Italy’s “Day of the Dead”

  Italy’s cimiteri (cemeteries) are coming alive this week as families prepare for November 2 (All Souls’ Day), which the Catholic Church dedicates alla commemorazione dei defunti (to the commemoration of the deceased). To celebrate Il giorno dei morti (the Day...

Italy’s Other Languages

For centuries the Italian peninsula was a patchwork of hundreds of dialects, often as different from one another as French from Spanish or English from Italian. Sailors from Genoa couldn’t understand—or be understood by—merchants from Venice or farmers from Friuli. ...

Honoring Dante during the Week of the Italian Language in the World

This year the Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (week of the Italian language in the world), from October 18 to 23, celebrates “Dante, l’Italiano.“ It is a fitting tribute during the 700th commemoration of  the poet’s death in 1321. Born in Florence in...

Celebrating Italian American Heritage

Every October the United States celebrates Italy’s heritage—with good reason.  More than a mere country, Italy embodies a culture that has  transformed art and architecture, language and music, food and fashion. Western civilization would surely have sprouted...