Le Carte Napoletane
by Mario Fusco

Italian Aces

Italian Aces

Allora, facciamoci una partita a carte! With these words Italians whip out un mazzo di carte and sit down to play scopa or briscola or tressette. Children use a miniature version of the same card deck and play a game called “asso piglia tutto“, meaning “the ace takes all”.

These are “Carte Napoletane“, ubiquitous all over Italy. There are four suits, as in American cards, but only ten cards to a suit (think of American cards minus the 8, the 9 and the 10.) The face cards instead, called il fante (the groom), il cavallo (the horse) and il re (the king), play the role of the 8, the 9, and the 10 cards respectively.

The Italian artistic flair is evident even in the design of these cards. The four suits parallel the suits in a standard American poker deck – bastone (club), spada (spade), coppa (heart), and denaro (diamond). The cards are slightly smaller than their American counterparts, but generally stiffer. In the smaller towns, perhaps at the only bar in town, one often finds Italians playing cards over a glass of wine for hours and hours, much as in other countries people play chess in public squares. In the “olden days”, before the advent of TV and of the habit of spending most evenings at home, Italian men headed for their circolo or for the neighbourhood bar to play billiards or cards in the evening. Women, of course, stayed home with the children.

These playing cards are available in any “Sali e Tabacchi”. Just go in and ask, in your best Italian, for “un mazzo di carte”. You don’t even to say “napoletane”; it’s the default in Italy.

Fante, Cavallo, Re

Fante, Cavallo, Re

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Italian Creativity!
by Mario Fusco

So, what if you’re a library and have a few thousand books you need to recycle, and are in need of a nice new checkout desk? And of course you have a limited budget (everyone has a limited budget these days!)

Well, you get creative and avoid buying a new desk, using THAT money to replace the recycled book with shiny new bestsellers, as shown in the pictures below!

Italian Library Desk

Italian Library Desk

Book Desk

Book Desk

It certainly gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘book desk’. Now, what if a patron wants to check out the book located four books to the left, six books down, and three books in? Definitely a challenging architectural problem!
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New Italian Art Calendar
by Mario Fusco

Italian Art Calendar Cover Page

Italian Art Calendar Cover Page

Your 2013 Italian Art Calendar is now available on Zazzle. Lovingly assembled by the artist herself, Angelica Di Chiara, this calendar consists of a series of iconic images of Italy, each image a reproduction of an original work. The spirit of Italy, its architecture and its landscapes, are yours every day of the year in this lovely calendar.

View and purchase the calendar at http://www.zazzle.com/angelica+di+chiara+gifts

Angelica di Chiara, award-winning Italian-born painter, resides in Redwood City, California. Her work can be seen at several venues in the Bay Area and on finestItalian.com

Vino

Vino Italiano


Castello di Gradara

Castello di Gradara


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Acqua Alta a Venezia
by Mario Fusco

Different reactions to the recent flooding (acqua alta) in Venice.

Tristezza


Allegria


Indecisione

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Italian Language Classes starting in October!
by Mario Fusco

So many reasons to learn Italian! Come to the Italian Educational Institute!

The next series of Italian language courses at the Italian Educational Institute is scheduled to start October 22. See our online course descriptions or call us for further information. As always, classes are taught by native speakers on the campus of Menlo College in Atherton. See our schedule below.
 
WINTER 2012
Classes at IEI begin on October 22, 2012, according to the following schedule: 

Class Days Start Date Time Room Fee
Italian 1 Tuesdays October 23 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Italian 2 Mondays October 22 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Italian 4 Wednesdays October 24 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190
Beginning Conversation Thursdays October 25 10 to 11:30 am TBD 190
Evening Conversation Thursdays October 25 7 to 8:30 pm TBD 190

 

Go to:
COURSE DESCRIPTION
COURSE LOCATION
PLACEMENT QUIZ
ENROLLMENT PAGE
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New Italian Consul arrives in San Francisco!
by Mario Fusco

Mauro Battocchi

Mauro Battocchi

As of September 4, Italy has a new Consul General in San Francisco. Mauro Battocchi, 45, began his mandate at 2590 Webster Street after four years at a multinational power company, Enel, as head of governmental affairs.

“Italy is a world leader in renewable energies and smart-grid technologies,” he said in Rome before departing for San Francisco. “I am committed to showing Italy’s advancement in sustainability and technology to our San Franciscan and North-Western friends,” he added. Previously, he supported the international expansion of Italian firms at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also the head of the economic section of the Italian Embassy in Tel-Aviv (1999-2002) and served at the financial section of the Italian Embassy in Bonn (1995-1999), taking part in the negotiations for the beginning of the European Monetary Union. Mr. Battocchi graduated in economics at Bocconi University, Milan, and received a Master’s degree in public policy at Princeton University. Born in the Alpine region of Trentino, he would welcome suggestions for the best hiking and skiing spots in the San Francisco area.

The Zoppe family Circus is coming to Redwood city!
by Mario Fusco


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‘Paint the Town’ – Redwood City Art Festival
by Mario Fusco

Sunday, September 9, 10 – 4:00 p.m.
On Courthouse Square, Broadway, Redwood City

Italian artist Angelica di Chiara, will be participating and exhibiting her Italian-inspired art.

Redwood City Art Festival Press Release

Angelica

See Angelica’s art at http://www.finestItalian.com

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Fall Italian Classes at IEI
by Mario Fusco

Italian language courses are taught by Mario Fusco and Angelica di Chiara Fusco. Both Mario and Angelica were born and educated in Italy, and, as California residents, they continue to share their knowledge and love of their native country with anyone who is interested in learning and appreciating the various aspects of Italian lifestyle. Their organization, the Italian Educational Institute, housed on the campus of Menlo College in Atherton, is the venue through which language and culture classes are offered and Italian events are organized.

We hope you enjoy what you see here and hope to see you in one of our classes or events. Arrivederci.

Italia

Italia


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COURSE DESCRIPTION
COURSE LOCATION
COURSE SCHEDULE
ENROLLMENT PAGE
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The Leonardo da Vinci Society
by Mario Fusco

The city of San Francisco is the fortunate home of the Leonardo da Vinci Society. This Society is a beacon of Italian culture and history, having operated in the City since 1951. Launched by Countess Lillian Dandini, Mrs. Dobbins D’Anneo and Mrs. Louis Piccirillo, the Society provides today a venue for speakers on a wide variety of Italian topics, ranging from art to history, music and politics, travel and lifestyle. Most of the Society’s event are held at the Museo Italo Americano at Fort Mason Center.

A sampling of past and future lectures includes: “Venice as a Work of Art”, by Terisio Pignatti, Chair of Italian Culture at USB; “Dramatic Readings of the Divine Comedy”, by A. F. Alberico, Dept. of Italian at SFU; “Pirandello’s View of Man”, by Giovanni Cecchetti, Dept. of Italian at Stanford University, “Fibonacci and his Mathematics”, by Keith Devlin, Executive Director of the H-Star Institute at Stanford University. Coming up in September, the Society will host author Carol Field, presenting her newest book, “The Italian Baker – revised”. Each presentation lasts about 50 minutes, and is followed by a question/answer period and a brief reception during which the members can mingle and interact further with the speaker.