Category Archives: Amici News

St. Louis Italian Club Meeting Honoring Rudolph Torrini. 

Preview of October  Meeting: 

The Italian Heritage Award presented Posthumously to St. Louis Artist & Sculptor, Rudolph Edward Torrini

Join us for the annual Italian Heritage Award Night honoring Rudolph Torrini.  The evening will begin at 6:30 with appetizers and a cash bar in the patio area of Favazza’s followed by dinner.  We will then move to our usual location in the banquet center where Drs. Gene Mariani and Roger Gennari will pay tribute to Rudolph “Rudy” Torrini in a presentation about the life and accomplishments of our 2018 Italian Heritage Award Honoree.

Rudy Torrini was born in 1923 and died in 2018.  He was an internatallly known artis-sculptor.  One of his most famous works is the statue of the Italian Immigrants in front of St. Ambrose Church.  He has many other pieces here in the St. Louis area, including a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Madonna statue in Kirkwood, and the martyred nuns of Ruma, Illinois.  He studied at Washington University in the School of Fine Arts and in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship.  Besides his art, he was an accomplished jazz musician, playing the clarinet and the soprano saxophone.  We have been honored to have him in St. Louis and to claim him as one of us.

The award is presented posthumously and Mr. Torrini’s son will accept the award for him.


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A Gift Gathering Party To benefit the St. Ambrose School

You’re Cordially Invited To:
A Gift Gathering Party
To benefit the St. Ambrose School
Investing in the Future Auction
Sponsored by:
the St. Ambrose Forever Endowment Fund
Friday, October 5th
7:00 pm
St. Ambrose Cafeteria
Appetizers and Drinks Provided
RSVP to:
Please bring a gift for the Silent or Live auction.
Thank you for your support

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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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Potential Visit from a Representative of the Italian Consul Office To St. Louis In 2019

Next year the Italian Consul in Chicago, Giuseppe Finoccchiaro, has agreed to send a representative from his office to help individuals obtain Italian passports and Italian citizenships.     However, we must demonstrate there are a sufficient number of individuals in St. Louis who are in need of these services.

Obtaining Italian passports and citizenships can be very involved and usually requires a trip to Chicago to finalize the documentation. This is an opportunity to get assistance in St. Louis in completing the documentation and potentially save an expensive trip to Chicago.

We are compiling a list of those in St. Louis who would like to make an appointment to meet with this representative. APPOINTMENTS WILL BE NECESSARY.

In addition, individuals must present their documentation to a member of our committee here in St. Louis for review before appointments are given. This will insure that those who have completed their documentation will be able to finalize the necessary paperwork for their passport or citizenship at their appointment. This will enable us to provide the Italian Consul’s office with a list of those who request an appointment.

For additional information please contact one of the following:                                         

                                          Rio or Marianne Vitale – 314.846.5802

                                          Vincenzo DiPiazza – 314.707.2429

                                          Chris Stephens – 314.308.0113

                                          Angelo Sita – 314.781.9341    


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CIAO St Louis and St. Ambrose Church Family Health & Wellness Fair

When: Sunday, October 14, 2018
from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Where: St. Ambrose Church Hall
  • Blood pressure screenings 
  • Free flu ( 6 months and older ) and pneumonia vaccine
    o  MUST have health insurance card 
  • Health insurance education 
  • Nutrition Education and Assessment 
  • Healthy food tastings 
  • Many vendors providing health education and resources that are available to the community 
  • Health awareness activities for children 
  • Free Raffles 
  • Healthy Refreshments
    o  Agencies with information and services:
    o  Health Literacy Ministry
    o  Alzheimer’s Association
    o  Center for Hearing and Speech
    o  Oasis Lifelong Adventure
    o   Aging Answers
    o  We Care Mobile Dental
    o  Body, Mind Spirit and Holistic Solutions
    o  St. Louis Community College Department of Food Science
    o  Abbott EMS o Missouri Poison Center
    o  Nursing Specialties-Nurses for You o St Ambrose Prayer Shawl Ministry

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, Please contact Loretta April, 314-550-4059

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Miss Italian St Louis 2000 Shares Her Experience and Memories

Dear Friends of the Italian American Community,

My Grandfather Joseph Zanti who was so proud that his granddaughter was Miss Italian St. Louis. He made my take him to the Bocce Club so he could show me off.

I wanted to touch base with you regarding my Miss Italian St. Louis experience.  In 2000 I was named Miss Italian St. Louis. Though it was 18 years ago, I have felt that it was only yesterday that I was crowned. I always took pride in my Italian heritage, and being Miss Italian just added to it. However, it was more than just representing my pride and culture to the city, it was about learning my new things, for example the origin of the Sicilian dialect that was spoken at one of the meetings for the Sicilian Cultural Association. I found a deeper meaning of what being Italian meant.

One of my favorite memories was assisting the various Italian dignitaries place a wreath by Christopher Columbus’s statue in Tower Grove Park. To me, Columbus represents the courage and determination of all the Italian immigrants ( my grandparents, father, and aunts and uncles included.). It saddens me that others do not know it’s significance to the Italian community. I still cherish my crown and sash, and have placed it in a keepsake box in which I still show to new friends and family. And though my grandparents are both now deceased, I feel very blessed to have experienced the rich traditions so I can now pass on to my family.


Francesca Allhoff ( Zanti)

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Italian Class Offered by FIAO Begin Sept. 10, 2018

Fall 2018 Italian Language Classes

Sponsored by the Federation of Italian American Organizations of the Metropolitan St. Louis Area
The twelve-week classes will begin the week of September 10, 2018 and will end December 6, 2018

The following classes will be offered:

• Beginner’s I Italian
Monday evenings- 7:00-9:00p.m. Instructor: S. April

• Advanced Italian
Monday evenings- 7:00-9:00p.m. Instructor: G. Leopardi

• Italian for Travelers (6 weeks) begins on September 27 Thursday evenings- 7:00-9:00p.m. Instructor: B. Klein

• Special Topics Course Thursday evenings- 7:00-9:00p.m. Instructor: G. Leopardi

Click Here For Application To Register For Class

Our courses place an emphasis on communicating in Italian. Textbooks are primarily in Italian.

All adult evening classes are taught at St. Ambrose Church Hall on Wilson and Marconi Avenues.

Tuition for our 12-week classes is $90; one night per week; 2 hours per night; there are no classes the week of Thanksgiving. Our Italian for Travelers is a 6-week class and the cost is $45.

The Federation of Italian-American Organizations has as its primary purpose the preservation and promotion of our Italian-American culture and heritage through the advancement of education, art, music, language, literature and culture. The member organizations are:

CIAOStl, Fratellanza Society, Hill 2000, Hill Business Association, Il Pensiero newspaper, Italian Club of St. Louis, Italian Open, La Festa di Santa Fara of St. Louis, Misericordia Society, the National Italian-American Bar Association, Saint Ambrose Catholic Church, St. Roch Catholic Church and UNICO-St. Louis Chapter.

For additional information or to register, please visit contact us at: 314-680-6871 (Marie) or


Click Here For Application To Register For Class

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Planning Removal of Columbus Statue From Tower Grove Park

This statue was commission by Henry Shaw when Italians where put to death by hanging in New Orleans. It was also a show of support for Italians who were discriminated against. Henry Shaw hired many Italian people to work in the garden and this was his way of showing his support and thanking them for their contributions. Ciao St Louis says “Keep It There”

Tower Grove Park, residents look into potential removal of Columbus statue

Park officials also have formed a commission to look into what should happen with the statue.

ST. LOUIS — A public meeting is being held over the weekend to discuss the potential removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park.

The meeting was formally set up as an event on Facebook, titled ‘Plotting in the Park for Columbus removal.’ The event’s creator, Chris Singer, said the meeting will be for people interested in removing the statue, or for those who want to know why the group wants the statue taken down.

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Saint Louis

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