When the Italian’s came to the United States, they developed many customs that were not part of their lives before they came here; creating a culture that is independent of any other. As I continued to think about this, I thought that it would be an interesting subject to share with you my readers about Italy‘s cultural icons.
Architecture: Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style. Some famous structures are the Coliseum, Tower of Pisa, Grand Canal (Venice), Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Square (Vatican).
|My great-grandparents Giovanni & Sofia, |
plus my aunt Jessie & uncle Arthur when
they were young
Visual Art: Over the centuries, Italian Art has gone through many changes. Italian painting is traditionally illustrated by warmth of colors and light. Some famous paintings and figures are Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo’s David, others by Raphael, Donatello, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. Many of these artifacts are religious in nature.
Literature: The basis of the modern Italian language was established by the poet Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy), Boccaccio, Leopardi, Petrarch (invented the sonnet), Giordano Bruno, and Niccolo Machiavelli.
Music: From folk to classical, music has always played an important role in Italian culture. The Italian Opera, Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Verdi, Toscanini, Rossini, Puccini, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Enrico Caruso.
Fashion and Design: Italian fashion is regarded as one of the most important in the world. Milan, Florence, and Rome are Italy’s main fashion capitals. Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, Pucci, Valentino, and Versace.
Italian Cuisine: Ingredients and dishes vary by region. Cheese and wine are major parts of the cuisine, playing different roles both regionally and nationally. Some famous dishes include pasta, pizza, lasagna, focaccia, gelato, bread, olive oil, salami, Parma ham, and cappuccino. Others include desserts are Cannoli, Biscotti, Pizzelle, Zappole, and Sfogliatelle.
Italy is filled with beauty, culture and history. There is so much more to this boot shaped country and its people. My recipe this week is one that my great-grandmother Sofia passed down and eventually it was taught to me. It is a simple but yet very tasty dish that is from Calabria, where my mother’s family originated from in Italy.
“Sofia’s Peas & Pasta"
Ditali, Shells or any small pasta -1 lb
1 pound of fresh or frozen peas
2 large onions sliced
Garlic 1 clove sliced
Oil olive, coat pan
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino Romano to taste or to top dish
In a large pot bring salted water to a rapid boil. Cook pasta according to directions until the pasta is al dente. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a pot and add sliced garlic. Now add onions when garlic is softened and color is light. Sauté onions till soft and translucent. Next add peas, plus a small amount of pasta water to coat peas. Add salt and pepper, cook until tender. By this time pasta should be cooked, drain and add to peas with onions. Mix well and add grated cheese to top your dish. Serve immediately. Yields: 4-6
Till Next Time………..
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