A whole new world awaits kids ages 4 to 16 who take part in this year’s Italian Language and Culture Camp at Casa Italia. After more than a decade of devotion to the Italian language and culture, Camp Director Josette Mentesana Weber and Language Coordinator Angela Mentesana will be stepping back from day-to-day involvement. With their blessings, C...

Sausage will be grilling, families will be dancing and dads will be honored as Onesti Entertainment hosts its 26h annual Italian Block Party-Oakley Avenue Festa Pasta Vino on Father’s Day weekend, June 14 to 16. The Father’s Day tradition will feature Italian food specialties representing generations-old recipes from the restaurants located in Chic...

Portillo's, the fast casual restaurant concept known for its menu of Chicago-style favorites, celebrates National Italian Beef Week May 25 - June 2. In honor of the food holiday, Portillo's hopes fans will share the tastiest ways to commemorate the special occasion with their favorite order. Whether guests enjoy their Famous Italian Beef dry, with...

Robert A. Gonnella, longtime director and former president of Gonnella Baking Co., died May 16. He was 84 years old. Mr. Gonnella was born in Chicago and graduated from John Carroll University. He began his 42-year career at Gonnella in 1957, serving as a director for more than 29 years and as president for more than 5 years. He retired in 1999. Go...

Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi will perform at 7:30 p.m. on June 6 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in downtown Chicago Tickets range from $50 to $125 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Einaudi was born in Turin, Italy, and trained as a classical composer and pianist at the Milan Conservatorio...

The Chicagoland Italian American Professionals will host its second annual Cannoli Fest from noon to 3 p.m. on June 22 in the Banquet Center at Casa Italia in Stone Park. Home chefs are invited to present their versions of the famous Italian dessert for attendees to sample and judge. Prizes will be awarded. To be a contestant, call Salvatore Sciacc...

Comitato Tricolore Italiani nel Mondo will host its 11th annual Festa della Repubblica on June 2 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago. The event celebrates the birth of the Italian republic and bears the distinction of being the only such celebration outside of Italy to feature a parade through the streets. Festivities will begin with a...

The DeMaso family discovered their father and grandfather, Eugene DeMaso, was a decorated war hero who was awarded many medals, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II. However, records show he never received them. DeMaso passed away 30 years ago, but his son, Eugene DeMaso and wife Miranda, contacted Congressma...

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish and Shrine will commemorate the recent passing of the Rev. Peter Sordi with an 11 a.m. Mass on Saturday, June 1. The Mass will be concelebrated by local Scalabrini priests, with Bishop Lawrence Sabatini and the Rev. Nicholas Marro speaking during the services. (708-344-4140) Rev. Peter was born and ordained in Ital...

The Italian Club of Benld will host the 66th Annual Italian-American Days Festival May 24-27 at the Benld City Park 30 miles northeast of Alton. The weekend begins with the park opening at 4 p.m. Friday, May 24. Swyear Amusements will offer carnival armbands 6-10 p.m. for $22 and the OWLZ band will perform 6:30-10:30 p.m. The park will reopen at 4...