The fast-casual pizza concept opened its first location in Rome in 2003 and now has three units in Italy and two in Chicago, with stores opening soon in New Orleans and Miami. It serves pizza al taglio—priced by weight, extravagantly topped and cut with shears. The crust is focaccia-like, made from a high-moisture dough that’s airy yet chewy. The c...

Legendary high school basketball coach Gene Pingatore—the winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history—died on Wednesday night at the age of 83. St. Joseph won two state championships (1999, 2015) under Pingatore, while also capturing six sectional championships during a high point from 1982 to 1988. During his tenure, Pingatore helped prod...

When I first meet Rachael Lowe, she isn’t the “picture” of a fine-dining sommelier I had in my mind. Down-to-earth and gregarious, she doesn’t speak in esoteric or rarefied tones, even though she is brilliant in her descriptions of the style, producer and terroir of the 800 labels on Spiaggia’s wine list. For over five years, Lowe has been the beve...

Mario Ortigara was born in his parents’ home on the South Side of Chicago, where brother Benny welcomed him. A few years later, sister Mary joined the family. Anna Panozzo and Domenico Ortigara were from small towns in the Piedmont region of Italy, where they met and married. They lost their first-born son to illness before immigrating to Chicago,...

Hungry? A new neighborhood Italian spot has you covered. Located at 738 N. Wells St. in River North, the fresh arrival is called Torchio Pasta Bar. This new business specializes in fresh pasta that's made in-house. From spaghetti to rigatoni to orecchiette, this spot hopes to satisfy your pasta and Italian food cravings. In addition to pasta, the m...

Last week was the first of the three main events that I will help plan throughout my internship, The Authentic Italian Table!  The three-day food expo features a total of 15 renowned Italian restaurants in the Chicago area as well as various food and wine sponsors.  The event aligns with the True Italian Taste Project to showcase  authentic Italian...

The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii is inviting current and former parishioners to purchase a paver for placement in the Shrine’s Garden of Remembrance. “If you’ve ever had a special moment in this sacred place, if you’d like to honor a loved one or commemorate a special date, please consider being a part of our Garden of Remembrance,” Shrine Rector...

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. “Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen Contest,” says JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico. “The queen will be the s...

The Gene Siskel Film Center will screen the world premier of “Shelf Life: The Story of Lanzi Candy,” a documentary by Michael Lahey on July 12, 13 and 17. For decades, Chicago was renowned as “Candy Capital of the World,” home to the giants Brach, Mars, Ferrara, and Wrigley, and scores of mid-sized and small family-owned companies. Those glory days...

Rocco Commisso has secured an immediate boost after taking over ACF Fiorentina, with the Serie A club securing a spot in this summer’s International Champions Cup. Fiorentina will replace AS Roma, who have had to withdraw from the pre-season soccer tournament – which is run by Relevent Sports – due to Europa League qualification demands. Fiorentina...