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Franky in New York

  The Beautiful Life  

Welcome back! You know, there's just one topic we want to discuss this month: it's the veritable spirit of Thanksgiving! This time of the year is all about being thankful for what - and who - life brings to us. First and foremost, we are truly thankful to the Francesco and Mary Giambelli Foundation for their support: thanks to them, we'll be able to expand our programs and carry our new projects. But we are also deeply thankful to each and everyone of you for being part of this family that's getting bigger and bigger. The Beautiful Life celebrates its first complete trip around the Sun, and we couldn't be happier. 

So, let's dive into the festive atmosphere exploring what Thanksgiving means to the community... well, apart from the joy of cooking a big meal. We'll peer into your photo albums to catch glimpses of your celebrations, and tip you for an easy-breezy last minute recipe if you want to add a pinch of Tuscan style to your dinner. Anyway, as the Holidays Season has just arrived, you'll also find new, artsy ideas for your presents from one of Franky's BFFs.

Take a break from the preparations, grab your mug, and follow us...

Happy Thanksgiving!
It's amazing how a tiny word as "grazie" is so rich in universal meaning. "Grazie" (gràh-tzee-ae) has Latin origins, and literally it is the plural form of the term "gratia", itself coming from the past participle "gratus" that means "thankful". Here's all we have to know about this word: when Italians say "grazie", they acknowledge someone's generosity and kindness, and tribute to them a profound feeling of thankfulness. 
Now, if we want to get a bit more philosophical we could recall that Thomas Aquinas used to talk about three degrees of "grazie": acknowledging the benefit we have been given, praising our benefactor, and giving back according to our possibilities. But we can easily just stick to the beautiful sound of "grazie", that it is itself worth to be pronounced with the utmost respectful awareness.

Celebrating the Italian Way 

in New England

Antipasti, soup, the unmissable lasagna and just then the turkey - stuffed with Italian sausages of course. Branding Thanksgiving Italian is no joke in New England, where traditions from the other side of the ocean are still preserved as a badge of honor. 
The New England Historical Society has an interesting website, full of stories and beautiful pictures ( depicting traditions and habits of this part of the country. The chapter about Thanksgiving is absolutely fascinating, with an accurate reconstruction on how keeping the Italian way alive is meant to be an ethnic resistance. In the picture above, shot by Paul Altobelli, a group of "partisans" celebrating Thanksgiving the Italian way in Boston North's End.

Franky called to action, you answered. Thanks for sharing your memories of Thanksgiving: from the States and Italy too, because what it counts the most is the spirit. Families, friends: all your smiling faces make us happy. Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are!
This is the Sorrentino family, in a Thanksgiving celebration that dates back to around 1944-45. Bob Sorrentino, whose family originates from Apulia and Campania, is the founder of Italian Roots and Genealogy (, a blog that helps Italian Americans to track back their ancestors' descendants and reunite with them.
Don't get it wrong, this is what Thanksgiving looks like - if you are in Florida. A big thanks to Michele Sessa, the home chef behind the Instagram handle @Michele7533 for sharing this shot taken a few years ago. Michele is here along with her husband Dominick and their family friend Gary, who sadly has passed away. Despite the Florida temperatures, Michele sticks to tradition and cooks the turkey each Thanksgiving, this year with a sausage and focaccia bread dressing.
After the lockdown, Syracuse University has reopened its classes abroad. For information on the courses go to
Even travel planners take a break on Thanksgiving. Cassandra Santoro, CEO of Travel Italian Style ( and our long time friend, shared with us memories of her celebrations in Arezzo, Tuscany, in 2019. Cassandra was at her dear friends Silvia and Enrico's place. The couple, after living in the US for a while, decided to host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for their international friends, the vast majority of whom have never experienced such a thing.
What's the taste of love? Seat at a Thanksgiving table and you'll find out. These happy people are Dore's family. Dore is a first generation Italian American, a high school teacher and a daughter to a couple who emigrated from Molfetta, province of Bari, to New Jersey in the 1970s. Besides her job, Dore runs A Taste of Amore ( to spread the word about her devotion to her roots. Speaking of which, at her Thanksgiving table there's always a piece of Italy: in the picture ù tridd', a semolina pasta handmade by Dore's mom,  served in chicken broth and generously topped with grated Parmigiano.
Patricia Geremia is one of Franky’s BFFs. She is a photographer and a blogger ( but - most of all - she’s a curious human being with an artsy way to look at life. Patricia lives in New York City and travels to Florence whenever she can: her unconditional love for Italy, and Florence in particular, has shaped her photography attitude, as she reveals in her website. "My love for taking photographs began over 20 years ago on my inaugural trip to Italy. Perhaps it was the air, or the architecture, or the vino, or the shift in my vision from being outside of my comfort zone and in a foreign land. Maybe it was everything combined. That first click of the camera ignited a desire to inspire you through capturing random moments in life."
Now, just in time for the Holidays, Patricia's art pieces are living a brand new life, transformed into tote bags, pillows, mats, trays... you name it. On Society 6, an online platform where artists can share their work printed on everyday life objects, Patricia is spreading her creativity at any possible level. Would you like to shop around sporting a Cappuccino tote? Or to decorate your couch with a snowy-night-in-the-park themed pillow? Go to and let a bit of art in your life.
Make Your Turkey Speak Tuscan
If you are among those who don't know what to do with turkey giblets, or you are rather looking for new ideas besides the traditional gravy, the following recipe just fits you. Trust Franky's Tuscan roots, and add a special kick to your Thanksgiving with these super easy-to-make Crostini Toscani.

What you need:
  • the giblets that come with the turkey
  • butter
  • onion or shallots (depending on your taste)
  • bouillon cubes
  • two saucepans and a mixer
  • a bread loaf, sliced
How to make it:
  • Chop the giblets
  • Thinly slice the onion or the shallot, then add a knob of butter to the saucepan for sautéing. Meanwhile, melt one or two bouillon cubes in boiling water for the stock. When the onion is crispy, add the chopped giblets and stir
  • Reduce the heat, and slowly pour some stock, always stirring. If the mixture is too thick, keep adding the stock and stirring to make it creamy
  • When the giblets are ready, turn off the heat and blend them with the mixer: they must be creamy but not liquid
  • While the Crostini sauce is cooling, toast the slices of bread. Then spread with the sauce and voilà, your Crostini Toscani are ready! 
Did you know that St. Louis, Missouri, and Bologna are "sister cities"? To celebrate Christmas and renew the friendship, the Saint Louis - Bologna Sister Cities organization will hold Benedetta Orsi & Friends, its third Italian Christmas Concert starring mezzo soprano Benedetta Orsi, aka the “perfect voice for belcanto”. The concert will take place on Sunday, November 28, at 7 pm, at the Christ The King Catholic Church in St. Louis. Tickets available at  
'Tis the Season! Dive into the festive atmosphere at the Mercatino di Natale held at the Museo Italo Americano in San Francisco. Inspired by Christmas Markets in Northern Italy and throughout most of Europe, you'll find the cozy Holidays atmosphere while enjoying artisanal food, unique handmade jewelry, Italian fashion and accessories, art objects, and craft items, all made by Italian artisans.
After being put on hold for two years, the Mercatino di Natale comes back on Saturday, December 4th, and Sunday, December 5th, from 10 am. Details at
One smile before you go...
What's more beautiful than a book? A new bookstore opening! And these folks deserve all our praise. I AM Bookstore, the legendary Italian American bookstore and cultural hub in Boston was on the verge of the big leap just a couple of years ago, then the pandemic hit and everything seemed lost... Nevertheless, they persisted. They moved all the activities online, and not only did they manage to survive: they flourished. So, as soon as the lockdown started to vanish, the possibility of a new, bigger venue showed up. And now they are about to celebrate the reopening, scheduled on Saturday, December 4th. I AM Bookstore is at 124 Salem Street, Boston, or at 
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