- Celebrating Naples: A Journey Through History
Celebrating Naples: A Journey Through History
Presented by Anita Sanseverino
Naples is a city filled with art treasures, churches of magnificent design, palazzi, an ancient centro storico, the magnificent seafront area called Lungomare with its majestic view of Mount Vesuvius, and many other historic and artistic sights.
Naples has been called “the stepchild of Italy” – and Anita Sanseverino is determined to change that undeserved perception.
“When you say to most people that you are going to Naples, they say, “Oh, don’t go there, it’s dangerous,” she said. “Aside from the fact that it is not true, the irony of this statement is that none of the people who say this have ever been there!”
Anita is certain that her fascinating lecture and beautiful photographs will ensure that Naples is on the priority list of people who plan to travel to Italy, just as much as Venice, Florence and Rome.
She will highlight the illustrious history of this once-royal kingdom dating back to its origins as the Greek city of Partenope. She will discuss the various rulers and dynasties that occupied Naples, and why unification might not have been the best thing to happen to this former kingdom.
Anita will share her personal experiences in Naples, especially with its generous citizens. “When people talk about Italians and their characteristics, they are unknowingly talking specifically about Neapolitans,” she said. “As much as Italians in general are known for their love of food, music, of life in general, these qualities are 10-fold in Neapolitans. They are the quintessential Italians.”
Presented in partnership with:
- Opera and Lunch in the Afternoon
The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere presents Opera and Lunch in the Afternoon
Presented by Lou Barrella and Dr. Snjezana Smodlaka
Thursday, May 13, 2021 from noon to 4 pm
Enjoy great food and company while sharing our love of Opera!
A lovely three-course lunch at Casa Belvedere is paired with two opera films, with an introduction and commentary by Opera Educators Lou Barrella and Dr. Snjezana Smodlaka.
Tosca’s Kiss is a documentary about what is considered Verdi’s greatest work: the Casa di Riposo, or Rest Home for Retired Musicians. As we meet these beautiful and great artists who must deal with aging, we find their talent and exuberance for life continue in a happy environment. They are respected for who they were and still remain. Verdi’s legacy lives on in their respect, admiration and appreciation for the “Maestro.”
Quartet is a semi-humorous film about a British Home for Retired Musicians where former opera stars and musicians spend their Golden Years among colleagues. Again, we meet talented artists whose past accolades cause conceited personalities and petty jealousies, which interfere with their daily interactions. As we experience their frustration over aging, and personalities start clashing, they busily prepare for an annual Verdi Gala Concert culminating in the Quartet from Rigoletto.
Watching both films will give us much joy, laughter, wonderful operatic music, and a pleasant time together at our Casa Belvedere mansion. We hope you plan to attend!
The three-course lunch, which includes wine, soft drinks, and coffee, is $60 M and GMM* (Garibaldi Meucci Museum)/$65 NM per person (includes tax and gratuities). Reservations with pre-payment required.
Presented in partnership with:
- Movie and Snack • Special Holocaust Series: “If you are not indifferent, things can be different.”
Special Holocaust Series: “If you are not indifferent, things can be different.”
Part 3: Movie screening and discussion
The movie-documentary will be followed by discussion led by author Elizabeth Bettina and Vincent Marmorale, president of Italy and the Holocaust Foundation.
Would you risk your life to save a stranger and never talk about it? My Italian Secret tells the story of cycling idol Gino Bartali, Dr. Giovanni Borromeo, Monsignor Schivo, Mercedes Virgili, the Virgili family and other courageous Italians who carried out ingenious schemes to rescue Jews, partisans and refugees from Nazi-occupied Italy.
Celebrated as a Tour de France champion, Gino Bartali’s most daring triumph came when he risked his life to save Italian Jews by smuggling fake identification documents in the frame of his bicycle. Dr. Borromeo invented a fictitious disease to scare the SS away from the hospitals where he was hiding Jews. Monsignor Schivo hid a mother and daughter in a convent, dressed as nuns. The Virgili family and the entire town of Secchiano (Rimini) maintained the secret of a German family hidden in plain sight. These people reflect the efforts of thousands of Italians who risked their lives to save others.
You will see Italian run concentration camps and how they differ from those administered by the Nazi’s. A camp located Campagna (Salerno) housed Jews in a former convent. The Jews had a synagogue and were able to practice their religion. In Ferramonti di Tarsia (Calabria) children are in school. As an entire continent was engulfed in genocide, more than 80 percent of Italy’s Jews survived. The film is narrated by Isabella Rossellini, with Robert Loggia as the voice of Gino Bartali.
If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of the “If you are not indifferent, things can be different” four-part series, watch it on demand via Casa Belvedere’s website:
Click here for Part One: “It Happened in Italy – Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust” presented by author Elizabeth Bettina.
Click here for Part Two: Primo Levi, a Holocaust survivor committed to keep alive the narrative of the Holocaust, lest we forget. Presented by Prof. Francesco Bonavita.
Part 4: Meet the survivors and their families in June :date TBD
Doors open at 7:30 for check in. Reservations with pre-payment required.
Presented in partnership with:
- Virtual Writing Workshop
“Writing the Italian in Your Memories”: Spring Edition
Laboratorio Virtuale di Scrittura, Virtual Writing Workshop
May 22, June 5, June 19
No experience necessary, just a notebook and pen!
As Italians and Italian-Americans (IA), when we look back on our pasts, whether a year or decades ago, our stories are often intertwined with our culture—its richness, expectations, challenges and humor. During each workshop, led by author Maria Giura, we’ll focus on how one aspect of IA life–family, work, and (un)belief—forms the background or foreground of our memories.
We’ll read short, vibrant excerpts written by IA authors and explore how they tell their stories. Participants will then be given prompts to generate their own writing. By the end of each workshop, participants will have produced an original piece of writing. No experience necessary, just a notebook, pen, and a sense of curiosity and fun!
Register for one, two, or all three workshops. Pour your coffee and join Maria on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11:45 am. The fee for each workshop is …There is a member discount for family members.
Part 1: Saturday, May 22
Part 2: Saturday, June 5
Part 3: Saturday, June 19
About the Instructor:
Maria Giura is the author of Celibate: A Memoir (Apprentice House) and What My Father Taught Me (Bordighera Press). Her writing has appeared in Prime Number, Presence, (Voices in) Italian Americana, Lips, Tiferet, and Paterson Literary Review. She has won awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Independent Press, and the Center for Women Writers, and was a judge for the Lauria/ Frasca Poetry Award. She has taught at St. John’s University, Montclair State, and Binghamton University where she earned her PhD in English. https://www.mariagiura.com/
- Children’s Cooking Class – Meatballs!
Mix them, roll them – and eat them all up!
- Celebrating Dante Alighieri: Spectacular Illustrations of Dante’s Inferno
Celebrating Dante Alighieri: Spectacular Illustrations of Dante’s Inferno
Presented by Dr. Snjezana Smodlaka
Much has been said about the great influence and impact that Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece – Divine Comedy – had on the Italian language and on Italian and world literature. Dante’s decision to write not in Latin, but in the dialect of his native Florence, contributed to the linguistic unification of Italy several centuries before its political unification. In addition, the literary value of Dante’s masterpiece inspired many writers and poets around the world.
Less is mentioned about artworks inspired by Dante’s trilogy. Many painters, sculptors and composers, throughout centuries, were emotionally and artistically affected and moved by the episodes in Divine Comedy, especially the tragic destiny of sinners in Hell, the place of immense, eternal pain and suffering. Perhaps Dante never envisioned that his picturesque descriptions would be transferred to another media such as drawing, painting, sculpture and music.
In this presentation, we will see some of the most remarkable episodes from Hell, illustrated by artists from the 15th to 20th century: Botticelli, Zuccaro, Sardano, Dore’, Blake, Rodin and Dali. Dante’s poetic words inspired their creative imagination, and they depicted faithfully and in detail Dante’s vision of Hell’s horrors and his emotional reaction