Sicilian Cultural Association Christmas Party

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 or 314-846-0202 or
Phyllis Sansone or 636-461-0329

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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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Inside the Rome Colosseum’s Newly Restored Top Floor

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.


Visiting the newly-opened floor is only possible via official guided tours.

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.


Tours—in Italian, English, and Spanish, booked through 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.


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This Sci-Fi Triumph Custom Bike Is An Italian Dream Machine

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Filmmaker Roberto Angotti ’84 traces the roots of his ‘Italian American Baseball Family’

The lights had switched off at Jalisco Stadium when Roberto Angotti ’84 finished writing an article about Team Italy’s comeback to beat Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

“It was 4 a.m.,” said Angotti, the English language reporter for Federazione Italiana Baseball e Softball. “The team shuttle had left and I was stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico, without a peso in my pocket.”

Angotti hitched a ride to his hotel with Team Venezuela’s shuttle in time to work on a film grant proposal.

While covering the 2013 Classic, Angotti met a number of Italian American fans and former players, like Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, all connected by their heritage and love of the game. Seeing underdog Team Italy win inspired him to explore the history of Italian American baseball players in a documentary film.

The resulting film, Italian American Baseball Family, won the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Award at the National Italian American Foundation’s 42nd Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on November 4.

In the years since he graduated from Claremont McKenna College, Angotti has followed one passion after another as a radio DJ, a sportswriter, and now an award-winning film maker – threads he links back to his time at CMC.

Angotti first grew accustomed to all-nighters as a student, when a job at the Claremont Colleges’ KSPC radio turned into an unexpected early career start.

“I would get pizza from Harvey Mudd delivered to the station,” Angotti said, “and then I would be on air until 3 in the morning.”

As KSPC’s program director, Angotti did play-by-play broadcasts for college baseball games and hosted a late-night reggae radio hour. His reggae program attracted a number of listeners, including KNAC Program Director Jimmy “The Saint” Christopher who needed an overnight replacement for DJ Dick Sheppard (Richard Blade).

When Angotti was a sophomore, Christopher asked him to cover a graveyard slot at KNAC. Angotti took the slot for the night. He covered another the next night and it turned into a full-time job by his senior year.

After he graduated, Angotti worked as a radio DJ and on-air personality for over 20 years, hosting “Roberto’s Reggae Revolution” at KNAC and then at KROQ.

Originally, Angotti came to CMC for the economics department and access to KSPC, but CMC’s interdisciplinary curriculum took him down another path. He was interested in communication, film, music, and history, so he took a film studies class with Michael M. Riley, Emeritus Professor of Film and Literature. Professor Riley encouraged him to connect these interests through documentary filmmaking, Angotti said.

“Professor Riley taught me that filmmaking is a reflection of the self,” Angotti said. “You place yourself in your films, whether you realize it or not. That’s what I did at CMC and that’s what I did in the documentary.”

The production of Italian American Baseball Family started with a number of on-camera interviews Angotti conducted with players and managers to accompany his articles. For five years, he said, he was working on the film every time he interviewed an Italian American from the majors.

The film – funded by a $7,500 grant from the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the National Italian American Foundation – features interviews with prominent baseball figures, including former Los Angeles Dodger manager and executive Tommy Lasorda.

For Angotti, watching Lasorda lead the Dodgers to World Series championships in 1981 and 1988 was moving not just as a Dodger fan, but as an Italian American. He said being able to interview Lasorda for the film was a milestone.

“Tommy Lasorda is the Italian American hero,” Angotti said. “I want my next documentary to be about him.”

Angotti plans to make a series of Italian American baseball films. He sees his first documentary as a way to educate young Italian Americans and others on the plight of Italian immigrants, using baseball as a focal point.

Italians were once second class citizens in the United States, he said, and invisible in baseball before players like Yankee Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio rose to prominence in the 1940s.

“Not having an appreciation of your heritage is like an olive tree with no roots,” Angotti said. “Baseball is a part of mine.”

-Michael Tesauro


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Christmas on the Hill December 2, 2017


Hill 2000 and the Hill Business Association (HBA) invite you to CHRISTMAS ON THE HILL to kick-off the Christmas season, Saturday, December 2, 2017, Noon – 8:00 p.m., with events at St. Ambrose Church, The Hill Neighborhood Center, and Gelato di Riso.

Sample fresh salsiccia (in front of St. Ambrose Church) and roasted chestnuts. Bring family and friends to join in a complimentary short tour of The Hill in the afternoon (starting at St. Ambrose Church)

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides from 12 to 7 pm (make your reservations across the street from church and depart from in front of Girasole). Storytelling and treats with La Befana. Learn the Italian tradition of La Befana, a character in Italian folklore, who delivers presents to children throughout Italy. (Gelato di Riso from 12:00-3:00)

A Christmas market of handmade items sponsored by the Sacred Heart Villa Early Childhood Center and St. Ambrose Sewing Circle (The Hill Neighborhood Center) Enjoy wine and beer tasting (The Hill Neighborhood Center). New this year in the Church basement, the Miracle on Marconi Art Show.

A visit with Santa 3 – 5 pm (The Hill Neighborhood Center) and Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning immediately following 5 pm Mass (at the Christmas tree in front of St. Ambrose Church).

Stay and experience the tremendous voices of Kathryn Favazza and Niki Leoni who will join the Women’s Hope Chorale at the Christmas concert that will take place in St. Ambrose Church at 7:00 pm. Always an amazing concert, this year’s program promises to be bigger and better than ever with excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, Christmas favorites and original music for traditional Italian Christmas carols.

For details and schedule visit

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for Christmas on The Hill, Saturday, December 2, 2017, one-hour or two-hour shifts, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Volunteer duties include taking reservations for carriage rides, working at the Salsiccia booth, and staffing The Hill Neighborhood Center. If you are able to volunteer for one or two hours, please contact Debbie Monolo, 314-458-5209 as soon as possible.

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