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Giovanni DeCunto: Pioneering Expressionist

Giovanni DeCunto (photo ©Nicola Orichuia)

Giovanni DeCunto realized he could live with his art at the tender of age of 12, when the mother of one of his best friends bought a painting for $35. “I thought I had a million dollars!” he recounts. Hailing from Lawrence, Mass., where his grandparents moved from outside Naples, the 67-year-old artist has come a long way since the days of selling art for a few bucks. Regarded as one of the nation’s leading expressionists, works by DeCunto can be found today in prestigious collections at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the ...

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Richard Aliberti: The North End’s Artistic Soul

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The North End is a place full of history and — nowadays — restaurants, but upon closer examination it is also a neighborhood full of art and culture. Anyone who has ever glanced up to take in the bronze statues or plaques that adorn one of the country’s finest Little Italies will have encountered the skillful hand of Richard Aliberti, an artist that has been in and out of the neighborhood for the past three decades, but who has left a lasting impression on it. “I wasn’t expecting to make a living off of art,” he explains as he thinks ...

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Boston’s Towering Presence: Developer Don Chiofaro

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“But what if you could?” Sitting in their Belmont home, Don Chiofaro and his wife, Diane, considered her question as they contemplated his notes for a 1.8 million square foot development project that would one day become International Place. It was 1981, and the challenge was bigger and more audacious than anything Chiofaro had undertaken so far in his life: transforming a waterfront lot with 10 different properties and a garage into one of the most elegant and stunning buildings in Boston. “I thought of it as a movie,” he says. “And I wanted it to win the Academy Award.” ...

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Remembering Coach Dom Campochiaro of the North End

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In December, the Post-Gazette and the Regional Review both wrote in remembrance of Joseph “Dom” Campochiaro, who passed away on December 8 of 2014. I would like to add a few words here as well. I was one of the many lucky North End youth to have had Dom as a coach when I played Little League. Dom’s patience, as Sal Giarratani stated in a quote from his Post-Gazette editorial, was endless. He had a kindness about him that never wavered, and a certain smile in his eye that never left no matter what. In addition, it seemed to me ...

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St. Leonard’s Pastor Padre Antonio Nardoianni

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St. Leonard is wrapped in scaffolding to the point of not looking much like a church anymore. Even the sounds (including some of the language used by the workers) are not very church-like. As I wait for Padre Antonio Nardoianni, pastor of what is basically the only fully functional church left in Boston’s historical Italian neighborhood, I find myself thinking, “Maybe they should put extra signs — not for the locals, of course — but certainly for the tourists.” In fact, my refection wasn’t totally off mark. The fact that the Rubenesque Franciscan friar, who has led this parish for ...

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Youth is served at GPS Milan Boston

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When you hear the name “AC Milan,” what probably comes to mind are dramatic displays of athletic prowess on far-off soccer pitches or larger-than-life personalities like Mario Balotelli with his bleached Mohawk. But did you know that AC Milan has a local connection? Located in Newtown, GPS Milan Boston is helping young athletes improve their soccer skills, enhance their passion for the game and strengthen their ability to play as a team. But according to Mr. Cesidio Mazzola, Director of Soccer Operations, the program’s commitment to its young athletes goes much deeper than the game itself. A native of Italy, ...

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame: North End Athletic Association

John Romano and Parents

Summer is the time for baseball! Who enjoys an afternoon in the warm summer sun while the cheers of a baseball game echo from the local park? We do! For this month’s column, I spoke with Mr. John Romano, baseball coordinator for the NEAA: North End Athletic Association. Mr. Romano told me about the various programs offered to teach children and teens about baseball and to build teamwork skills through fun. Approximately 150 children, boys and girls, and young adults ranging from ages 4 to 21 participate in the NEAA’s offerings. “The older age groups tend to be more competitive ...

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Men Only: It’s All About Tradition Here

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Bocce, gentlemen? Sorry ladies, this month’s article is about a men’s-only club! Recently, I was graciously welcomed for a visit at the Italian American Citizens Club of Lynn, where I had the great pleasure of meeting the club members. When I was first approached to write an article about their bocce league, I imagined that I would hear about the formation of a vibrant Italian community built around a traditional sport, which I will tell you about. Yet, what I found was much more and something that has left a lasting impression on me. Tucked away in the Brickyard neighborhood ...

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Nothing Typical About AS Roma Club of Boston

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Calling all AS Roma fans! This one is for you! On a typical dreary damp Sunday in January, I met with Michael Rizzo, one of the founders of the AS Roma Club of Boston. What I learned is that there is nothing typical about this club. A very gracious and proud AS Roma fan, Mr. Rizzo provided me with countless facts that are little-known to many. Three enthusiastic organizers — Rick Antonellis, Marco Giorgini and Michael Rizzo — started this club because of their shared passion for AS Roma and to find a way to join forces with other supporters. ...

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Juventus not just a soccer club

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Ciao, calcio fans! I must confess that this month’s article holds a very special place in my calcio-loving heart. I admit that I am a devoted Azzurri fan, but a very loyal Juventina. Like you, calcio brings me great joy. My passion for this beautiful game drives me to tell your stories regardless of allegiance. A notable international symbol of Italian sporting greatness, Juventus has had an amazing year! The current Scudetto champions, they are a club filled with international stars and supporters globally. In Boston, the Juventus Club keeps the spirit of i banconieri alive with local passion and ...

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A Kick Back in Super Bowl History

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In 2002, Italian American kicker Adam Vinatieri delivered on the final play that would send the New England Patriots into history.

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The Athletic Comeback of Alicia Sacramone

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As Alicia Sacramone prepares for another Olympic run, she speaks with RAI International about her life as an athlete and as an Italian American.

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