"Back in Italy, I always feel like a guy from the South"
Fascinated by Italian literature since the 1990s, in 1997 John played Primo Levi in Francesco Rosi’s movie “The Truce”. Then he ended up directing and interpreting “Questi fantasmi” (“These Ghosts”), by Eduardo De Filippo, at Teatro Mercadante in Naples in 2006. And two years later he was again on an Italian set, starring in Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna”. In 2018 John also debuted as opera director, choosing Verdi’s “Rigoletto”. “Cultural heritage implies a shared bond, it’s our history and our identity”. To show his total devotion to his ancestry, in 2011 he became an Italian citizen and now he’s both honorary citizen of Aragona, province of Agrigento, and Giovinazzo, province of Bari, where his parents’ families come from.
Yet, it hasn’t been easy for him keeping his Italian side alive. Although he has been raised listening to the opera (his mother was a singer, his father knew all “Il Trovatore” by heart) Italian wasn’t spoken at home. John uses to tell a sad story about his mother’s childhood: she lost her mom at an early age, and her dad took her to an orphanage because he had to work. There, the nuns forbade her to speak any Italian, punishing her when she used it. Little Katherine was so scared that, even when she got home, she spoke only English and got mad at her dad if he dared use Italian or – worse – dialect. “I really wish I would have taken the time to learn Italian growing up. I have this strong tie with Italy: any time I go back, I feel like a child of the South”.
“One of the memories I hold dearest it’s me sitting on the lap of my Grandpa, while we are watching the Italian football matches on TV . If he were still here, I hope he said I’m doing the right thing”. Matt Rizzetta is much more than a football fan: he is among the stakeholders of S.S. Città di Campobasso and Ascoli Calcio 1989 F.C., adding his huge passion for soccer to his deep love for his Italian heritage.
What is it like being an Italian American? A stereotype? Or rather a mix of cultures and traditions? Mike Fiorito, a Newyorker from an Italian family, explores the vivacious universe of the Italian Americans in his books, finding out that there’s much more out there than just a bunch of Guidos.
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He’s probably one of the most popular persons of this new decade. Doctor Anthony Fauci is not only at the head of the US task force set up to fight COVID-19, he’s one of the top – if not the top – immunologist in the world. So, maybe it’s time to discover a bit more about him.
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An authentic Brooklynite, Marisa Tomei started loving acting at a very early age, following her theatre-addicted parents back and forth the Broadway shows. In 1984, at 20, she debuted in “The Flamingo Kid”, a movie in which she had just one line.