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Italy, Germany nab 160 alleged mobsters, seize assets

Police in Italy and Germany seized 50 million euros ($60 million) in mafia assets Tuesday and arrested more than 160 people, accusing them of running a huge mob-controlled commercial and political empire involving everything from bread and wine sales to funeral services, migrant housing and garbage recycling.

Prosecutors in southern Italy said the ‘ndrangheta’s Farao-Marincola clan had its hand in just about every commercial enterprise in the Calabrian town of Ciro and nearby areas, and that its grip extended throughout Italy and into Germany to launder its profits.

Specifically, prosecutors accused the bosses of driving out all the baking competition in Ciro so that residents and restaurants were forced to buy bread from the one mob-controlled bakery in town. And they said that Italian restaurants in Germany, meanwhile, were forced to import Italian wine, olive oil and other goods from a clan-controlled Italian restaurant association.

“They controlled all the economic activity in entire towns,” Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told a press conference. “It concerned all commercial activity, and obviously political power as well.”

Carabinieri police said “dozens” of public administration officials were among the 169 people arrested.

Italy’s ‘ndrangheta has increasingly eclipsed the Cosa Nostra in power and wealth, infiltrating all sectors of Italian economic and political life and spreading out from its base in Calabria to Rome, Milan and beyond. The ‘ndrangheta’s presence in Germany first made headlines in 2007, when a family feud between Calabrian clans turned a birthday party at a Duisberg pizzeria into a massacre that left six dead.

Prosecutors said in this case, the Farao-Marincola clans managed to exert such control because of their wealth and ability to corrupt politicians and didn’t need to resort to the violence that long characterized traditional Mafia activity.

In Germany, the federal criminal police office said 11 people were arrested in western Germany, accused of blackmail and money-laundering. The arrests took place in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

“The detentions and seizures are an important success against the infiltration of mafia structures and methods in our economy,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. “We will not allow criminal organizations like the ‘ndrangheta to use Germany … and do their criminal business here.”

Italian prosecutors said the Italian suspects were accused of mafia association, attempted murder, extortion, money-laundering and illegal weapons possession, among other charges.

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Carnevale Masquerade Ball Advertisement Opportunity

Program Ad Purchase Form CIAO St Louis Presents 2018 CARNEVALE – MASQUERADE BALL Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 6:30 pm River City Casino & Hotel Ballroom 777 River City Casino Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63125

Carnevale is an annual tradition in all regions of Italy. CIAO St Louis is proud to present the first annual Carnevale Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 10, 2018. To commemorate this event, CIAO St Louis is publishing a program book with information, news, and features of Carnevale. The program book will be distributed to all guests attending the Ball, as well as businesses and individuals in the community. Please consider purchasing an advertisement in the program book. Your contribution will help CIAO St Louis achieve its goals of preserving and promoting Italian language and culture in the St. Louis community and surrounding area.

_____ $1000 full-page ad, plus 12 months of radio commercials, link on CIAO smart-phone app
_____ $500 full-page ad, plus 6 months of radio commercials, and link on the CIAO smart-phone app
_____ $100 full page (8½” x 11”)
_____ $50 half page (5” x 8½”)
_____ $25 quarter page (5” x 4”) Advertiser:

Click here to download a form

Contact Name: ________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________

City: ________________________ State: ____________ Zip: ___________

Phone: ___________________ Email: ______________________________ ____

Enclosed is my check in the amount of $_____ made payable to: CIAO St Louis ____

Please charge my Visa/MasterCard in the amount of $_________ Card Number: ________________________xp. Date ______VID ______

All ad forms and materials must be submitted by January 21, 2018. Ad Specs: Please submit your artwork with this form. All images must meet minimum resolution requirements of 300 dpi. Image files must be CMYK and in .gif, or .jpg file format. Any ad not meeting the ad sizes listed above may be altered.

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Loretta Vitale-April teaches us how to make lemoncello on Ciao Radio

In this Ciao St Louis Radio Show learn how to make Lemoncello and listen to some great music and conversation.


Part 1


Part 2


Ciao St Louis complete podcast from 12/17/2017

Continue reading Loretta Vitale-April teaches us how to make lemoncello on Ciao Radio

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Soccer Classic on the Hill – Turkey Bowl Thanksgiving Day

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!!

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Carnevale Comes to River City Casino in St Louis on February 10, 2018

Ciao St Louis’ First Annual Carnevale Masquerade Ball!

Click here to reserve your tickets

This is a formal event; black tie optional. Masquerade masks in the style of Venice’s Carnevale not required, but strongly encouraged!
Tickets go on sale November 10th, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM
Place: River City Casino Grand Ballroom
Price: $100 per person  Tables of 8 or 10 are available.

Event includes:
Cocktail hour and appetizers
Four Venetian Dining Stations
Premium Open Bar

The night kicks off with a special performance in a typical Venetian style;  followed by Music and Dancing, along with other surprises throughout the evening.
Be sure to register for the Best Mask Contest that evening for a chance to win a prize.

We are looking forward to a beautiful evening, with great music, great food and great company! If you have any questions or need additional information, feel free to contact us!


Laura DiMaggio.
Ciao St Louis Event Chairperson


Marianna Vitale
Ciao St Louis Event Co-Chair

Click here to reserve your tickets

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Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland, Sunday March 18, 2018 at Powell Hall

Pinocchio's Adventures in Funland

Gemma New, conductor

“Children, and those who remember your childhoods, I would like to tell you a story about a curious little fellow…a puppet whose greatest wish was to stop being a puppet and begin being a boy, a real boy.” Travel to funland with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as they bring to life the enchanting tale of Carlo Collodi’s most beloved marionette, all while entertaining, educating and introducing your family to the riches of concert music. This concert will also feature excerpts from other childhood favorites including The Barber of Seville Overture and Carnival of the Animals

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