Italian American Museum

Italian American Museum The Museum is undergoing reconstruction. The new building is expected to be complete Spring 2024

Currently closed for major renovations
Expected opening Fall 2022

A Visit from La Befana: In the Catholic tradition, Epiphany is the day the Three Kings first met Baby Jesus. But in Ital...
01/06/2024

A Visit from La Befana: In the Catholic tradition, Epiphany is the day the Three Kings first met Baby Jesus. But in Italy, it’s also the day La Befana shows up with a basket of gifts.

By: Betsy Golden Kellem

In Catholicism, January 6 is the feast of the Epiphany. The last of the twelve days of Christmas, Epiphany is the day on which three foreign kings, the Biblical Magi, are said to arrive to meet the infant Jesus. In Italian folk legend, the Epiphany has a further significance as the day on which La Befana comes to visit households near and far.

Her tale is told in many forms and flavors, and La Befana emerges in Italian folklore alternately as a spirit, a witch, a Biblical figure, or a kind - if occasionally grumpy -grandmother. In the most common version, as the three magi follow their star to the site of Jesus’s birth, they stop at the home of an old woman (la befana, “the hag”). She waves them on; she’s too busy with chores to follow. Soon second thoughts creep in, and she packs her broom and a basket of baked goods for Mary, on the logic that some cleaning and something to eat might go over better than frankincense. She’s too late to catch the magi, but in her haste, she’s lifted into the sky to spend eternity soaring in search of the divine child (just in case, she leaves gifts and sweeps up wherever she might find a child asleep on the night of the Epiphany). In an especially poignant telling of the tale, La Befana loses a child to King Herod’s massacre of Bethlehem’s firstborn sons and, in her grief, is blessed as a wandering mother to all children.

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In the Catholic tradition, Epiphany is the day the Three Kings first met Baby Jesus. But in Italy, it’s also the day La Befana shows up with a basket of gifts.

January 2, 2024: Flooring completed on ground floor and sub level gallery space in new Museum facility.
01/06/2024

January 2, 2024: Flooring completed on ground floor and sub level gallery space in new Museum facility.

The Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of DiscoveryOne lucky student will take a 2 week all expense trip to Italy. Throu...
01/06/2024

The Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery

One lucky student will take a 2 week all expense trip to Italy. Through our affiliate program with the National Italian American Foundation ("NIAF"), the Italian Welfare League will select one Italian American college student from the community to participate in an all-expense paid journey to Italy this summer through the NIAF Voyage of Discovery program.

The NIAF Voyage of Discovery program is an educational trip that allows the participants to get up-close and personal with local Italian culture while exploring iconic Italian cities and towns.

Click here for more information:

Opportunity Awaits for a 2-Week All Expense Paid Trip to ITALY! One lucky student will take a 2 week all expense-paid trip to Italy. Through our affiliate program with the National Italian American Foundation ("NIAF"), the Italian Welfare League will select one Italian American college student from....

Save the Date 21st Annual Golf ClassicMonday, June 24, 2024 - 11:00 am - North Hills Country Club All golfers will autom...
01/06/2024

Save the Date
21st Annual Golf Classic
Monday, June 24, 2024 - 11:00 am - North Hills Country Club

All golfers will automatically be entered into a drawing to win $10,000 which can be applied towards an Alfa Romeo Giulia 24 month lease or purchase of any other Alfa Romeo. In lieu of the Alfa Romeo, winner can opt to take $10,000 as a cash prize. (Maximum odds: 1 in 200 Chance / Winner must be present at time of drawing)

Click here for more information:
www.IAMGolfClassic.org

Buon Anno! The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a happy and healthy New Year 2024!
12/31/2023

Buon Anno! The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a happy and healthy New Year 2024!

December 28, 2023: First floor facing elevator and skylight in new Museum facility
12/30/2023

December 28, 2023: First floor facing elevator and skylight in new Museum facility

Visit Brooklyn's Winter Wonderland, started by a sausage purveyor in the '80sby Emily Faber / The National DeskTwo years...
12/30/2023

Visit Brooklyn's Winter Wonderland, started by a sausage purveyor in the '80s

by Emily Faber / The National Desk

Two years prior to the onset of the Great Depression, Lucy Spata’s grandmother opened up a sausage stand in New York City.

It was 1927, and Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro was in its infancy. Back then, the neighborhood was an actual enclave of Italian immigrants, and the Neapolitan residents held the single-day block party as a way to honor one of Naples’ most beloved saints. Spata’s grandmother - an immigrant from Avellino and also named Lucy - cooked sausages in the street over metal garbage pails and sold sandwiches to her fellow Italians for 25 cents.

Spata recalls helping her grandmother as early as age 6, peeling onions in preparation while the sound of hammers and nails signified the nearing of the annual festival. The young Lucy had aspirations far removed from the sausage-scented smoke of a sizzling hot grill, but the would-be beautician shifted gears when the street food stand fell into her hands following her grandmother’s passing. From 1971 onward, Spata and her husband Angelo, a butcher who first locked eyes with his future wife across a meat counter, carried on the original Lucy’s legacy.

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No matter the weather, crowds are guaranteed to descend upon Dyker Heights each December for a dose of holiday spirit.

What Is Struffoli And What Does It Taste Like?By Nikita Ephanov / tastingtable.comWhen the holiday season rolls around, ...
12/30/2023

What Is Struffoli And What Does It Taste Like?

By Nikita Ephanov / tastingtable.com

When the holiday season rolls around, it's nice to dive into a sweet treat for the occasion. However, preparation time is always limited this time of year, so anything you make ahead or purchase at a bakery only alleviates the stress. So, for a delicious dessert that's easy to obtain in volume, turn to tasty struffoli.

These festive dough balls are popular in Neopolitan cuisine, with varying origins across the Mediterranean. Their exterior is crispy, while the dough hearts retain a pleasant softness. Drowned in an orange-honey syrup, and sprinkled with tasty garnishes, they're the perfect bundle of holiday fun. Plus, they're easy to batch, and exhibit an aesthetic stacked shape that's easy to turn creative.

No surprise they're interlinked with special holidays, like Easter, Christmas, and New Year's. So expand them to your holiday table, too. They're relatively straightforward to craft and are easily modified. Let's dive into the details of these pastries.

Continue reading:
https://www.tastingtable.com/1476245/what-is-struffoli-taste-like/

Struffoli is a classic Neapolitan holiday dessert fit for Christmas, New Years, Easter, and beyond. Here is the story behind this unique concoction.

Buon Natale! The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas!
12/23/2023

Buon Natale! The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Brief video tour of one of the floors of the new Italian American Museum facility located at 151 Mulberry Street, Little...
12/23/2023

Brief video tour of one of the floors of the new Italian American Museum facility located at 151 Mulberry Street, Little Italy, New York City. This area will house the Permanent Exhibit and Theater. The building is expected to be completed in Spring 2024.

Quick tour of one of the floors of the new Italian American Museum facility located at 151 Mulberry Street, Little Italy, New York City. This area will hous...

December 15, 2023: Floors being sanded and polished in new Museum facility
12/16/2023

December 15, 2023: Floors being sanded and polished in new Museum facility

Columbus Citizens Foundation Scholarship Applications for 2024-2025 Are Now OpenColumbus Citizens Foundation, based in N...
12/16/2023

Columbus Citizens Foundation Scholarship Applications for 2024-2025 Are Now Open

Columbus Citizens Foundation, based in New York City, is dedicated to the celebration of Italian culture and Italian American heritage. Since 1984, CCF has provided scholarships to deserving Italian American students to assure their academic dreams are fulfilled. Each year, the Foundation offers a range of competitive scholarships. Please note that most CCF Scholarships are for four years and require the applicant to be entering 9th Grade or to be a College Freshman during the first year of the Scholarship. Please note also that the majority of the Scholarships are restricted to specific high schools and colleges. There are additional scholarships for medical school, to attend John Cabot University in Rome for one or two college semesters, and for summer immersive learning opportunities in Italy.

Click here for more information:
https://columbuscitizens.org/applications

Click here for High School Scholarship Application:
https://scholarsapp.com/scholarship/columbus-citizens-foundation-high-school-scholarship

Click here for College Scholarship Application:
https://scholarsapp.com/scholarship/columbus-citizens-foundation-college-scholarship

Click here for Medical School Scholarship Application:
https://scholarsapp.com/scholarship/columbus-citizens-foundation-ccf-medical-school-scholarship

The Oldest Italian Bakery In America Makes 40,000 Rainbow Cookies Every DayBy Justin SullivanIf you’ve been to a Christm...
12/16/2023

The Oldest Italian Bakery In America Makes 40,000 Rainbow Cookies Every Day

By Justin Sullivan

If you’ve been to a Christmas party in New York (or anywhere with a big Italian population), you've probably seen a big platter of Italian cookies of all types. There are pignoli cookies, cuccidati, spritz cookies, and so many more. But my (and many people’s) favorite is the rainbow cookie.

Also known as tri colore after the Italian flag, the layered cookie is made with spongy cake, apricot jam, and chocolate. Slicing it reveals the iconic green, white, and red stripes. They are labor intensive and packed with flavor that leans on almond extract and, for traditionalists, macaroon paste made from the pits of apricots.

Ask any New Yorker where to find the best rainbow cookies and they'll inevitably send you to the oldest Italian bakery in America. Ferrara opened in Little Italy in 1892 and has been operated by the same family, in the same building, ever since.

While they make many other holiday treats, siblings and owner/operators Ernest and Adeline Lepore have a soft spot for tri colore. This is shown in the attention to detail they have in baking every batch. Adeline will show every new baker a Pantone color chip so that they can match the exact shade of red and green she is looking for in the final product. They manage to make around 40,000 individual rainbow cookies a day (that’s about 2,000 pounds), and they all turn out gorgeous.

Every holiday season, Ferrara bakery is decorated beautifully and you can buy as many rainbow cookies and Italian-American specialities that you can carry with you. If you can’t make it to New York, they have a very robust online store. https://ferrara.goldbelly.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQBNy-OyKhA

Ferrara Bakery has been making rainbow cookies for the holidays for over 100 years. These iconic seven layer cookies are scented with almond and coated with ...

Interview of Jennifer Prezioso the fourth owner of Albanese Meats & Poultry.
12/14/2023

Interview of Jennifer Prezioso the fourth owner of Albanese Meats & Poultry.

Albanese Meats & Poultry has been serving steaks and salumi to New Yorkers for a century

December 1, 2023: Flooring in new Museum facility nearly complete.
12/05/2023

December 1, 2023: Flooring in new Museum facility nearly complete.

Today is Giving Tuesday!Please click here to make your tax deductible contribution online: https://www.italianamericanmu...
11/28/2023

Today is Giving Tuesday!
Please click here to make your tax deductible contribution online:
https://www.italianamericanmuseum.org/donation

Dear Friends:

We are pleased to announce that the Italian American Museum will be reopening in Spring 2024 and that our first exhibition will be our “Manteo Puppet Collection”. The Manteo Puppet Theater was previously located at 109 Mulberry Street in the early 1900’s. We were given 32 of these puppets by Michael Manteo, the son of the Theater’s founder, Agrippino Manteo, which we promised that we would bring back to Mulberry Street.

We have been in contact with a Sicilian Puppet Theater Company in Catania, “Fratelli Napoli” and are looking to bring them to the Museum for several live performances. This unique art form can only be seen in Sicily and we want to bring it to you at our Museum so you can experience it yourselves.

At this time, we would like to invite you to take a Walking Tour of Little Italy. The tour is conducted by our Head of Education, Marie Palladino.

Click here to view Amici Walking Tour Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evC09jNq6PA

Click here to register for Amici Walking Tour:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/amici-walking-tour-of-little-italy-tickets-523109543727

Of course, all of this would not have been possible without your support so we ask you now at this time of our Annual Appeal to be as generous as possible.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Holiday season.

Respectfully,

Uff. Prof. Joseph V. Scelsa

Please click here to make your tax deductible contribution online:
https://www.italianamericanmuseum.org/donation

Pictured (left to right): Gano and Rinaldo, two of the 32 Sicilian puppets that are part of the Museum's Manteo collection. Fabricated by "Papa" Agrippino Manteo, circa 1923.

November 22, 2023: Construction of the new Museum Auditorium nearing completion.
11/28/2023

November 22, 2023: Construction of the new Museum Auditorium nearing completion.

The Italian American Museum, its Board of Trustees and President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa congratulate the 2023 Long Island...
11/28/2023

The Italian American Museum, its Board of Trustees and President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa congratulate the 2023 Long Island Ambasciatore Award Recipients.

The Italian American Museum honored a select group of outstanding Italian American leaders and their Italian American organizations with the Ambasciatore Award on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.

Pictured: (first row, seated left to right): Dr. Anne T. Romano, Margaret Petrosino, Joseph Petrosino, Paul Fischetti, Biagio J. Isgro, Jr., Dr. Alan G. Hartman, Mary Ann Rispoli, Dr. Maria Palandra, Nancy Indelicato, Louis A. Picani, Frank DeGirolamo, Prof. Francis Elmi, Robert Ianniello, David J. Gallo, Patricia Grunther, Joseph Corsini; (second row, standing left to right): Annette DeMattio, James C. Lisa, Robert G. Fonti, Lt. Enrico Boletti, Arthur Spera, Domenic Giampino, Robert Ferrito, Cav. Josephine Maietta, Comm. Prof. Joseph Sciame, Comm. Prof. Joseph V. Scelsa, Louis Lacarbonara, Vivian Catenaccio, Prof. Santi V. Buscemi, Rossana Russo, Joseph Monticciolo, Cav. Dott. Berardo Paradiso, Cav. Joseph Agresti

Click here to view complete set of Ambasciatore Awards Photos:

The Italian American Museum honored a select group of outstanding Italian American leaders and their Italian American organizations with the Ambasciatore Award on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, New York.

Violin performance by Leonardo Moretti at the Italian American Museum Ambasciatore Awards on Sunday, November 12, 2023.
11/28/2023

Violin performance by Leonardo Moretti at the Italian American Museum Ambasciatore Awards on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!
11/23/2023

The Italian American Museum wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Italian American Caucus of Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) presents second check of $500 to the I...
11/23/2023

Italian American Caucus of Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) presents second check of $500 to the Italian American Museum at a meeting held at Da Nico Ristorante in Little Italy, NYC on November 16, 2023.

Pictured (left to right): Clemente Lopes, President, Italian American Caucus of CSA; Marie Palladino, Head of Education, Italian American Museum; Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, Founder and President, Italian American Museum; Alfredo Centola, President Elect, Italian American Caucus of CSA; Robert Spata, Retired Principal and member Italian American Caucus of CSA

Interview of Adeline Caesar, Co-founder of Ferrara Bakery and Cafe by Ann Nyberg of News 8.
11/21/2023

Interview of Adeline Caesar, Co-founder of Ferrara Bakery and Cafe by Ann Nyberg of News 8.

A taste of the oldest bakery in New York City’s Little Italy joined News 8 on Wednesday.

Exhibition case containing photo of Italian American World War I veteran, Anthony Peronace and 7 of his medals of honor ...
11/11/2023

Exhibition case containing photo of Italian American World War I veteran, Anthony Peronace and 7 of his medals of honor for military service: French Croix de Guerre Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, Victory Medal, NY State Victory Army Medal for Service, NY State Conspicuous Service Cross, Medaille de la Marine, Purple heart.

Anthony Peronace was born in Calabria, Italy on August 19, 1891. He came to America at 13 and settled in Little Italy, Manhattan. He rented an apartment over E. Rossi and Co. on Mulberry and Grand Street and worked there for many years composing and writing Italian sheet music with the owner, Luigi Rossi. At 26, he joined the army and as a member of the Fourth Infantry, Third Division, he participated in all battles and engagements of his regiment including Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood, Argonne Forest and Saint Mihiel. He single-handedly captured a machine gun nest, wounding 15 Germans and capturing 8 prisoners. He was wounded by shrapnel, a bayonet and was gassed. Later he was promoted to Sergeant and, in the presence of General John J. Pershing, was awarded Croix de Guerre, France's highest military award. He was also presented with the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the US army, by President Woodrow Wilson.

Donated by: Anne Tredici

November 7, 2023: Work on the interior walls of new Museum facility is nearing completion.
11/11/2023

November 7, 2023: Work on the interior walls of new Museum facility is nearing completion.

Remembering Dr. Vincenzo Milione, Hero for all Italian AmericansDr. Vincenzo Milione was an amazing person. He was a vib...
11/04/2023

Remembering Dr. Vincenzo Milione, Hero for all Italian Americans

Dr. Vincenzo Milione was an amazing person. He was a vibrant, compassionate, and passionate human being and an exemplary Italian American. He was a loyal employee of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of The City University of New York for many years, constantly advocating for Italian students and faculty members. He was the premier statistician of Italian American employment demographics in the country, as well as a champion for affirmative action and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for all people, but especially Italian Americans.

Dr. Milione was a courageous champion, challenging systemic ethnic discrimination wherever he saw it, even in court. It was his employment statistics in our Federal Civil Rights Case, Scelsa v CUNY No.92 Civ. 6690 (CBM), in 1992 which convinced Judge Constance Baker Motley, of the system wide discrimination of Italian Americans at The City University of New York (CUNY) which led her to enjoining CUNY in her Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and barring CUNY from discriminating against Italian Americans in hiring, promotion and retention throughout the entire CUNY system. He was one of my best friends and a mentor to many up-and-coming Italian American academics and civil rights advocates, most recently Dr. Christopher Binetti. He was a tireless advocate for all oppressed by the exclusive academic world, Italian or not, but he never stopped fighting for Italians, until he was taken from us too soon. A heroic figure, he was the voice of reason among Italian American academics and civil rights activists. The letter recently sent by the Italian American community to the United States Office of Management and Budget this year, is one of the greatest Italian American civil rights achievements in the last decade and would not have been as effective without his advice and counsel.

Italian Americans admired and respected him. Even those who disagreed with him knew him to be a man of principle and conviction. He was the lynchpin of so much of Italian American civil rights activism, he will be greatly missed not just by me and those he mentored, but by all who support Italian American civil rights in this country.

Sincerely,

Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa

Visitation
Thursday, November 9, 2023
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
and
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Franklin Funeral Home Inc.
42 New Hyde Park Rd.
Franklin Square, NY 11010

Funeral Mass
Friday, November 10, 2023
9:30 am
St. Catherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church
33 New Hyde Park Road
Franklin Square, NY 11010

October 17, 2023: Work continues on the interior of new Museum facility.
10/23/2023

October 17, 2023: Work continues on the interior of new Museum facility.

Italian American Museum cordially invites you to attend the 2023 Long Island Ambasciatore Awards Ceremony & Dinner on Su...
10/19/2023

Italian American Museum cordially invites you to attend the 2023 Long Island Ambasciatore Awards Ceremony & Dinner on Sunday, November 12 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.

Join us in honoring outstanding Italian American leaders and their Italian American Organizations.

Honorees:

Fabrizio Carucci
Nominated by Amb. James C. Lisa
Italian American Action Committee

Joseph Corsini
Nominated by Cav. Amb. Joseph Agresti
UNICO National

Frank DeGirolamo
Nominated by Amb. Vivian Catenaccio
Figli di San Gennaro

Prof. Francis Elmi
Nominated by Prof. Amb. Santi Buscemi
Italian American Legal Defense & Higher Education Fund

Paul Fischetti
Nominated by Lt. Amb. Enrico Boletti
Columbia Association of the FDNY

David J. Gallo
Nominated by Amb. Joseph Monticciolo
Italian Board of Guardians

Patricia Grunther
Nominated by Cav. Amb. Berardo Paradiso
Italian American Committee on Education

Dr. Alan G. Hartman
Nominated by Amb. Domenic Giampino
Italian Charities of America

Robert Ianniello
Nominated by Amb. Rossana Russo
Little Italy Merchants Association

Nancy Indelicato
Nominated by Comm. Amb. Joseph Sciame
Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of NY

Biagio J. Isgro, Jr.
Nominated by Arthur Spera
Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America, Grand Lodge of NY

Dr. Maria Palandra
Nominated by Cav. Amb. Josephine Maietta
Association of Italian American Educators

Louis A. Picani
Nominated by Amb. Louis LaCarbonara
Italian American Labor Council

Margaret and Joseph Petrosino
Nominated by Amb. Robert G. Fonti
Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino Association in America

Mary Ann Rispoli
Nominated by Amb. John A. Fratta
Order Sons & Daughters of Italy in America, Commission for Social Justice

Dr. Anne T. Romano
Nominated by Annette DeMattio
Italian American Studies Association, Long Island Chapter

To RSVP by phone or for further information contact Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa at (718) 931-6935 or via e-mail at: [email protected]

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151 Mulberry Street
New York, NY
10013

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The Italian American Museum is undergoing major reconstruction. The new building is expected to be complete by Spring 2021. Please visit our page and website (www.ItalianAmericanMuseum.org) for updates and upcoming events.

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