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.


Brave Chihuahua from Italian crime movie wins Palm Dog

CANNES, France: A tiny chihuahua won the “Palm Dog” award at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, for its performance in “Dogman”, an Italian film about an animal groomer who reluctantly gets involved in burglary.

The unofficial award is made every year at the festival as an “antidote to the extreme serious human ego issues at the real ceremonies,” said organiser Toby Rose.

In the film, directed by Matteo Garrone, known for Naples mafia movie “Gomorrah”, the burglars shut the chihuahua in a freezer to stop it yapping. It is later rescued by the film’s hero.

“Dogman” is competing for the Palme d’Or – the official prize given to the best film that will be awarded on Saturday.

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)


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.

The Hill House Tour – Sunday June 24, 2018

Hill 2000 Neighborhood Association and the Hill Business Association are sponsoring the first-ever House Tour of The Hill on June 24, 2018. Proceeds from the tour will benefit Hill 2000’s many neighborhood projects, such as the Hill Neighborhood Center. Our intention is to showcase ten to twelve houses on the tour – creative rehabs of shotgun and bungalow housing, as well as bold new construction – all demonstrating what can be done with existing housing stock when an established neighborhood is determined to maintain its sense of community. Additionally, tour options include six historic institutions and businesses on the Hill.

Purchase Tickets in Advance $20.00

Please know ticket quantities are limited. ALL tour attendees need to purchase a ticket. You may also purchase advanced tickets at the Neighborhood Center. If buying a ticket in advance at the Neighborhood Center, please bring cash or check for payment.

Day of Event Tickets $25.00

On-line purchases close on June 23. Tickets may be bought in person only on June 24 for $25.00 at the Neighborhood Center.

The Tour Book and Guide

Go to the Hill Neighborhood Center at 1935 Marconi on the 24th.

  • Pick up a Tour Book that describes locations and admits entry. Please bring your payment receipt if you purchased your ticket prior to the 24th.
  • On June 24, same day tickets may be purchased for $25.00 each at the Hill Neighborhood Center and will receive their Tour book at that time.
  • Tickets are non-refundable.
  • All persons participating in the Tour need to purchase a ticket.

Helpful Information

June 24 is a Sunday, therefore parking on the Hill should be more plentiful than other days. Please pay attention to driveways, and alleyways so as not to block them. Try to place your car close to the curb, and for your car’s sake fold your street side mirror in if possible.

Restrooms will be available at select locations throughout the Tour and will be noted in the Tour Book. Guests will have easy access to bottled water.

Each Tour location will be marked on a map in the Tour Book. In addition each place will have an eye-catching sign on the lawn or doorway.

Note our Home Tour sponsors whose ads are in the Tour Book. They are friends of The Hill. We would appreciate your support of their establishments.

Music Maestros: Top 10 Best Selling Italian Music Artists and Acts

John Bensalhia Thursday, May 10, 2018 – 12:45

John Bensalhia profiles the Top 10 Best Selling Italian Music Artists and acts *

Mina, 150 million

The chameleon-like, three-octave range of Mina has helped to put her at the top of the pile. The ‘Queen Of Screamers’ this year celebrates her half-century in the business, and continues to make records to this day – with the album, Maeba out this year.

Mina’s distinctive, powerful range has earned her her nickname, with plaudits even coming from Louis Armstrong. She has run the whole range of musical styles including rock ‘n’ roll, straight-ahead pop, soul, blues and bossa nova. Among her well-known songs are the 1960 chart-toppers Il Cielo in Una Stanza and Tintarella di Luna and her 1967 version of Ma Se Ghe Penso.

But her turn in the spotlight hasn’t been without controversy. Some of the more prudish have labelled her as a ‘bad girl’ of the Italian music scene, with some of her songs touching on subjects such as sex, the devil and smoking. Her one-time dyed-haired, shaved eyebrowed image did nothing to dissuade these more conservative opinions, especially with Mina puffing on the odd cigarette in public.

But this controversy has done nothing to diminish Mina’s standing, nor has her retirement from public appearances in the late 1970s. She has worked with a number of wide-ranging artists including Seal, Adriano Celentano and Miguel Bose. Her albums continue to prove popular, and maintains a very strong fan-base to this day.

Like this article? Don’t miss “Italy’s Indie Music Scene: Listen Up!”

Adriano Celentano, 150 million

Another of the legendary stalwarts of Italian music, Adriano Celentano has also been around since the late 1950s. Appropriately, his early music took inspiration from the rock ‘n’ roll influences brought to the world by the likes of Elvis. In true King style, Adriano also cut his early movie teeth by starring in films such as La Dolce Vita and Ragazzi del Juke-Box, and would go on to appear in a string of further big screen outings until the 1990s.

But it’s also the music that counts, and from the 1950s to the early 2010’s, Adriano would release a number of well-regarded singles. These include the oft-covered 1966 Il Ragazzo Della Via Gluck, and the amusing Prisencolinensinainciusol, which used lyrical nonsense to explore other people’s perception of how singers communicate their music.

This multi-talented singer has also explored other avenues of entertainment including TV hosting, comedy, dancing, and on top of this, he also formed his own record label Clan Celentano.

Patty Pravo, 110 million

The story of Patty Pravo is a metaphorical tale of riches to rags and riches again. Starting with great success in the mid-1960s, Patty would find fame and fortune with songs such as Ragazzo Triste, Sto Con Te, and her 1968 Number One smash, La Bambola.

The number ones and success would continue into the next decade, most notably with 1973’s Pazza Idea and Come Un Pierrot (from the following year). Both of these songs came from chart-topping albums, the respective Pazza Idea and Mai Una Signora. The late 1970s would also bring success with 1978’s Pensiero Stupendo, which came from the controversially-received TV show, Stryx, which, with its devillish and hellish themes, wasn’t exactly everybody’s cup of tea.

Regrettably, Pravo fell out of favour the following decade, but a triumphant return to form at 1997’s Sanremo Festival with the song …E Dimmi Che Non Vuoi Morire brought critical acclaim and chart success. The new millennium brought fresh success for Patty, with the likes of Che Uomo Sei and Una Donna Da Sognare. Patty’s chart hit singles and albums have continued into the mid-2010s, and following her second autobiography, it can’t be long until she releases a fresh batch of music.

Luciano Pavarotti, 100 million

Nessun Dorma. The keystone song that sums up the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

The voice of Luciano Pavarotti made this version of the aria the definitive one for many, but was only a fraction of his long and successful career until his untimely passing in 2007.

Pavarotti was part of the Three Tenors, along with Spaniards Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. The trio would cement their popularity with a performance the day before the 1990 World Cup Final at the Roman Baths of Caracalla. Global appearances would await at destinations such as Los Angeles, Vienna and Vancouver, to name but a sample.

Pavarotti’s successful career began in the 1960s, appearing in a Reggio Emilia performance of La boheme as Rodolfo. Gradual success would appear as he played in operas such as La Traviata and Rigoletto around the world, before his 1966 breakthrough as Tonio in Donizetti’s La Fille Du Régiment at the Royal Opera House. The following decade would see Pavarotti’s popularity increase with memorable performances in La fille du régiment and another run in La Bohème.

Sales of his recordings would soar in the 1990s and 2000s, as Pavarotti would collaborate with a string of artists from the rock and pop world such as U2, Vanessa Williams and Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries. He would tour regularly to rapturous audiences, right up until his worldwide farewell tour in 2004.

Toto Cutugno, 100 million

Speaking as a Brit, there’s a certain degree of poignancy to be had listening to Toto Cutugno’s celebration of the EU, Insieme: 1992. The song was self-penned and managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s part of Cutugno’s considerable repertoire, with a run of hit songs and albums going back to the mid-1970s.

This Sanremo Festival regular spawned a number of acclaimed songs such as Volo 504, Solo Noi, and one of his biggest, L’Italiano, which, following big success in 1983, was refired in 2006 when Cutugno performed the hit at a concert to celebrate Italy’s win at that year’s World Cup.

Andrea Bocelli, 90 million

Another on the list to – ah, dabble in opera – tragic blindness didn’t stop Andrea Bocelli from becoming one of the best-selling Italian music artists of all time.

His impressive resume includes a string of contributions to the top Italian operas such as Turandot, Tosca and Romeo and Juliet. Many of his own albums have paid some kind of tribute to all aspects of opera, whether it be Arias (he would release both Aria: The Opera Album and Sacred Arias) or interpretations of a specific musician’s works (2000’s Verdi). Bocelli has also branched out into covering film music and themes, and also reworkings of classic Christmas songs.

His unique and powerful voice has won him an army of admirers such as Celine Dion, Al Jarreau and Elizabeth Taylor. On top of this, he has received countless awards from around the world, such as Classical BRIT Awards, Telegatto Awards, and let’s not forget his very own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Umberto Tozzi, 75 million

The big time came a calling for successful singer songwriter Umberto Tozzi in the 1970s. His big break came in 1977 with Ti Amo, which was to go global with massive results in countries such as Sweden, Spain and Latin America. It was covered by American singer Laura Branigan, who would also enjoy success with another Tozzi composition, Gloria in 1982.

It’s this international appeal that has led Tozzi to sell so many records, as his success is maintained in the 21stcentury. Further appearances at the Sanremo Music Festival have kept his name in the spotlight, along with collaborations with musicians such as fellow singer songwriter, Raf, and French singer, Lena Ka.

Pooh, 75 million

The only band in this line-up, Pooh’s distinctive brand of prog pop has seen them right since their 1966 debut album, Per Quelli Come Noi. Their recent 50thanniversary was marked by a special reunion tour. This saw three of the extant 1960s and 1970s line-ups (Roby Facchinetti, Dodi Battaglia and Red Canzian) joined again by Stefano D’Orazio and Riccardo Fogli to a warm welcome.

If you didn’t get to see them, then try some of their classic albums from over the years, such as 1968’s Contrasto, 1973’s Parsifal, and 1983’s Tropico Del Nord.

Ennio Morricone, 70 million

Ennio Morricone is a curious one in this list, since his musical success comes from a string of classic soundtracks rather than conventional rock and pop or opera performances.

This Roman-born composer has written more than 500 classic scores for both film and TV, with music provided for the likes of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; The Mission and For A Few Dollars More.

Not bad for a chap who started out playing jazz trumpet in local bands in the ’40s. Rising up the ranks by writing arrangements at RCA Victor and ghost writing scores for various movies and plays, by his peak of score-composing, Morricone would come up with a run of memorable compositions including Chi Mai, Man With A Harmonica and Gabriel’s Oboe. Even in his late 80s, Morricone continued to write scores for 2010’s movies such as Come What May and The Correspondence.

Laura Pausini, 70 million

The youngest on the list, but Laura Pausini has accomplished a wealth of success in her pop career that professionally began in 1993.

In fact, Laura had put together her very own demo album six years previous, but it was her 1993 Sanremo performance of La Solitudine that put her on the map, and with an achievement of a resulting Number One single in Italy, it was the start of a massively successful career.

It’s a career that has proven particularly successful both in Laura’s native country and also in Spain, where following a self-titled album sung purely in Spanish, the set became the best-seller in 1994. Laura has enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums in Spain since, to the point where she has appeared on a number of Spanish variants of worldwide music TV shows (see below).

Like many others in this list, it’s down to the voice, and Laura’s mature, powerful vocals held her in good stead for chart success. Other notable chart hits include Lettera, Gente, and Incancellabile. Due to her immense success as a singer, it’s little wonder that Pausini has been selected as a judge and mentor on the Spanish versions of The Voice and The X Factor.

* Sales figures, according to Wikipedia

source: http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/music-maestros-top-10-best-selling-italian-music-artists-and-acts

Corpus Christi Mass & Procession

For centuries, church processions have been an integral part of church activities in Italy and throughout the world.  The St. Ambrose Church on The Hill will continue that special tradition on Sun., June 3, as they hold their annual Corpus Christi procession for the feast of Corpus Christi.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Held immediately after 11:00 a.m. Mass, participants are asked to line up in front of the church.  There will be a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of The Hill to three altars, concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in church, with a reception to follow.  (Golf carts are available for those who cannot walk the entire route.)  St. Ambrose is located at 5130 Wilson Avenue, St. Louis 63110.  For more information, call the church at (314) 771-1228.

“La Traviata” at Opera Theatre

Enjoy a highlight of the St. Louis Opera Theatre season with Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” May 19 – June 23 at the Loretto-Hilton Center.  In the opera, Violetta has one important rule:  Never fall in love.  She insists on her freedom.  Then she meets Alfredo, and things get complicated.  It’s a Verdi masterpiece and includes the directing debut of star soprano Patricia Racette.  Dining available on landscaped grounds before the show.  (Order there, or bring your own).  Meet the cast in a special tent after the performance.  All productions in English.  More information/tickets at www.opera-stl.org  or the Box Office at (314) 961-0644.   The Loretto-Hilton Center is located at 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves.

Enjoy a highlight of the St. Louis Opera Theatre season with Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” May 19 – June 23 at the Loretto-Hilton Center.  In the opera, Violetta has one important rule:  Never fall in love.  She insists on her freedom.  Then she meets Alfredo, and things get complicated.  It’s a Verdi masterpiece and includes the directing debut of star soprano Patricia Racette.  Dining available on landscaped grounds before the show.  (Order there, or bring your own).  Meet the cast in a special tent after the performance.  All productions in English.  More information/tickets at www.opera-stl.org  or the Box Office at (314) 961-0644.   The Loretto-Hilton Center is located at 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves.

by: Annette M. Graebe

Festa Della Repubblica Italiana Italian Republic Day

The Federation of Italian American Organizations And The Italia-America Bocce Club Cordially Invite You To The Festa della Repubblica Italiana Italian Republic Day
Saturday, June 2, 2018 • 6:30 – 11:00 pm
$40.00 per person Dinner and Music
• Cash Bar

For reservations contact: Vincenzo DiPiazza 314-707-2429
• Angelo Sita 314-781-9341
At the Italia-America Bocce Club 2210 Marconi
• St. Louis, Missouri 63110

72nd Anniversary
vincenzodipiazza@att.net angelosita@sbcglobal.net


This from the Chicago Italian Cultural Institute!


La Città Ideale

CHICAGO – The Italian Cultural Institute (500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450) presents “Fare Cinema,” (Filmmaking), May 22 – 29, featuring screenings of three acclaimed films and appearances by their filmmakers and/or producers, including David di Donatello-award winning actor/director Luigi Lo Cascio, and a special event with costume designer Anna Lombardi.

La Città Ideale

All events are free and open to the public. Coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Luce Cinecittá, and ANICA, “Fare Cinema” is the first international celebration of Italian film on this scale, being presented worldwide by the 83 Italian Cultural Institutes to promote the creative genius of the Italian movie industry. “We are proud to showcase work of some of the most prominent Italian film artists to Chicago during ‘Fare Cinema,’” said Italian Cultural Institute Director Alberta Lai. “The films we are screening include two documentaries, as well as a feature film starring and directed by one of Italy’s most acclaimed actors, Luigi Lo Cascio, who has been awarded the Italian equivalent of the Best Actor Academy Award.” “Fare Cinema” at the Italian Cultural Institute consists of four scheduled events: Tuesday, May 22, 6 pm Screening of the documentary “Where the Clouds Go” (“Dove Vanno le Nuvole”) 2016, by Massimo Ferrari 75 min. Screening of the short film “The Interview” 2017, by Massimo Ferrari 6min Director Massimo Ferrari and producer Gaia Capurso in attendance for a post-screening conversation From Treviso to Riace, passing through Bologna and Padova, this documentary tells the stories and experiences of those who have been brave enough to try to transform fear into opportunities and utopia into reality. This is a documentary that travels through Italy and the migration emergency, revealing surprising models of coexistence and a moving humanity. The writer and director Massimo Ferrari is an acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award winner.


Saturday, May 26, 6 pm Screening of the film “The Ideal City” (“La Città Ideale”) 2012, by Luigi Lo Cascio 105 min. Director/Writer/Actor Luigi Lo Cascio in attendance for a post-screening conversation Luigi Lo Cascio directs, scripts and stars in this film.


To make a reservation please visit https://iicchicago.esteri.it/iic_chicago/en, where all scheduled events are listed with additional information. “Fare Cinema” will receive promotional support from the Chicago International Film Festival.

Luca Stricagnoli Coming to Indianapolis on May 17th, 2018

Luca Stricagnoli, Calum Graham

Luca Stricagnoli

Luca Stricagnoli, born and raised in Italy, is an acoustic guitarist known for his unique style and innovative playing techniques. His original approach to music has led him to a variety of successes from obtaining over 60 million views on his music videos to having the opportunity to perform all around the globe.

His debut single received over 14 million hits on YouTube and Facebook in just a couple of weeks — an especially impressive feat for an instrumental music video.

Using up to five guitars in the same piece, modified capos, and self-conceived stratagems, Luca continually leaves his audiences in awe and wondering what’s next for the up-and-coming guitarist. In addition to his musical abilities, Luca brings an enthusiastic energy to the stage that attracts concert requests from every corner of the world.

Although it has only been a year and a half since Luca started playing concerts, he has already performed in a vast multitude of countries.

In Italy, Luca played at the “Dopofestival” in Sanremo, after an invitation from Italian composer Vittorio Cosma. He was even deemed “a phenomenon” by the well-known Gialappa’s Band. Luca has also performed for the main national TV and Radio in his current residing-place of Germany, such as RTL, SWR1 and SWR4.

Luca shared the stage with several big names of the acoustic guitar world during the International Guitar Night tour. These names included the founder of the Latin-Swing style Lulo Reinhardt, grammy-nominated musician and inventor of the Slide Guitar Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, and Brazilian guitarist and composer Chrystian Dozza. He has also been a guest artist for Italian musical legends such as “New Trolls – La Storia” and “Davide Van De Sfroos”.

Throughout his career, Luca’s music has been published by countless magazines and has grabbed the attention of world-famous artists such as the band “Walk Off The Earth”. The band even published Luca’s work on their Facebook page, obtaining more than eight million views on a single video.

Luca is currently working on a new release in which he explores even more approaches to guitar playing and debuts a new guitar that he created with Davide Serracini, all while discovering what the custom instrument has to offer the world of music. The album tour, featuring special guest Meg Pfeiffer, will cross over ten countries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

“Every so often, a musician emerges who, in terms of depth of expression, advances a style so much that the way we listen changes forever. In rock, Derek Trucks comes to mind as an example. Italian guitarist Luca Stricagnoli embodies such a shift. He employs right-hand fretting, altered tunings, and partial capos in the spirit of Preston Reed and Kaki King, yet, like Trucks, he’s playing at a higher level.”

For tickets click here: https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1634844-luca-stricagnoli-calum-graham-indianapolis/?utm_source=tw1&utm_medium=pre

Saint Louis

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