Articles by: Chiara Morucci

  • Facts & Stories

    Italy's Performance at the London Olympics 2012: 12 Medals and Counting

    As of August 3rd, Italy ranks 7th place in the list of the winning nations in the London Olympics 2012. In Beijing in 2008 Italy concluded the Olympics in the 8th place.

    Italy has won 12 medals so far: 4 golden, 5 silver and 3 bronze. Additional medals in volleyball and beach volleyball are also expected by the supporters of the Italian national teams. 

    Disappointing were the performances of both the women’s and men’s swimming teams. Federica Pellegrini who boasted many Olympics medals in the past editions did not do as well this year, and neither did her boyfriend Filippo Magnini. Their relationship was more exciting a topic for the international media than their performances. 

    Both the women’s and men’s Volleyball teams are doing very well. Men defeated Great Britain 3 to 0 yesterday, and will play against Australia on August 4. Australia seems to be an easy game for the Italian team, which will surely have a harder time in the match against Bulgaria scheduled for August 6.

    The Italian women’s Volleyball team, together with Russia, ranks 1st of its group and won all the games against Dominican Republic, Japan and Great Britain. Their next game will be against Algeria.

    On August 3 the athletics competitions started. In the 3000 Hedges, Italian athlete Yuri Floriani ranked second and passed to the final. In the Hammer, Vizzoni arrived to the finals.

    In Doubles Tennis, Roberta Vinci and Daniele Bracciali were eliminated in the quarter Finals of Wimbledon, losing against the German players Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas. The two Italian women were the only hope for Italian tennis, as all the other Italian players were eliminated in the course of the competition.

    In Beach Volleyball, Lupo and Nicolai fared well against the American duo Rogers-Dallhausser. The two were Champions in the last Olympics. Nicolai and Lupo won  21-17 in the first set and 21-19 in the second set. The Italian duo passed to the quarters. They will either compete against the Dutch players Nummerdor and Schuil or the Swiss Bellaguarda and Heuscher. 

  • Facts & Stories

    London Olympics 2012: Italy's Performance After the First Two Days

    The London Olympics opened on Friday night with an amazing ceremony that celebrated all the participating nations.

    Italy can already be very proud of its athletes. In fact,  one day into the competition the Italian national athletes have won 5 medals. 

    The biggest revelation came from the Italian fencers, three of which were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals. Errigo, Vezzali and Di Francisca competed in the semifinals and finals. Di Francisca won the gold medal, Errigo the silver medal and Vezzali the bronze medal.

    The “blue girls,” or as Italians call them “le azzurre,” monopolized the podium when they received their prestigious awards.

    The Italian Archery team also won the gold medal, and Tesconi won the silver medal in the shooting gallery. 

    The Italian women’s Volleyball team won their first game 3 to 1 against Dominican Republic. They are going to play against Japan on Monday (today).

    On Sunday, Rosalba Forciniti was awarded the bronze medal for Judo, winning over Marie Muller in the 52 kg category. 

    An all-Italian Saber match saw Occhiuzzi against Montano. Occhiuzzi defeated Montano and moved on to the semifinal, where he won over the Romanian Rares Dumitrescu 15 to 11. The final was won by the Hungarian athlete Szilagyi, who demonstrated great talent. Italy was awarded another silver medal. 

    The Italian Water Polo team won the first match 8 to 5 over Australia. Beach volleyball players Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolarie eliminated the Russian couple of Khomyakova and Ukolova, defeating them 2 to 1. 

    Unexpectedly poor were Italy’s achievements in Swimming. Solo swimmer Federica Pellegrini, Gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, ranked 5th. The relay swim team captained by Magini didn’t do better, ranking 7th. 

    The Italian men’s Volleyball team  had a negative night, losing 3 to 1 against Poland. The Polish team demonstrated a very good chemistry and strategic play.

    The latest Italian winner is Nicco Campriani, awarded the silver medal in the men's 10m air rifle. Campriani is a former West Virginia University student.

  • Facts & Stories

    Kudos to Italy, No Matter the Final Result of Euro 2012

    The European Cup was once again won by Spain last Sunday night.

    Winning the Euro Cup 2012, Spain is now the only European team to win three international tournaments in a row. The team won the Euro Cup in 2008 and the 2010 World Cup in South  With great players such as Casillas, Iniesta, Fabregas, Silva and Torres, Spain arrived at the Euro Cup Final defeating Portugal in the semifinal match, the outcome of which was decided by penalty kicks Africa.

    Spain’s strategic approach in the Final against Italy is what really decided the outcome of the match. The Spanish team played a perfect game, running without ever stopping and possessing the ball for the most part of the game. But even if they played a better game than the Italians, the Spanish were also extremely lucky. Italy had less time than Spain to recover from the previous game, and many of the Italian players were injured during the Final – including Cassano, Chiellini and Thiago Motta, the latter of whom had to abandon the field a few minutes after the start of the match because of a muscular problem. During the second half of the game Italy was left with ten players, as Coach Prandelli ran out of replacements, and by then Spain was already leading two to zero. Italy had few chances to change the game at that point, but that didn’t keep Spain from tastelessly scoring two more goals, humiliating the Italians and showing off an already evident superiority over our team.

    No matter the outcome of this final match, Italy was undisputed protagonist of this championship. Remembering the past inglorious performances at 2010 World Cup nobody would have expected that the Italian team could grow so much within a few years and arrive so easily to the Final of Euro 2012. Italy performed very well in the European Cup, facing great teams such as Spain, Croatia and Ireland in the quarters, winning over England, and defeating Germany in the semifinal. The performance of Italy in the semifinal against Germany is particularly noteworthy. Italy confirmed once again its primacy over the transalpine neighbors on the soccer field.

    The Final versus Spain was painful for all the Italian fans but at the same time the Italian team did its best, notwithstanding the many injuries and the growing pains of a newborn team. Prandelli did a great job and he should be very proud of his players. “I should have changed all the players in the final versus Spain because of the injuries and tiredness of many of them, but I did not do that for gratitude, they deserved to play in their final” Prandelli said in the last European Cup Press Conference.

    This Championship was also an important showcase for Mario Balotelli, the Italian black player that became the hero of the Italian supporters, along with Andrea Pirlo and Gigi Buffon who demonstrated once again what they are capable of.

    Yesterday the team was received by President Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. President Napolitano commended the team for the great results, and he stated that he wished, but did not expect, that the team would make it so far in the competition.

    Speaking to Coach Prandelli and to the players, the President said: “The team has achieved extraordinary results. There is still a lot of work to do, but we overcame many difficult moments in our past. When I say that I do not know if I refer to soccer or to the Italian situation in general…the two situations are very similar. The amazing performance of the Azzurri has given hope to the Italians. Thank you for this beautiful gift.” Prandelli responded to the President that “We need to recognize the value of a team no matter the result of a single game. The team and I were extremely proud to represent Italy.”

  • Facts & Stories

    “Danke Very Much! Germany’s Defeat Takes Italy One Step Away from the Euro Cup”

    Yesterday, the history of soccer repeated itself: once again, Italy won over Germany in a Semifinal. 

    The Italian national team was considered disadvantaged over Germany by the international press, many news outlets were in fact envisioning a German presence in the Sunday Final of the European Cup.

     Thanks to the wise decisions of Coach Prandelli, Italy played a great game and won the semifinal dominating on the adversary for the entire time. The stunning performance of Mario Balotelli was just as important as the one of attack player Cassano, whose action was vital for Balotelli’s first score. 

    The midfield was covered by De Rossi, Marchisio, Montolivo and Pirlo, the latter the undisputed hero of Euro 2012 thanks to his classy performances during all the games of the European qualifications and now in the European tournament.

    The defense that was considered the Italian  Achilles' heel by Germany was actually key to the final outcome of the game, thanks to players such as Chiellini, a veteran in the team, and Balzaretti, Bonucci, Barzagli.

    The goalkeeper Buffon confirmed his talent and great determination to win with unbelievable saves on the line and almost saving the penalty. The great chemistry of Prandelli’s team led to a perfect game won by Italy 2-1 and brought Italy to the Final of the European Cup 2012.

    The Semifinal will be best remembered by Mario Balotelli, the black attack player of the Italian national team, that has been the victim of racist behaviors by other teams and even by fellow Italians. Thanks to his perfect performance Balotelli became the undisputed protagonist of the European Cup.

    Right after the game the “Fenomeno Balotelli” (the Balotelli Sensation) has been spreading everywhere in social networks, where fans are now calling him “Super Mario,” and in numerous national and international newspapers that define him as an “Italian Hero.” From yesterday Mario Balotelli is fully recognized as a “real Italian” and as a national icon.

    The racist chants addressed to him in the past in Italian stadiums, such as “Se saltelli muore Balotelli” (if you hop Balotelli dies) are now being substituted with “Se saltelli segna Balottelli” (if you hop Balotelli scores). 

    The long awaited European Cup Final 2012 will take place next Sunday. Spain and Italy will do their best to win, and we are sure that the game will be a thrilling one thanks to the talented players on both sides. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Euro 2012. Echoes of 2006: Another Germany-Italy Semifinal ‎

    The semifinal match between Italy and Germany is awaited with excitement by both teams. 

    Italy hopes that the outcome will be the same as the one of the 2006 World Cup, when Italy did not only win against Germany but then went on to become World Champion. 

    Italy’s team seems to have great chemistry. The game against England demonstrated the progresses of the team thanks to an amazing Andrea Pirlo, who is becoming the undisputed leader of the Azzurri.   

     On the other side, Germany is determined to defeat Italy in order to redeem its reputation from 2006. As the German tabloid Bild reports, “Germany can even the score of six years ago against the black beast Italy.” Bild also reported that the only real obstacle to Germany’s victory might be Italy’s goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, especially given the fact that defense seems to be “Italy’s Achilles heel.”

    "We only have one weapon. We've got to risk something and play our game. That's our only chance. We can't turn backward," Coach Cesare Prandelli said today. "Sincerely, when I close my eyes and dream I see fantastic things. I'm dreaming about a magical evening."

    The Italian team has a good reputation in Spain, the team of which is playing the semifinal match against Portugal today and could be a potential finalist of the European Cup 2012. 

    The Spanish press eulogized the Italian performance against England: El Mundo wrote that “Buffon and his companions arrived in the semifinals for his own greatness and not for a fluke.” MARCA also praised the great performance of Italy against England and especially commended Andrea Pirlo, who, they write, should receive the title of “man of the match,” and whose penalty kick will remain in the history of soccer. 

    The semifinal game, which will take place tomorrow, will be particularly emotional for the Italian midfielder player Riccardo Montolivo, born from an Italian father and a German mother (Montolivo wears the flag of both nations on his football boots). Even if he declared his attachment to his German roots, Montolivo defines himself “99% Italian,” being born and raised in Italy. 

    Montolivo stated that Germany has a very strong squad and that Italy should watch out for Germany, because “even when they have a profound respect for the Italian team, they do not have an inferiority complex over us.”

    Italy is also waiting for the score forecast by the famous Calabrese parrot Carlos, that is becoming a celebrity pet as Paul the Octopus was during the 2010 World Cup. The parrot demonstrated excellent premonition skills on the European Cup qualifications games and the Cup matches, and it also forecasted Italy as a winner over England. 

  • Facts & Stories

    Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN. An Important Initiative to Protect Children

    Italy has always been deeply involved in important UN peacekeeping initiatives, it is the first Western contributor of peacekeepers for UN peace operations and since January 28th it is in charge of one of the most important peacekeeping operation, the UNIFIL in Lebanon.

    The 6th of June, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York. Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini promoted a meeting to deal with the progresses of a training course for UN peacekeepers in matter of protection of children in armed conflicts areas.

    This initiative started in the Fall of 2011 thanks to the Italian mission’s contribution of more than 100.000 $, and was later financed by other nations such as Austria, Canada and Germany.

    Italy is the center of the UN action against the dramatic conditions of children in war areas. At the event promoted by the Permanent Mission of Italy took part the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve' Ladsous, and Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for children in armed conflict.

    This initiative draws the attention to the dramatic report of Ban Ki-Moon on the atrocious activities of General Kony, pending an arrest warrant on him from the International Criminal Court, and his Lord's Revolutionary Army in Africa, for kidnapping tens of thousands of children to fill the ranks of the Lord's Resistance Army and serve as sex slaves as he moves through the bush. Thousands have been killed by his brutal army.

    The Permanent Mission of Italy is working hard in avoiding child abuses and ensure the respect of their rights, and that’s why the Mission is very active in promoting these peacekeeping operations to protect children.

    “The Italian initiative is based on two priority actions: peace operations and respect of human rights. It is a moral duty, not just an operational requirement, to train Blue Berets to deal with the children involvement in armed conflict areas, in order to protect them,” Ragaglini said.

    Ragaglini added that “ Peacekeepers are more and more often engaged in conflicts where children are concerned, and today's move aims to make the point update on the various training programs for peacekeepers to have a flexible tool that guarantees a better protection.”


  • Events: Reports

    Are You Ready for the Latest Italian Tile Trends in NYC?

    The International Contemporary Furniture Fair will take place from May 19 to 22 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

    This important event for contemporary interior design will feature the presence of Ceramics of Italy, one of the Italian leading ceramic tiles companies, which will bring to the Big Apple the latest tile trends for floor and wall coverings. Ceramics of Italy will have its dedicated stall at the fair, which will be located in booth #1432.

    The presence of Ceramics of Italy to the ICFF is sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica and the  Italian Trade Commission. The multi-brand booth of the company will also showcase a range of decorative and hi-tech tiles from other Italian companies, and information on the latest developments in the industry.


    It will also contain mini-exhibits from nine manufacturers, including Atlas Concorde, Ceramiche Refin, Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola, Cotto d’Este, Fap Ceramiche, Mirage Granito Ceramico, Palagio Engineering – Gruppo Vivaterra, Sant’Agostino and Settecento Mosaici e Ceramiche d’Arte.

    “We are happy to support the Italian ceramic industry at the ICFF. New York is truly becoming an international design destination and the imported Italian products helped to put it on the map. It is the Italian Trade Commission’s mission to assist Italian design leaders like the Italian ceramic tile industry as they continue to grow in this market,” Italian Trade Commissioner Aniello Musella commented.

    Italian manufacturers continue to focus on both aesthetic and technological trends in the tile industry, with an approach that is bold and progressive at the same time.

    The institutional booth sponsored by Confindustria Ceramiche and ITC will present a variety of style samples: from urban motifs to wood, stone and concrete looks created with advanced ink-jet technology, to LEED-compliant tiles and super thin porcelains. Franco Manfredini, President of Confindustria Ceramica, commented on their attendance to the trade show: “We are excited to be attending the show for the fourth time. New York is an important market for our Italian companies and the architects and designers we meet every year make it an event we cannot miss.”

    This year, Ceramics of Italy will also take part in an exciting discussion on the evolution of the surfaces market moderated by Susan S. Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis. The Metropolis Dialogue on Surface Trends will take place on Monday, May 21 at 4:00 pm in the ICFF Theater.

    Matthew Grzywinski, architect and principal at Gryzwinki+Pons, will represent Ceramics of Italy in this panel, sharing information on trends and on technological innovations seen on his recent trip to Cersaie in Bologna, Italy. He will be joined by Sarah Abdallah, interior designer at the Rockwell Group, by Michael Suomi, principal and VP of interior design at Stonehill & Taylor Architects, and by Keith Barrette, chief operating officer of BR111.

    Attendees are invited back to the Ceramics of Italy booth (#1432) afterwards for authentic Italian pastries and continued conversation.


    For updated information on Ceramics of Italy’s participation at ICFF or to view new products launching this season, visit

    Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tiles, sanitary-ware and tableware, that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information on the ceramic tile sector, visit

    For instant updates on Ceramics of Italy follow the industry at: or

    Media Contacts: Novità Communications 212.528.3160 (note new number) or

  • Facts & Stories

    Woody Allen: “To Rome With Love'”

    During the premiere, Allen stated that Italy is considered by Americans as a warm and colored country where people enjoy life.

    The four-times Academy Award winning director underlined his profound admiration for the Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, and declared that the works of  Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini deeply influenced his professional formation.

    The movie was written, directed and played by Allen, not appearing in movies since 2006. “To Rome With Love” has an exceptional international cast: the Italian Academy Award Winner Roberto Benigni, Ornella Muti, Antonio Albanese, Alesandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi,  Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Riccardo Scamarcio, Fabio Armiliato, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, July Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page.

    As  Allen underlined, the comedy aims not at narrating the Italian current cultural and political scenario, but rather wants to tell entertaining stories of common people. “When I come to a place to make a movie, I give you my own impression of it, the things that strike me as dramatic or comic, that would be fun to Rome it is easy to find stories,” Washington Post reported.

    “To Rome with love” is a combination of adventures and misadventures of everyday people, such as Benigni’s character, Leopoldo Pasaniello, a common employee that suddenly and with no apparent reason becomes a celebrity and is stalked by paparazzi, or  Penelope Cruz’s character, a high-class call girl who accidentally enters the wrong hotel room and is involved in a series of mishaps after that.

    Commenting on Allen’s visit to Rome, Benigni told the Italian journalists attending the premiere: “His presence here in Rome is like a summer snow storm: absolutely amazing.”
    Benigni jokingly added: “ I believe Woody picked me because I am obviously the most handsome men on the set! I am sorry for  Mr Baldwin and Mr Eisenberg.”

    Italian journalists were the only invited press to today’s screening, as the movie was shown in its Italian version. The film will be released in Italy next Friday and on June 22 in the United States.

  • Events: Reports

    The Italian Job: A Career Fair Like No Other @ NYU

    “The Italian Job and Internship Fair” is the first career fair for Italian majors to ever be held in New York City. 

    The event took place at NYU and was made possible thanks to a collaborative effort between NYU and Italian companies operating in the United States. 

    The organizer of the event was Salvatore Peter Ambrosino, Major in Italian studies, who collaborated with Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò’s director Stefano Albertini, with Claudio Bozzo, President of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce and with Trudy Steinfeld, Assistant Vice President of NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development

    This career fair was conceived to establish a first contact between New York University’s students, the Italy America Chamber of Commerce and the companies that it represents. 

    Organizing such an event was not easy, Ambrosino states: months of planning were needed, as well as a tremendous coordination effort, but the fair is to be considered an exceptional opportunity to grant NYU’s students the access to the strong network of Italian companies operating in New York City. This opportunity to connect is especially valuable given the currently difficult situation in the job market. 

    “My hope is that the seeds sown in the student-employer dialogues initiated during yesterday’s event might grow and mature into lasting reciprocal relationships between NYU’s talented students and the prestigious companies that are represented by the IACC,” Ambrosino said.  

    The fair hosted 15 companies covering a wide range of  industries, from shipping (Mediterranean Shipping Company, Fratelli Consulich) to fashion (Isaia, Max Mara and Buccellati), to Information technologies (Interlink Technologies) to consulting (Barabino and Partners). Over 100 students attended the fair, which lasted two hours. Both students and company representatives were very enthusiastic and had only positive comments on their experience at the fair.

    Ambrosino said to be very satisfied with the results of this year’s “Italian Job and Internship Fair,” and that he is looking forward to begin planning for next year’s edition of the fair, which he hopes will count even more participating companies and attending students.

    Ambrosino’s hope for more student-employer dialogues happening is also connected to the wish of reinforcing the bond between New York University and the Italy America Chamber of Commerce, a very strategic connection for NYU students who wish to be involved in the economic activities of Italian businesses in the USA.

  • Art & Culture

    Italian-American Students and Their Perspective on Ethnicity Issues: A Research Anthology

    On February 24th, at the John D.Calandra Italian-American Institute, Dean Anthony Tamburri presented the Research Anthology “Italian-American Students in New York City, 1975-2000.”

    The volume was written by past and present Calandra Institute personnel and Scholars, and by Faculty members from various CUNY Colleges. “I am delighted this book is finally published. It was a long consuming project of four years and we faced lots of challenges first of all analyzing old photocopies,” Tamburri said.  

    Dr Nancy Ziehler, editor of the Anthology, described the book as “a window into the past of how Italian American student negotiated his or her ethnicity during a time when issues of ethnicity, gender and race were being raced at a numerous levels and various venues across the country.”

    The book is based on 10 research reports that analyze the experiences of Italian-American students in high school, undergraduate and graduate courses from 1975 to 2000 in New York City. The ten chapters of the book are divided in three parts.

    The first part focuses on the topic of race and ethnicity: Italian-American students expressed a need to be seen and researched as ethnic rather than racial group members.
    The second part analyzes demographic and psycho-educational profiles of students enrolled in CUNY as well as it explores career variables and the family-versus-career dilemma among Italian-American female law students.
    The third part is a recent investigation on the main causes of high school dropout among Italian-American teens in NYC, and on what has been done to solve the problem.

    Dr Maria Grace LaRusso, Assistant for Specialized Counseling at CUNY and Holy Cross High School, underlined that ethnicity is fundamental for Italian-American students, as the reports of Krase and Fucillo underlined. In a survey of 290 students, 45.9% identified themselves as Italian, 35.2% as Italian-American, 11.3% as American Italian while only 5.2% identified themselves as Americans.

    “For female and male students being ‘Italian’ is a major component of their ethnic identity” said LaRusso. 

    The anthology is a must read for those who want to deepen their knowledge of Italian-American students issues. It is the first case of multicultural counseling literature that focuses on Italian-American students. It is important to underline that the John D. Calandra Institute was born as a supporting institution for student groups at CUNY fighting for Italian-American rights. These groups were born as an Italian-American version of the civil rights movement, when Italian-Americans realized that they shared many of the issues voiced by other oppressed ethnic groups.

    “Italian-American Students in New York City, 1975-2000” gives an important contribution to the general discourse on ethnicity in the US, and it helps raising awareness of certain aspects and characteristics of the Italian-American culture, and of the issues faced by Italian-American students and their families, in the past and in the present.