by Darrell Marchioretto
The Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia was the setting for merrymaking Italian-style during the annual Italian Language Program’s Buon Natale Celebration. Held on December 11, 2011, in the Community Center of Casa Italia, nearly 200 supporters of the ICC’s language program came to share in the festivities.
Italian Language Coordinator Nella Incandela kicked off the afternoon by thanking all those in attendance, as well as her many Italian language teachers, who had turned out to share the fruits of their labors with the audience. Mrs. Incandela then introduced Fr. August Feccia, who gave the invocation for the afternoon.
The students performed a breathtaking concert that included the American National Anthem, “Giuro Fedeltà,” “L’inno di Mameli,” “Fuori i Rami D’Agrifoglio,” “Noi tutti ora Cantiamo,” “Din Don Dan” and “Tu Scendi dalle Stelle.” Each teacher in attendance gave a special presentation with their children; including poems, Christmas carols and a short play.
After the performances, there was a special appearance by La Befana, Lo Zampognaro and Babbo Natale. La Befana amazed the audience by sweeping her way through the crowd as the Zampognaro played his bagpipes. La Befana informed the audience that she would be delivering gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5.)
Josette Weber, the Chair for Culture and Education at Casa Italia, ended the program by thanking the parents and family members for supporting our Italian language program. She ended her presentation by introducing the Italian language teachers who were in attendance; Elena Ingraffia, Nella Incandela, Angela Mentesana, Dorina Spiering, Pieranna Fanella and Jackie (Giovanna) Dimetros. Teachers not present were Maria Berardi, Ines Morroni and Mario Cascone.
After the performances, children took individual pictures with Santa and received a Christmas gift. Refreshments were served in the gym.
Casa Italia extends a special thank you to Jean Parisi, Lionel Bottari and Dean Dalaly for their performances in the Christmas Celebration as La Befana, Lo Zampognaro and Babbo Natale.
The Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia holds children’s Italian classes in seven locations throughout the Chicago area. The locations include the Lemont Public Library, the NS Building in Schaumburg, the South Church in Mount Prospect, the Village Hall of Addison, St. Patrick Church in Lake Forest and at the Eisenhower Library in Norridge.
The year-long program runs for 30 weeks. Exploratory Italian classes are offered to children between the ages of 4-1/2 and 6 years of age (one hour per week). Beginning through Advance Italian is offered to children between the ages of 7 and 13 (One-and-a-half hours per week).
Adult classes are held in three locations, including the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, Blackbird Gallery in Chicago and the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago.
For more information, visit casaitaliachicago.org.