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Stony Brook University Center for Italian Hosts Annual Concorso d'Eleganza

Alex Catti (September 25, 2017)
Stony Brook University’s 12th annual Concorso d’Eleganza was a success! Approximately 80 Italian cars rallied at the University located in the suburbs of New York City in order to show their cars and to attest to the “elegance” of Italian design. The event is hosted by the University’s Center for Italian Studies, which looks to promote the Italian language and culture both within and outside of the University.

The sun was shining and motors were revving on earlier this month at Stony Brook University. The Center for Italian Studies hosted its 12th annual Concorso d’Eleganza, an event that sees Italian automobiles of all years, makes, and models come together to show the beauty of Italian design.

A Show of Italian Design

This year’s car show saw approximately 80 Italian cars; this was the highest number of cars in the history of the show. The cars ranged from Fiats to Ferraris and everything in between. Owners chatted all about their Italian autos, discussing everything from where they purchased them to the work they put into them. A free breakfast was also provided for spectators and car owners alike.

Attendees voted on their favorite cars present at the show. The top pick was a 1983 Lamborghini Countach, owned by Robert Daddino. The second pick was a 1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 Super owned by Gary Pezzella, and the third pick was a 1998 Ferrari 550 owned by Robert Della Salle. Car clubs represented at the show included the Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Ferrari clubs of Long Island.

Promoting Italian Studies

The event would not be possible without the organization of the University’s Center for Italian Studies. The Center was founded in 1985 by Dr. Mario B. Mignone with the goal to “provide cultural enrichment that reflected the cultural heritage of the Italian and Italian American community on Long Island.” Over the past 32 years, the center has acted as a bridge between the University and the community.

The Center also prides itself on raising $1.5 million for an endowed chair. Dr. Mignone states, “with the presence of an endowed chair, it’s ensured that the Italian and the Italian-American experience will always be taught on our campus.” The center has also established a Visiting Fellows Program in order to bring international scholars to the University. An endowment established by Vito and Carolyn De Simone has allowed the Center to support a visiting lecturer every semester to teach a course on the “Italian American Experience Through Literature.”

Additionally, the center organizes lectures and conferences on topics pertaining to Italy, Italians, and Italian Americans. Last year’s 3-day conference was on Italy as a Mediterranean Country. The center recently held conferences on Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Antonin Scalia and Italian judge Giovanni Falcone. These conferences attract prominent individuals such as the President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, and the Commissioner of the Chamber of Deputies, Stefano Dambruoso.

To view more photos of the cars present that day, visit the Italian American Press's Photo Gallery, and for more information on Stony Brook University’s Center for Italian Studies and upcoming events, visit their official website.

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