Gabriel Fontana has been hammering, stitching, and buffing shoes for nearly 75 years. He was 35 and a recent Italian emigrant when he took over his brother-in-law’s Forbes Avenue shoe repair store in the 1970s. Back then, times were good for the trade he’d honed since boyhood. “It was a very busy time, and I was packed,” Fontana recalls. “At lunch...

The Mancini family has been baking its Italian twist bread in the West Park neighborhood of McKees Rocks for nearly 100 years. But the face of the operation for many Pittsburghers, says Nick Mancini Hartner, is its satellite operation in the Strip District. Even on a quiet weekday, customers stream in one after the other in search of the bakery’s i...

What do a charismatic mob boss, an Italian-American boy being brought up in a law-abiding family, and Bill Mazeroski have in common? They all factor into actor, writer, director and producer Chazz Palminteri’s “A Bronx Tale.” Before it was a movie, it was a one-man stage play and the 70-year-old Palminteri is bringing it to Pittsburgh’s Byham Theat...

Food evokes memories, and sparks culinary pleasures to varying degrees for all of us. Some people go the extra mile to link their food to their roots. In his memoir Taste: My Life Through Food, released late last year, actor Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, Margin Call, Captain America: The First Avenger...) wrote: “I mean, if you can’t eat an...

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022 | 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Heinz History Center | 6th floor Detre Library & Archives. $15 for adults and $10 for members. Register here. Discover how archives and special collections can enrich your learning experience with the Italian American Program. This hands-on workshop will highlight the various ways primary sources can b...

Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) and its legal team, led by George Bochetto, Esq., strongly believe that Common Pleas Judge John McVay Jr. erred in his ruling. The Court ruled that the ISDA may not infringe on the City’s right to free speech, but the problem is: that was not the issue before the Court. Our Complaint raises the issue tha...

Two years after a group sued to try to keep the Christopher Columbus statue in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park over city officials’ objections, an Allegheny County judge has thrown out the complaint, clearing the way for the statue’s removal. A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office said they are reviewing the opinion and considering next steps. Common Plea...

The City of Wind, Vienna by the Sea, and the City of Coffee are just a few expressions used to describe Trieste. Gorgeous, aristocratic, and distinctively cosmopolitan, this small city in the far northeastern corner of Italy checks all the boxes for curious travellers. While Trieste may not be at the top of your Italy bucket list, reading this guid...

From humble Italian immigrant to world wrestling champion, Bruno Sammartino led a remarkable life. Fans can learn more about the late Pittsburgh legend when The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum ― part of the Sen. John Heinz History Center — hosts the Pittsburgh premiere screening of the film “Bruno Sammartino” at 7 p.m. Oct. 6. The documentary fo...

Restaurateur Steve Martorano, who left South Philadelphia three decades ago for greater glory in South Florida and beyond, is coming back in 2023 to open an Italian steak house at Rivers Casino Philadelphia in Fishtown. No one seems more surprised than Martorano, 65, a guy with a big personality who wears his heart for his hometown on his heavily t...