Shop small and #SupportItalianAmerican Small Business! With Thanksgiving arriving this week, the unofficial start of the 2020 Holiday Shopping Season has arrived, and it's sure to be one unlike anything we’ve seen before. With another lockdown seemingly looming on the horizon, and online shopping set to claim an even greater share of holiday spending, we at the Italian American Podcast wanted to be sure to encourage our listeners to “Buy Paesan” and support Italian American Small Business! So in this week’s episode, in celebration of Small Business Saturday, we’re featuring best-selling author Matt Rizzetta, author of “Embrace the Pace: The 100 Most Exhilarating Lesson Learned in a Decade of Entrepreneurship” and the owner of North 6 Agency… one of America’s “50 most powerful PR Firms” and an Italian American-owned small business he started in his garage! Matt is also one of the owners of the SS Campobasso soccer team! Matt and the Podcast crew will share tips and tricks on how to best position your Italian American-owned small business for success during these times of economic uncertainty and beyond, and why now might just be the right time to scratch that entrepreneurial itch you’ve been repressing for so long by starting your own small business! We’ll discuss why small businesses are important to the fabric of our nation and why Italian American businesses are truly a precious slice of our culture that we all need to support when we can. We also talk about what business owners can do to help their 2020 holiday sales and we share our plans to help our listeners promote their businesses this holiday season and into the future! Break out your holiday shopping list and check it more than twice as your favorite Italian American businesses come to mind while listening to this episode!
1 hr 1 min
IAP 165: Mal'Occhio -- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Evil Eye with Special Guest Agata De Santis
The Mal’Occhio… the Evil Eye… It's a concept that lives deep in the collective psychology of Italian America, but is it science or superstition? The answer depends on what you believe, as you’ll hear in this week’s episode when we sit down with Italo-Canadian filmmaker and author Agata De Santis, whose documentary film and follow-up book “Mal’occhio: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Evil Eye” might just change they way you see this ancient Italian belief. Reminding us all that “everyone has a mal’occhio story,” Agata recounts some of the more compelling stories she’s encountered throughout her years of research, and why most people agreed that “It’s true, but I don’t believe in it!” Agata will also teach us about the amulets, incantations, and other means of protection people use to defend themselves against the mal’occhio… including the cornicello which, she stresses, is not a pepper! And we will talk about how to understand belief in the Evil Eye within traditional Catholic teachings, and what the mal’occhio means in the context of the Italian American diasporic experience. Get out your cornicello, scissors, mano cornuta, or whatever else you wear to protect yourself from the mal’occhio, and join us for an episode we guarantee will have you examining your opinions with fresh occhi! To purchase Agata's book or to learn more, visit https://www.redheadproductions.com/shop.
1 hr 1 min
This week we're bringing you Part Two of our first ever “Live” question-and-answer episode direct from our “New Neighborhood” online membership group! The New Neighborhood is a place for all Italian Americans… a vibrant, close-knit community centered around our private Facebook group, where our most passionate listeners and supporters gather together each day to maintain and deepen their sense of Italian American identity, culture, and traditions through interactions with hundreds of other passionate Italian Americans from across the nation, and five of the hardest-working podcast hosts in Italian America. And in this episode, we’re picking up where we left off by bringing these incredible men and women right into the show, inviting them to ask the questions they’ve been waiting to get answered. Because this is the Italian American Podcast, we blew right past the hour-long session we had scheduled and ended up spending two hours answering thought-provoking questions, getting to know our most avid listeners, and -- of course -- finding ourselves all over the map of Italian American history and culture. So if you enjoyed the first half of this wonderful evening of personal memories and provocative discussions about our Italian American identity, history, and values, you'll love sharing in the second hour, where we start to ramble and wander into that familiar territory we all love as we dissect the ins-and-outs of our Italian American life! And, if you'd like to join this lively community, visit our website or www.italianneighborhood.com to become a Neighbor today!
IAP 163: The Italian American Almost-Presidents of the United States-- With Special Guest Thom Woodley of the Fail to the Chief Podcast
With Election Day tomorrow, it’s a star-spangled celebration on this week’s episode as we're joined by special guest Thom Woodley of the "Fail to the Chief" podcast to discuss the Italian American "Almost-Weres" of United States Presidential history. Sure, we have yet to see a Paesano or a Paesana take up residence in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but there have been more than a few who have tossed their name into the proverbial hat, and there are a few who have actually gotten pretty close to assuming the highest (or second highest) office in the land. Join us as we explore the lives and careers of some of the men and women who've represented Italian America in the quest for the White House, from the often-unrecognized Italian American Al Smith, to the various Italian American hopefuls of more recent election cycles. We talk about what Italian American candidates have faced in their quests for the Presidency, and whether or not our community still needs or wishes for an Italian American President. Join us this Election Day Eve as we wander into the lesser-known corners of Presidential history, in what might be the only pleasant conversation about politics you'll get to hear in the coming days!
1 hr 5 min
As Italian American Heritage Month draws to a close, we’re presenting our first ever “Live” question-and-answer episode direct from our “New Neighborhood” online membership group! The New Neighborhood is a Place for all Italian Americans… a vibrant, close-knit community centered around our private Facebook group where our most passionate listeners and supporters gather together each day to maintain and deepen their sense of Italian American identity, culture and traditions through interactions with hundreds of other passionate Italian Americans from across the nation, and five of the hardest-working podcast hosts in Italian America. And this week, we’re kicking off a new tradition by bringing these incredible men and women right into the show, inviting them to ask the questions they’ve been waiting to get answered. And, because this is the Italian American Podcast, we blew right past the hour-long session we had scheduled and ended up spending two hours answering thought-provoking questions, getting to know our most avid listeners, and -- of course -- finding ourselves all over the map of Italian American history and culture. Get ready for the first half of this wonderful evening of personal memories and provocative discussions about our Italian American identity, history and values, all while getting to know a great group of paesani who have made the Italian American Podcast’s New Neighborhood THE place to be in Italian America! And, if you'd like to join this lively community, visit our website or www.italianneighborhood.com to become a Neighbor today!
IAP 161: The Future of Our Story: Young Italian Americans in Film and Television with Taylor Taglianetti of NOIAFT
For young Taylor Taglianetti, founder of the National Organization of Italian Americans in Film and Television (NOIAFT), her many encounters with the generosity of the Italian American community have made her life's work about paying it forward. This week, we sit down with Taylor to discover how this philosophy drove her to found a new, booming organization for professional Italian Americans in the film and television industry. Taylor tells us about how NOIAFT works to provide its members with the opportunity to network both in-person and virtually, and how her participation in the National Italian American Foundation’s Voyage of Discovery, and the scholarships and grants she has received from the Columbus Citizens Foundation and the NIAF-ISDA Russo Brothers Film Forum have led her to create this organization as a way to give back to the Italian American community at large. She also talks about how social media has helped her to develop a virtual web of Italian Americans who all share the same passion to preserve their heritage and why preserving these stories is vital to the survival of our cultural traditions. We talk about how the next generation of Italian American leaders are emerging in places and ways prior generations could never have dreamed of, how storytelling helps forge cross-generational bonds and how the transmission of these stories to different generations has evolved through the technological revolution from oral histories to the cinematic and digital works that so many of us look to as reference points of the Italian American experience, and why now, more than ever, is the time for us to take ownership of how and where our story is told! Finally, we'll talk about how the Internet can help us connect with long-lost family members in ways that defy imagination and how our Italian American famiglia is often just a few short clicks away. Join in on this insightful conversation, and then join NOIAFT as part of your National Italian American Heritage Month activities!
Happy Columbus Day, everybody! That is, if you’re one of the folks who still celebrates Columbus Day because, appropriate to today’s often contentious designation, we’re presenting the sixth and final segment of our “Conversations on Columbus” series exploring the life and legacy of Christopher Columbus! This week is our attempt to tie a nice big red-white-and-green ribbon around this complex discussion by bringing you the conclusions that host John Viola has drawn over the course of these six episodes and dozens of hours of interviews, research and contemplation around Columbus and his future in the American popular consciousness. We’ll examine what the debate around Columbus is really about… the man, the myth or the moment in time -- the Columbian Exchange, and how each of those facets to this complicated issue warrants a unique and patient exploration. If you’ve joined us for all five previous episodes, or if you’re finding us for the first time, we can certainly promise you an episode -- and a series -- that will leave you looking at Columbus and Columbus Day far more closely than before!
Happy Italian American Heritage Month, Paesani! We’re kicking off our favorite month of the year by bringing you Part Five of our “Conversations on Columbus” series exploring the life and legacy of Christopher Columbus. This week we’re presenting the voices who’ve set out to defend the legacy of this complex Italian figure. We’ll begin by running down the charges established in Part Three of our series, and then turn to a myriad of diverse voices who are calling for a reassessment of the anti-Columbus sentiment that has developed in recent decades. And we’ll speak to some who believe the charges against Columbus are patently false, others who maintain Columbus deserves to be examined in the context of his own times, and some who see an ideologically driven witch hunt at the root of recent allegations against this once universally heralded navigator. In our quest to discover as much historical truth as possible, we’ve already given time to the detractors, so now sit down and join us for the view from the other side, as our panel of guests makes the case for Columbus the Hero!
As October approaches, we’re returning for part four of our “Conversations on Columbus” series exploring the life and legacy of Christopher Columbus, and this week we’re examining the long and complex relationship between the Italian American community and the Genovese navigator who has become a symbol of Italian American pride. We’ll begin with an exploration of the history of Columbus Day in the United States. We’re joined by Professor Bill Connell, co-editor of The Routledge History of Italian Americans, to explore what Columbus and the holiday bearing his name have meant to many different American communities, not the least of which is our own. We’ll attempt to untangle the complications of what Columbus Day’s designation as a federal holiday means for Italian Americans fighting to preserve it, and for those seeking to change it as well. We’ll also speak to one of those Italian Americans seeking to move the community away from Columbus Day when we’re joined by Professor Stephen Cerulli of Hostos College, who has been leading an effort to replace the statue of Columbus in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut. If you want to understand the complicated situation surrounding Columbus, we’ll have to separate the “general American” from the “Italian American” perspectives, and you won’t want to miss this episode seeking to do just that!
IAP 157: It's Not an Italian Bookstore! The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of America's Favorite Italian American Bookstore
As the air begins to chill, and the days grow shorter and shorter, it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a good book— and if you love to read about your Italian American heritage and culture, Nicola Orichuia of Boston’s I AM Books is the man to help you pick the perfect page-turner! I AM Books is Boston’s first—and only—bookstore created specifically for the nation’s 25 million Italian Americans. Nicola is here to share the story of this unique creation, from its almost accidental birth to its status as Italian American landmark. We’ll discuss his recent decision to wind down the brick-and-mortar location in the North End, and how this “strategic retreat” was only possible thanks to the growing online trade that IAM Books has begun to develop all over Italian America. Nicola tells us about his journey from his home in Rome to Chicago as a journalist working for Italian American publications, such as Fra Noi and his creation of the Bostoniano magazine before diving into Italian American cultural entrepreneurship. He also shares his dreams to help others explore the undiscovered writers of Italian Americana and how he wishes that his store continues to bridge between Italy and the United States. We discuss how migration changes the Italian story and how digging deeper into one’s roots helps strengthen authentic pride in where one comes from. And we share how the writing of Italian Americans helps offer a voice into a world that many Italians in Italy are unaware of. So put down your favorite book for just a second, and join us as share the story of a “shop around the corner” for Italian Americans everywhere!