Hundreds of people gathered at a park in Little Italy on Sunday afternoon to demand that the three Christopher Columbus statues that were removed last summer be put back. During the rally at Arrigo Park, Italian American leaders called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to return the statue that was removed from the park one year ago. A second statue was rem...

Fire has always meant a little more in Chicago than nightmares of lapping flames. Here, it evokes rebirth, reinvention, a certain bootstrap-ism even amid daunting circumstances. How fitting, then, that fire welds together the works headlining the inaugural Opera Festival of Chicago, 150 years after that cataclysm stopped the city in its tracks. You...

What was taken down can be PUT BACK UP. What was destroyed can be REBUILT. We can start the healing process now with our Italian American leaders doing what's right for our Little Italy, by returning the Joe DiMaggio statue to its dedicated Piazza on Taylor and Bishop, that's been desolate for over 2 1/2 years now. The last thing Chicago's Little I...

After a year hiatus, Festa Italiana returns to Naper Settlement with lower admission prices, lots of food and a lineup of popular bands. “We’ve had some exciting changes this year. This year it’s free until 5 (p.m.). And if you’re a Naperville resident it’s $5 all weekend long with proof of residency and $10 for anybody after 5 o’clock,” said Miche...

People looking to get the flavor of Italian cities such as Palermo, Rome and Venice do not have to travel far, as Festa Italiana in Schererville offers exactly that. After canceling the 2020 festival due to concerns regarding coronavirus, Villa Cesare Events & Banquets presents the free annual event July 30-Aug 1 outdoors. “Our volunteers are excit...

Bitcoin investments not quite providing for that dream vacation? Still leery of post-Covid international travel? Longing to revisit or experience the unique sounds, smells and flavors of romantic, exciting places like… Italy? Thanks to the culinary skills and heritage of Executive Chef Alessandro Forti and his wife Lisa, it’s possible to experience...

The Lucchesi Nel Mondo will honor Paul Ciminello and Lilia Leonardi Juarez as Man and Woman of the Year at their annual banquet on Aug. 28 at the Mazzini Verdi Club. The following profiles were provided by the organization. Paul Ciminello Paul Ciminello has been a member of the Lucchesi Nel Mondo Association for over 25 years.  Paul left his home o...

An Italian American organization is suing the Chicago Park District to restore the Christopher Columbus statue removed from Little Italy after protests last year. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) want city officials to reinstall the statue at Arrigo Park, which dated back to 1966 before it was taken down. The Columbus statues...

Portillo’s, the fast casual chain known for hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and chocolate cake shakes, plans to go public, the company said Monday. Oak Brook-based Portillo’s confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with federal regulators. The company said it is still determining the number of shares it will offer and the price ra...

The Columbus Day Queen Contest has a new lease on life thanks to the Avanti Group. Sponsored for decades by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the pageant was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. “We thought it was important to keep the tradition going, and the JCCIA was grateful for the assist,” says Pasquale Gianni, president o...