Articles by: Nicole Campisano

  • Facts & Stories

    Transhumance Treks to Reach UNESCO Status this Year

    With the support of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Greece, and Austria, Italy is attempting to solidify transhumance as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.  Under UNESCO, awareness and protection are brought to these cultural heritages.  Italy has officially submitted their bid in 2018, and will hear back in November 2019 if this historical tradition will reach UNESCO status.

    What is Transhumance?

    Transhumance is the seasonal trek of livestock, a rare practice that still exists in parts of Italy and around the world.  Shepherds and their animals take paths –tratturi in Italian –to the lowlands before the winter, and then return to the highlands for the summer. Found mainly in central and southern Italy, there are tratturi in the Abruzzo, Lazio, Molise, and Puglia regions.

    Transhumance has a rich history and can be traced back to the Roman Empire.  It is deeply ingrained in Italian culture, customs, and traditions, apparent throughout folklore and music.  However, its decline began as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries when farming took precedence over sheep-rearing; and in the 1950s and 60s, transhumance died out when traveling on foot was replaced with the automobile.  

    Why is it Important?

    The Minister of Agriculture explains: "Transhumance as a cultural force, with a strong element of identity, has managed to create strong social and cultural bonds over the centuries between the people practicing it and the places they pass through, as well as representing a sustainable economic activity characterized by a special relationship between man and nature whose symbolic force has influenced all fields of art."

    There are laws already put in place to protect the paths, but they are difficult to maintain, so becoming an intangible cultural heritage would ensure preservation. Many shepherds advocate to keep the practice alive in order to maintain their culture and history.  It has even become a type of tourist attraction where people can join the shepherds and sheep on their journey up to the mountains for the summer.

  • Art & Culture

    Visconti Retrospective Hits the Big Apple

    Luchino Visconti’s artistic vision as a director and screenwriter had a major impact on cinematic history.  To celebrate his accomplishments, a retrospective of his most prized works are being showcased throughout the month of June in New York City.

    Starting at the Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, the retrospective will move on to TIFF in Toronto, ON, Bampfa in Berkeley, CA, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., MFAH in Houston, TX, and The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, IL after New York.

    The Opening of the Visconti Retrospective

    The opening night, organized by Sally Fischer PR, featured a cocktail reception as well as a showing of the 4k restored version of Death in Venice at the Walter Reade Theater. The movie was restored by Cineteca di Bologna, Istituto Luce Cinecittà.  Florence Almozini, the Associate Director of Programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Camilla Cormanni, the International and Events Programmer of Luce Cinecittà, explain that this long-awaited retrospective contains a variety of restored films and rare prints which show the director’s full range of artistic abilities. 

    Almozini shared her passion for Visconti's work, particularly for his masterpiece Ludwig, and says that "every film that you can watch is a memorable experience…especially on the big screen!" She continues, "Visconti is a master, representing decades of Italian cinematic history." 

    Almozini then welcomed Camilla Cormanni who underlined the uniqueness of the exhibition: "This is an incredible retrospective that features amazing restorations of these movies, particularly of Death in Venice, from their original negatives."

    Visconti and the Arts

    Born in Milan, Italy in 1906, Visconti was of noble birth.  His wealthy upbringing brought music, art, and theatre into his life. He also had the privilege of meeting some of the most important artists of the time, like composer Giacomo Puccini, the conductor Arturo Toscanini, and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio.

    Visconti began working in the film industry as an assistant director in 1935.  His first feature film that he wrote and directed was Ossessione (1943), which is also considered the first neorealist movie.  Additionally, he adapted literature into film with classics like Death in Venice, and The Stranger which are all included in the retrospective. Visconti’s achievements reached further than filmmaking, he was a theatre and opera director throughout 1946 to 1960.

    Organizers of the Event

    This event was organized by Florence Almozini and Dan Sullivan of Film Society of Lincoln Center, and by Camilla Cormanni and Paola Ruggiero of Istituto Luce Cinecittà, presented in association with the Ministry of Culture of Italy.


    To learn more about the retrospective, click here >>>

    To view showtimes and to buy tickets, click here >>>

  • Art & Culture

    Renaissance Chiaroscuro Woodcuts in LA

    For the first time in the United States, a large collection of rare chiaroscuro woodcuts is on display at the LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  These prints were first introduced in Italy during the Renaissance (c.1516) and had a major artistic impact.  The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy features 100 woodcuts, along with related drawings, engravings, sculptures, and a scholarly catalogue  at the exhibition closing September 6.

    Woodcuts in the Renaissance

    Chiaroscuro, meaning light-dark in Italian, is a technique used to create dimension with shadows and light. The woodprints were made by printmakers such as Ugo da Carpi, Antonio da Trento, and Niccolò Vicentino who printed an image from two or more woodblocks inked in various hues.  This technical innovation later progressed into color printing in Europe.  Chiaroscuro woodcuts also inspired great artists, like Titian, Raphael, and Parmigianino.

    Research and Discussion

    This exhibit, which is located in the Reznik Pavillion, is organized by LACMA in association with the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  The talk, “Art, Conservation, and Science: A Closer Look at Chiaroscuro Woodcuts,” will be held June 30 at 2 pm with curator Naoko Takahatake, conservator Erin Jue, and the Head of Conservation Research Charlotte Eng, to discuss the conservation of Antonio da Trento’s Martyrdom of Two Saints and related research.

  • Life & People

    The 59th NCCA Award Dinner Honors those who Preserve Columbus

    The National Council of Columbia Association in Civil Service held its 59th annual awards dinner May 24 at El Caribe in Brooklyn. The Council took this special occasion to honor, award, and recognize various members of the community for their exceptional dedication and achievements.

    The NCCA is a nonprofit educational and social foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage working through fraternal organizations.  It is a resource for the Italian American community, in addition to having educational and youth programs.

    Outstanding Service

    This 2018 dinner was particularly important because it was dedicated to the preservation of Columbus and his memorials across New York City.  The highly esteemed council that is incredibly grateful for its supporters, ensures that everyone involved is an exemplary Italian or Italian American who goes above and beyond their duties to serve others, as well as their community.  Also there to congratulate the awardees, was the Consul General of Italy in New York, Francesco Genuardi. During his speech the Consul highlighted the NCCA many accomplishemnts and the key role that the foundation plays in supporting and promoting the Italian American culture and community.

    Italian and Italian American Achievement

    The Honorees for 2018:

    H.E. Rev. Hilary Franco, a Permanent Observer of the Mission of the Holy Sea to the U.N won the Life Time Achievement award; Michael Mattone of the Municipal Credit Union won the Golden Heritage Award; Angelo Vivolo of the Columbus Citizens Foundation is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; James Moschella, Esq. of the National Council Counsel is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; Paul DiGiacomo, the Vice President of the Detective Endowment Association, is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; Manny Rossi of the NYPD Columbia Association is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; Ron Castorina Jr., an Assembly Member for the State of NY, is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; Joseph Borelli, a Councilmember for the NYC Council is honored as a Guardian of Columbus; and Carmine V. Musumeci, the Supreme Director for K of C, is honored as a Guardian of Columbus.

    The President Recognition Awardees for 2018:

    John Schulz, the Association Chairman of the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey; Jack Spatola of the Italian Cultural Center; Nicandro Cappuccia, the President of The Saint Ann Club of Norwalk, CT; Francesco Romano of Solid Waste Management in NYC for the Department of Sanitation; Stephen Forlenza, the President of the F.D.N.Y Columbia Association; Hon. Fucsia Nissoli Fitzgerald, a Congresswoman for the Italian Parliament; and Al Acierno of the SI/Lower Manhattan Trustee Patrolmen Benevolent Association.

    Organization Recognition Awardees for 2018:

    Joe Bongiorno of the NYC Department of Corrections; Dr. Jeffrey Basti, the District Surgeon of the NYPD; John Delgaudio of the NYPD Columbia Association; Joseph Dellacava of the NYC Department of Education; and Cecil Jones, SGT of Boston PD- St Michael Law Enforcement Society of Massachusetts.

    NCCA’s Mission Statement

    This Association is dedicated to the American ideal of equality of all men and women under the law, regardless of race, religion. Or national origin. It seeks to effectuate a unity of effort and purpose among all persons of Italian origin through the coordination of activities of all new and presently existing affiliated Columbia Associations and to perpetuate the rich tradition of Italian culture. It seeks to inspire its members, both as individuals and/or groups of affiliates, to be conscious of the freedoms to foster a keener spirit of brotherhood, good-fellowship and understanding among all Americans. It aims to achieve this goal through a program of education and through charitable endeavors.

  • Art & Culture

    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 18th Edition

    From comedies to dramas, this year’s Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is featuring 17 Italian films.  From May 31 until June 6, viewers will have the chance to see this exclusive lineup of contemporary selections! For the 18th edition of this festival, many of the filmmakers and a few actors will be making appearances during the showing of their films for question and answer sessions.  Sicilian Ghost Story, the winner of the David di Donatello award for Best Adapted Screenplay, will open the showcase.  

    Classic and Contemporary

    Open Roads will also be adding classic films into the mix by the Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, and Marco Ferreri.  Unfortunately, Vittorio Taviani passed away this April, but his incredible contributions to film will always be remembered.  Paolo and Vittorio’s 1982 classic, Night of the Shooting Stars, which also won the Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, will be shown June 4.

    Ferreri’s The Ape Woman (1962) will be presented June 5 with an introduction by Anselma Dell’Olio.  Dell’Olio is an Italian film critic and journalist who created the documentary, Marco Ferreri: Dangerous but Necessary, about Ferreri’s radical legacy which will screen before The Ape Woman.

    Roundtable Discussion

    The Istituto Luce Cinecittà will also be hosting a panel discussion about Italian cinema. The directors, actors, and producers from some of the featured films of Open Roads will be at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò on June 1.

    Jenny McPhee, the Director of the Center for Applied Liberal Arts, School of Professional Studies at New York University, will be the moderator of the roundtable consisting of Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza, Filippo Luna, and Vincenzo Amato of Sicilian Ghost Story; Paolo Genovese of The Place; Roberto De Paolis of Pure Hearts; Marco Tullio Giordana of Nome di Donna; Ferzan Ozpetek of Naples in Veils; Vincenzo Marra of Equilibrium; Francesco Patierno of Diva!; Silvia Luzi and Luca Bellino of­ Crater; Lucia Mascino of Stories of Love that Cannot Belong to This World; and Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo of Boys Cry.

    Italian Cinema and Artistry

    The Open Roads: New Italian Cinema festival is a unique, must-see event!  It is the only showcase presenting a diversity of contemporary films in North America!  Highlighting both well known, as well as up-and-coming actors, the featured films are all highly praised promising enjoyment and cinematic excellence.  Tickets are on sale now, don't miss out!


    There were many important contributors who made this event possible:

    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan, Film Society; and by Carla Cattani, Griselda Guerrasio, and Monique Catalino, Istituto Luce Cinecittà. Special thanks to: Italian Trade Commission; Italian Cultural Institute New York; Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò—NYU; Antonio Monda.

    For a list of films and times, click here>>>

    For more about Open Roads, click here>>>

  • Facts & Stories

    #ItalyRunNYC: Run to Celebrate la Festa della Repubblica

    To celebrate Italy’s Festa della Repubblica, Ferrero Group is hosting the first annual "Italy Run" on June 3!  Festa della Repubblica is the Italian National holiday. It celebrates the day that Italians voted for Italy to become a republic in 1946. New York Road Runners is organizing this patriotic event under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy. 

    Italy Run by Ferrero

    Located in the iconic Central Park, participants of all ages will run 5 miles starting at 9:30 am as friends and family cheer them on.  There will also be festivities after the race with music, food, and more! Guests will even have the chance to sample Ferrero products like Nutella, and Tic-tacs, as well as treats from the other sponsors.

    Francesco Genuardi, the Consul General of Italy in New York exclaims, “we cannot wait to see Central Park with the colors of our tricolore, the Italian flag. This race marks once again the friendship between Italy and the city of New York. We are delighted this year to commemorate La Festa Della Repubblica by celebrating sports with such amazing partners."  Ferrero Group is also excited to sponsor the event.  It is part of their mission to be committed to being an active member of the community and promoting healthy lifestyles.

    Supporting the AICF

    Italy Run by Ferrero is supporting the American-Italian Cancer Foundation:

    The American-Italian Cancer Foundation supports cancer research, education, and control, emphasizing the outstanding resources of Italy and the United States, recognizing world-class scientific excellence in medicine, and serving economically disadvantaged, medically under-served New York City women through breast cancer screening, outreach, and education.

    Runners can donate to the AICF when they register!

    About New York Roadrunners

    New York Road Runners serves nearly 600,000 runners of all ages and abilities annually through hundreds of races, community open runs, walks, training sessions, and other running-related programming, with 267,000 youth participating in free fitness programs and events nationally, including 134,000 in New York City’s five boroughs.

    About Ferrero

    Many Ferrero products are “global”, making Ferrero the fourth largest confectionary company in the world.  Ferrero’s distinguished characteristic is its “glocal” approach (think globally, act locally); that is a Company vision focusing on international development yet adapting to local traditions and needs and giving back to the local community. 

    Ferrero is also very committed to consumers and their needs. Over the years, Ferrero has built a mutual relationship based on trust, experience, “feeling” and insight; an enduring loyalty that joints Ferrero with all its consumers worldwide. It is this relationship with consumers that has been the core of our success.

    Click to register >>

  • Art & Culture

    Canova Dances into NYC

    Canova Dances into NYC

    Antonio Canova’s paintings will make their American debut later this month in Canova e la Danza at New York City’s Institute of Italian Culture.  Although better known for his sculptures, Canova’s paintings capture mythical and enchanting dancers who take inspiration from Ancient Greece and Rome.  The exhibition will be on view from May 23 to June 28, 2018 and is curated by Mario Guderzo.

    Canova e la Danza

    Canova’s 16 tempera paintings were loaned from the Gipsoteca e Museo Canova and have recently been restored.  The works were completed between the years 1799 and 1806. Canova painted intermittently while creating his sculptures paying tribute to dance in the form of classical scenes.  Taking examples from Greek vase-paintings and reliefs, and Roman friezes, his paintings are distinctive with their black backgrounds and jovial settings often depicting nymphs and cupids.  Canova would first draw the scenes, and then paint over them ensuring beautiful simplicity.  His paintings would later inspire bigger scale creations and become the subject of his other sculptures.

    The Sculptor

    Working from the late 18th century until the early 19th, Antonio Canova was one of the most popular and well-known neoclassical sculptors.  He was born in Possagno in 1757 under the care of his grandfather who inspired him to become a sculptor.  He earned international fame for his talents, and traveled around the world as he was commissioned for important projects.  One of his most notable patrons was Napoleon Bonaparte and his family.  He also made a statue of George Washington for the state of North Carolina that later perished in a fire.

    Partners of the Exhibition

    The exhibition is organized in collaboration with la Gipsoteca e Museo Canova (Canova Museum and Plaster Casts Gallery) in Possagno, (Treviso), Italy, and in coordination with the Frick Collection that during the same time, at the end of May, will host the plaster of the George Washington Statue kept in Possagno, whose original marble has been destroyed.
    Jointly, the Consulate General of Italy in New York, will host a photographic exhibition dedicated to Canova’s sculptures.

    For more information on the exhibition, click here>>>

  • "Primavera, Concerto in Mi Maggiore (E Major), Dissolvenze-Estro Armonico"; Oil on canvas; Photo credit to Museo Italo Americano
    Art & Culture

    Colors Between Heaven and Earth

    “Colori tra Cielo e Terra– Colors Between Heaven and Earth: The Four Seasons and other Vivaldian Inspirations” is a bright and dynamic exhibition featuring the works of Italian artist Angela Sepe Novara.  This exhibit, presented by San Francisco’s Museo Italo Americano, was co-sponsored by the Regione Piemonte Department of Culture and Tourism, and was previously featured at the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin.

    Abstract Creations

    Angela Sepe Novara is an abstract painter from Turin, Italy. She creates “artistic jewels” with her works that are inspired by nature and classical music.  The museum explains that her paintings are “focused on dissolving and recomposing the image, isolation of the fragment, visual poetry, and installation.” Angela’s abstract expressionism is meaningful, yet captivating, and is sure to be admired by viewers.

    On the opening of the exhibit, May, 10, there will be a reception held at the Fort Mason Center.  Angela will be there as this occasion is her first exhibit in the United States.  Other special guests in attendance are Lorenzo Ortona, Consul General of Italy in San Francisco, and Paolo Barlera, director of the Italian Cultural Institute. Wine and antipasti will be served at this free event starting at 5:30.

    More on the Artist…

    Angela is a celebrated artist from the Piedmont region.  She studied art throughout her life, and now works with companies and institutions to create advertisements and art for special events.  In addition to being a painter, she is a poet.  She writes in her spare time, and also uses poetry as captions for her works.  Angela’s accomplishments vary, but her most recent was the opportunity to present her work at the 54th Venice Biennale which was curated by Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi.

    For more information on the exhibit, click here >>>

    For more information on the opening reception, click here >>>

    For more information on the artist, click here >>>

  • Art & Culture

    Caravaggio-The Soul and the Blood

    Provocative, creative, and controversial describe Europe’s most famous Baroque painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, or simply, Caravaggio. His new take on chiaroscuro using darkness to emphasize light, now known as tenebrism, became a dominant technique thanks to the Italian artist’s bold style. Violence and death are common themes found in Caravaggio’s most iconic scenes driven by his own angst and torment. Caravaggio’s emotionally turbulent life makes him as fascinating as his art.

    The Rebel Artist

    The highly anticipated Caravaggio-The Soul and the Blood dives deeper into the artist’s world and is premiering in Los Angeles May, 16.  The film traces the painter’s life story and works over the course of the places he’s lived: Milan, Rome, Naples, and Malta.  The film showcases 40 paintings, and uses the knowledge of Claudio Strinati, the most famous Caravaggio expert, Professor Mina Gregori, the president of the Foundation of Art History Roberto Longhi, and Dr. Rossella Vodret, the curator of “Inside Caravaggio" at Milan’s Palazzo Reale.

    The Event

    Starting at 6 PM at LA’s Italian Cultural Institute, Jon R. Snyder will introduce the film. Professor Snyder teaches Italian Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Prof. Snyder has published and lectured extensively on the literatures, arts and cultures of early modern Europe, especially Italy. Among his books are L'estetica del Barocco (The Aesthetics of the Baroque, Il Mulino, 2005) which takes the Baroque to be the first global artistic movement, in which revolutionary new ways of representing and narrating sensual and spiritual experience were developed and disseminated on a vast scale.

    The Success of Sky Art Cinema

    Sky Art Cinema, one of the producers of the film, has produced other popular art documentaries.  The Vatican Museums 3D (2013) did extremely well not only as an art documentary, but as an Italian film abroad.  The newest films are Caravaggio- The soul and the Blood, and Michelangelo, infinite.  Others include: Firenze e gli Uffizi (2015), San Pietro e le Basiliche Papali di Roma (2016), and Raffaello il Principe delle Arti (2017).

    The coordinator and artistic director of Sky, Cosetta Lagani explains the secret to the success of these films: “Innovation with regard to the narrative approach (never purely didactic but rather emotional and masterful), and to the visual language (with state-of-the-art shooting and post-production techniques); all is placed at the service of artistic sites and works of art, thereby enabling viewers to experience them in full, with unprecedented, powerful emotional involvement.”

    For more information on the film premiere, click here>>>

  • Art & Culture

    Celebrating the 150 Year Legacy of Rossini

    Nicknamed the Italian Mozart, Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was one of the most popular and influential composers of his time.  Having written 39 operas, Rossini captivated audiences with his melodic style and countless scores.  Some of his most well-known works include, The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Cinderella (La Cenerentola).

    A Musical Journey

    On May 9, Washington D.C’s Embassy of Italy and the Washington Concert Opera present “150 Rossini”, a lively concert event celebrating the 150th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini’s death. Maestro Anthony Walker who is an opera conductor, the Artistic Director of Washington Concert Opera, and an expert on Rossini’s work, will take the audience on a musical journey through the prolific composer’s life and works.

    The musical selection will be focused on Rossini’s scores that have been used in both past and upcoming seasons at the Washington Concert Opera. The singers for the night are soprano Natalie Conte, mezzo-soprano Corrie Stallings, and tenor Timothy Augustin.

    More on Rossini

    Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy, also recognized as the UNESCO-City of Music.  He made his first operatic debut at 18 years old, and by 1813, his career was skyrocketing. Rossini flourished as a composer and attained international fame.   He had a gift for music and was influenced by greats such as Beethoven and Chopin, and he was highly praised as a musician by the iconic Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg, to name a few.  His music continues to be celebrated almost two centuries after his death, and his legacy lives on.

    For more information on the event, click here>>>

    For more information on the Washington Concert Opera, click here>>>