Questa settimana facciamo qualcosa diversa--this week let's do something different...let's take some quizzes! Yay! School is back in session! No, dai--com'on, these are actually kind of fun...try them out and see what kind of Italian are you? Even if you're not Italian, you are some kind of Italian once you answer these fun, interactive, and engaging questions. Relax, grab your caffe', cappuccino, or your non-fat, extra foam, vanilla Latte and enjoy!
Ciao a tutti! Hello to all! Benevenuti! Welcome! Bentornati! Welcome back! In part one of this post, Italian food was discussed, in part two; the contributions of the Italian language and Italy’s inventions and art were summarized. As mentioned in the previous post if Italy did not exist, there would be no Italians and therefore no Italian Americans or ancestry. So, what would the world be missing? Spaghetti and meatballs as known by Americans would not exist, no Italian beef or sausage, no Jacuzzi or Zamboni names I had mentioned in an earlier post--the Jacuzzi was invented by an Italian immigrant, Candido Jacuzzi, for his son who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and Frank Zamboni invented the Zamboni which resurfaces ice as seen in ice rinks and half time hockey games. If there were no Italian ancestry there would be no liposuction, no Viterbi algorithms, yes, no Viterbi algorithms which is a programming algorithm that decodes digital communication links, yeah, don’t quite get it either. Here is a link that explains it further yet, in all honesty, it confused me more, but maybe you’ll have better luck with it…
No Italy, no Italians, no Italian ancestry, no National Inquirer founded by Gene Pope, Jr., no Planter’s peanuts, founder was Amedeo Obici, no Tic Tacs due to no Ferrero confectioner, no Cubs Win! Cubs Win! a saying made famous by sports broadcaster Harry Caray born Harry Christopher Carabini, no Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) a service created by Charles Bonaparte, no first woman to be nominated to the US vice presidency, Geraldine Ferraro, no first woman to be speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, no Like a Virgin, no Madonna (the singer), no It’s a Wonderful Life as we know it, produced and directed by Frank Capra, no Italy, think about all the entertainers and athletes the world would be missing. No Anne Bancroft born Anna Maria Louisa Italiano, no Isabella Rossellini who is the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini known for creating the film genre of NeoRealism, no Joe DiMaggio, no Rocky Marciano, no Alan Alda born Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo, no Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Rudolph Valentino, Mario Andretti, no Back to the Future or Forrest Gump as we know them directed by Robert Zemeckis. His mother was of Italian descent, no Robert DeNiro, no Leonardo DiCaprio, no Danny DeVito, no Nicholas Cage, nephew of Francis Ford Coppola creator of the Godfather who partnered with writer Mario Puzo yet none of them would’ve existed and Living on a prayer wouldn’t have either for Jon Bon Jovi born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. wouldn’t have been here to write it as no Anjelica Huston, her mom was Italian, no Martin Scorsese, no Dog Day Afternoon, no Al Pacino, no Born in the U.S.A for there would be no Bruce Springsteen singing it if his mother of Italian ancestry would not exist, no Yogi Berra, no Laverne and Shirley, at least no Laverne for Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Masciarelli, and on and on it can go.
If Italy hadn’t existed another country, another civilization would have given many of the aforementioned contributions; they may not have been given in the same way or style yet if you were to re-read the posts and absorb Italy’s contributions, there have been many and so many not mentioned.
One name, in particular, makes me very curious and I wonder if Italy did not exist what other name would be used for this place. What would America be called? If Italy did not exist there would be no Amerigo Vespucci the Italian that America is named after but more importantly, yes, more importantly, if Italy did not exist I would not exist and therefore I write to say…
I couldn’t name all of Italy’s contributions and I aim for accuracy, if you have more to add and/or see an inaccurate statement don’t hesitate to let me know.
In Part One of What Would The World Be Missing If Italy Did Not Exist, we talked about some important contributions that Italy has given the world, for example, Italian food, the most popular being pizza and pasta. Again I ask what would the world be missing if Italy did not exist?
Can you imagine a world without Italian art or literature? Can you imagine the Renaissance being cradled anywhere else in the world? No Italy, no Florence or Tuscany, no Michelangelo, DaVinci, Botticelli, Donatello, Brunelleschi, no Medici, no 17 foot David, no doors of paradise, no dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, no Santa Maria del Fiore, no Giotto’s tower, no Uffizi gallery, no Renaissance, no Ballet which was born during the Renaissance in Italy, no Mona Lisa, no Raffaello, no Macchiavelli and his Prince, no Rome, no birthplace of the Baroque, no Bernini, no Caravaggio, no Borromini, no Pieta’, no Vatican City, no St. Peter’s square, no Italy, no Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy, no Giovanni Boccaccio, no Petrarca, no Humanism, no Italy, no Rome, no Roman Empire! Without the Roman Empire we would not have the calendar, as we know it. No months of August (named after Augustus), no July (named after Julius Caesar), no aqueducts or viaducts, no Roman archways, no sewage systems, no efficient highway system, no Roman Law/Politics, no Public Welfare, no newspapers, no Roman Alphabet which is used in the Western world, no Latin, no Italian language. Oh wait a second, what?…no Italian!?
Ciao, io mi chiamo Anna
E' un piacere conoscervi. Nice meeting all of you. I am an Italian teacher in the States and have been teaching for almost 20 years. I love teaching Italian yet Public Education has changed since I started; or it may be that I have changed since I started--maybe a little bit of both. I was granted a sabbatical year to work on a project about my family that metamorphosed into something bigger than my family. It developed into a website called the Story of Silence. It speaks about seven women and the stories they tell about their personal experiences during WW2. I am hoping it can develop further into a resource for teachers of all subjects and for life-long learners in general who believe in the power of Storytelling and its capacity to connect us in the most human of ways. Storytelling lead me to create For the Love of All Things Italian as well. I love Italy and thought this would be another way of sharing Italy with others who have the same passion and love for this breathtakingly beautiful yet unabashedly flawed and enigmatic country--it is what makes Italians so very human. You'll find stories from different areas of Italy I have had personal experiences in; however, I highlight Sicily. It's where I go every year and where a little piece of my heart remains until I return.