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Earthquake fundraiser in Rittenhouse Square, new studio at Neumann University


By Barbara Ann Zippi

Knowing firsthand the effects of an earthquake, Riccardo Longo was taking an annual trip to Italy when he received news of another earthquake in Italy.  After visiting the devastation and returning to Philadelphia, he along with partners Michele Morelli, award-winning coffee roaster, and gelato champion chef Stefano Biasini,  held a fundraiser at their restaurant Gran Caffe L’Aquila in Rittenhouse Square. Bravo!

Sicilian American Patricia King Haddad of Lansdowne tells us she started casting for her original book “La Giara” (“The Water Jug”), soon to be a musical set on stage in the Delaware Valley in 2017. Stay tuned.

A lot is happening at Neumann University. I toured the new $5 million communications studio complex built under the supervision of Director of Student Media Sean McDonald.  It’s a radio, TV and film producer’s dream, as evidenced by broadcast media professional Karen Thomas. Students will be learning from the best and in state-of-the-art facilities. The Cultural Arts Council will feature an “Afternoon with Sinatra” May 21 with Jack Giampalmi’s 17-piece orchestra.

We have an update on Abruzzo, Italy, and Newtown Square, Pa., cookbook author Elisa Constantini, author of “Italian Moms Spreading Their Art to Every Table.” Since honoring her grief after losing her husband, this book is a tribute to their life together and preserving the recipes from her village. After recent appearances on QVC with Antonella Nester and Rachael Ray, she’ll visit “The Today Show” on Dec. 6. She continues to spread her love of food, family and traditions in the Abruzzo tradition around  the world. Learn more at www.italianmomscooking.com.

Societa` Bell’Italia club in Mount Laurel, N.J.,  is organizing a bus trip to see Cristina Fontanelli’s “Christmas in Italy” show on Dec. 18 in New York City.

The show presents a cast singing and dancing, along with traditional music with authentic Italian
instruments including mandolins, guitars and accordion. Forbes magazine stated: “Cristina Fontanelli … is like seeing a cross between Maria Callas and Ethel Merman.” Fontanelli is an award-winning singer specializing in Italian and Italian-American classic music, and recently was host to a PBS special featuring Andrea Bocelli’s concert in Central Park.  Learn more at www.christmasinitaly.bpt.me or e-mail gamag@comcast.net.

Friendly reminders:

  • Protect Columbus Day all year long with free reprints of this newspaper’s article “Columbus being pushed out of the picture in America?”
  • “Ciao Bella Living Italian Style” is looking for limoncello makers and Italian car owners for a road rally in 2017, as well as regional festivals and galas for our television crew to visit. Student internships and co-ops are also available. Learn more at www.CiaoBellaLivingItalianStyle.World.
  • And, thanks to Campania region Italian Sandro D’Angelo with his reminder “Time to Cover the  Fig Tree.”

Until next month ~ Ciao Bella! 

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