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Franky in New York

The Beautiful Life

Welcome back everyone! In case you haven't noticed, Spring started two days ago, and we still are in the Women's Month. So, what better occasion for both celebrating the new season that peels off all the winter fog, and the inexhaustible energy that women are able to bring?

This month The Beautiful Life leads you through the pages of dozens of books, all written by Italian American women. Novels, poems, essays. Each one has its style, peculiar of its author, but there's a common ground: every book is about memory, because in the end any author tells the story of a journey, and reveals different glimpses of the same heritage.

Enjoy your reading. Happy Spring, and Viva le Donne!
While English has one single term, "author" or "writer", to describe who writes a book, Italian uses scrittore or scrittrice depending if it respectively refers to a man or a woman. Whether it is "scrittore" (scree-ttòh-rae) or "scrittrice" (scree-ttrée-chae) they both come from the same Latin verb, scrìbere. Literally, this term means "to engrave", and it perfectly makes sense if we think about how writing was done in the past: engraving a tablet of clay with a little stick. Besides the procedure, it's the inner meaning of the original word that is fascinating. In the end, writing means engraving words: words are so crucial because they last when they are penned down, and we always should be careful when writing. Even in a digital age, words are neither meaningless nor any less important.

In Her Words

There are memoirs, poems, essays and novels. We have collected 20 of the most meaningful Italian American living women authors: dozens of different voices, but one soul echoing the memory of generations of Italian women. Kudos to them, who have transformed their urge of keeping the memory alive into something anyone can benefit from, and to those publishers who believe in women's voice: among the ones who are doing the most prolific job are for sure Bordighera Press ( and IdeaPress ( 

More about Jennifer Anton at
All the news about her at
To stay tuned with Louisa Calio, follow her on Facebook. On March 12, Louisa joined Poets for Peace, an international poetry marathon to invoke the ceasing of the war: the link to the event on the Louisa Calio Poet, Writer, Performer page on Facebook.
You can find out more about her at
Learn about Mary Cappello at
Be updated on Olivia Kate Cerrone at
To know more about the author, visit
Find out more on Patricia at
Claudia Durastanti will present her novel at the Museo Italo Americano in san Francisco on Monday, March 28 at 6 pm PT. Details at
More on Sandra M. Gilbert at
Details about Talking to the Girls on the NYU Press website ( On Edi Giunta on Facebook and Instagram all the information about the coming presentations of the book.
To know more about Maria Giura, go to 
More news on Maria Lanzillotto at
Maria Lisella is on social media: Facebook and Twitter (@MariaLisella)
Find out more on Marianne at
Follow Carole on her website:
More about her at
Michelle Messina Reale is on Facebook and Instagram (@writingmyselfbackin)
News and details about Gail Reitano's next events on her website: 
Eat What You Read, Bake This Cake!
Italian Love Cake is not just the title of a book. It's a real recipe, delicious and easy to do. Follow the steps below, as seen in, for a great dessert ready in no time.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 2 pints part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  • Prepare cake mix following the directions on the box. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 x 2 inch greased baking dish, and set aside
  • Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Blend well and spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 75 minutes if using a glass baking dish, 90 minutes if using a metal pan
  • Blend the pudding mix and milk until thickened. Then blend in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled cake

See? Easier said than done... Enjoy!
NOIAW Goes to Florida
NOIAW, the National Organization of Italian American Women, opens a new calendar of programs inaugurating the Florida season. On Thursday, March 31st, starting 4:45 pm ET, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg hosts Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Aricciaa private docent-led tour of the new Bernini exhibit from Italy. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was one of the masters of the Italian Baroque, and one of the greatest artists ever. Registrations can be made at
Each Story Needs to Be Told

Your story needs to be told, and so does your loved ones’. Now you have the opportunity of making it count. Be part of our new project, the Italian American Who’s Who: the first collection ever of all the Italian American stories. A massive loving tribute to the community and a way to preserve your family’s memory for future generations. This is the first comprehensive recognition to a community that has left such an undeniable mark in this country, no matter the original background. And it’s not just about legacy: Who’s Who will also help in reconnecting family members and friends who have lost touch over the years and in expanding one’s own network.

One last smile

before you go...

Spring is sweeter in Italy than anywhere else, and it's not just for its beautiful nature and its mild weather. After the lockdown, the Giornate di Primavera (Spring Days) are finally back. FAI, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano, celebrates the 30th edition opening to the public hundreds of hidden gems belonging to the Italian cultural heritage. As per tradition, on the first Spring weekend, this year on March 26 and 27, gardens, palazzi, private libraries, little churches will open their doors in 400 different locations. As FAI's motto says: "Two days to discover Italy, 365 to save her". Details on the Spring Days and other initiatives of FAI at

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