Casa Italia will honor tireless community leader Jo Ann Serpico as Woman of the Year at its Golden Anniversary Gala on Feb. 8 at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village. “Jo Ann has been a pillar of the community for decades,” says Casa Chairman Peter Volpe. “We’re so lucky to have her as a board member, and we’re so honored that she has agreed to...

The tradition began two centuries ago, when a mid-December procession bearing the Madonna del Triunfu from Palermo to Ciminna arrived later than expected. “They were supposed to arrive at 6 p.m., but they didn’t make it into town until 1 a.m.,” explains Tony Napoli. “They had been eating and drinking along the way, so they were happy and dancing.”...

Just off Chicago’s shoreline during World War II, the U.S. Navy trained more than 15,000 carrier pilots on a pair of coal-fired, side-wheel passenger steamers transformed into “flattops.” Not every pilot landed successfully on the pitching decks of the USS Wolverine and USS Sable, and many aircraft plunged into the watery depths. Today, more than 1...

The Comboni Missionaries will honor Joseph A. Russo at their annual dinner dance on Nov. 30 at Manzo’s Banquets in Des Plaines. (708-354-1999) As a boy growing up in Cicero, Russo enjoyed learning about his Italian and Calabrian heritage from his extended family. From those experiences, he decided he wanted to make a difference in the world. As a t...

While growing up in the Taylor Street neighborhood, Ralph Triggiano dreamed of becoming a photographer. That dream became a reality during World War II, when the Navy trained him to be its eye in the sky over the Pacific. For two years, he took reconnaissance photos of enemy positions from 10,000 feet in the air, helping to turn the tide in the war...

Some of Chicago’s best young singers will perform arias and art songs by iconic Italian composers at the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia’s Vocal Scholarship Awards Dinner and Concert. The event will start at 2 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Mentesana Weber Chandelier Room of the Community Center at Casa Italia and feature a wine-and-cheese reception...

The Italian American Studies Program of Loyola University Chicago, together with Casa Italia, is pleased to sponsor a special workshop: "Cooking up the Past. Recovering Family Tradition". Led by Michele Fazio, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. of English, University of North Carolina, Pembroke. Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 7:00 Pat Casa Italia, 1621 N 39th Ave,...

Film aficionados have hungered for the return of Casa Italia’s beloved feast of Italian cinema, and the wait is finally over. The Casa’s 2019 Italian film series will reboot on Sept. 13 and run for seven glorious Fridays. The host of this year’s series will be Pam DeFiglio, a veteran Chicago editor, columnist and arts critic. The following film des...

Casa Italia will be transformed into a Calabrian wonderland from Aug. 8 to 11 when the 38th annual Festa della Famiglia in honor of San Francesco di Paola takes over the grounds. The event is blessed to be able to welcome Bishop Robert Casey as the main celebrant at its Sunday Mass. Jointly sponsored by Società San Francesco di Paola and the Calabr...

A whole new world awaits kids ages 4 to 16 who take part in this year’s Italian Language and Culture Camp at Casa Italia. After more than a decade of devotion to the Italian language and culture, Camp Director Josette Mentesana Weber and Language Coordinator Angela Mentesana will be stepping back from day-to-day involvement. With their blessings, C...