332 episodes

The first and finest podcast for Italian Americans... delivering history, discussion, and connection with smarts, heart, and a lot of laughs. 🇮🇹🇺🇸 Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/italianamerican/support

The Italian American Podcast The Italian American Podcast

    • Society & Culture

The first and finest podcast for Italian Americans... delivering history, discussion, and connection with smarts, heart, and a lot of laughs. 🇮🇹🇺🇸 Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/italianamerican/support

    IAP 323: Better in Basilicata? Rediscovering Roots & Revitalizing Villages: Your Future Home in Latronico

    IAP 323: Better in Basilicata? Rediscovering Roots & Revitalizing Villages: Your Future Home in Latronico

    In recent years, the phenomenon of “One Euro Homes” has spread across Italy, as rural villages across “il Bel Paese” struggle to curb the steady population decline that is endemic in a country with constant urban flight and one of the world’s lowest birth rates.  But as these cheap property schemes have become a dime-a-dozen, there is one town in the heart of Italy’s most overlooked region that has done things a little differently… and with incredible results!

    Join us as we journey to the charming town of Latronico.  In the southern region of Basilicata, this community of 4,000 inhabitants is located within the pristine Pollino National Park and surrounded by historic thermal baths and unspoiled nature.  We’ll check in with our old friends Vincenzo Castellano and Mariangela Tortorella, two of Latronico’s younger residents who are leading voices in the project called “La tua Casa a Latronico”… Your House in Latronico… a decade-old effort to redefine the concept of real estate in Latronico, and perhaps throughout the Italian regions.

    Venturing into the realities of Italian real estate, we shed light on the nuances of purchasing homes in this picturesque town. From the excitement of discovering the affordable charm of turnkey properties to the familiar comforts sought by American buyers (air conditioning and jumbo fridges), our dialogue traverses the cultural differences that shape our living spaces and the cultural shifts accompanying this revival. 

    Our guests share the emotional impact of seeing new life in once-dark homes, how new residents help longtime inhabitants appreciate their town with new eyes, and how local businesses adapt to cater to new American tastes.

    Embark on a journey through the heart of Italy and the soul of Italian American identity with our heartfelt exploration of Latronico, its transformation, and a project that’s about more than just selling houses; it's about the stories that unfold within them!


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    • 1 hr 1 min
    IAP 322: How Many Italian Americans Does It Take To Bring You The Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas Movies?

    IAP 322: How Many Italian Americans Does It Take To Bring You The Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas Movies?

    Every autumn, as the air gets crisper and the final leaves begin to fall, millions of devotees wait on bated breath for the arrival of one of the most beloved traditions in the world… the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas! And on this week’s episode, we’re sitting down with two Italian Americans who have dedicated their lives to bringing this marathon of merriment to this loyal audience year after year!



    Meet Candice DiLavore and Samantha DiPippo, two incredible Italian American execs at Hallmark Media who are weaving their devotion to family and tradition into these heartwarming films that have become an integral part of holiday traditions for so many.



    Unlock the secrets of Italian American traditions and the behind-the-scenes magic of Hallmark Christmas movies as we serve up a feast of laughter and storytelling in today's spirited conversation and reflect on the profound impact Hallmark movies have on viewers, serving as a source of comfort and connection in challenging times. 



    Prepare for a heartwarming journey as we explore ritual, romance, and the impact of classic films on our own cinematic creations. We also share a personal encounter that's ripe for transformation into a Hallmark Christmas movie plot, proving that our Italian American heritage is an endless well of inspiration! Plus, indulge in our dream of filming in the picturesque towns of “La Bella Italia”, where the storylines are as rich and inviting as the landscapes. 



    Finally, we leave you with an appeal to support the Notorious POB at his annual Feast of Our Lady of Sacro Monte coming up on May 16-18 in Clifton, NJ.  We’re hoping you will make a donation, or perhaps even come out and join us… where you may get the chance to meet a Paesana or two behind your favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies!



    Visit the link in our story and bio to download and listen now!


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    • 1 hr 3 min
    IAP 321: “The Struggle For Sicilian Independence” with Dr. Gaetano Cipolla

    IAP 321: “The Struggle For Sicilian Independence” with Dr. Gaetano Cipolla

    We’re exploring one of the lesser-known chapters of Italy’s post-war history as we examine Sicily's bid for independence with our esteemed guest Dr. Gaetano Cipolla of Arba Sicula.  Join us as he shares insights from his brand new translation of the late Giuseppe Scianò's revelatory book, "The Struggle for Sicilian Independence." Our enlightening conversation peels back layers of history, exposing British intervention in Garibaldi's campaign and the effects of Italian unification on Sicilian culture. We reflect on the enduring spirit of the Sicilian people, their unique language, and cultural heritage, drawing parallels to contemporary independence movements across Europe.

    And, we’ll be diving into the linguistic labyrinth of the Sicilian language, as Dr. Cipolla dismantles misconceptions and conveys the richness of a tongue that's more than a mere dialect. We dissect the challenges of translating Sicilian for an American audience, striking a balance between cultural fidelity and comprehensibility. The episode also delves into the diversity among Sicilian dialects and the endeavor to create a standardized grammar that remains true to its multifaceted nature, celebrating Sicily's linguistic identity and diversity.  

    Concluding our cultural voyage, we ponder the future of Sicilian language and customs. Against the predictions of its fading, we find a vibrant cultural pride encouraging its preservation. We explore the shifting lexicon, the role of music, and social media's potential to ignite a cultural renaissance. Dr. Cipolla's dedication to safeguarding the Sicilian heritage is evident through his latest contributions, promising to be vital for those fascinated with Sicily's rich history and the unyielding spirit that has influenced the world.


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    • 1 hr 6 min
    IAP 320: Teaching, Traveling, and Transforming Lives!

    IAP 320: Teaching, Traveling, and Transforming Lives!

    Well, the ground beneath us may have shaken from New Jersey's surprising earthquake, but it's the stirring tales of passing along the Italian culture to future generations that truly rock our world!  

    That’s because, in this week’s episode, we’re joined by the delightful Marisa Fusaro, Italian teacher and creator of Stellina Travel, who shares her insights on the crucial role of education in preserving Italian-American language culture.

    As she regales us with tales from her vibrant classroom, we get a sense of the passion and dedication it takes to teach the Italian language to students from all ethnic backgrounds. But it's not just about language; it's about connecting with our history, our ancestors, and the sense of community that these traditions foster. Marissa's insights serve as a reminder of the invaluable role education plays in the tapestry of Italian-American heritage.

    Wrapping up with a heart-to-heart on the value of educational travel, we put the spotlight on the unforgettable impact of experiencing Italy firsthand. There's something magical about watching students come into their own as cultural ambassadors amidst the unfolding wonders of Bel Italia, and we’re discussing the necessity for investing in these opportunities, especially for those who might not otherwise have the chance to experience Italy on their own. From supporting Italian teachers and engaging with cultural organizations to sponsoring a student's voyage, we explore how each of us can contribute to this beautiful endeavor, ensuring the flame of Italian culture burns bright for generations to come. Join us for an episode that's as much about the joy of learning as it is about the love of Italian cookies and culture.


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    • 1 hr
    IAP 319: PaisanCon: Where Hollywood Meets Heritage!

    IAP 319: PaisanCon: Where Hollywood Meets Heritage!

    Turn up the volume for an exclusive sneak peek into the inaugural “PaisanCon”, where Hollywood meets heritage in a festival of film, food, and famous faces from across the Italian American entertainment scene!

    We’ll meet Nicky Petito, the young Italian American comedian, writer, producer, impressionist, and crooner behind this first-of-its-kind weekend celebrating the influence of our community in pop culture.  He’s rolling out the red carpet in support of Italian American narratives that uplift and inspire, and looking to Explore the Italian American experience beyond the tired tropes of mob tales and reality TV. 

    Envision an event where Italian American stars of stage, screen, and sports rub elbows with up-and-comers, where your “Paisan status” isn't defined by your bloodline but by your love for the culture. We spotlight the Paisan Film Festival, the Paisan Awards, and PaisanCon’s heartfelt motto, "You don't have to be Italian to be a Paisan,” an inclusive embrace of anyone who shares our passion for Italian Life.

    As our conversation veers towards the portrayal of Italian-Americans in the spotlight, we scrutinize Hollywood's casting quirks and yearn for genuine representation. We dissect the complex dance of being typecast yet excluded, and underscore the importance of backing projects that honor our heritage authentically. Wrapping up, we touch on the power of unity in celebrating the cultural pride that makes us who we are. We leave you with an invitation to be a part of something special, to support Paisan Con in Fairfield, NJ on April 13-14, 2024 as Nicky and his team strive to create not just an event, but an experience that resonates with joy, pride, and the enduring spirit of our Italian American journey.


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    • 44 min
    IAP 318: Sent Here on a Higher Authority: The 15-Year Struggle to Bring “Cabrini” to the Big Screen

    IAP 318: Sent Here on a Higher Authority: The 15-Year Struggle to Bring “Cabrini” to the Big Screen

    As we enter into the Easter Season, join us for a poignant reflection on an extraordinary figure in the Italian American community… Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American saint. Listen in as we share how personal experiences intertwine with Mother Cabrini's remarkable legacy of compassion and service. With the recent spotlight on the long-awaited film "Cabrini," our special guests Monsignor Paul Bocchicchio and Gilda Bello, pivotal early supporters in bringing the story to the screen, offer a behind-the-scenes look at the nearly 15-year journey to honor Mother Cabrini's life on screen, and the challenges they overcame along the way.

    Discover the incredible narrative of Mother Cabrini's life and her impact that spans from New York City to New Orleans, marking her as a beacon of hope and dedication. We reminisce about the prayers at the Cabrini Shrine that sparked the creation of the film and recount fascinating encounters with cinematic icons. 

    Our conversation sheds light on the film's funding journey, revealing the blend of humor, faith, and determination that characterizes Mother Cabrini's mission and the powerful support from individuals like Eustace Wolfington and H.E. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Their personal connections to Mother Cabrini's work paint a picture of a legacy that continues to resonate in communities and parishes today.

    As we reflect on Easter, our discussion embraces the unique blend of Italian-American culture and faith, highlighting the enduring relevance of Mother Cabrini's story. We address the historical prejudices faced by Italian Americans, underscoring the muted recognition of Mother Cabrini's canonization and the significance of preserving our cultural and religious heritage. And as we send out our warmest Easter wishes, we celebrate the traditions that bind us, from the delectable Easter pies to the shared laughter with loved ones, and invite you to find inspiration in the power of saints like Mother Cabrini. So, come celebrate with us, and let's honor the spirit of community and faith that she embodied so profoundly.


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    • 56 min

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