In the following article, I will discuss the historical relationship between Sicilian and Italian, and I will attempt to answer the question, “Is Sicilian a language or a dialect?” As this is a touchy subject that involves regional pride, identity, and politics, I will try not to fall victim to that dreaded social disease known as campanilismo, a f...

At first, it was just Anna Vincenzi, assistant professor of history, who made her home teaching at Hillsdale College. Now, she’s joined by her husband, Lorenzo Bonaiti. And they’re bringing Italy to Hillsdale.  After moving to the United States six years ago, Anna and Lorenzo now teach in Hillsdale’s history and language departments respectively. L...

This month on Italics Dean Anthony Tamburri speaks with Berardo Paradiso and Ilaria Costa, president and executive director, respectively, of the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE). IACE is a New York-based nonprofit organization founded in 1975 by Angelo Gimondo to promote the study of the Italian language and culture within the tri-st...

For many Italian Americans who are second or third generation immigrant families, the connection to our Italian heritage is strong. We cherish our family traditions, especially concerning holiday celebrations and festive dinners featuring favorite family recipes. We honor the rich history of Italy, and its profound influence on American life. Yet,...

If you've only ever visited Italy in summer before, it can be quite a shock to find out just how cold it can get across the country in winter. When the cold is really biting, simply saying fa freddo (it's cold) doesn't feel like enough. Today's idiomatic phrase is used in spoken Italian on those freezing cold days. - Fa un freddo cane! - it's freez...

Loredana Polezzi has been named the Alfonse M. D’Amato Endowed Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies, positioned in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of European Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The D’Amato Chair, established in 2008, was made possible by a fundraising effort led by then Stony Brook University Council Chair an...

In the performance of my academic duties, I was often called to advise students who wanted to study Italian. When I inquired whether they had some knowledge of Italian, some of them admitted somewhat sheepishly that they knew what they characterized as ‘bad Italian’. Knowing that Sicilian immigrants represent 40/50% of the Italian American populati...

For many months now, the most spoken word around the world — probably utterly by billions of people on a daily basis — and surely the most well-known word at any level — from the very young to the very old — is a Latin expression: coronavirus. Disparagingly described by many as a dead language, Latin maintained a prominent and proud position within...

This month I am going to take a little break from our normal articles and talk to you about something new that is happening with the Italian language. If you are familiar with Italian, you probably know that the language is way older than Italy as a country. What you probably don’t know is that Italian does not have an official institute stating wh...

You’re in Italy. You’ve just finished to eat an incredible meal with a bunch of friends and it’s time to pay the bill. Needless to say, someone will say the magic words: facciamo alla Romana? I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, or its sisterpagare alla Romana:  both of them mean to split the bill equally among all diners.  Simple meaning, but the...