Newport (RI) Festa Italiana 2023

Aug 26, 2023 617

BY: Paula Morris

The State of Rhode Island has one of our nation’s highest percentages of Italian-American residents, so when it comes to celebrating our heritage, the City of Newport does it in style through the creativity and energy of a small but dedicated group of Italian-American citizens, all members of Forum Lodge #391, Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America.

This year’s 29th Newport Festa Italiana will honor Italian Heritage Month from September 22 through October 9.  Forum Lodge #391, OSDIA will host its John Panaggio Original Ziti Night on Friday, September 22, at Vasco da Gama Hall, 15 Fenner Avenue in Newport from 5 to 7 PM.  This benefits the lodge’s Anna M. Ripa Memorial Scholarship Fund.  For information and ticket reservations, call 401-849-7087.

Saturday, September 30, will see the Festival-in-the-Park, in Bellevue Avenue’s Touro Park from 11 AM to 5 PM, featuring Italian food and novelties, assorted vendors, raffles, children’s activities, and live music with Calabria Bella and Jake Kambo. 

On Wednesday, October 4, Italian film fans will enjoy the classic “Bicycle Thieves” directed by Vittorio De Sica, at 2 PM, in the Edward King House Movie Room, 35 King Street, in Newport.  The free film is in Italian with English subtitles.  As space is limited, registration is required by calling 401-846-7426.

On Thursday, October 5, folks who want to research their families’ history should attend “Discover Your Family’s Story” at Vasco da Gama Hall at 7 PM. This free event will show you how to access free Rhode Island State Archive records and other tips for finding your roots.

Vittorio Di Carlo, “the Graceful Tenor,” will perform on Friday, October 6, at Green Valley Country Club, 371 Union Street, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  Doors will open at 7 PM, and the concert begins at 7:30.  Concert proceeds benefit Sen. John O. Pastore Cultural Scholarships that fund area high school students’ visit to Newport’s Sister City, Imperia, Italy.   For ticket information, call 401-683-4378 or email [email protected]

Newport’s Italian Heritage Month winds up on Monday, October 9.  At St. Joseph’s Church on Broadway, a Roman Catholic Mass will be celebrated in memory of the deceased members of Aquidneck Island’s Italian-American community at 9 AM.  At 11 AM, at the Columbus Monument on Newport’s Memorial Boulevard at Bellevue Avenue, Festa’s committee members and descendants of the original 1953 Monument committee will gather to hear the amazing story of the monument’s construction and dedication.  A time capsule will be buried commemorating the 70th anniversary of the monument in honor of the Italian immigrants who settled on Aquidneck Island.

Purchase of tickets and other information may be accessed at    

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