NEWS FROM : GREAT LAKES  

An Italian sandwich shop with bread baked in-house is opening on the border of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village. Firenze, 2121 W. Division St., offers sandwiches made with schiacciata, a popular flatbread found in Florence, Italy, for which the restaurant is named. Options range from turkey pecorino to truffle prosciutto and roasted veggie. The co...

When: Thursday, May 19 at 6pm CT - Register for the online Webinar at this link. Delimiting, separating, excluding, and isolating—at times architectural structures have implicitly reinforced the nature/culture divide that has not only defined our daily activities but that has also shaped our anthropocentric conception. This lecture focuses on selec...

 A life-sized bronze statue of the “King of Cool” is what a newly organized group hopes to see erected outside the Historic Fort Steuben Visitors Center and unveiled at the Dean Martin Hometown celebration in 2023. But there’s work to be done before that can happen — namely generating awareness about the project and raising money to move it from dr...

The Chicago Italian Beef is a unique hyper-local regional favorite. It's definitely one of those "If You Know, You Know" kind of foods. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone from northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin that has never had one and just as hard pressed to find a decent Italian beef outside of that area. If you ever see an Italian beef...

Diane Ratliff was on the hunt for some fresh fruits and vegetables. She pushed her small shopping cart to the back of the store and picked up a package of asparagus and some baby tomatoes. Then she dropped a small container of blueberries in the cart.  "These are $1 a pack!" she said. "This would be way more expensive at the grocery store." On this...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will celebrate a beloved media veteran and a revered elected official at this year’s Dante luncheon. The event will take place at 11 a.m. on May 26 at Galleria Marchetti in Chicago. Radio and TV news legend Bob Sirott will receive this year’s Dante Award at the event, and Illinois Secretary of State Je...

After closing last summer, Scardina Specialties, the family-owned deli which has been serving up Italian staples like spiedini, meatball sandwiches and housemade sausages since 2012, will be reopening in a new location at 715 E. Locust St. In fact, if all goes well, the Italian deli could reopen for business as soon as mid-summer. And owner Damien...

Adolph Maestranzi was born with Down syndrome in 1951, at a time many parents were told it might be best to institutionalize a child with the condition and move on with their lives. Instead, his parents Ben and Madelyn Maestranzi raised him in a home filled with music, good food and love from his four siblings. “My brother went on to live a rich, f...

The flavors and aromas of Tuscan cuisine star at Coco Pazzo in Chicago. This year the eatery is celebrating its 30th anniversary of bringing quality Tuscan-inspired dishes to diners in the Windy City. "I'm thrilled and so appreciative that we have been embraced by the community and they've supported us throughout the past 30 years," said Jack Weiss...

In the Before Times, Daniela Vitale and Steven Jarczyk made a name for themselves selling cheesy, gooey, deep-fried rice balls at farmers’ markets. Like many nimble food businesses, their Sfera Sicilian Street Food pivoted during the pandemic, jarring sauces and delivering their arancini chilled and ready to reheat at home. In October 2020, things...

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team did more than spotlight a piece of local history when it changed its name to the Guardians after the 2021 season. The renaming also shined light on a point of pride for the area’s Italian American community. The Guardians’ name is taken from the “Guardians of Traffic,” eight massive Art Deco sculptures that st...

Lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini will be the guest of honor at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame’s Night at the Fights on May 5 at the Des Plaines Theatre. Olympic medalist Antonio Tarver, Junior Welterweight champ Paul “Paulie” Malignaggi and WBC Lightweight champ David Diaz will also attend, and entertainment will be p...