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For and About Italian Americans
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First Edition 2023

Volume 25 / Issue One



Walter Lantz created an array of famous cartoon characters, in addition to Woody Woodpecker, such as Chilly Willy, Andy Panda, Buzz Buzzard, etc…We pay tribute to this perennial cartoon kingmaker, whose creations stand the test of time.

Buy your copy today!

In Every Issue

  • Publisher’s Note
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Travel/Hidden Treasures
  • Italian Language
  • Readers’ Corner
  • Reviews
  • Wine and Spirits
  • Subscription Form
  • Advertisers’ Index

The First Edition 2023 also includes:

• Italy’s Best Wine Comes from Apulia, with Just Two Letters: ES
• Florence Flood - A Catastrophe Like None Other in Italy was When the Arno Wreaked Havoc
• Giovanni DeCecca Became The First and Foremost Italian American to be a Jehova’s Witness
• Codex Purpurro - Hand-Painted Miniatures to Depict the Gospels from 6th Century Calabria
• Italian Diversity: Pinzocheri Pasta, Croaker, Chicken Calabrese, Salami, Cartellate Pugliesi and Pandolce Genovese


Walter grew up drawing silly images; and, perhaps, surprising for the times, the young man was encouraged to continue his unusual hobby by his parents…

…a woodpecker kept drilling holes in the asbestos shingles of their cottage at Lake Sherwood, California. Gracie suggested adapting the woodpecker as a cartoon character. “That $200 roof bill became the best investment of my life,” said Lantz.


    Italy’s Best Wine

    Pugliese winemaker Gianfranco Fino has only couple of decades of experience. Yet, he has already created a red wine considered the best in all of Italy. His success stems from perfectionism and passion in their purest form. PRIMO met Mr. Fino, the pride of the Italian region of Apulia.

    Giovanni DeCecca
    In the Service of Jehova’s Witnesses

    He was intrigued by the Bible and sought to know more. However, when he questioned a particular passage, his parish priest in Italy reprimanded him. He was told only an educated priest could interpret the Bible. In America, the story was different. He joined a Bible studies group, later to be known as Jehova’s Witnesses.

    The Great & Terrible Florence Flood
    The Arno River Wreaked Havoc on November, 4, 1966

    The river meandered her way through the historic center of Florence to burst over the city’s banks. The narrow medieval streets were soon flooded under 18 feet of water. Not since 1333 had Florence seen such devastation caused by the river’s overflow.

    Codex Purpurro
    Known as the “Byzantine Pearl of Calabria”

    The manuscript was written, in silver, on priceless purple-dyed vellum, in the 6th century, to comprise 15 hand painted miniatures; among them, 12 depict episodes from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.

    Ode To Italian Diversity
    No negligence is allowed in an Italian kitchen. We must be at our best. From planning to presentation, an Italian meal contains no errors. Food is vital. A good omen is upon us when the meal is right. Good food means a good life. Our families are bound by what we eat. No wonder the kitchen is revered. No wonder we hail the chef.

    Recipes featured are Pinzocheri Pasta, Croaker, Chicken Calabrese, Salami, Cartellate Pugliesi and Pandolce Genovese



    • Publisher’s Note: Italian American Alliance Seeks U.S. Postage Stamp for Father Vincent R. Capodanno
    • Hidden Treasures - The Ibex of Cingino Dam
    • Language: H.P. Lovecraft in Italian
    • Wine & Spirits: Ngricca - The Le Marche Distillery Grew Out from a Valiant Guardian Angel
    • Readers' Corner: “Frozen in Time,” by James W. Arvia
    • Readers' Corner: “Amelia,” by Francis DiClemente

    And...Book Reviews in this Edition…

    “Siciliana,” by Carlo Treviso. A heroine arises from the War of the Italian Vespers to exact vengeance against French occupiers in Sicily.
    “Cambridge Street: An Immigrant Family’s Story of Bravery, Sacrifice & Struggle in Chicago’s Roaring 20s,” by Steven Decker. The cross-Atlantic saga of an Italian family has 1920s Chicago as a key setting.
    “Giraffe Has a Bug”
    by Robert DiDonato. A wonderfully illustrated children’s story underscores the need for friends to help in a time of crisis.
    “Fake Italian: An 83% True Autobiography with Pseudonyms and Some Tall Tales,” by Marc DiPaolo. The 1980s are recaptured when Damien Cavelleri transfers from the school of gifted and talented to a wild middle school on Staten Island.
    “Christmas in Rome,” by Joanne Fisher. With the sudden passing of the mother of 11-year-old Agatella, a mystery ensues as to who is the girl’s father. One of three American men are asked to come to Rome for a paternity test. That’s just beginning of a most memorable Christmas in the Eternal City.
    “The Case of Too Many Wives: A Sergeant Markie Mystery,” by Anthony Celano. A used books store owner, who also works as a part-time magician, finds murder the best way to solve the challenges of being a bigamist.
    “King of the Hill,” by George Vercessi. A young Italian American lawyer is recruited by organized crime to start a racketeering operation in the nation’s capital.
    “A Tuscan Treasury: Stories from Italy’s Most Captivating Region,” by Paul Salsini. Tales abound in the Italian region over time and space, from World War II, to Cortona, to Florence to tiny villages.
    “Of Blood and Love,” by Carmine Sarracino. The Italian American enclave of Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island is the setting for the author to revisit his days growing up with close family and friends.
    “The Italian Prisoner,” by Elisa M. Speranza. A young Italian American woman finds love in the most unlikely of places: A POW camp for Italian enemy combatants outside New Orleans.


Special Announcements:

Lombardi SketchBuy a Framed Original Sketch
: "Coach Lombardi, Italian American."
PRIMO is proud to offer the Limited Edition Original Sketch series of NFL Football Coach Vince Lombardi with his most famous saying translated in Italian: "Winning isn't everything, winning is the only thing." Perfectly matted and framed, sized 11" by 14" this sketch, titled "Coach Lombardi, Italian American" will make a perfect addition to a wall in any den, office or family room. Coach Lombardi is one of our greatest Italian Americans, perhaps the best football coach in NFL history. He stands as a role model for all who strive for success on and off the field. The drawing comes with a biography of Coach Lombardi, his family's roots in Italy and his coaching career. Only $65.95: Each is an original drawing; not a copy or lithograph print. Order your sketch today! If you prefer, you can mail a check payable to PRIMO, including a letter you wish to purchase "Coach Lombardi, Italian American." Our mailing address is PRIMO, 4201 Cathedral Avenue, N.W., Suite 107W, Washington, D.C. 20016. Allow 15 days for delivery.

Buy Italian Sketches:  The Faces of Modern ItalyBuy "Italian Sketches: "The Faces of Modern Italy", a new book offered exclusively by PRIMO Magazine. Written by Deirdre Pirro, a writer based in Florence whose work has been published in PRIMO, "Italian Sketches" profiles the most influential Italians of the 20 th century. The world we live in today is in many ways shaped by Italian inventors, thinkers, artists, writers, film directors and performers who perfected their ideas, crafts and innovations within the past 75 to 100 years. From Maria Montessori to Sophia Loren, from Federico Fellini to Bruno Cavalieri Ducati, to many, many others, "Italian Sketches" brings the stories of modern Italy's greatest men and women to Americans. Extensively researched, written, and edited, the book comes with original drawings from one of Italy's top illustrators. You won't read about Italy's modern icons anywhere else. "Italian Sketches" will surely inspire pride in all Italian Americans. Buy "Italian Sketches" today. Just $17.90, price includes shipping and handling.


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PRIMO Umbrella
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Rainy days are brighter when you walk under our PRIMO umbrella. Keep dry while showing the world you are proud to be an Italian American. The PRIMO umbrella tells people you are! Just $11.95; the price includes shipping and handling.

Order your PRIMO merchandise today by calling PRIMO toll free at 866-67-PRIMO (77466).

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