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Articles by: Letizia Airos soria

  • Life & People

    Pino Daniele & "His Way" to Play in NYC

    It was a sold out at Harlem’s historical theater, The Apollo. But this time it wasn’t for Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, or James Brown. An Italian artist -- Neapolitan to be exact – charmed the audience by developing a musical fusion of blues, jazz, and rock.

    Pino Daniele, the mediterranean blues man, after a duly timid start in the temple of African-American music, fastly warmed up and captured the attention of an audience whose participation constantly grew, just as the notes of Bolero by Ravel do. The walls told the history of American music, but it was him who was playing on the stage, a unique singer in the genre both in Italy and in the world

    As Pino Daniele said  during his press conference at the Italian Culture Istitute, playing in New York represented for him a dream that could come true only if he could play his music in a truly special place.

    Thanks to Massimo Gallotta, the promoter that has recently brought Roberto Benigni and Enno Morricone to New York, all of this was possible. He had the right theater and the right audience -- a very important combination -- in a neighborhood like that of Harlem, which in recent times has rediscovered and reevaluated its history. A brave choice that had the right compensation in the success of the event.

    During the concert the artist briefly retraced his career, singing songs that made him famous throughout generations, and that now are considered part of the history of Italian music. He performed pieces composed both in the distant and recent past, from “Quando”, “Napul'è",  “Nun me scuccia`,” “O Scarrafone” and “Yes I know my way” (the audience was waiting for this latter with particular  yearning) to the most recent such as  “Il Sole dentro di me” from the album “Electric Jam” (released in March by RCA/Song Music).

    Right from the begininning of the first song, “Tu dimmi quando, quando” the atmosphere was vibrant, the emotions of the public - composed by Italians, Neapolitans and several curious Americans - were touchable. It was clear that the long wait and excitement of those present made of the performance an even more special event. 
    Pino also gifted his audience with a very intense moment when he arranged  Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma" with his guitar:  this clever choice was clearly made to please a good number of Americans among the public, but the Italians appreciated it as well. 

    After the performance of “Napul'è” people could not refrain themselves from dancing. Even those who are normally quite and and sober started shaking their bodies to the rhythm of Pino's music. 

    A number of talented artists accompanied Pino Daniele on the stage. We can't forget the arrangements of bassist Matt Garrison, percussionist Mino Cinelu, and keyboard player Gianluca Podio when they played songs such as  “A me me piace ‘o blues’” and “Yes I know My Way.”

    Pino Daniele, who at the beginning of the concert looked almost shy and intimidated by the huge audience , in a few minutes enchanted the Apollo with his powerful music, and started playing with evident pleasure and transport.
    Talking about the event a few days before, he said that he was not going to talk with the audience during the concert: “I do not like the musician who wants to be also an entertainer. I will show the public who I am with sincerity through my music.”

    Under the vaults of the Apollo Theatre everybody could feel his sincer and instinctive love for music, insomuch as we also saw a few Security guards dancing!

    As he told us at the Italian Cultural Institute, Pino Daniele has always wanted to recount and show a different Italy and a different Naples through his music.  However, we must reproach him that he should have done it long ago. Before his performance, indeed, very few people in the US had heard about him, and his outstanding music. 


    Photos by Lorenza Cerbini - Find more like this on i-Italy

  • Life & People

    Praying in the Subway

     The A line runs along the arteries of Manhattan, as always. Once again I find myself entangled in thoughts, following the faces of people getting on and off my subway car. I come across tired eyes that want to sleep, eyes that smile, eyes that listen to music, that talk, sing, and dream.  

    It’s a day like many others; it seems like any other subway trip. Or at least until I see the face of a young woman in which little more than her eyes are visible. Eyes surrounded by cloth.  

    I happen to see young Muslims often enough on the subway in New York, but this girl takes the stage as in a theater, surprising me minute after minute. 

    She is with a man. She comes to sit next to me, and after a while, absorbed in my thoughts, I almost forget her. But a loud masculine voice, in a language I don’t even understand, soon draws my attention.  

    Her traveling companion argues with her. While speaking, he tightens the veil around her eyes and makes her sit in an upright position. He does so with a clean gesture. It is a strong, fluid gesture.  


    They continue to speak, and soon after, he moves her arms which were resting comfortably on his legs. He moves them as if they were the limbs of a doll. He moves them into a “folded” position.

    Under her arms there is a bag that they both look after. Under the bag, the woman’s legs are relaxed at first but he firmly squeezes them together. Once again he moves her limbs with a clean, domineering gesture of ownership. It is a movement that he will repeat several times during the trip.  

    During the ten long minutes of the episode, my eyes never meet his. Yet sitting beside her, one seat over, he will become the unconscious director of my story.  

    Inside of me, I feel the almost uncontrollable advance of empire, that inevitable uneasiness I feel whenever I still see men controlling women, whenever I witness moments of female submission. It strikes me and hurts me the way in which that man not only controls the clothes, but the position, the posture of the woman he is with.  

    While I follow the path of my “feminist” thoughts, the looks that are exchanged around me speak volumes. They are frightened, suspicious almost from the start.   

    As I wonder about my intolerance, it takes me a while to realize that the reason for the others’ attention is not the woman, but her bag. The object that is unaware of everything remains rested on her legs and apparently is observed from a distance.   

    The man, having once again adjusted her position, took from his pocket a small, old booklet with several pages falling out. He starts reading. She remains silent. He begins, perhaps, to pray.  

    He reads aloud in front of everyone. A powerful voice. He interrupts himself only to rearrange her position, to tighten her arms around the bag again. To close – if it were possible to close it any more – the veil, to bring her legs closer together. Many passengers get off at the next stop. 

     The train grows silent. No one speaks.
    The man’s voice echoes throughout the car, contrasting with the rattle of the train. The woman, perhaps, whispers. I do not see her lips. Tension in the car grows until the moment in which the train comes to a halt between stops and no voice announces the reason why.  

    He continues praying in a loud voice and she squeezes the bag tighter. He squeezes her arms and the bag. A doubt slowly rises inside of me: what if there were a bomb inside that bag? Slowly I begin to add to the tension inside the car. I abandon my feminist impulse. I’ll get off at the next stop, I tell myself.  

    The train starts moving and he continues to pray for a few seconds. She has her eyes down, legs closed; the bag is covered by her folded arms. No one speaks. 

    He stops reading. He takes the book and puts it back in his pocket. She looks at him. He seems to stretch his muscles. He lets his stiff, tense hands go. He gives her a caress and then another. He takes her hands. He gives her a kiss on the cheek. He speaks English. He finished his reading, perhaps his prayer. 

    The car takes a breath and comes back to life. People begin talking again. They look at them differently.  
    He and she, they go hand in hand.  
    A fellow passenger asks me: “Were you afraid, too?”  
    I now have another fear, that of not knowing how, I too, will honor the right to be different.

    (Translated by Giulia Prestia)

  • Pregare in metropolitana

    La linea A scorre lungo i capillari di Manhattan, come sempre. Ancora una volta mi scopro ad aggrovigliare pensieri, seguendo i volti delle persone che salgono e scendono dal mio vagone. E si incontrano occhi stanchi che vogliono dormire, occhi che sorridono, occhi che ascoltano musica, che parlano, che cantano, che sognano.

    E’ un giorno come tanti, sembra una corsa di metropolitana qualsiasi. O almeno fino a quando incontro il volto di una giovane donna di cui si vedono poco più che gli occhi. Occhi circondati da stoffa.

    Capita di vedere giovani musulmane abbastanza spesso sulla metropolitana a New York, ma questa ragazza entra in scena come in un teatro. Per destare sorpresa, attimo dopo attimo.

    E’ insieme ad un uomo. Si viene a sedere accanto a me che dopo poco, immersa nei miei pensieri, quasi la dimentico. Ma una voce maschile abbastanza forte, di cui non capisco neanche la lingua, riattira presto la mia attenzione.

    Il suo compagno di viaggio discute con lei. Mentre parla le stringe il velo intorno agli occhi e la fa stare in posizione più dritta. Lo fa con un gesto netto. Un gesto forte, eloquente.

    Parlano ancora, e poco dopo lui le sposta le braccia che lei aveva adagiato comodamente sulle gambe. Le muove come se fossero arti di un bambola. Le accosta in una posizione ‘conserta’.

    Sotto queste braccia una borsa guardata con attenzione da entrambi. Sotto questa borsa le gambe della donna iniziamente rilassate che lui stringerà con forza. Ancora una volta sposta gli arti di lei, con un gesto netto, padrone. Movimento che ripeterà più volte nel corso del viaggio.

    I mei occhi non si incontreranno mai, durante dieci interminabili minuti di storia, con quelli di quest’uomo. Eppure lui seduto affianco a lei, un posto più in la’, sarà il regista inconsapevole del mio racconto.

    Dentro di me sentro avanzare d’imperio, quasi incontrollabile, quella naturale insofferenza che provo quando vedo uomini controllare ancora le donne. Quando colgo momenti di sottomissione femminile. Mi colpisce e mi ferisce il modo di quell’uomo di controllare non solo abiti, ma posizione, gestualità, di quella donna che ha vicino.

    Mentre io seguo il corso dei miei pensieri “femministi”, intorno a me guardano e si parlano altri sguardi. Loro sono quasi da subito intimoriti, sospetti.

    Io mi interrogo sulla mia insofferenza e ci metto un pò di tempo ad accorgermi che invece motivo di attenzione degli altri non è la donna, ma la sua borsa. Oggetto che ingnaro di tutto, rimane appoggiato sulle gambe e apparentemente guardato a vista.

    L’uomo, dopo aver per l’ennesima volta corretto la posizione di lei, prende dalla tasca un piccolo vecchio libretto con delle pagine staccate. Comincia a leggerlo. Lei rimane in silenzio. Lui inizia, probabilmente, a pregare.

    Legge a voce alta di fronte a tutti. Voce possente. Si distrare solo per sistemare la posizione di lei, per farle stringere ancora una volta le braccia sulla borsa. Per chiuderle - se mai fosse possibile di più - il velo, per avvicinarle le gambe. Molti passeggeri scendono ad una fermata poco importante.

    Il treno diventa silenzioso. Nessuno parla. La voce dell’uomo attraversa tutto il vagone, a contrastarlo solo un rumore di ferraglia. La donna, forse, sussurra. Ma non vedo le sue labbra. La tensione sul treno cresce nel momento in cui il vagone si ferma tra uno stop e l’altro e nessuna voce ne annuncia il motivo.

    Lui continua a pregare a voce altra, lei stringe la borsa. Lui le stringe braccia e borsa.

    Anche dentro di me, piano piano si fa strada un dubbio: e se ci fosse un ordigno dentro quella borsa? Piano piano partecipo alla tensione del vagone. Abbandono il mio impeto femmista. Alla prossima fermata scendo, mi dico.

    Il treno riprende la sua corsa, lui continua a pregare ancora per qualche secondo. Lei ha gli occhi bassi, le gambe strette, la borsa coperta dalle sue braccia conserte. Nessuno parla.

    Lui smette di leggere. Prende il libretto lo ripone in tasca. Lei lo guarda. Lui sembra distendere i propri muscoli. Le sue mani rigide e tese si lasciano andare. Le fa una carezza, e ancora un’altra. E poi le stringe la mano. Le da un bacio sulla guancia. Parla inglese. Ha finito la sua lettura, forse la sua preghiera.

    Il vagone si rianima, tira un sospiro. Le persone riprendono a parlare. Li guardano diversamente.

    Se ne vanno mano nella mano lui e lei.

    Un altro passeggero mi dice: “Anche tu hai avuto paura?”

    Io adesso ho un’altra paura, quella di non saper anch’io riconoscere il diritto ad essere diversi.

  • Facts & Stories

    Communicating for "Sistema Italia". Lights and Shadows of a Job Done with Passion

    Read the Italian Version of this article

    We meet him in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. In this hotel from the ‘20s renovated a decade ago, we breathe in summer, especially tourism and vacation, and certainly very little of frenetic New York. He arrives on time in a chic tourist outfit, long-distance walking shoes, and red pants.

    He decided to focus on museums for part of the day we met. But Antonio Bettanini didn’t come to the U.S. just to relax. Over the course of his trip, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Advisor for the Coordination of Public Communication will also develop important initiatives.

    Genovese, a true gentleman, discreet, witty, and sharp, he reflects on the Foreign Ministry’s public communication. There are, in his words, even in his criticism, interesting and constructive ideas.

    And he quickly begins with this:

    “We talk a lot about external communication today, but in Italy everything is complicated. In
    Italy, first and foremost, this should revolve around a large internal communication effort which still needs to be implemented.”

    “The truth is that for a number of historical, cultural, and politics reasons, too time-consuming to analyze here, we are now facing a situation in which our identity is still relatively weak.”

    “The feeling of belonging is felt so much more profoundly outside of Italy. The image of our country seen from the outside is more intense than the one observed from the inside.”

    The communications man quickly gets to the heart of the matter:

    “Only in recent years have certain images made positive headlines, such as the President of the Republic asking to of sing the national anthem. Not to mention the flag.”

    “These are obvious things in other countries, but in Italy they are still struggling to assert themselves. Let’s disregard the reasons why; it would take too long to go into. I say this because, and I’m not alone, I asked myself how to project a new image of Italy that still maintains the characteristics of a cultural repository and historical reservoir, and still retains the aspects that have characterized our image since the ‘80s. We need to introduce a new discussion to revitalize our image, which remains rooted in the past and tied to certain stereotypical brands. The renowned Made in Italy, as important as it is, must be bolstered by an image that looks to the future….”  

    Bettanini admits: “I don’t have an answer for what a new image of Italy might look like. We have to work on it and certainly an important factor that we shouldn’t underestimate is tied to 'people', those all over the world who have become ambassadors of our country. The large numbers of men and women who carry out the missions to which Italy has committed itself abroad. People who are dedicated to cooperation while defending peace and creating institutions in so many crisis areas.” 

    “Since it shouldn’t only be about heroism but about everyday life as well, we must take a more refined approach to the so-called Made in Italy. I am convinced that innovation and talent are part of a river that continues to flow, and without offending anyone, there is more to it than the image of Ferrari.
    There are some areas that should be strengthened further; I am referring to food and wine and to the little-known regions of Italy that are coming into large-scale production. There is more to our country than just Tuscany and Piedmont.

    Let’s consider why the activities of ‘Sistema Italia’ are often so disjointed. It would be very important, especially in a time of crisis.”

    “The work, in fact, is still not complete. Too often I have seen a disorganized presence, even with a large investment, that is unfortunately aimed at the wrong audience. And the need for coordination is increasing. There are certainly a few examples of administrative or political decisions that are aimed in this direction, such as a coordination agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the regions.”

    “We have also proposed a more structured effort between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Cultural Heritage, and Foreign Trade that includes a joint board that periodically decides on large-scale events to sponsor. We do this to share resources, streamline activities, and improve the end result. We are working to improve our current procedures that are too scattered and disorganized, and in some instances show very little attention to quality.”

    And what does Bettanini think of the image that Italy has of Italians abroad? “My feeling is that sometimes we have the wrong idea about our own immigration, of Italians abroad. It’s much more ordered, integrated, and less nostalgic than we imagine, and they maintain a healthy relationship with their homeland.”

    Bettanini is in New York to prepare some upcoming events that he has been working on for some time, events that coincide with the week-long U.N. General Assembly meeting. Several cultural initiatives are on schedule…

    “There will be the presentation of a book about the G8. It’s an Italian contribution to the future of the world that will be connected to public diplomacy. We present it along with an English language edition that includes an introduction by Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata.”

    “We will also present a photography book on the G8 in Trieste and L’Aquila. Next year we would like to launch an international award for journalists working in critical areas. The award would be hosted in Italy but with a jury, location, and presence in New York.”

    “We are also planning an initiative to share the history of the Italian presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since the ‘50s we have realized cultural, anthropological, archaeological, touristic endeavors there. This is to tell everyone that we are back and that we are still there, since it is an area of crisis.”

    “We produced a DVD with the journalist Duilio Giammaria of TG1. We would like to mount an exhibition dedicated to the Italians who were there in those years, in conjunction with American institutions.”

    “I am pushing hard on this even if there are challenges. I care because it is a way to show the Italian presence in those areas – even more so today when American policy is more focused on culture and civil society. Our contributions are useful and appreciated. Our past demonstrates the important role that Italy has played.”

    Bettanini’s initiatives are closely linked to the political life of Franco Frattini. He began, however, with Claudio Martelli, going through difficult and controversial periods in Italian history.

    “Frattini was working with him as an advisor; he was then given a chance and he called me. I started in a different way, with a different person but with a similar personal story because I liked communication and politics. During Martelli’s time there were militant politics, but with Frattini would say not. I mainly dealt with the institutional side.”

    A philosophy major, university lecturer, and journalist, he was repeatedly appointed press officer for the ministries and the board leadership while coordinating media relations. He also gained communications experience through numerous ad campaigns for private companies, and recently headed the campaign for Piaggio Aero Industries.

    His experience in the private sector is also felt when he talks about his current work. It makes a difference and it is definitely one of his strengths.

    “I have always kept the organizational model of a large private company as a reference point while making decisions. This means coordinated and integrated communications, where all of the various aspects are run by a manager.”
    “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs jealously guards the position of press officer for a career diplomat. So being the communications advisor and working on the coordination of communication activities is not easy.”

    And he removes a small pebble from his shoe…

    “At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the IT department is still separated from the Communications one...it’s strange. There is a department that is called the ‘servizio stampa’ that reveals its anachronism in its own name.”

    “Work is nevertheless underway to create many multimedia projects within this office. They have already made several commercials. Enrico Vattani is handling it deftly. The ‘Travel Safely’ video is a good product.”

    “The website has also improved a lot. We now have a section for journalists. It still needs large-scale management and we are working in that direction. With the Development Cooperation office we created a great initiative to promote the Giro d’Italia. Over the course of a daily television show about cycling we demonstrated the ‘best practices’ resulting from our cooperation.”

    And so we come back, after a nearly circular path, to the beginning of our conversation. There is still a great need to improve internal communications.

      "Viaggiare sicuri" 

    “Everything can be considered, but you have to start with internal communication. Sometimes we are still not able to appreciate the things we produce as much as we should.”

    “When someone talks about internal communication sometimes people begin to yawn. But it’s the ABC. And if I do not know who I am, I cannot tell my story.”

    Is the resistance you encounter practical, cultural, or economic?

    “It’s a bit of everything. Relatively, it’s economic. Our advantage over a large private company is that we have a value, a significant institution which allows us to do some things better. We must be the ones to put gas in the engine, of course. But if at times we don’t have the content, the gasoline....”

    “Sometimes we don’t even talk about ourselves on our own website. Until recently we didn’t even publish an interview that appeared in the newspaper because it wasn’t ‘official.’ We have a 24-hour press office available every day of the week, but on Saturday and Sunday I can’t update the home page because it hasn’t been scheduled. This is despite having people who work in the media. There is still inflexibility.”

    There is criticism, but also appreciation. There are certainly shadows, but also light.

    “There are many young, capable diplomats. They understand the challenges and they are paid for their communication services. In the end there is a lot of work to be done. I tell them, 'Be happy because if they were good at this they wouldn’t need us….I like this job and I do it with a lot of passion. I don’t think that I am always loved at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in some cases I have been unjustly feared, but no one can say that I don’t have great passion for the Administration. I am convinced that if I work well for the Administration, then I also perform a great service for the person I work for.”

    “This is also true when I use Twitter for him. I do it often and perhaps someone might get angry over the constant use of such an informal method of communication…”

    (Translated by Giulia Prestia)



  • Comunicare per il Sistema Italia. Luci ed ombre di un lavoro svolto con passione

    Read the English Version of this article
    Lo incontriamo nella hall del Roosevelt Hotel. Nell’albergo degli anni venti, restaurato una decina di anni fa, si respira l’estate, soprattutto turismo, vacanza, sicuramente molto poco della New York frenetica. E si presenta puntuale in un’elegante tenuta da turista, scarpe per camminare molto e pantaloni rossi. 

    Una parte della giornata che abbiamo concordato per incontrarci ha deciso di dedicarla  soprattutto ai musei. Ma Antonio Bettanini, non è venuto negli USA solo per svago. Il Consigliere per il coordinamento della Comunicazione Pubblica del Ministero degli Affari Esteri metterà a punto, nel corso del suo viaggio, anche importanti iniziative.

    Genovese, un vero gentleman, discreto, arguto e pungente, riflette con noi sulla comunicazione pubblica della Farnesina. Ci sono, nelle sue parole, anche delle critiche a nostro avviso interessanti e costruttive.

    E comincia subito così:

    “Si parla molto di comunicazione esterna oggi, ma in Italia tutto si complica. Infatti da noi questa dovrebbe appoggiarsi prima di tutto su di un grande lavoro di comunicazione interna ancora in parte da svolgere. 

    Poi la verità è che, per una serie di ragioni storiche e culturali, politiche, lunghe da analizzare,  ci troviamo di fronte ad una situazione in cui l’identità a cui dovremmo fare riferimento è ancora relativamente debole. 

    Il sentimento di appartenenza si percepisce in maniera molto più forte fuori dall’Italia. L’immagine del nostro Paese osservata dall’esterno è più intensa di quella che si ha osservandola dal di dentro.”

    L’uomo-comunicazione del ministro degli Esteri entra subito in merito:

    "Solo in anni recenti sono andati all’onore della cronaca desideri come quello del Presidente della Repubblica di cantare l’inno nazionale. Per non parlare del tricolore. 

    Queste sono cose ovvie in altri Paesi ma in Italia stentano ancora ad affermarsi. Lasciamo da parte l’analisi dei motivi, sarebbe troppo lunga. Dico questo perchè, non da solo, mi sono posto il problema di come comunicare all’estero un’Italia che - pur mantenendo le coordinate caratteristche di quel giacimento culturale, serbatoio di storia, pur conservando aspetti che ne hanno caratterizzato l’immagine a partire dagli anni ‘80 - ha bisogno di portare avanti un discorso nuovo. Di rivitalizzare un’immagine che rimane rivolta al passato, legata a certi marchi stereotipati. Il celebrato Made in Italy, per quanto sempre importante, deve essere affiancato alla costruzione di un’immagine che abbia come traguardo il futuro…”

    E Bettanini ammette: “Non ho una risposta su quali possano essere i fattori di una nuova immagine dell’Italia. Ci dobbiamo lavorare e sicuramente un elemento importante che dovremmo valorizzare è legato ad un ‘popolo’ che nel mondo si fa ambasciatore del nostro Paese. I moltissimi uomini e donne che compongono le tante missioni in cui l’Italia è impeganta all’estero. Persone dedite alla cooperazione, alla difesa della pace e alla costruzione delle istituzioni, in tantissime aeree di crisi”. 

    Accanto a questo, perchè non appaia solo come un discorso di eroismo sia pure della vita quotidiana, dovremmo far svolgere un lavoro molto raffinato sul cosiddetto Made in Italy. Sono convinto che l’innovazione e talento facciano parte di un fiume carsico che prosegue, e senza offesa per nessuno, non c’è solo Ferrari a dare immagine.

    Ci sono alcuni settori che vanno potenziati ulteriormente, mi riferisco per esempio al cibo e ai vini poco conosciuti e alle molte nuove regioni italiane che si sono affacciate alla produzione . Non ci sono insomma solo: Toscana e Piemonte.”

    Riflettiamo insieme su come la promozione risulti spesso dispersiva, mentre sarebbe importantissimo, soprattutto in un momento di crisi come questo, mettere a regime tutti i soggetti e gli attori del sistema Italia. 

    “Infatti questo lavoro ancora non è compiuto. Ho visto troppo spesso una presenza disordinata, anche con investimenti grandi, indirizzata purtroppo a pubblici sbagliati. Ma l’esigenza di coordinamento sta crescendo ed è chiara.

    Ci sono certo, per esempio, alcune decisioni di carattare amministrativo o politico che sicuramente vanno in quesa direzione. Come l’accordo per un coordinamento tra Ministero degli Affari Esteri – Regioni.

    Abbiamo anche promosso un coordinamento più strutturato tra ministeri degli Esteri, dei Beni Culturali e del Commercio con l’Estero, in modo da avere un board comune che decida periodicamente su quali grandi eventi puntare. Questo per concentare le risorse, razionalizzare e migliorare l’impegno. Stiamo operando per portare a sistema un modo di agire troppo sparso e disordinato ed in qualche caso veramente poco attento alla qualità.”

    E cosa pensa Bettanini dell’immagine che in Italia si ha degli italiani all’estero? Cosa torna in nel nostro Paese?  “ La mia sensazione è che venga coltivata a volte un’idea sbagliata della nostra immigrazione, dell’Italia all’estero. Questa è molto più strutturata, integrata, meno nostalgica, anche se ha e mantiene un sano legame con la Patria.”

    Bettanini è a New York per preparare alcuni eventi a cui sta lavorando da tempo, legati alla settimana dell’Assemblea Generale dell’Onu. Diverse sono le iniziative di carattere culturale...

    “Certo, tra queste vi è la presentazione di un libro sul G8. Un contributo italiano per futuro del mondo che verrà legato all’attività di Public Diplomacy. Lo presentiamo con un’edizione in lingua inglese, introdotta dall”ambasciatore Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata. 

    Porteremo anche un libro fotografico sul G8 di Trieste e l’Aquila. Vorremmo poi lanciare, per il prossimo anno, un premio internazionale per i giornalisti impegnati in teatri di crisi. Ospitato in Italia ma con una guiria, una location e un motore a New York.

    Poi in programma c’è un’iniziativa per conoscere la storia della presenza italiana in Afghanistan e Pakistan. Fin dagli anni ‘50 abbiamo realizzato missioni culturali, antropologiche, archeologiche, turistiche. Questo per dire a tutti che noi siamo ritornati. Siamo ancora lì. Anche in un teatro di crisi.

    Abbiamo prodotto un dvd con il giornalista Duilio Giammaria del tg1. Vorremo portare una mostra dedicata agli italiani lì in quegli anni, coordiandoci con le istituzioni americane.

    Spingo molto su questo anche se ci sono difficoltà. Ci tengo perchè è un modo per dimostrare che la presenza italiana in quelle aeree - a maggior ragione oggi in cui la politica americana è più incentrata sul versante della cultura e socità civile - può essere utile e valorizzata. Il nostro passato dimostra la necessità che anche l’Italia partecipi.”

    L’attività di Bettanini è molto legata alla vita poltica di Franco Frattini. Ha cominciato però con Claudio Martelli, attraversando anche periodi difficili e controversi della storia italiana. “Frattini lavorava con lui come consigliere giuridico, poi ha avuto la sua chance e mi ha chiamato. Ho cominciato in un modo diverso. Con una persona diversa, ma una storia personale simile, perchè mi piaceva la comunicazione e la politica. Ai tempi di Martelli era una politica militante con Frattini direi di no. Mi sono occupato soprattutto del versante istituzionale”. 

    Laureato in Filosofia, docente universitario, giornalista, ha ricoperto più volte l'incarico di addetto stampa per ministeri e presidenza del consiglio, coordinato relazioni con i media. Ha maturato anche esperienze di comunicazione in numerose campagne per aziende private e più recentemente ha curato la comunicazione integrata di Piaggio Aero Industries.

    La sua esperienza con aziende private si sente anche quando parla del suo lavoro attuale. Fa la differenza ed  è sicuramente un punto di forza.

    “Io mi sono mosso tenendo come riferimento un modello organizzativo da grande impresa privata. Dunque comunicazione coordinata ed integrata, dove tutti i segmenti in qualche modo vengono coordinati da un responsabile. 

    Il Ministero degli Esteri però conserva gelosamente il posto di responsabile del servizio stampa per un diplomatico di carriera. Così fare il consigliere per la comunicazione, lavorare sul coordiamento della comuncazione non è sempre facile.

    In questa chiave organizzativa avevo contribuito a lanciare una direttiva, firmata da Frattini, quando eravano insieme alla funzione publica. Devo dire però quelle degli Esteri e della Difesa sono due amministrazioni che ‘non ci stanno’ facilmente …”

    E qualche sassolino dalla scarpa se lo toglie.

    “Al MAE c’è ancora un settore informatico staccato da quello della comunicazione… è strano. C’è un ufficio che si chiama ‘servizio stampa’ che dimostra ancora la sua archeologia nella sua etichetta. Ma sono ottimista.

    Si sta lavorando, costruendo per esempio un’attività multimediale all’interno di questo ufficio. Hanno realizzato degli spot interessanti. Se ne occupa sapientemente Enrico Vattani. Il video ‘Viaggiare sicuri’ è un stato buon prodotto. 

     Video "Viaggiare sicuri" realizzato dal Ministero degli Affari Esteri

    Il sito web poi è migliorato molto. Abbiamo una sezione per i giornalisti. Occorre ancora un grande coordinamento, e stiamo lavorando in questa direzione. Con la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo abbiamo realizzato recentemente una bella iniziativa per il Giro d’Italia. Ogni giorno in televisione è stata raccontata una best practice della nostra cooperazione.”

    E torniamo così, dopo aver effettuato un percorso quasi circolare, all’inzio della nostra conversazione. All’esigenza ancora forte di migliorare la comunicazione interna:

    “Ma bisogna partire dalla comunicazione interna. A volte non siamo ancora in grando di valorizzare come si deve le cose che realizziamo. 

    Quando uno parla di comunicazione interna a volte la gente si mette a sbadigliare. Ma è l’ABC. E se io non so chi sono, non mi posso raccontare.”

    Ma la resistenza che incontra è di natura pratica, culturale, o economica?

    “Un po’ tutto. Relativamente economica. Il nostro vantaggio rispetto ad una grande impresa privata, è che abbiamo un valore, un significativo istituzionale che ci consente di fare alcune cose al meglio. La benzina nel motore dobbiamo metterla noi, certo. Ma se a volte non abbiamo pronti i contenuti, la benzina appunto … 

    A volte non ci raccontiamo neanche sul nostro sito… Addirittura fino a poco tempo fa non si pubblicava lì un’intervista realizzata da un giornale perchè non era ‘istituzionale’… Abbiamo un servizio stampa 24 ore su 24, tutta la setttimana, ma sabato e domenica non posso implementare la home page perchè non è previsto. Questo pur avendo persone che lavorano sui media. C’è ancora rigidità.”

    Critiche dunque, ma anche apprezzamenti. Ombre sicuramente, ma anche luci.

    “Ci sono moltissimi giovani diplomatici. Bravissimi, capiscono e sono versati per queste attività di comunicazione. Il lavoro da fare alla fine è tantissimo. Dico loro ‘Siate felici, perchè se fossero tutti bravi non ci sarebbe bisogno di noi...’.

    Questo è un lavoro che mi piace e lo faccio con grande passione. Non credo di essere sempre amato al Ministero degli Esteri,  in qualche caso sono stato temuto ingiustamente, ma nessuno può dire che non abbia una grande passione per conto dall’Amministrazione. Sono convinto che se lavoro bene per l’Amministrazione svolgo un ottimo servizio anche alla persona per cui lavoro. 

    Questo anche quando uso twitter. Lo faccio spesso, e magari a qualcuno non piace un mezzo così informale di comunicazione…’”

  • Life & People

    Stop! Let's Talk With Elena

    East Side. Stories told at the bar in a restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Three lives side-by-side. Unique and singular, yet emblematic in their own way. Experiences that on the one hand seem to taunt the city that hosts them, on the other they move through the city without disrupting its flow.

    They are stories told to a young Italian woman who chose to live in the metropolis that has inhabited the collective imagination of many for decades.

    And we got to know Elena Attala Perazzini from Rimini from behind the bar, as well. It was years ago when perhaps no one had thought that she would later recount all that she saw and heard.
    Her presence stood out in the restaurant’s softly lit atmosphere. Slender, large and attentive eyes, stylish. Under her long hair, a long gaze, the attention of someone who knows how to put anyone at ease – and not just with a plate of excellent food.

    She is hospitable, accompanying her clients as the true lady of the house. She wasn’t an ordinary manager of a restaurant in Manhattan. And her guests soon realized this as they talked at length with her; sometimes they even vented and shared. They were almost confessing, and they usually returned to find her. In a city that absorbs all the time you have, a city that makes you run and leave you little time to think, for many Elena takes on the role of a confidant, a quasi psychologist.

    This young woman, returning from work, day after day, usually at night, reports the stories that left a deep impression on her writing. These are the stories that today have become a novel.
    For this interview, we try to tell the story behind “Three Stops in New York.” We do this almost from behind the scenes. What was going on in Elena’s head while her customers were talking? And who was Elena?
    She arrives in New York for a three-month dance program. She still has thirteen years of training during which she is put to the test with different jobs.

    “I was infatuated with the city and I wanted to stay at any cost. I worked with RAI as a producer, at Rizzoli as an assistant to Oriana Fallaci, in PR for Cipriani’s Rainbow Room, and I finally decided to open a place of my own. Meanwhile I continued to write for myself, doing mostly Italian theater reviews as a freelancer.”

    We begin with her experience at Rizzoli. Her eyes brighten. The myth of Oriana Fallaci still remains intact. “I had been warned that she was a difficult person, that on average people with her ‘lasted’ three weeks. Hired and fired. I was 29 years old. I began as her secretary. I passed on information, transferred calls. I was a filter. Then I became her personal assistant. It was a brief experience, but I intensely remember the only day I went to her house. She was in a good mood. We spent an afternoon talking. She told me a lot about herself. She told me about her illness, her experiences as a journalist. I saw this tough woman up-close, seemingly a little relentless. She had always fascinated me as a journalist, but above all as a writer. And I discovered her soft side, her humanity. That was one of those times when I said to myself: I must write.”

     But the birth of Elena’s first novel was a long process. “I was then overwhelmed by other experiences. I managed public relations at the Rainbow Room and I opened my own restaurant. I took it over in May of 2001, opened in July, but then there was September 11. An intense, difficult experience on many different levels. I think we survived during a difficult period due to word of mouth. This experience gave me a lot and I always continued to write.”
    She shares this: “Writing was my way of understanding what I was doing, where I was going.
    Once the restaurant closed I could not restrain my desire to describe what I had experienced, what I had gathered in a series of notes I took over the years.

    I reread what I had written and I still found them interesting. Then I lived through September 11 and I wanted to share my own point of view.”

    The rhythm of Elena’s prose is suspenseful, cinematic. The desire to continue reading grows proportionally to the reader’s curiosity. “I worked hard on this aspect. I wrote thinking about what I’d like to read. My first sources of inspiration are the minimalist American writers of the ‘80s. Raymond Carver, Bret Easton Ellis, Jay MacInerney. And of course Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I am fascinated by style more than content.”
    “Even in the movies I like it when you are taken by the hand, with ups and downs. With emotions that reach a peak and then subside. In these cases, the writer decides to nearly bore the reader and then build tension again…. All of this goes on while maintaining a great deal of detachment.”

    But let’s get to the plot of the book. Three stories with three very different characters. How did you choose them? How did you create them? What do they have in common? You have met so many people….
    “Everything was born out of my incomprehension of how to deal with a culture that is so different from my own. I come from a small town…. I chose the people I was curious about, but with whom I identified with at the same time.”
    At the end I realized that I saw a part of myself in each of them. What I want to become or even what I know I could never do. It’s been self-reflective; the book is certainly not autobiographical but has a lot of me in it….”

     I remember, for example, how much I was struck as a gay man told me that he had decided to have a child without a life partner. For him it was normal to want another child by himself, to save money and to change jobs for this…. He was an eclectic person, perhaps a little crazy looking for a family…. Weird to me. But I would slowly realize that all of this is very New York.”

    I was amazed by people who didn’t have a definite plan in life, able to continuously reinvent themselves. I felt like a white fly…. Then through all three characters, so to speak, I became forcibly involved in their lives….”

     Elena’s stories unfold and then touch on the dramatic events of September 11. She tells us what surprised her about the reactions of New Yorkers.

    “Yes, they were days that made us think, we Italians. The reaction to this tragic event was practical and pragmatic. Solidarity and organization could be seen immediately. Even then, the pain did not allow us to forget how communication should be guided by appearance in order to have the desired effect…. It was necessary to intervene immediately while looking to the future. I am re-learning this way of dealing with problems, even in different situations like the economic crisis. Buying clubs, families who are organizing, advertising….”
    And one of the book’s messages is really hidden between the lines of what she has said before: it is important to look ahead with optimism.
    “Yes, I hope this message gets out. My characters’ lives are based on insecurity and risk. But it is important to test yourself, not to give up. All three have this kind of drive. And New York teaches us this way of life, of feeling. Don’t ever give up, never. Continue to believe in yourself. Then things will happen….”
    While Elena was working in her restaurant, a television series set in New York City grew to cult status almost immediately: Sex and the City. “Yes, I think that in many ways the story of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte has been a real and accurate portrait of frenetic life in Manhattan, even though it mostly focuses on light romantic comedy.”
    “The stories in my book, even if they are very different, lend themselves, I think, to becoming a television show. Think about the fact that the novel is set in a place where so many people come together, a place that everyone recognizes. There are characters inspired by real people…. For this reason I began to reduce the number of short stories in order to pitch them as a script…. We’ll see….”
    And how important was it that Elena was Italian as she approached her clients and friends? And being in a restaurant serving food from Emilia Romagna?
    “They would not have revealed themselves in the same way. I think. They were also very trusting because I was Italian. Italians of our generation are seen positively, especially in certain fields such as food and fashion. We are looked at with admiration. When they get to know you, they are happy to become friends and get to know your culture.”
    What would Elena like her stories to inspire? “The courage to change, to take off old clothes. To put your own story aside and live in a different culture where you become something new in the eyes of someone who already knows you. The courage to take risks, to find yourself somewhere else. The power to strip yourself of the many prejudices that are rooted in our history…. Then I think my book will remain imprinted on a thoroughly New York modus vivendi.”
    “It’s a city where many people don’t have families. For this reason, many strong human relationships are created. I don’t value relationships based on how long ago they started. For me, a relationship that only began a few months ago can be very important if two people really grow. It’s about giving and receiving something in return. Time is short and you need to be nourished. Therefore you tend to give more to those people who really interest you. People with whom I'm still friends…there have been intense, deep moments of truth.”
    At the table for the book’s launch in Italy, Elena admits that she already has an idea for another book. “I hope to continue writing. It’s what I would like to do for the rest of my life. I feel more secure than ever, I like it, I’m passionate about it.”
    We flash back to the memory of her at the bar, where years ago on several occasions we saw Elena at work. While others told their stories, Elena stood in silence listening and without directly planning to, she began to lay the foundation for telling her stories with her own personal style, full of heart, character, and determination. It was the best way to tell the stories of others with the breath of a city like New York.

    "Tre stop a New York" 



    (Traslated by Giulia Prestia)

  • Stop, parliamo con Elena

    East Side. Storie raccontate al bancone, in un ristorante di downton Manhattan. Tre vite che si affiancano. Uniche ed irripetibili. Eppure a modo loro emblematiche. Esperienze che se da un lato sembrano punzecchiare la città che le ospita, dall’altro la attraversano, la scorrono senza sconvolgerla più di tanto.

    Storie narrate ad una giovane donna italiana, che ha scelto di vivere nella metropoli che
    raccoglie l’immaginario di molti da diverse generazioni.

    E l’abbiamo conosciuta anche noi, dietro quel bancone, Elena Attala Perazzini di Rimini. Anni fa. Quando forse nessuno pensava che avrebbe raccontato quello che vedeva, ascoltava.

    La sua figura spiccava nell’ambiente sempre in penombra del locale. Slanciata, occhi grandi e attenti, elegante. Sotto i lunghi capelli, lo sguardo lungo, l’attenzione di chi sa mettere a suo agio chiunque, e non solo con dell’ottimo cibo.

    Ospitale, accompagnava i suoi clienti come una vera padrona di casa. Non lo faceva come un normale gestore di un locale di Manhattan. Ed i suoi ospiti se ne accorgevano presto, parlavano a lungo con lei, a volte si sfogavano. Si confessavano quasi e tornavano a cercarla. In una città che assorbe tutto il tempo che hai, che incita a correre e lascia pensare poco, Elena svolge così per molti il ruolo di confidente, quasi di psicologa.

    E questa giovane donna, al ritorno dal lavoro, giorno dopo giorno, soprattutto di notte, riporta le storie che la colpiscono per iscritto. Storie che oggi diventano un romanzo.

    Con quest’articolo-intervista, proviamo raccontare i retroscena di “Tre stop a New York”. Lo facciamo quasi da dietro la quinte. Cosa succedeva nella testa di Elena mentre i suoi clienti le parlavano. E chi era Elena?

    Arriva a New York per un programma di danza di tre mesi. Ci rimane tredici anni nel corso dei quali si mette alla prova con diversi lavori.

    “Infatuata dalla città ci sono voluta rimanere a tutti i costi. Ho lavorato in RAI come producer, alla Rizzoli come assistente per Oriana Fallaci, come PR per Cipriani alla Rainbow Room, ho deciso poi di aprire un locale mio. Nel frattempo ho sempre continuato a scrivere per me, a fare recensioni soprattutto di teatro in Italia, da free lance.”

    Cominciamo dalla sua esperienza alla Rizzoli. I suoi occhi si alluminano. Il mito di Oriana Fallaci rimane intatto anche in lei. “Ero stata avvisata che era una persona difficile. Che in media le persone con lei ‘duravano’ tre settimane. Assumeva e licenziava. Io avevo 29 anni. All’inizio le facevo da segretaria. Le passavo le informazioni, le chiamate. Ero un filtro. Poi sono diventata la sua assistente personale. E’ stata una breve esperienza, ma ricordo con intensità l’unico giorno in cui sono andata a casa sua. Era di buon umore. Abbiamo passato un pomeriggio a chiacchierare. Mi ha detto molto di se. Mi ha parlato della sua malattia, delle sue esperienza come giornalista. Ho visto da vicino quella donna dura, un po’ spietata apparentemente. Da sempre mi aveva affascinato come giornalista, ma soprattutto come scrittrice. E ho scoperto la sua parte ‘tenera’, umana. Quello è stato uno dei momenti in cui mi sono detta intensamente: devo scrivere.”

    Ma il parto del primo romanzo di Elena è stato lungo. “Poi sono stata travolta da altro. Ho curato le pubbliche relazioni al Rainbow Room, ho gestito un ristorante mio. L’ho preso nel maggio del 2001, aperto nel luglio, ma poi c’è stato l’11 settembre. Un esperienza intensa, difficile, a diversi livelli. Credo cha abbiamo resistito in un periodo difficile grazie al passa parola. Mi ha dato molto questa esperienza, ma ho sempre continuato a scrivere però….”.

    E si racconta così: “Scrivere era il mio modo di capire cosa stavo facendo, dove stavo andando. Una volta chiuso il ristorante non sono riuscita a trattenere la voglia di rendere pubblico cosa avevo vissuto, cosa avevo raccolto in una serie di note negli anni passati. Mi sono riletta le cose che avevo scritto e le ho trovate ancora interessanti. Poi avevo vissuto l’11 settembre e volevo rendere noto il mio punto di vista.”

    Il ritmo della prosa di Elena è incalzante, cinematografico. Il desiderio di leggere cresce proporzionalmente alla curiosità. “Ho lavorato molto su quest’aspetto. Ho scritto pensando a cosa mi piacerebbe leggere. La mia prima fonte di ispirazione sono i minimalisti, autori americani degli anni '80. Raymond Carver, Jay MacInerney e Bret Easton Ellis. E ovviamente anche Fitzgerald e Hemingway. Mi affascina lo stile più del contenuto.

    Anche nei film mi piace quando vieni portato per mano, con alti e bassi. Con emozioni che toccano un picco e poi scendono. In questi casi chi scrive decide di far quasi annoiare il lettore per poi ricrescere…Tutto questo mantenendo un grande distacco”

    Ma veniamo alla trama del libro. Tre storie con tre personaggi molto diversi tra loro. Come li ha scelti? Come li ha costruiti? Cosa hanno in comune? Ha incontrato tante persone…

    “Tutto è nato dal mio stupore di confrontarmi con una cultura molto diversa dalla mia. Vengo da una città di provincia… Ho scelto le persone che mi incuriosivamo, ma in cui al tempo stesso mi rispecchiavo di più..

    Me ne sono accorta alla fine, in ognuno di loro ho visto una parte di me. Quello che vorreidiventare, oppure quello che so che non potrei mai fare. E’ stato un rispecchiarsi, il libro non è autobiografico certo, ma ha molto di me....

    Mi ricordo per esempio come mi ha colpito quel ragazzo gay di cui racconto che ha deciso di avere un bambino anche senza un compagno di vita. Per lui era normale volere un altro figlio da solo e risparmare soldi, cambiare lavoro per questo…Era una persona eclettica, forse un po’ pazza in cerca di famiglia… Strana per me. Mi sarei resa conto piano piano che tutto questo è molto newyorkese.

    Mi merivigliavano allora le persone senza un piano preciso nella vita, in grado di reinventarsi continuamente. Mi sentivo una mosca bianca… Poi tutti e tre i personaggi di cui parlo, per così dire, mi hanno coivolto forzatamente nella loro vita…”

    Le storie di Elena sfiorano e toccano l’evento drammatico dell’11 settembre. Ci racconta cosa allora la stupì nelle reazioni dei newyorkesi.

    “Sì, erano giorni che facevano pensare noi italiani. La reazione davanti al fatto tragico è stata pratica e pragmatica. La solidarietà era subito organizzata. Il dolore non ha fatto dimenticare neanche allora come la comunicazione debba essere improntata sull’aspetto spettacolare per avere effetto … Era necessario intervenire e subito, guardando al futuro. Questo modo di affrontare le difficoltà lo sto ritrovando, anche se con elementi diversi, nella crisi economica di oggi. Gruppi di acquisto, famiglie che si organizzano, pubblicità…”

    E uno dei messaggi del libro di Elena è proprio nascosto tra le righe di quanto ha detto prima: è importante guardare al futuro con ottimismo.

    “Si spero trapeli tutto questo. Le vite dei miei personaggi sono improntate alla precarietà, al rischio. Ma è importante mettersi alla prova, non mollare. Tutti e tre hanno questo tipo di spinta. E questo modo di vivere di sentirsi lo insegna molto New York. Non abbatterti, mai. Continua a credere in te stesso. Poi le cose accadono…”

    Mentre Elena lavorava nel suo ristorante una serie televisiva imperversava e raccontava New York, per diventare quasi subito un vero cult: ‘Sex in the city’. “Si penso che in molte cose la storia di Carrie, Samantha, Miranda e Charlotte, abbia rappresentato un ritratto scansonato e veritiero della vita ‘spiccia’ di Manhattan, anche se tocca soprattutto l’aspetto romantico-leggero.

    Le vicende del mio libro anche se sono molto diverse si prestano, secondo me, a diventare una serial. Basti pensare al fatto che il romanzo è ambientato in un luogo dove tanti personaggi confluiscono, posto che poi era conosciuto da tanti. Ci sono personaggi ispirati a persone reali…. Ho cominciato per questo a ridurre i racconti a breve soggetto per proporli come sceneggiatura… Vediamo…”

    E quanto è stato importante nell’approcciare i suoi clienti/amici il fatto che Elena fosse italiana? E il trovarsi in un ristorante emiliano?

    “Non si sarebbero raccontati nello stesso modo. Credo. Erano molti fiduciosi anche perchè ero italiana. Gli italiani della nostra generazione sono visti molto bene, specialmente in certi settori come ristorazione e moda. Siamo guardati con ammirazione. Quando ti conoscono sono felici di diventare amici, confrontarsi con la tua cultura.”

    Cosa vorrebbe Elena che rimanesse dei suoi racconti?

    “Il coraggio di cambiare, di togliersi i vecchi panni. Di mettere da parte la tua storia per per vivere anche in una cultura diversa, dove ti proponi in una maniera nuova agli occhi di chi ti conosce. Il coraggio di rischiare, di scoprire te stesso altrove. La forza di spogliarti di tanti pregiudizi radicati nella nostra storia… Poi credo che del mio libro possa rimanere impresso un modus vivendi tutto newyorkese.

    E’ una città con molte persone senza famiglia. Per questo si creano dei rapporti umani molto forti. Io non valuto le relazioni in base a quanto durano. Ma per me è importante anche un incontro di soli pochi mesi in cui due perosne davvero si aprono per crescere. E’ dedicato a ricevere qualcosa. Il tempo è poco e hai bisogno di nutrirti. Tendi quindi a buttarti di più sulle persone che veramente ti interessano. Persone che io chiamo ancora amiche… momenti di verità intense, profonde.”

    Travola dalle presentazioni del libro in Italia, e presto ovviamente a New York, Elena ammette di avere già un’idea per un altro libro. “Spero di continuare a scrivere. E’ quello che mi piacrebbe fare per il resto della vita. Mi sento sicura come non mai, mi piace, mi appassiona”.

    E torniamo con il ricordo a quel bancone. Dove abbiamo più volte visto lavorare Elena anni fa. Dove altri le hanno narrato se stessi e dove lei, in silenzio, senza volerlo ha messo le basi per raccontarsi con tutto il suo stile. Con cuore, carattere, determinazione. Nel modo migliore, attraverso le storie di altri ed il respiro di una città come New York.

    "Tre stop a New York"  si  può acquistare presso questi siti:



  • 20 luglio 1969. “Si anch’io andrò sulla luna. Papà vieni con me?”

    20 luglio 1969. Occhi puntati sullo schermo. Azzurri. Occhi piccoli e occhi grandi. Assonnati ma forzatamente aperti. Seduti sul divano della casa di famiglia un padre ed una figlia con il silenzio del paese intorno. Non è una notte di vacanza come le altre.

    Tutti dormono nell'appartamento. Il ritocco della pendolo appeso al muro scandisce i minuti, ogni mezzora circa i campanili delle chiese lo accompagnano per niente sincronizzati. Le campane non riuscivano ancora a suonare in contemporanea eppure l’uomo si accingeva a compiere il passo più importante della sua storia. Almeno per allora. Non c’era Internet, ancora non c’erano neanche i CD, la Apple non aveva inventato niente, non c’erano persino i cellulari.

    Nella mente della bambina, che ancora non aveva 8 anni, le immagini dei libri di scuola, i disegni di lune con le diverse fasi, fumetti ma anche la ricerca di concretezza, la voglia di sapere ed un sogno da vivere insieme a suo padre. “Si anch’io andrò sulla Luna. Papà vieni con me?”. Felice di saper leggere cercava di catturare i titoli in televisione.

    Accoccolata vicino al padre voleva capire. Poteva chiedere poco. Il patto era di rimanere in piedi ma facendo attenzione a non svegliare la sorella piccola, la mamma, i nonni.

    Il televisore in bianco e nero inviava immagini dagli Stati Uniti per portarla sulla Luna. Luna tanto lontana ma non molto più dell’America nella mente di quella bambina. L’America degli amici del nonno che tornavano al paese in vacanza e le regalavano biglietti verdi. Nonno Salvatore li guardava con occhi sognanti, fieri. I suoi amici ce l’avevano fatta!

    Come era lontana quell’America! E se gli americani riuscivano ad andare  sulla Luna erano lontani almeno quanto gli abitanti del satellite terrestre. Almeno questo pensava la bambina.

    Ma c’erano questi uomini della Luna? Si dovevano esserci per forza. Magari nascosti in quei buchi, che da poco sapeva chiamare nel modo giusto: crateri.

    Accanto a lei il padre. Trentacinquenne. Nell’aria la speranza nel futuro, cosi palpabile in quegli anni ‘60. Aveva appena comprato una nuova casa a Roma, si stava realizzando sul lavoro. Il ritorno ogni anno nel paese nativo per lui era quasi trionfale.

    Figlio di operaio era riuscito a studiare, "a farcela". Non soffriva più quella fame che tanto ricordava, anzi!

    Sì, anche per lui tutto sembrava possibile, conquistabile anche se con fatica. Anche la Luna.

    E finalmente il cuore balza in gola. Ma per poco….“Ha toccato”. Dice il giornalista, Tito Stagno. Dagli Usa risponde il collega, Ruggero Orlando. “Non ha toccato”. Poco dopo si ha la certezza.

    Il Lem, quello strano animale meccanico con i piedi, è veramente sul suolo lunare. Insieme ai due cronisti commenta un altro 'pezzo da novanta' del giornalismo italiano, Andrea Barbato. Ma la bambina questo, allora, non lo sapeva.

    Quegli occhi assonnati sono sempre più aperti. In cerca di immagini. Le prime arrivano capovolte, ma sono dalla Luna. Forse la Luna è capovolta? Istintivamente mette la testa sottosopra.

    Sarà ancora una notte lunga per il padre e la bambina. Piena di pensieri, commenti, emozioni. Tanti sogni.

    Tutto questo  fino al momento in cui Armstrong poggierà il primo piede umano sulla Luna. E quella frase storica che ha fatto storia,  fa pensare…  “E' un piccolo passo per un uomo, un balzo gigantesco per l'umanità".

    Un pensiero che tocca ancora oggi, 20 luglio 2009. In un modo però in cui non avrebbero mai immaginato, allora. Sia il padre, che oggi non c'è più. Sia quella bambina che lo ricorda più della Luna.

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Cesare Casella. When Simplicity Wins

    Between a slice of prosciutto and a glass of prosecco, we chat effusively with the ‘rosemary chef.’ The chef who along with the Rosi family from Parma, the owners of Parmacotto, runs a local spot to eat, live, and experience Italy’s atmosphere in New York: Salumeria Rosi. It’s another successful venture for Cesare Casella.  
    We first observe him from afar. One cannot fail to notice his booth at the Fancy Food Show. Among the high quality products on display, prosciutto di Parma is irresistible, authentic and unmistakably Italian, but it also communicates passion. We have an excellent chef who slices our prosciutto: Cesare Casella. His lively eyes, his warm manner, his ability to put anyone at ease, and his ways that embrace and prepare your palate with human warmth are exceptional.

     He embodies the synthesis of true Italian hospitality connected to food. Cesare tirelessly slices prosciutto and arranges them on wooden cutting boards. Dozens and dozens of hands stretch over his counter, hands that cannot resist taking and tasting the product. It’s entertaining just watching the expressions of those who sample it. 

    We ask the chef to comment on the Fancy Food Show. He immediately offers us a glass of prosecco and we ask him to continue, not wanting to interrupt his work. And so while we talk he continues to slice prosciutto, greet guests, and entertain people.


    What does it mean for a chef to promote Italian products? How has your presence at the Fancy Food Show been going this year?

    For me, Italian products are the basis for everything. This year seems to be going well, at least for us. Having a successful, quality product is fundamental. And I am sure that even in this recession, with the right price-quality ratio, one can still profit.

    With Italian cuisine based on a few, select products focused on simplicity and quality, it can be said that during a crisis you can also save by choosing good, quality products. If you spend a little more you get so much more in return, in the end result. Not complicated recipes full of ingredients; you only need a few essential elements combined with art ... 
    Exactly. If you start with good quality ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong. It's important to build on the standard of Italian quality. It must be said, though, that not all Italian products are good because it’s obvious that there are products out there that are sub-par. We should listen to the advice from the experts.


    In general, Italian products have been damaged by amateur producers who sent shoddy products to the U.S. thinking that the Americans can’t tell the difference. But if these products don’t sell in Italy they’re not going to sell here. American consumers are very attentive to what they buy, they’re informed, and if they aren’t, they learn. You have to be careful. Those who take this seriously have no problems, but I think those who try to be shrewd will have problems.


    In your opinion what’s the key to your success as a chef? Do you think that it lies in your spontaneity and encouraging Italian simplicity?  
    I try to be myself and do what I like; if you do what you like, it’s easier to convey sincerity. I believe that it’s about being honest and being yourself. People trust me. I also believe that simplicity is the trump card with our products. We must simply be aware of having the best products and promoting them again and again.


    Simplicity, but also elegance and style ...  

    Italian style is Italian style; it’s unmistakable when it’s  there. In my opinion Italian style is one that manages to combine simplicity with taste. On the surface Salumeria seems to be a very simple place, but it comes from hard work and thorough research.

    When I first shared this idea with Rosi family, the owners of Parmacotto, we wanted to create

    an Italian delicatessen in New York. We noticed that we agreed on many things and had many things in common, so we opened Salumeria together.  
    It had to be something special because the Rosi family has style. An architect who was appropriate to their style was difficult to find so we chose a set designer instead...  

    A set designer...excellent. An Oscar winner?  
    Yes, Dante Ferretti. We chose a set designer because he works for the public. It’s based on art – both his knowledge and what the public expects.  

    We wanted to send a message. After all, Salumeria is not a store that you can find in the U.S., but when you walk in it feels like being in Italy. The entire interior was, in fact, made in Italy in six weeks and then transported to the United States. The 25 seats have been built into a very comfortable and elegant space with a photo mural of Italy that recalls the culinary traditions of each region. When they brought me the first set of plans, dark windows and a white Italy, I thought: this will be tremendous! And after so much work, I was drunk on happiness because it was so cool.


     One thing I’m curious about, that I think many are as well. How long have you been wearing the rosemary? When was the first time?  
     For thirty years. When I was a chef, I wore it in the kitchen, in my pocket because I had a garden with several types of herbs ready. Now I have to wear it because hardly anyone recognizes me without it.  
    Recently, in Aspen, I asked to have two rosemary plants in the booth and two in the apartment where I was staying. It’s not always easy to find it. They usually prepare packets with all my herbs for me. Yes, it’s been thirty years that I’ve been wearing rosemary, always in my chef’s jacket and in my tuxedo.


    Salumeria Rosi

    283 Amsterdam Ave. (73rd / 74th St)

    New York, NY 10023

    Phone: 212-877-4800
    View Map & Directions

  • Events: Reports

    "Bitter Bread" for the US. An Encounter With Gianfranco Norelli

    We interviewed Gianfranco Norelli in the library of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, surrounded by books that seemed to be watching us.

    It was an in-depth conversation about that aspect of America that is also Italian, the America that many Italian-Americans are still not familiar with. He told us about his large-scale project related to the documentary he has produced, written, and shot: Bitter Bread. 

    Through him the pages of history from the last century speak to the present.

    We present highlights from our conversation-interview organized by topics. It’s a preview of the U.S. version of the documentary film that will be screened at the Center for the Performing Arts at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY in Queens. 
    Traveling in Italy

    “While in Italy with my wife, who is an American citizen of Indian decent, we noticed a reaction that was disconcerting to say the least. On more than one occasion we witnessed episodes of suspicion, discrimination, and even racism against immigrants….” Gianfranco Norelli begins to tell us what led him to make the documentary "Bitter Bread" . 

    “I was surprised. I didn’t remember the Italy where I was raised to be like this. I have lived in the U.S. for thirty years, but I have always gone back for short periods. For some time there has been something new – an unexpected, offensive attitude towards immigrants. It is present even at the institutional level, for example, on the part of several mayors in northern Italy. There is little familiarity with the concepts of multiculturalism and diversity.” 

    A Documentary for Italians 
    And so Norelli, along with his wife Suma, decided to make a documentary to raise awareness about the difficult experience that Italian immigrants faced in America. An exceptional project with different points of view was born, one with a wide breadth and scope.  
    He is a journalist and a director who over the course of his career has made many important films, such as the documentary with Fabrizio Laurenti entitled Mussolini’s Secret. It tells the dramatic and little-known story of Ida Dalser which inspired the recent movie Vincere by Marco Bellocchio. 

    Immigration and Amnesia   

    Suma Kurien Norelli has focused on immigration for over twenty years. She teaches language and vocational training courses at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. As a conscientious scholar of issues related to assimilation, she understands the situation in New York very well.

    Her husband tells us: “Suma has noticed that in Italy there is a lack of awareness on the part of social workers who deal with immigration issues. They lack a universal vision. Bitter Breadwas created to inform more Italians about the forgotten pages of history that very often are not included in history books….”

     This amnesia is caused by a deep gap between Italians and Italian-Americans: “They lost contact. Italians in America lost the opportunity to remember and examine their own history here, but also to keep up with the evolution of Italian society over the years.” 

    A Documentary for Americans and Italian-Americans

    Bitter Bread was originally created for Italian television, but the Norellis soon realized that they would have to make another version specifically for an Italian-American audience.

     “Many of these stories were not known, even in the United States. We have shown it on several occasions to Italian-American audiences. Very few of them knew about the lynchings of Italians, for example, or the fact that Italians were seen as a mixed race, neither black nor white, or that Italian immigrants were initially recruited to replace enslaved blacks on southern plantations…” 

    How were these subjects chosen? 

    “My wife and I made a list of topics and we discarded the ones that had already been covered in other films. We wanted episodes that were little known or not even known at all. We also wanted to revisit some themes. For example, we wanted to talk about the labor movement and trade unions, the role of women, the presence of a distinct culture, one of intellectual development on the part of immigrants that was not recognized by official history.”

    Universal Values of the Italian-American Experience  
      Norelli portrays the Italian-American experience in a surprisingly way; it is neither conventional, nor celebratory, nor self-referential. The film uncovers and captures the immigrant experience, and does so without pity or rhetoric. “One of the goals,” Norelli tells us, “was to demonstrate, through several concrete episodes, how this experience has universal value and relevance. It can be applied to other communities that have been discriminated against, that have had difficulty integrating, and that have paid a high price to assimilate, such as loss of their culture, language, and contact with their country of origin.”

     Bitter Bread was also shown at the Bangalore International Film Festival in India. “Here in Bangalore,” they told us during the festival, “there is a constant flow of immigrants from poorer regions

    because we are the information technology capital in the area. We are flooded with these poor immigrants who are causing our society a lot of stress….” 

    A Difficult Film  

    Up until a few years ago, Bitter Bread would have been considered a difficult film to make because of the subjects it tackles. Today the film, which is supported in part by NIAF, demonstrates a different way to look at these issues. 
    “I think the whole debate has evolved,” said Norelli. “There is a new a new outlook. It’s less defensive. This is because the phenomenon of immigration to America as well as migration worldwide has evolved. The debate has now expanded.”

     Speaking with Norelli about this film is like talking about a delicate, fragile creature. It has grown slowly and steadily through a lot of care and attention. The version that will be presented this week at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is the result of hard work.  

    “At first we just translated the film and then had it shown here to gauge the Italian-Americans’ reaction. We realized that it had to be balanced and re-adjusted. The narration was recreated, removing the aspects that were already obvious to most Americans.

     It resulted in a clearer, more specific work. For example, we reviewed the relationship between Fascism and Italian Americans, or assimilation as a process of loss of identity and language.” 

    A Film for Young People   

    “We also had to organize a more linear narrative structure, one that could be easily used an educational tool. It was divided into nine chapters and the information is organized by theme. So for example a teacher could choose to talk about stereotypes and then find the information in one place. We also changed the pacing, and we accelerated many of the sequences by adding in more music. This was so that we could make it more engaging for a younger audience.” 

    Lynchings and Stereotypes

    Norelli gave us an overview of the topics that the film covers: “We start with the history of lynchings, beginning with New Orleans, as the most important example of difference, discrimination, and racism. We address the issue of negative stereotypes that today still affect the lives of Italian-Americans – the propaganda that portrays them as ignorant mobsters, etc.”  

    East Harlem  
     “We go on to discuss the creation of Little Italy. We do not use the usual neighborhood on Mulberry Street as a reference point, but the one in East Harlem instead. By the ‘30s it had become the largest Little Italy with more than 90,000 people living there. It gave us political leaders like Fiorello La Guardia and Vito Marcantonio, who, unlike the first, is relatively unknown. Marcantonio became the voice, not only of Italian immigrants, but of the entire ethnic working class in America.  

    At that time there were few representatives from the African-American and Latino communities and he also became their voice. He was re-elected seven times and so for a long period of time he had an opportunity to draft laws to protect the poorest and the most vulnerable. He created an alliance of different ethnic groups along with progressive white Americans which has not existed since. We can perhaps see a glimpse of it now, in a completely different way, with Obama’s victory.” 

     “We then focus on the process of Americanization, the high price that Italians paid for integration with respect to the loss of their language, loss of contact with Italy, as well as the loss of their regional culture.”

     Settlement houses, which constitute a significant phenomenon, are also discussed. 

    “There were groups of volunteers who provided help with the language, jobs, and contacts in order to integrate immigrants into the larger society. They were mostly women, missionaries of sorts, who gave up their comfortable, upper-class lives to work from morning to night in poor neighborhoods. We chose to talk abut Harlem House where Italian immigrants received services.  

    In many cases it only amounted to a bowl of soup. There was not enough to eat in many immigrant families. It was this poverty, this desperation that drove them to organize into unions.”

     And how did these social workers help with the Americanization process?

    “They went into the immigrants’ homes. They insisted that they had to transform their habits and customs to become Americans. For example, they told them not to eat traditional foods, to use butter instead of olive oil. These are the interesting details that give a sense of change, but the most important factor was that in schools not only did immigrants have to learn English, but they could not speak Italian. Not even a word of Italian. Elderly people have told me that they have clear memories of the school principal ordering teachers to wash out their mouths with soap as soon as they said one word in Italian.” 

    The Anarchist Experience

    The film also deals with Italian-American experience in terms of politics, the labor

    movement, and anarchism. The film attempts to reexamine several events that are still difficult to recount.

    “Yes, the film not only speaks of pages of history that many do not know, but it takes a few pages that are already known and presents them in a different way.  

    It is important to show, for example, that while Italians today are often considered as a block, as a conservative force, for many years they had a tradition of progressive political activism spearheaded by laborers and those on the left. There were over a hundred newspapers written by the Italian left [in the U.S.].

    This progressive cultural and intellectual dimension was ignored by the dominant culture. To tell the truth, it was not only progressive, but at times it was even revolutionary, as in the case of anarchists. For this reason, it was stigmatized.”

    It is a history full of sensitive episodes.  

    “Gaetano Bresci left [the U.S.] in 1900 [with the intention of returning to Italy] to assassinate King Umberto I of Savoy. Bresci was a textile worker in Paterson [New Jersey] where one of the most important and difficult pages in the history of the American labor movement and trade unions took place. There were about 25,000 textile workers there, many of whom were from northern Italy, which had a deep-seated anarchist tradition, such as the town of Biella [in Piedmont].

    Another very clear case of erasing history is the attack on Wall Street. There is no plaque to mark the event, even though forty innocent people died in 1920. Today there are just [pock-marked] holes in the wall of [J.P.] Morgan Bank, but nothing is written there.” 

    The Extremist Movement  

    By analyzing this attack, we wanted to open a window onto the fact that there were also extremists. Sacco and Vanzetti were part of a group of Galleanists [followers of the Italian anarchist Luigi Galleani] but they did not participate in this attack because they were already in prison, accused of murder and robbery. And the evidence against them for those charges was not convincing either. Nevertheless we must remember that Sacco and Vanzetti were militants who believed that violence was necessary in certain cases. It seems that the bomb on Wall Street was planted by Mario Buda, another Galleanist who acted alone. 

    Immigration Past and Present   

    Norelli’s film invites us to become aware, to reflect on what is happening in both Italy and America, as well as to think about the striking similarities between the anti-Italian propaganda of the time and that of several anti-immigrant newspapers in Italy today.

    “We must draw parallels between what is happening today. We see that there are some Italian-American politicians who are very critical of immigrants. Fortunately it does not mean that all Italian-Americans think this way. We need to reflect on the fact that certain Italian newspapers publish denigrating images of immigrants that are not so dissimilar to images of Italians published so many years ago here in the U.S.…” 

    The World of American Politics

    Another theme is the Italian influence in the world of American politics. In the documentary we see a progressive Fiorello La Guardia who supported Roosevelt’s New Deal. Vito Marcantonio was, of course, even further on the left. One slogan from his election campaign said: “We have to take back the government from the hands of Wall Street.” It is a theme that is very relevant today.

    We also remember Leonard Covello, who is even lesser known. He was the first Italian-American educator. A man of the highest order, he foresaw the future with his multi-cultural awareness and ideas about integration. 


    Women and the Triangle Factory Fire   
     The contribution of Italian-American women is also an important aspect of the film. 

    “We talk about the Triangle Factory fire. It is officially known as an event in which the majority of workers who died were Eastern European Jews. This is true, up to 60%. The remaining 40% were southern Italians. I spoke with several historians who are truly surprised: how were there Italian women? And this is not the only chapter in which Italian women have played a significant role. Very often they were important union organizers. It is a

    bit of a reinterpretation even with respect to the phenomenon of the role of women and its significance.” 

     Norelli uses the Church of Harlem as a point of reference in order to consider the importance of religion to the community’s cohesion and self-defense. This is another vast theme that should be studied more thoroughly, especially the relationship between the Italians and the Irish who discriminated against them: “They considered the Italian’s faith to be almost pagan, less rigorous. Italians were forced to celebrate mass in the basement. It is enough to remember that although the Church of Harlem was entirely built by Italians, for 40 years it had parish priests who were Irish or German, but not one Italian.” 

    Enemy Aliens 

    There is another story that we know little about. “We also address the issue of internment of Italian ‘enemy aliens’ during World War II. It must be said that even for those who were not deported, life was difficult with the infamous label of enemy alien.” It is during this ugly period of American history that the abandonment of the Italian language increases even more. Italians were told not to speak the enemy’s language! 

    Norelli also alludes to the relationship with fascism. “Mussolini thought that Italians abroad could be a source of strength for his regime. And Italian-American relationship with Fascism brought about this huge misunderstanding. We must bear in mind that an Italian-American’s perception of fascism would have been very distorted by distance.”  

    Bitter Bread will be distributed in American colleges and high schools thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has decided to support this project. 

    Gianfranco Norelli continues: “It is definitely important to have the film broadcast on television. But I must also say that today content can be circulated without going on television. For example online, with a series of screenings leading to distribution in schools can do even more. Above all, I would like to encourage people of all generations to have a discussion. This is the goal. The film can even be found on Amazon.”  
     We hope that a wide distribution within the U.S. can bring the film back to Italy, where everyone should see it, not jut television viewers.

    This is especially true since Bitter Bread was produced for television two years ago, but it was broadcast at a time slot that was not suitable for young people: 11.00 pm.  

    This shows that much remains to be done to bridge the Italian/ Italian-American gap and to learn from the Italian experience abroad. It is not enough that many Italian newspapers have exposed the scandal that such a useful film as Bitter Bread was buried in the television schedule.

    The documentary will be screened on Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Center for the Performing Arts at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY in Queens. The Consul General of Italy Francesco Maria Talò will be present, and Professor Anthony J. Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian-American Institute of Queens College/CUNY will introduce the event.

    The screening, which is free of charge, is organized by the Consulate General of Italy in New York, the Italian Cultural Institute, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY, the John D. Calandra Italian-American Institute of Queens College/CUNY, the United Pugliesei Federation of the Metropolitan Area, and the Italian Cultural Association of New York.

    It is a new English version that has been realized with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and which will be distributed to universities and schools in North America and on the home video market.

    Bitter Bread in Images-Captions

    1. VITO MARCANTONIO LEADING A STRIKE LaGuardia’s electoral victory is made possible by the organizational and oratorical skills of a young man from Italian Harlem: Vito Marcantonio. Son of a carpenter, Vito is a protege of Leonardo Covello’s. He starts his political career running citizenship classes for Italian immigrants, the first step to being able to vote and having political power. When LaGuardia becomes Mayor, Marcantonio succeeds him in Congress. Marcantonio has a long career as a congressman. He is re-elected seven times for a total of 14 years and is the first political leader able to bring together a coalition of Italian Americans, Blacks and Puertoricans to fight for progressive causes.   After World War II Marcantonio becomes a target of the anti-communist witchhunt and is investigated by the FBI. His political adversaries manage to defeat him by changing the borders of his electoral district, incorporating into it many non Italian American voters.... In 1954 Marcantonio dies of a heart attack in the street as he is returning home after filing his candidacy for another congressional run.

    2. LYNCHING PHOTO:  Thirty-nine Italian immigrants are victims of lynchings across the United States between 1886 and 1916. This photograph, taken in September 1910, shows the lynching of two Italians in Tampa, Florida. The next day it appears on hundreds of postcards. The largest lynching in the history of the United States takes place in New Orleans in 1891 and involves the murder of 11 Italian immigrants.

    3. Picture of  Angeline Orsini, an Italian-American interned for 6 weeks after the Enemy Alien Act was emanated in 1942. She was in possession of a short wave radio. From the English screenplay of the movie: "When the United States enters the war against Italy, Germany and Japan, immigrants from these countries who have not become American citizens are declared 'Enemy Aliens'.”... Among these, Italians form the largest group: almost 600,000. According to the new law, the so called Enemy Aliens are required to carry special identity cards and are subject to curfews. They are not allowed to own short wave radios, firearms, cameras or other items with which they could aid the enemy. The family of Angeline Orsini owns a grocery store in a small town in Delaware. They also own a short wave radio. Angeline and her father are arrested by the FBI and are inprisoned in an internment camp in New Jersey for six weeks. They have lived for many years in the United States without becoming citizens. They are among the 2,500 Italian Americans who are interned during the war, some for up to three months.The “Enemy Aliens” of Japanese origin receive a harsher treatment. Although many are US citizens,  120 thousand of them are interned for the entire duration of the war.
    4. Picture from the movie "Il Lavoratore della seta" (The silk worker), 1917- The newspaper of the workers employed in the silk manufacturing industry in Paterson, New Jersey. The heading is one of more than 100 Italian newspapers released by Italian immigrants in the US.   

    (Traslated by Giulia Prestia)