Mario Scilipoti left his newly wed and, unbeknownst to him, pregnant wife behind in their mountainside Sicilian village when he departed for the United States. The 23-year-old did not speak English. He did not have, or need, a visa when his ship, the Patria, sailed past the Statue of Liberty and landed at Ellis Island. He did not have a lucrative j...

I am pleased to announce the 2021 Italian Week organized by myself and the Italian division at Loyola University Maryland that will be held virtually on ZOOM from February 21 to 25. The topic this year is Little Italies: the Impact and Importance of Italian Language, Heritage, and Culture in the U.S.  Our own Dr. Marc De Simone from Baltimore will...

The Little Italy Lodge Foundation (of Little Italy Lodge OSIA 2286) will award $32,000 in educational scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year: two $6,000 and five $5,000 awards will assist students of Italian descent in furthering their education. Eligible Little Italy Lodge members, spouses and specific family members may apply. Applications...

Dear friends, happy new year! The horrendous 2020 is behind us, we're past it. 2021 will still be difficult, but the beginning of the end of the nightmare has begun, and we have reasons to be hopeful. It was 2012 and they started then, on a small Italian newspaper called L'Opinione, my interviews that then led to something that you don't even know,...

LeftyLefty Driesell didn’t want the party to end. So when the University of Maryland honored the Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach, raising a banner in his honor in 2017, he ended his acceptance speech by inviting an audience of friends and family to join him for pizza at Ledo Restaurant. The night went late at his favorite hangout, and Driesell’...

Nearly five months after Baltimore’s Christopher Columbus statue was dumped into Baltimore’s harbor, a local group is working to recreate it—using funds from the Trump administration. In one of its last acts before the 2020 elections, the Trump administration awarded $30,000 to repair or recreate the seven-foot-tall statue that was ripped from its...

Suzanna Rosa Molina has done it again! She authored another very entertaining book about the Italians in Baltimore. As expected, the celebrated “Little Italy” neighborhood, just east of Harborplace, is at its centerpiece. The book features plenty of terrific photographs, along with detailed family and historical notes. Its title is: “Images of Amer...

It's always a pleasure to visit Ledo Pizza in Severna Park. Family-friendly and casual, it's a "feel good," unpretentious place to enjoy some good Italian and American food. My dining companion and I arrived on a drizzly, chilly Sunday afternoon. A friendly welcome and soft mix of late ‘90s and country music helped us warm up and provided a comfy f...

Baltimore's mayor has vetoed a bill that would have rededicated a Christopher Columbus monument to victims of police violence, sharing concerns with the city's police commissioner that the two-story-tall obelisk is too close to a separate monument honoring fallen officers. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, a Democrat, expressed reservations about the...

At the north corner of Little Italy, Baltimore, stands a proud brick building with a long and interesting history. The 1793 Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest houses in Baltimore. It has housed Italian residents and businesses, including a pharmacy, a steamship ticket office, Banco di Napoli, and a...