Rificolona in Florence — Ona, Ona, Ona!

Rificolona in Florence Ona, Ona, Ona!

Ona, Ona, Ona,
O che bella Rificolona,
La mia l’é coi fiocchi,
La tua l’é coi pidocchi!
(Ona, ona, ona,
What a beautiful Rificolona,
Mine with bows is tied,
In yours, lice do reside!)

Florentine children sing this song as they wander through the streets of Florence the first week of September, carrying papier-mâché lanterns tied to the ends of sticks, called rificolone. There are several theories as to where the tradition originates from, some think it commemorates the triumphant entry of Florentine troops into Siena on August 2 1555, when the soldiers tied lanterns onto the ends of their pikes.

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Vino Novello

From www.SeeTuscany.com

It’s Time to Celebrate the Bounty of the Harvest

Everybody is waiting for the first wine of the year, vino novello, which goes so well with the chestnuts that also appear in late autumn. As the days shorten and the shadows lengthen, people have always gathered to celebrate the bounty of the harvest. The most important crop in Tuscany is wine, and much is planned: in mid-September Greve will host the annual Rassegna del Chianti Classico , an ideal occasion to taste the most recent vintage and decide whose wines you want to stock up on. There will also be shows (including a photographic exhibition) and panel discussions.

On the last weekend of September the town of Impruneta will hold the annual Festa dell’Uva, a festival in which the town’s four neighborhoods compete to see who can provide the best allegorical representation of the grape harvest. It’s street theater at its best, and the town square will come alive with beautiful floats and fancifully costumed performers.

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2011 IFAFA Conference Activities

The 2011 IFAFA Conference included the following

Dance workshops conducted by three fantastic teachers:

  • Mark DeSanctis: Noted Italian folk dancer and choreographer
  • Jackie Capurro: Teaching two dances from the Sud Tirol, Alto Adige
  • Doris Beckert: Teaching Italian Renaissance dances

Cantiamo Insieme: Italian Songs
Christine Petrucci is the founder, director, and piano teacher at the Seacoast Academy of Music in North Hampton, NH. Get ready for a fun-filled music class!

Lecture: The Italian Design
Professor Antonio Scontrino specializes in Digital and Film Photography and Graphics Technology at Central Connecticut State University.

Lecture: Food and Unification of Italy
Professor Dario Del Puppo specializes in Language and Culture Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

Cooking Demo and Tasting
Nina Dimascio is the founder of the Italian Culture Center of Education and Cuor d’Italia. She presented a Sicilian dish traditionally prepared during Carnevale. Her love for the Italian culture is brought forth in her love of cooking.

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In Memoriam: Victor Gugliuzza

Victor Gugliuzza

December 22, 1921 – July 29, 2011

Victor Gugliuzza, affectionately known to many in IFAFA as one of “the Victors” along with his long-time companion Victor Peck, was born Victory Roy Gugliuzza in 1921. He grew up with two sisters and a brother, all of whom predeceased him.

During World War II, he served in the Army for four years, including two years in Saipan in the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific, near Guam.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Joseph J. Bentivegna

Dr. Joseph J. Bentivegna

June 8, 1928 – March 6, 2011

Joe Bentivegna was a long-time member and supporter of IFAFA. He was born in Dunmore, PA, and passed away at his home in Loretto, PA.

“Dr. Joe” earned his degrees in sociology, rehabilitation counseling and vocational rehabilitation. He worked his way through college as a chef, rising to the position of garde-manager at the Sagamore resort in upstate NY and the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, FL.

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Costumes Friuli – Venezia Giulia

We continue the series of descriptions of folk costumes taken from the book, now out of print, Il Costume popolare in Italia, by Emma Calderini, published by Sperling & Kupfer, Milano. In this issue, we highlight two costumes from the region of Friuli – Venezia Giulia. Click here to see the entire gallery or
Montanara dei dintorni di Udine / Woman of the Mountains around Udine
Blouse of homespun cloth. Close-fitting sleeveless vest of cotton, buttoned up the front. Underskirt of cotton, with a border. Over that another skirt, also of cotton, pulled up. The apron is of a cotton print. Knit stockings. The shoes are a type of wooden clog with a toe that points up and a strap of leather. On the head, a scarf of fringed wool.
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Children’s Abruzzese Fairytale

Gracie Scala Adamson grew up as the youngest of seven daughters in an Italian immigrant family in Australia. Gracie’s mother, Chiarina, was born in Vasto, Abruzzo, and this is one of the fairytales she would tell her children. Le Tre Favette (The Three Broad Beans) was one of Gracie’s favorite stories, but one that she could not find in fairytale books. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, and driven by a desire to pass on the tradition to her nephews and nieces, she recently translated the story, created the illustrations, and had it published.

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Beautiful Liguria – Travel Concierage

Anna Merulla is the founder of Beautiful Liguria, a travel concierge service that offers everything from touring, hiking excursions, weddings services, cooking lessons, and personal shopping in this great region. In 2009 she decided to begin sharing her personal knowledge of the beauty, the culture, and the history of Liguria in which she’s immersed every day. This article is from ItalianNotebook.com, used here with the permission of the author.

Walnut Sauce

  • 200 grams walnuts
  • 1/2 glove of garlic
  • the soft part of two bread rolls
  • whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • salt

Shell walnuts; soak in water in order to remove the bitter inside skin. Place nuts in the mortar with the garlic, bread soaked in milk, and salt. Blend with pestle until smooth and creamy.

When serving with pasta, I suggest that you dilute it with a little bit of the hot water used to cook the pasta and toss with butter and Parmesan cheese.