Last year readers of USA Today determined that the Saint Louis Zoo (1 Government Drive; www.stlzoo.org) had the third-best holiday light display in the country. Buoyed by that ranking, the zoo is determined this year to come out on top — so expect to be dazzled by U.S. Bank Wild Lights. This year’s light installation is open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (November 24 to December 17) and then goes nightly from December 18 to 23 and December 26 to 30. There will be carolers and costumed characters, fireside storytellers and children’s craft projects in the Woodland Workshop. Penguin & Puffin Coast, Sea Lion Sound and the Monsanto Insectarium are all open during the evening event, as is the gift shop. Admission is $7 to $10.
With Thanksgiving officially out of the way, we progress on to (sigh) Christmas (look, I don’t make the rules). If you’re a fan, there’s only one place you should be: St. Charles Christmas Traditions. Historic downtown St. Charles harkens back to an earlier generation’s Christmas, with chestnut roasters, carolers and costumed Santas from around the world wandering its brick streets. Following the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, November 24, at Frontier Park (First Capitol Drive and South Riverside Drive; www.stcharleschristmas.com), the Santas partake in a parade with their seasonal friends (the parade is repeated at 1:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday ’til Christmas). The Cobblestone Wassailers sing after the parade, followed by the Land of Sweets dance party. You can get in a little shopping or just soak up the atmosphere. St. Charles Christmas Traditions continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through December 24. Those Wednesday nights are also Krampusnachts, when Krampus, the Mouse King and Belsnickel make their appearances — bring your naughty kids and it’ll straighten ’em up quickly, before it’s too late. Admission is free.
Sourced direct from rare records, cassettes and VHS tapes.
Straight out of Naples’ burgeoning electronic music scene, Modula is the producer behind one of our favourite 10″s of the year so far. Released on Firecracker, The 780 Chronicles is an elastic workout on the Yamaha PSS 780, the versatile five-octave synth released in 1989. It’s an era Modula references heavily in his music, lodged between lost Prince b-sides and the purest PPU electro-funk.
To accompany the release, Modula aka Filippo Colonna Romano has delved deep into the analogue archives to source a selection of his favourite Italian film soundtracks from rare records, cassettes and ripped from VHS for a superb mix, laced in melodrama and magnetic fuzz.
He’s called the mix Cinema Italiano – The Italian Film Scores, and explains, “I wanted to share a selection of my favourite Italian film soundtracks which have accompanied my life and form my music background. The mix shifts through comedies, romance, crime, Poliziotteschi and documentary scores. It’s mixed in a similar way to how a film is structured, moving the needle at the point of drama up and down to keep the listener interested and with a sense of “what’s gonna happen next?””
Listen to the mix above and read Romano’s track-by-track insights below.
‘Alligator Attack’ from Il Fiume Del Grande Caimano
Directed by Sergio Martino, this is like an Italian version of Jaws set in a tropical environment. I played a few tracks off this record and it’s probably one of the best scores I’ve heard so far. With ‘Alligator Attack’ Stelvio Cipriani creates the perfect balance between suspense and stillness, which I believe is key to keeping the audience biting their nails. I really recommend watching this film.
Guido & Maurizio De Angelis
‘I Metodi Di Piedone’ from Piedone A Hong Kong
The great Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli) appears in another episode of Piedone directed by Steno. This is the second film of the trilogy and is the best example of the Italian comedy/Poliziotteschi genre. The De Angelis brothers delivered a great electronic funk soundtrack emphasising each scene, especially those saturated with punches and kicks from the great actor.
‘Dance On’ from Così Come Sei
What can you say about Morricone? His music speaks for itself. ‘Dance On’ was first included in Così Come Sei, directed by Alberto Lattuada, and subsequently included in Bianco Rosso E Verdone, directed and interpreted by Carlo Verdone.
‘Disco China’ from Squadra Antigangsters
Squadra Antigangsters stars Tomas Milian (dubbed by Ferruccio Amendola, the Italian voice of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino) and was directed by Bruno Corbucci, well known for directing the first release of Django (1966). Goblin’s soundtrack is such a great combination of tension and its amusing theme, which works really well in helping tell the story of each scene.
‘Super Maratona’ from Super Fantozzi
A great comedy that shows the “L’ Italiano Medio” (Italian middle class) succubus of the Italian mobbing. Everyone born in Italy from the ‘870s onwards probably grew up watching this series of films. I love the funny main theme.
01. Stadio – Lunedì Cinema [Sigla Lunedì Cinema Rai Uno]
02. Stelvio Cipriani – Alligator Attack [Il Fiume Del Grande Caimano]
03. Stelvio Cipriani – Night Escape [Concorde Affaire 79]
04. Daniele Patucchi – People Come In [Turbo Time]
05. Alessandro Blocksteiner – Apocalypse [Apocalypse Domani]
06. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis – I Metodi Di Piedone [Piedone A Hong Kong]
07. Stelvio Cipriani – Rites Percussion Theme [Il Fiume Del Grande Caimano]
08. Stelvio Cipriani – Ready To Attack [Il Fiume Del Grande Caimano]
09. Ennio Morricone – Dance On [Così Come Sei]
10. Goblin – Disco China [Squadra Antigangsters]
11. Riz Ortolani – Il Corpo Di Linda [La Ragazza Dal Pigiama Giallo]
12. Alexander Robotnick – Litbarski Drive [Ragazzi Fuori]
13. Fred Bongusto – Super Maratona [Super Fantozzi]
14. Fabio Frizzi – Luca Il Contrabbandiere Seq. 14 [Contraband]
15. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis – Appostamento [Piedone A Hong Kong]
16. James Senese – Habanera [No Grazie, Il Caffè Mi Rende Nervoso]
17. Vasco Rossi – Stasera A Casa Di Alice [Stasera A Casa Di Alice]
It’s easy to misjudge a country. You hear a lot, you see a lot and you imagine even more. Some of it is true but much of it isn’t and it’s up to travelers to get beyond clichés and discover what’s authentic. That’s even harder when the country is Italy and art, history, food and a thousand other things come to mind. Before I arrived I was positive the streets were filled with soccer balls and Marcello Mastroianni lookalikes. It didn’t take long to realize I was wrong and over a decade to rectify all my misconceptions. I learned to accept Italy for its contradictionsand imperfections and discover a country I had never imagined. It requires curiosity and comfortable shoes to escape stereotypes and distinguish between misconceptions and reality but it’s worth the effort.
1] Italians only eat pizza and pasta Food is an essential part of Italy but to the outside world Italian gastronomy often gets condensed to pizza and pasta. That’s not to say those dishes aren’t popular but Italian diets include many other dishes. In fact there are parts of Italy where it’s difficult to find either. In regions like Alto Adige and Veneto pizza is only for tourists and locals palates prefer polentaand cicchetti. Northern Italy produces enormous quantities of rice and menus in Milan and Turin are more likely to feature risotto than pasta. Even where pasta is king it comes in sauces and shapes that are hard to imagine until you’re sitting down in front of a plate of tagliattelli or strozzapreti. To lose culinary misconceptions requires finding small trattorie on quiet side streets away from the crowds and putting your gastronomic faith in the dish of the day.
2] Italy is Expensive Getting to Italy can be expensive but once you arrive food and accommodation are no more costly than they are in the United States. Often they are less expensive and of higher quality. That of course depends on currency but the trend is favorable for travelers heading to Europe and one dollar is nearly worth one euro. That means you can drink espresso for €1, get a sandwich for €3 and order a three course meal for under €25. The trick is to avoid tourists and adopt the practices of locals like drinking at bar counters and buying food in supermarkets. Outside major cities prices are even lower and the farther south you travel the less you will pay for house wine or a good night’s sleep. Outdoor markets are ubiquitous throughout the peninsula and offer the best deals on clothes and original souvenirs. Water is always free, admission to monuments and museums minimal and traveling around the country by train surprisingly cheap.
3] All Italians are the same
It’s easy to believe all Italians are the same but in a country that wasn’t founded until 1861 there are many regional differences. That doesn’t just mean menus are different. It means the words and expressions Sicilians use are different from the slang that rolls off Romans tongues and a Puglian accent is distinct from a Tuscan dialect. Differences go beyond language deep into the DNA of 60 million Italians whose family trees include incursions and invasions that brought Greeks, Normans, Arabs, Turks, Jews and many more to the shores of this multicultural haven in the center of the Mediterranean. New faces are still arriving with names that aren’t always easy to pronounce but somehow adapt and integrate into Italy’s own particular melting pot. Don’t be surprised therefore if your waiter has Polish origins or the man slicing your pizza was born in Bangladesh. That’s Italy too and this misconception will be quickly erased as you stroll through any large city and discover the communities who have made Italy their land of opportunity and constitute the new Italians.
4] Driving is risky in Italy Driving any place you’ve never driven before can be risky. It’s not that Italians drive better or worse but that they have a different mentality to driving and are accustomed to a different driving environment. Patience and courtesy are not always at a premium on Italian roadsand Roman or Neapolitan rush hour can leave the uninitiated commuter in a panic. But there are also many parts of the country where courtesy and kindness are the rule and allowing a pedestrian to pass or giving precedence to a bicycle is second nature. It’s true streets are narrower and cars smaller wherever you go but country roads are often deserted and the scenery along the hillsides of Tuscany and Le Marche will make you glad you chose to drive. Only by getting behind the wheel can you determine whether this misconception is valid or not but you are assured a thrill either way and should always drive with caution.
5] Italians go nuts for soccer
The quickest way to make conversation with an Italian man is to mention soccer. That much is probably true and it’s also true millions of Italian males from an early age until the grave have an unwavering loyalty to a soccer team. The most popular is Juventus, which also happens to be the most despised, and the one that has won the most trophies. They are a little like the New York Yankees except they are never upstaged by basketball or football. Soccer dominates the Italian sporting panorama and nothing comes close to receiving even a fraction of the media attention. Nevertheless a large portion of the population (males and females alike) don’t care if Inter have won or how many points Roma need to qualify for the Champions League. Many Italians don’t even know what offside is and live perfectly pleasant lives without ever watching or listening to soccer. That said television audiences for a World Cup match featuring the Azzuri (Italian national side) are astronomically high and Italians love to win which they often do.
5½] All Italians smoke
Italians have been addicted to tobaccofor ages and scanning the pavement near any bus stop will reveal a plethora butts. Cigarettes are sold in dedicated shops (tabaccheria) and the price of a pack is quite reasonable compared to most western countries. That doesn’t mean Italians have free reign to smoke anywhere they like. Smoking in bars and restaurants is banned and it’s one rule Italians overwhelmingly respect. Cigarette packages are covered with gruesome images of deformed lungs and missing toes and messages couldn’t be clearer regarding the dangers of nicotine yet smoking persists and is unlikely to be eradicated. Smokers are everywhere and although numbers are declining they are unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
COMEDIAN SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO BRINGS HIS HILARIOUS
“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT”
NATIONAL TOUR TO THE PEABODY OPERA HOUSE
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th
“The comedian’s comedian” (People Magazine) is taking his “braggadocios” (Billboard) stand-up routine to more than 10 cities across the U.S. this fall including stops in never-before-headlined markets Nashville, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis & more
Sebastian Adds Momentum to 2017 “Top 20 Global Concert Tour” (Pollstar)
Sebastian Maniscalco continues to build upon arguably the most successful year of his career yet: In 2016 he was named Just For Laughs Stand Up “Comedian of the Year,” selected for People Magazine’s annual “Ones to Watch” package, and his third hit special Why Would You Do That? was declared Showtime’s most successful comedy/variety special premiere in 2016. This year, shortly after welcoming his daughter, Serafina, into the world with his wife Lana, he set the record for most consecutive comedy appearances at the Borgata with a seven-performance stint in Atlantic City in early July. Maniscalco continues to adhere to the voice he describes as “always in the back of my head saying ‘Don’t rest!’,” as he takes what The New York Times calls his “own kind of panache” across the U.S. this fall. Tickets on sale now at: sebastianlive.com. .
“I just had to go on tour this fall because with a new baby, comes new material,” shares Sebastian.
Dubbed “one of the hottest comics” by Newsday and “one of the funniest comics working stand-up today” by Esquire,Sebastian’s live performance has become a critically-acclaimed event, with the Los Angeles Times raving, “onstage, there’s an impatience to Maniscalco’s delivery as well, a hair-trigger exasperation with people and modern life, punctuated with baffled expressions, percussive thumps on the microphone and wide-swung leg kicks more associated with an Olympic speed-skater than a stand-up comic.”
In addition to starring in his wildly popular podcast as heard on SiriusXM , “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” Maniscalco is making several major motion picture appearances this year including a voice-over role in the animated feature “Nut Job 2,” a role in the New Line Feature comedy “The House” starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, as well as a role in the independent drama “Cruise,” directed by Rob Siegel and produced by Jeremy Renner.
E con altrettanto piacere che alleghiamo l’edizione di dicembre di It@lico, dedicato esclusivamente alla Festa di Natale che si terrà, novità assoluta, durante la riunione del 6 dicembre a Pan d’Olive. Novità assoluta in quanto oltre al sorteggio gratuito di regali, cosa ormai abituale, quest’anno abbiamo avuto la fortuna di scoprire e la lungimiranza di Luisa Gabbiani Flynn di invitare la bravissima cantante lirica Benedetta Orsi a cantare per noi le sue classiche canzoni natalizie. Leggete l’allegato per i dettagli…
Un leggero intoppo, però, facilmente rimediabile. La riunione di dicembre è esclusiva per i soci in regola (visto che i regali che doniamo sono stati comperati con i loro soldi), quindi se non vi siete ancora associati o non avete rinnovato l’adesione per il 2017 ora è un buon momento per farlo e la vostra adesione sarà valida per l’intero 2018, cioè per tredici invece di dodici mesi. Il canone, vi ricordiamo, è solamente $30 per singoli e $40 per coppie. Potete controllare l’elenco dei soci al sito www.ItalianoPerPiacere.org, selezionando la pagina “Collaboratori”. Nello stesso sito potete anche pagare il canone con carta di credito.
Se proprio preferite non associarvi per ora e l’evento non sarà esaurito dai soci in regola, potrete attendere secondo l’ordine in cui avete prenotato da Evite e pagando il costo normale per non soci di $35 per persona. Per questa occasione speciale, però, prevediamo il tutto esaurito in qual caso vi comunicheremo via email il giorno prima dell’evento se la vostra prenotazione non può essere accettata. Grazie e scusate la lunga spiegazione…
Santa Claus is coming to town with his Elves.
Bring your family, children, grandkids and friends.
When: Sunday December 10, 2017
Time: 4:30 – 9:00 pm
Where: Orlando Gardens
2050 Dorsett Village Plaza
Maryland Heights, Missouri 63043
Santa will arrive promptly at 5:00 pm
Music by: That’s Amore DJ
Open Bar – 5:00-9:00 pm
includes Soft drinks, Wine and Beer
Members – $10.00
Guests – $25.00
Children under 6-Free and 6 – 18 $10.00
Raffle 6- $5.00. And a Big Screen 49”TV Raffle $5.00 each
Please let us know the names and ages of the children and names of the adults who are coming when you make reservations.
PLEASE RSVP BY DECEMBER 5th to:Tanina Santangelo
firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-846-0202 or
Phyllis Sansone email@example.com or 636-461-0329
2017 Turkey Bowl is almost here…
-Thanksgiving morning, Berra Park.
-St. Ambrose youth soccer game starts are 9am, adult game starts at 10am.
-Special guests to sing the National Anthem before each game!
-T-shirts and hoodies for sale; hot chocolate, coffee, Missouri Bakery goodies and luganiga sandwiches available for a donation.
-All money raised goes to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
-Don’t miss this long-standing Thanksgiving Day Hill tradition!!
First restored in the 1800s, after centuries of inaccessibility, the fifth floor had been forced to close due to safety concerns.
For the first time in 40 years, the quinto ordine is open to the public.
As one of the most iconic buildings in the world, you’d forgive Rome’s Colosseum for being a little over-exposed. 6.4 million visitors last year alone, immortality on the five (euro) cent coin, a background role in countless Hollywood movies… you’d assume there isn’t a stone unturned.
Not content with simply unveiling new details like an 1,800-year-old gladiator bas relief as part of a 33-month deep clean (and an ongoing restoration project funded by fashion brand Tod’s), Roman authorities have now gone one step further. Earlier this month, the top level of the structure opened to visitors for the first time in 40 years. First restored in the 1800s, after centuries of inaccessibility, the floor had been forced to close due to safety concerns.
“It’s a unique view of the Flavian amphitheater and of the city, in a monument that’s the symbol of Italy to the wider world,” Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini told reporters when he previewed the site last month.
And so it is. Perched 130 feet above the arena floor, in the area where the “plebs” sat–the cheap seats, in other words, with restricted views of the action and precariously angled wooden benches rather than the stone seating on lower levels–the perspective from the quinto ordine, or fifth level, is unlike anything you’ve seen before—other than on a birds-eye view, panoramic postcard. There’s an intense sense of depth.
The amphitheatre seems more oval than ever. The tour groups at floor level, on a partially reconstructed stage, look like walking toothpicks. Away from the masses following the standard routes below, the skin starts to prick, and you can almost hear the roar of the crowds from 80 A.D., when it was first inaugurated. It’s a visceral experience.
And then there are the views: 270-degree panoramas that give a completely different take on Rome, turning away from the Forum and putting the spotlight on lesser known sights like the 2,023-year-old marble pyramid of Testaccio, gleaming after a recent renovation, and the defunct gasometro of Ostiense, which held gas for the city in the nineteenth century. Make sure to look out for the dome of the mini St. Peter’s at EUR, the business district built by Mussolini southwest of the city centre which meshes classical and Fascist architecture together. Closer by are the hills–the Caelium, Palatine, even the Gianicolo–suddenly at eye level. Olive trees, spindly pine, and cypresses dominate the landscape.
Only a small stretch of the fifth level exists today; the rest crumbled centuries ago. The restoration work to make this possible has cost Rome’s authorities €1.4 million ($1.6 million) and has unearthed far more than a new selfie spot. The visit—only possible via official guided tours in groups of up to 25—includes an access corridor, never before open to the public, with white plaster and traces of color uncovered during the restoration. The walls show blocks of travertine which were recycled after a devastating fire in 217 A.D., complete with notes scrawled on them in red by the men who quarried the stone in nearby Tivoli. Other bits and bobs—a piece of column here, a relief there—were upcycled from other places during the post-fire restorations. There are even remnants of the original toilets.
This isn’t the first time the Colosseum has opened a restricted area to visitors. Since 2010, the Sotterranei, Terzo Ordine, e Belvedere (underground, third level and lookout) tour has been popular with those in the know, taking visitors down into the bowels of the building to see the system of elevators and pulleys used to deliver animals and gladiators onto the stage, and finishing on the third level with its terrace overlooking the Forum.
But this, 50 feet higher up, is on another level, in more ways than one.
Back in the day, the fifth level was covered, sheltering the crowds from the fierce sun (and obscuring their view in the process). Today, it’s exposed to the elements, a mere few feet below the gulls who nest on the top ridges of the buildings.
HOW TO BOOK
Tours—in Italian, English, and Spanish, booked through coopculture.it or by calling +39 06 39967700—will start from the ‘Colosseo: Un’Icona’ exhibition on the second level, then wind their way up to the top “ring,” taking 75 minutes. Be warned that the steps are steep and purposely dark, as the lighting in the corridor has been set to mimic that of the flaming torches that used to light the way. The tour cost is $11 ($18 if you want to visit the underground part, too), plus the $14 entrance fee for the Colosseum. A small price to pay for setting foot where few people have been since the last show, in 523 A.D.
It looks like it’s been ridden straight out of a sci-fi movie. This stealth black stripped back cafe racer though is very much the real thing.
The Tripla 0.0 675 cc was built by the bike fanatics at Italian Dream Motorcycle as a strictly limited- edition model. This radical bike is the latest in a line of customised Triumph Street Triples to emerge from this small company’s workshops in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy.
From front to rear this is a cafe racer that speaks of minimalism and craftsmanship. The bike floats over the solid black rear wheel – itself a piece of Italian craftsmanship – courtesy a mono shock conversion of the suspension.