Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

Film showcases the remarkable, musical Chiarellis

Our Good Vibes feature spotlights websites, blogs, videos and podcast from around the world that celebrate Italy’s inimitable spirit. If you have a favorite online offering you’d like to share, send it to For more, follow us on Facebook. Film showcases the remarkable, musical Chiarellis This brief, superbly done documentary spotlights two generations of the Chiarelli family and their music. The film follows Vincenza Chiarelli as he arrives from Italy and establishes himself as a tailor, but more importantly pursues a career as a musician. Covered in the video are his struggles to maintain a recording studio in the …

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A preview of music, film, theater, dance and more

Multifaceted artist Rare Nest Gallery in Chicago will host a Tom Palazzolo retrospective through June 15. Palazzolo is widely known as one of Chicago’s most important experimental filmmakers. But Rare Nest will feature his work as a printmaker, painter, photographer and sculpture in this first-ever comprehensive restrospective. Palazzolo earned a bachelor’s degree and master of fine arts in photography from the School of the Art Institute and became part of the underground film scene in Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s. In the mid-1960s, Palazzolo and a group of friends formed the Floating Cinematheque, a secret film society that met …

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Caputo Cheese nets win with knot- shaped ‘nodini’

Caputo Cheese took home first place in the Fresh Mozzarella category at the 2024 World Championship Cheese Contest. The Melrose Park-based cheesemaker’s “nodini” was crowned the winner at the contest, which took place in Madison, Wisconsin, WBBM Newsradio reported. “Nodini” means “little knot” in Italian. Renzo Berardi, sales manager at Caputo’s, credited the way the cheese is created with the win. “I think it stems (from) the flavor profile and the uniqueness of this item — the hand-tied, the crafting of this cheese. We bring the tradition of handmade products.” Berardi said the nodini has a “chewy bite just in …

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Family hopes to forge a pizza-making legend

“Get them in, get them out, and get the dough crisp” is how Chris Marston described to the Daily Herald the pizza-making process at his new restaurant, Legends Pizza in Carol Stream. Marston is a former service representative for Chicago Brick Oven, and at one point had up to six different models of pizza ovens in his backyard. He and his wife, Michelle, achieved their dream of opening a restaurant this spring. Legends Pizza, at 158 N. Gary Ave., has a full bar and a carousel oven that cooks 12-, 14- and 16-inch thin-crust pizzas at 550 degrees. The menu …

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Miko’s finally launches coffee flavored Italian ice

In the works for four years, a new coffee flavor is now on the menu at Miko’s Italian Ice. Miko’s has two locations in Chicago, at 2236 N. Sacramento Ave. and 4125 N. Kimball Ave. Owner Zach Roombos told Block Club Chicago that the new flavor came from listening to customer feedback. “It’s very exciting, and lots of people have been asking for it for a long time,” Roombos said. With a rotating list of 30 flavors, the family-run business celebrates its 27th anniversary this year. A location in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood closed in 2019. For more, click here.

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Bonci opens third Chicago location on Broadway

The third Chicago location of Bonci pizzeria opened in the spring at 3151 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Bonci features Roman-style pizza al taglio, or rectangular slices, sold by weight. Exotic variations include Lemon Ricotta and vegan Mushroom Rosa pizzas, but you can also find pizza with traditionally American ingredients like pepperoni, Eater Chicago reported. Bonci opened its first location outside of Italy seven years ago in Chicago’s West Loop, followed by a location in Lincoln Park. The U.S. group is co-owned by Chakib Touhami, who told Eater he and his partner hope to start debuting suburban locations. For …

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Italian film explores the liberation of Italy in WW II

It took Allied forces nearly two brutal years — from July 1943 to May 1945 — to topple Mussolini’s regime and drive Hitler’s forces from the Italian peninsula during World War II. Key to their success was the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, which fought ferociously from January to May 1945 to wrestle the Gothic line from the Nazis and secure the North of Italy for the Allies. “Mountainmen: Gothic Line 1945” shares the personal experiences of the tens of thousands of brave soldiers who endured frigid mountain conditions and withering enemy fire on the road to victory. Set in …

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CIACO gears up for third annual family fest

The Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization will host its third annual Festa della Famiglia e Amici from 1-5 p.m. on July 7 in the Festival Center at Casa Italia. Gates will open at 11 a.m., and a noon Mass celebrated by Fr. Richard Fragomeni will be followed by an afternoon of food and entertainment. A $100-a-ticket raffle will yield a grand prize of $5,000. Adult and children’s tickets will be sold, and various benefactor and sponsor levels are available. For details, click here.

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Onesti, DeLuca pull out all the stops for Springfield reception

What do you get when a true showman joins forces with one of Springfield’s most respected legislators? The second annual Italian Caucus Tour of Italy Reception, of course. Hosted for the last two years by Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans President Ron Onesti and State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, the blockbuster event drew more than 300 movers and shakers from across the state. Among them were elected officials, lobbyists and leaders of the Chicago-area Italian-American community. The top floor of the Wyndham Hotel in Springfield, decked out in green, white and red, was lined with banners spotlighting the JCCIA and …

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IAET to honor Rhee, Serritella

The Italian American Executives of Transportation will honor Jamie Rhee as Woman of the Year and Sergio Serritella as Humanitarian of the Year at its awards dinner and celebration on Nov. 16 at Ashton Place in Willowbrook. Rhee is Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. Named to the post in 2018, she oversees operations at O’Hare and Midway International Airports, one of the largest airport systems in the world. Over the course of a 28-year career with the city of Chicago, Rhee has served in multiple positions at the airports, from customer-service foreign-language assistant while in law school, to …

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