Articles by: Giulia Madron

  • Facts & Stories

    Who Said Women Don't Understand Soccer?

    Fantacalcio is a popular game about soccer, where the goal is to manage and organize virtual soccer teams whose players are chosen from among actual players participating in certain tournaments such as the soccer league, the UEFA Champions League or the World Cup. Every year when a league begins, soccer fans, especially boys, use the app to follow as many matches as they can in order to “build” the team that will win the Fantacalcio tournament at the end of the year.

    And how many times girls have complained because their boyfriends had to meet their friends to play this game? How many times, when you wanted to play Fantacalcio with him, your boyfriend said: “Sorry honey, but girls do not know a thing about soccer!”

    Well, now they won't be able to use that as an excuse. And all thanks to a new app: MyFantacalcio - free for i-Phone and Android -, the only app that is able to automatically calculate the best formation that you want to place in the field. In fact, the powerful algorithm, which uses several statistical sources, will recommend to you the best players to use in order to maximize the probability of victory by also having the chance to make changes manually!

    MyFantacalcio is a start-up created for fun, by an international team of young people with a solid and also unusual feminine component: Italian girls who live in New York and who have many passions, and one of them is soccer.

    Launched in 2012 in its IOS version, this app has already more than 200 downloads and has recently been improved with a support web page: in which is possible to participate in several competitions, which can also be personalized as you like.

    Indeed, to compete with friends or family, you can create private leagues, customizing the rules of the game and deciding to participate free of charges or with a small fee (which includes a final jackpot). The users do not have to make any kind of effort since the calculation of the points and all the transactions that are involved are managed transparently and automatically by the MyFantacalcio platform. But, if you feel you have the best team, you can also compete on a national scale and decide to participate in public leagues and get the chance to win amazing prizes such as tablets or smartphones.

    You can choose among the Standard League, which follows the official Fantacalcio rules, the funny Inverse League, in which the “fantacoaches” have to face each other by having to win with the worst players, and the Light League, which consists of simplified rules, perfect for those who are new to this game or do not have enough time for it.

    You just have to download the app to become a soccer expert and create the perfect team and beat your boyfriend, who possibly had spent hours or days manually configuring his team.

    So dear better find some other “man thing” to do without your girlfriends because the Fantacalcio game is no longer one of them...

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Sandwich Addiction in the Village

    La Panineria Italiana is fast becoming a popular destination for lovers of Italian food. Specializing in sandwiches, La Panineria offers a large variety of homemade Panini that will make you forget for a moment that you are in a country that isn’t Italy.

    The thing Italians living abroad miss most is Italian food, of course. Fortunately,  there are some places that are just heaven for Italian food lovers. One of these is La Panineria Italiana, a lovely sandwich shop in the heart of Greenwich Village.


    Only 4 months young, La Panineria was a dream come true for owner Mario Pesce, a young Neapolitan with a passion for food who moved to New York to start his own business with his brother Giuseppe and his girlfriend Olga.

    The first thing that strikes you walking into La Panineria is that it is like entering a typical Italian Salumeria. The space is not very big but it is very cozy. A large wood counter faces the street and another square table sits in the middle. Beautiful vintage posters of Italian ads cover the walls, adding a special touch to the welcoming atmosphere.

    All the sandwiches that you eat at La Panineria Italiana are prepared on the spot with fresh, high quality Italian products, just like in a real Italian salumeria. The bread comes from the very best bakeries in the city while cured meats and cheeses are provided by Pesce’s uncle Mimmo Magliulo, owner of the Chelsea Market Italian food mecca Buon Italia.

    “What differentiates us is that here in New York we only use products of the highest quality. We prepare our sandwiches as if we were preparing them at home. And we put a lot of passion into what we do,” says Pesce.

    A quick glance at the menu is enough to make your mouth water: sandwiches, salads, bruschette, cured meats, cheeses and delicious pastries.

    Their strong suit? The Parma and the Paestum sandwich. “The Parma sandwich, with prosciutto crudo di parma and robiola fresh soft cheese, besides being delicious, holds a special place in my heart. Indeed I was eating it when I decided to open La Panineria in New York,” says Mario. “Also the Paestum sandwich, with prosciutto crudo di parma, buffalo mozzarella and olive oil, means a lot to me because Paestum is a beautiful town in Campania where I grew up and spent my childhood.”

    For its most demanding clients, La Panineria created also 3 special sandwiches: Supermario, Olga and Peppe. The Supermario (prosciutto crudi di Parma, mortadella, salame and mozzarella!) was cooked up special for the American clientele, who really love it!

    La Panineria Italiana also does catering and delivery through Seamless. And the great thing is that you can also make your own sandwich with your favorite ingredients and have it delivered to your home. “The most rich and expensive sandwich a client ordered,” says Mario, “was a baguette with mortadella, salame, spicy salame, prosciutto crudo di parma, parmigiano reggiano, provolone, tomato, lettuce, and Italian black truffle oil…$21!”

    Thanks to its exquisite Italian products, La Panineria has already become very popular. When I asked Mario about his future plans to open another Panineria Italiana in the Big Apple, he said, “Well, the amazing thing about New York is that if you use a little bit of your head and a little bit of your heart, you can do things that you could not do anywhere else in the whole world.”

    1 W 8th St
    New York, NY 11001
    Greenwich Village

  • Facts & Stories

    Affordable Fashion at Buyonz NYC

    New Italian presence in New York. It’s called Buyonz. Originally from Milan, this Shopping Club, which celebrates its second year of activity, took on a new challenge: seduce the Big Apple with exclusive fashion products by famous international brands at very discounted prices.

    Started in Milan in 2012, Buyonz has already 6 stores in Italy. However, we are not talking about an ordinary store. The way it works in Italy, this exclusive shopping club is for “members only.” This means that you can have access to their products only if you have a membership card, which you can get either if you are an employee of one of the the affiliated companies or organizations which signed an agreement witht he Buyonz Stores or if you hold an “Invitation Card”, which you can get at the moment you become a member.

    The store in New York, located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, precisely at 325 W 38th street, opened on July 10th and is managed by Fabio Addeo, an Aerospace Engineer and ex private pilot, who, together with his business partner Ivan Bianchini, decided to expand the Buyonz brand abroad. In New York, Fabio is in charge not only of the commercial side of the business, but also of managing the relations with all the Italian companies in the Big Apple that would like to sign an agreement and give their employees the benefit of buying exclusive products for less, without giving up quality.

    “Looking back at the results we have seen in Italy over the past two years," Fabio explains to i-Italy, "our natural instinct was to expand to a city that would really fit this model. What better place than Manhattan? One Manhattan block is almost equivalent to all of Milan with all of the existing office buildings and employees.”

    Of course, opening a store in another country has its challenges.
    “The main challenge with 90% of our customers is explaining the ‘members only’ concept. They walk into a retail store and see a gate before them, so they don't know what to think. We explain to them the business model, and how we are the first store in the USA to use this concept. When they see how easy it is to sign up, they become really happy, and that's usually due to our amazing prices,” says Fabio.

    Therefore, since its opening, Buyonz turned out to be a success, with already more than 450 members.

    “The number one thing we hear is: ‘(pause... look around) wow! This is awesome! I am so happy!’”, tells us Fabio, very proud of the first feedback received from the many clients who enter the store.

    Buyonz offers its members to buy from a wide selection of high quality fashion and design products. Many are the brands that you can find inside this shopping club: from Prada, Liu-Jo, Furla or Scervino to Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dolce e Gabbana. Very expensive brands if you buy them in the flagship stores. But not inside Buyonz Shopping Club where you can have them at prices that are really unbelievable, with discounts that go up to 90%.

    This is really an exclusive opportunity. If you are crazy about fashion and you love shopping, don’t waste your money (literally) and become a member!

    If you are curious to know more about Buyonz click on their webpage:

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    New York Espresso Coffee Mania at Zibetto’s!

    You can take everything away from Italians but not coffee. And when we talk about coffee, in Italy, we are only talking about Espresso, which, if it’s prepared in the right way, can become a real masterpiece. At Zibetto Espresso Bar, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, they know it.

    Anastasios Nougos, the owner, is a man with a mission. Son of Italian immigrants (his father was from Palermo, Sicily) who emigrated to Sweden, Anastasios moved to New York in 2004 with one thing on his mind: opening a real Italian espresso bar.

    “I remember my dad always complaining that he could not find a good espresso. And in New York neither could I. So when I moved here I decided to open this place” says Anastasios.

    Zibetto Espresso Bar opened in 2006, bringing to the Big Apple the culture of real Italian coffee.

    “I worked with a person from Bari whose grandfather owned one of the first bars in Bari back in the 1920s,” explains Anastasios. “I learned the trade from him. I am an extension of his legacy. Here we do coffee in the same way, very traditional.”

    At Zibetto’s is all about coffee. And a good coffee is all about quality.

    “We have our own personal blend coffee,” says the owner of Zibetto, whom, since 2007, brings the coffee from Italy and roasts it in Poland. “The arabica quality is originally from Brazil and Colombia while the robusta quality is from India.”

    But besided the quality of the coffee, an Italian espresso, as we said, it’s a real art form. It’s not only about making a short coffee out of a machine. It’s also about the passion you put into making it. And that is something Anastasios and Mikael Olsson, co-owner of Zibetto, are always looking for in a barista who wants to work at Zibetto.

    “What we are looking for in a barista who wants to work here is not the fact that he or she is Italian. Of course, if they speak Italian it would be a plus. But what we are really looking for is a person who is proud of his profession, which is an attribute that you see when you walk into an espresso bar in Italy. This is not just a profession. It’s an art,” affirms Anastasios.

    Since its opening, Zibetto Espresso Bar was a success, attracting Americans but most of all attracting Italians. And we all know that where there is good coffee, there are Italians.

    “Italian are magnets to good coffee and they know where to go,” says Anastasios, who knows very well not only how to make a perfect espresso (trust me, I tried it!) but also how much Italians appreciate good things in life. And coffee is one of these. When you keep that in mind, the game is over. You win.

    Right now, Zibetto Espresso Bar is opening another spot on 42nd street and 5th Avenue. What can we say? We wish Zibetto success that will last for a long time. Even though, when it comes to coffee, please, keep it short!

    For more information about Zibetto Espresso Bar check out their Facebook page 

  • Facts & Stories

    Costa Concordia Arrives in Genoa

    Mission accomplished. Final voyage for the Costa Concordia ended yesterday in the morning in Genoa where the ship will be dismantled before its demolition. Many people, together with many important representatives of Italian Institutions, were waiting at the harbor for the arrival of the gigantic ship that has been laying, since January 2012, on the cliff of the Tuscan island of Giglio.

    Thanks to huge metal boxes filled with air that were attached to the ship, it was possible to refloat the Costa Concordia and tow it away.

    The whole mission, that will cost to Costa Cruises 1.5 billion euro, was directed by Nick Sloane, salvage master at Titan Salvage, and his team, who made the trip of this giant, 87.196 ton ship possible, crossing more than 200 miles of sea.

    A slow and exhausting four-day trip which the world followed on television ended with a gloomy alarm announcing the arrival of the Costa Concordia at its final destination.

    "This isn't a day for a show, but it's a mark of gratitude for getting something done which everyone said would be impossible," Premier Matteo Renzi said after the ship arrived in Genoa. "We had a terrible chapter to close, but Italy isn't a country destined for the scrap heap... It was an achievement, but not a happy ending." 

    The tragic episode of the Costa Concordia took the life of 33 people. Former Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is on trial in the Tuscan city of Grosseto on charges of multiple homicide, causing a shipwreck by sailing too close to shore to "salute" Giglio, and abandoning the ship before it was evacuated. He is the only person on trial after four crew members and a Costa Cruises' official were sentenced to terms of up to 34 months in prison following plea bargains. Costa Cruises avoided criminal prosecution by agreeing to pay a one-million-euro fine, but victims are seeking compensation in civil courts.

  • Facts & Stories

    Bill De Blasio: Honorary Citizen in Sant’Agata Dei Goti

    After a day spent on the beautiful island of Capri, the De Blasios desembarked in Naples. The first citizen of New York was warmly received in Sant’Agata Dei Goti, the town which his grandfather Giovanni left at the beginning of the 20th century. More than 2000 people were waiting for his arrival in the majestic square of Tiziano Della Ratta.

    “It’s an amazing city,” said De Blasio enthusiastically about the welcoming reception. “I didn’t expect such warmth."

    The municipal administration organized a pompeous ceremony and awarded Mr De Blasio with the town's honorary citizenship.

    “Thank you very much for the strength you transmitted to me,” said the Mayor of New York, in a quite frankly, decent Italian. “I will never forget that here there were people who watched the New York elections,” he exclaimed, claiming proudly his Italian origins.

    “I felt your warmth as if it was your victory as well. My grandfather left Sant’Agata Dei Goti when he was 20 years old and he never forgot his origins,” said the Mayor of New York,“and I want my children to remember them as well.”

    Roberta Mongillo, lawyer and daughter of the mayor's second cousin thanked De Blasio for the joy he spread among all the people in Sant’Agata Dei Goti at the time of his election.

    After the ceremony, De Blasio together with his wife Chirlane and his children Dante and Chiara, had lunch with Carmine Valentino, Mayor of the Italian town. A very light lunch since, when he arrived, he ate two pizzas on the seafront of Naples. The first pizza with knife and fork, in spite of what they say in the US that pizza should be eaten with your hands, and then the second one without the utensils.

    Later on, the De Blasios visited the Cathedral, where the first citizen of New York was very touched by the words of the priest who spoke about his family.

    In the evening, Mr. De Blasio had dinner with the Mayor of Naples. Before leaving Sant’Agata Dei Goti, he exchanged a few words with the journalists. In Italian he said: “ I support the Azzurri (Naples’s soccer team) and I had a very interesting conversation with the President of the team De Laurentis.”

    For De Blasio, this is the fourth time he visits the town of his grandparents and he said he will be back very soon. Tomorrow he will be in Grassano, near Matera, which is the town where his grandmother was born.

  • Facts & Stories

    La Dolce Vita of The De Blasios

    Nine days in the country of his ancestors. On July 20th, Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio landed in the Italian capital, Rome, a first stop of the nine-day holiday with his whole family: his wife Chirlane, son Dante and daughter Chiara. “I am very happy to be here with my family,” said De Blasio. “Italy is a wonderful place!,” exclaimed, in perfect Italian.

    De Blasio travelled on a Delta Airlines flight. He disembarked as an ordinary passenger. Dressed very casually, in a blue shirt, a pair of beige colonial style trousers and sneakers, the Mayor of New York was escorted by the border police and American security agents, to Terminal 3 where a great number of photographers and television crews, mostly American, were waiting for his arrival at the Fiumicino airport of Roma.

    Once he exited the Terminal, a van was awaiting to bring the De Blasios into the heart of the Eternal City. Before leaving the airport, De Blasio returned the big smiles and greetings of the other passengers, Italian and American, who recognized him on their way out of the airport.

    This is quite a long holiday for the first citizen of the Big Apple, even though his agenda is full of official meetings with many representatives of various Italian Institutions. On Monday, July 21st Mr. De Blasio met Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino. The meeting was followed by an appointment with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, whom he already met in New York last May. De Blasio said that Italy is an example of leadership within the EU due to its anti-austerity stance, which the US shares in the battle for growth and job creation.

    "I feel at home," said De Blasio, enthusiastically after meeting his Roman colleague. "I feel close to my family. Mayor Marino and I hit it off right away."

    Among the Roman meetings, also one with the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.

    "We love this pope in New York: his is an important voice, and he is very focused on the challenges of a world in crisis,” said Mayor De Blasio. "He reminds us that we all, always, have to be like brothers," he affirmed, saying also that he hopes Pope Francis will visit New York soon.

    After the very busy stop in the Italian capital, the De Blasios left Rome to get on their way to the beautiful island of Capri, were they will be spending two days relaxing.

    While the Mayor of New York is enjoying his vacation, in New York the polemics do not stop. De Blasio’s trip is the longest one ever taken by a New York mayor in more than 25 years.

    “You can’t run a city while you are not in the city. A Mayor should be always there,” said one of his predecessors Rudy Giuliani during a radio interview. However, even if his co-citizens do not look kindly upon him, Italians seem to love him. Especially in the hometown of his grandparents: Sant’Agata Dei Goti which he plans to visit on July 23rd.

    Right now, pictures and posters of De Blasio are all over the town. Everyone is ready to welcome the Mayor of New York who will be proclaimed honorary citizen of the Italian town.

    Moreover, a Neapolitan artisan fashioned a terra cotta figurine of Mr. de Blasio, with tricolor sash, a pizza-maker wrote “Napoli Love de Blasio” in mozzarella on a pizza. He is a real sensation in Italy not only because of his Italian origins, but also because he always stated the importance of Italy in his life as a young child as wel las today.

    Indeed, in the Big Apple, candidate Bill De Blasio gave interviews in Italian. His campaign staff jokingly designated a press aide who spoke a bit of the language as the “Italian desk,” and during the night of his election, more than 15 Italian journalists attended the celebrations at Park Slope.

    Furthermore, De Blasio said that his connection to the country became very strong when he was a teenager and that it has been a big source of strength and support during a very difficult period of his life.

  • Art & Culture

    DAIN: A Street Artist With a Tag

    Tribute to Rome is the exclusive solo exhibit that is running through Wednesday on occasion of Rome haute couture week (AltaRomaAltaModa), showcasing New York-based street artist DAIN.

    Curated by Valentina Ciarallo, the show, set in the beautiful Spirito Santo in the Sassia museum complex, unveils not only the glamourous side of the eternal city showing divas or models who, with DAIN’s intervention become even more unique, but also directs the attention of the Roman institutions toward Street Art.

    DAIN is one of the most influential artists of  New York's street art scene. Born and raised in Brooklyn, this mysterious artist, who doesn’t reveal his real name and identity but is of Italian origins (his grandparents migrated to the US from Calabria), became very popular for his urban portraits, which depict Hollywood celebrities’ faces, from Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly to Angelina Jolie or Kate Moss, recomposed using the collage technique and retouched with his unique tag: a "circle and drip" around the eye of the stars he portrays. A sort of graffiti monocle, from which his whole career departed.

    His portraits can be found in the main streets of the Big Apple: on postboxes, portals and walls. He has exhibited not only in New York but also in Chicago, Miami, Portland, Montreal, Paris and London. And now, for the first time, also in Rome.

    This special project, which he dedicates to Rome includes 10 exclusive works representing film icons such as Sophia Loren or Liz Taylor alongside with fashion icons like Twiggy, re-elaborated in a unique way by the artist.

    “It’s a mix of images, I can combine the lips of American actresses with Italian eyes,” said DAIN. The women portrayed are "new iconographies to be discovered," he explained.

    DAIN’s portraits are deconstructed and the image shows a sense of precariousness in the form, but still remains very powerful and incisive. His creative process strats from black-and-white photos, which he layers with old advertisements, printed fragments or logos from vintage magazines.

    “I started doing graffiti in New York when I was 7 years old and one morning I woke up and decided I wanted to be a street artist,” affirmed DAIN. “When I was an adolescent I became passionate about movies in black and white. I love films from the 40s and 50s, the actresses of the time, like Bette Davis, their faces, the old pictures in black and white. A simple beauty, where everything can be imagined.”

    As already mentioned, among the goals of this exhibition there is also the objective of highlighting the importance of art also in social terms, as a medium to commend entire neighborhoods of the city, especially the roman suburbs.

  • Facts & Stories

    Costa Concordia Re-floats

    It was 11am when the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that wrecked in January of 2012 in the Giglio Island in Italy, floated again. It didn’t move much, only 30 meters, yet its final trip toward Genoa, where it will be demolished, has started.

    The wreck has been lifted for 2 meters and moved, as already mentioned, 30 meters east.

    Nick Sloan, responsible for the rotation of the Costa Concordia, lead the removal operation a little after 6am, together with his team of expert technicians and engineers. After having controlled all the systems on board, they started to lift the cruiseship. During this first phase of the operation, and during its move, all the connections between the Giglio Island and the Argentario were interrupted.

    “Everything went according to plan,” said Franco Porcellacchia, responsible for the removal project. “The ship is floating on its own and its stable,” he affirmed.

    No issues so far. However, according to Franco Gabrielli, Commissioner for the emergencies, they have to keep alert and act with extreme caution until the ship arrives at the harbor of Genoa.

    Its transfer, if everything goes well, is estimated to be completed by next Monday, July 21st.

    The removal project of the Costa Concordia wreck cost almost 1,5 billion euros. “The project contributed to the GNP (gross national product) with 1 billion dollars and will go up until 1 billion euros,” explained Michael Thamm, Chief Executive of Costa. He also explained that such amount does not include the transportation to Genoa, the disposal and the restoration of the environment.

    No applauses were heard during the delicate operation that brought the Costa Concordia to float again. The removal of this giant of the seas will never eliminate the tragedy that occurred two years ago in which more than 30 people lost their lives.

  • Facts & Stories

    Milan Residents Vs. Immigrants: “Patrols for Legality”

    Illegal immigration in Italy has always been a big issue, especially in the last years during which many immigrants have disembarked on the coasts of the peninsula in search of a better future. However, sometimes, tensions between citizens and immigrants can arise. In Milan, residents who live in the area of Porta Venezia started complaining about the degradation of the neighborhood due to the increased presence of immigrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria camping out in that area.

    On Thursday, July 17th, a series of patrols will start in the area of Porta Venezia and it will include the voluntary participation of many of the residents of the area. The initiative came from the exasperation of many residents and business owners caused by the continuously increasing concentration in droves of many immigrants from Africa. The President of the ASSCOMM (Merchant Association) Luca Longo said that the patrols of residents will help the police to control the neighborhood and inform the authorities via photos or videos of the possible presence of drug dealers, fake merchandise sellers as well as tax evaders. Groups composed of 4 members each will patrol the streets of the neighborhood together with two people on a motorcycle and two in a car “for situations which require special attention,” said President Longo. The ASSCOMM Association, he explained, is composed “of several business owners and residents who want to restore legality in the city of Milan” and was also created to denounce the Commune’s management of the immigrants’ presence in the city.

    Among the Association there are also immigrants from Eritrea and one from Egypt who will help to communicate with the migrant communities within the area.

    However, a different opinion came from the Mayor of the city of Milan Giuliano Pisapia, according to whom the patrols organized in the neighborhood of Porta Venezia have no positive effect on the criminality present in the area. Instead, a solution, which was decided upon during the Commitee for the Public Order and Security, “would be to have a fixed defense in the areas in which there are camps of immigrants, giving them assistance but also asking them to have respect for the rules of a civil society.”