When you’d step inside his restaurant, you’d likely see Sam Amato greeting folks by name and pulling up a chair to gab. “He would get your name and life story,’’ said his son Tony Amato. “If you felt at home, that’s all he cared about.” Sam Amato, who with his wife, Ann, owned Amato’s Cafe & Catering, died Saturday at the Nebraska Medical Center...

As Pat Venditte looked on from the shade, his bocce team, the Venditte Girls, gave the team from Sons of Italy a run for their money. A flick of the wrist, a gentle toss and then the slow roll of a ball down a carpeted court on Omaha’s riverfront. First a Venditte Girl, then a Son of Italy and back and forth, in the game that is a mix of croquet...

Thursday night marks the start of the 93rd Santa Lucia Festival in Omaha, a four-day celebration. For festival-goers, the heat and humidity will be a concern this weekend as temperatures are expected to climb well into the 90s with heat indicies around the triple digits. Thursday morning, organizers were out finishing set up at the Lewis and Clark...

This Saturday, May 27, the Bancroft Street Market will host “The History of Little Italy,” a unique event celebrating the rich Italian influence on Omaha. Guests can enjoy the music, art, storytelling, and cooking of Italian artists and artisans whose families who have made it to Omaha at some time or another. Carmelita de la Guardia, cabaret singe...

On the afternoon of 1/13/2017 a fire suddenly erupted at the Sons of Italy Hall located at 1238 S. 10th St in Omaha, Nebraska. This was a two alarm fire which was rapidly brought under control by the Omaha Fire Department. There was extensive internal damage to the structure which is owned by the State Lodge of Nebraska, the State affiliate of the...

As soon as you walk into the tan building on Fort Crook Road, you get the feeling you’ve been there before. Something about the location of the bathrooms, the kitchen and the open spaciousness of the eating area. If you think you’ve been there, perhaps you have. Before it took its latest form, it was Latin-themed nightclub Club Mega. Before that...

An Italian landmark in Omaha is getting a makeover. Construction crews began their work to restore the Sons of Italy Hall near 10th and William streets Monday morning. It's a bittersweet sight to officers of the Order Sons of Italy, who say it's a reminder of what they've lost in the January 13 fire, but also a sign of progress. "It's unbelievable...

The comforting and spicy aromas of an old-world Omaha icon will waft through the air once again this year at a renovated Sons of Italy Hall. Damaged by a two-alarm fire on Jan. 13, the hall is scheduled to reopen by Dec. 31. “It’s going to be a beautiful structure,” said Dr. Tom Pruse, president of the organization’s state lodge. “It will have g...

To Larry Wright Jr., Chief Standing Bear’s legacy is worthy of celebration, especially as Nebraska marks its 150th anniversary of statehood. After being exiled from Nebraska, the Ponca Tribe chief and 29 others trekked hundreds of miles back to bury the body of Standing Bear’s teenage son, whose dying wish was to be laid to rest in his beloved home...

Lombardo’s is the kind of reliable, Italian-American neighborhood restaurant that the people living nearby — around the 132nd Street and West Maple Road area — must really appreciate. It’s not a chain. It’s affordable. And it’s serving giant portions of things like saucy pastas, classic lasagna and a few surprisingly good appetizers, including a f...