By Katie Manko
Benvenuti! The Italian Club is making its grand debut on campus this year and is looking for new students to join.
The club was founded last year by Lia D’Ambrosio ‘12, Jackie Salzillo ‘12 and Robert Davis ‘12, who began the application process in the fall and were officially granted club status around week three of spring term 2011. The three now serve as president, vice president and treasurer, respectively.
While the club is not directly in conjuction with the Italian terms abroad to Florence and Sicily, the members decided to found it after spending a term abroad in Florence.
So far, club members have held events with the Italian class that meets during the winter to prepare students traveling to Italy in the spring.
In addition, Professor Jay Newman has paired up with the club for some film showings along with the Sicily term abroad.
“The club is most definitely a way to learn a little Italian and culture. We love Italy, so during meetings we talk about the cool places we’ve visited, crazy experiences we’ve had with Italians, delicious food we’ve eaten, and we try to incorporate teaching some key phrases and grammar too,” said D’Ambrosio.
Since Union does not offer Italian courses aside from the one required class for students who have already been accepted to the Florence term abroad, the Italian Club members plan to help the students who will be traveling to Italy by educating them about the Italian way of life and offering some useful advice and phrases.
The club generally shows two or three films per term and most recently held a film event last Thursday in Messa house. The members watched Benvenuti al Sud, an educational comedy released in 2010 that exemplifies the stereotypical differences of northern and southern Italian culture. The club also hosted several several other cultural events, including cooking lessons.
“We’ve had numerous cooking events as well. Fall term we made individual pizzas and talked about the history of pizza. Last year during our probation period before being granted club status, we joined up with the Italian professor, Professor Patricia Keyes, and she taught us how to make suppli—which are rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and fried—and pizzelle—tiny pizzas made by frying dough and then putting sauce and mozzarella in the hot dough to melt it!” said D’Ambrosio.
Club members hope to host a co-sponsored party with Green house for Carnevale near the end of winter term and plan to have another upcoming movie showing and cooking event.
Anyone interested in joining the Italian Club is welcome to attend club meetings and Italian table, which are held weekly on Wednesdays in Messa House during common lunch.