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Profiles

Tutto Italiano owner Angelo Locilento

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“If you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life,” says Angelo Locilento as he somewhat reluctantly leaves his post at the counter of Tutto Italiano, where long lines of customers from all races, ages and walks of life wait to be served either some special product directly imported from Italy or some freshly made in-store treat. “Look! This is a fully functioning bakery that just finished making bread for the day,” he points out as we pass through the yeast-and-flour scented facility to his office. After a careful look I see what he means. The ...

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The DiCenso Family – Rino’s Place in East Boston

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In East Boston, masked by tripledeckers and tucked away on residential streets, you will find two primetime restaurants run by the DiCenso family. “It takes a strong-hearted family to run any type of business” says Anna DiCenso, Chef Tony’s wife and business partner. They are the second generation to run Rino’s Place and have turned this local institution into an international sensation. Cheryl, a 17-year veteran server at Rino’s, says that guests from all over the world have been coming in after seeing Rino’s Place and Chef Tony on “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives.” “They have books, they plan their vacation ...

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Giuseppe Argentieri: The Ambassador of Italian cheese

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“I don’t like it when they call me the king of mozzarella. That title is loaded with pressure and responsibility,” Giuseppe Argentieri says with a smile as he supervises the production of the day’s batch of fresh burrata before shipping it to specialty stores all over the Boston area. Then, after swallowing a chunk of the white, chewy, still-warm product of a morning’s work and giving the nod to the cheese maker — who puts these balls of goodness together by hand — he suddenly becomes serious. “All I’d like to be considered is the one who makes the best ...

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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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Henry Zunino: Sculptor at Heart, Candyman by Profession

Henry Zunino holds up one of his prized chocolate tablets.

Imagine a lobster on a stick: not a real one, but rather a small crustacean-shaped lollipop to take home as a souvenir of a trip to Boston, or — why not — after a real Lobster dinner with your kids. The lobster-shaped treat is not mass produced in China for some giant corporation, but rather crafted and created by local sculptor Henry Zunino, a self-made entrepreneur in his self-made artisanal laboratory in Everett, Massachusetts, where his company Strawberry Hill Candy started in 2009. The company’s flagship product, the Lobster (individual claws are also available), is really only one of many ...

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Italian language activist Gioconda Motta

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“When we lived in Melrose in the mid 1970s, my eldest daughter used to bring pizza to school for lunch. For her, having grown up in an Italian household, it was the most normal thing in the world. At some point however she started to come home and say they were making fun of her, therefore she didn’t want pizza anymore. Yes, discrimination was that strong! That is when I went to the principal and I said I want to start an afternoon enrichment program — in Italian. After a couple of years, we had 30 children and families were ...

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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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The Music and Life of Arlington High School Music Director Tino “Mr. T” D’Agostino

Tino D'Agostino

As the notes from Hollywood’s most famous scores – from “Star Wars” to “Titanic” all the way to a goose bump-inducing rendition of Schindler’s List theme – filled a jam packed Arlington City Hall Auditorium, many in the audience kept their eyes closed: after all there is no better combination than movies and music to be swept away by powerful memories and emotion. Especially when the music is so flawless it could be coming out of the speakers of a theater or from the seasoned instruments played by the expert hands of an orchestra of famous professional musicians. Instead, when ...

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Armando Petruzziello: An Italian immigrant Story of Success

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Italian-American Armando Petruzziello founded three successful ventures since immigrating to the US in 1971. He shares his story below. “I came in the USA on Saturday March 13, 1971 at the young age of 24,” explains Armando. “The first thing that made an impression on me was the big 18-wheeler trucks. I loved them so much that I told my wife I wanted to be a truck driver. While working in construction job supporting my family of 5, I went to school to get my truck driving license. Upon obtaining my Class 1 Driving permit, I applied for a job ...

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JoPino Scarcella, A Man of All Trades

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No one can say to JoPino Scarcella, “You could have been a contender.” Because the North End native – whose parents are from Calabria – was a contender. Or as they say in Boston, “a contendahh.” Quite literally. In 2004, Scarcella, who is built squat and strong like a bullet and is just as fast with his fists, was featured in Season One of the NBC reality show “The Contender” under the tutelage of Sylvester Stallone. He had the sultry good looks for the burgeoning reality show world and he had the boxing prowess as a New England Golden Glove ...

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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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