Giada Returns to Pittsburgh

Giada Valenti

Giada Valenti

By Nicky D Cooks

On Sunday, April 27, Giada Valenti will be back in Pittsburgh for her new show, From Venice With Love.  Giada is preforming again at the Cabaret at Theatre Square in Downtown.

The Venice born, international singer and songwriter will be performing on stage with her band. The show is described as “being taken on a romantic journey with the singer as she performs her renditions of American and Italian hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s” as well as many recent contemporary songs.

Giada’s warm and brilliant vocals, combined with the soft harmonious sounds from her band, make for a show that will make you want to fall in love again with love.

As a person who has been to a Giada Valenti performance, I can attest that it is a concert that you will never forget. The intimate setting for the venue is a perfect one for allowing her gregarious personality shine through.  Giada is able to interact with her audience, and make a real connection with them.

Giada has a way of creating a very unique and special relationship with her audience. She describes her fans as “my angels” and has a very devoted following. Giada makes her audience feel as though they are part of her family, and she is singing only for them. The passion that she has for her fans is evident in her performance. Her genuineness is sincere and it comes through when she sings; it is simply amazing to see.

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Three Jewels of the Amalfi Coast

By Marjorie Eisenach

The Amalfi Coast, which lies on the southern side of the Sorrentine peninsula, can rightfully claim to be Europe’s most beautiful coastline. Its coastal road winds around towering cliffs that fall dramatically into the sea. You have probably seen this slice of paradise in more than one film or ad, but nothing quite prepares you for the amazing beauty of the place. The Amalfi coast has enchanted visitors for centuries. Northerners were eager to leave the rain and darkness of England, Germany or Ireland in order to find this sunny clime. Featured here are three different yet appealing towns that you could visit starting from the north and journeying south along the coast.

Praiano

Looking down from our apartment in Praiano to the bay below.

Praiano 

No one wants hordes of tourists to discover their secret treasure, but is it fair for me to keep a place secret, especially one that I stumbled upon by accident on the Internet over 12 years ago?

Praiano won’t appeal to everyone, as it is a small town with no night life, no fancy shops or disco bars. But it has everything you need if you are looking for a relaxing vacation: beautiful views, friendly people, walking trails, fine hotels or apartments to rent, and excellent seafood, whether you dine in or cook it yourself.

It isn’t overrun with tourists, making it a more appealing option than Positano or Sorrento to the north. This town has a life outside of tourism, yet tourists feel welcome and can easily buy fresh seafood from a local fishmonger, often catching a glimpse of the fisherman who sold his daily catch.
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Profiles of Success: Catiana Celentano

Teaching Generations of Children & Adult to Speak Italian

In this week’s edition of Italian-American Profiles of Success, we chatted with first generation Italian-American, Catiana Celentano, founder and director of Let’s Play In Italian (Giochiamo in Italiano).

Let’s Play in Italian was founded in New Jersey in November 2005 Celentano, a stay at home mother at the time who had struggled to find a children’s’ Italian program to help her teach her own two children how to speak Italian. Discovering that there was not too many options, she created her own program that is now used throughout the state of New Jersey. Let’s Play in Italian is an enrichment program that teaches children and adults about the Italian language and culture through various techniques. Learning a second language is crucial to a young child’s development, and has many benefits for an adult as well.

We learned more about Let’s Play in Italian as well as Catiana’s heritage and some of her favorite Italian traditions.

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New York Italians: Preserving, Promoting and Celebrating the Italian Culture & Heritage

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 6.16.55 AMAt Ciao Pittsburgh, we often share stories of Italians and Italian-Americans beyond the Pittsburgh region. In keeping with our mission of covering all things Italian, from the heritage, culture, people and traditions, we turn our attention this week to New York Italians.

New York Italians is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Italy and its people through outstanding cultural events and culinary programs, language classes, educational lectures and charities. In establishing closer cultural relations between the United States and Italy, the organization pledges to create a stronger face-to-face community to preserve Italian heritage and strengthen the common thread between the Italian and Italian-American populations.

New York Italians was created by Pasquale Maio to fill in the gap in the Italian community. It strives to create a community of Italians helping other Italians and be an extended family. Currently, there are over 13,000 in the network. New York Italians also has a subscription-based membership with a membership card that provides discounts and perks.

We recently chatted with Archina D’Agostino, director of operations for New York Italians, to learn more about this wonderful organization. She was extremely gracious with her time and we thank her.

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Happy Saint Joseph’s Day

Nicky D CooksBuona Festa di San Giuseppe, Happy Feast of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph’s day is celebrated on March 19th. It is a Catholic feast day commemorating the life of St. Joseph. He is the Patron Saint of several regions in Italy and therefore is the protector of many Italian and Italian-American people.

In the Italian –American community that I grew up in, this was an important feast day. When families gathered together to celebrate this holiday, you were honoring the saint that watched over you, your family and many times the birth land of your relatives. It was a day when you were particularly prideful about your Italian heritage.

In many families as an homage to the Catholic Church, children were often named after Roman Catholic Saints. In many Italian families, so the story was passed down through my family, a child was always named after St. Joseph.
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