Monday, August 29, 2016

Italian American Relief for Earthquake in Italy

CiaoDC is saddened by the devastation of Central Italy's Earthquake - with rising death tolls of 290 and hundreds more injured among them several children.   Towns in three regions were devastated by the quake - Umbria, Lazio and Marche and could be felt as far away as Bologna in the north and Naples in the South.  The worst catastrophe to strike this country since the Earthquake in the Abruzzo region in 2009.

In an effort to help restore this great country, we have partnered with the Italian American  The monies raised through this fund will be directed to a specific project requested by the town in response to the Earthquake aftermath. 

The Italian American Relief was created to respond to the earthquake in Emilia Romagna in 2012.  From that effort, $250,000 was raised by partnering with corporations and multiple Italian American organizations throughout the country in order to support reconstruction of the school for disabled youth in the region.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) created the Italian American Relief Fund as a vehicle for fundraising in response to the Emilia Romagna earthquake in 2012.  Our goal today, as it was then, is to provide a united front for Italian American organizations and individuals to rally behind a single cause. The more we raise together, the greater impact we can have on the devastated areas of Central Italy.  Our hearts are with all the victims and their families,” NIAF President and Chief Operation Officer, John M. Viola.

To contribute to rebuilding Italy, please make a donation at this link.  Together we can rebuild Italy!  Thank you in advance for your support!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

52nd Annual Villa Rosa Festival September 11th!

The 52nd Annual Villa Rosa Festival is on Sunday, September 11, 11-6 p.m. on the grounds of Villa Rosa Nursing Home in Mitchellville, Maryland.  This annual event has been a tradition for our local Italian Community since its inception.  I learned the meaning of being Italian at the Villa Rosa Festival. I have been attending the festival with my family since I was three, and have very fond memories of it.  The smells of homemade pizza, the delicious cannoli, the beautiful people and the Italian pride that filled the grounds.  I still remember the beautiful landscape and weeping willow under which my family and I had a feast and siesta and indulged in the Italian festivities.  I can't wait to take my three and six year old to relish in the music, the fun and most of all the food!

Holy Rosary Church has been a longtime sponsor of this event and its planner remains to be the dedicated Darlene DiBattista.  On tap this year includes Italian culinary specialties including pasta, homemade pizza, polenta, Italian sausage, grilled chicken, salad, pasta fritta, cannoli, and authetnic gelato by DC Based Dolci Gelati served by owner Gianluigi Dellaccio! Wine and Beer.  Entertainment includes local greats NoWhere Men and the iTalians The Band to get the music flowing.

The greatest part of this Italian festival is that it doesn't change - its a memory you can count on year after year!  Bring your family, friends and Italian appetite to this homemade event.  It will be an Italian Sunday you'll never forget.

52nd Annual Villa Rosa Festival
Sunday, September 11, 11-6 p.m.
Villa Rosa Nursing Home
3800 Lottsford Vista Rd
Mitchellville, Md 20721

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DC-Based Dolci Gelati Wins World Gelato Tour - Live CiaoDC Chat!

CiaoDC chats with DC-based Dolci Gelati Founder/Pastry Chef and friend, Gianluigi Dellaccio about his winning gelato, the secret ingredient to success and where to find this amazing authentic gelato around town!

Visit Dolci Gelati cafes at the Shaw Neighborhood, Takoma Park and newly opened Old Town location for authentic Italian gelato and pastries.  Ask for their "Gelato World Tour" award-winning, Saffron Pistachio with Candied Lemon Peel Gelato!  Buonissima!

Pastry Chef & Owner Gianluigi Dellaccio Takes Home Trophy as the Judges Choice
for the Technical Jury Award Category Sending Dolci Gelati to the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy in 2017

Friday, June 17, 2016

Preserving Italy with Cookbook Author Domenica Marchetti

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Volo
 for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Photo Courtesy of Olga Berman 

"When you sit with Italians...its not just about the food...its about the experience...its about communing." - Domenica Marchetti

CiaoDC talks food with cookbook author, Domenica Marchetti about her latest release, Preserving Italy.  Join the conversation about the art of Italian cooking, the artisans of Italy, secret grapes of Virginia vineyards and more!  Listen to the conversation here about.

Plus, meet Domenica Marchetti on June 29th with NOIAW (National Organization of Italian American Women) for a conversation with author on her latest release, a book signing and light refreshments.  Event and ticket information here.                                          


Monday, June 6, 2016

The 'Fools Are Back in Town!

The Miser

Get ready for the greatest show on earth!  The Faction of Fools Theatre Company presents Moliere's The Miser June 2 - June 26, 2016 at the Eastman Studio Theatre at Gallaudet University.  

CiaoDC is thrilled to have these 'Fools back on stage in full production mode with more energy than ever before, guaranteeing your one-stop-ticket to Italian theater alive and kicking during the laziest days of summer.  Flips, turns, upside down shenanigans -- coupled with silliness and lots of laughs -- tell this classic love story between "a man and his money" in 90 minutes with no intermission.  

Director and Faction of Fools Artistic Director, Toby Mulford, brings a fresh translation of the 1669 French script from his father and scholar of French literature, George Mulford. Mulford plays the 'miser,' Harpagon, with brilliant sincerity and flawless timing.  As do all the "five daring actors -- bringing a cast of sharp-witted characters to life in a rollicking tale of one man's love for his cash box."  

CiaoDC's loyal friend and star, Rachel Spicknell plays three roles, one better than the other (Harpagon's daughter, EliseFrosine, a matchmaker; and the hilarious detective.) This high energy, physical comedy routine of Faction of Fools is pleasantly balanced with interludes of jazz and a scene performed in just sign language with ASL Interpretation highlighting Gallaudet University Theatre Alumni and first-time Faction of Fools actor, Jane Enabore.   All the characters steal the show with their quick wit and incredible ability to be everywhere all the time, literally playing multiple roles simultaneously.  Cleante, Harpagon's son played by Clayton Pelham doubles as his (Harpagon's) servant at a pace faster than you can say fool! Incredible talent shout out to Clayton and Kathryn Zoerb (Valere, Harpagons Steward/La Fleche, Cleante Son.) The artistic masks adorned by the actors are impeccable as always with a dramatic 'behind the mask' look at each character.   

Faction of Fools is DC's only theatre company devoted specifically to Commedia dell'Arte, and the recipient of the Helen Hayes 2012 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.  Commedia dell'Arte (which translates as "theatre of the professional") began in Italy in the early 16th Century and quickly spread throughout Europe, creating a lasting influence on Shakespeare, Moliere, opera, vaudeville, contemporary musical theatre, sit-coms, and improv comedy.  Its origins are said to be from Venice and Naples.

The Miser is a must see event!  Do as the Venetians do and check out this tale in true Commedia style.  Grab a cappuccino at Union Market before the show and be transported to the streets of Italy as fast as Harpagons money is snatched!  Bravissimo Faction of Fools - you've out-done yourselves again!

Save 20% off tickets with CiaoDC code CIAO16!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

There's a Party on F Street and You're Invited!

"Ultimately, theatre should be a party."
                                         -Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Social Director

Padua, Italy comes to life in the lobby and stage of The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sydney Harman Hall during its run of The Taming of the Shrew, Now-June 26.

Upon entering the Hall, you'll find Piazza d'Amore, an artisan market of local gems ranging from Straw hats and bags to delicate, hand-made linens, Italian pasta, jam; artsy postcards, photographs and more.  A pre-show like non other, setting the stage for Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's "larger than life" vision of William Shakespeare's controversial tale.

Noted as Social Director, Iskandar's visionary goals are communal -- 'having the actors engage with audience members before the show begins,' during intermission and after the performance with an impromptu meet and greet.

"For me, the value of art is in its ability to bring people together...In a digital world where we are always connected but increasingly isolated, being a champion of face-to-face contact is a revolution in itself," says Iskander.

A brilliant gold revolving stairwell is the focal point of the stage throughout the show - bringing the audience straight to the streets of Italy in Act One with singing and dancing to "Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano."

Flawless acting interluded with raw song and dance and some Italian spoken throughout bring both balance and intimate reflection to each scene.  In true Italian wedding style, intermission is doubled as the reception of Katherina and Petruchio's wedding where the audience is invited to join actors on stage while a series of songs from Singer/Songwriter, Duncan Sheik, including, "She Runs Away" and "Barely Breathing," take center stage.

Art, drama and intimacy are the themes of STC's Shrew.  When you leave this show, you'll feel like your part of one big Italian family. Bravo, Bravissimo! 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Piazza d'Amore Coming to a Theatre Near You!

Artists, wine tastings, live performances oh my! All this and more will set the scene in the lobby and streets of The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall as it's transformed into an Italian Piazza before each performance of The Taming of the Shrew May 17-June 26.  

FREE and open the public, Piazza d'Amore will be a fully-operational Italian open-air style market curated with handmade goods that have been curated to meet the expectations of savvy D.C. shoppers. In addition to the market stalls, the piazza will host pre-show conversations, wine and cocktail tasting and demonstrations, and special performances from the cast and local performers.  Plus hands-on workshops will be offered from local artists at the Padua Finishing School

Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar’s all-male production presents a provocative new approach to The Taming of the Shrew and an utterly unique audience experience.  Get tickets with CiaoDC's promo code and Save 20% off The Taming of the Shrew with promo code: CIAO20 Explore the production and buy online or call 202.547.1122.  Lets meet at the Piazza!

Offer subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with other offers and cannot be applied to previously purchased tickets. Offer is not applicable to “Premium” or “D” zone seating.