NEWS FROM : Art & Heritage  

A few years back, Vince Gerasole, the beloved general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago, took one of those mail-in DNA tests you see advertised on television. The Pittsburgh native, who proudly traces his ancestry to Abruzzo and Calabria, was ecstatic to discover he was 85 percent Italian, with a smattering of other European descent to round it...

Salvatore Sciacca was raised in the Chicago area, but he was immersed in the culture of Sicily throughout his childhood. His parents, Joseph and Mary, were born in the Sicilian town of Ciminna, and the family spent six weeks each summer on that storied isle. As he matured, Sciacca broadened his scope, signing up for four years of Italian language c...

The Italian American War Veterans will host a special Mass in honor of Veterans Day at 11 a.m. on Nov. 7 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago. During the Mass, friends and relatives will be invited to bring colored candles to the altar along with a card containing the name of deceased veterans. The names will be read aloud, and the candl...

A favorite fine-dining Italian restaurant will start serving downtown again. Nesso Italian Kitchen reopens Tuesday, bringing back seafood, fresh pasta and locally sourced meat and veggie dishes to its digs at The Alexander hotel. The dinner-only restaurant, 339 S. Delaware St., has been closed since March, save for a brief carryout operation before...

Columbus Day in Chicago will look different this year as the fight for the return of the Columbus statues weighs heavy on the Italian American community. One of the Columbus statues removed this summer sat at Arrigo Park. It was relocated because of violent protests, but not destroyed. Italian Americans say enough is enough and to put the statues b...

Over the summer, calls for the removal of Christopher Columbus statues were being made across the country amid Black Lives Matter protests. The City of Columbus was once home to three statues of the city's namesake. Now, the Christopher Columbus statue at both City Hall and Columbus State Community College have been removed. “We were contacted by t...

On Monday, Illinois state lawmakers and the American Indian Center will announce new legislation to swap out the official Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Meanwhile some Italian Americans in Chicago are against this. A rally was held Sunday to demand Chicago and Illinois stop erasing Columbus from history. Another rally will take...

Dominic Candeloro, a former history and Italian-American studies professor, said that explorer Christopher Columbus’ legacy is not clearly an evil one, as some would argue. Candeloro (below), who also led the effort to create an Italian-American studies program at Loyola University Chicago, recently told The College Fix via phone interview that peo...

Four metal posts jut out of the empty stone pedestal where a 9-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus once looked over Arrigo Park in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. A chain-link fence encircles the spot where city officials yanked the statue off that pedestal in the middle of the night after protests and vandalism in July. It's still an ope...

It is no secret I am an Italian American, and a proud one at that. I was born on Taylor Street in Chicago's "Little Italy" neighborhood. Being a child of the early '60s, I was fortunate enough to have experienced much of the music from the Sixties and Seventies now referred to as "heritage rock" and "classic rock." How I was really lucky was the fa...

On Friday, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hand delivered a letter to Chicago’s mayor, asking her to return the statues to their “rightful locations.” The letter cites Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s statement regarding the fate of the statues over the summer, calling the removal of the statues “temporary.” “We understood the mayor’s stance w...

Most folks likely knew that Gaetano M. "Guy" Cecchini owned of all of those McDonald's restaurants. At one-time he operated 17 in Stark County, with hundreds of local residents working for him. For many in the community, Cecchini was the person who gave them their first job. But there was more to him than restaurants and a "degree in Hamburgerology...