Newport’s Columbus statue meant as a celebration of Italian culture

Jun 30, 2020 746

BY: Diane M. McCaffrey

Christopher Columbus has become a controversial figure. I’m prejudiced; I’m Italian American. My grandparents came to Newport in the early nineteen hundreds and raised a large family alongside multiple other Italian couples escaping poverty. They found a country most accepting of their boisterous language, delectable foods, endearing music and special talents as artists, tailors, barbers, musicians, bricklayers, stonemasons, etc.

My grandfather, along with his local Italian compatriots – D’Andrea, Ripa, Gizzi, DeCotis, Amoruso, Bucci, Cassese, Castellano, Esposito, Gianfreddo, Lalli, Luistro, Marcucci, Malgieri, Mazza, Martellino, Murredu, Monticone, Paduano, Panaggio, Perrotti, Pierini, Pascale, Quattrucci, Radice, Razza, Russo, Sanfilippo, Silvestri, Spero, Toppa, Turano, Virgadamo, Viti, Zagaglia, and many others – members of the Forum Lodge Sons of Italy and the Italian Brotherhood, raised money over 30 years to erect the Columbus Monument that you pass every day on Bellevue Avenue. 

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