If you’re looking for new ways to celebrate love this upcoming Valentine’s Day, WGN News Now has you covered with our Valentines-YAY! series. In this episode we take you to a gem tucked away in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, Adalina. The modern Italian restaurant opened its doors in June 2021 and is led by Michelin-Starred Chef Soo...

Ahhh Quartino. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re familiar, but we are here with a review anyway to further strengthen this relationship. If you don’t know, whether it’s because you’re new to Chicago, or don’t often frequent the depths of River North, then here’s some info on a downtown standby that caters to a number of needs. Quartino is...

Topo Gigio is a small neighborhood spot that serves Italian food with gusto. In Old Town that doesn’t mean cheap prices, but they more than make up for it with white tablecloths, a casual vibe, and accommodating staff. Altogether, it’s what makes Topo Gigio the wrong place for no one. Dinner with your family? Perfect. First date? Even better. There...

The oldest of two sons, Joseph Matty was born in Chicago to Ray Matty Sr. and Ann Marie Clark Matty. His paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Palermo, Sicily, and his maternal great-grandparents came from the regions of Calabria and Naples. Matty grew up in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. His grandparents lived a...

As anyone who grew up in Kensington, Roseland and Pullman knows, all you have to do is mention one of the many names we all loved, and the memories come flooding back. Let’s start with a walk down “The Ave” (Michigan Avenue) from 111th Street. A few of the meaningful names are Giovanni’s and Nino’s for pizza and Thom McAn’s, Bovenkirks, Malings and...

Do you know someone with a compelling story about achieving the Italian-American dream? The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has launched an oral history project to preserve these stories for posterity. The project gathers tales of adversity and triumph in the transition from life in Italy to life in America. Interviewees share their own...

A wave of sorrow swept across the Chicago-area Italian-American community in early December as news spread of the passing of Renato Turano. One of our most beloved and respected leaders, Turano built a legacy of generosity, service and leadership that may never see its equal. A co-creator with his brothers of one of the largest artisan bread manufa...

Not all of us can pack our bags and fly to Italy, so a weekend trip to Little Italy in Illinois may be in order instead. The historic Italian-American neighborhood is known for its Italian restaurants, delis, bakeries, stunning architecture, festivals, and community. If you haven’t done so yet, take a weekend to explore all that Little Italy in Chi...

In October 2020, in the wake of a boiling anti-Columbus movement, ISDA President Basil M. Russo was unanimously elected by his peers to lead the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations. Within a matter of weeks, COPOMIAO became an incubator of advocacy and activism focused on addressing longstanding issues that were undermi...

Swiping through black and white photos on her iPad, local television producer and writer Joan Tortorici Ruppert stops at a picture of a shirtless young man reclining on grass. “This one is my dad too. Who took it, I have no idea,” she said. “But I know this is prewar because he didn’t have all the shrapnel scars on his belly he got during the war.”...