The Italian American Experience – Come Along For The Ride
The Italian American Experience is an initiative spearheaded by two remarkable and ambitious Italian-Americans. Above all, their vision stems from the desire to understand where we, as Italian-Americans, originate. Also, they know all too well the sacrifices that their ancestors endured to give them a better life. Ultimately, they are honoring Italian traditions and helping to bridge the gap between generations. What is the secret that Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri are using to keep the Italian American Experience alive?
The Italian American Experience – Meet The Host and Co-Host
Anthony Fasano – Third Generation Italian-American And The Italian American Podcast Host
Anthony is American born, but the blood that runs through his veins is 100% Italian. Not surprisingly, all four of his great-grandparents were southern Italian. They have origins in Campania and Sicily. I was lucky enough to meet up with Anthony in Trecastagni, Sicily last August. He and his family were having the trip of a lifetime discovering their ancestral villages. We chatted in the “piazza” at an outdoor bar while sipping a cappuccino with the famous Mount Etna looming over us. I could read the excitement in his eyes as he talked about meeting Italian relatives for the first time. It was evident how much pride he takes in being Italian-American. Furthermore, he is even more passionate about making sure that his children understand where they are from and keeping Italian family traditions and the Italian language alive.
‘The Italian American community is important because it is our heritage, it represents where we came from, how we got here, and how we live…..which is certainly worth celebrating.” ~ Anthony Fasano
Anthony was in his mid 30’s when he became interested in digging deeper into his Italian roots. He realized that his grandparents were getting older and that he could learn so much from their stories. Anthony kicked off his Italian American experience by having regular lunches with his grandmother. As his family history began to unfold through her stories, he became aware of how he could help connect other Italian-Americans with their heritage on a larger scale. Seeking out a partner and fellow Italian-American, his idea became a reality.
Dolores Alfieri – First Generation Italian-American And The Italian American Podcast Co-Host
Dolores, born in the United Sates, is the youngest child of an immigrant family. Her mother was merely 13 years old when she met her father in a small Italian village not far from Naples. Together, they left Italy in 1967 to find a better life in New York. On the one hand, Dolores considers herself a modern, independent and free-spirited American. On the other, she firmly believes in the Italian values that were the cornerstone of her upbringing. Above all, the motto that she lives by is “Prima la Famiglia“ or Family First.
“The Italian-American community is what I belong to, and that’s why it is so important to me. I have felt at home in its embrace, and tall and grand standing on its shoulders; it has given me a sense of belonging and dignity.” ~ Dolores Alfieri
Dolores has many fond memories of her childhood. She recalls sitting in the shadows at her large Italian family gatherings listening in on passionate adult conversations in Naples dialect. She was always very curious about her heritage and continually asked her parents to tell her about her Italian family. In the end, her parents’ trials and tribulations, from childhood to immigration, came to life in her memoir.
The Italian American Podcast – Anthony And Dolores Share Their Favorite Episodes
The Italian American Experience is home to the first podcast dedicated to helping Italian-Americans learn more about their heritage. Each podcast episodes has two segments. The “Main Segment” boasts an array of influential Italian-Americans and Italian-Americans who dedicate themselves to promoting cultural heritage. The “Story Segment” is an interactive experience and it is open to all Italian-Americans. It often features listeners sharing their personal tales.
Anthony’s Top Three
Episode 6 – Adriana Trigiani on Family, The Shoemaker’s Wife, and Recreating the Lives of Our Italian American Ancestors. Foremost, She was very authentic. Also, she authored my favorite book in the world The Shoemaker’s Wife.
Episode 17 –Tony Reali on being true to yourself and your family. I think spending the day with him was powerful for me because we are the same age, and we are both Italian Anthony’s who are hard working parents.
Episode 12 – Lidia Bastianich on cooking as a connection to heritage, keeping a family together, and what never to do when cooking pasta. Well, because it is Lidia….and she was also so amazingly authentic.
Dolores’s Top Three
Episode 5 – The Sounds of an Italian-American Kitchen at Christmas Time. In my mother’s kitchen with my extended family; this episode captures the sounds Italian Americans know so well. The laughter, the noise of children, the storytelling, and the traditional recipes passed down through generations is an authentic snapshot of our culture.
Episode 10 – Tom Santopietro on “The Godfather” trilogy and the effect it had on Italian Americans, including himself. Our conversation with Tom was simply exceptionally deep. I think Tom and mine’s sensibilities in particular resonated with one another, and he met me, without hesitation, when I said emotional things about the disappearing aspects of our community and culture. In my opinion, this conversation is among our truest and rawest.
Episode 22 – Mickela Mallozzi on hard work, and making our ancestors proud and our dreams come true. Micekla and I have become good friends since recording this episode. When you listen to us talk, it seems as though we have known one another forever. This episode captures a younger generation’s grappling and adjusting to the changing Italian-American landscape. Specifically, how we try to make our families proud and honor their origins while pursuing our dreams. In the end, it was a really beautiful conversation.
The Secret To Keeping The Italian American Experience Alive
To sum up, Anthony and Dolores started the podcast as a way to share and hold on to Italian-American traditions. They made the experience interactive to allow the listener also to be the participant. It is a sort of online Italian neighborhood that encourages the younger generation not to lose touch with their origins. Subscribe to the Italian American Podcast, record a message, and start sharing your stories today. Please leave a comment below.
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