We The Italians | What's up with WTI: Editorial # 139

What's up with WTI: Editorial # 139

Ciao from Rome, my dear friends readers of We the Italians. Spring has come, the contagion is slowing down, the vaccination campaign is accelerating and Italy, at least from this point of view, is actually going in the right direction. We even reopened to American tourists, and about that, We the Italians is preparing a beautiful surprise for all of you, which hopefully will be ready very very soon. And talking about Italian tourism, a couple of weeks ago my colleague and We the Italians associate Edoardo Colombo was a panelist of an online event together with the newly appointed Minister for Tourism of the Italian Government, Massimo Garavaglia, with whom they also discussed the present and future of American and Italian American tourism in Italy, including the very important topic of root tourism.

A few days ago I spoke at the press conference for the launch of two very interesting projects concerning Christopher Columbus, in which We the Italians will be strongly involved and about which you will hear me speak again. These are Columbus's World, a 5-month program of activities around the figure of Columbus that will culminate on October 12th; and the Ecomuseum of the Colombian Way, a route of over 19 kilometers that follows what was historically the route of Christopher Columbus' ancestors' family and crosses Liguria in the territories of the municipalities of Moconesi, Tribogna, Uscio, Lumarzo, Sori, Pieve Ligure, Bogliasco and Genoa. Think that in these towns, all very small with the exception of Genoa, there are not only the origins of Columbus. Amadeo Giannini, the Italian-American from San Francisco who founded the Bank of Italy and then the Bank of America, has his origins right here. It was here that Natalina Maria Vittoria Garaventa was born, a name that may not mean much to you, until I tell you that she was Frank Sinatra's mother. Angelo Noce was also born in these places, he emigrated to Colorado at the age of three, he witnessed the struggle of the whites against the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and was one of those Italians who contributed the most to the civil and economic development of Colorado. Noce spent all his wealth for one purpose: to have the anniversary of the day Christopher Columbus landed in the New World recognized as a national holiday in the United States. And he succeeded: on October 12, 1907, in Colorado, "Columbus Day" was celebrated for the first time, in an officially recognized form, a name proposed by Angelo himself.

The We the Italians family continues to grow, and this makes me very happy indeed. With the 5 new members of our team, we have come to have Ambassadors in 23 American states and 10 Italian regions, and the family will continue to grow: in the meantime, considering also the other team members who deal with other things in our family, we have come to 48 and, even if only by chance, at this moment we are 24 men and 24 women. It can be done, let's get on with it.  

Anna Marra is our Ambassador in New Hampshire, the Granite State. Anna teaches Italian Language, Literature, and Cinema at the University of New Hampshire. In her publications, she investigates the relationship between literature and visual arts, focusing on Medieval and Contemporary poetry. In her spare time, Anna is a filmmaker. Thanks to the Folklife & Traditional Arts Project Grant, she is now working on a new documentary on Italian American foodways in New Hampshire.

John De Cecco is our Ambassador in South Carolina, the Palmetto State. John, a former instructor for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, retired to South Carolina, where he has served as the president of the Italian American Club of Hilton Head Island (IACHH) since 2012. Under his leadership, the IACHH has reached record fundraising levels, increased membership numbers, and attendance at club events. In 2019, he was instrumental in coordinating a sister-city agreement between Hilton Head Island, SC and Verona, Italy.

Pamela D'Orazio Dean is our Ambassador in Ohio, the Buckeye State. Pamela holds a joint position as Curator of Italian American History with the Western Reserve Historical Society and Director of the Italian American Museum of Cleveland.  She is also a contributing writer for La Nostra Voce, the newspaper of the Italian Sons & Daughters of America.  Pamela obtained her Master of Arts in History with a concentration in public history from Kent State University and is a Certified Archivist.

Moving from the US to Italy, Giovanna Di Lello is our Ambassador in Abruzzo. Born in Canada and raised in Switzerland, Giovanna is the director of the John Fante Festival "Il dio di mio padre". Cultural journalist, documentary filmmaker and events organizer, she graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures in Pescara, Abruzzo and holds a master's degree in Economics of Culture from University Tor Vergata, Rome. She has made several documentaries, including "John Fante. Profilo di Scrittore" and "A Dream In The Purple Sea. Pascal D'Angelo". She has written essays on the Italian American writer John Fante and edited the volume "Dalla parte di John Fante", together with the historian of emigration Toni Ricciardi.

Last but not least, Katia Lacerra is our Ambassador in Basilicata. Katia took her degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures and soon after she started make researches and write articles about antropology, popular traditions and Folk-Lore in Basilicata. She also attended a Master in Business Administration and Management. In December 2014 she was appointed President of GIAA Basilicata (Tourist guides, interpreters and tour leaders association). She is also part of the Province of Potenza’s Project Managent Team as regards Financial and Communication aspects concerning international projects.

Please keep following We the ItaliaNews, the video and audio podcast about what happens in Italy at the time of the coronavirus. It has now become a real news program on Italy in English, each episode of which is seen by more than 1,500 of you. We have reached 223 videos. It's a big effort, but we care about it and it's part of the service we give to all of you, everything for free.

Also, please remember that our new book is available: the 2020 Yearbook of We the Italians. It contains 23 interesting interviews – both in English and in Italian - that touch on many topics regarding Italy and the United States: trust me, you won't be disappointed. You can buy it here: please, buy the book! For you, as a gift for friends and family. Please check a preview here. Thanks 

And please, check our virtual store. Now you can find more than 20 products in different colors: t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, onesies, mugs, notebooks, pillows, totes, tapestries, pins, laptop and smartphone cases, magnets, stickers, masks. Buy We the Italians! 

Well my friends, once again it’s all for now. Please stay safe, please stay healthy. I won’t gonna stop saying this: the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! But please, protect yourselves and wear the mask, too. Ciao from Rome