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Professions Profiles

Eco-Friendly Designer Valentina Oppezzo Delivers Groundbreaking Approach to Fashion

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Throughout her travel from Italy to the United States, both as a professional photographer and fashion designer, Valentina Oppezzo never includes animal materials in her work. For Valentina, using all non-animal materials is not just a trend, it is a belief. Having started a career in Italy as a photographer, Valentina decided to carry on her passion for photography by opening a studio in Boston. After a period of time, Valentina decided to close her business due to her beliefs concerning the eco-fashion awareness. “One of the reasons I closed the studio was because I am a vegetarian,” she says. ...

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Mario Motta’s passion is “written in the stars”

Mario Motta

Apparently, Mario Motta has a successful medical career: Not only is he an established practicing cardiologist but he has also been the president of the Massachusetts Medical Association for many years. Yet he does not talk about it much. Actually, asking him about his job can be a somewhat frustrating Q&A, where the A is usually a brief, telegraphic sentence. The same can be said for questions about his family — although his three grown kids also have successful careers of their own — or any other “earthly” subject, for that matter. But when the conversation turns up — meaning ...

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Silk scientist Fiorenzo Omenetto

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Fiorenzo Omenetto works with silk all day (and apparently a lot of nights, too), but he does not make clothes, not even invisible ones, contrary to rumors triggered by a journalistic exaggeration published a couple of years ago and quickly spread around the world. Yet, thanks to a fascination with this natural material — discovered at the dawn of civilization and used by mankind ever since — the scruffily bearded 46-year-old scientist from Varese, Italy, makes just about everything else. In his hands — or, to be exacted, by the state-of-the-art tools and machinery at Tufts University’s brand new 20-scentist-strong ...

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Francesca Gino’s “right choices”

Francesca Gino

Growing up in her native Tione, a small Alpine town in the Italian province of Trento, Francesca Gino dreamed of becoming an engineer. The idea of building houses fascinated her, and she wanted to do it for a living. “But my then-boyfriend was already enrolled in a college engineering course and according to his mother, having two engineers in the same family was not such a good idea, so I signed up for economics,” recalls the bright-eyed, 35-year-old, full-time Harvard Business School professor, slightly embarrassed in telling such a personal tale. “I was ‘sidetracked,'” she concludes. And that’s when I ...

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Federica Del Monte: A doctor with research ‘at heart’

Dr. Federica del Monte

Who would have figured that Alzheimer’s disease and cardiomyopathy might be siblings, and that new therapies for both might be found simultaneously? In fact, nobody knows for sure, but Dr. Federica Del Monte, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School thinks so. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have spent most of her waking life for the past 15 years in the relentless pursuit of a non-surgical cure for dilated cardiomyopathy, a progressive heart disease that unnaturally enlarges the body’s main muscle, eventually causing it to fail. In some cases, the culprits is the plaque that builds up around the heart, often reaching critical ...

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Gino Colafella: The Mayor’s Barber with Big Shoes To Fill

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After his lifetime partner officially retired, North End barber Gino Colafella talks of his shop and the neighborhood that, over 40 years, has passed in front his eyes and reflected itself in his mirrors. “In a few months I lost both the mayor of Boston and the mayor of Hanover street,” says Gino Colafella, holding a black and white picture from twenty years ago of him and former business partner Johnny (“Shoes” – a nickname earned for being a shoemaker’s son) Cammarata giving a newly elected Thomas Menino his first haircut as a mayor of Boston. He laughs, but for ...

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Developing the Super-Battery: Riccardo Signorelli and FastCAP System

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Signorelli is CEO of one of the leading companies in battery development.

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Cooking Vacations founder Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli

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It came as no surprise to Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli that public relations executives were among the most stressed out people in the country. A mover and shaker in the cutthroat world of Boston PR, she felt it in her shoulders and in the pit of her stomach. That stress led her to seek solace in Sorrento, Italy, in 2001. That stress also helped her start her wildly successful Cooking Vacations business. And that business helped her meet her anima gemella, her soul mate who became her husband. Piscitelli grew up in Massachusetts, her house filled with Italian song and the ...

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Tribute to Domenico Conte

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The following is a tribute to Mr. Domenico Conte, written by his son Frank Conte, editor of EastBoston.com. We posted these words because it not only eulogized a great man, it epitomizes the Italian immigrant who came to American in search of a better life and was proud to call America his home. Eulogy for My Father, Domenico Conte December 3, 2012 Sacred Heart Church East Boston, MA Many years ago, upon my first trip to Italia, my grandfather Francesco, a simple and wonderful man for whom I was named, recalled for me the story of how eager my father ...

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The Italian Beginnings of Fashion Model Linda Cole

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As a young fashion model, Linda Cole spent time in Italy to learn the craft. Decades later, she is still making an impression, posing for Vogue Italia.

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Ciao Italia and Mary Ann Esposito’s Boston Connection

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Host of the longest running cooking show on television, Esposito has many special connections with Boston.

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Jeanne Dasaro Speaks of North End Stories

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Jeanne Dasaro is a social entrepreneur who started NorthEndStories.com in order to preserve memories of long-time residents of the historic Italian American neighborhood.

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