eNotizie - December 2012

Christmas with Dean Martin and NIAF . . .
Join NIAF and our friends for a spirited holiday reception on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at NIAF headquarters! “Dean Martin” (actor, vocalist and master Dino tribute performer Eric Richardson) will be on hand to bring back memories of the humor and songs that made the Rat Pack’s “King of Cool” so cool. This fun and festive reception includes hors d’oeuvres, wine, singing, a silent auction and a drawing! Everyone’s welcome! Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m., at NIAF Headquarters, The Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Building, 1860 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C. NIAF members: $25; non-members: $35. For more information and tickets, contact Kyla McKenna at 202-939-3117 or

Gifting Your Heritage
This holiday season, as we gather with friends and family, we’re reminded of our great culture and traditions that are so important to us. At this special time of year, pay tribute to those who came before us and thank those who continue to carry on our Italian American heritage. This year, why not share your heritage with others by giving a gift that lasts.

Purchase a gift membership for a friend or family member, make a charitable donation in honor or memory of a loved one, or give a lasting legacy by purchasing an inscribed brick on NIAF’s Walk of Honor. A donation card announcing your gift to NIAF will be sent in the name of your chosen recipient to you and the recipient. Each gift donation goes directly to support NIAF’s mission. For more information, call 202-387-0600 or visit

Attenzione: NIAF Scholarships and Voyage of Discovery Applicants
NIAF will make 30 scholarships available to students for the 2013-2014 academic year, and its Voyage of Discovery program will take about 20 U.S. students on an expense-paid trip to Italy this summer.

NIAF scholarship applications and information is now available online at Deadline to apply is March 1, 2013.

NIAF Voyage of Discovery applications are also available online at Deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2013.

For more information, contact NIAF Grants and Scholarships Manager Alexandra Dall, at 202-939-3118 or

See Assaggi Osteria’s Dining Deal on

NIAF friend and sponsor Assaggi Osteria, a gourmet Italian restaurant that has been ranked among Washingtonian Magazine’s “100 Very Best Restaurants” in the Washington, D.C., area, and a Diner’s Choice Winner 2012, is offering a great 50-percent-off deal during December on Recoup, the online shopping site that benefits both shoppers and good causes with every sale.

Assaggi Osteria is offering two deals: Pay $20 for $40 to spend on dinner; or pay $10 for $20 to spend on lunch. And whenever you purchase anything from Recoup (dining, trips, beauty products, specialty foods, entertainment), 10 percent of the purchase goes to the charity of your choice. So when you register at and indicate NIAF as the charity you support, NIAF receives 10 percent of the proceeds your purchases. It’s an easy way to find great bargains while helping NIAF. To register at Recoup and help NIAF, visit:

Assaggi Osteria is located at 6641 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA. Phone: 703-918-0080 Visit:

Help Others in Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath
The damage and destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeastern seaboard, including New Jersey and New York’s low-lying areas such as Brooklyn and Staten Island, persists. People are still without homes. Small businesses—some of them Italian American landmarks such as Totonno’s Pizzeria and Gargiulo’s in Coney Island, and Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay—have yet to reopen.

Italian American Relief, founded by NIAF last spring with support of organizations throughout the Italian American community, as well as corporations and individuals, helps when natural disasters strike. After collecting $200,000 over last summer to aid victims of the destructive earthquake in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, the relief fund now turns its attention to helping those whose homes and lives were uprooted by Sandy. Please donate whatever you can. Every dollar makes a difference. For more information, please visit

Don’t Miss the Winter Issue of Ambassador Magazine!
Not only is Ambassador’s upcoming winter issue (a.k.a. “the holiday issue”) loaded with scrumptious ‘tis-the-season recipes from five celebrity chefs, it’s cover story profiles Sicily’s most famous nativity-scene artist with beautiful photos of her terracotta figures. Other features include a story on Venice’s gondola builders, an insightful photojournalistic piece on life in the Calabrian town of Monasterace, an interview with Italy’s own U.S.-touring rock star Jovanotti, and a profile of designer Jane August and her luxury handbags made in Italy by artisan craftsmen.

The issue’s columns include an expanded Books section (think holiday gifts!); the On Film column on the 50th New York Film Festival’s Italian entries; the On Sports column on former NFL great Tedy Bruschi; and an Opinion column on the book “Good Italy, Bad Italy.”

So you want to receive Ambassador magazine? It’s one of the many benefits for NIAF members. Renew your membership or join NIAF today at

Michelangelo at The National Gallery
Inaugurating “2013—The Year of Italian Culture” in the United States, the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., will unveil the only presentation in the United States of the “David-Apollo” by Michelangelo, on loan from Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence. The “David-Apollo,” last seen in Washington in 1949, will be on public view in the West Building, Dec. 13 through March 3, 2013.

NYU Florence: A Conversation with Jim Messina
Come meet Jim Messina, President Obama's 2012 campaign manager and deputy White House chief of staff from 2009-2011, in Florence, Italy, on Dec. 6. NIAF Secretary John F. Calvelli will moderate the session in which Messina will offer a behind the scenes look at the 2012 election, President Obama's first term in office, and his future agenda, followed by a questions from the audience. Dec. 6; 6 p.m.; NYU Florence’s Villa La Pietra, Via Bolognese 120, Florence, Italy. Space is limited. RSVP is required by emailing

Italians in D.C.—December Events
On Dec. 4, a book presentation with Italian judge and chief executive of the Italian Ministry of Justice Stefano Dambruoso, author of “A Moment Before,” about how fundamentalist terrorism has changed in the 10 years since 9-11. Moderated by Italians in DC President Ivan Butina, the panel will include: Italian journalist Guido Olimpio; Eric Terzuolo, president of the U.S.-Italy Global Affairs Forum; Daniele Moro, visiting scholar at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University. In Italian; 6-7:30 p.m.; NIAF Headquarters, 1860 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C. For more information, visit To register, contact

On Dec. 7, ParoLab, the book club of Italians in DC, will host a presentation of "A New Map: The Poetry of Migrant Writers in Italy," co-edited by Italian-French poet and critic Mia Lecomte. Italophone Argentinian poet Candelaria Romero and Lecomte will read from their poetry collections, Georgetown University professor of Italian Nicoletta Pireddu will talk of new foreign authors writing in Italian, and violinist Diana Le Grande Mollaioli will provide musical backdrop for the readings. Dec. 7, at 6:30 p.m., in the Auditorium of the Italian Embassy, 3000 Whitehaven St. NW, Washington, D.C. Please RSVP at

On Dec. 13, Italians in DC will host a reception and slide lecture by husband and wife photographers Frank Van Riper and Judith Goodman discussing their beautiful coffee-table book “Serenissima: Venice in Winter,” a lush photographic exploration of Venice in winter when the crowds have left the piazzas and canals.

The authors will also sign books—a perfect holiday gift! Dec. 13; 6:30 p.m.; NIAF Headquarters, 1860 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C. For more information and to RSVP, contact

Davi Sings Sinatra — L.A.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area mid-December, Vibrato Grill Jazz has added a second “Davi Sings Sinatra” show after selling out the first show on Frank Sinatra’s birthday. Actor and jazz singer Robert Davi, a longtime NIAF friend, brings The Chairman of the Board’s greatest hits to life at one of North Hollywood’s top restaurants and jazz clubs. Comedian Mike Marino opens the show. December 13 at 8 p.m. Tables are limited. Cover charge: $40. For reservations, call the Vibrato Grill Jazz at 310-474-9400 or visit

Cooking with Nonna—Christmas Tour Giveaway
Rossella Rago, the host of Cooking with Nonna, is playing Santa Claus once again and giving away a free Perillo Tour to Italy for Christmas. Please visit Cooking with Nonna at: and enter the Giveaway!

December Events at Casa Belvedere
The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere, located on Staten Island, N.Y., offers a wide variety of educational and cultural events. This month, its calendar includes a Christmas Concert and Reception—a Staten Island Sandy Relief Benefit featuring “Two Tenors & a Lady” with VETRO tenors Christopher Macchio, Elio Scaccio and soprano Marissa Famiglietti, and the music of the Richmond County Orchestra. Sunday, Dec. 9; 1:30 p.m. at the St. John’s Staten Island Campus located at 300 Howard Ave., Staten Island, N.Y. For tickets, information and sponsorship opportunities, call 718-273-7660, email or visit

Carnegie Hall Holiday Chorus Concert
If you’re searching for holiday spirit, look no further. The St. Cecilia Chorus of New York (established in 1906) performs a holiday concert “Mangia! Holiday Music with the Flavor of Italy.” The program features Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and the “heavenly but underperformed” music of Peter Mennin’s “The Christmas Story,” Isabella Leonarda’s “Three Motets,” and Raphael Fusco’s “Divis Cetera: an Ode from Mount Soracte.” Dec. 22; 8 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. Ticket cost $25-$68. For tickets and more information, visit, or call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University is hosting an exhibition of works by important Italian abstract artist Toti Scialoja (Rome, 1914-1998) through Dec. 20, Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 24 West 12th Street, New York, N.Y. For more information on this and other December events, call 212-998-8739 or visit

Lido Civic Club’s Past President’s Night – D.C.
The Lido Civic Club will host its annual Past President's Night on Jan. 12, 2013, at the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. In addition to honoring its past presidents, this year it will be honoring Al Grasso, president and chief executive officer of the Mitre Corporation. NIAF is a proud longtime sponsor of the Lido Civic Club, an Italian American civic organization serving the Washington metropolitan community. For more information, call 301-518-6999 or email

San Diego Italian Film Festival
The San Diego Italian Film Festival’s monthly movies continues on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., with director Paolo Genovese’s 2010 holiday comedy “La banda dei babbi natale” (The Santa Claus Gang), in Italian with English Subtitles. Tickets: $5 donation at the door. San Diegans should check out the San Diego Italian Film Festival’s new website at for the full schedule of screenings and events.

Uffizi Gallery’s “Angel” Exhibit U.S. Tour’s Last Stop
The inspirational exhibition “Offering of the Angels: Tapestries and Paintings from the Uffizi Gallery,” opens on December 7 at the final stop of its U.S. tour at Telfair Museum, Jepson Center for the Arts, in Savannah, Ga. The 43 paintings and two tapestries by Baroque and Renaissance masters such as Botticelli, Liberi and Tintoretto will be on display through March 30, 2013. For more information, visit

Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame
The American Italian Cultural Center will be holding its 28th Annual Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Jan. 19, 2013, in New Orleans. The banquet supports the AICC’s mission to honor and celebrate contributions of Italian Americans in the sports, entertainment, medical and civic fields. At the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel; cocktails and silent auction at 6 p.m.; dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m. For information, visit For tickets, contact Frank Maselli or Jennifer McCausland at 504-522-7294.

Columbus Awards for Middle School Students
Call for entries! Christopher Columbus Awards challenges middle school students to use the scientific process to solve real-world problems and improve their communities. Sponsored by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundations, the contest is free to enter. Finalist teams win trip to Walt Disney World. Deadline is Feb. 4, 2013. For guidelines and information, visit or call 800-291-6020.

Congratulations to NIAF Vice Chairman Louis Freeh for his selection by Esquire magazine in its December issue’s top 15 “Americans of the Year 2012” list. Chosen for the honor (along with other Italian Americans, actor Bradley Cooper, rock icon Bruce Springsteen and Mars-project NASA engineer Tom Rivellini), the former director of the FBI and founding partner of the law firm Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan conducted the investigation into the Penn State scandal earlier this year. Wrote Esquire: “We shouldn’t have needed him to get to the bottom of the Penn State scandal, but we did.”
Congratulations to longtime NIAF friend Christopher Lehane on the publication of his new book (with coauthors Mark Fabiani and Bill Guttentag) “Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control” (Palgrave Macmillan; $27). A partner in the strategic communications firm Fabiani & Lehane, he was previously named “Master of Disaster” by Newsweek and the “Master of the Political Dark Arts” by The New York Times.
Congratulations to NIAF member Caroline Ludovici on the publication of her debut novel “The Obsidian Mask” ($16.95), a desert archeology adventure involving two American and two Italian teens, written for young teen readers.
Congratulations to NIAF member Angelo F. Coniglio on the publication of his new historical novella “The Lady of the Wheel” (Legas Publishing; $12), set in the late 1800s in Racalmuto, Sicily, and inspired by his genealogic research of Sicilian records.

Take a Stroll on NIAF’s Walk of Honor

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Join NIAF Today!
Starting at just $45 per year, you can become a member of our national organization, and gain member benefits such as invitations to exclusive events, opportunities to network with prominent political and business leaders, cultural and educational events, and so much more! You membership helps us fulfill our mission. Please visit and sign up today! Enjoy the many benefits of membership, such as invitations to exclusive events, opportunities to network with prominent political and business leaders, cultural and educational events, and so much more! Become a member now!

Book Your 2012 Trips to Italy with NIAF
Cruise the Mediterranean, spend leisurely days touring the Italy’s scenic regions, or customize your Italian vacation...

Custom Design Your Vacation to Italy!
Famous for its first-class, fully-escorted tours for 67 years, Perillo Tours is now offering exclusive services to those who would prefer to travel independently or on small hosted tours. Visit Perillo’s for its new one-stop shop to book your flights, hotels, car rentals, train tickets, sightseeing, museum passes, cooking classes, villa rentals, family travel, wedding planning and so much more!

Perillo Tour’s team of experts can custom design your entire trip over the phone! Plus, Perillo’s website is full of information, fun to browse, and filled with tremendous travel deals. And Perillo is giving NIAF members $100 off – just mention the promo code NIAFPT when you book. NIAF receives a donation with every trip you book!

To learn more about ItalyVacations, call 1-800-ITALY-25 today or visit us at

Travel Packages to Italy!
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) continues its popular travel programs to Italy by offering four nine-day/seven-night tours departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City beginning in March 2012:

Unitours offers a variety of 7-9 day travel packages to Italy departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City:
  • Classic Italy
  • Piedmont & Aosta
  • Puglia & Matera
Trips include round-trip flights from New York (JFK) and other amenities. Costs range from $2,999 to $3,999 per person based on double occupancy and month of departure. For information and reservations, contact: Marianna Pisano at or call 800-777-7432.

Mediterranean Cruises
Trek Tours Ltd. presents 10-day Mediterranean cruises through the end of 2012 and in the coming year. For details or to book your cruise, contact Pam Salimeno at Trek Tours, at 1-800-370-0357 or visit

Support Our Sponsors

Italian Children’s Market

We at Italian Children's Market believe it's never too early or too late for a child to learn about his or her heritage. With this in mind, Giovanni the Italian-Speaking Bear was born, a gentle little friend to open that wondrous door. Step through, and you'll find carefully selected educational toys, books, DVDs and CDs that will guarantee your child's friendly introduction to the language and lore of Italy. Our expressive clothing and imported Pinocchio toys are sure to nurture pride in Italian roots.

"Like branches on a tree we may grow in different directions, yet our roots remain the same.”

Visit us at Call 310-427-2700 for a free catalog.


Vinport is your Passport to a World of Wine! Delivering boutique, hard-to-find wines from around the world to your door. The more you explore the globe with us, the more you will be rewarded through our Passport Rewards program. Each stamp you collect along the way will be a coupon for future purchases.

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MilleMiglia Members residing in the USA are invited to apply for the Alitalia American Express® Card and earn rewards faster! Cardmembers earn 2 miles per $1¹ spent on all qualifying Alitalia purchases, 1 mile per $1¹ spent on all other purchases, bonus miles¹ with first purchase, and other travel benefits. Learn more and apply now at

Protect Your Miles & Keep Earning!
Have all the unused miles you've collected in the current edition of the MilleMiglia Program as of December 31, 2012, credited to the new program as a welcome bonus if your account is open and in good standing. This will allow you to keep earning miles towards flight tickets and upgrades!

This Card is issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, pursuant to a license from American Express. American Express is a federally registered service mark of American Express. See the Credit Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions in the Summary of Credit Terms for details.

Interested in reaching 55,000 readers by sponsoring an upcoming edition of E-News? For more information, contact Don Oldenburg at

NIAF e-Newsletter compiled
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by Don Oldenburg

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