Mosaico lia 2.2 - Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan

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Mosaico lia 2.2 - Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan
Spring/Summer 2006
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Message from the President
Dante’s Final Resting Place
Dear Dante Members,
.
The face of our Chapter has been changing more and more in these past few
months. Slowly we have been reorganizing our Board of Directors and various
Committees. We ask all of you to be patient throughout this process and to come
forward if you are interested in working
on the Board, of which we have two
openings as well as openings on our committees (Cultural, Directory, Education,
Finance & Development, Gruppo Giovanile, Il Mosaico, Mailing, Membership
and the future Website Maintenance).
We request the support of the membership to assist the Board in its endeavors to
take on new challenges: offering more
language classes throughout the metro
area and varied cultural programs to interest our diverse membership. We need
your input of ideas to help make our programs more accessible to as many of you
as possible. We welcome your comments
at: [email protected]
Ravenna took me when I was exiled
And as my body, but my soul the Father
Preserves where envy never has prevailed
On another note, we hope to see as many
of you as possible at the Festa della
Repubblica at the Italian American Cultural Center on June 4. If you are interested in helping the Board set up and man
the table, please contact us. It is sure to
be an interesting celebration this year and
a good opportunity for us to say farewell
to our Italian Consul, Dr. Nicola De
Santis, who has been extremely instrumental these past few years working with
the Italian and Italian-American communities. I hope you enjoy our beautiful
spring weather and look forward to seeing
you soon.
.
.
Liana Spalla
In this issue
Emilia Romagna
Special Memoriam
Libri Libri Libri & Events
Member News & Events
2—8
9—11
12 .
12—15
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
.
Giovanni Boccaccio - Dante Speaks
Ravenna was at one time at the center of the civilized world. It was the seat of the
Roman Empire in the 5th century and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century.
While walking from one site to another to view the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna,
I noticed a sign that directed tourists to a small structure in a side street of the city
that indicated that it was the Mausoleum of Dante Alighieri. I was unaware that
Dante Alighieri, the Father of Italian literature, was buried in Ravenna. I thought I
had seen his tomb in Florence, in the Church of Santa Croce where other great
Florentines such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli are buried. There is a
statue of Dante in the Piazza Santa Croce, commemorating his great contributions
to the Italian language, making the vernacular of Florence the language of all of
Italy. How did he come to be buried in Ravenna? It is a story that is well known
and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I did not know it. I subsequently
learned that the statuary dedicated to Dante in the Church of Santa Croce is a
cenotaph, a monument erected in honor of a dead person whose remains lie elsewhere. The events which led to Dante’s exile from his birthplace of Florence and
his burial in Ravenna begins with the conflicts which arose between opposing political factions in Germany and Italy during the later Middle Ages. Papal loyalists
fought against those who were allied to the Holy Roman Emperor. Each sought to
dominate the other. The defenders of the Pope were the Guelphs and their opponents were the Ghibellines. In Florence, the Ghibellines
were expelled in the late 12th century and the Guelphs
soon divided into rival Bianchi and Neri factions. The
former supported the burgher government whereas the
latter consisted of the more aristocratic families. Dante
could lay claim to nobility but the family was not a
wealthy or prominent one. He aligned himself with the
Bianchi and played an important role in ousting the Neri
and involving himself in the governance of Florence.
The Neri had the backing of the Pope who, by invoking
the help of French troops, expelled the Bianchi in 1302.
Dante and others were condemned to death should they
ever returned to Florence. Dante never returned, and
until he died in 1321 at the age of 56 he lived in one
northern Italian city or another, under the protection of
its leaders. In 1320 he made his final home in Ravenna,
where he died on the night of September 13 or 14, 1321.
He was buried in the church of San Francesco. There
were attempts to return his remains to Florence but the
Franciscan monks hid his body and prevented it from
leaving their church. His coffin was discovered in 1865
at witch time an appropriate mausoleum was built in
Ravenna to honor his memory and his seminal contributions to literature and Italian culture.
The Mausoleum and Tomb
Jerry Rosenberg
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Spring/Summer 2006
Emilia - Romagna
Costa adriatica
Dante Alighieri Society
Michigan Chapter
PO Box 2962
Southfield, MI 48037-2962
Board of Directors: Liana Spalla
(President), Frank Romano (Recording
Sec.), Diana Manzo (Treasurer), Daniela
Henderson (Corresponding Sec.), Jerry
Rosenberg, Giovanna Cappi Willard, Olga
Mennillo, Omar Mainero and Emma Edgar.
Special Committees: Domenica Petrella
Silvia Giorgini-Althoen
Il Mosaico: Editors, Lia Adelfi and Liana
Spalla.
Contributors to this issue:
T. Hinkley, A. MacSorley, J. Rosenberg
and A. Tranchida.
All communications or items of 250 words
for publication should be sent to the PO
Box or via e-mail to:
[email protected]
Please submit material for the next issue by
June 26, 2006.
The next issue will highlight the region of
Molise.
As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization,
gifts and donations are tax deductible.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
La costa adriatica è conosciuta come uno dei maggiori poli turistici del Mediterraneo.
Vanta infatti la spiaggia più estesa d’Europa e numerose strutture per lo sport, il divertimento e il tempo libero (discoteche, parchi acquatici, campi da golf e maneggi). Qui
sorgono il 52% degli alberghi della regione e si concentra il maggiore afflusso di turismo estero grazie anche a un’attenta politica dei prezzi che li rende particolarmente
favorevoli. L’Appennino offre vacanze all’insegna della natura e animate da incontri,
manifestazioni, gare sportive, sagre e spettacoli che vengono organizzati ogni stagione
dai Comuni. Rinomate le stazioni termali (Salsomaggiore e Bagno di Romagna, Castrocaro, Porretta e le Terme Marine, solo per citarne alcune), che propongono diversi
tipi di trattamenti: dalla cura del corpo a quelli anti-età, dal fitness al benessere. Le
città d’arte, a loro volta, sono motivo d’attrazione. Bologna è la capofila del turismo
fieristico e commerciale. Modena e Reggio Emilia sono inserite negli itinerari culturali proposti dai tour operators stranieri, Ferrara è meta per chi ama le mostre di pittura e
scultura. Parma e Piacenza hanno recentemente valorizzato il loro patrimonio artistico,
culturale, musicale e gastronomico, mentre Ravenna, con i suoi mosaici e il nobile
antichissimo passato, è ancora capitale per chi ama la storia e l’arte. “L’EmiliaRomagna è la prima in classifica per civismo”, scrive il politologo Robert Putnam.
“E’ una delle società più moderne, più ricche, più pullulanti di iniziative, più tecnologicamente avanzate che ci siano al mondo”. Per non parlare della cultura tout court.
Da Piacenza al mare ci sono più università che capoluoghi; il più antico ateneo del
mondo è quello di Bologna, che vanta nove secoli di storia. È anche la regione dei
cento teatri. Ogni città, ogni paese conserva un teatro storico e si impegna in stagioni
teatrali di prestigio: dalla tradizione della prosa alla sperimentazione, dalla comicità ai
grandi eventi internazionali. Inclusi importanti e vari concerti musicali e spettacoli di
danza. Si va dai grandi contenitori di beni archeologici e artistici, ai musei scientifici
(primi fra tutti quelli universitari), ai piccoli musei di paese che conservano reperti e
memoria storica di altrettanti microcosmi, ai percorsi dell’arte contemporanea tra cui
il museo Morandi, la Galleria d’arte moderna a Bologna e il palazzo dei Diamanti a
Ferrara. Non mancano le esposizioni fieristiche, tra le quali Arte Fiera a Bologna è
una delle più rappresentative. Le biblioteche sono 1300 con un patrimonio librario che
supera i 18 milioni di testi. Per quanto riguarda il cinema l’Emilia-Romagna è al secondo posto, in Italia, per giorni di spettacolo e numero di biglietti venduti.
L’interesse è molto elevato non solo verso il cinema commerciale, ma anche verso
quello di qualità, proiettato nelle 40 sale d’essai e nei cineclub. L’Emilia-Romagna si
colloca al quarto posto tra le regioni italiane per le esportazioni. Particolarmente alte
le quote rispetto al totale nazionale per minerali e prodotti non metallici (ceramica),
prodotti alimentari e macchine agricole. La fortuna economica della regione poggia
innanzitutto sulla forza del settore primario. Grazie soprattutto ad un ampio utilizzo
delle moderne tecnologie l’agricoltura emiliano-romagnola oggi è la più meccanizzata
d’ltalia e ai primi posti per produzione frutticola, orticola, cerealicola e zootecnica. La
regione vanta, inoltre, uno dei tassi di imprenditorialità più alti d’ltalia. I settori di
punta dell’economia emiliano-romagnola sono l’agricolo alimentare, il metallurgicometalmeccanico, il tessile-abbigliamento, la ceramica, le costruzioni e l’impiantistica.
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Spring/Summer 2006
Provinces
Bologna
Bologna è il capoluogo
dell’Emilia Romagna e
casa di una delle Università più antiche del mondo
occidentale. Fin dalla sua
apertura (1088), studenti
da ogni parte del mondo vengono a
Bologna per poter studiare, incluso
Dante Alighieri, Erasmo e Copernico.
Si pensa che Dante sia stato a Bologna
tra il 1286-1287, dove, a dire di Giorgio Petrocchi, allievo di Dante, ha incontrato Jacopo Cavalcanti ed altri che
hanno influenzato il suo cammino intellettuale. L’importanza di Bologna
come città universitaria le ha fatto guadagnare la reputazione di centro della
politica liberale. La città di Bologna ha
tre soprannomi: Bologna la grassa per
il cibo molto buono e delizioso, Bologna la dotta, grazie all’università ed
agli studenti e Bologna la rossa, sia per
gli edifici di mattoni rossi sia perché la
città è un pó a sinistra politicamente.
Oltre alla sua reputazione gastronomica, la provincia di Bologna è famosa in
tutto il mondo per la produzione della
Lamborghini, una delle più desiderate
e costose auto del mondo, la cui sede si
trova a Sant'Agata Bolognese. Simbolo
di Bologna sono le due torri “gemelle”,
collocate strategicamente nel punto
d’ingresso in città dell'antica via Emilia. Torre degli Asinelli viene costruita
1109-19 dalla famiglia omonima e passa al Comune già nel secolo successivo. La torre ha una scalinata interna di
498 gradini. Il suo basamento è circondato da una “rocchetta” per ospitare i
soldati di guardia. Oggi sotto il portico
sono state ricollocate alcune botteghe
di artigianato a ricordo della funzione
commerciale svolta dal medievale mercato di mezzo. Torre Garisenda Coeva
si differenzia visivamente per la minore altezza e il forte strapiombo dovuto
ad un precoce e maggiore cedimento
del terreno e delle fondamenta. Dante
che la vide ancora integra la paragona
ad Anteo chinato nel XXXI Canto dell'Inferno.
Modena
Was founded in the 3rd
century B.C. and was
home to the Villanovans,
Ligurian tribes, Etruscans
and Gauls before being
re-founded as a Roman
colony. The city’s Romanesque Duomo
and Campanile, begun in 1099, are
listed as UNESCO World Heritage
Sites. The Duomo and its bell tower, la
torre Ghirlandina, are considered to be
among the world’s finest examples of
Romanesque architecture. In the wars
between Pope and Emperor in the Middle Ages, Modena was a Ghibelline
stronghold, as the city sided with the
Emperor. The province of Modena, the
native home of the Este dynasty that
ruled neighboring Ferrara, is today
home to the Italian Military Academy,
and is the birthplace of world-renowned
tenor, Luciano Pavarotti.
The baroque ducal palace
(now a military academy)
The Province of Modena produces
some of the world’s most admired automobiles. Ferrari is headquartered in
Maranello, and Maserati is based in
Modena. Luxurious sports cars as well
as balsamic vinegar are Modena’s most
famous exports. Among the famous
men of Modena are the astronomer
Geminiano Montanari, the anatomist
Gabriele Falloppio, the great Austrian
general Montecucoli, and the poet Tassoni.
Piazza Grande
Le Due Torri
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Ferrara
For centuries, Ferrara was
dominated by Ravenna and
other neighboring powers
before achieving independence in the middle ages.
The city rose to prominence under the protection of the Este
dynasty that controlled Ferrara from the
13th to the 16th centuries. Among the
imposing landmarks the Este left behind
is Castello Estense, a massive 14th century fortress surrounded by a moat in
the heart of the city.
.
Castello Estense
Under Este patronage, Ferrara experienced a flowering of Renaissance art,
music and culture, with notable artworks from Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna and others. Ferrara’s
Renaissance credentials earned a spot in
the pantheon of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When the city was absorbed
by the Church, Ferrara began to decline
from a European cultural and military
capital to a frontier town in Papal Italy.
A principal site in Ferrara is its Cathedral, famous for its detailed gothic marble façade, with its reliefs of the last
judgment, the months of the year, and
other scenes. One of Ferrara’s most
notorious sons is Girolamo Savonarola,
the Dominican friar who controlled
Florence from 1494 to 1497. Savonarola’s harsh style of preaching culminated in the public burning of hedonistic or materialistic objects in what became known as the Bonfire of the Vanities. Paintings by Renaissance master
Sandro Botticelli were among the objects incinerated in Florence’s Piazza
della Signoria. Florentines eventually
wearied of Savonarola’s heavy-handed
brand of moralism. He was excommunicated and burned in Piazza della Signoria, where he had orchestrated the Bonfire of the Vanities. Savonarola may
not have been particularly well liked in
Florence, but the Ferrarese have nevertheless memorialized their most controversial son with a statue near the
Castello Estense.
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Spring/Summer 2006
Provinces
Parma
Parma è, senz'altro, una
delle vere perle d'Italia. La
città offre una molteplicità
notevole di opportunità culturali, artistiche e, soprattutto gastronomiche - per questa ragione è veramente da non perdere.
La città è abbastanza grande da tenere
molto occupati i suoi turisti, ma allo stesso tempo è abbastanza piccola da metterli a proprio agio. Anche arrivando all'aeroporto, a cui è stato dato opportunamente il nome del famoso compositore Giuseppe Verdi, si capisce subito che la città
possiede una ricchezza culturale impareggiabile. Vanta un centro storico con
monumenti di particolare rilievo, dal
romanico al liberty. In particolare è stata
segnata dal governo illuminato di Maria
Luigia, moglie di Napoleone, quando era
capitale del Ducato di Parma, Piacenza e
Guastalla. Il centro storico è facilmente
raggiungibile. A pochi passi c'è Il Battistero di Parma, il capolavoro di Benedetto Antelami che fa risorgere la bellezza
classica del Medioevo. Sempre per un'idea dello splendore artistico che pervade
la città, L'Accademia di Belle Arti ospita
una gran collezione di dipinti dell'ottocento parmense. Parma guarda anche
molto attentamente verso l'estero; il Museo Cinese ed Etnologico offre un omaggio all'arte della Cina e così contribuisce
molto al senso di raffinatezza in città.
Geograficamente parlando, Parma gode
di un'ottima ubicazione. Vicinissima a
Bologna e Milano, Parma offre la possibilità di viaggiare molto facilmente benché sia così difficile uscirne. In realtà, la
lista di cose da fare a Parma continua
eternamente; è un paradiso per gli occhi,
il cuore, l'anima e lo stomaco che non
diventa mai stantio, un vero "one-stopshop" per le perfette vacanze italiane.
Castello di Torrechiara
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Ravenna
Ravenna città d'arte e
cultura, città del mosaico, città antica che 1600
anni fa è stata tre volte
capitale: dell'impero romano d'occidente, di
Teodorico re dei Goti, dell'impero di
Bisanzio in Europa. La magnificenza di
quel periodo ha lasciato a Ravenna una
grande eredità di monumenti: sono ben
8 gli edifici che sono stati dichiarati
Patrimonio dell'Umanità dall'UNESCO.
L'arte del mosaico non è nata a Ravenna, ma a Ravenna ha trovato la sua più
ampia espressione: qui è nata l'iconologia cristiana, un misto di simbolismo e
realismo, di influenze romane e bizantine. Ancora oggi questo antico sapere
delle mani rivive nelle scuole e nelle
botteghe. A Ravenna si può passeggiare
tra le torri campanarie e chiostri monastici, passando dal romanico al gotico,
dagli affreschi giotteschi di Santa Chiara al Barocco dell'abside di S. Apollinare Nuovo; dalle testimonianze dell'ultimo rifugio di Dante Alighieri ai Palazzi
che videro gli amori di Lord Byron. Chi
la incontra se ne innamora oggi come
avvenne nel passato a Boccaccio, che vi
ambientò una delle sue più belle novelle, a Gustav Klimt che ne trasse ispirazione manifestamente, ad Hermann
Hesse che la visitò dedicandovi alcuni
versi. Ravenna è romana, gota, bizantina, ma anche medioevale, veneziana e
infine contemporanea, civile e ospitale,
ricca di eventi culturali e manifestazioni di prestigio internazionale che la
rendono proiettata verso il futuro.
Il Sommo Poeta morì a Ravenna nella
notte fra il 13 ed il 14 settembre del
1321, la sua salma si trova ai Chiostri
Francescani, la tomba, piccola e modesta costruzione in stile neoclassico, fu
eretta nel 1780 dall'architetto Camillo
Morigia per volere del Cardinale Legato Luigi Valenti Gonzaga, il cui stemma sormonta appunto la porta d'ingresso.
Rimini
For Italians, Rimini is one
of the most famous, and
crowded, beach resorts on
the Adriatic Sea. Perhaps
a summer at the beach sparked one of
the most famous illicit affairs of the
Middle Ages. Two forbidden lovers,
Francesca and Paolo, achieved eternal
notoriety. They were subjects in
Dante’s Inferno (Canto V, 73-142).
Francesca’s jealous husband murdered
the pair when he discovered their affair. In the afterlife, their love affair
landed them in Dante’s hell. One of
the most famous Riminese of the modern era is filmmaker Federico Fellini.
In the center, the ancient narrow
streets and squares are pedestrian
zones and some parts, like the 'old fish
market square', are a popular meeting
place for young people in particular,
who have become even more numerous now that Rimini is an important
university centre with over 5,000 students. Near the old stone counters
where fish were once sold, trendy bars
and pubs have turned this little square
into the heart of nightlife in Romagna.
Piazza Cavour, Rimini
Rimini has one of the most important
tourist sites. The park “Italia in Miniatura” is anextraordinary journey
through Italy via 272 perfect miniatures of architectural wonders. Thanks
to its originality and the perfection of
the miniatures displayed, it often captures attention of the Italian and international cinema and television.
Italia in Miniatura
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Spring/Summer 2006
Provinces
Reggio Emilia
Piacenza
Piacenza traces its beginnings to the Roman colony of Placentia, founded
in 218 B.C. During the
medieval age, Piacenza’s
strategic location at the
crossroads of Europe led to its growth
starting in about the year 1000. In 1095,
Pope Urban II convened the Council of
Piacenza there, which resulted in the
launching of the first crusade to conquer the Holy Land. One of the principal sights of Piacenza is the Palazzo
Farnese built in 1558 at the behest of
Margaret of Austria and Ottavio Farnese. Inside the frescoed palace is a
gallery that includes works from renaissance artists such as Sandro Botticelli.
The Duomo of Piacenza is a model of
the Romanesque style. Inside are remarkable baroque frescoes from Carracci, Procaccini, Draghi, Guercino and
Morazzon. A famous Piacentino helped
popularize Italian cuisine in America.
Ettore Boiardi, emigrated to the United
States, where he founded a successful
restaurant. His restaurant was so popular, that patrons began requesting pasta
sauce to take home with them. Boiardi
began canning his popular sauce and
later started a successful pasta sauce
company. To make it easier for his
American clients to pronounce the
name of the company, Boiardi anglicized the spelling of his name -- and
“Chef Boyardee” was born.
Also known officially as
Reggio nell’Emilia, local
residents simply call their
home Reggio. The history
of Reggio closely mirrors
that of neighboring cities:
the city fell under the sphere of Rome,
the Goths, Ravenna, the Lombards, the
Franks and so on. By the 12th century,
Reggio had become an independent commune. Reggio Emilia holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the Italian
national flag the Tricolore. The Tricolore was first displayed in the Palazzo
Comunale in 1797. In fact, Reggio’s
nickname is Città del Tricolore. Reggio,
along with Parma, is the center of production of the world-famous Parmigiano
Reggiano cheese. Of architectural interest are Reggio’s numerous churches,
convents and basilicas. Among them are
the basilica and unfinished tower of San
Prospero, dating from the 16th century.
Reggio’s Cathedral dates from the Middle Ages, though it was renovated during
the Renaissance period. The city is one
of the most prosperous and liveable in
Italy.
Forlì - Cesena
La provincia di ForlìCesena è conosciuta per
le sue stazioni termali e
sorgenti termiche quali
Bagno di Romagna e
Castrocaro Terme.
Il
capoluogo della provincia, Forlì, era
molto leale alla causa Ghibellina durante il tredicesimo secolo. Le rivali
principali della città erano Bologna e
Firenze, con cui Forlì entrò in guerra in
diverse occasioni. Dante Alighieri ha
vissuto a Forlì nel 1303, dove ha lavorato come segretario per Scarpetta Ordelaffi, un nobile Ghibellino che ha
governato la città come capitano del
popolo. Marco Palmezzano, da Forlì, è
stato uno dei grandi artisti della rinascita. Le sue pitture e affreschi sbalorditivi si trovano al Louvre, gli Uffizi, il
Vaticano e in tutta la Romagna. Cesena
si è sviluppata lungo l'antica via Aemilia che va da Rimini a Piacenza. Il
centro medioevale della città è stato
costruito in gran parte con il patronato
della potente famiglia Malatesta che ha
governato Cesena dal 1378 al 1465. I
punti più importanti in Cesena includono la biblioteca dei Malatesta, la
Fortezza Malatesta ed il Monastero di
Santa Maria del Monte.
Piazza San Prospero
Palazzo Farnese
Republic of San Marino
San Marino is neither a province of Emilia Romagna nor a region of
Italy. Rather it is its own independent republic, situated between
Emilia Romagna and the Marches. Indeed, San Marino claims to be
the world’s oldest republic, founded in 301 A.D. Though politically
independent from Italy, the tiny Republic of San Marino (population 28,880) shares a
common language, food and cultural traditions with neighboring Italy.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Marco Palmezzano
Annunciazione
Tempera su tavola, cm 315 x 215
Forlì, Pinacoteca Civica
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Spring/Summer 2006
Enogastronomia
Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli
di Forlì e Cesena
Parmigiano Reggiano
Il formaggio di Fossa
Leonardo da Vinci nel 1502 è in Romagna, quale ingegnere incaricato dal
Duca Valentino, quel Cesare Borgia
padrone delle terre romagnole. Leonardo deve compiere studi e progetti sulle
fortificazioni presenti sul territorio e,
come suo costume, annota sul taccuino
tutto ciò che lo incuriosisce: tra le usanze delle genti di Romagna, egli coglie come qui usano appendere l’uva,
per conservarla durante l’inverno. Ecco
come nasce la scelta del logo
dell’Associazione “Strada dei Vini e
dei Sapori dei Colli di Forlì e Cesena”:
simbolo per la “Romagna dei sapori e
saperi delle tradizioni”. Il piccolo disegno del genio del Rinascimento italiano è conservato presso l’Istituto di
Francia a Parigi. Lo schizzo, tratteggiato col suo inconfondibile stile grafico,
mostra altresì la sensibilità di Leonardo
come acuto osservatore dei fenomeni
sociali e dell’uomo suo contemporaneo.
Il Parmigiano-Reggiano "si fa", oggi
come otto secoli fa, con ingredienti
essenziali e genuini: il latte pregiato
della zona tipica, il fuoco e il caglio, i
buoni metodi antichi, l'arte e la sapienza
del casaro. Il Parmigiano Reggiano è
caratterizzato da un periodo di invecchiamento che varia dai 12 ai 24 mesi
circa. Per tutto il periodo, ogni giorno,
le forme devono essere pulite, rivoltate,
sorvegliate e controllate, secondo un
rigoroso standard di affinamento. E’ un
prodotto a denominazione di origine
protetta (DOP). Il suo gusto unico si
lega in modo imprescindibile alla sua
zona di origine. Infatti, sia la produzione del latte sia la sua trasformazione in
formaggio avviene esclusivamente nelle
province di Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena e Bologna. E’ un alimento straordinario, nutriente e leggero che mette
d'accordo gastronomi e medici, poeti e
letterati, virtuosi, gourmet della mensa e
tecnici della nutrizione.
Deve il suo nome alle “fosse”, ambienti sotterranei speciali dove avviene la
sua stagionatura. Le "fosse", di probabile origine medievale, sono scavate
nel tufo del paese di Sogliano al Rubicone. Le forme di formaggio sono depositate nei primi giorni di agosto nelle
fosse, dove restano per circa tre mesi,
fino al giorno di Santa Caterina, in
novembre. La leggenda narra che nel
1486 Alfonso d'Aragona, sconfitto dai
francesi, avesse ottenuto l'ospitalità di
Girolamo Riario, signore di Forlì. La
presenza delle truppe indebolì le riserve di cibo e, quando non bastarono più,
le truppe iniziarono a depredare i contadini. Questi per difendersi presero
l’abitudine di nascondere le provviste
nella roccia arenaria. A novembre, una
volta partiti gli eserciti e finite le scorrerie, le dissotterrarono e scoprirono
che il formaggio aveva cambiato le
proprie caratteristiche organolettiche.
Prosciutto crudo di Parma
Mortadella Bolognese
Vini dell'Emilia Romagna
Tra Lambrusco e Sangiovese
Un detto malizioso afferma: se vuoi
sapere se ti trovi in Emilia o in Romagna, chiedi da bere. Se ti offrono acqua,
sei in Emilia, se ti offrono un bicchiere
di vino, sei in Romagna. In realtà, l'accoglienza e l'ospitalità degli emiliani
sono rinomate anch'esse; la tradizione
enologica, però, distingue abbastanza
nettamente le due zone dell'unica regione amministrativa. Il vino vanta un'antichissima tradizione, da queste parti.
Sangiovese in Romagna, Lambrusco in
Emilia. Le viti sono dislocate perlopiù
in pianura, purtroppo, e producono abbondante raccolto; questo fatto, sebbene non contribuisca ad elevare la qualità del vino ai livelli maggiori, fa sì che
il frutto di Bacco abbondi e scorra generosamente sulle tavole e nelle feste.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
La Mortadella è il salame più famoso
della tradizione gastronomica del Bolognese Il prodotto ha una storia secolare
che risale al 1651. Nel 1998 la mortadella ha ottenuto il certificato europeo
IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta).
Aceto Balsamico
The art of producing l’aceto balsamico
has been handed down from generation
to generation for 1,000 years. Today,
the rules governing the production of
balsamic vinegar are strict. The finest
balsamic vinegars from Modena are
aged in barrels of various types of wood
for up to 12 years. L’Aceto Balsamico
Tradizionale di Modena has been
granted DOP (Denominazione di origine
protetta) of Italy. The high quality bottle can command a price of several hundred dollars.
Il prosciutto crudo di Parma è uno dei
prosciutti più rinomati nel mondo. Prodotto nella provincia di Parma, è conosciuto per la sua dolcezza inconfondibile. Oltre come antipasto o spuntino, il
Prosciutto di Parma può essere considerato un vero e proprio 'secondo piatto' completo e ad alto valore nutritivo.
Stagionato nella zona tipica di produzione (provincia di Parma), ottenuto da
cosce fresche dei suini pesanti di razze
pregiate e stagionato dai dieci ai dodici
mesi. Nella zona tipica ci sono le condizioni climatiche ideali per l'asciugatura e la stagionatura naturale di questo
rinomato prodotto. La feta si presenta
rosa nella parte magra e bianca nella
parte grassa che non è satura perciò
non favorisce la formazione di colesterolo.
7
Spring/Summer 2006
Personaggi illustri
Giuseppe Verdi
Compositore (1813 - 1901)
Nacque da povera famiglia a Roncole
di Busseto il 10 Ottobre 1813.
Sviluppatasi in lui molto presto una
vigorosa inclinazione musicale, egli
ebbe come primo maestro l' organista
delle Roncole Pietro Baistrocchi; si
esercitava su una modesta spinetta e
aiutava i genitori nella bottega, una
modesta osteria di paese.
.
A dodici anni si recò a Busseto per
aiutare negli affari il suo futuro protettore Barezzi, e li studiò musica con il
maestro di banda Provesi e latino con il
canonico Seletti. Fu in seguito a Milano con una borsa di studio del Monte
di Pietà e con un sussidio del Barezzi.
A diciannove anni tentò di entrare in
conservatorio, ma non vi fu ammesso
e decise di proseguire gli studi con il
maestro Lavigna. Tornato a Busseto,
venne nominato maestro di musica del
comune e direttore della banda.
.Nel 1835 sposò Margherita Barezzi,
da cui ebbe due figli che perirono con
la madre a Milano, dove la famiglia
Verdi si era nel frattempo trasferita. La
sua prima opera fu "Oberto Conte di
San Bonifacio" rappresentata con successo al Teatro La Scala di Milano. La
seconda opera "Un giorno di regno", a
soggetto comico, cadde rovinosamente
e aggiunse così nuovo dolore alle sciagure familiari. Proprio allora iniziò la
straordinaria produzione di opere. La
sua instancabile e prodigiosa attività
non cedette nemmeno alla vecchiaia
che trascorse prevalentemente nella
villa di Santà Agata a pochi chilometri
da Busseto, insieme alla inseparabile,
fedelissima Giuseppina Strepponi, vissuta con lui dal 1849. Giuseppe Verdi
morì a Milano il 27 gennaio 1901 ed è
oggi sepolto nella Casa di Riposo dei
Musicisti da lui fondata.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Arturo Toscanini
Conductor (1867 - 1957)
Giovanni Pascoli
Poeta (1855 - 1912)
Toscanini was one of the greatest and
most feared conductors of the 20th
century. He conducted the world premieres of such operatic works as La
Boheme and Turandot by Puccini and
Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. He had been
a legend in Europe for decades and was
about to retire at age 70 when someone
from NBC drove a large truck full of
money to his house and dumped it out
on his lawn. He whipped the NBC orchestra into perhaps the finest ensemble in the land and conducted it for 17
years, making him a household name
in the U.S.. What made him a great
conductor was his fundamentalist attitude toward the music. If it said “loud”
and “fast” he played it loud and fast. If
it said ”quiet” and “slow” he played it
quiet and slow. In the 19th century, the
conductor directed the music however
he liked and the musicians played it
however they wanted, resulting in
sometimes disorganized performances.
Toscanini, on the other hand, insisted
that everything be played as written.
Many musicians resented being told
what to do, so Toscanini did a lot of
yelling until his musicians played the
music as he wanted them to. He had a
brilliant career at the helm of the NBC
orchestra. He retired at the age of 87
and died at 90.
Nato a San Mauro di Romagna, Forli è
stato uno dei maggiori poeti italiani di
fine 800. La poesia di Pascoli è caratterizzata da una grande semplicità. Nonostante la classicità della forma esterna, provata dal gusto per le letture
scientifiche, alle quali si ricollegano il
tema cosmico e la precisione del lessico botanico e zoologico, Pascoli ha
saputo rinnovare la poesia nei suoi
contenuti, toccando temi fino ad allora
trascurati dai grandi poeti, capace di far
capire nella sua prosa il piacere delle
cose più semplici viste con la sensibilità infantile che ogni uomo porta dentro
di sé. Pascoli è sempre stato nella vita
un personaggio malinconico, rassegnato alle sofferenze della vita e alle ingiustizie della società, convinto che la
società che predominava in quel periodo fosse troppo forte per essere vinta.
Nonostante ciò seppe conservare un
senso profondo di umanità e di fratellanza. Crollato l'ordine razionale del
mondo, in cui aveva creduto il Positivismo, il poeta, di fronte al dolore e al
male che dominano sulla terra, recuperò il valore etico della sofferenza, che
riscatta gli umili e gli infelici, capaci di
perdonare i propri persecutori.
Arturo Toscanini
Per celebrare il centocinquantenario della nascita di Giovanni Pascoli la Società
Dante Alighieri sede di Roma, ha ideato il progetto “Leggete Pascoli con noi”.
L’iniziativa è articolata in otto serate di letture “pascoliane” che si terranno
nella suggestiva cornice del Complesso del Vittoriano (Roma), dal 27 aprile al
23 maggio. Le liriche del poeta tornano a rivivere attraverso le voci dei giovani
attori dell’Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica “Silvio D’Amico”, con un
accompagnamento di musiche originali composte per questa occasione dal
maestro Alessio Vlad. Il progetto “Leggete Pascoli con noi” comprende inoltre
una mostra di documenti e oggetti di valore storico appartenuti al poeta
provenienti direttamente dal Museo Pascoli grazie alla generosa collaborazione
del Comune di Barga (Lucca).
8
Spring/Summer 2006
Personaggi illustri
Federico Fellini
Film Writer and Director (1920-1993)
Federico Fellini was born in Rimini to
a strongly Catholic family. At an early
age, he was fascinated by circus and
vaudeville performers that his town
attracted. While he was educated in
Catholic schools, he soon became critical of the Church, but maintained a
strong spiritual connection. His first
exposure to the working world found
him in such diverse positions as a
crime reporter, a caricature artist, and a
comedic writer for actor Aldo Fabrizi.
Fabrizi's thespian world opened up
new possibilities for Fellini's own selfexpression. In 1943, Fellini met and
married actress Giulietta Masina, who
appeared in several of his films. Fellini
called Masina the greatest influence on
his work. A chance encounter with
Roberto Rossellini jump-started
Fellini's career as a visionary director
and screen writer. He drew on his
childhood experiences and his prolific
imagination to create some of the most
memorable films of all time. His
screenwriting and directing career
spanned several decades and he continued to pursue other projects in semiretirement. At the Academy Awards
ceremony in March of 1993, Fellini
received a special Oscar for lifetime
achievement in filmmaking, which he
dedicated to Giulietta in his acceptance
speech. In August of that year, Fellini
suffered a stroke, and went into a coma
following a heart attack in October.
After his death at age 73 on October
31st—one day after he and Giulietta
(who died of cancer less than five
months later) observed their 50th wedding anniversary, tens of thousands of
people packed the narrow streets of
Fellini's hometown of Rimini, applauding as the director's casket was carried
from the main piazza to the cinema
where Fellini had watched his first
films as a child (and which he featured
in Amarcord).
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Michelangelo Antonioni
Film Director (1912)
Antonioni, an Italian avant-garde motion-picture director and screenwriter,
is famous for creating films known for
their haunting images of human isolation. Born in Ferrara, Antonioni entered the film industry in 1942 as a
screenwriter and later became an assistant director. His first feature film was
Story of a Love. His best-known films
are his trilogy The Adventure, Night,
and Eclipse; Red Desert, his first color
film; Blowup, his first Englishlanguage film. Later he directed Identification of a Woman and Beyond the
Clouds. Antonioni is known for a
unique cinematographic style that employs lengthy tracking shots of human
figures against a barren natural landscape or a scene of urban sterility. He
wrote or co-wrote the screenplays of
most of his films. In 1994 he received a
special Academy Award for his
achievement in film.
Brasile, New York). Dal 1930 insegna
Tecniche dell'incisione all'Accademia di
Belle Arti di Bologna ed è proprio in
questi anni che realizza la maggior parte
delle sue acqueforti. Soltanto in età matura si dedica invece con continuità all'acquerello. Ottiene numerosi premi e riconoscimenti ufficiali sia in Italia che all'Estero. Nel marzo del 1932 gli viene dedicato un fascicolo intero de "L'Italiano"
con un importante scritto di Soffici e
riproduzioni di numerose opere. Si avvia
così quella consacrazione che negli anni
seguenti sarà confermata da riconoscimenti critici che costruiranno di Morandi
l'immagine ufficiale, per decenni non più
messa in discussione.
.
Natura morta, 1960
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Matematico (1768 -1799)
Giorgio Morandi
Pittore (1890 - 1964)
Nasce a Bologna, dove frequenta l'Accademia di Belle Arti. Qui conosce
Osvaldo Licini, Severo Pozzati, Giacomo Vespignani e Mario Bacchelli, gli
amici-artisti con i quali espone nel
1914 nella famosa mostra che si tiene a
Bologna all'Hotel Baglioni. Nasce il
rapporto con il gruppo futurista con il
quale espone nello stesso anno alla
Galleria Sprovieri di Roma. Ma moderata fu la sua tangenza al Futurismo,
così come fu solo sporadica la sua adesione agli altri movimenti italiani della prima metà del secolo (Metafisica,
Valori Plastici, Strapaese e Novecento).
La sua formazione avviene piuttosto attraverso lo studio dei grandi maestri da
Giotto a Piero della Francesca, fino ad
arrivare a Chardin, Corot e Cezanne. E’
presente ad alcune edizioni della Biennale di Venezia, alle Quadriennali romane
ed espone in varie città italiane ed
estere (Pittsburgh, Kassel, San Paolo del
Gaetana Agnesi, vissuta nel secolo
dell'Illuminismo, fu una donna religiosissima e assai generosa, che dedicò
gran parte della sua vita all'ascetismo
ed alla cura dei poveri e dei malati.
Dotata di un ingegno fuori dal comune
riuscì anche a primeggiare nelle scienze. E' oggi ritenuta una delle paladine
dell'emancipazione scientifica delle
donne. Il suo libro Istituzioni analitiche, fu giudicato dall'Accademia delle
Scienze di Parigi, il trattato più completo di matematica che fosse mai stato
fatto fino a quel tempo, e le valse il
titolo di lettrice onoraria di matematica
nell'Università di Bologna, cosa assai
rara per una donna di quel tempo. Nel
1750 sostituì il padre, malato, all'università di Bologna, come docente di
matematica, e per volere del Papa le fu
offerto di occupare la cattedra; ma vi
rinunciò, per interessarsi ad opere di
carità, lasciando gli studi. Il suo nome
è legato ad una curva geometrica, la
versiera o leminscata di Agnesi.
Donna dall'animo dolce e sincero morì
tra i poveri che aveva assistito e confortato per tutta la sua vita, come infermiera e "medico dell'anima", nel Pio
Istituto Trivulzi.
9
Spring/Summer 2006
Remembering Professor Piero Foà
One of the most distinguished members of the Italian-American community in Detroit is Piero
Foà, professor emeritus of physiology from Wayne State University. Foà virtually grew up in a
medical laboratory; his grandfather was a professor of pathology at the University of Turin and his
father taught physiology at the University of Milan. Emphasis on scholarship, service and tradition
formed his character and directed his life.
Dr. Foà sat in his study during the interview surrounded by the microscope his grandfather used,
the beautiful wooden table-desk on which is carved the family crest, sacred Hebraic texts printed
by his ancestor Jobia Foà in the 1550's, books written by himself, his father, his grandfather, pictures of family and a statue of Don Quixote.
Piero Foà Shares Views On Life
Why is Don Quixote one of your favorite characters?
.
Because I always felt that it was important to fight for what you believe is right and it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it doesn’t
matter what the consequences are, it doesn't matter if your goals are illusions or realities. One of the things I enjoy most is to fight
city hall.
What battles have you fought?
.
They are not major battles. For example, when I first came to Detroit, I was appointed Chairman of the Department of Research at
Sinai Hospital. I remember attending an early meeting where I heard discussions about matters of importance to the institution. I
made comments which ran against the establishment. I was reprimanded in a friendly and humorous way by the president of the
hospital, "Piero, don't make waves." And my response was, "Well, I don't know any other means of propulsion."
I understand that your specialty is diabetes?
.
Yes, I have been interested in the function of the pancreas and the mechanism of insulin secretion and function. I think I can say
without overstating too much that I have contributed a great deal to the discovery of the function of glucagons which is a second
companion pancreatic hormone that raises the blood sugar instead of lowering it. I was fortunate in being able to go from the test
tube to the bedside. And indeed, this is how I met my wife, who is a biochemist and who joined me as my research assistant.
What is the most important lesson you learned working with your wife for nineteen years in addition to your years of marriage?
.
I never ask myself such profound questions. Our relationship has always been very easy. We have never asked profound questions.
We seem to see eye to eye.
In February 1939, at age twenty eight, Dr. Foà left Italy and came to the United States after passage of an anti-Semitic law which
prohibited Jews from exercising a profession, and which effectively prohibited him from teaching. He recalled with appreciation,
the reaction of the Italian populace.
I used to go to medical school every morning at the same time, around 8:00 a.m. I would jump on streetcar #33 that would take me
from my house to the medical school. More often than not, it was usually the same conductor. One day I told him that it would be
my last trip on streetcar #33. He asked why. “I'm going to the United States.” “That's wonderful,” he said. Then he asked me why.
I told him. He put the streetcar into reverse. The people on board jumped all around a bit. A couple of cusses, and that was my
send-off.
How has your religion affected your life?
.
I ain’t got none. No, I absolutely don't have any interest in religion of any kind. I am anticlerical in a broad sense. Any organized
religion terrifies me. I think that on balance religion has done a hell of a lot more harm than good over the centuries and millennia.
So you won’t find me in the church or in the synagogue.
What are you doing now?
.
I have retired officially a number of times. When I finally decide to quit working, I want to do two things; I want to write a brief
manual on how to retire and a collection entitled “Nasty Letters for all Occasions.” I retired from active research work sixteen
years ago. Then I have taken on a number of appointments in Italy as a visiting professor. I have taken on a lot of editorial work...
and then I have been very busy writing the history of the family.
Do you have hobbies?
.
I like to be a handyman. I do electrical work. I do carpentry. I do plumbing under protest. My great hobby was mountain climbing.
And what did you enjoy about that most?
.
You climb the mountain because it is a challenge. You climb it because it requires high technical skills. You climb it because it
teaches you a sense of responsibility. When you climb with friends, your lives depend on each other. If there is something to be
done, you climb because it teaches you to endure hardship and remember with fondness instead of with pain. You climb it because
it brings you to see places of beauty that cannot be matched. You climb it because you are a fool. If one of your grandchildren
asked your advice on how to live life, what advise would you give? I don't give any advice. You can only give an example, behave
the way you think you should behave and that's it. You spend time with them and I’ve done as much as I can, as I could. My wonder, my prize, is a diploma for being a good teacher from my grandson who was then eight.
Marisa C. Petrella - Reprinted from Il Mosaico Fall 1993
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
10
Spring/Summer 2006
Remembering Professor Piero Foà
Memorial Service Comments – Piero P. Foà 11/17/05
Richard Foà at the memorial of his father Piero Foà
Helen (Katz), Marty (Katz), Richard (Katz), Jason (Foa), and Joe Dunbar have spoken to remind us of WHO Piero was – a wonderful and devoted husband, father, grandfather, teacher and colleague…a man, I might add, faithful to his legacy as the son and grandson of equally distinguished scientists and teachers. I would like to now say a little about my perceptions of how he became who he
was. It is rightly said of American kids, perhaps more than Europeans, that we strive (often without success) to be what are parents
are not. Today, in my remarks, I will make no effort to distance myself from Piero. He was a man of great complexity and of some
profound paradoxes. We’re alike in many ways…(he would, I think, be pleased to hear that confession)…and he influenced me profoundly. Piero could be compared to a diamond – with many facets and able to shine brilliantly, but not without flaws, Piero was
certainly a powerful intellect, a productive research scientist, a committed teacher and a generous man. But, while these characteristics are found in many, father was a unique blend of these elements. What were the roots of this uniqueness?
He was Italian…born into a position of comfort among well-to-do European intelligentsia. The predominant theme surrounding his
youth, aside from education in science, was Italian nationalism. Italy’s nationalism, unfortunately, turned into a hateful fascism with
the promulgation of racial laws and then the expulsion of Jews just as Piero prepared to enter the academic world for which he was
groomed. This was, I think, the pivotal experience of his life – leaving him with bitterness, disappointment, and a profound sense of
loss…a loss that, especially in recent years, he sought to recover by a more constant and explicit reassertion of his Italian identity.
As a father, Piero on countless occasions reflected that this experience was in fact a personal blessing since it gave him the opportunity to meet Naomi and to create the life in America that he truly enjoyed for the next 66 years…the life that we are here to remember and to celebrate.
Piero was Jewish. This is not without irony. Recall that although of Jewish ancestry, he came from a family that placed nationalism
above religious ancestry. Mussolini, tragically, had exactly the opposite attitude – identifying Italian patriots who were Jewish as
Jews only. This was the crucible in which Piero’s Jewish identity was forged. He would comment frequently that he came from a
country where anti-Semitism was law but where he never encountered an anti-Semitic citizen to a country where religious tolerance
was law but anti-Semitism was found everywhere. So he arrived in 1939 on the eve of America’s entry into WWII and found himself embraced by the Jewish community…where he remained.
Piero was not exactly a man of faith. More accurately, he was to the end, an atheist. Some of my most vivid memories are of listening to him argue against the existence of God. He argued of course from a platform of science and he argued with passion and conviction. This was no joking matter…not a polite debate with proper structure and points awarded for logical argument. His passion
came from a profound moral sensitivity. Having experienced the total and incomprehensible moral collapse of his world, I think he
felt that the existence of a supreme being meant the existence of a supreme betrayer of all that is humanly important.
Of course, Piero was a scientist. This was his core identity…the essential Piero. Not something he chose to do in response to other
social or intellectual pressures. Science was his consuming passion. It defined his approach to the world and, as many here know,
he was pretty good at it too. I won’t enumerate his achievements in science. I haven’t time now nor the ability to give them their
proper weight. But along with those who have spoken already, I would mention his related passion for teaching. In this I feel great
pride…for Piero was a consummate teacher – creative, resourceful, always prepared, utterly respectful of his students regardless of
their age and level, and, at his peak, uniquely able to translate complexity and create understanding. His work as a scientist and as a
teacher gave Piero his public identity and sustained him to the end. And I believe they sustained him because they were unambiguously good things – indeed the highest forms of human activity.
Never terribly introspective, my father in recent years allowed glimpses at the many uncertainties and self doubts that I think he’d
kept buried for most of his life. These revelations I feel heightened his great humanity. He had a powerful desire for immortality…a
tough wish for an atheist. I would suggest to him that his immortality was in a sense assured
– he needed only look at his grandchildren and great grandchildren and think of generations
to follow. But in his version, I believe he longed for more public acknowledgment and long
remembrance of his contributions – not just to a great pyramid of scientific knowledge but for
the wisdom he sought to share. And so I will remember Piero, my father, the teacher who
gave to so many of us here a little wisdom that we can each, in turn, transmit to others…so it
may be shared for eternity. I want to thank everyone who has come today, and to acknowledge many who wished to be here but could not come whether due to reasons of health or
distance or conflicting commitment. By your presence…by showing he is already missed and
will be long remembered, you satisfy Piero’s desire to be among us forever. Thank You.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
11
Spring/Summer 2006
Remembering Professor Piero Foà
My sister and I found sketchy notes of comments that our father was preparing in response to whatever recognition was planned for him
at the annual meeting of the DAS on 11/17. We've transcribed these to the best of our ability. Obviously, they are not a coherent
whole. But they are his remarks verbatim...and truly the last words he set onto paper. I'm sure he would be honored if you found a
way to share them with the members of the Dante Alighieri Society. Thank you.
Richard Foà and Helen Katz Nov. 14, 2005
Please allow me to begin by saying that there are words that should be stated out loud and words that should not be. I will try to
sort them out.
First, thank you Jerry and thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for inviting me to talk to you about why the affairs of our Society
have become such an important part of my life. The task will not be easy, for some of the reasons are emotional and some are
rational.
It is easy to start by quoting il Sommo Poeta. Here is my story. "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva
oscura che la diritta via era smarrita". These are words that cannot be translated, and I will not try. They describe the maelstrom that suddenly enveloped my life and forced me to leave the country where my forebears had lived for centuries and for
which many of them had offered their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. The country where I had learned the language
that the Sommo Poeta himself had helped forge from the Latin of Rome - the language of Ariosto, Tasso, Boccaccio, and, yes,
the language of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Macchiavelli - and of Alessandro Manzoni; the language of Victor
Emanuel II, il padre della Patria, and of Garibaldi. [The language that] represents the harmonious and humane spirit...
Mi piace di concludere con Dante, using words that should be quoted, words that cannot be nor should they be translated for
they express the best quality of the human spirit, “ L'amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle".
Thank you.
Piero Foà, November 2005
Dr. Piero Foà was a dear friend and an admired scholar. He was past President of the Dante
Alighieri for many years and responsible for reawakening the Michigan Chapter in Metro Detroit.
A past Board member, Gil Pezza, introduced me to him over a very special lunch. As soon as we
met, I knew he was remarkable because of his great spirit and candor. He embodied excellence,
dignity, class, moral integrity and enormous pride in being Italian. He always encouraged me to
contribute to the Dante Society in any way I could. In the great old world tradition, he wrote beautiful handwritten letters to friends and colleagues. I was the fortunate recipient of many of his interesting and powerful communications. For those fortunate to have known him, you will recall his
commitment to education and teaching others. When I was commissioned to do his portrait, he did
not hesitate to give me tips on sculpting and ideas for improving the image of the sculpture. His
extensive knowledge of Italian Modern Art compelled him to explain how this portrait could be
more modern if I just made a few changes. He spoke from experience --- as always being surrounded by important modern, historical Italian works that he brought from Italy.
Many of the artworks were created by recognized Italian artists who were also his friends. I was
most honored to be asked to do his portrait for the Wayne State Medical School, especially since
his father and grandfather had portraits done by distinguished Italian sculptors. One sculptor was
Leonardo Bistolfi. Piero said I was in very good company. Piero and I shared a lot in common, as
we had the same Italian heroes. This was reflected in the controversial academics he brought in for
the Dante lectures. These speakers were dynamic and possessed strong convictions just like Piero.
His aristocratic background along with his unyielding convictions, great manners and love for academic excellence allowed little tolerance for the mundane and artistic mediocrity. His legacy remains with all of us and should serve as a reminder of how one Italian American can make a significant difference in our history. This is a spirit we should all try to emulate as we live our Italian
American lives.
Sergio DeGiusti
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Feb. 21, 2006
12
Spring/Summer 2006
LIBRI
LIBRI
Quaderni del Museo
dell’emigrazione
Editoriale Umbra
LIBRI
Images of America
Italians in Detroit
By Armando Delicato
I due volumi della collana i "Quaderni
del Museo dell'emigrazione" nata con
lo scopo di analizzare temi e aspetti dei
processi emigratori nella storia italiana
ma anche fenomeni più recenti che
riguardano l'immigrazione nel nostro
paese. Nel primo volume, Migrazioni e
culture alimentari l'attenzione è focalizzata sulla trasformazione dei modelli
alimentari degli italiani emigrati nelle
Americhe al seguito della grande emigrazione - dagli ultimi decenni dell'Ottocento fino alla prima guerra mondiale
- e sullo svilupparsi e affermarsi della
ristorazione italiana fuori dal contesto
nazionale. Il secondo volume dal titolo
Per terre assai lontane, dalla storia
delle migrazioni ad una nuova idea di
cittadinanza, raccoglie i contributi di
un convegno curato dall'Isuc e svoltosi
nel 1994 ad Orvieto, che partendo dall'analisi storico sociologica dell'emigrazione italiana giunge a riflettere
sulle dinamiche del fenomeno immigratorio. La parola chiave divenne
multiculturalità e attorno ad essa si
innestò la questione se ciò avesse significato semplicemente compresenza,
pari dignità delle culture e mantenimento delle identità etniche, oppure si
prospettasse in vario modo e in diverse
misure un percorso di integrazione.
People of Italian descent have been
present in Detroit since Alfonso Tonti,
second-in-command to Antoine Cadillac, participated in the founding of the
city in 1701. By the close of the 19th
century, the trickle of Italian immigrants had become a torrent, as thousands rushed to the growing industrial
center. "Settling on the lower east side,
the community grew rapidly, especially
north and east into Macomb County”.
Italians in Detroit did not remain in a
"little Italy," but mingled with the diverse population of the city. Through
a combination of hard work and strong
family and community ties, the Italians
of Detroit have achieved their dreams
of a better life. They have met the
challenges of living in a new land
while nurturing the culture of the old
country. The challenge that remains is
to nurture a love of heritage among
young Italian Americans as the immigrant generation fades.
D. A. S. Members and Events
The Education Committee has seen
many changes in the past few months.
The teachers have been meeting frequently to share their experiences and
give each other suggestions on teaching methods and planning. Of most
importance is that two of our teachers,
Giovanna Cappi Willard and Olga
Mennillo, have accepted the Co-Chair
positions which were left open by Silvia Calzoni Schultz and Luciana
Coppola Galante. We wish both Giovanna and Olga the best in helping
each other along with their committee
to expand our language programs and
make them strong within our community. We also want to thank all of our
talented teachers for all of their support
and hard work during the past year.
Grande successo per la prima Festa
della Befana organizzata dalla Scuola
Arcobaleno di Ann Arbor, con la partecipazione di oltre 70 persone tra adulti
e bambini. I bambini della scuola - e
della comunità italiana limitrofa ad
Ann Arbor - hanno potuto giocare con
la Befana che ha distribuito calze piene
di leccornie.
DAS Library Collection @ OCC in Royal Oak
View OCC website: www.occ.cc.mi.us/library/
Click on “Library Catalog”, then under “Enter Search Terms”, type
in: “Dante Alighieri Society Collection”
Gruppo Italiano
Gruppo Giovanile Ann Arbor
The Gruppo italiano meets every second Friday of every month from 10
a.m. to noon at the Greater Bloomfield
Senior Association, 7273 Wing Lake
Road, in Bloomfield Hills, tel. (248)
341-6450. It is open to everyone interested in informal discussion on culture,
history, language and arts of Italy.. For
more information please call:
The DAS welcomes Silvia Giorgini
Althoen, new chairperson of Il Gruppo
Giovanile in Ann Arbor. Silvia along with
other Italians in the area
have opened an afterschool Italian language
program called Scuola
Arcobaleno. Watch for
future e-mails from Silvia informing
you of cultural events in this area.
Angie Giffels (248) 645-0958
Anita MacSorley (248) 682-4155
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
.
Per la Festa Internazionale della Donna
dell’8 marzo, le insegnanti della Scuola
Arcobaleno, le ragazze del Gruppo
Giovanile della Dante Alighieri
Society di Ann Arbor ed un gruppo di
amiche americane (amanti della nostra
lingua e cultura) si sono scambiate
mimose virtuali trascorrendo una
simpaticissima
serata
all’insegna
dell’amicizia. Un evento annuale da
non perdere!
Silvia Giorgini (Ann Arbor)
13
Spring/Summer 2006
D. A. S. News and Education
Youth class keeps Italian culture and language alive
Birmingham district offers course for kids ages 5-10 that can give them an advantage in college.
ROCHESTER HILLS -- "Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque …
venti."
Helena Pfaff is 9 years old and can proudly count from one to
20 in Italian -- without pausing. Instead of playing with dolls or
video games on Saturday afternoons, Pfaff will hone her Italian
language skills at the Italiano per Bambini -- or Italian for Children -- class, an eight-week course for kids ages 5-10 offered
through the Birmingham Community Education, a division of
the Birmingham Public Schools.
The kids will learn the language through lullabies, poems,
games, nursery rhymes and sketches. They also will learn the
colors and numbers, among other everyday items.
"I like the Italian language because I'm hoping to go there one
day for a visit," Helena said. "And if my cousin goes, I want to
be able to translate for him."
Helena has one grandparent on each side of her family who is
Italian. Her mother, Millie Pfaff, does not speak the language,
but said she enrolled her daughter in the class last year so she
can keep the language alive in the home.
That is the main reason most parents enroll their children in the
class, organizers say.
"Many parents came here from Italy to work for the auto industry, and some go back," said Amy Kerr, community education
enrichment specialist at Birmingham Communication Education. "They want their children to either remember the language
while they're here or learn it for the first time."
Roughly 450,000 Michigan residents, out of nearly 1 million,
claimed Italian ancestry in the 2000 U.S. Census.
"I come from the city of Torino," she said.
"That's the correct way to say and spell it. But for some reason, Americans prefer to say 'Turin.' It's not correct, but it's
good enough." Learning to speak another language is generally considered easier for young children than for adults.
"Children are like little sponges because they absorb everything from sounds," said Iacobucci, who owns an advertising
and marketing firm with her husband in downtown Birmingham, Iacobucci 360.
"Our language is phonetic. The way you speak it and read it is
the way you write it."
Iacobucci said most of the teachers who teach Italian to the
children are native Italians.
"When teachers are native-born, it's better for the students
because we can play with the language," she said.
The class is being sponsored by the Dante Alighieri Society,
Inc. Michigan Chapter. Its board meets at Oakland Community College on the Royal Oak campus.
"Our mission is to promote the Italian language and culture,"
said Liana Spalla, president of the Michigan Chapter. "We
have an agreement with Birmingham Community Education,
in which we provide the teachers and then we get part of the
profits from the classes," she said.
The first meeting of the Dante Alighieri in Michigan was held
at the Detroit Public Library in 1924. The society, which has
chapters around the country, is named after Dante, author of
"Inferno" and other novels.
Shawn D. Lewis / The Detroit News Tuesday, January 10, 2006
But why Italian, when Spanish and French usually are the
classes students take beginning in junior high school, unless
they're in a language immersion school?
Instructor Francesca Iacobucci (pronounced YAH-ca-boo-chi)
said learning Italian can provide kids with an advantage when
they enter college.
"Italian has a Latin root, and a lot of words they'll come across
in college will have Latin roots -- especially in the technical
fields -- and that's an advantage," she said. "And if they learn
Spanish, they will have an easier time because they already
know Italian, which is very close to Spanish."
Italian can come in handy even sooner when the XX Olympic
Winter Games are held in Torino, Italy, Feb. 10-26. Even that
raises Iacobucci's hackles.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
F. Iacobucci (left) International Academy, Sept. 2004
14
Spring/Summer 2006
D. A. S. Members and Events
New Dante Members
Members making a Difference
We are very happy to welcome the following new members to the Chapter:
“Love cannot just stop”.
An Abruzzi Style Feast at
Il Ristorante Piccirilli
Miria Allman
Chet Arnold
Deana Furman
Mariella Mecozzi
Claudine McGlothin
Lucas McGrall
Elena Righi Seidler
Domenico Spina
Annual Meeting November 2005 Honors
members with Special Recognition
The 2005 Annual Meeting was both a
somber and happy celebration for DAS
members as the participants remembered one of the society’s highly esteemed members and one of its past
presidents, Prof. Piero Foà, DAS Artist
of the Year 2005, sculptor Sergio
DeGiusti, receives the award he was
given on the occasion and recounts
warm memories of Prof. Foà, especially during the time he was commissioned to draw the professor for a portrait for the Wayne State Medical
School.
"I remember, at the very beginning,
someone told us there are many cases
when cancer hits someone in the family — a husband or wife — there's a
divorce because it's too much and one
of them can't take it. With us, it was
different. We got closer”.
To honor her husband of 25 years, onValentine’s Day, Mirella Panozzo tried
to make the public more aware of the
cancer that claimed her husband’s life
by helping to inform the public that
mesothelioma is caused by breathing in
asbestos and raising money for mesothelioma research. Mirella especially
fears for the health of first responders
after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City who might face
the same deadly fate as her husband.
"The government needs to focus on
finding treatments and cures for mesothelioma." Donation may be sent to:
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 3944 State St., Suite 340, Santa
Barbara, Calif., 93105
Dante member and Master of Ceremony, Tony Corsetti, assists his longtime friend and compatriot, Chef and
restaurant owner Umberto Piccirilli,
during his cooking demonstration held
at Il Ristorante Piccirilli on Sunday,
March 26. Nearly 100 members and
friends enjoyed a fun and educational
presentation of cooking food from
Abruzzo as well as the delicious feast
of all the food prepared by Chef Piccirilli and his son, David.
Photos courtesy of Lia Adelfi
Members enjoy a lecture on Italian
& French Renaissance Poetry
Jewelry designer Daniela Allega
Fuciarelli accepts her DAS Artist of
the Year 2005 award from Nominating
Chair, Emma Edgar and President
Liana Spalla. Along with recognition
to P. Foà, past presidents A. DiTommaso, F. De Santis, G. Gambini and T.
Pfaff also received recognition during
the
evening
for their contribution to the
Society.
Photos courtesy of R. Haskin
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
Professor Gabriella Scarlatta Eschrich
captivated her audience of both Dante
Alighieri Society and Alliance Francaise members on February 25 at the
Andiamo Italia Banquet Center in Warren. Prof. Scarlatta Eschrich explained
the similarities of love poetry of the
Renaissance in
Italy and France.
She read poetry
in French, Italian
and English of
the most prominent male and
female poets of
the period.
Photo courtesy of R. Haskin
In Memoriam
Our sincere sympathies go out to the family
of former DAS member, Mary Redo, who
passed away on January 2, 2006.
Longtime DAS Member Bernard Goldman
died at his Fountain Hills residence on
March 22, 2006 after a two-week battle with congestive heart failure and
other complications at the Mayo Clinic
Hospital. Our heartfelt condolences go
out to his wife Norma and his family.
15
Spring/Summer 2006
Other Events and Information
Riccardo Muti - Ann Arbor (9 marzo 2006)
The University Musical
Society (UMS) è una delle
più prestigiose Associazioni
musicali degli Stati Uniti che
da oltre un secolo ha fatto di
Hill Auditorium a Ann Arbor uno dei luoghi principe
della musica in America. La
UMS ha una lunghissima
tradizione di rapporto con
orchestre, artisti e con
il grande repertorio musicale
italiano.
La presenza del Maestro Riccardo Muti alla guida dei Vienna
Philharmoniker si colloca quindi nell'alveo di una ricca e mai
interrotta tradizione. Per chi poi come me, cresciuto in una famiglia che per tre generazioni ha legato la propria esistenza alla
storia del Teatro Comunale di Firenze, ha avuto la fortuna di una
conoscenza anche umana e personale del Maestro sin da quando
giovane musicista approdò alla direzione del Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino, è stata un'emozione particolare poter salutare personalmente il Maestro in questa sua prima visita a Ann
Arbor. L'entusiasmo e il successo con il quale il Maestro è stato
accolto testimonia del grande interesse che la cultura e la sensibilità musicale italiane sanno suscitare nel mondo e ci ricordano
dell'importanza di coltivare con cura per le generazioni future
questa tradizione così attiva e vitale. Forse sarebbe il caso
che messo da parte quell'individualismo che così spesso ci contraddistingue, la comunità italo-americana del Michigan sapesse
trovare le forme unitarie per concentrare le proprie risorse verso
programmi che privilegino gli artisti e il repertorio italiano, seguendo l'esempio di quanto altre comunità, con tradizioni meno
prestigiose, fanno ormai da tempo con grande impegno e efficacia. Ne parlavo anche con il Maestro Muti e con i colleghi della
School of Music: in fondo si tratta solo di una questione di idee
e di volontà e di una nuova solidarietà culturale da costruirsi con
il contributo di vecchi e nuovi immigranti.
.
Prof. Gabriele Boccaccini, Ann Arbor
Interdepartmental Center for Italian Studies (ICIS)
presso la University of Michigan
Si è costituito presso la University of Michigan un Centro
interdipartimentale di Studi Italiani per iniziativa di una
trentina di docenti di varia disciplina interessati allo studio
della lingua e della cultura italiana e la fattiva collaborazione del Console dr. Nicola De Santis. Il compito del Centro
è quello di coordinare e rendere maggiormente visibile le
già molte e ricche attività che si svolgono all'interno della
University o promosse dalle numerose associazioni culturali locali. In questo modo la University of Michigan viene
a collocarsi a pieno titolo come uno dei poli centrali anche
a livello internazionale per la promozione degli studi di
storia e cultura italiana. La creazione del Centro favorisce
anche i contatti tra la University of Michigan e le associazioni culturali italo-americane locali in quanto offre un
punto di riferimento unitario per ogni iniziativa di promozione culturale. La nuova immigrazione italiana dagli anni
'90 ha avuto come polo di attrazione non più le città o
le attività commerciali ma le università. La presenza di
così numerosi ricercatori italiani favorisce oggi un rinnovamento della presenza degli italiani negli Stati Uniti. Si tratta di persone e di famiglie che mantengono contatti frequenti e diretti con l'Italia e che possono quindi attivare un
circolo virtuoso di integrazione che superando definitivamente la fase della memoria e della nostalgia renda gli
italiani del Michigan interlocutori attivi e protagonisti nella crescita della presenza e della cultura italiana a livello
internazionale. L'Università si pone quindi oggi sempre
più come privilegiato luogo di sintesi delle diverse anime
della comunità italo-americane, una funzione destinata col
tempo a crescere di importanza e che iniziative come quella della creazione del Centro interdipartimentale alla
University of Michigan aiutano a evidenziare e facilitare. La sfida maggiore che il nuovo Centro si trova oggi ad
affrontare sta proprio nella sua capacità di diventare il punto di incontro e sintesi dove vecchia e nuova immigrazione
possano incontrarsi e interagire. Un obiettivo ambizioso
che può essere raggiunto solo con l'impegno e il contributo
di tutti.
Prof. Gabriele Boccaccini, Ann Arbor
Thank you and good luck Consul Nicola De Santis
The Dante Alighieri Board of Directors and its Members would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Nicola De
Santis, Consul of Italy in Detroit, for his efforts in promoting the Italian Language and Culture within the Italian Community in
the area. We would also like to thank him for the cooperation he has extended to our Society these past few years. We wish him
much success and happiness in his future endeavors.
Il Consiglio Direttivo della Società Dante Alighieri ed i suoi soci colgono l’occasione per ringraziare il dott. Nicola De Santis,
Console d’Italia a Detroit, per l’impegno profuso per la promozione della lingua e cultura italiane nell’area di circoscrizione del
Consolato di Detroit e per il suo interesse nei riguardi della nostra società. Auguriamo al dott. De Santis un futuro di successi e
di felicità.
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
16
Spring/Summer 2006
Dante Alighieri Society
NON-PROFIT
US POSTAGE
PAID
TROY MI
PERMIT NO 37
Michigan Chapter
P.O. Box 2962
Southfield, MI 48037-2962
Return Service Requested
Membership Application and 2006 Renewal
January 1 - December 31, 2006
Name _________________________________________________
Address _______________________________________________
City/State _________________________________ZIP_________
Dante 2006 Calendar
& Upcoming Events
•
Sunday, June 4
Festa della Repubblica
2 pm - Italian American Cultural Center in Clinton Twp.
•
Wednesday, June 21 - Dante Event
What was the intention of Dante in writing the Divine Comedy?
Dina Soresi Winter
7 pm - Best Western Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights
Phone Number: (H)__________________(W)_________________
Email______________________________Fax________________
____
Patron
$100
____
Sustainer
$50
____
Family
$40
____
Individual
$25
____
Senior Citizen
$15
____
Student
$10
____
Donation
_____
Dante Alighieri Society, Michigan Chapter
•
Wednesday, September 27 - Dante Event
Marco Polo and the Silk Road
Prof. Ricardo Raspa
7 pm -Venue TBA
Additional DAS Events will be
announced by mail and e-mail.
Please send us your updated e-mail
address.
DAS has a new e-mail address:
[email protected]

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