Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Escape to Verona for True Love this Season

Now that's Amore! Escape to Verona this Valentine's Day with Romeo & Juliet in The Shakespeare Theatre's stage-to-screen film production at the Klein Theatre.  Get 25% off tickets by using code CIAO25 exclusively for friends of CiaoDC.

Plus, get the perfect pasta recipe for your amore!  

Tickets, recipe and CiaoDC News Here!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

A Taste of Italy comes to Kensington, MD Sunday at the 16th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival!

Two Washington, D.C. Italian Food Icons, Joe Ferruggio and Amy Riolo, will appear at The 16th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival offering book signings, meet and greets and cooking demonstrations this Sunday, April 23, 2023.  Event is Free and open to public.  Enjoy the return of the festival in the heart of historic Kensington, MD and be charmed and dined all day!  CiaoDC invites you to learn more about these Italian personalities!

If you are craving authentic Italian cuisine, look no further than Il Canale restaurant in the heart of Georgetown.  Owner Joe Ferruggio has created an Italian trattoria that will transport any Washingtonian and their friends straight to bella'Italia in just one bite! CiaoDC recently visited Il Canale with friends from Rome and fell in love with the gnocchi bolognese! Era Buonissima! An Italian  immigrant, Joe shares his experience in his book, "My Name is Joe, And I am a Pizza Man." Discover his journey from an Italian immigrant teen to an award- winning Restaurateur of one of the "World's Best Italian Restaurants and Pizzeria."  Meet Joe this Sunday to hear his story and a meet and greet plus book signing at the Kensington Day of the Book Festival, Book to Plate event at 12:30 p.m. -12:50 p.m. in Kensington, MD.  More information on festival here.

Friend of CiaoDC, Best-selling author of over 13 books, award-winning chef, TV host and Mediterranean Diet Ambassador, Amy Riolo will delight the Book to Plate audience with a live Italian cooking demonstration!  Enjoy the flavors, smells and sights of this artful cuisine from the renowned "Ambassador of Italian Cuisine in the United States." Among numerous accolades, our Maryland Pride crowd will revel in the fact that Amy is the brand Ambassador for the Maryland University of Integrative Health and the Pizza University and Culinary Arts Center in Maryland. You can enjoy a collection of artisanal Italian imported culinary ingredients dubbed Amy Riolo Selections such as extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pesto sauce.  More on products here.  Enjoy Amy's in-person cooking demo on the Book to Plate Stage, 1:00 p.m. -1:40 p.m. at the Kensington Day of the Book Festival, Sunday, April 23.  More information on festival and cooking demo here.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

CiaoDC's Private Tour of Vittore Carpaccio at the National Gallery of Art


Discover the masterpieces of Venetian Renaissance Artist, Vittore Carpaccio presented in the first retrospective outside of Italy during a private one-hour tour at the National Gallery of Art on Tuesday, January 17, 1:00 p.m.  Led by Senior Lecturer,  David Gariff.  

A leading figure in the art of Renaissance Venice, Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460/1466-1525/1526) is best known for his large, spectacular narrative paintings that brought story to life.  Celebrated in his native city of Venice for centuries, beloved for his observant eye, fertile imagination, and storytelling prowess, Carpaccio remains little known - except as a namesake culinary dish, "Steak Carpaccio."

Some 45 paintings and 30 drawings will include large-scale canvases painted for Venice's charitable societies and altarpieces for church alongside smaller works that decorated the homes of prosperous Venetians.  The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery and Musei Civici di Venezia, also the organizers of the CiaoDC celebrated 2019 exhibition Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice.

CiaoDC's Private Tour Tickets are $10 per guest. Lunch option available for additional fee.  Meeting Location will be at the Gallery entrance of 6th Street.  
For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The new Italian American Museum of DC and Holy Rosary Church Tour Fall Series Launch!

CiaoDC Invites you to a special fall tour launch of the new Italian American Museum of Washington, D.C. (IAMDC) Tour series on Wednesday, November 16, 11-12:30 at 395 1/2 3rd and F Street, NE, Washington, D.C.  Discover the rich history and amazing contributions of Italian Americans with special focus on the contributions here in the Washington, D.C. area.  A 90-minute tour will be guided by the curators of the museum and fellow Italian Americans.  Museum tour will be followed by a 15-minute tour of the only Italian American Museum church in Washington, D.C., Holy Rosary Church.  Box lunch will be offered.

These icons are near and dear to my heart as my husband and I celebrated our wedding ceremony here and our girls, Giuliana and Sofia, were baptized.  Before having a family and meeting my husband, I began - what would be - my lifelong journey of studying, promoting and celebrating my Italian heritage as my passion and career.  It was at this sanctuary that I began participating in community Italian events; leading clubs; studying the language, launching with my fellow Italian American friends the premiere Italian street festival on the very streets of Holy Rosary Church and what is now, the coveted Italian American Museum of Washington, D.C. (IAMDC.)  God Bless the creative minds that created this museum and the wonderful sponsors that have made this dream a reality.  

It is with great honor that CiaoDC kicks off the IAMDC Fall series this month on November 16, 11-12:30.  For more information and to RSVP click here.   Tour is $10 with 15% of the proceeds going to the Italian American Museum DC.  Limited Capacity.  Lunch options available for additional fee. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Buon Natale e Felice di Anno Nuovo!


Buon Natale!!  The Christmas Season is truly the merriest time of year for my  family.  Growing up in an Italian American family at Christmas was magical.  Christmas Eve was the star of the season.  Traditionally we would gather to celebrate The Feast of the Seven Fishes or "Festa dei Sette Pesci."  Fish only is to be served.  This tradition honors the seven sacraments or seven virtues of Catholicism. The number 7 is biblically recognized hundreds of times. This tradition is celebrated among southern Italians, as my family is from Bari and Napoli.  

The Feast begins with antipasto at our Christmas Eve table: stuffed clams, squid, oysters and mini crab cakes.  The Primi Piatti (first course) would include linguine and clams or seafood lasagna or crab sauce with fettuccine.  Followed by the Secondo Piatti (second course) of shrimp, stuffed mushrooms and vegetables.  I Dolci (dessert) would vary from homemade Italian cookies, cannoli and pizzelles.  These desserts were passed down from my grandmother and  honored by my sisters and I - and now our children.  

Growing up I remember after my Dad, mom and three sisters and I celebrated Christmas in Bowie, Maryland, we would drive to New York to celebrate with our relatives - aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.  We would visit Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island and the city for a Christmas Show and tree lighting.  This was forever ingrained in my spirit and pride in being Italian.  Oh the bread, oh the Italian bakeries, oh the homemade sauce and smell of garlic!  No one does Christmas like New Yorkers - especially Italian New Yorkers.  From the embellished decorations and lights to the abundant food and lavish celebrations.   We grew up with the Rockettes, the tree at Rockefeller Center and the Christmas spirt of Queens and Brooklyn every year.  

Walking into my grandparents home I would be welcomed by the smell of garlic and homemade gravy.  My grandmothers dining room table was piled high with trays of my favorite Italian cookies: honey balls; little crescent cookies; jelly cookies; biscotti and pizzelles.  My cheeks would be pinched by my Aunt Annette just in time to sneak in some of her stromboli while my grandparents paced around the kitchen stove critiquing the sauce, debating when the sausage should go in and how long to cook the meatballs. 

The reverence of the holiday, the respect of the food, and the long-time traditions being served with such passion behind every celebration was a code of honor to be carried on for generations to come.  We were Italian and this is how Christmas was to be celebrated - ALWAYS.  Oh, and the presents!  But yet, the presents I remember the least - We were the gift. Family, tradition and being together was the true gift on Christmas.

And from these beautiful traditions of family, food and festivities my sisters and I continue to honor and celebrate Christmas with the delicate touch that we learned from our ancestors.  We'll gather this December 24, 2021 with our husbands and children, our mom and the spirt of our beloved father, Felice, in our memories at the table and beyond -- over linguine and clams, shrimp, crabs cakes and
Italian vino.  My children and nieces will make the Italian cookies and pizzelles, my nephews will make pizza and homemade pasta and our husbands will make the celebrated fish dishes.  

We'll eat, we'll critique and we'll be forever Italian American at Christmas Eve and beyond.  Because were Italian and this is how Christmas is celebrated ALWAYS.  God bless you all.  Buon Natale from our family to yours.