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Tag Archives: Casa Italia

Literary symposium takes to the internet

IA Literati, a celebration of local Italian-American authors and books, will move to an online platform this year. Typically held in the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia in Stone Park, the literary seminar will be presented via Zoom in two back-to-back sessions starting at 10 a.m. on June 13.  Participating authors include John Cavallone, Mary E. Matury Gibson, CJ Martello and Marcella Bernard, with Fra Noi Associate Editor Fred Gardaphe serving as the keynote speaker. This year’s seminar will be dedicated to the memory of poet, essayist and translator Joseph Tusiani. For details, email casalibrary@gmail.com.  

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Serpico delivers banner results at Casa’s Golden Gala

With Jo Ann Serpico as its Woman of the Year, Casa Italia celebrated another hugely successful 50th anniversary gala. Friends from across the community flocked to Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village on Feb. 8 to honor Serpico, and the program book was filled with words of praise. “There’s nobody who works as hard on as many fronts as you do,” Casa Chairman Angelo Castanza wrote. “You set the gold standard for community leadership that we all aspire to.” The admiration continued to flow during the presentations that evening. “Where would we be without our dear friend Jo Ann?” asked ...

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Castanza to serve as chairman of Casa Italia

Angelo Castanza has been elected by the board of directors to chair Casa Italia for a two-year term. Joining him as fellow officers are Jo Ann Serpico as vice chairman, Cathy Lange as treasurer and Paul Basile as secretary. A past president of the Calabresi in America Organization, Castanza has been a member of the board since 2014 and served as vice chairman from 2018 to 2020. “I was assigned to the board as president of the Calabresi in America and decided to maintain my membership after my term was up, because I like the vision that the Casa represents,” ...

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Casa honors Jo Ann Serpico at Golden Anniversary Gala

Casa Italia honored tireless community leader Jo Ann Serpico as Woman of the Year at its Golden Anniversary Gala on Feb. 8 at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village. “Jo Ann has been a pillar of the community for decades,” says Casa Chairman Peter Volpe. “We’re so lucky to have her as a board member, and we’re so honored that she has agreed to be our Woman of the Year.” Jo Ann has been immersed in the activities of the community since birth, thanks to the unwavering involvement of her father, Joseph R. Salerno. “My father was a member of ...

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Discussion group tackles Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’

Lovers of Italian language and culture are invited to join a lively group of Dante enthusiasts for an ongoing discussion of “La divina commedia” every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park. At each session, moderator Vincenzo DeVito introduces a canto with a short summary after which participants take turns reading from Dante’s “Purgatorio.” Readings are followed by a group discussion in Italian about the passage’s meaning, etymology, history and related critical commentary. Admission is free, and the text is available for $20. To join, contact group organizer Leo Colsant at colsant@sbcglobal.net.

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Italian classes galore!

A wide range of Italian classes for both children and adults will be available across the Chicago area this fall. The Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia offers classes for children between the ages of 5 and 13 at locations across the Chicago area. Adult Italian classes ranging from beginning to advanced are taught at the Casa. Private lessons for children and adults also are available. (708-345-5933, www.casaitaliachicago.org) ItalCultura offers a range of language and cultural courses at the Italian Cultural Institute in downtown Chicago. In addition to group classes ranging from beginner to advanced levels, courses and workshops cover ...

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Casa to serve up another film feast

Film aficionados have hungered for the return of Casa Italia’s beloved feast of Italian cinema, and the wait is finally over. The Casa’s 2019 Italian film series will reboot on Sept. 13 and run for seven glorious Fridays. The host of this year’s series will be Pam DeFiglio, a veteran Chicago editor, columnist and arts critic. The following film descriptions were provided by Casa Italia: Sept. 13 — Un Paese Quasi Perfetto (An Almost Perfect Town) (2016) — Pietramezzana offers stunning mountain scenery, but all the jobs have left town. To save it, residents deploy improbable and highly comic schemes, ...

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Casa Italia shines spotlight on Albert Belmonte

Casa Italia honored Albert Belmonte as Man of the Year on Feb. 9 at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison. The following profile was provided by the sponsoring organization. ALBERT BELMONTE If you listen to Al Belmonte, you’d think that Casa Italia chose the wrong guy for their 2019 Man of the Year. “When they asked me, I thought they were joking,” Belmonte says. “I feel honored and a little floored.” But if you talk to anyone else in the community, you’ll know that the Casa got it exactly right. “He’s a man who knows where he’s needed and steps up ...

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New Casa chef returns to his culinary roots

After spending the last 15 years in corporate dining, Mark Triggiano is returning to his roots as the new chef at Casa Italia. “I learned so much from working in the corporate world, but garlic and red sauce are in my DNA, so this is like coming home for me,” says Triggiano, who served as both unit and chef manager for Motorola and Compass North America. It should come as no surprise that his grandmother was a formative influence. While his fellow students at St. Cyprian elementary school in River Grove were muddling through sloppy Joes in the school lunchroom, ...

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Commedia comes to the Casa

The Italian American Theatre of Chicago presented “Vispetta” in the Community Center at Casa Italia in March. Adapted by Colleen Mraz from traditional 16th-century commedia dell’arte, the farce followed the misadventures of two star-crossed lovers, their clueless parents and their wily servant, Vispetta. True to its commedia roots, the principal actors wore masks and the humor was “slapstick,” a term that refers to a prop used in carnevale revels in Renaissance Venice. A medley of Italian songs performed by Joyce Marcheschi Westphal and Leonard Palombi greeted guests as they enjoyed wine and stuzzichini before a pizza dinner. The performance was ...

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