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  • 09/27/2016 1:09 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    If you missed the segment on WPTV with Vincenzo Gismondi, Robert Silvani and Frank LoRe, you can watch it at the link below and please forward to and share with your lists:

    Watch the segment here

  • 09/27/2016 1:07 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Carissimi membri del Board,

    Many of you have joined the Board of Il Circolo only recently, so, my colleagues and I would like to take this electronic opportunity to make an important announcement, but not before we fill you in on the Circolo-FAU Italian Studies connection.

    It was in August of 1986 (!) that our department, then called “Department of Languages and Linguistics,” received a $ 5,000 check from Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches. Il Circolo President (a Dutchman called John Punte) and scholarship chairwoman Connie De Marco—both have since passed– presented that check to our department chair in the hope of planting a seed that would grow into a program that would one day be the pride of South Florida. Especially Father Nicholas Maestrini was bursting with pride for this initiative that came from the cultural organization that he had founded. Through a combination of circumstances too long to explain in an e-mail, I taught that first Italian class days after landing on Florida’s shores from New York where I was still working on my Ph.D. Well, under the subsequent leadership of our unforgettable Al Marzelli, by 1993, and –in my estimate–approximately $ 70,000 Il Circolo dollars later, and thanks also to the substantial support of the department, the college, and the university, I had created a full-fledged BA program in Italian. By then I had also obtained my Ph.D. from NYU. At that point, and after a national search, the department hired me in a tenure-track position to direct and further grow this program.

    By 2000 the Italian Studies program was bursting at the seams, and we exploited the opportunity of a search for a department chair to attract a star from Purdue University, Prof. Anthony Tamburri, who gave this program an additional infusion of energy and brought Italian studies into the Ph.D. program in Comparative studies. After a 3-years stint as department chair and a 3-year term as associate dean, Anthony left to become dean of the Calandra Institute for Italian American Studies in New York (and boy, do we miss him!). But he left us his intellectual offspring, his Ph.D. students Ilaria Serra and Emanuele Pettener, who both received their doctorates at FAU and are stars in their own rights and the finest of colleagues. After a national search, and—I am proud to say–under my chairmanship of the department, they were both hired as faculty in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature in the Fall of 2007. Today, and ever since 2001 we have kept enjoying Il Circolo’s generosity as an average of 6 students per year have enjoyed scholarships to study in Italy. Also, for 20 years, we could sustain the “Annual Connie De Marco Distinguished Lecture in Italian Studies” now replaced, thanks to our “regina” Sally Valenti, with the annual “New Italian Cinema Series in Honor of Pat Valenti” with prominent guests that join us via Ilaria’s excellent connections to the Italian film world. So, this is the story of your extended family in a nutshell. A beautiful tree has grown from that first seed, and it has yielded delicious fruits for all to enjoy.

    We wish to celebrate our 30-year relationship with Il Circolo in a special way, and thanks to Barbara and Sergio Salani, and thanks also to the cooperation of FAU’s Life Long Learning Society that made its venue available to us and returns a small portion of the proceeds back to our program, we will be hosting an anniversary concert. Our very own Barbara and Sergio will perform their “FOUR NATIONS, FOUR HANDS” piano concert in the Life Long Learning Auditorium on our Boca campus on October 26th from 7:30-9:00. The Italian Consul General will be in attendance, the more since the consulate too is being honored simultaneously for its cooperation with our program for 25 years (Dr. Marco Rocca was the first consul general when the consulate opened in Miami). Some of you were already swept off your feet once, but we hope you will join us on this very special occasion.

    We want to fill the auditorium with at least 300 people, so please help us advertise and spread the word! I am attaching the Life Long Learning website page, for directions on how to purchase tickets and how to reach the LLL auditorium on October 26th.

  • 06/08/2016 1:12 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Il Circolo’s gala was covered by La Voce Vesuviana, a cultural newspaper directed by Mr. Giuseppe Imperato. It is specifically designed to inform readers on cultural events involving the Italian culture, language, and art. The newspaper is edited in Ercolano a small town few miles away from Naples. The article was written because Antonietta Brancaccio-Balzano, board member of Il Circolo, spoke about the organization with the publisher and, after he saw the photos from the gala on her Facebook page, he expressed an interest in writing an article.

  • 05/08/2016 1:19 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    PALM BEACH, FL (May 2, 2016) – Beautiful blue skies and sunshine marked the day on Sunday on April 24th when nearly 100 members and friends of Il Circolo gathered at Arturo’s Ristorante in Boca Raton for the final event of the spring season. Proprietors Vincenzo and Rosaria Gismondi greeted guests in their charming Italian villa-inspired restaurant and everyone was enthusiastic to celebrate the food and culture of Italy’s Calabria Region.

    Event co-chairwomen, Debi Rodi and Sally Valenti, worked with the Gismondis to create a delightful menu of regional foods perfectly paired with red and white Italian wines. The appetizer presented was Polipo alla Griglia con Pitta, a cold seafood salad accented by the hot, red pepper symbolic of the Calabria region. This was followed by the second course of Maccheroni al Ferro con Melanzane e Caciocavallo, hand-rolled pasta with eggplant and regional cheese. At this point, Vincenzo called out the chef from the kitchen and, holding up his hands, informed the guests that he now had calluses from spending days of rolling and shaping the delectable handmade pasta. The round of applause he got from the diners assured him his labor of love was not in vain and very much appreciated.

    After the pasta course, an entrée of Branzino alla Calabrese was served alongside fresh vegetables. Lunch ended with each guest receiving a plate of dolce, or Calabrian sweets, and coffee, cappuccino or espresso.

    During dessert, Il Circolo’s Executive Vice President, Sally Valenti, extended heartfelt congratulations from the organization to long-time members Don and Angie Seta of Boca Raton, on the celebration of their 62nd wedding anniversary. The blushing couple received a round of applause from the guests as Mrs. Valenti exclaimed that they were a “true inspiration to us all!”

    Debi Rodi said, “The Gismondis did a beautiful job hosting our organization and what a memorable way to close our most successful Il Circolo season to-date. We can’t wait to begin again after our summer break and plans are already in process for another magnificent season of family, friends and la cultura Italiana. Buon Estate and we will see you all in the fall! ”

    Please download images here

  • 05/08/2016 1:16 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Back row from left: Vivian Treves, Jenifer Mangione Vogt and Dr. Ilaria Serra. Front row: Sally Valenti, Giuseppe Battiston and Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg.

    The Italian actor Giuseppe Battiston, who is most well-known for his role as the bumbling and adorable detective in Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips), visited Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton for a week for the 2016 edition of the Pat Valenti Italian Cinema Series. The series was created by Sally Valenti and her family to honor Sally’s late-husband Pat, who was a cherished member also of the Il Circolo family, after board member Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg and her colleague Dr. Ilaria Serra, expressed a desire to promote the treasures of Italian film in South Florida.

    Mr. Battiston spent time with students in the Italian program at FAU, including leading an engaging workshop on Italian Theatre. He also introduced one of his recent films, which was screened during his visit, Il Mio Nipote e Scemo (My Nephew the Idiot). Mr. Battiston is quite well-known in Italy and has appeared in numerous films that are considered classics of Italian cinema, including Roberto Benigni’s La Tigre e La Neve (The Tiger and The Snow) and Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds) with one of the most famous contemporary Italian actresses, Margherita Buy.

    Il Circolo hosted a small, private dinner with the actor and Mrs. Valenti during which he shared stories about his life in the Italian film industry. Everyone that met him was impressed by his warmth and humility. We were all delighted to learn a few weeks after he departed that his most recent film, currently in theatres in Italy and called Perfetti Sconosciuti (Total Strangers), won Italy’s equivalent of the Oscar for Best Film, the 2016 David di Donatello Award.

  • 05/07/2016 1:28 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Il Circolo received a special honor in 2016. Mayor Gail Coniglio of Palm Beach presented the organization with a proclamation that declared March 6, 2016 as Il Circolo day. That date coincided with Il Circolo’s 40th Anniversary Gala, “An Evening in Capri,” which was a sold-out success and marked our organization’s position as the strongest and largest organization to promote Italian culture in Palm Beach.

    Mayor Coniglio was present on May 4th for Il Circolo’s annual appreciation luncheon at La Sirena. This is the day when the organization honors the board, volunteers and friends that work hard throughout the year to ensure our success. During the lunch, Mayor Coniglio presented our President, Paul Finizio, with the proclamation and spoke about the connection that Il Circolo has to the Town of Palm Beach and its history.

  • 12/10/2015 11:31 AM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Il Circolo’s Executive Vice President, Sally Valenti, is featured in an article about cultural holiday celebrations in the December 2015 issue of The Boca Raton Observer. In it, writer Chelsea Greenwood states that Mrs. Valenti, “… a ball of fire. At the age of 89, she is still active in the Italian community, volunteering tirelessly for Il Circolo, The Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches…..”

    Please click here to read the full article on the Observer’s website.

  • 09/09/2015 1:39 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    A message from Sally Valenti, Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors.

    Dear Members and Friends,

    Our long-time favorite accordion-player and dear friend, Tony Mecca, has died. His son, Billy, said he went peacefully at the age of 95. Billy will continue to be a member of Il Circolo and will now be spending more time in FL in his parents’ apartment here.

    Having played with the best of the best, even for Luciano Pavarotti, Tony always loved playing for us with a smile on his face and a joy to be part of La Famiglia del Circolo.

    I loved that man and his beautiful wife, Isotta.



  • 08/30/2015 1:44 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    PALM BEACH, FL (September 2015) – Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society of Florida, has announced Pamela Fiori will be an honoree at their 2016 gala to be held on March 6, 2016 at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

    Ms. Fiori is an editor, a writer and an authority on luxury travel and lifestyle. From 1993-2010, she was editor-in-chief of Town & Country, the oldest continuously published general-interest magazine in America. Under her leadership, Town & Country expanded its coverage of fashion and style, beauty and health, wealth management, home design, the arts and philanthropy, as well as documenting the changing face of affluence in America.

    Pamela Fiori will be recognized as an Italian American businesswoman of distinction, and for her contributions in celebration of Italian and Italian American culture.

    Prior to joining Town & Country, Fiori was at American Express Publishing Corporation where she was widely credited with the success of Travel & Leisure, which she edited for fourteen years. In 1989, she was named executive vice president and editorial director of all of the company’s publications, including Departures and Food & Wine. At both Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, Fiori wrote monthly editor’s letters and also feature articles, interviews and profiles of prominent people, including Ralph Lauren, Robert Redford, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Giorgio Armani and Audrey Hepburn.

    Ms. Fiori is an Italian American who was born and raised in New Jersey. Both her grandfathers were born in Italy; both grandmothers were Italian American. She has written six books, two of which highlight Italian culture. A Table at Le Cirque, published by Rizzoli in 2012 and co-written with famed Italian restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, contains recipes and stories from the legendary eatery long-recognized as an influential hub for celebrities and power brokers. In 2009, she published In the Spirit of Capri, a celebration of one of Italy’s chicest Mediterranean destinations. She has also written In the Spirit of Palm Beach and her most recent book, published in 2014, is In the Spirit of Monte Carlo.

    Ms. Fiori has received numerous accolades and honors, among them the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Merite from the French Government; the Matrix Award for journalism. She is the co-founder of the annual UNICEF/Snowflake Ball and serves on the board of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and has been recognized by their organization with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award. She is married, lives in New York City and spends time in Palm Beach and East Hampton.

  • 08/23/2015 1:48 PM | Ronald Gallagher (Administrator)

    Il Circolo was chosen by South Florida’s public television station, WPBT2 to participate in their airing of the six-part series, “The Italian Americans,” on Sunday, May 31, 2015. The station had been told, “if you want to know about Italian Americans in South Florida, get in touch with Il Circolo!” So, they did and, as the result, some of Il Circolo’s board members went to the station’s North Miami studio and spent the day telling WPBT2 viewers, during the program’s intermissions, about their experiences as Italian Americans and Italian expatriates living in South Florida. Needless to say, it was exciting — and what an opportunity to sing the praises of Il Circolo’s members, sharing their personal stories of immigrant parents and grandparents. Those who represented Il Circolo are pictured here, not including Marco Salani, Sergio’s son, who graciously manned the phone lines during the program to take viewers calls, accept donations to the station and answer questions.

    Grazie to the whole crew at the station. It was a memorable day for Il Circolo.

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Il Circolo (Mailing Address)
7411 Modena Drive
Boynton Beach, Fl 33437

Robert De Angelis, Treasurer
Phone: 561.200.6300
Fax: 561.810.8881

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