What's up with WTI: Editorial # 132

Oct 24, 2020 179

Dear friends, while I'm writing this editorial the coronavirus situation in Italy is dramatically worsening, and probably in a few days we will be in a full lockdown again. We are scared and angry, because we knew that a second wave would come and the Italian institutions were unprepared. The weeks to come will be difficult and hard, and we all hope for the best. Unfortunately it is a new nightmare, which we would have gladly spared.

In America the month of October is, as you all know, the Italian Heritage Month. Our website has a lot of news about it, but for us at We the Italians this October will be remembered because it is the one where we organized the first Online Columbus Day, a virtual parade of 50 national and local leaders of the Italian American community from more than 20 states, who were so kind and generous that they wanted to share with us their Happy Columbus Day wishes. They were joined by the only two Italian parliamentarians who are doing something in defense of Columbus, namely Fucsia Fitzgerald Nissoli and Federico Mollicone. Personally I am very grateful to everyone, as well as to the fantastic Chris Macchio who gave us his magnificent interpretation of the Italian and the American national anthems; and to Lorenzo Zeppa, the talented director of the beautiful documentary about Columbus that narrated the events of man, myth and journey, with official and original historical documents from the beautiful city of Genoa. The collaboration between Lorenzo and We the Italians is only just beginning. Stay tuned! If you want to watch the almost-2-hours video of the event, you can find it here or here.

What I liked most about the huge success we had is that people was happy. In Italy someone realized how beautiful is the Italian American community. And we had no hate, no bad comments or insults: on the contrary, two people started to discuss (in the comments on Facebook) but very politely, showing that the Italian Americans can also show how to talk about something with different opinions still remaining civil. Both Italy and America should learn more from the Italian American community.

About the Italian Heritage Month, I had the honor to be a guest of the great Joe Piscopo in his radio show, the Joe Piscopo Show. Joe is a fantastic Italian American, a very talented entertainer who never misses an opportunity to show his pride in his Italian origins, and I am his number one fan in Italy. Here is the audio.

Also, if you speak Italian you might want to watch the video of the speech about the American elections and their relationship with Columbus Day that I had the pleasure to make together with my friends Alessandro Tapparini, Antonluca Cuoco and Nunziante Mastrolia during an episode of Stroncature, the online format that is having a great success here in Italy. You can find it here. I ended my final speech with the motto I have been repeating for years now: “Io ho fiducia nel popolo Americano”, which translates “I trust the American people”.

Last but not least, the We the Italians’ family is getting richer and better: we now are so happy and thankful to have a representative in Pennsylvania, and it’s the wonderful Stephanie Longo! Stephanie is a native of Dunmore, PA, and is the author of three books highlighting her area's Italian American culture: Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Dunmore, and Italians of Lackawanna County. She is currently the Associate Producer and Chief Administrative Officer of The Italian American Podcast, and is a graduate of The University of Scranton and Regent University. I love Stephanie, in fact, everyone who knows Stephanie can't help but love her!

The last thing I want to tell you is about my interviews. I care very much about the two published this month: the one with Stefano Radio announces our partnership with Soccer Management Institute and the We the Italians scholarship, but I’ll tell you more next month. The second one is very dear to me, because I thought that in times of “political circus”, I had to interview someone who represent the Italian excellence in this topic: not the politics, but the circus! Giovanni Zoppè is the heir of a seven generation Italian family circus, Zoppè. A beautiful, poetic and talented family, with a history that could easily be a movie. You will like his interview, Giovanni is really a wonderful person. And watch out, because to honor the American Presidential elections, November will see just one interview, but a very, truly  special one. It will be published on November 2, and it’s something I am very proud of. Make no mistake, though, we are and will remain completely neutral about the elections. The only endorsement you will ever have from us is to the marriage between Italy and the United States. Stay tuned!

Well my friends, it’s all for now. If you want to stay posted about Italy during coronavirus times, I encourage you to follow We the ItaliaNews, our video and audio podcast. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is a video pill that tells you what happens in Italy at the time of the coronavirus: a way for all of you to stay close to Italy now that it is difficult if not impossible for you to come and visit it, waiting to host you again in this magnificent, complicated and beautiful country.

Once again: please stay safe, please stay healthy. I won’t gonna stop saying this: the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! But please, protect yourselves and wear the mask, too. Ciao from Rome

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