LICNA spearheads transformation of Taylor St. piazza

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Italian immigrants who sought a better life for themselves and their families on Chicago’s Near West Side were honored on May 22 with the naming of Piazza Italia di Chicago at 1434 W. Taylor St.

The Little Italy Chicago Neighborhood Association (LICNA) spearheaded the renaming of the former Piazza Di Maggio, installing flags that represent each of Italy’s 20 regions. During the renaming ceremony, many of the flags were presented by descendants of Little Italy immigrants, while others were presented by newer neighborhood residents and longtime businesspeople.

Keynote speaker Thomas Botzios, Italy’s consul general in Chicago, called the flags “a meaningful way to celebrate our country and our community.

“Italians have always proved what being an Italian means: It means hard working, desire of integration in a new reality, preserving memories of our traditions and origins,” he continued. “It was a process not always smooth and easy. What Italians made and realized was not granted for free. It has always been achieved through sacrifice.”

A commemorative plaque was unveiled by Josephine Fiore and Paula D’Angelo. Fiore has lived in her family’s Taylor Street building her entire life. She was 99 years old on May 14. D’Angelo, an avid supporter of Italian cultural efforts, is the widow of Oscar D’Angelo, who was responsible for many neighborhood improvements, including the creation of the piazza in 1999.

In blessing the piazza, the Rev. Richard N. Fragomeni, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, prayed that “all who meet here find … friendship and a community of love.”

LICNA plans to hold events in the piazza.

 

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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.

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