Many misperceptions surround the spectacles held in ancient Rome, especially as a result of contemporary film and television. For instance, there is the popular belief that gladiatorial combats were the premiere spectacle at Rome: that they attracted the biggest audiences and the most partisan fans. In fact, neither assumption is true. The Circus M...

Olives – beside olive oil – are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and appear in many traditional Italian recipes, but they are not often considered as a real "ingredient" and are often ignored by modern, creative cuisine. Focusing on culinary traditions and innovations was the aim of the lessons recently held at Identità Golose Chicago, the roami...

by Nick Kindelsperger   The Italian beef stands out rightly as one of Chicago's most distinctive hometown sandwiches, a mess of gravy-soaked meat which should arrive topped with pickled giardiniera and roasted peppers.   As great as the sandwich can be, most versions are built on soft and soulless rolls that offer little flavor of the...

"We hear a lot about change these days: climate change, change of pace, change is good," says Marcia Piemonte, director of events at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. "For the last several years, Mother Nature has made the weekend of our Festa di Tutti i Santi one of her hottest and stormiest of the summer. This year, a decision was made to change...

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association will hold its annual Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Award Banquet at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort, 700 W. Riverside Blvd. The event will honor Rockford-area Italian Americans who have made significant contributions to the Italian-American community and will feature a socia...

by Michael Sewall   Although the Bolingbrook Rosati's Pizza is an offshoot of the company celebrating 50 years in business, it still shares in the history that goes back about a century—all thanks to Ferdinand Rosati, who ditched New York in the early 1900s for the more favorable pizza haven in Chicago.   Ferdinand, an Italian immigra...

The Sons of Italy will serve up their usual assortment of food, games and music this weekend at the annual Summer Italian Festival. Organized by the Order Sons of Italy in America Geneva Lodge 2397, the festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with bands and bar service through midnight.   "There's going to be lots of food, band...

by Ann Piccininni   The clientele at Tony Spavone's Ristorante in Bloomingdale is a devoted group. "We have people who have been coming since I opened up," said Spavone, who unveiled the 260-seat restaurant at 266 W. Lake St. 31 years ago. He said he's seen more than a few customers start out in high chairs, move up to wedding rehearsal...

The recent flurry of Italian restaurant openings (Nico Osteria, Eataly, Cicchetti, Azzurra) has us thinking about some of our favorite classic Italian foods. Namely, sfogliatelle.   A successful sfogliatella—the clamshell-shaped, baked ricotta–filled pastry associated with Naples—is a creature borne of patience and balance. Producing its cru...

by Ceasar Maragni   Another Herrin Festa Italiana is in the books and thanks to great weather, hundreds of hard working volunteers and thousands of southern Illinoisans who know a good time when they see one, it was another successful festival. The five-day fair concluded Monday evening with the final of five straight nights of power packed...