The Coalition of Italian-American Organizations of Delaware County (CIAO Delco) on Oct. 7 inaugurated the Italian Cultural Center of the Delaware Valley, in the Lazzaretto Building in Tinicum Township, Delaware County.
The event emcee, Melissa Cannavo-Marino, host of L’Associazione Regionale Abruzzese Delco’s (ARA Delco) weekly radio programs, opened the ceremony with a brief presentation on the mission and goals of the center, before a blessing was offered by Rev. Msgr. Ralph J. Chieffo, pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Media, Pa.
The idea of a cultural center to highlight the rich heritage and accomplishments of the Delaware Valley’s Italian Americans has been a long time coming.
The center features curated exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that delve into the profound impact Italian immigrants and their descendants have had on the social, economic, industrial, and artistic development not only in the region, but around the world.
The cultural center is also in the process of creating a specialized library to serve as a resource for people seeking to expand their understanding of Italian contributions to America.
The center’s president, Maura Febbo, thanked the many supporters who donated funds or family artifacts to the center. She also thanked the center’s vice president, Justin Del Borello, and Nick Rapagnani, president of ARA Delco, who she said has quietly worked behind the scenes to make the center become a reality, and Mike Di Pilla, historian.
Details about the center’s full opening will be announced soon.