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I l M e s s a g g i o

V e r m o n t I t a l i a n C u l t u r a l A s s o c i a t i o n
P . O . B o x 3 1 5 5
B u r l i n g t o n V T 0 5 4 0 8

Fall– September 2009

Volume 11 Issue 3

Il Messaggio
An organization dedicated to
promoting and preserving Italian
culture in Vermont

Inside this issue:

Summer Picnic 2

VICA’s New Leadership 3

Italian in Elementary School 4

Italian Language Studies 5

Poem by Franco Gatti 6 Back to School !

Calendar of Events 7
With emotions extending the full range, first day, three the second etc.- always with a
kids are going back to school for another parent standing by in case of a melt-down.
Member‘s Heritage: Caserta 8
Next is scuola materna (kindergarten) - a
VICA Board Members
I wanted to know what "going back to wonderful thing that every parent has the
school" meant for Italian kids and their fami- right, though not an obligation, to send their
Contact these peopel for information or help for any lies, though, so I checked out some blogs children free of charge for three years until
VICA activities:
rather than hitting the statistics. As in the US, they begin the first of five grades in Scuuola
President Adele Dienno 802-862-2595 there are positives, negatives, and complica- elementare ("elementary school").
Vice-Presidents Don Catalano: 802 660- tions. I certainly can't cover the subject ex- Scuola materna has traditionally been seen as
8914/Barbara Guiduli 802-862-4200
tensively in one short introductory compila- a way to socialize children outside the family
Secretary Carol Usher 802-863-2487 tion of impressions I picked up from the for short periods of the day. With the number
Treasurer Audry Rini 802-878-0990 internet -nor can I as an American speak for of working moms increasing in Italy, how-
Board Ann Arms, Julie Bonanno, Barbara Butler,
the Italians who have "been there and done ever, the school day is often lengthened to a
Adrienne Donohue, Franco Gatti, Barbara Marden, that," so I urge you who have actually gone full day, making scuola materna a very high
Nancy Specht, David Usher to school in Italy to respond to the editors quality, state-sponsored daycare. The working
Il Messaggio Editors with your own snippets of remembrances of mom has also created another change in the
Please submit content for the newsletter to
the impact that Italy's educational system had Italian system. Usually, school hours were
Carol & David Usher: 802 863-2487 or on you. organized so that children went home for lunchtime, often for the rest of the day. The
Membership Education begins in Italy with the option of tradition of family togetherness around the
government-subsidized daycare centers for table is a strong foundation of Italian culture.
Anyone wanting to join VICA can do so ages six-months to two years called asili nidi However, city governments have stepped in to
by calling Carol Usher at 802 863-2487 - literally meaning "nest asylums." Contrary provide school lunch programs where both
for an application. Membership is $15. to the negative connotation that an "asylum"
annually for individuals, $25. for fami-
parents work outside the home - a real change
might have on our American minds, there is and emotional challenge for many parents
great diligence to provide the best of care. who grew up with close family ties around
VICA Website Every child goes through a period of inseri- food. mento ("insertion"), attending two hours the (Continued on Page 4)
Page 2 Il Messaggio

“Don’t Give Me a Song and a Dance”...

...unless it’s at a picnic with Celest DiPietropaolo and Marie DiCocco

How many times might you have heard that expression The fun of the picnic also included games of bocce on
from parents not wanting to be given "a song and a dance" Oakledge's newest bocce courts, a wine auction, kids
from a kid using an excuse not to do something? Well, making gelato with the help of Adele Dienno, swimming,
about 50 VICA members, family and friends didn't need ball-playing, and of course, definitely last but not least,
any excuse to join in on the song and the dance facilitated ENJOYING ALL THE FANTASTIC FOOD AND
by the talents of Celest DiPietropaolo and Marie DiCocco, WINE everyone brought to share, family-style!
who came as guests to the June 28th VICA picnic at Oak-
ledge Park in Burlington. The couple is in the process of The annual VICA picnic is also the traditional gathering
transferring their residence to the Montpelier area and are where new officers and board members of VICA are
eager to be assimilated into the Vermont Italian community elected every two years. This year we voted. See the new
as resource folks who have studied authentic song and slate of officers, board, and committee members listed on
dance among the villages of Italy. the opposite page. Congratulations to them.

Ferragosto by M. Galatola
Protecting Italy’s
Durante Augusto in Italia fa molto
caldo. Quegli che possono vanno alle
montagne od alle spiaggie che sono ap- Italian beaches like
erte e non troppo lontano. Rimangano this one in Fran-
soltanto qualche lavoratore e turisti covilla on the Adri-
stranieri. La tradizione di lasciare le atic are full of vaca-
citta' esisteva dai tempi antiche. Il nome Ferragosto e' tioners during the
derivato da ' feriae Augusti', cioe' le feste del Imperatore Ferragosto holidays.
Augustus. Caesar Augustus fu il fondatore del Impero This year, according
Romano. Piu tardi La Chiesa Catolica ha introdotto la to a news story in NIAF's News Monthly, 227 Italian
festa dell Assunzione di Maria Virgine al quindici di beaches were awarded Blue Flags, identifying them as
augusto. Ora, in questi giorni, italiani dovunque nel having the highest quality in water, facilities and environ-
mundo festegiavano Ferragosto, inoltre al quindici mental education. That number represents 12 more than
d'augosto, al qualsiasi giorni desiderano. Nel Bronx last year's tally, indicating a rise of local commitment to
di Nueva York al Arthur Avenue Ferragosto e' celebrato protecting the environment which attracts thousands of
nella prima settimana di settembre. vacationers to its shores. (photo by Usher)
Page 3 Il Messaggio

New VICA Officers & Board

Unanimously Elected into Office at the VICA Annual Picnic on 6-28-09
Term of Office: Two Years, June 2009 - June 2011

President: Adele Dienno
Vice Presidents: Don Catalano & Barbara Guiduli
Secretary: Carol Usher /Treasurer: Audry Rini

Some newly elected members at the Picnic ( from left ) :

Barbara Marden ( with daughter ) ,Carol Usher,Adrienne
Donohue, Adele Dienno ( with dog ) , Barbara Guiduli,
and Nancy Specht

Ann Arms, Barbara Butler, Adele Dienno, Adrienne Donohue, Franco Gatti, Barbara Guiduli, Barbara Marden, Audry
Rini, Nancy Specht, Carol Usher, David Usher

Amici Scheduling ………………………………………………….Ann Arms & Barbara Butler
Archivist ….……………………………………………………………..Adrienne Donohue
Editors, II Messagio…….……………………………………………….Carol and David Usher
Events Publicist ……………………………………………………………..Nancy Specht
Hospitality Chair/Special Events and Activities Coordinator………………….Barbara Marden
Membership Coordinator ………………………………..…………………….Carol Usher
Il Messagio Distribution …….…………………………………………………...Susan Hardin
Movie Coordinator/Language Instructor…….…………………...…………..Franco Gatti
Webmaster………………………………………………………..…………...Julie Bonanno
Page 4 I l M e s s a g g i o

Back to School! (continued from Page 1) Italian in Elementary School

As experienced and reported by Nicole Librandi
"Homework" for kids once they reach scuola media
("middle school") seems to challenge parents as much as Why? Perche’ no? At the Robinson Elementary School
the kids themselves. If you are thinking that the usual in Starksboro, more than 100 students from 1st through
concept of homework in America as the teacher giving 6th grades have had a taste of the Italian language and
extra practice at home for work the children have been culture for the past four years.
studying in class, then you might be wrong. According Working in conjunction with the school-based Foreign
to some reports, children are given something entirely Language Committee at Robinson School, VICA mem-
new at home which often requires hours of help from ber Nicole Librandi secured grant funds for the pro-
parents to absorb. Poveri genitori! Homework is also gram from several sources, including NIAF and the
often assigned for vacations, increasing the angst of Italian Consulate in Boston. Italian was taught during
families trying to relax with time off from work. For par- the regular school day, after school and in a summer
ents who work full-time with little or no time off, some camp setting through games, music, songs, rhymes,
cities offer the children two weeks at colonie estive storytelling and cooking, thus enriching the students’
("summer camps") at public properties at the seaside, in exposure to a culture which fascinated them. VICA
the mountains, or on the lakes, using a sliding scale fee member Francesca Merrill was one of the teachers who
so that even low-income families can participate. was enthusiastically received by both students and
staff, who described the sessions as “lively,”
At the end of elementary, middle, and high school, eve-
“engaging,” and “contagious.”
ryone has to take an exam, both written and oral. Italy is
big on exams. The middle school exam determines what Dr. Carlo Cipollone of the Boston Consulate, who vis-
sort of high school you would go to (if any). The type of ited the school’s Italian group, was also favorably im-
high school you go to then determines the kind of uni- pressed. He is now interested in extending some of the
versity you might attend. The high school system itself is funds available from the Consulate for broadening the
quite complex, with numerous choices. A huge factor influence of the Italian culture to some VICA projects
that turned up on some of the internet blogs was the is- in the near future.
sue of cheating, which apparently is more common than
we would like to think, with little attention by authorities
to interfere with it. Apparently, the use of the cell phone
is a big factor, with kids often going to the bathroom and
calling for outside help!

But the upshot of any good educational system can be

summed up in a quote from Arturo Graf, a late 19th-
century Italian poet, critic, and educator. He said: "Great
is the teacher who, teaching little, sparks in the student a
huge desire to learn." With all the effort of producing the
best educational systems, and with all the inevitable pros
and cons that go along with them, Graf’s sentiment can
be the best indicator of a job well-done.
Robinson students learning about bocce with Aimee
Motta and Barb Ouimette
Italian in elementary school? Si! In Vermont? Si, certo!
“Home” Bocce Balls:
“Home is where the heart is.” This couldn’t be a more Early Romans were among the first people to play bocce.
appropriate expression for an Italian who has a strong They used coconuts from Africa, instead of the balls now
regional pride and a profound emotional attachment to thrown at a smaller target ball. The first Italian bocce
his own or his family’s birthplace or ancestral village. league was created in 1947. Italy often plays in the Bocce
Italians even have a word for it: campanilismo, de- World Championship, which has been held every year
rived from the word campanile (bell tower). since 1947.
Page 5 I l M e s s a g g i o

More on the Italian Language...

Student Connections With the Adventure with Italian Names
Local Community by Nicole Librandi ...with Bill Tortolano
On Primo Maggio last spring, 5th and 6th grade Rob-
inson Elementary School students of Italian had the Enjoy a witty, funny, and sometimes sad journey with Bill as
chance to ''walk in the footsteps" of a group of Ital- he describes the changes made in Italian family names, op-
ian children from Lawrence, Massachusetts who, in era names, and those that were changed because of preju-
1912, were brought to Barre in order to be kept safe dice. By the end of the evening your Italian vocabulary
from the violence of the textile workers' strike. The should be increased and your sense of humor tickled - just
Robinson students were met at the Old Labor Hall from discovering tidbits of information from words you use
by Docent Joe1en Mulvaney of the Barre Historical every day. Wed, Oct 21, 7-9pm, Community Room, Fletcher
Society, who guided them through the "living his- Free Library, Burlington.
tory" of Barre at the Hall and in downtown Barre.

The students' encounter with living history continued

with meeting Katherine Paterson, award-winning au-
VICA Awards a Scholarship
thor of "Bread and Roses, Too", visiting the sculpting Thanks to a matching contribution by a member of VICA,
studio of Jerry Williams, experiencing quarrying and our group gave a generous $200 scholarship award to the
stoneworking at Rock of Ages, and touring Hope Scuola Italiana at Middlebury College this summer for a stu-
Cemetery with Carrara-born sculptor Giuliano Cecchi- dent who demonstrated strong interest in the cultural ties be-
nelli. tween America and Italy. In this way, we further our club's
goal of enhancing the influence of the Italian culture with our
The day's events culminated two years of own.
study of the Italian language and culture with In exchange, the Director of the Scuola Italiana, Dr. Antonio
classroom teacher Peg Brakeley and Italian Vitti, graciously welcomes VICA members to attend films and
teacher Francesca Creta Merrill. conferences held during the summer months sponsored by the
Scuola. A schedule of these events can be viewed on line at the
Middlebury College website. (

Young Travelers Can Win Trip to Italy

Alitalia is sponsoring a young traveler's writing contest "in
the spirit of discovery and learning" ... of Italy, of course!
The contest is open to those between the ages of 8 and 14
who have made, or will make, a transatlantic flight on Alitalia
or Air One originating in the US between the dates of June
24, 2009 and September 9, 2009.

The grand prize is a trip to Italy for the youngster and two
legal guardians. The essays of ten of the writers will be se-
lected for publication on and receive multiple
gift items, including sweatshirts, caps, tote bags and a $100
voucher towards a future Alitalia flight.

The deadline for the essays is September 15, 2009. Guide-

lines are detailed on their website at
Robinson students and teachers at the US_EN/special_offers/youngwriters_offer.asp . (If you don't
Barre Socialist Labor Hall have web connections and are interested, contact Carol
Usher, 802-863-2487)
Page I l M e s s a g g i o

Interstate 89 North (Inverno) 2006

By Franco Gatti

Sulla soglia del tramonto innevato

passando senza sosta
paesi ignari e sconosciuti,
guardo le case sulle alture
le fattorie seminate nelle valli.

Guardo le case ai bordi delle strade

dei villaggi che si preparano al riposo.
Guardo e vedo
gente serena che si appresta
a scambiarsi un segno di calore,
un sorriso,
intorno alla tavola del cibo.

Ora il sole e’ tramontato,

il buio in prima fila,
le luci delle case
annebbiate dai fari dei motori,

forte e’ il desiderio di abitare

in una di quelle finestre illuminate
e invidio il caldo focolare
privo com’ e’
del viaggiare le mie ansie.

At the threshold / of a snow-mantled sunset / cutting across the silent villages, / I watch the houses on the hills, the farms
seeded in the valleys. / I watch the houses along the road / of villages who prepare to rest./ I watch and see serene people /
preparing to exchange / a warm sign, / a smile, / around the table of the food. / Now the sun has settled down, / the dark is in
front row,/ the light of the houses / fogged by the headlights, / strong is the desire / to live inside one of those / warm lighted
windows / and for a while to set aside / the anxieties of the road .

Nota: Per noi che viviamo in questa regione del Vermont, sopprattutto la I89 Nord simbolizza il ritorno
a casa, dopo una vacanza o un lungo viaggio sulla costa ed oltre. Questo e’ ancora piu’ vero in inverno,
quando non vediamo l’ ora di raggiungere il tepore della casa e i nostri cari familiari. La poesia Inter-
state 89 North e’ stata scritta dopo un viaggio alquanto pericoloso mentre ritornavo dall’ aeroporto di
Boston. Il felice ritorno a casa da un viaggio irto di pericoli, nel gelo e nel buio della notte e’ una sensa-
zione ancestrale molto sentita dagli Italiani, dove la casa e i familiari che vi abitano, viene espressa con
un bellissimo termine “il focolare”.
Focolare quindi non significa solo il luogo dove si cucina o si accende il fuoco nel camino, ma si es-
pande fino ad includere il “sicuro e confortevole” nucleo familiare.
Page 7 Il Messaggio

Calendar of Events: Fall 2009

Upcoming VICA Events
Wed, Sept 16: Amici Luncheon at Toscano’s, Richmond,11:30am,reservations
(contact Ann Arms 802-863-5155 or Barbara Butler 802-863-6897)

Wed, Oct 21….Tortolano’s Adventure With Italian Names, Community Room, Fletcher Free Library,
Burlington, 7-9pm
(contact Barbara Guiduli 802-862-4200)

Sun, Nov. 1: Coffee Social from 2-5pm at the home of member Adrienne Donohue
545 So. Prospect St, Unit 15, Burlington
(contact Adrienne 802-862-5153)

Fri, Nov. 27: Italian Film Night at 6:30pm at the Deborah Rawson Memorial
Library in Jericho (film TBA)
(contact Franco 802-899-3869)
On-going VICA events
Italian Conversation Classes: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, St. Michael’s College, Out
St. Edmonds Hall, Room 101, 7-9 pm
(contact Franco Gatti, 802-899-3869) Fall
Italian Movie Night: quarterly at Deborah Rawson Memorial Library in Jericho 2009
(see schedule above)
(contact Franco 802-899-3869)
Amici Luncheons: Monthly at various venues (see schedule above)
(contact Ann Arms 802-863-5155 or Barbara Butler 802-863-6897)

Community events
Roxy Theater, Burlington: Verdi’s Rigoletto, Sun, Sept.6, 11am
VT Philharmonic Opera Night, Oct 17, 7:30pm, St.Johnsbury School; Oct 18, 3:30pm
Barre Opera House (featuring winners from the Bel Canto Institute)
(contact: 802-244-6828 or
NIAF Washington DC Convention and Gala: Oct 23-24, 2009, with speakers,
entertainment, food and wine tastings, documentaries, awards
(see for more information)
"Strega Nona": Main Stage Flynn, Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 3pm. A musical based on Tomie De-
Paolo’s book, “Strega Nona.”
(tix contact: 802-863-5966 or
I l M e s s a g g i o
V e r m o n t I t a l i a n
C u l t u r a l A s s o c i a t io n
P . O . B o x 3 1 5 5
B u r l in g to n V T 0 5 4 0 8

WHO WE ARE :To better acquaint you with who we are on a personal level, this featured section of Il Messaggio is reserved
for either a short autobiographical “portrait” of a VICA member or of a place in Italy from which one of our member’s
families emigrated. This issue is dedicated to Caserta.

Americans, is the Versailles gardens from which they may baldi defeated the Neapolitan
of Italy (La Piccola Ver- view the extent of the many forces, was fought around Ca-
sailles nel Regno di Napoli) sculptures, waterfalls, lakes and serta. In World War II the
in a county-side surrounded flowers, as well as the very Royal Palace served for a time
by huge ranches that produce famous English garden. The as the headquarters of the Al-
unparalleled mozzarella. Royal Palace with its gardens is lied command, and the surren-
The last great building of listed as a UNESCO World der of the German army in Italy
the Italian baroque, it was Heritage Site. was signed there on April 29,
commissioned by Charles IV The old town (Caserta Vec- 1945. More recently, it has been
and designed by southern chia), founded by the Lombards the set for several famous mov-
In Campania, the region Italy’s greatest architect, in the 8th century, lies on hills 3 ies such as Star Wars and Mis-
of Italy that boasts Naples Luigi Vanvitelli. Although miles northeast of the modern sion Impossible III.
as its capital and renowned you can't visit each of its city, which was a village known
for the Amalfi Coast, Sor- 1200 rooms, the ones you can as Torre belonging to the Caet-
rento, the ancient city of see are extravagant and ex- ani family of Sermoneta until
Pompei, and the island of quisite. The 116 steps of the the construction of the Royal NOTE: Anytime you want
Capri, the city of Caserta main foyer, carved from one Palace. In the Italian Risorgi- to switch between an elec-
is probably best known for gigantic block of marble, lead mento (movement for political tronic or a hard copy of Il
its Royal Palace. Situated to the rooms that can be seen. unity), the Battle of the Vol- Messaggio, please let editor
just east of Naples, the turno (1860), in which the na- know. (
Small buses take tourists
1200-room palace, visited tionalist leader Giuseppe Gari- or 802-863-2487)
around the 2-mile stretch of
by more Italians than

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