Vanessa Racci Interview With Ciao St Louis Radio



Click the audio link below to hear the Vanessa Racci interview with Ciao St Louis Radio from 3/4/2018

Vanessa Racci’s 2017 debut album, Italiana Fresca, heralds the breakthrough of a fresh sound in jazz: a sweet-and-sour, wide-ranging contralto with a passion and sex appeal born of her Italian-American heritage. On this recording, Vanessa puts a jazzy spin on the Italian songs she sang with her grandfather as a child; “Al Di La”, “Buona Sera”, “C’e La Luna”, “Return to Me” and the lot. The songs are re-invented with modern jazz arrangements ranging from jump swing to lush string ballads to Louisiana Street. Several songs are updated with Vanessa’s own English lyrics. Her producer, the renowned bassist David Finck, has raved about her “natural sense of rhythm and flow, and her wonderful ability to communicate both musical and poetic language.” The songs were arranged by Yaron Gershovsky, long time Musical Director for The Manhattan Transfer and NYC pianist, Glafkos Kontemeniotis.

Birdland, the legendary New York jazz club, debuted Vanessa’s show to a sold out audience June 4th, 2017, which received rave reviews. See some of these below and in the press section.

Bocce For Bambinos

Saturday, April 21, 2018

11am – 5:00pm

Bow-chee or botch-ee? However you pronounce it, the Bocce for Bambinos event at Milo’s Tavern on the Hill is a wonderful opportunity to give back and have fun! Join the STL Champions for Children, CMN St. Louis’ Young Professionals Board, for a bocce ball tournament and happy hour. Thirty-two (32), four (4) person teams will compete head-to-head in a bracket style tournament for a chance to win big for the kids.

Funds raised will stay local, benefiting St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Don’t want to play but still want to come out and support a good cause? Come spectate for a suggested donation of $10! We’d love to have you!



Italian Film Showing ‘At War For Love’ April 6, 2018

Time: 7:00pm
“An excellent film…it’s comical, like Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful” – LA VOCE DI NEW YORK

Plot: New York City, 1943. Working as a waiter in an elegant restaurant, Sicilian immigrant Arturo falls in love with Flora. But she’s engaged to the son of a New York mafia boss. Arturo’s only option is to ask Flora’s father for her hand, but he still lives in Sicily. Penniless but determined, Arturo enlists in the US Army and takes a “free” trip to Sicily at the start of the Allied invasion.  An adventurous and romantic journey that reveals the complexity of organized crime.
Director: Pierfrancesco Diliberto aka Pif
Cast: Andrea Di Stefano, Pierfrancesco Diliberto aka Pif, Sergio Vespertino, Maurizio Bologna, Miriam Leone, Samuele Segreto, Stella Egitto, Antonello Puglisi, Vincent Riotta, Maurizio Marchetti, Mario Pupella, Rosario Minardi, Orazio Stracuzzi, Lorenzo Patanè, David Mitchum Brown, Forest Baker, Salvatore Ragusa, Domenico Centamore
Year: 2016
Length: 99 min.
Genre: Comedy
Awards: •Youth Jury Award (Pierfrancesco Diliberto): David di Donatello
Nominated Best Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design:David di Donatello; Best Original Story: Nastro d’argento
Rating: USA: no rating; Australia: 15+
Film screened with English subtitles.
Distributor: RAI, Roma

Honoring Collinsville Italians of the Past

The Collinsville Italian Fest and Collinsville Chamber of Commerce continue to collect names of Italian families who settled in Collinsville long ago – to be printed on our new Italian Paesani T-shirt (for Italian Fest).  Thanks very much to all those who have helped!  There’s still time to contact relatives and friends for names to be added.  Visit our Italian Fest web site (www.italianfest.net) to see the names listed so far.  To add a name to the list, send an email to david@collinsvillecommunitychurch.org.

Celebrating Women of Science & Service by Annette M. Graebe

On Sat., Mar. 24 (2 p.m.), at SIU at Edwardsville, learn about the lives of remarkable women who served in immigrant communities in a presentation called “Women of Science, Women of Service,” sponsored by ICASI, the Italian Cultural Association of Southern Illinois. Professor Cristina DeMeo will speak about the late Rita Levi-Montalcini, Italian scientist and Nobel Prize winner for research conducted at Washington University/St. Louis.  Actor Loretta Williams will portray Irish immigrant Mary Harris Jones (“Mother Jones”), explaining her contributions and why she is buried in Mt. Olive’s Union Miners Cemetery.  Norma Asadorian of Granite City will tell about the immigrant women in her community, how they survived the Armenian Genocide and Macedonian and Mexican women who provided help to many.  Juliann Caveny will portray Anna Yukovitch from Austria, whose family fought for fair wages in Southern Illinois coal mine wars, and will share memories of her deceased son Sam, a miner.  At Morris University Center/ Conference Room A.  Free admission/parking.  For more information, contact Joann Condellone at (618) 659-8759.

Rita Levi-Montalcini – Biographical

My twin sister Paola and I were born in Turin on April 22, 1909, the youngest of four children. Our parents were Adamo Levi, an electrical engineer and gifted mathematician, and Adele Montalcini, a talented painter and an exquisite human being. Our older brother Gino, who died twelve years ago of a heart attack, was one of the most well known Italian architects and a professor at the University of Turin. Our sister Anna, five years older than Paola and myself, lives in Turin with her children and grandchildren. Ever since adolescence, she has been an enthusiastic admirer of the great Swedish writer, the Nobel Laureate Selma Lagerlöf, and she infected me so much with her enthusiasm that I decided to become a writer and describe Italian saga “à la Lagerlöf”. But things were to take a different turn.

The four of us enjoyed a most wonderful family atmosphere, filled with love and reciprocal devotion. Both parents were highly cultured and instilled in us their high appreciation of intellectual pursuit. It was, however, a typical Victorian style of life, all decisions being taken by the head of the family, the husband and father. He loved us dearly and had a great respect for women, but he believed that a professional career would interfere with the duties of a wife and mother. He therefore decided that the three of us – Anna, Paola and I – would not engage in studies which open the way to a professional career and that we would not enroll in the University.

Ever since childhood, Paola had shown an extraordinary artistic talent and father’s decision did not prevent her full-time dedication to painting. She became one of the most outstanding women painters in Italy and is at present still in full activity. I had a more difficult time. At twenty, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father, and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months I filled my gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin. Two of my university colleagues and close friends, Salvador Luria and Renato Dulbecco, were to receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, respectively, seventeen and eleven years before I would receive the same most prestigious award. All three of us were students of the famous Italian histologist, Giuseppe Levi. We are indebted to him for a superb training in biological science, and for having learned to approach scientific problems in a most rigorous way at a time when such an approach was still unusual.

In 1936 I graduated from medical school with a summa cum laude degree in Medicine and Surgery, and enrolled in the three year specialization in neurology and psychiatry, still uncertain whether I should devote myself fully to the medical profession or pursue at the same time basic research in neurology. My perplexity was not to last too long.

In 1936 Mussolini issued the “Manifesto per la Difesa della Razza”, signed by ten Italian ‘scientists’. The manifesto was soon followed by the promulgation of laws barring academic and professional careers to non-Aryan Italian citizens. After a short period spent in Brussels as a guest of a neurological institute, I returned to Turin on the verge of the invasion of Belgium by the German army, Spring 1940, to join my family. The two alternatives left then to us were either to emigrate to the United States, or to pursue some activity that needed neither support nor connection with the outside Aryan world where we lived. My family chose this second alternative. I then decided to build a small research unit at home and installed it in my bedroom. My inspiration was a 1934 article by Viktor Hamburger reporting on the effects of limb extirpation in chick embryos. My project had barely started when Giuseppe Levi, who had escaped from Belgium invaded by Nazis, returned to Turin and joined me, thus becoming, to my great pride, my first and only assistant.

The heavy bombing of Turin by Anglo-American air forces in 1941 made it imperative to abandon Turin and move to a country cottage where I rebuilt my mini-laboratory and resumed my experiments. In the Fall of 1943, the invasion of Italy by the German army forced us to abandon our now dangerous refuge in Piemonte and flee to Florence, where we lived underground until the end of the war.

In Florence I was in daily contact with many close, dear friends and courageous partisans of the “Partito di Azione”. In August of 1944, the advancing Anglo-American armies forced the German invaders to leave Florence. At the Anglo-American Headquarters, I was hired as a medical doctor and assigned to a camp of war refugees who were brought to Florence by the hundreds from the North where the war was still raging. Epidemics of infectious diseases and of abdominal typhus spread death among the refugees, where I was in charge as nurse and medical doctor, sharing with them their suffering and the daily danger of death.

The war in Italy ended in May 1945. I returned with my family to Turin where I resumed my academic positions at the University. In the Fall of 1947, an invitation from Professor Viktor Hamburger to join him and repeat the experiments which we had performed many years earlier in the chick embryo, was to change the course of my life.

Although I had planned to remain in St. Louis for only ten to twelve months, the excellent results of our research made it imperative for me to postpone my return to Italy. In 1956 I was offered the position of Associate Professor and in 1958 that of Full Professor, a position which I held until retirement in 1977. In 1962 I established a research unit in Rome, dividing my time between this city and St. Louis. From 1969 to 1978 I also held the position of Director of the Institute of Cell Biology of the Italian National Council of Research, in Rome. Upon retirement in 1979, I became Guest Professor of this same institute.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1986, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1987

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/ Nobel Lectures/The Nobel Prizes. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.
Rita Levi-Montalcini died on December 30, 2012.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1986



April 13 – 15, 2018


 A weekend dedicated to the art of pizza making

April 13 – 15, 2018

  • Tour of The Hill
  • Hands-on
  • Demonstrations

Join Domencia Marchetti for a virtual tour of Italy and regional Italian food at The Inns at St. Albans! As the author of seven acclaimed books on Italian home cooking, Domenica has made it her mission to bring authentic Italian recipes into the homes of America’s cooks and is excited to bring this same passion into the kitchen at the Inns and to share it with you.

During this custom designed weekend, we will focus on the food of one of Italy’s least known regions and Domenica’s favorite—Abruzzo, where her family is from. Situated east of Rome, Abruzzo extends from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic coast. It is a spectacular, unspoiled region with rich and diverse culinary traditions.

The weekend will kick off with hands-on class time, a cooking demonstration and a special Welcome Dinner at the Inns, featuring homemade pasta from Abruzzo and other specialties of the region.

On Saturday, after morning class time, we’ll venture to The Hill, St. Louis’s Italian neighborhood, for a walking tour and lunch with stops at select groceries and bakeries.  The afternoon is dedicated to the art of pizza making, Abruzzo style. In this hands-on class, we will roll up our sleeves and make homemade pizza dough, plus a variety of toppings. Best of all, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor with a special wood-fired pizza dinner at the Inns.

Throughout the weekend, books will be available for purchase and signing, and on Sunday, join Domenica for an Italian farewell breakfast before departing.

Price – $500

Culinary Camp, Meals & Accommodations
Includes cooking class, a tour of The Hill, Friday and Saturday night accommodations, meals (Friday night dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday breakfast).
Purchase Ticket 

Price – $250

Culinary Camp, Meals with NoAccommodations
Includes cooking class, tour of The Hill, and all meals (Friday night diner, Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday breakfast).
Purchase Ticket 

Camp begins Friday, April 13th at 3:00 PM and concludes Sunday, April 15th at 10:30 AM

A limited number of accommodations are available and will be booked on a first-come basis, payment is due at time of booking.  Contact The Inns at St. Albans to arrange for accommodations before purchasing your tickets or, purchase an all-inclusive ticket online and someone will contact you to book the accommodations that best fit your needs.

In Loving Memory JOANN ARPIANI

Joann Arpiani baptized into the hope of Christ’s resurrection, Thurs., Feb. 22, 2018. Beloved wife of the late Derio Arpiani, daughter of the late Stephen and Anna Gambaro; dear sister of Ben Gambaro and the late Pasquale “Lino”, Steve, Frank and John Gambaro; dear sister-in-law of Gloria and Dottie Gambaro and the late Helen and Shirley Gambaro; dear aunt of Annamarie, Joann, Frank and Carol, Eugene, Steve and Ginger, Sandra and David, Mimi and Joe, Derio and Linda, Chris and Diane, Jeff and Sharon, Greg, John and Barbara; dear great-aunt and great-great-aunt to many and ‘Aunt Nini’ to all. Joann was devoted to family and friends, and to her beloved Missouri Bakery. She will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Sick and Elderly Program of the Hill. Mass will be at St. Ambrose Church, 5130 Wilson Ave at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 26. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.


In Memory of Joann Gambaro Arpiani


Who turned 100 years this pat June 2017

by Marianne Peri-Sack

JoAnn Gambaro Arpiani and Derio Gambaro

JoAnn Gambaro Arpiani, the matriarch of the Gambaro family and Hill icon, turned a beautiful 100 years old on June 27. The Italians are fond of the phrase “Cent’ Anni” wishing someone to live for one hundred years and you can almost always hear the phrase at a Baptism or at a birthday party. Most people do not reach this stage in their lives but this classy lady did with much style and a great deal of grace. She has been a zealous activist in the Italian Community and is the only woman Cavaliere in St. Louis. It Italian government honored her with this title for her years of work in the Italian community and the title is the equivalent of being knighted by the Italian government.

Arpiani has been involved in many organizations and a multitude of fund-raising and cultural events. She was the first woman to be allowed to join the Italian Club and she established a scholarship in her brother, Lino Gambaro’s, memory at the Professional Businessmen of the Hill (PBM). Lino was a founding member of that organization and deeply involved in the scholarship program.

JoAnn’s family founded the Missouri Gambaro Bakery in 1923 as a wholesale outlet for her family’s restaurant on Grand called Garavelli’s. The bakery was located on the Hill and as the wonderful, mouth-watering aroma wafted through the neighborhood, people began to knock on the door and inquire if they could purchase some of the bread, etc. Thus one of Missouri’s most famous retail bakeries was born.

JoAnn worked with her brothers for many years and the current owners are her niece, Mimi Gambaro Lordo, and nephew, Chris Gambaro. JoAnn proudly states, “We did no advertising. It was all word of the mouth which is your best advertisement.” On Thursday, July 27, her large circle of friends and family members kept visiting to congratulate JoAnn and the doorbell kept ringing with florists arriving to deliver gorgeous flowers of every kind and color.

The Gambaros were gathering from all over the country. Stephen Gambaro was arriving at the airport at 2:00 in the afternoon. Sandy Gambaro arrived the day before from Chicago and took her Aunt Nini to the Chase Park Plaza with some other family members. Derio Gambaro was picking up longtime friend of the family, Monsignor Sal “Turiddu” Polizzi. That evening her close-knit family and some friends converged on her home to spend the balance of the special day with her. We all know that it is a small world, so through a Gambaro cousin who works for, Mario Batali’s cousin, Batali heard about Aunt Nini and was impressed. The cook and author extraordinaire sent her one of his autographed cook books along with a note. It read: Dear Aunt Nini, Buon Compleanno. I hope you have a fantastic celebration of 100 years with your family. I often think about the fantastic cannoli from your bakery, and I wish you another century of homemade deliciousness.

Saint Louis

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial