The Sicilian festival will hold its annual Spaghetti Cookoff May 15 starting at 8 a.m. at Festival Square, 312 E Railroad Ave., Independence, LA. A dessert competition has been added this year. People are encouraged to make their favorite Italian or Sicilian dessert and bring it to the pavilion at Festival Square by 10:30 that morning. The entry fe...

The residents of New Orleans have a history of creating unusual pronunciations of words. Local street names provide common examples of New Orleanians’ inventive pronunciations, such as Burgundy Street (pronounced bur-GUHN-dee, not BUR-guhn-dee) and a cluster of Uptown streets named for the nine Greek Muses, including Urania, Thalia, Euterpe, Callio...

Mosca's Restaurant got its start in 1946 when Italian immigrants Lisa and Provino Mosca moved to the area from Illinois and began cooking their family recipes from the old country.  Today, it's a destination restaurant on the outskirts of town, known for family-style servings of rustic Italian fare. Food writer Ian McNulty has a profile of the rest...

On March 14, 1891, 11 Sicilian immigrants who had been falsely accused of murdering the police chief of New Orleans were shot and hung by a mob of thousands in the largest mass lynching in American history. The 130th anniversary of that dark day was marked in Chicago with a moving commemoration in Arrigo Park hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of...

Dave DeGuglielmo knows Ruston, Louisiana, is in America, but he was perplexed when he couldn't find any Bank of America branches. “Here I thought I was in America,” DeGuglielmo joked. It was just a reminder to "Guge," as he's affectionately called, that he's not in New York anymore.   In February, Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz hired DeGu...

The State of Mississippi and City of Vicksburg honored five Italians who were lynched just across the Mississippi River in Tallulah, La., on July 20, 1899. Five Italian men who owned grocery stores in town, were seized by a mob of local residents and publicly hanged. The men honored are Giuseppe Di Fatta, Francesco Di Fatta, Pasquale Di Fatta, Giov...

Pelicans forward Nicolò Melli has seen his playing time cut in his second NBA season and he may be looking for a way out of New Orleans, according to a report from Sportando. The story first appeared in the Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, which states that Melli is waiting for an opportunity with a new team. The 30-year-old has gotten...

Award-winning singer Lena Prima is the youngest daughter of music icon Louis Prima and his singing sidekick (and fifth wife), Gia Maione. A Las Vegas native, Lena spent much of her childhood in her father’s hometown of New Orleans, where she now resides and performs regularly. With seven albums to her credit, her sixth and seventh on Basin Street R...

They've been a tradition since the late 1800s, when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans, and they're still going on, pandemic aside. Elaborate St. Joseph's Altars are unveiled every March 19, as Catholics mark the feast day of the saint who provided relief during a famine in Sicily. There are some changes: Fewer meals will be served, and mas...

On Oct. 15, 1890, New Orleans police chief David Hennessey was shot as he was walking home late at night. Hennessey returned fire, but was mortally wounded. When police captain William O’Connor asked him, “Who gave it to you, Dave?” Hennessey whispered “dagoes,” a racist term for Italians. “ASSASSINATED,” read the front-page headline on the New Orl...