President's Letter

“Celebrating 10 Years of Casa Belvedere” 

 President’s Letter
“Preserving the Past, Enriching the Future” 

Dear Members and Friends,

The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere was founded in 2009 with Preservation at the core of its mission: To preserve and educate the public on all things authentically Italian. And also to preserve and educate on the foundation-owned 1908 Roebling-Stirn mansion and its important place in early 1900s American history.

Reflecting on the demographic population of Staten Island where 38 percent of residents are of Italian origin, the foundation’s exceptional, mission-driven programs have served to connect the community to their roots in a positive way. We are proud of our accomplishments, as we have surely elevated the image of Italian Americans and of Staten Island as a whole.

Also, raising awareness about our extraordinary NYC Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic places, has further enhanced Staten Island’s image. Casa Belvedere has been recognized on the federal, state and city level via grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; National Endowment for the Humanities; NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; NYS Council on the Arts; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Most recently, Casa Belvedere received a coveted Congressional earmark supported by Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Representative Nicole Malliotakis. That funding is earmarked for the conversion of Casa’s front lawn to a parking lot, as well as other significant exterior improvements such as lighting, irrigation, an amphitheater, hardscaping, landscaping, and the addition of an overlook pavilion.

Looking toward the future, the campus plan is to integrate the rear property and carriage house to support Casa Belvedere’s mission via an educational vineyard and the expansion of Nonno’s community garden into a year-round greenhouse.

In early 2023 we introduced many new member-centric special events, as well as new and innovative public arts and cultural programs. Casa’s second floor Galleria will be used for aspiring and established artists’ gallery space; and classroom space for art, music, dance, fitness, crochet, chess, sewing and other instruction. Additionally, we will be launching guided historic house tours and “The Italian Cultural Foundation Scholarship Fund” program.

An update on membership: We currently have 450 Belvedere Circle active members, 50 Bacco Circle active members, and an extensive waiting list. Our strong membership base is the backbone of the organization and has helped shape Casa Belvedere’s success story!

A heartfelt thank you to each of our members, our Executive Board of Governors, staff, lecturers, instructors and volunteers. We are also very grateful to Belvedere Hospitality Group (Massimo, Ted and Michael) for consistently providing excellent food and service.

Let’s continue to pay it forward as the Guardians of Casa and of cultural heritage! Together, we can move mountains!

Warm Regards,

Gina Biancardi

Executive Board of Governors

Gina Biancardi, President (2009)
Founder & President, Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation

John Profaci, Sr., Chairman (2009)
Founder/Chairman Emeritus, Colavita USA

Michael Pucciarelli, Vice-Chairman (2010)
Retired Coffee Executive

Tanya Dalmazio, Treasurer (2009)
CFO, DAL Realty & DAL Management

Luciano Rammairone, Secretary (2009)
President, Fluent Sales Solutions


Advisory Board Members

Robert Cutrona, Sr. (2017)
Owner, Project One Management

Nicholas J. D’Amato (2017)
Owner, JBL Construction & D’Amato Brothers

Colleen Kelleher-Sorrentino (2014)
Managing Director, Wall Street Access

Frank Naso (2013)
President, The Naso Organization

Linda Romeo (2017)
Retail Store Designer

Rosemarie Stazzone (2017)
Director of Nursing & Operations, Richmond University Medical Center

John M. Viola (2021)
Co-host of Italian-American Podcast

Frances Valenzo (2023)
Met Supermarkets Owner