As festivals make their comeback, there’s one on Youngstown’s north side this weekend that may be small in size — running only about two blocks — but has a huge history and attracts quite the crowd. It was 30 years ago, the streets of Brier Hill neighborhood lit up for the first time with the Brier Hill Festival. “This was where the first Italian i...

The organizers of the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest believe in tradition. In a year when they had less time to plan than usual, that’s a good thing, according to chairman John Rossetti. “We didn’t get the OK until the beginning of June, but we started planning in March, April and May to get it done correctly. That’s where we’re at with it. Slowly...

People preserve their family history in scrapbooks or family trees. One family in Youngstown has preserved theirs in a podcast. The podcast is hosted by Marco Zaza, who grew up on Youngstown’s east side in the 50s, and his son David, a Boardman graduate. As it turns out, their stories are more than just their family. With Italian music in the backg...

Mount Carmel Basilica hosted its Italian fest Sunday evening in a different way. Normally, the fest is held in the church’s parking lot. When the event was planned in January, the church wanted to be safe with the pandemic. So instead, they held a concert in the church’s event center for their parishioners. “Monsignor wanted to bring people back in...

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will debut “Youngstalia: Italian Foodways in the Mahoning Valley” in its monthly Bites and Bits of History online video presentation at noon on July 15. The program will explore the history of local Italian food, culture and traditions. The main presenter, Anthony Dion Mitzel, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of...

Prima Cucina Italiana will become the newest entry in the downtown dining scene when it opens Monday, June 29, after months of renovation and preparation. According to chef-operator Josh Santangelo, the restaurant at 103 W. Federal St. will feature regional cooking from all over Italy with an emphasis on the cooking of Rome. “It will be Italy Itali...

Anthony Taddeo, a graduate student studying music composition, has a love for a unique genre of music that stems from his ancestry.  Fascinated by Italian culture, Taddeo created Alla Boara, a musical group composed of Youngstown State University students who play Italian folk music. The name translates to a type of song that a worker would listen...

On Sunday, the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel canceled their annual Italian Festival due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Facebook post. The festival was supposed to be held the week of July 22-25 and is not planned be rescheduled in 2020. In the post, Scott Schulick wrote, “While we know that July seems a long way off, it is now i...

The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Valentine’s Day with an Italian flair Saturday. “Now, That’s Italian” will feature vocalists Alyson Cambridge and James Valenti performing arias from Italian operas and love songs backed by the orchestra, led by Randall Craig Fleischer.  “The idea started with celebrating Valentine’s Day and a nod to...

Italian Americans may not set off Guinness-fueled celebrations every St. Paddy's Day like Irish Americans, or serve as an excuse for margarita madness on Cinco de Mayo like Mexican Americans. But with their heaping plates of spaghetti and meatballs, mobster flicks, and the unfortunate reality TV show "Jersey Shore," Italian Americans are a critical...