The organizers of Festa Italiana have called off the lakefront festival for the third straight year. In a statement Friday afternoon, Rose Anne Fritchie, president of the Italian Community Center and Festa director, cited the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including on the financial health of the organization.  "We have always been pro...

William A. Jennaro was a lawyer, judge and storyteller, a Milwaukee original who grew up on the city's near south side, remained close to his roots and devoted years to helping cultivate the Italian Community Center. Beyond his love of family and respect for the law, he also had a passion for playing gin rummy with friends. For more than 40 years,...

Festa Italiana has been canceled for 2021. The Italian Community Center Board Directors made the announcement Friday, Feb. 26.  According to a news release, planning and preparations were on track to proceed with this year’s festival, however, due to the circumstances associated with COVID-19, the directors deemed it the best course of action to ca...

Henry Piano never forgot his roots. His parents immigrated to America from Italy in 1907 and raised a son who embraced his Italian-American heritage. Piano helped found the Italian Community Center and Festa Italiana. Piano, 86, died of cancer Oct. 24. "It was important for him to always remember where we came from," said his son Nick Piano. "He wa...

First Summerfest gets postponed and now Festa. Organizers broke the news Tuesday that Festa Italiana 2020 will be canceled. The Italian Community Center Board of Directors says it was the most responsible decision to cancel the festival in the midst of the global pandemic that has already closed so many other festivals and businesses. "The coronavi...

On Nov. 19, award-winning chef, author and television personality Lidia Matticchio Bastianich will return to Milwaukee to celebrate the release of her new cookbook, "Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant." Ever since it opened its doors on Manhattan's Upper East Side in 1981, Felidia has been revered as one of the best Italian restaurants in...

On Thursday evening, Jan. 17, the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., will dedicate a new two-story stainless steel abstract sculpture. The shiny sculpture, which might suggest ocean waves or the feathers of a bird, stands on a grassy area on the center's west side, facing Jackson Street, in the Third Ward, which was once Milwaukee's Litt...

Festa Italiana is, of course, the city's major Italian festival and it takes place each July, bringing delectable Italian cuisine to the Summerfest grounds. But each April, half a block west of the Henry Maier Festival Park, at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., A Taste of Italy draws Milwaukee in to check out the ICC and sample tast...

Everything from Roman antipasti and fried calamari to gelato and pizzelle can be sampled at A Taste of Italy, which returns to the Italian Community Center in the Third Ward on April 22. Admission and parking are free; a book of six tickets is $10, and single tickets are $2 apiece. Every item from the 30 or so food and beverage booths costs one tic...