Rob Chirico of Greenfield is the quintessential Renaissance man. He writes. He paints. He gardens. He cooks. He teaches. I have reviewed several of his books for this paper. My favorite is probably his 2016 cookbook “Not My Mother’s Kitchen: Rediscovering Italian-American Cooking Through Stories and Recipes.” The book shares Italian-American recipe...

When Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago, on Sept. 14, 1321, he had just put his final flourishes on the “Divine Comedy,” a monumental poem that would inspire readers for centuries. The “Divine Comedy” follows the journey of a pilgrim across the three realms of the Christian afterlife – hell, purgatory and paradise. There, he encounters a variety of...

On the surface, Mary Cona was just another Italian girl from the North End. She was a devout Catholic, a supportive wife, a loving mother. However, diving into the details of her remarkable life through her eyes in her autobiography, “Destino: From Italy to Kansas City,” Mary was shaped through many hardships into an artist, entrepreneur, philanthr...

Fulton Books author Nicholas Bozza, a family-oriented man with Italian descent, has completed his most recent book “Sunday Funday”:  an astonishing tale that presents the close-knit bond of a family as seen through the eyes of a young boy. The author grew up spending his Sundays with his family who never fails to spend quality time with each other....

An old Sicilian proverb, "You can force someone to cry but not to sing," sets the stage for Manera's dramatic story of a sophisticated Mafia-connected businessman. Don Pasquale seeks fame and fortune through his inside track on a five-billion-euro project. He lives with his beautiful and jealous wife Donna Rosa in a palatial Renaissance-style villa...

To know Newark is to love Newark. That might be one way to sum up the heartfelt tribute Daniel P Quinn has made to his beloved city in his new insightful book, “Newark, Italy + Me.” Newark remains the largest city in New Jersey with a population of about 312,000. The city is most famous, today, perhaps, because of the large airport named after her....

At a time when we still have to painfully realize how much the racial question is an open wound in the evolution of the United States of America and a very urgent situation to be resolved, our Italian heart in love with America is also shaken by the specious and mistaken attempts to promote hostility between the African American and Italian communi...

In Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), a 1929 Franco-Spanish silent short film by Spanish director Luis Buñuel and surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, there is a striking image of a man pursuing a woman while pulling behind himself two grand pianos, two bloodied and dead mules, and two members of the Roman Catholic clergy all roped together. This we...

PROLIFIC ITALIAN AMERICAN AUTHOR Paul Salsini has published another tribute to Tuscany, the unforgettable land of his roots. Ranging over time and place, this new collection of stories by the award-winning author reflects people and events in Florence and in tiny villages and towns all over this magnificent region. Many are based on actual happenin...

In a 1913 issue of Poetry magazine, Ezra Pound listed his rules for the Imagist school that included “the natural object is always the adequate symbol.” And, like much in our march toward civilization that began millennia ago, humans have found it best to imitate nature when finding practical solutions to an everyday problem. One of the most fundam...