Image by Mattia Bericchia

CULTURE + LIFESTYLE

This section is for all lovers of Italian culture and cuisine who are looking for ways to celebrate their love of all things Italian.

CONVERSATIONAL ITALIAN CLASS

The Italian Club is again offering an Italian conversation class via Zoom, taught live from Rome by Carla Bossola.  This class will consist of guided conversations and will give Intermediate/Advanced learners an opportunity to practice and develop their skills with the assistance of a native speaker who is an experienced teacher.  Classes will meet online from 9:30 am - 10:30 am on the following 5 Mondays: November 7, 14, 21, 28 and December 5.

The class is free, open exclusively to club members, and is limited to 6 participants.  Preference will be given to those who haven't yet taken this class with Carla.  Those who have will be allowed any spaces not filled with new participants.

To enroll, contact Barbara Klein via email at barbara_0909@hotmail.com

Hurry as space is limited.  Class is now FULL.

Look for a coming announcement regarding upcoming classes for language beginners.

LOCAL EVENTS

Italia America Bocce Club

Check out the newest events at the Italia America Bocce Club or join a league  stlbocce.com

 

The Hill Neighborhood Center at 1935 Marconi Avenue

The Hill Saint Louis – Run by the Hill Neighborhood Association. hillstl.org

 

Concerts at Piazza Imo 

For concert schedule and ticket information click here.

 

The Hill St. Louis Food Tour

Eat at the top restaurants On The Hill. Food tours last about 3 hours and run on Fridays and Saturdays. See: The Hill St. Louis Food Tour | EAT St. Louis Food Tours. saintlouisfoodtours.com

 

Winter Opera of St. Louis

Winter Opera offers many Christmas celebrations and a 3 production opera season. Check out their website: Upcoming Events–Winter Opera Saint Louis. winteroperastl.org

 

Italian Film Festival

Runs Italian Films in St. Louis venues during the month of April (Covid permitting). 

italianfilmfests.org

2022 italian heritage award recipient

DR Roger gennari

The Italian Club of St. Louis is honored and pleased to announce that the 2022 Italian Heritage Award was presented to Dr Roger Gennari.  Roger and his wife, Leslie, have three children and three grandchildren.  Roger was born of a Sicilian mother and Umbrian father and so he was raised with Italian traditions, food, and culture.

He has degrees in Philosophy, Education and English Literature.  In 1974 he graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from St Louis University and received his license to practice in the states of IL and MO.  He completed his post-Doctoral training and education in Group Psychotherapy resulting in National Certification.  He served as founder and President of the Missouri Group Psychotherapy Society.  He had a long career and retired in January 2010.

Dr Gennari has been a member of the St Louis Italian Club since 1987 and has been involved as a Board member for most of those years.  He served as Italian Club President in 2011.  During his term, he organized a very entertaining group of club actors called the Panettone Players who performed many of the antics of the popular Don Camillo series.

Besides the Italian Club, his hobbies include cycling, playing the saxophone and studying the Italian language.

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La Vendemmia

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Throughout Italy this is the time of year to harvest the grapes.  The harvest is the culmination of a year's labor, its relative success or failure determined in conjunction with the fickle and arbitrary fortunes of Mother Nature and the weather.  A sudden summer hailstorm can entirely strip the grapes and foliage from one row of vines, yet leave adjacent rows virtually untouched; torrential autumn rains can dilute and sometimes even destroy and entire year's effort and toil. 

The earliest grapes may be gathered in late August or early September, while the main harvest continues through the autumn months, sometimes even well into November.  Teams of workers in the vineyards, old experienced farmhands who have worked the land forever alongside a new, younger generation, undertake the backbreaking task of selection and picking the ripe bunches manually.  The grapes, once picked, must be transported to the winery as quickly as possible to minimize oxidation and ensure that fermentation does not begin prematurely.

~Marc Millon, Italy Magazine

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PER LA STRADA

Share your love of all things Italian by sending us your favorite places, stories, recipes, books or family traditions.

Cremonaby Angela Pasetti Holland

One of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Italy is the beautiful, ancient city of Cremona. My mother grew up in this fair Lombardian town and lucky for me I’m able to visit my relatives there any chance I get.

Cremona is located in Lombardy a short train ride south from Milan. It is of course known for its lengthy musical history of producing the famous Stradivarius violins and other stringed instruments. It was the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari and to this day is home to the world’s best luthiers. A visit to the Museo del Violino is a must for any first-time visitor.  There and throughout the city one can stop to admire an artisan crafting one of these fine masterpieces.  It’s a pure delight to stroll through its narrow streets and hear the soft sounds of violins tuning and playing nearby.

Of course, like other Italian cities Cremona boasts a breathtaking piazza with its unique Romanesque Duomo, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta and its octagonal Baptistry.  The Torrazzo is the symbol of the city and by the way is the third tallest brickwork bell tower in the world. I’ve enjoyed many a gelato or apperitivo here at a café overlooking this beautiful setting.

Cremona is also known for its contributions to ‘la cucina Italiana’.  It’s known for its stuffed pastas like marubini or tortelli di zucca and various styles of risotti. I had some of the best marubini in brodo, outside my home at the very casual neighborhood Trattoria Cerri.  They tasted just like the ones my Nonna used to make.  On the sweet side Cremona is known for the famous nougat candy, Torrone which we see during the holidays but there you can find anytime. The sweet-spicy, syrupy fruit, Mostarda is also original to this city.  My parents used to serve it with their turkey instead of cranberries, but it’s usually served with bollito misto.

So, the next time you have the opportunity to travel to Italy take a side trip to this often overlooked treasure. You can stay at Hotel Impero, Piazza della pace, 21—literally steps from Cremona’s beautiful Duomo and its town center. Vi auguro una buona permanenza!

Violins
 
 
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Pasta e fagioli

—dalla cucina di Jeanne Florini

A nickname for Tuscans is “mangiafagioli” (bean eaters). Beans (legumes) have been cultivated for centuries in Tuscany, with the the oldest a black eyed bean from before Roman times. Pliny the Elder wrote about the nutritional contributions of the fava bean (he was a naturalist and died trying to rescue friends after the eruption at Pompeii). The white cannellini bean appeared in Florence shortly after the discovery of America in 1492. Because beans are easy to grow, the peasants of Tuscany quickly learned to grow them and incorporated them into their diet. I, for one, am glad they did! Here is my version of pasta e fagioli (pasta and bean soup) which provides excellent nutritional benefits (including folate from the beans which helps the brain work better and protects the heart), and is an ideal comfort food. Serve with crusty bread!

Total yield: 8 cups    Serving size: 8 oz

 

Equipment needed: stockpot (large), immersion blender, measuring spoons/cups, cutting boards and knives

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NOTE:  How To Make Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:    1 to 2 onions

                        2 to 3 carrots

                        3 to 4 celery stalks

                        4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme (if use dried - 1 T.)

                        1 bay leaf

                        1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

                        8 cups water

Optional Extras: leeks (especially the green parts), fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems (mushrooms will provide the umami flavor—that is typically found in a meat stock)                    

  1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil over a medium heat.

  2. Add diced onion, celery and carrot.

  3. Cook, covered stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes). 

  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook gently for about an hour or until the stock tastes rich and full.

  5. Strain stock and compost vegetable solids.

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ITALIAN CLUB OF ST. LOUIS