Home / Community / 2011 Christmas Village

2011 Christmas Village

by Lisa Perkins

On a mild Sunday afternoon at the beginning of December, Casa Italia was home of the first-ever Christmas Village hosted jointly by Casa Italia, Calabresi in America Organization, Societa San Francesco di Paola, Casa Puglia and the Italian American Executives of Transportation. According to Tony Turano, President of the Casa Italia, the idea has been discussed for nearly 10 years and he was happy to be a part of its beginning. The purpose of the day was to bring together as many Italian-American organizations as possible to celebrate the spirit of Christmas as well as to celebrate the common and unique Christmas traditions of all Italian Americans.

The festive day began with Mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel featuring a live nativity made up of dozens of costumed participants of every age. The grounds of the Casa Italia glistened with festive lights and Christmas decorations where families, friends and visitors enjoyed chestnuts roasted on an open fire and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Besides the tantalizing aromas, the air was filled with the awe-inspiring sounds of a strolling zampognaro, an Italian bagpipe player, as well as harmonious Christmas carols led by the Casa Italia Choir. Many impromptu sing-along carols sprung forth as children and adults were overcome with the spirit of the season.

On the west side of the grounds, the Chandelier Room was transformed into the throne of the beloved Santa Claus and his elves. Professional photographers from Furla Studios were on hand to snap free photographs of wish-makers with the jolly old man. Besides a photograph with Santa, each tot, tiny or not, their eyes all aglow, received a bountiful bag of goodies as a foretaste of the ultimate gifts to be received on Christmas day.

Across the lawn, the banquet center was a toasty oasis where folks could escape Jack Frost’s nipping of the nose. Traditional Italian treats such as cuccedrata, scalidre, turdiddri, cuddrurieddri (fried dough) and torrone were plentiful, and the espresso, hot chocolate and tasty eggnog were flowing.

Vito D’Ambrosio, president of the Italian American Executives of Transportation, was pleased with the exposure for the Casa Italia, and noted that this was the first visit to the Casa by many of the attendees. These sentiments were echoed by Frank DeCicco, president of the Calabresi in America Organization, who added that he enjoyed the opportunity to become acquainted with other members of the Italian-American community.

Tony Turano expects next year’s event to be even grander thanks to the anticipated involvement of other Italian-American clubs and organizations.

Plans are already in the works, and the date for the 2012 Christmas Village is set for December 1, 2012.

Y15imfKqrI_L7kGkJjTYuEXEeYRJKd-SJlMXqVP543M QgE3WlN0FUI4P1BEy6Ljqz8FBcY7Awha2fthp1iVWFk uITIISp16ptxEP5pCr03zbc-Ddule0XIdji8hsc_36k JXZdrSK4jZRe_iY9FaGxx5dgTUOVOR3V6U5nXiDyo_U 1efbRkTRxnMPA8utbGjppZYOx6Y134AjiQm4mO04Xg0 Eqqls4EkXf9ZirL5r6paaWmuAEzxrdpHV8MenHj96Bo buwXflgmI604o4h-aWkgRdcQt3HT9a_F0hdnW4rlxRw 0rI8ihQf61SLW892uYS16_RiqiA6giOoTk7CiGuuTBI IlgWpcC9prNGwJqTaEOJjBmZT9Cl3KcClOYP6DJTUB0 EUmOaazImY3rwX7xb-zt0ME_gQgQfVRRWiG4pBlyUlc AJaOdPNAalMiEqbofrEE0xWV6VUQA-ffDm_vsYNa5Pc

About Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.