Louis County governments. We went through a formal re-approval process and were granted once again the status as an active sister city.
Since our funding comes directly from the World Trade Center - St Louis, we collaborate with them very closely. They have benefitted us tremendously and we have been able to make a lot of connections within the St. Louis international community through monthly networking events. Over children came to the St. Louis- Bologna Sister Cities booth at the Festival.
I was amazed at the turn out. Our booth focused on arts and crafts and children were able to make necklaces and bracelets out of 15 different types of pasta. Painting materials were also provided as children made colorful crafts out of different shapes and sizes of pasta noodles. Around people attended the concert and reception directly following the performance.
This was the first time that the Italian community has organized a Christmas concert of this caliber in St Louis.creatoranswers.com/modules/pending/raton-de-praga.php
Proceeds from ticket sales helped support Italian Medical Foundation Fanep Onlus in Bologna which assists children suffering from psychiatric disorders. For me, this was a meaningful gift to the City of Bologna in the spirit of the holiday. People often ask me: Why Bologna? Bologna in fact has a special connection with St. Louis for several reasons.
Bologna happens to be the center of agriculture research and food production in Italy just as St. Louis is the center for plant sciences and agricultural technology not only in North America but the entire world. Secondly, Bologna, and its region Emilia Romagna, are famous for the manufacturing of Italy's most famous luxury vehicles: Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ducati. Interestingly enough, before Detroit, St. Louis was the car manufacturing capital of the US from the s until the s when the Moon Motor Car Company produced some of the most stylish American made cars.
Lastly, Bologna has the world's oldest university founded in and St. He also owns one of the first Italian American websites ever, with probably the most requested domain in the community: www. A culture dies when its language dies. Any linguist or anthropologist can testify to this fact. He was part of an Italian club in St. I completely agree with this sentiment. A culture and its language are inseparable.
There is no Italian culture without the Italian language just like there is no French culture without the French language. Any language is crucial to the identity of a culture because a culture flows from a language. As a result, Giannotti gathered like-minded people and founded his own club with the purpose of preserving and promoting the Italian language and culture in the St.
Louis region. Not surprisingly, his club has flourished ever since and it is the only exclusively Italian speaking association in the entire Midwest. I joined IPP four years ago and about two years later Franco extended me an invitation to become a board member. I have learned a lot from Franco over these last few years.
The Italian community that we subsequently founded was born from Italiano Per Piacere. We are proud of this club and our membership is increasing. Quite a few Americans, who are fluent in the Italian language or who wanted to practice their Italian, have joined in recent years. It is a great thing to see. In fact, I am one of those Americans who joined. Louis native, although my mother comes from Trieste, I grew up in an Italian speaking household, and subsequently went to live in Europe for several years, so I suppose I am an American with an asterisk.
In any case, I fell in love with the Italian language and culture and, as you can see, this is something I am deeply passionate about. Franco has always been forward thinking and, at a time where websites were a very new thing, he made the wise decision to purchase it.
You will have to ask him if he ever wants to sell but I highly doubt it! There are several books on Italian emigration to St. Louis but I will try to paint a general picture. The story of Italian emigration in our region is very similar to that of northern and north-eastern US cities but also unique in its own way. Louis was founded by the French in and ruled by the Spanish for many years until when the US government purchased the city from Napoleon in the Louisiana Purchase.
Like New Orleans, St. Louis was a Catholic city on the Mississippi River. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the very first Italians who came to St. They both arrived in among other missionaries and Rosati, in fact, went on to become the first bishop of what was then the Diocese of St. The first permanent group of Italian settlers came from the North. They were mostly refugees from the wars that accompanied the Risorgimento. Between and , St. Louis saw the height of its Italian migrant population.
During that time, St. Louis was actually the fourth largest city in North America and a large industrial powerhouse. Others passed through New York and came here via train.
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You may have heard of baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. They were both born and raised on The Hill in St Louis. The northern Italians which created The Hill were mostly from Lombardia and specifically the towns surrounding Milan such as Cuggiono. They built a Catholic Church, St. Ambrose, in a Lombard style. It still serves as a focal point of the neighborhood. Southern Italians, mostly Sicilians, settled north of downtown St.
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When their neighborhood was blighted, some settled on The Hill to the dismay and even disgust of its residents. Unfortunately, tensions rose between the two groups and many conflicts ensued. Over the years, Italian emigration to St. Louis has changed dramatically like in many of its peer cities. An interesting phenomenon began to develop. As a result of little or no contact with the mother country and its ongoing transformation, these Americans of Italian heritage began to represent a different culture with their own creole language.
Decades passed and by the s and 80s these families became proud of their creole culture and language. Today, as I have discussed earlier, St. Louis is seeing a new immigration, one of professional Italians to St. Louis and to the United States as a whole. But Italians like to stick together even abroad and we are seeing the formation of many new Italian communities throughout the United States like ours. It is important to see the neighborhood in its historical context. It tells a story of historic Italian immigration to the Americas and specifically to the US.
Today there are not many actual Italians living on The Hill but there are still quite a few people whose ancestors came from Cuggiono and the towns surrounding Milan. Today, The Hill is a solid St. Louis working class neighborhood.
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Mass is said in Italian once a month and the school offers Italian classes to all its students. The Hill is still a vibrant neighborhood although it has changed a lot over the years. The streets are lined with bakeries, grocery stores, a gelateria, and Italian American restaurants playing the music of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. You will also see copies of the Italian American newspaper Il Pensiero which is still in print and published bi-monthly by Carina Marino.
One of my favorite places on The Hill is Volpi Salumeria, which is also one of our sponsors. In , Giovanni Volpi arrived in St.
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Louis from Milan, and in , he opened his own salumeria at the same location it is today. He used the same methods he had learned in Milan to cure meats. He even created cacciatore -a dried salami small enough to fit into the pockets of the local clay miners. Today Volpi is a very successful worldwide brand and their products are even imported to Italy.
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