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.
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).
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.
Carnevale in italy
Carnevale, known to us as Mardi Gras, takes place in Italy during the weeks leading up to Easter. It is the multi-week party leading up to Ash Wednesday, when the restrictions and solemnity of the Easter season begin. There are parades, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and other festivities, including rich foods and drink. Maschere, or masks, and elaborate costumes are worn by revelers. Frivolities and pranks abound, thus the saying "a Carnevale ogni scherzo vale," meaning anything goes during Carnevale.
Carnevale is officially celebrated on Martedì Grasso, commonly known as Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday.
Wanblee, Venezia carnevale 3, 18 February 2004. Wikimedia
RISTORANTI ITALIANI LOCALI
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!
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
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)
Heat a few tablespoons olive oil over a medium heat.
Add diced onion, celery and carrot.
Cook, covered stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook gently for about an hour or until the stock tastes rich and full.
Strain stock and compost vegetable solids.