Category Archives: Amici News

Belleville Christmas Market

Interested in attending a Christmas market – similar to those in Italy and throughout Europe? The City of Belleville (IL) invites you to their 5th Annual Christkindlmarkt open now through Dec. 23. Situated around the Belleville Square, this authentic German-style Open Air Christmas Market is open daily and includes several Christmas stalls where German and European gifts, novelties, and food are sold. Horse-drawn trolley rides shuttle visitors through the event on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Dec. 23. Family events are available every weekend (some in a heated tent). There’s even a reindeer! More data at or by calling 1-800-677-9255.

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The 90th annual Turkey Bowl Soccer Classic on The Hill

The 90th annual Turkey Bowl Soccer Classic will take place on Thanksgiving day, Thursday, November 22nd at Berra Park. The 22nd annual St. Ambrose Youth Game begins at 9:00 am featuring the 8th/5th grades vs 7th/6th.

Arrive early to hear the 4th Graders accompany Chris Bianchi with our National Anthem.  Immediately following, at 10:15 am, will be the Old-Timers Match. A tightly contested match with the younger team holding a meager two game edge in the overall standings.

Also, There will be a hospitality tent with continental treats for a small donation, plus a souvenir booth selling T-shirts and hoodies. In addition, there will be the traditional luganiga sandwiches
provided by Joe Vollmer.

The Turkey Bowl kicks off the holiday season. You make the event a success along with many sponsors & organizations. Hope to see you at Berra Park.

For the 15th consecutive year, all proceeds will benefit the St Vincent de Paul Society. Please be generous. There are many in our neighborhood who need assistance.

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Piazza Imo

On June 20, 2018, the Hill Piazza committee held a groundbreaking ceremony announcing the dream of a Piazza on “The Hill” is a reality.
The plan to build a beautiful Italian inspired piazza, in front of St. Ambrose Church has begun.

An area to provide a central gathering place; an outside space to educate our children and a contemplatively spot to rest, meditate and reflect.

Although we have the funding to initiate the construction of the Piazza, we must continue to raise funds to complete and maintain this new inspiration on the “Hill.”

There are exciting opportunities to consider for naming rights. A few examples are tree memorials, planters, wall fountains, and benches. If you are interested in purchasing a naming right, please contact Cathy Ruggeri-Rea at 314-304-2962 to review details


4 CHESS TABLES $25,000.00 each
2 WALL FOUNTAINS $25,000.00 each
1 ENCASED TELEVISION (informational/educational) $20,000.00
8 BENCHES $15,000.00 each
6 POLE LAMPS $10,000.00 each
8 LONDON PLAN TREES $10,000.00 each
22 PLANTERS $ 3,000.00 each


10 x 10 Panel (5 lines) $ 5,000.00
8 x 10 Panel (3 lines) $ 3,000.00
1 Lines of Print $ 1,000.00

Make checks payable to the Hill Piazza, Inc. and mail to 6801 Hoffman 63139 attention Cathy. The Hill Piazza, Inc. is a 501©(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.

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Winners of the 2018 Miss Italian Saint Louis pageant

By Christina Bartels  Source: Il Pensiero

The Miss Italian Saint Louis pageant
gives young Italian American women the
chance to be the spokesperson for their
generation. Miss Italian Saint Louis teaches
girls public speaking, interviewing, time
management and the Italian heritage. While
doing all this, the girls are having fun and
making friendships that will last a lifetime!

This year’s event was held Sept. 15,
2018 at Favazza’s on The Hill. Food and
drinks were provided, and families were
invited to support the girls as well.

Miss Italian Saint Louis is an
important tradition on The Hill that is vastly
underrated. Bringing back Miss Italian
Saint Louis to the community is something
that has been an honor to be a part of.
Miss Italian Saint Louis is a public figure
for young women to look up to and give
them a chance to get involved in a positive
organization. It is a way to add the younger
generations into the already established
organizations. This is critical to help carry
on these traditions that are already set in
place. This pageant gives young women
a chance to be confident in themselves by
using their title to show off our heritage with
confidence and poise to the Saint Louis

To be a part of Miss Italian Saint
Louis you need to fill out an application (this
year’s was found on Facebook-Miss Italian
Saint Louis) or also on With
that, the girls were required to write a small
essay and attend required events. The day
of the pageant, the girls participated in an
interview process, an onstage question
(they received before hand to give time
to prepare) and also judged on general
poise. It is NOT a beauty pageant. It is a
scholarship pageant that combines life
skills with general poise and effort. After
the pageant, the girls were required to
attend a celebratory lunch. A recoginition
dinner will be held Sept. 29, where they will
receive their scholarship. And, they will be
in the Columbus Day parade. After that the
girls are free to use their title to help better
themselves and their community in any way
they choose! The judges this year were
Kathy Ferrara, Adrianne Caruso and Sergio
Ramos; MC, Scott Biondo; helpers, former
Miss Italian Saint Louis: Laura Beffa and
former Jr. Miss Italian Saint Louis: Juliana

Little Miss Italian Saint Louis: ages 10-13
Winner: Brianna Garavaglia
Jr. Miss Italian Saint Louis: ages 14-17
Winner: Ellsie Basola
Miss Italian Saint Louis: ages 18-21
Winner: Jessica Santangelo

The following were scholarship donations:
Miss Italian Saint Louis is awarded the
Rose Anne Saracino scholarship ($500)

Jr Miss Italian Saint Louis is awarded the
Lena Vitale scholarship ($250)

Little Miss Italian is awarded the Angelina
Fabbio scholarship ($100)

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New Business On The Hill

Written by Carina Marino – Il Pensiero

“Organic, sustainable & garden-inspired”

City House Country Mouse will open its doors at 2105 Marconi Ave. 63110 on Thursday, August 16 for an open house from 4-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, 2-8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 18 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The event will feature 15% off all flower arrangements and a flower bar with flowers from local favorite farmers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a designer’s choice flower arrangement. A winner will be selected each open house day.

Refreshments (while supplies last) will be provided by the following Green Dining Alliance vendors:

Thurs. Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Confluence Kombucha vegan small bites & kombucha

Fri. Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.
Seed Sprout Spoon seasonal hors d’oeuvres

Sat. Aug. 18 at 10 a.m.
Kitchen House Coffee cold brew coffee, bagel bites and sweet treats

More at -Browse the portfolio -Learn more about Kate Estwing -Read the blog -Register for a class -Shop products -Sign up for news

Call: 314-502-9555 Facebook: @cityhousecountrymouse Instagram: @cityhousecountrymouse Pinterest: @cityhouseseeds As Seen On: the knot: THEKNOT.COM

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Mark Mantovani Candidate for St Louis County Executive

Mark Mantovani, Democratic candidate for St. Louis County Executive, visited the CIAO St Louis studio, and talked to us about his Italian heritage. Like every Italian-American, Mark’s has a very interesting story to tell about his Italian family. Listen and enjoy this story of one family’s immigrant experience.

Click below to listen to our podcast and Mark Mantovani’s as we discusses the issues and the campaign for County Executive.

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Hill Legends Statue Prototype Lost for Years

This prototype of the Soccer Legends from the 1950 World  Soccer Cup was lost for many years.  A project for 2003 that unfortunately failed to meet its financial goal.  The sculptor is Mike Pisoni, a former Hill resident of over 55 years.  Mr. Pisoni studied under renowned sculptor Rudi Torrini and received his Masters of Fine Arts from Fontbonne College.

The prototype is currently house in The Hill Welcome Center located at the corner of Daggett and Marconi.  There are a number of cracks in the statue that Mr Pisoni has volunteered to repair and keep it on display there.  Ciao St Louis will be interviewing Mr. Pisoni for the upcoming documentary on The Hill which should be released in the summer of 2019.

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Piazza Imo, a $3 Million Italian-Inspired Public Square, to Open on the Hill

Posted By  on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 3:03 pm

The Hill is getting a new public gathering place across from St. Ambrose. - CAMILLE RESPESS

  • The Hill is getting a new public gathering place across from St. Ambrose.

The name synonymous with St. Louis’ square beyond compare is branching outside of pizza.

Piazza Imo, an Italian square, is being built in St. Louis’ the Hill neighborhood, just across the street from St. Ambrose. With a price tag between $3 million to $4 million, it will have ornamental gates, benches and chess boards, with a marble fountain and granite walkways that are coming straight from Italy.

The committee building it, called Piazza Imo Committee, broke ground this morning. Its members are entirely financing its design and construction, with no tax dollars used.

Kennedy Robinson, a public relations manager at ESM Marketing STL, says the Piazza Imo Committee wants to capitalize on the Hill’s rich Italian history with the new square.

“The Hill neighborhood has always been a welcoming place with a great history of having many people and many cultures,” she says. “The piazza is just another example of this. The committee hopes to continue the Hill’s welcoming tradition by creating a beautiful Italian-inspired piazza that everyone can visit and enjoy.”

The piazza's future home, at 5130 Wilson Avenue, is now a vacant lot. - CAMILLE RESPESS

  • The piazza’s future home, at 5130 Wilson Avenue, is now a vacant lot.

Edward and Margie Imo, two of the eleven members of the committee, bought the lot where the piazza is being located for the group, Robinson says. Similar to piazzas in Italy, this one will be near a neighborhood church: St. Ambrose on the Hill.

Robinson says the Piazza Imo Committee wants not only to create a central gathering space for the Hill neighborhood, but also an environment for learning. The committee plans to have students at St. Ambrose School, the Roman Catholic elementary school attached to the church, use the piazza for their education as well.

“The Piazza Imo Committee also felt inspired to provide an inviting outdoor space for educating children, especially when it comes to STEM related learning,” she says.

The committee hopes to have the piazza open to the public by this fall.


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Piazza to be built in the heart of The Hill

ST. LOUIS – A big addition is coming to the Hill neighborhood in South St Louis.  A piazza is going to be built in the heart of the Italian American community.  You will find piazzas all over Italy.  They are an open-air gathering place that is usually located next to the neighborhood church.  It’s a place where people gather after a church or neighborhood celebration.  It is a place to relax, talk and soak up the sun.

Now St Louis is getting its own piazza right across from St. Ambrose Church and School on Marconi.  It is a vacant lot right now but it will have open-air green space, benches, landscaping, granite walkways, chess tables and at the center, a huge Italian fountain.  The Imo family bought the lot and donated it to the nonprofit building the piazza.

St. Ambrose school will also use the piazza for school events and classes.

No tax dollars will be used to build the piazza. The $1.5 million-dollar project is being funded by private donations.


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By Marianne Peri Sack

The annual Corpus Christi Procession will held at St. Ambrose Church on Sunday, June 3, after the 11:00 Mass. Immediately after the Mass, the congregation will begin lining up in front of the church. Parish members will lead the way carrying the cross and candles. Jim Garavaglia will serve as leader and director of the procession in a tradition that started with his grandfather.

Last year procession below where, Monsignor Bommarito walked with the Monstrance under a gold-fringed canopy carried by men of the parish.

The canopy was flanked along the route by elegantly-dressed Knights of Columbus. Behind them walked the parishioners and friends who are faithful participants annually in an attempt to keep this ancient tradition alive for future generations. Golf carts rolled along with the procession bearing those who no longer had the strength to walk the entire route. A few neighbors came out on their porches or stood along the sidewalks to watch. The procession moved slowly and reverently between the three erected altars set up along the route. Hymns were sung and prayers recited between altars and at each altar the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and the beatitudes recited.

The first altar at Wilson and Edwards had a round dome on top and the Edwards and Botanical location had a statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague that was the focal point. The last one on Botanical and Marconi had green garland and bouquets of red roses. Kneelers, on top of carpets, had been placed in front of all the altars for the priests to kneel. At the procession’s end, everyone entered the church for the last prayers and benediction. Monsignor Bommarito invited all to attend the lunch in the school cafeteria.

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