General Balbo Flies Again at Festa Italiana in Little Italy

General Balbo Flies Again at Festa Italiana in Little Italy
One of Nani Tedeschi's works showing the Chicago Street named after the Italian Aviator

This past Friday I had the distinct honor to be present at the University Village Association at 1453 W. Talylor Street for three distinct events.

First of all this weekend is Festa Italiana and runs through Sunday.  The Fest is free with a $5 suggested donation and features everything Italian from food to music to car shows and lots more.

Festa Italiana runs through August 17, 2014 along Talor Street in Little Italy

Festa Italiana runs through August 17, 2014 along Talor Street in Little Italy

Secondly, during the Fest the University Village offices will serve double duty as an art gallery showing original artwork by Nani Tedeschi.  Tedeschi has created numerous mixed media boards honoring the historic flight of 24 Italian seaplanes that were commanded by then General Italo Balbo.  The seaplanes left the air base at Orbetello, Itally and landed in Lake Michigan during the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress World's Fair and were quite the spectacle.  Chicago's 7th Street was renamed Balbo Ave in honor of his arrival and Gen. Balbo donated the ancient Italian column that stands on the site of the Italian section of the 1933 Fair just south of Soldier Field.  On hand at University Village was, Alberto Guarnieri,  the author of the historic text that accompanies Tedeschi's artwork and also the Italian/English book, "Balbo's Seas and Skies".  Ms. Rosetta Berardi of Edizioni del Girasole, Guarnieri's publisher, was also present and spoke at length about the artwork of Tedeschi.

"Balbo's Seas and Skies" by Alberto Guarnieri

"Balbo's Seas and Skies" by Alberto Guarnieri

Thirdly, Dr. Monica Paffetti, the current mayor of Orbetello, was present for the occasion and chose the City of Chicago to announce an international design competition to rebuild the historic Orbetello seaplane airport.  The design competition will be officially announced in September but Mayor Paffetti felt because of the historic connection of Chicago and Orbetello that Chicago should be where the first public announcement should be.

From left to right; Ms. Rosetta Berardi, Mayor Parfetti, the Mayor's interpreter, and Kathy Catrambone, Executive Director of the University Village Association

From left to right; Ms. Rosetta Berardi, Mayor Paffetti, the Mayor's interpreter, and Kathy Catrambone, Executive Director of the University Village Association

I was struck by how warm and kind all of speakers were and I especially liked Dr. Paffetti's answer to my question about how she felt about her first taste of Chicago Pizza at Little Italy.  She simply smiled wide and said it was good and different but of course best in Little Italy!

Author Alberto Guarnieri speaking of the historical significance of General Italo Balbo

Author Alberto Guarnieri speaking of the historical significance of General Italo Balbo

The exhibition with be going on throught Festa Italiana and after will be traveling back to Italy and other locations abroad.

You can find more information about Festa Italiana at their website http://chicagofestaitaliana.com

More info about the University Village Association can be found on their website
www.uvalittleitaly.com   and they also have a twitter and facebook fan page.

You can inquire about purchasing a color portfolio of Tedeschi's prints and/or Albert Guarnieri's book "Balbo's Seas and Skies" by contacting the publisher at
edizionigirasole@libero.it

If interested in the details of the international design competition keep checking the official website of Orbetello.  The official announcement will be in September.
http://www.comune.orbetello.gr.it

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