It was a Festa della Repubblica the likes of which Chicago had never witnessed. On June 2, more than 400 revelers converged on the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame on historic Taylor Street to enjoy a gala event staged by Onesti Entertainment. The event was sponsored by the Chicago offices of the Italian Consulate General, Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Trade Agency as well as the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest and Onesti Entertainment. “The Hall of Fame was the perfect setting, and Onesti Entertainment took the event to a new level,” Consul General Adriano Monti stated. “I deeply appreciate the contributions that Ron Onesti and (NIASHF founder) George Randazzo made to the success of the event.”
With four floors as his palette, Onesti painted a dazzling portrait of Italy and Italian America. A culinary cornucopia was served up by Phil Stefani Restaurants, Elio on Fire, Turano Baking, Tocco Ristorante, Spacca Napoli, Perfect Pasta, Volare Ristorante, Smeraldina Water, Lavazza, Lezza, Gelato d’Oro, Italian Bakery in Addison and More Than Grapes Wines. Cirque du Canada and tenors Franco Martorana, Simon Kyung Lee, Warren Moulton, Tony Spavone, Johnny Maggio and Vince Amore kept the assemblage entertained.
Emceed by Deputy Consul Marco Graziosi, the formal program featured proclamations from Governor Bruce Rauner, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and presentations by Senatore Renato Turano and the Consul General to this year’s crop of Italian knights. Earning the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia were business and Calabresi leader Umberto Turano, cultural dynamo Josette Mentesana Weber, academic advocate Dominic Candeloro, Rockford activist Shirley Fedeli and international attorney Nicola Fiordalisi. The title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana went to veteran tour operator and Italian American Chamber of Commerce President Mauro Galli.
For a profile of Umberto “Tony” Turano, click here.
For a profile of Umberto Josette Mentesana Weber, click here.
For a profile of Umberto Dominic Candeloro, click here.
For a profile of Umberto Shirley Fedeli, click here.