Articles by: Nicole Campisano

  • Art & Culture

    Women in Cinema: "Daughter of Mine" Comes to D.C.

    Laura Bispuri, the award winning Italian director, is heading to Washington D.C.  Bispuri, who premiered her latest film, Daughter of Mine (Figlia Mia), at the Berlin Film Festival, will be joined by Alba Rohrwacher, the lead actress, April 23 at 6 pm at the Embassy of Italy in D.C.

    Conversation and Film

    The embassy is providing a sneak preview of Daughter of Mine, which will be presented at this year’s Filmfest DC.  There will also be an all women conversation at the embassy with Bispuri and Rohrwacher on Italian contemporary cinema that will be moderated by Laura delli Colli, the President of the Italian Film Journalists Association, the organization that awards the Nastri d’Argento prizes for Italian and European cinema.

    Daughter of Mine is a touching, and poignant film centering around 10-year-old Vittoria who is adopted. Vittoria begins spending time with Angelica, a party girl that could possibly be her birth mother.  Torn between the overprotective mother who raised her, and Angelica, the young girl feels conflicted.

    More on Laura and Alba

    This is not the first time that Alba has worked with Laura, in fact, Alba starred in Laura’s first feature film, Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata).  Impressively, Bispuri won the Nora award (for the best female director) at the Tribeca Film Festival three years ago with this film.  She has also received multiple accolades, such as the David di Donatello award, and the Nastro d‘Argento, for her short films.

    Alba Rohrwacher is also very accomplished and is the recipient of several awards, including Venice’s Coppa Volpi, two David di Donatello awards, and one Nastro d’Argento. Alba is best known in the U.S. for her performance as Tilda Swinton’s daughter in 2009’s I Am Love by Academy Award nominated director Luca Guadagnino.  

    For more information on the event, click here >>>

  • Photo Credit: Jason Isolini/Via National Italian American Foundation
    Facts & Stories

    NIAF’s 2018 Spring Gala Celebrates the Italian Way

    NIAF always celebrates Italian American culture in style, and this year was no exception.  Hosted at the legendary Cipriani 42nd Street, the New York City Spring Gala on April 10 was filled with food, culture, and entertainment.

    NIAF, the National Italian American Foundation, serves as a resource for the Italian American community preserving traditions and culture, as well as promoting and inspiring a positive image and legacy of Italian Americans.  Every year, they hold two galas to honor important Italians and Italian Americans across various sectors. 

    Celebrating Success and Dedication

    The night started off with an elegant reception. While enjoying cocktails, guests also participated in the silent auction. This year, Co-Anchor of NBC 4 Today, Michael Gargiulo, was the emcee for the night, while Gerard LaRocca, the New York Gala Chairman, welcomed the crowd.  Alfio, who also performed at the Washington D.C Gala, sang both the American, and Italian National Anthems.

    Gargiulo introduced the honorees:  Giovanni Colavita, CEO of Colavita USA, awarded the Special Achievement Award in International Business; Vincent C. Tizzio President & CEO Navigators Management Company, Inc., awarded the Special Achievement Award in Business; Joseph Sebastian Fichera CEO of Saber Partners, LLC, awarded the Special Achievement Award in Finance; and Ron Lo Russo President of Cushman & Wakefield’s Agency Consulting Group, awarded the Special Achievement Award in Real Estate.

    The Honorees

    Giovanni Colavita, like the other honorees, has worked hard for his success.   Colavita, born in the Molise region, was the only Italian who was awarded.  Colavita USA, under Giovanni’s management, became the largest distributer of Italian products representing brands like Baci Perugina, San Benedetto, and Cirio, along with Colavita products.

    Honored and humbled by his award, Giovanni emphatically expressed his gratitude by thanking his family for giving him the constant, love, advice and support that he embodies in his personal life, and in the business world.  Colavita emphasizes the passion for his work that keeps his family business growing strong.  He says: “I still enjoy this business as much as I enjoyed it when I was a kid; there’s more responsibility, but more satisfaction too.”

    Vincent Tizzio, who brings more than 30 years of property and casualty insurance experience to Navigators Management Company, is a very accomplished business man.  He has proven his success countless times in the business world, and since joining Navigators in 2012, he has enhanced the profitability of the company’s U.S. business and has led its growth: launching new products, leveraging technology to deliver more value and support to brokers and policyholders, and broadening Navigators’ local presence in major cities across the U.S. With the support of his close-knit family, Mr. Tizzio remains inspired to continuously work hard.

    Joseph Fichera's talents and accomplishments cover multiple fields, although he was awarded for his success in finance as the CEO of Saber Partners, LLC.  His government experience includes a presidential appointee staff position in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and a Board Director on one of the U.S. State Department's Enterprise Funds for Eastern Europe. He has also taught at Princeton University as a visiting lecturer in public and international affairs.  Mr. Fichera's dedication and expertise is demonstrated through all of his hardwork and numerous achievements.

    Ron Lo Russo's impressive commitment to his work as President of Cushman & Wakefield’s Agency Consulting Group showcases his exemplary leadership experience and background in agency leasing that helps drive new business opportunities by creating and executing strategies for leasing campaigns. Together with 12 professionals, the Agency Consulting Group actively promote and deliver best-in-class practices of the department to landlords in New York City.  Mr. Lo Russo is devoted to both his work and his family that support his successful endeavors.


    Sal Valentinetti, who was on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent, entertained the crowd with both Italian and American classics, such as Frank Sinatra’s "New York, New York."  Valentinetti, a New York native himself, is a proud Italian American who celebrates his culture through song. 

    Promoting Italian American Culture

    The NIAF Galas benefit their educational and youth programs by providing scholarships and grants.  These programs help young Italian Americans learn more about their heritage. NIAF is extremely dedicated to celebrating Italian culture within the United States, and is proud to support, and instill Italian American pride.



    The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage. NIAF serves as a resource on the Italian American community and has educational and youth programs including scholarships, grants, heritage travel and mentoring. NIAF is also the voice for Italian Americans in Washington, D.C. and works closely with the Italian American Congressional Delegation and the White House. NIAF’s mission includes advancing U.S.-Italy business, political and cultural relations and has a business council that promotes networking with corporate leaders.

    Fore more info visit the NIAF website here>>

  • Art & Culture

    Museum of the Souls in Purgatory: where Spiritual Meets Supernatural

    In Rome on the banks of the Tiber, lies the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Suffrage. This neo-Gothic church is beautifully unassuming harboring a 100-year-old museum of trapped souls.

    The “Museo delle anime del Purgatorio,” or the Museum of the Souls in Purgatory, has a collection of photos documenting the presence of souls in purgatory trying to reach out to the living.  According to Catholicism, the dead stuck in purgatory need prayers, so that they can be purified and move on to heaven.

    Reaching out to the Living

    This museum has attracted religious pilgrims, and curious tourists alike who are captivated by the notion of the dead among the living.  The history of the reliquary dates back to a fire in 1897.  Caused by candles, the fire revealed a shocking observation.

    Father Andrea Ruiu, the deputy parish priest, narrates: "on the wall, an image remained of a suffering face that was read as a prayer request from a soul in purgatory."  Father Jouet, who originally purchased the land for the church, “began collecting proof and examples from all across Europe of souls who manifested themselves to the living to obtain prayers or celebrations of Mass to purify themselves."  

    Other documents in the museum include the imprint of fingers on Maria Zaganti’s prayer book (1871), and a photo of a deceased mother’s imprint left on her son’s sleeve in Belgium (1789).  There are also spiritual happenings that occur to visitors.  Father Ruiu explains that “many of the people who come here have dreamt of a dead person after having prayed.”

    A Unique Experience

    Praying for the souls in purgatory is an important aspect within the Catholic Church.  The scorched marks and imprints that are collected by the museum are seen as a sign that these trapped souls are asking for the living to help them. Whether you visit for religious reasons or not, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Suffrage is a beautiful, and interesting landmark to experience.

  • Art & Culture

    Italianità to Open at LA’s Italian American Museum

    14 million Italians left Italy in the late 19th and early 20th century to begin a more prosperous life.  This diaspora, a dispersion of people to a new country, is displayed through art at the Italian American Museum of LA. The ITALIANITÀ: Italian Diaspora Artists Examine Identity exhibit, opening May 5, focuses on the Italian diaspora in America.

    The featured artwork of more than 20 artists at IAMLA captures the idea of a new-found identity and culture, as well as the overall experience of migrants and their descendants.  Italianità, meaning Italian-ness, is reflected throughout the art revealing the complex effects migration has on tradition, beliefs, and Italian roots.

    Showcasing the Italian Diaspora

    Marianna Gatto, the executive director-historian of the museum and the curator of ITALIANITÀ explains: “never before has this group of artists been exhibited within the confines of a single exhibition or institution. While promoting discourse about the Italian diasporic mosaic, ITALIANITÀ creates common ground on which connections to contemporary migrations can be forged.”

    IAMLA highlights some of the most exciting works, such as “Smoke Stacks” by Joseph Stella (1935), the drawings of Paolo Soleri, and the work of the blacklisted artist, Ralph Fasanella.  Other artists include Italo Scanga, painter Margaret Ricciardi, along with Cynthia Minet who created an illuminated, life-size, mixed media sculpture, Rico LeBrun who is the leading figure of California’s modernist movement, and Ray Bradbury’s long-time illustrator, Joe Mugnaini

    As part of the 110th anniversary of the Italian Hall, ITALIANITÀ joins the continued series that is made possible by the support of Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery, Leno and Paul Sislin, Umina Brothers, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. 

    All of the featured Artists include:

    Joseph Stella • Ralph Fasanella • Italo Scanga • Paolo Soleri • Luigia Martelloni • Rico Lebrun • Leo Politi • Robert Peluce • Cynthia Minet • Margaret Ricciardi • Joseph Mugnaini • David Trulli • Manny Cosentino • Tina Gulotta • William Papaleo • Juan Rosillo • Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo • Lola Scarpitta • Anthony Riccio • Michele Nardon Renn • Domenico Foschi


    To learn more about this exhibit, click here >>>

    To learn more about the IAMLA, click here >>>

  • "The Resurrection" by Piero della Francesca
    Art & Culture

    Piero della Francesca’s The Resurrection Restoration Completed

    British author Aldous Huxley deemed Piero della Francesca’s The Resurrection, “the greatest painting in the world,” and after centuries of damage, it has finally been restored to its original grandeur.  It is now exhibited in Sansepolcro’s civic museum.

    A Costly Fix

    The restoration took place over three years thanks to the work done by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, a highly respected restoration laboratory, and the offices of art superintendents of both Arezzo and Siena. Aldo Osti, the manager of Buitoni, also helped fund the artistic endeavor with a donation of 100,000 euros.

    The Resurrection had survived earthquakes, an exhaust pipe, sodium hydroxide, and centuries, so it was necessary to fix the damages that were caused by age, and other physical encounters.  This recent restoration has sharpened details and brightened up the colors.  Now there is life back in Jesus’ eyes, and his pink cloak shines against the bright blue sky.

    There are many mysteries that surround the painting: the year of creation is up for dispute but is currently set at 1470, its original location is unknown, and it is unclear if the sleeping soldier is actually the artist’s self-portrait.  However, it is known that The Resurrection was a commissioned work that symbolically alluded to Sansepolcro’s own resurrection through Christ’s.

    The Artist

    Della Francesca was born in c. 1420 in Sansepolcro where the painting now resides.  He was an early renaissance artist, but later in life, he was better known for his other talents as a mathematician and a geometer.  Throughout his art career, Piero della Francesca was inspired by great masters, such as Masaccio, and Donatello, to name a few.  His style was defined by his use of color, and light, as well as his precise use of mathematics to create realistic works.

  • Art & Culture

    New Pompeii Discoveries

    2018 marks the 270th year anniversary of Pompeii’s discovery, and excitingly, new finds have been uncovered. The ancient city of Pompeii was completely buried by ash and rocks when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.  However, bodies, buildings and priceless artifacts have been preserved for centuries.

    Restoring History with Technology

    This spring, for the first time, drones and laser scanners—along with archaeologists— were used in the excavation process.  With these new technologies, major discoveries have been made in the Regio V section of Pompeii.

    Pubs, shops, gardens, and art were uncovered throughout this recent excavation process.  There are alleys and streets that have never been seen before, as well as the entrance to a home that has been called the Domus.  This Domus is thought to have been owned by a wealthy family because of the magnificent art found inside. Within, there are frescoes and panels with a painted dolphin against a red background.

    Massimo Osanna, Pompeii’s site manager, explains the magnitude of the discovery: "For the first time as academics, we have come across objects, plasterwork and frescoes that have never been restored, that are in their original shape and colour without having been tampered with in past restoration. Now we also have the opportunity to carry out conservation work using the most advanced techniques, materials and experiences."

    Future Plans

    Osanna and his team’s main goal is to reconstruct the uncovered area, so visitors can explore the site further.  This laborious project will take around two years at an estimated cost of 8.5 million euros.

  • Art & Culture

    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Science and Art in D.C

    Mirrors hold onto a sense of mystery, even if they are everyday objects.  Of course, we know that simple science can explain the function of a mirror, but there is an ongoing sense of wonder of what lies within.  Is there more than meets the eye?

    In Patrizio Travagli’s Mirror, Mirror on the Wall exhibit, spectators become the subject of the piece through the use of mirrors.  The human reflection turns into art as illusions, and a seemingly alternate reality are created making us question our own perceptions of what is real and what isn’t.  Opening April 10, at the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C., the power of light and reflection will create an interactive and fantastical experience.

    Science and Art

    Travagli has done extensive research on physical scientific phenomena related to light. The artist’s use of mirrors as his medium was inspired by the collaboration entitled In-Lusionem with designer Marco De Vincenzo during Pitti Uomo in January 2016.

     In his own words: “My artwork aims to lead viewers to rethink their perception of space regardless of the wide variety of techniques I use: painting, sculpture, video, photography and installation…Originating from a rational and scientific place, my intention is to guide spectators on a journey in which their knowledge of space is put to the test, revealing the imperceptible and disclosing new dimensions that stretch towards the infinite.”

    In the exhibit there will be various mirrors, handmade in Florence, Italy, with their own reflectivity and color properties.  Travagli’s research and work has allowed him to control the dimensions and specific appearances within the reflections creating a personalized experience for the viewer.

    More about Patrizio Travagli

    Patrizio Travagli graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1993 in Florence, Italy.  He is best known for his light installation works where he includes math, science, and architecture in his creative process. The award-winning artist has displayed his galleries all over the world.

    For more information, click here>>> 

  • Art & Culture

    Italian Renaissance Prints on Display in D.C.

    This April, the National Gallery of Art is presenting Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze.  90 pieces will be on display to demonstrate the impact of Renaissance prints on maiolica and bronze plaquettes.

    The Influence of Print Images

    Maiolica is Italian white glazed pottery adorned with bright colors.  This technique was used in Europe throughout the Renaissance period.  Also popular during the Renaissance, were bronze plaquettes (small sculptures or plaques) inspired by ancient Greek and Roman coins. 

    Both media show biblical and mythical scenes.  These two art forms were inspired by printed images.  Sharing Images exhibits the progression and transformation of the printed image into maiolica and bronze reliefs and demonstrates the change in designs of artists, like Andrea Mantegna, Raphael, and Michelangelo across various media.

    A publication coincides with the exhibit explaining the metamorphosis of media, and various aspects, such as the revival of classicism and its influence on art. It goes into further detail concerning the exchange of art in Italy and throughout Europe, among other things.

    Connections between Art

    The director of the NGA, Earl A. Powell III, explains that “the visual links between these objects vividly demonstrate that Renaissance prints, produced in large numbers and rapidly diffused, were among the earliest viral images in European art. We are grateful for a grant from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, which made it possible to explore the complex and unpredictable connections shared between these works of art."

    More Information

    The exhibition is curated by Jamie Gabbarelli, assistant curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. The exhibition is the culmination of Gabbarelli's research as the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in the department of old master prints from 2015 to 2017.

    This exhibition will be on view until August 5, 2018.  For more information, click here >>>.

  • Art & Culture

    Antonioni in the Golden City

    The Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) once said, “the cinema is not, in essence, moral. It is emotional.” Antonioni is one of the most renowned filmmakers in Italian cinematic history, and has been awarded countless accolades: the Palme d’Or, the Golden Lion, the Golden Bear, and the Golden Leopard, in addition to the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon which he won eight times.  Antonioni’s honors go on and on, but his greatest accomplishment was creating powerful and poignant films that resonate with all generations.

    Iconic Italian Cinema

    To celebrate the greatness of Antonioni and his works, Cinema Italia San Francisco is hosting a screening of five of his films on April 28, 2018 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.  Starting at 10:30 AM, L’avventura, L’eclisse, Red Desert, Blow-up, and The Passenger will be played throughout the day until 10:00 PM. 

    This film series is a follow up to this past winter’s Michelangelo Antonioni retrospective that was held throughout December and into January to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death.  This retrospective took place in New York City and was co-curated by Luce Cinecittà and The Museum of Modern Art.

    “My Antonioni” and More

    In addition to the presentation of films, there will be a few special events at San Francisco’s Italian Cultural Institute on April 26.  The “My Antonioni” collection will be on display showcasing the director’s personal writings which were compiled by Carlo di Carlo, and will be presented by the film scholar Noa Steimatsky. 

    Afterwards, there will be a screening of La Cupola, a documentary about Antonioni’s fascination with architecture, directed by Volker Satter, and a discussion by the architect Dante Bini called, “Antonioni and My Profession as an Architect,” about the villa that he built for Antonioni at Costa Paradiso in Sardinia.


    Michelangelo Antonioni was born in Ferrara in 1912, and died July 30, 2007.  Antonioni had many creative passions and was much more than a film director; he was also a screenwriter, editor, and short story writer.  Before he got into filmmaking, he earned a degree in economics from the University of Bologna, and began writing for the Il Corriere Padano as a film journalist.

    Cinema Italia San Francisco

    Cinema Italia San Francisco organized this film series.  Founded in 2013, Cinema Italia SF brings Italian Cinema to the Golden City.  Other programs organized by CISF include, Pasolini (2013), Bertolucci (2014), De Sica (2015), Magnani (2016), and Dino Risi and Lina Wertmüller (2017).

    "We’ve become part of something that goes beyond the reaches of the Italian and Italian American communities. Actually, the biggest boost comes from the general American public," said Amelia Antonucci, the Program Director of the festival who is proud to have accomplished her mission to share the best of Italian Classic Cinema.

    The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, along with the Consulate General of Italy, The Leonardo da Vinci Society, and Luce Cinecittà collaborated with Cinema Italia SF to bring this event to fruition.  Established in 2010, Luce Cinecittà was the result of Cinecittà Holding and Istituto Luce merging together. Luce Cinecittà is the public service branch of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism with the aim of promoting classic and contemporary Italian cinema worldwide, through traveling programs in major International institutions.

    The Program for April 28

    L' AVVENTURA, 1960, 140 min. 10:30 AM

    L'ECLISSE, 1962, 125 min. 1:30 PM

    RED DESERT, 1964, 115 min. 4:00 PM

    BLOW-UP, 1966, 110 min. 6:30 PM

    Party, 8:30 PM-10:00 PM

    THE PASSENGER, 1974, 124 min. 10:00 PM

    To learn more about Cinema Italia San Francisco, read our interview with Program Director Amelia Antonucci here >>>

    For more information on the film series, please click here >>> 

  • Venini creations
    Art & Culture

    Venini will Dazzle in May at the ICFF

    Exquisite, unique, and contemporary designs are promised at this year’s ICFF held in New York City.  Showcasing the most innovative and cutting-edge trends, the ICFF is North America’s platform for global design.  With over 36,000 professional attendees, this event features fine art from around the world from May 20- 23, 2018.   On the last day, the fair will be open for the general public to enjoy.

    Various works and designs will be showcased, in addition to exciting programs, exhibits, and features. The Javits Center will transform into a luxury marketplace where collectors, architects, designers, and developers can admire, as well as purchase or commission the art on display.

    Venini, and More

    One of the most exciting exhibitors at the ICFF this year is Venini.  Coming all the way from Murano, Italy, Venini specializes in handmade blown glass.

    For over 90 years, they have been producing colorful and creative glassworks.  Venini is one of the most well-known, reputable glassmakers in Italy.  Offering uniqueness, innovation, and Italian style, Venini is not to be missed at the ICFF.

    Another exhibitor, McGuire Glass, is also featuring their glassworks.  Peter McGuire who started McGuire Glass, has developed his own method of glass casting using tree parts.  McGuire Glass is based in Ireland, but Peter learned more about glassmaking while working in a sculpture studio in Italy.

    Other exhibitors include Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, and Kenise Barnes Fine Art.  Both galleries feature creative and exciting artists.

    For more information, click here >>>