA Lounge), before touching down at Miami's Grand Central on October 26th.  This US run of dates is a continuation of Ligabue's  "Mondovisione Tour – Mondo 2014"  in support of the acclaimed artist's 10th studio album "Mondovisione," released in November 2013 and certified Italy's top selling album of that year within four weeks of release.

The Emilia-Romagna born Luciano Ligabue spent his young adult life working jobs in the region's agricultural factories, while simultaneously moonlighting as a radio DJ and cutting his teeth as a bandleader on the local rock club circuit.   Ligabue released his first record at the relatively late age of 30 with an eponymously titled album in 1990.  Arguably the most successful debut in the history of the Italian music business, Ligabue's life experiences proved central to the formation of the artist's narrative as a songwriter and in his ability to intimately communicate as a storyteller on a national level.  "Ligabue" the album went platinum connecting him as a solo artist with millions of fans in a way not previously seen in Italy, playing some 250 dates up and down the Italian peninsula over the next 3 years, including a pair of opening slots for U2 on their "Zoo TV Tour" at stadium's in Naples and Turin.  By 1997 Ligabue had confirmed himself as a stadium headliner in his own right with the first of 11 appearances at Milan's temple of football and music San Siro.  In 2005 Liga, as he is commonly known, set the still unbroken European record for tickets sold in a single concert in the form of a "hometown" gig at Campovolo in Reggio Emilia.  The US trade publication Pollstar registered a staggering 165,264 fans in attendance at the event.   As a musician Ligabue has released 10 studio albums, 4 live albums, 2 greatest hits albums, 1 soundtrack album, all certified multi-platinum in Italy.

Luciano Ligabue's debut in the world of film proved equally auspicious with 1998's "Radiofreccia" which screened at the Venice Film Festival and was the subsequent winner of multiple trophies at both Italy's Nastri d'Argento and Davide di Donatello awards for Ligabue's screenplay and direction.  Considered at once a cult classic, commercial success and critical favorite in Italy, "Radiofreccia" was added to the permanent film archive of New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2006.  Also a published author, Luciano Ligabue has penned 4 works including novels and poetry.  His 1997 literary debut "Fuori e Dentro il Borgo" was yet another award-winner; the collection of short stories picked up the prestigious Elsa Morante prize.

Ligabue has taken part in many of Italy's seminal events of the past generation including 1996's Pavarotti and Friends concert in Modena (the legendary tenor also an Emilia Romagna native), 2005's Live 8 concert in Rome (Italy's part in 10 simultaneous benefit concerts held in as many countries and organized by Bob Geldof), 2012's Italia Loves Emilia benefit concert for relief in the earthquake-struck region, and 2014's Sanremo Festival where Ligabue appeared as a special guest.

The US leg of Ligabue's Mondovisione Tour – Mondo 2014 is presented by Riservarossa and F&P Group.

Sunday, October 19, 2014                New York, NY
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019
Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 8:00 pm
$50.00 Advance / $55.00 Day Of Show
(212) 582-6600
http://www.terminal5nyc.com/event/672015

Wednesday, October 22, 2014             Los Angeles, CA
Whisky a Go Go 
8901 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Doors: 7:30pm / Show: 8:30pm
$50.00 Advance / $55.00 Day Of Show
(310) 652-4202
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ligabue-tickets-12093286345

Friday October 24, 2014                 San Francisco, CA
DNA Lounge 
375 Eleventh St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Doors: 7:00pm / Show: 8:30pm
$50.00 Advance / $55.00 Day Of Show
(415) 626-1409
http://www.dnalounge.com/calendar/2014/10-24.html

Sunday, October 26, 2014                Miami, FL
Grand Central
697 N Miami Ave,
Miami, FL 33136
Doors: 7:30pm / Show: 9:00pm
$50.00 Advance / $55.00 Day Of Show
(305) 377-2277
http://grandcentralmiami.ticketfly.com/event/625215-ligabue-miami/

Ligabue Online
http://facebook.com/ligabue

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Upcoming Fall Italian American Events - Columbus Day Parade, Educational, Art & Fundraising Galas

PARADE -- This year's Columbus Day Parade will take place in New York City in October, visit the Columbus Citizens Foundation web page for further details and dates. http://www.columbuscitizensfd.org/
The parade is broadcast on the major New York networks such as NBC.


**Photo Credit - http://www.columbuscitizensfd.or




EVENTS --For upcoming events all around New York City, featuring musical events, educational lectures, be sure to visit the i-Italy Digital Project site for the latest updates and features.


GALA -- In October in Washington D.C., The National Italian American Foundation features their Gala, which aims to raise awareness and funds to all programs and education for the Italian American community.  This year's gala will take place on October 25, 2014.

Visit the site here for tickets and further details - http://www.niaf.org/

In

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Keurig K-Cup Coffee Machine and Lavazza Drip Coffee Giveaway

It's that time of year, when we have an exciting giveaway for one lucky Italian American Girl reader.  The team at Lavazza are presenting a fabulous giveaway, which includes this really cool and super chic Keurig K-Cup Mini, which if you haven't had coffee yet from a Keurig you're missing an amazing little coffee machine.   Lavazza is providing one lucky reader a chance to win this machine along with the Lavazza drip coffees for K-Cup version, which is fantastic!    

In order to enter to win this cool little machine and Lavazza k-cups in drip coffee versions, please comment below with your first and last name and tell me why or how Italian coffee has impacted your life.   I know for example coffee is the main component in my life either when I'm entertaining guests, go to a party and wait for that perfect cup of coffee, maybe it's a comfort and gets you through a tough day,  reminds you of your family, a time to get together and share a warm moment with a friend or family,  what does your coffee stand for?  I will choose one person by September 8, 2014 and announce the winner's name on the blog and Italian American Girl Facebook page.  

To learn more about the new Lavazza Drip Coffee line and K-Cup Versions you can shop for it here:

http://www.shoplavazza.com
Keurig K-Cup Machine 
Lavazza Drip Coffees - K-Cups


** This is a sponsored post by Lavazza and the giveaway will be provided by Lavazza and mailed direct to the winner, Italian American Girl will only be responsible for the promotion of the giveaway and choosing a lucky IAG reader. ***


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Growing Up First Generation Italian American

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Italian Dishes - Garden Style Zucchini with Olive Oil and Salt ..

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Italian Summer Dinner Recipe - Roasted Italian Chicken, Organic Peas, Followed By Lavazza Coffee

Author - Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar
'Extra Virgin'


Summertime is the best time to experiment with cooking especially since you can use fresh ingredients from your garden or farmers market.  This month I decided to try a Tuscan version of roasted chicken, which myself and mother made. We used a version of the recipe from the new cookbook from Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar called 'Extra Virgin.' 
In the book, they actually grill the chicken with a lemon juice, rosemary, arugula combination. 


My version was a roasted chicken lightly brushed with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper --really quite simple.  

For a side dish, my mother peeled fresh peas from the garden and fried them with caramelized onions, along with sliced potatoes roasted with the chicken. 




Here's the recipe - Roasted Chicken with Fresh Peas

Wash chicken thoroughly. Put a drop of lemon in water, cut pieces of chicken to liking.  In roasting pan, put 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add your salt, pepper, or chicken spices of your choice. Add onions and potatoes in cubes next to chicken.  Put in oven at 450 degrees for more than 30 minutes.  Turn with wooden spoon about two times to get potatoes and onions roasted evenly. 

For the peas - 
Cut small pieces of medium onions, cook for about one minute.  Add peas, cook for about 10 minutes more, gently move in pan about two times till peas are cooked.  Cover the pan while you wait to serve peas.

To end our perfect meal, we have coffee once we've digested, we've been trying the new Lavazza drip coffees, our version to try was the Perfetto blend, which you can find here http://www.shoplavazza.com/ 

The coffee is our end to our perfect meal, if you want a great coffee to try and know that Lavazza is great in espresso, get the new drip coffee, my favorite now. 

You can follow Lavazza on Twitter as well for some delicious ways to accompany new drip coffees and traditional Lavazza products.  


***This post was sponsored by Lavazza *** 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Speaking at Rider University on Digital Media and the Italian American Girl Site

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy 84th Birthday To My Father

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Italian American Coffee - Lavazza Drip Coffee My New Coffee of Choice!

Easter holidays have past and in any Italian household you know coffee is the most important element to any meal or desert after dish.  This month I was lucky enough to get some new Lavazza drip coffee blends from the Lavazza team.    What better time to start sampling than at a holiday time?

This year, as I posted before my mother made her famous Italian biscotti and Easter pie.  I thought I would debut these newer coffee blends to accompany those deserts.
I started out with the Perfetto blend, which is true to its name, there is an incredible aroma, which almost makes you think it's an espresso aroma, but to everyone's surprise it's drip coffee.  I always think it's so funny, every time I tell someone in my family the coffee is Lavazza they immediately think it's espresso, but then I say no, it's a drip coffee and everyone goes, "OH, I didn't know they make that for American coffee? ' (As we call it )

During Easter Italian holidays, there are always family visits and early morning coffee sit downs.  If you ever travel to Italy, they don't have breakfast the way we do with traditional eggs, pancakes, etc, they usually have cookies and their morning espresso.   The picture below is what our breakfast during the holidays consisted of, Lavazza coffee brewed to perfection and a slice of my mother's Easter pie.  There is nothing better.


If you want to try the new coffee by Lavazza which is drip coffee, you can purchase in store or online at 
You can shop the new line of drip coffees here http://www.shoplavazza.com/  and it maybe available at your local grocery stores.  Don't forget to follow www.twitter.com/LavazzaUSA on Twitter for coffee inspiration, recipes and more.

**This post was sponsored by Lavazza**

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Italian American Girl - Garden State Film Festival 2014

I'm on the board for the Garden State Film Festival and we had another great year this time in Atlantic City, NJ. The venues and parties were larger and lived up to the expectations.  Throughout the weekend there were over 184 films to see and Q & A sessions with industry leaders and actors from film. Overall, this year was amazing - looking forward to 2015. Here are some pictures with Laura Dern, Bebe Neuwirth and Ed Asner.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

ITALIAN SUPERSTAR ZUCCHERO RELEASES NEW ALBUM AND DVD — LA SESIÓN CUBANA — ON MANHATTAN RECORDS
































Hollywood, CA — Zucchero "Sugar" Fornaciari http://www.zucchero.it/eng/  the Grammy-nominated Italian blues-rock singer, and one of Europe's best-selling artists, will release his latest album, La Sesión Cubana,  via Manhattan Records. Known as a musical wanderer, Zucchero achieves a long-held dream of recording in Cuba with the best native musicians in Havana, and exploring the roots of American music along the way.

"My music comes from blues, from soul, and from gospel," Zucchero says. "This project is a trip from New Orleans to Cuba via Mexicali. Latin, Cuban, and Tex-Mex sounds and rhythms melt together dancing. Hasta l'asta siempre."

Produced by Zucchero and Don Was, and mixed by Michael Brauer, La Sesión Cubana features seven brand-new songs, as well as six newly arranged versions of Zucchero's European hits: "Baila," "Un Kilo," "Così Celeste," "Cuba Libre," "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime," and "L'Urlo." The new recordings consist "Guantanamera (Guajira), original compositions "Love Is All Around" and "Sabor a ti," and the covers "Never Is a Moment," "Nena," "Pana"(a duet with Spanish singer Bebe), and "Ave Maria No Morro" — a duet with Brazilian star Djavan. Each song was recorded virtually live in the studio to ensure the thrill of improvisation.

In addition to the studio album, Manhattan is releasing a deluxe CD/DVD version with the La Sesión Cubana studio CD with a two hour "Live in Havana DVD. A one hour version of The Live in Havana concert program will be featured in March, 2014 by Public Television stations as part of their pledge programs. The program is being presented by WLIW.

April 1st           San Francisco, CA       Great American Music Hall           
April 2nd           Los Angeles, CA         Club Nokia
April 4th           Phoenix, AZ             Wild Horse Pass Casino
April 5th           San Diego, CA           Balboa Theater
April 8th           Dallas, TX              House of Blues           
April 10th          Houston, TX             House of Blues
April 11th          Lafeyette, LA           Vermillionville PAC
April 12th          New Orleans, LA         HOB Parish
April 13th          Nashville, TN           Exit In
April 16th          Chicago, IL             Park West           
April 18th          Boston, MA              Berklee PAC           
April 22nd          New York, NY            The Theater at Madison Square Garden
April 26th          Atlantic City, NJ       Taj Mahal
April 27th          Ledyard, CT             Foxwoods Casino
May 1st             Atlanta, GA             Center Stage
May 3rd             Miami, FL               Gusman Center
May 4th             Tampa, FL               Capitol Theater

Catch Zucchero on tour in the U.S. and Canada this spring

For more about Zucchero:












Friday, March 7, 2014

The Italian-American's Guide to a First Visit Home

Everyone’s first trip to Italy is bound to be special. The land’s natural beauty, rich history and vibrant culture create an atmosphere that’s unlike any other in the world. Coming to Italy for the first time is even more special if you come from an Italian-American background. You may technically be a tourist, but you’re also a child of the land who’s coming home to the place where you can trace back your roots.

As a returnee to the motherland, you’ll want to see as much of it as you possibly can in the limited amount of time that you have. It’s your opportunity to reacquaint yourself with where your bloodline came from and to experience what Italy is all about.

If you’re an American of Italian descent, here’s a list of places that you’ll want to visit when you go to Italy. You may not be able to land on all of these locales in one trip, but you’ll want to hit as many of these targets when you do make the trip. Here are our suggested places along with useful info on food and language:


Do Your Research
 The first place to begin this exciting journey is to research the roots of your family in Italy. A great number of the Italian diaspora left the towns and villages near Rome, along the Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean island of Sicily. Whether you know the exact ancestral village of your family or just the general region, a journey to Italy will greatly enrich your Italian pride.


Caput Mundi
 Start your journey in the Italian capital of Rome. The Eternal City was once the capital of the ancient world and is now a vibrant, chaotic mix of  modern comforts and relics of the past. You can stand in the Piazza Campidoglio which was designed by Michelangelo and just around the corner, visit the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland).
 Photo

Photo: Piazza Campidoglio in Rome

For those of you who have an interest in history, it’s important to understand how young Italy is.The country wasn’t the state that we know now until 1871. For centuries, Italy was a group of semi-autonomous territories ruled by monarchs, foreign leaders and popes. Rome was named the capitol of the Republic of Italy when the nation was put together, giving birth to the Italy that we know and love today.


Naples and the Amalfi Coast
 An easy distance from Rome is the ancient ruined city of Pompeii, the city of Naples and the enchanting Amalfi Coast.  Spend a day exploring Pompeii and learning about this once wealthy Roman town that was buried alive by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.Its fragments come alive with vibrant frescoes, houses, temples and shops all preserved in the volcanic ash that sealed the locale’s fate.

Head overto the city of Naples. It’s bordered by Vesuvius on one side and by the Bay of Naples on the other.  You can visit Bourbon castles, shop in lively markets and take long walks along the bay on newly pedestrianized lungomare.

Just under an hour from Naples is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The over 1,000 twists and turns along the SS163, also known as the Amalfi Coast Drive, affords views off dizzying precipices, sparkling seas and fragrant lemon groves. Spend a few days exploring the pastel villages that seem to precariously cling to the steep cliffs. Take the time to immerse yourself in the culture and observe how the residents of this area have preserved a lot of elements in the old Italian way of life.


Photo: Road going to the Amalfi Coast


Sicily
 A large portion of Italian-Americans can trace their roots back to Sicily – Italy’s largest island. If you’re Italian-American and you’re not sure where your family hails from, there’s a good chance that this is your ancestry’s motherland. When you visit Sicily, be sure to see Mount Etna, the dramatic and still active volcano near the ancient cites of Ragusa, Noto and Modica. Modica, with its soft, orange baroque architecture is best known for the delicious chocolate that it produces. Combine learning about your family history with ancient history in the town of Agrigento with a visit to the Valley of the Temples.  The 5th century BC ruins are set in an almond grove with beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.


Photo: Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily

Food
 Food is as much a part of Italian culture as art, fashion and history are. Italians who migrated to the US in its early days brought along their great culinary practices which have evolved over time. The result is a separation of paths between authentic “Italian cuisine” and what we know in the mainstream to be Italian food.

For the record, there really is no such thing as Italian food. The culinary styles in Italy are diverse and regionalized. What you’ll see being served in Rome will be vastly different from what you’ll see in Venice. Also, a lot of dishes that you might recognize as Italian in the US do not actually exist in Italy. A lot of what Italian-Americans know as Italian food are actually creations of Italian migrants who established food businesses when they were in the US. The difference in the availability of ingredients and the tastes of customers in America have compelled Italian cooks to improvise and adjust their recipes according to local supply and demand.


For instance, you will not find spaghetti and meatballs served together in Italy. You may get a strange look from a waiter if you ask for chicken parmesan. You’ll definitely not want to ask for Caesar dressing on your salad even if it seems like the right thing to do. In Italy, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are the preferred flavorings for fresh vegetables.

Language
 I was recently chatting with a millennial 9th-generation Roman over a plate of amatricina and he said something interesting about Italian-Americans who visit Italy.  He explained to me that they often speak Italian with a vocabulary from 100 years ago. Using words that now in modern Italy only bis-nonna’s use and with a degree of formality seldom heard. Think of it as akin to someone speaking like one of our founding fathers. Also, know that sometimes the slang or dialect you may have learned at your grandfather’s and uncle’s knee may be infinitely more vulgar than you intend.

Your first trip to Italy will infinitely strengthen your Italian American identity and heritage.It’s a very special feeling that gives you a better sense of belongingness and perspective about yourself and the world around you, Pack your bags, board that plane and enjoy your trip to the land that gave rise to your family. Hopefully, your first trip to Italy is just one of many more to come. Ciao!


About the Author
 Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of  Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients. For more on Priscila and her work, connect with her on Google+.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cinema Made in Italy Presents 'HONEY' (MIELE) A film by Valeria Golino



HONEY
(MIELE)
A film by Valeria Golino
Starring Jasmine Trinca and Carlo Cecchi
Buena Onda Presents A Buena Onda and RAI Cinema Production
In Co-Production with Les Films Des Tournelles and CitéFilms


THE STORY 

Irene lives alone on the coastline outside Rome. To her father and her married lover, she’s a student. In reality, she often travels to Mexico where she can legally buy a powerful barbiturate. Working under the name of Miele ("Honey"), her clandestine job is to help terminally-ill people to die with dignity by giving them the drug. One day she supplies a new “client”with a fatal dose, only to find out he’s perfectly healthy but tired of life. Irene is determined not to be responsible for his suicide. From this point on, Irene and Grimaldi are unwillingly locked in an intense and moving relationship which will change Irene’s life forever.



Q & A WITH VALERIA GOLINO

How did you come across the novel?
Almost three years ago I read a very interesting review of the novel, the theme attracted me enormously. The writer was hiding under the pseudonym Angela del Fabbrowhich made me think that she might be shrouding her identity because she was the same character as Miele, and doing an illegal job. Also, the book was written in first person and was very detailed, which intrigued me even more. It made me feel that I was dealing with a very authentic story. It was only a year later, while we were already way deep into the script, that we found out that the author was Mauro Covachic, a well known novelist.

What was it about the novel that made you want to make it the subject of your first feature film as a director?   First of all, the subject of mercy killing is taboo in Italy, much more so than in any other European country, because of the Vatican influence and of our catholic imprint. But I feel that whereas the Italian people are ready to address this and other ethical issues, the politicians are not. Also, I wanted to make the film because the novel had a very cinematic material. Despite the gravity of the subject, the book had a lot of visual potential. The protagonist, Miele, has a powerful vitality, even more pronounced because of her dealing with pain and death. That contrast attracted me.

The subject of "mercy killing" is certainly a very current one. While the film is as much about a young woman's growth as an examination of the morals of "mercy killing", what are your thoughts on the subject?

I believe every human being should have the right to choose over their body, their life, and how to end it. Having said that, I don't mean the film to be a manifesto. In fact it doesn't give answers, it only poses questions. I would like to think that the film is about shifting convictions, prejudices and the fears that we all have.


Have you wanted to direct for a long time?
Vaguely so. I love cinema and photography, and having made so many movies as an actress I learned a lot of things without even realizing it. I never consciously thought to become a director until three years ago when I was asked to direct a short movie (Armandino e il madre). During the shoot I had my private epiphany: probably I had a calling I never knew was there...:-)
Does your experience as an actress make it easier to direct actors?
I suppose it does. I have a lot of empathy with actors, and gratitude.

Was casting a relatively straightforward process?
I did a lot of auditions, but actually the two main roles (Jasmine Trinca as Irene /Miele and Carlo Cecchi as Grimaldi) invaded my imagination and my co-writers’ since day one.

What did you look for when selecting the key crew?
I wanted to have a crew of friends, of people I had worked with, that knew me well and would be patient with a beginner. At the same time, people that were inspiring and inspired. The only new addition was GergelyPoharnok, an Hungarian DP, whose work I ran into by chance and immediately felt connected to.


Release Information 

New York City March 7-13
Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center at Lincoln Center
Tickets:   http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/honey-miele


Los Angeles, March 14-20
Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills, Laemmle.com
Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena, Laemmle.com

Miami, March 28-30, April 2-3
Miami Beach Cinematheque, Miami Beach, mbcinema.com

Miami, March 28-30
Cosford Cinema, Miami, cosfordcinema.com

Washington, DC, March 28 – April 3
West End Cinema, westendcinema.com

OFFICIAL SELECTION
Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard
Venice Film Festival - Venice Days
Chicago International Film Festival

WINNER
Special Mention - Ecumenical Jury - Cannes Film Festival
Nominee - Discovery Award - European Film Awards



NY & LA PRESS CONTACT:
Ryan Werner
ryan@cineticmedia.com
Office:  212.627.9898
Mobile:  917.254.7653



ABOUT CINEMA MADE IN ITALY
Cinema Made in Italy is a major new initiative between Instituto Luce-Cinecittà, the Italian Trade Commission and Emerging Pictures that will provide distribution and marketing support to five major Italian films with the goal of broadening the audience for Italian cinema in the United States.  Instituto Luce-Cinecittà (with funds from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Culture) and the Italian Trade Commission (Agenzia ICE) have created a fund that will provide marketing and distribution support for 5 films.  The first film to receive support was Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY (distributed by Janus Films) which is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film as well as the Film Independent Spirit Award and the César.  It is the first Italian film to win the Golden Globe in 25 years and also won the Best Film at the European Film Awards and Best Foreign Film from BAFTA.  The remaining 4 films will be distributed by Emerging Pictures and include Valeria Golino’s HONEY, Bernardo Bertolucci’s ME AND YOU, Gianni Amelio’s L’INTREPIDO:  A SELF MADE HERO and Marco Bellochio’s DORMANT BEAUTY.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

GIGI D'ALESSIO Announces February North American Album Release and Tour

New York, NY — 2014 kicks off on a North American note for Gigi D'Alessio.  The Italian superstar will release his 18th studio set Ora via Sony Music on February 4th, followed by the kick off of his world tour.

One of Italy's most popular recording artists, the Naples-born D'Alessio has sold 12 million copies and achieved 100 platinum awards during a 20 year career.  Ora features D'Alessio in collaboration with Neopolitan musician Enzo Avitabile on the track Notte di lune storte.  Avitabile recently came to the attention of American audiences through a documentary by Jonathan Demme; D’Alessio and Avitalile were childhood conservatory classmates.   Serpente e sonagli features words penned by the legendary Italian lyricist Mogoland includes the voice of Anna Tatangelo, D'Alessio's life partner who will be joining him on stage in the US and Canada.

For more information: http://gigiworldtour.com

Monday, February 3, 2014

Have You Ever Had Pasta Chips? Italian Version of the American Potato Chip?

Here is the latest food product you have to try and no it's on the grown out of garden type, but it's pretty amazing.  So Superbowl Sunday just passed and we eat tons of party food and including chips.  Well,  about a week ago I received a package from the team over at Pasta Chips and they sent a few bags of their latest creation literally called Pasta Chips.  OK, so to an Italian American, I thought wow, they made pasta into a type of potato chip, but then when I tasted it I was so shocked at how light and crispy they were. 

I entertained with a bag of Alfredo, Marinara, and Garlic-Olive Oil flavors.    I served a side of spinach yogurt dip on the side, which was a-mazing.  The great thing about the chips, as you know I am a bit of a health aficionado, - the chips are actually baked, taking that guilt off right away. 


Pasta Chips are:


-all natural
-low in cholesterol 
-low in saturated fat 
-only 120 calories per serving 
-oven baked 


-60% less fat

       
Here's a bit of history from the creator of the Pasta Chips -- 


I would like to take you on a journey through Italy with our delicious Pasta Chips, an idea born in the hills of Tuscany at a small, authentic Osteria, where food comes alive with the passion associated with Italy. This Tuscan inspired chip is made with semolina flour and Italian herbs, married with different seasonings based on regional Italian favorites, is steeped in hundreds of years of Italian culture and living. Pasta Chips come in 5 flavor packed varieties: Spicy Tomato Herb, Sea Salt, Marinara, Alfredo and Garlic Olive Oil. 

The thing is it's not about being Italian, or Italian American, but rather the notion that this is a type of chip made from pasta and if you're a foodie, this type of variation on a pasta chip can be an interesting accent to your dishes.  The idea threw me off, but the taste and concept are amazing.  I would recommend and most likely buy these again for my next party.  It really allows for creativity if you want to accompany the chip with a side dish of either dips or antipasto.

Check out their site and you can actually buy Pasta Chips in most grocery stores.