NEWS FROM : GREAT LAKES  

The Italian American Society of Peoria will hold its 84th annual Italian Summer Festa from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at Hickory Grove Park in North Peoria. (Hickory Grove Road off Knoxville Ave, follow signs). The Summer Festa Picnic is a long-standing family event held by the society every year since its founding in 1929 as a time for Italian familie...

by Larry Fugate   When time is tight and local families want to eat healthy without the fuss of cooking, many are heading down River Road to Palumbo's Italian Market in Granville.   "We felt there was an opportunity in town with the large college population and the number of two-income families with children," owner Paul Palumbo says...

by Sandra Tornberg   Ottavio Mecca has helped many of us through the process of obtaining Italian citizenship, in addition to having helped many in the Italian community with their U.S. Immigration questions and issues. On August 17 he and his wife Angela were sworn in as U.S. citizens at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroi...

by Florence Nelson The piccolo used to be just a "little wooden flute" to most people. We heard it played in bands — especially in "The Stars and Stripes Forever" — and in an occasional Vivaldi concerto performance. That was about it. Composers used the piccolo to provide color in orchestral works — the way cooks spice up their sauces with garlic...

by Lou Carlozo   If you think it's a long way from the Chicago to the South Pacific, then you haven't watched Lawrence E. DiStasi making magic on stage. And magic isn't too strong a word: As a founding member of Lookingglass Theatre, DiStasi helped conjure from thin air a theater company that has become a Chicago gem.   And it's with...

Creating a memorial sculpture for the Italian immigrant victims of the "Wreck on the Wabash" is personal for Detroit artist Sergio De Guisti. An Italian-American immigrant himself, De Guisti said when he heard of the effort in Adrian to recognize the victims of the 1901 train crash, he wanted to put his all into honoring the victims. So he is...

This weekend, Sophia's opened in the historic space last occupied by Sandra Bullock's Bess Bistro. Chicago's BDG Hospitality conceptualized the Italian restaurant, which will feature executive chef Mark Sparacino (of Chicago's Topo Gigio, Sparacino, PROSECCO and more) at the helm, with Tom Schmitt as chef de cuisine.​ The gist: Though plenty of It...

Dolores Pigoni-Miller teaches Italian at Ridgewood High School in Norridge. Her leadership in her AP Italian Culture and Literature class has led her students to pursue a variety of fundraisers to help Italy's victims of an August 2016 earthquake.   Q: What made you decide to do the fundraiser? A: In all of my classes, we were reading artic...

Kenosha's own internationally acclaimed chef Tony Mantuano recently put his skills to work in Washington, D.C., at the State Department.   Mantuano, -owner of Mangia Wine Bar and a partner at the four-star Chicago Italian restaurant Spiaggia, and Spiaggia's chef de cuisine Joe Flamm prepared lunch on Oct. 18 for 250 people in the State Depar...

By Donald Liebenson   Here's a tip if you're studying Italian and you want to impress your teacher. Take her to Maria's Bakery in Highwood. It worked for Andrea Spitzer and Judith Molinaro, two students of private instructor Maria Christina Chopra. Chopra's verdict: Authentic. "You can tell the owner is Sicilian, you can tell from the recipe...

Italian influence on American history can be traced back to Christopher Columbus and Americo Vespucci. The Founding Fathers, especially Jefferson and Franklin, were familiar with the Italian language and culture and with Roman history. Jefferson was a supporter of Filippo Mazzei and encouraged him in the early 1770s to bring Italian vintners to Vir...

When great food and award-winning wines are served in a beautiful setting, the experience is bound to be memorable. Guiseppe "Joe" Scalzo has created that experience at Ciao Bella, where authentic Italian dining is true to his family's roots in their native town of Calabria, Italy.   Scalzo discovered the joys of cooking working at a small r...