Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking for something Italian to do this weekend? Look no further, we've got just the fix:

FRIDAY, FEB 26: Tonight take a relaxing drive out to Abingdon, Maryland to mangia and listen to tenor Elio Scacio at Primavera Restaurant. Elio Scacio Friday and Sat 26-27, 7-9. Primavera Restaurant, 3920 Pulaski Highway, Abingdon, Maryland. Reservations required 410-612-2740.

SATURDAY, FEB 27: Check out the Del Ray Farmers Market and grab some homemade pasta prepared fresh daily by owner Nancy Polo Pritchard of Smithmeadow Farms before your evening at the theatre for high-energy commedia dell'arte"The Great One-Man Commedia Epic" at the Sydney Harmon Hall. De Ray Farmers Market, Corner of East Oxford and Mt. Vernon Ave., Sat. 9-noon, Free. The Great One-Man Commedia Epic through Monday. Sydney Harmon Hall, 610 F St., NW (Metro: Gallery Place) 202-547-1122. $20, $10 under 12.

Early bird gets mass in Italian and a cappuccino. Bravissimo e buonissimo! Start off Sunday with Mass at 10:30 a.m. (in Italian) at Penn Quarter's Holy Rosary Church (HRC) followed by Italian conversation, cappuccino and pastries at HRC's cultural center Casa Italiana, then stay and watch the screening of documentary Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread) followed by a roundtable discussion about Italian Immigration: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. If your more in the mood for love, catch a matinee of the Orlando Consort performing Amore: Love and Marriage in the Italian Rennaisance at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. OR, stay in the city to taste award-winning Barolo and Barberesco vintages at Cork Wine Bar. But be sure to make a reservation YESTERDAY! Holy Rosary Church, 395 3rd St, NW (Metro: Judiciary Square). Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland. University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-1625. 3 pm. $37, $9 students. Tickets call 301-405-ARTS. Cork Wine Bar, 1805 14St., Washington, D.C. 202-265-2675. RSVP at

Buon divertimento, buon appetito, salute e buon weekend!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Commedia dell'Arte!

Today is Commedia dell'Arte Day! Commedia dell'Arte day is promoted by the Italian Cultural Association SAT and organized globally by Faction of Fools Theatre Company based in Washington, D.C. February 25 was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Commedia dell'Arte on February 25, 1545 when a theatre troupe in Padua, Italy, signed documents to become the Western world's first incorporated theatre company. On this day, Commedia dell'Arte created Western professional theatre -- theatre driven by artist entrepreneurs who would make a business out of their craft.

By the close of the 16th century the Commedia tradition -- marked by masks, stock character types, standard plot scenarios, improvisation, and touring ensembles of skilled professionals -- had spread throughout Europe. And today it has spread to a theatre near you here in Washington, D.C.!

In honor of "Commedia dell'Arte Day," The Great One-Man Commedia Epic will run for seven performances from Thursday, February 25 through Monday, March 1 (Thur, 7 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat-Sun 4 pm and 8 pm; Mon 7 pm) in the Forum of the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sydney Harmon Hall (610 F St, NW). Created and performed by International Commedia dell'Arte specialist Matthew R. Wilson, he performs 12 traditional characters and transforms a bare stage into a raucous world of young lovers, squabbling old men, boasting soldiers, and dim-witted servants. The entire town is thrust to the brink of tragedy (even forcing Wilson to dual himself!) before love prevails, normalcy is restored, and comedy triumphs!

Running time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $10 for children 12. Tickets here or call 202-547-1122.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vino and Depero

Two new events have popped up this week.

First, if you're into vino, be sure to put Cork Wine Bar's Vietti Vintage Barolo tasting on your calendar. They'll have it on Sunday, Feb. 28th at 3:00pm. Unfortunately the snow kept Luca Corrado-Vietti away, but local importer Brennan Downey, of Michael Downey selections will be on site to guide the tasting of these amazing wines from the Piedmont region. The tasting costs $50 per person. Click here to RSVP.

Second, the Italian Cultural Society is featuring an exhibition of the works of Italian futurist designer, Fortunato Depero on Friday, February 26, at 6:30pm at the Italian Embassy. Click here for more info and RSVP.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Don Giovanni to the Rescue!

Feeling nostalgic for a scene out of Moonstruck? Quick, get your hair done and call up Nicholas Cage. We're going to the Opera -- or at least a variation of it. Bah humbug to the winter blues, these upcoming performances will shake the cold right out of you and yours.

Concerto Soave on Thursday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. Cantatas and instruments by Italian composers. Library of Congress, Jefferson Building. Coolidge Auditorium, 10 First St., SE. 202-397-7328. Free, reservations required.

Virginia Opera presents Don Giovanni on Friday, February 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m. Mozart's Classic about the world's greatest lover comes to life in this passionate production inspired by the story of Don Juan. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. George Mason University's Center for the Arts on the Fairfax campus. Ticket prices include $86, $72, $44 on Friday and $98, $80, $48 on Sunday. For ticket information call 888-945-2468 or visit

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

That's Amore Party by La Dolce Vita in DC

La Dolce Vita in DC is a new group of Italians trying to bring more Italian-themed fun events to the nation's capital. Their first party is next Friday, February 26th at Muse Nightclub & Lounge. Click on the title of this post to join La Dolce Vita's group so you can get more info on the party and future events.

A presto!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Very Valentine Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all of the participants who opted to 'share the love' with this month. The lucky winner of the Very Valentine Giveaway is Kim DeLeonibus. She is the lucky winner of two (2) signed copies of Adriana Trigani's Very Valentine trilogy, Very Valentine and her latest release, Brava Valentine. Plus, a box of Perugina Baci chocolate to sweeten the deal.

Are you a fan of Trigani's fabulous Italian novels? Join the book dicussion on her latest release Brava Valentine, on's facebook page. Have you already read's interview with Adriana Trigani? Read here.

And for all you lovers of everything Italian in Washington, D.C., stay tuned for next month's giveaway. You'll just love it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cancellations and Shows on Despite the Snow!

Due to the aftermath of the snow, wind and ice storm, "oh my," the Italian Cultural Society has cancelled their Carnevale Celebration on Sunday, February 14 at the Friendship Heights Community Center. No snow date in sight. Other events postponed include the National Organization of Italian American Women of the Greater Washington, D.C. Region (NOIAW) Networking and Recruiting Happy Hour at Il Mulino. New snow date is Tuesday, February 23 from 6-8. Come by and say, "Ciao" to! Have you already read the interview with NOIAW honoree Ambassador Connie Morella? Read here.

Shows that are on despite the snow include Tosca (the restaurant) open on Sunday -- when they are typically closed -- for Valentine's Day. Roberto Donna's doors are open at home all weekend for a very intimate Valentine's Day and Carnevale Celebration. Friday, Saturday and Sunday classes are scheduled and still available for reservations. Check schedule for February listings.

Don't forget to sign up for your Very Valentine Givaway: Two (2) of Adriana Trigani's Valentine Trilogy, Very Valentine and her latest release, Brava Valentine signed by the reigning Italian queen of fiction herself. AND a box of Perugina Baci chocolate -- 21 pieces to be exact. Hurry, last day to enter is Valentine's Day (February 14 for all you anti-cupids). Oh, and remember to subscribe a loved one to to be eligible to win.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Very Valentine Giveaway! SNOW ADVISORY!

ENTER TO WIN! Share the love. Subscribe a loved one to by February 14 and be eligible to win our Very Valentine Gift Set. It includes a 21 count box of Perugina chocolates and two signed copies of Adriana Trigiani's latest release in her trilogy, (1) Brava Valentine and the first of the trilogy (2) Very Valentine! Click here to enter. The book will be officially released on February 9th, so enter to win your copy today! If you're interested in discussing Brava Valentine and discussing with the author and other subscribers, join the discussion on our Facebook fan page.

Read exclusive interview with the reigning (Italian) queen of fiction herself -- Adriana Trigiani here!

Snow Advisory! Craving a platter of spaghetti alla bolognese? A cure may be near you at the local Italian restaurants that we found still open in the Blizzard of 2010. But call ahead, their business may depend on it: Old Town favorites still open include Landini Brothers, Geranio and A La Lucia's; DC standards include Darlington House, Sette Osteria (sister restaurant Sette Bello in Arlington is also open), Al Tiramisu, Il Mulino, Cafe Milano, Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont location only), Dino and Lia's. In Reston we got a shout out from Il Fornaio. Stay warm and buon appetito!