We all know that Hardcore Italians love their cannoli. Although nothing ever beats a classic cannoli, cannoli dip is pretty close! It's simple, not time consuming, and is always a hit at any family gathering. Not to mention, it's very tasty!! If you enjoy Italian desserts, then this recipe is a must try.
Italian chef, Laura Vitale (from Laura In The Kitchen), shows us two great ways to makes cannoli dip. Just follow along in the video below and let us know how it comes out! Enjoy!!
When Enzo Ferrari started to manufacture his own cars, he had to agree not to use the name Ferrari for four years. This was a condition of his release from Alfa Romeo. The first cars he produced were two 815 Auto Avio Constuzioni cars in 1940. These are not classified as Ferrari’s.
The outbreak of World War II delayed the launch of Ferrari.
In the early days, Ferrari did not mass produce cars. In fact, in 1947, only two cars were produced. These were the Ferrari 125 S.
In 2012, Craig McCaw, an American communications magnate, paid $35 million for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. This was the highest amount ever paid for a car.
Originally, all Ferraris were red. This was because the International Automobile Federation assigned this color to all Italian racing cars. Red is still the most popular color for Ferrari’s to this day and color options are kept to a minimum.
Ferrari is a brand that is about so much more than the production of high-end cars. In fact, an estimated $1.5 billion of the company’s revenue comes from selling merchandise, including sunglasses, clothes, shoes, watches, mobile phone covers and model cars.
Collecting scale model cars by Ferrari is an expensive hobby. For example, it can cost up to $5,400 for a Ferrari F14T at 1:8 scale.
The Ferrari racing team is extremely successful. Since their first race win in 1947, they have gone on to achieve great things. This has included 216 Formula One wins, 15 Formula One world titles, and many other accolades.
Abu Dhabi has a Ferrari theme park, called ‘Ferrari World’. It boasts the fastest rollercoaster in the world that reaches speeds of 150 mph.
Enzo Ferrari has made his hometown famous. Although he achieved great success and traveled the world, he preferred to stay close to home. Not only did he continue to live in the area, this was also where he chose to establish his business and is where the Ferrari plant is located. People now visit Modena just to see the Ferrari operations and visit the Ferrari museum.
Ferrari was once a family owned business. However, Fiat now owns a large percentage of the company and the Ferrari family receive very little from Ferrari sales.
Ever wondered why Ferrari has a prancing horse as its logo? It is believed that the logo is in honor of Francesco Baracca, a World War I flying ace who died in 1918 while in action. The pilot had the horse painted on his aeroplane wings. It was the intended logo for his fledgeling racing team. Enzo Ferrari met his parents, Count and Countess Baracca, at a race in 1923. They suggested he use the logos on his own cars.
Like most countries, Italy has traditional games that have been passed from one generation to the next. Many of Italy’s games are still played and enjoyed today by both children and adults alike. Here are some of the traditional games of Italy.
Nearly every country that plays Foosball, or table football, lays claim to being the country that first invented the game and the Italians are no different. Although they may not actually have invented the game they call calcio balilla, they are the leading manufacturers of this game. It is for this reason that many consider this to be an Italian game. There is evidence to suggest that the Italians began playing this game at the end of World War I and it remains popular to this day.
Piastra o Bocce
The game of piastra, or plates, was played by the Roman soldiers. This makes it one of the oldest Italian games that is still played today. However, in many regions, many people now play a more modern version of this game called bocce. In piastra, the small plate is thrown the length of a long field and is used as a marker. Players then throw larger colored plates towards the marker with the aim of getting as close as possible. Bocce uses heavy balls instead of plates.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino
The Italians love soccer and this game is like a modern version of calcio storico Fiorentino, a Medieval form of football. The Medieval game actually more closely resembles rugby. Other than for the purposes of re-enactments, very few people play this game today. This is probably because of the high level of violence the game involves.
The Italian word ‘ruzzalore’ means ‘to roll’ and it is from this verb that the name of the game ‘ruzzalo’ derives. The basic concept of the game is for people to throw a round object as far as they can and the winner is the person who throws the object the furthest. To make the game more complicated, it is often played on steep terrain with the players hurling the object upwards.
Whether you are moving to Italy because it is your dream destination to live or you are emigrating for work-related reasons, the transition to a new country is potentially stressful. The language, culture and lifestyle can all cause you problems as you adapt to a new way of life. Here are four tips to help you make a smooth transition.
1. Learn the Language
While it can take some time to become fluent in Italian, you should at least make the effort to learn some basic, commonly used phrases before you arrive in Italy. Everything is so much easier if you understand what people are saying to you and you can ask questions.
2. Research the Area
One difficulty people experience when moving to a new country is a lack of knowledge of the local area. Finding amenities and services, getting around and making the most of the local attractions are all difficult when you do not know somewhere. Ideally, you should visit the area to which you are moving several times before you move so that you can acclimatize yourself with the area and find out where everything is. If this is not possible, research the area online before you leave.
3. Take Professional Advice
4. Get Out and About
Another difficulty people have when they move abroad is socializing and making friends. It is important to integrate yourself into the local community to avoid boredom and loneliness. Getting out and about in the local area is essential to help you meet new people and make friends. Try going to local bars, eating in nearby restaurants, getting to know the local shopkeepers and visiting parks and attractions in the area. Each of these venues will open opportunities to mix with people from the area.
Located in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Puglia are the Tremiti Islands. This archipelago is made up of five small islands; Capraia, Cretaccio, Pianosa, San Domino, and San Nicola. The islands are part of the Gargano National Park which is known for its clear blue waters and solitude. The archipelago is a huge attraction for tourists and approximately 100,000 people visit them each year.
The Tremiti Islands
There are two theories of where the name ‘Tremiti’ originates. The first is that it relates to the frequent tremors felt in the area. The second theory is that it comes from the Greek word ’Trimeros. This means ‘Tree Islands’. Two of the five islands have been inhabited since the 4th century BC. Under Ferdinand IV, the king of Sicily, the islands became a colony in the 18th century. When Mussolini was the prime minister of Italy, the islands were used as a camp for deported homosexuals. The government tried to sell off parts of the islands in 2012 and this led to a big scandal. However, nobody bid on the land so the islands remained intact and the locals were kept happy.
Capraia is a small island that is uninhabited by humans. It gets its name from the wild goats that dwell on the island. It is the same size as San Nicola.
This island lies between San Nicola and San Domino. It is just a large rock in the sea and is uninhabited.
Pianosa is also uninhabited and lies away from the rest of the islands in the archipelago. In fact, it is 20 nautical miles away from the coast. It is just 250 meters wide and 700 meters long.
This is the largest of the islands in the archipelago and it has a population of approximately 250 people. It is also the closest of the islands to the Gargano Peninsula. The island is 2,600 meters in length and measures 1,700 meters across.
Approximately 150 people live on the island of San Nicola, which measure 1,600 meters across and 450 meters in width. The Benedictine monks established the Santa Maria a Mare abbey on the island in the 9th century.
Located in northeast Italy, Trieste is the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. As this region is situated between the border of Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, the influence of Austria, Slovenia and Hungary are evident throughout the city. Here are some things to see and do during a visit to Trieste.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia
In the older part of the city, you will find Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia and this is the largest square in Trieste. There are many buildings of historical and architectural interest at the square and fantastic views over the harbour.
At the harbor, you will find the old port, a new port, wide boulevards and four piers. The harbour is lined with shops and cafes, so it is a great place to go for a walk, a spot of retail therapy and a bite to eat.
The Roman Theater is at the base of the San Giusto hill and was built by the Romans in the first century AD. It is now in ruins and no longer used but it is still an interesting site to visit.
Although the Grande Canale was once used for ships, it is now filled with smaller boats. It is surrounded by some beautiful buildings, including the Neoclassical San Antonio church and the San Spiridione Serbian Orthodox church. The canal is particularly spectacular at night when the street lights illuminate the water.
Castello di San Giusto
At the top of the San Giusto hill is the Castello di San Giusto. It was built as a fortress by the Habsburgs between the 15th and 17th centuries. Not only is this a historically interesting structure to visit, it also provides panoramic views over the city and the surrounding area.
The Museums of Trieste
There are three museums you should try to visit while you are in Trieste. Museo Civico Revoltella is a modern art museum that features over 800 sculptures and a thousand paintings. Museo Civico di Storia Naturale is a natural history museum, the highlight of which is a 3.6-meter fossil of a hadrosaurus found locally. Museo del Mare is a sea-themed museum featuring ship models and exhibits that tell the history of the port of Trieste.
Cattedrale di San Giusto
In the 14th century, a 6th-century church and an 11th-century church were combined to create the cathedral. Roman stonework was also added to this new building and you can see these on the campanile and doorway. A cannon left by Napoleon was used to cast the cathedral’s bell.
Italy is well-known as a country with diverse and natural beauty. Each region has its own geographical features that make it unique. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in this country are the National Parks. Although there are 24 to choose from, here are eight of the best.
Located off the north-western coast of Sardinia lies the tiny island of Asinara. It has been a National Park since 1997 and has a protected marine area and an official nature reserve. Other than the wildlife, this 52-kilometer square island is completely uninhabited.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano
This is the second largest of the National Parks and is located in the southern part of the Campania region. It became a National Park in 1991 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. The park covers 1,810 square kilometres and stretches along the Tyrrhenian coast from Agropoli to Sapri.
Just west of La Spezia on the coastline of Liguria lies Cinque Terre National Park. It consists of five villages, including Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore and Vernazza. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Graian Alps in north-west Italy are home to the Gran Paradiso National Park and it covers areas of both the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions of the country. It lies next to the Vanoise National Park in France. When the areas of these two parks are combined, it constitutes the largest protected area in Europe.
This has been a National Park since 1992 and is in the regions of Basilicata and Calabria. It is the largest of the Italian National Parks as it covers 1,925 square kilometres. This mountainous park is enjoyed by nature lovers as it is filled with wildlife, many of which are endangered. Climbing, trekking and water rafting are also popular at the park.
Located in the Calabria region, this park was established in 1997 and is spread over three provinces. The landscape of this National Park includes mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes.
Stelvio National Park is bordered by the Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige regions of Italy and also by Switzerland. This is a mountainous park that covers only 1,300 square kilometres. There are small alpine villages, farms, valleys and large forests. However, the most spectacular features are glaciers, glacial lakes, mountain peaks, and waterfalls.
This is a group of Tuscan Islands that includes Capraia, Elba, Giannutri, Gorgona, Montecristo, and Pianosa. This is the largest protected marine park in Europe and is also a great place for birdwatchers as the islands are a sanctuary for birds traveling between Europe and Africa.
Often, we do not think about the things we use on a daily basis, such as where they came from, who was the first person to use an item and who came up with the idea in the first place. There are a staggering amount of ideas and objects that originate in Italy and here are some of the inventors we can thank for their brainwaves.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci lived between 1452 and 1519. Throughout his life, this talented man made significant contributions as a scientist, an artist, a creative engineer and an inventor. He is famous for, amongst other things, designing prototypes of an aeroplane and a parachute.
Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco
Born in 1655 in Padua, this man was an instrument maker who is credited with the invention of the piano. He died in 1731.
Antonio Benedetto Carpano
This Italian distiller invented Vermouth. This led to the concept of the aperitif. Antonio Benedetto Carpano lived between 1764 and 1815.
This man is famous for the invention of a device called a pantelegraph. It was from the basic concept of this machine that the fax machine was invented. This invention was registered in 1861.
Salvino Degli Armati
Salvino Degli Armati is one of two people who is credited with the invention of reading glasses. The other person is Alessandro della Spina. However, it is also possible that this visual aid was invented by a Venetian glassmaker.
Although Graham Bell was the first to patent the invention of the telephone, it was actually Antonio Meucci who invented the telephone. He first began to develop a design in 1849 and even applied for a patent in 1871. However, the patent expired in 1874 and Meucci did not have sufficient funds to renew the patent. After Graham Bell successfully patented the invention, Meucci’s work was overlooked. However, his contributions were officially recognized in 2002.
Marconi was born in 1874. Although he contributed to developing radio transmission, the Italian government was not interested and he had to travel to London in order to patent his ideas. Lord Kelvin was the first to send a ‘Marconigram’ in 1889 and Marconi then established the Wireless Telegram Company in 1897 in London and this later became the Marconi Wireless Telegram Co. Ltd. Marconi also developed or contributed to the continuous wave system, the magnetic detector and horizontal direction telegraphy.
The majority of the population of Craco in Basilicata migrated en masse to America between 1892 and 1922. Some of the reasons that contributed to this included poor farming, war, landslides, and earthquakes. Approximately 1,800 inhabitants remained in the town until 1963 when a major landslide resulted in the town being evacuated. The residents moved to Craco Peschiera, a nearby valley.
Romagnano al Monte
Located in the province of Salerno in Campania, the village of Romagnano al Monte was destroyed in 1980 in the Irpinia earthquake. The village was rebuilt just a few kilometers away and the ruins at the village’s original site are now a tourist attraction.
Monte Calvario is a landmark in Calabria with five strange pinnacles and it is here that the ghost town of Pentedattilo is located. It was the Greeks who first inhabited this village in 640 BC. An earthquake in 1783 resulted in most of the residents to leave the village. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the village was partially restored.
Like Romagnano al Monte, this town is located in the province of Salerno in Campania. It has remained uninhabited since the early 20th century because of a landslide. The ghost town is now an eco-museum.
A series of earthquakes between 1980 and 1981 led to inhabitants fleeing the village of Tocco Caudio in the province of Benevento, Campania. The residents could not rebuild the village so they resettled around the ridge.
Giardino di Ninfa
Giardino di Ninfa has been abandoned not once, but twice. The town was originally founded by the Volscians and the town thrived between the 8th and 14th centuries. When Pope Alexander III took refuge in the town, it was destroyed by order of his enemy, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The town was repopulated when it was purchased by a noble family in 1297. It was abandoned for a second time in the 16th century due to an outbreak of malaria.
The Italians are passionate about sports and one sport they love is tennis. Italy has produced some great talents in this field. Here are six of the top Italian female tennis players.
1. Flavia Pennetta
Flavia Pennetta was born in Brindisi and turned professional in 2000. On August 17, 2004, she became the first Italian to ever be ranked in the top 10 female singles players in the world. On February 28, 2011, she was the first Italian player to rank at number one in doubles.
2. Francesca Schiavone
Born in Milan, this Italian tennis player turned professional in 1998. One of the highlights of her career was winning the French Open in 2010. This meant she was the first woman from Italy to win a singles Grand Slam event. The following year, she was the runner-up in the French Open.
3. Sara Errani
Sara Errani has been ranked the Italian number one female singles player since February 23, 2015. She is also ranked number 12 in the world. Born in Bologna, this inspirational Italian has achieved great things as a professional player, including eight singles titles, 25 doubles titles and five Grand Slam championships.
4. Roberta Vinci
Vinci was born in Taranto and became a professional player in 2009. She has won an astonishing 32 WTA Tour titles, nine singles titles and 23 doubles titles. She has won titles at the French Open, the US Open and the Australian Open.
5. Karin Knapp
Knapp was born in Bruneck and began her professional career in 2002. Some of the titles she has achieved in her career include a win at the WTA tour and five singles and six doubles titles on the ITF Tour. She hit her best singles ranking in 2008 when she was ranked number 35 in the world.
6. Maria Elena Camerin
Camerin was born in Motta di Livenza and turned professional in 1997. She has won three doubles titles on the WTF Tour. On the ITF Tour, she has won ten singles titles and nine doubles titles. Maria Elena Camerin retired from professional tennis in 2015.
Danny DeVito is a well-known American actor and director of Italian descent. Born on, November 17, 1944, he was raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey. However, his family is originally from San Fele. Here are 12 interesting facts about this talented man.
At the age of 14, Danny DeVito asked for his father to send him to boarding school to keep him out of trouble. He attended Oratory Preparatory School from which he graduated in 1962.
He trained as a performer at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
His acting career began in the theater and he played the role of Martini in the stage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest in 1971. In 1975, he reprised this role in the movie version.
He became famous for his role in the hit comedy TV show ‘Taxi’ in which he played Louie De Palma.
His first movie role was in ‘Terms of Endearment’ in 1983.
He met actress Rea Perlman, best-known for her role in Cheers, in 1971. The couple married in 1982.
Perlman and DeVito have three children together; Lucy Chet, Grace Fan and Jacob Daniel.
DeVito was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
DeVito starred alongside his wife in the film ‘Matilda’.
Although he is predominantly a comedy actor, he has a personal interest in documentaries. This inspired him to join forces with Morgan Freeman’s company, ‘Clickstar’, to host a documentary channel called Jersey Docs.
In 1984, DeVito made his directorial debut with a movie called ‘The Ratings Game’.
Danny DeVito won an Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role in Taxi.
The Legend of Azzurrina has resulted in the village of Montebello near Rimini becoming a tourist attraction, despite the fact there are no ties to any real historical events.
Azzurrina is the little girl at the center of the legend and she was an albino with a pale complexion and white hair. According to the legend, she was the daughter of Lord Uguccione di Montebello and was born in 1370. People believed that Azzurrina’s hair color was a sign that she was a witch. To stop the locals harming her daughter, Azzurrina’s mother used coal and herbs in an attempt to die her hair. This didn’t work but left a blue tinge in her hair and led people to call her Azzurrina, meaning ‘little blue girl’.
Since dying her hair had failed, the only option to protect the little girl was to segregate her from the locals by keeping her in the castle walls with two guards, called Ruggero and Domenico, to protect her.
On June 21, 1375, summer solstice day, Azzurina’s father was fighting in one of the regular local wars. Azzurrina was trapped inside because of a raging storm outside. To keep herself occupied, the little girl played with a ball made of rags. The castle had a hexagonal room below which lay an empty cellar. Azzurrina rolled the ball towards the hexagonal room and it rolled down into the cellar below.
In full view of the guards, the little girl descended down the cellar steps to retrieve her ball. The guards heard a piercing scream from the cellar and ran to the girl’s aid. On reaching the cellar, they found the room was completely empty. At the same time, the storm outside ceased. Azzurrina’s body was never found.
The locals say that at midnight on solstice day on every anniversary year of her death that ends with either a ‘0’ or a ‘5’, you can hear a child’s cries all around the castle. Tourists can visit the castle but cannot enter the cellar as there is a superstition that the cellar may contain a secret passage that may harm all those that enter.
On the southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy lies a 50-kilometer stretch called the Amalfi Coast. This is best-known for the spectacular sight of its colorful buildings. Here are some interesting facts about this beautiful area of Italy.
The Amalfi Coast runs from Salerno to Sorrento, although Sorrento is not considered part of the Amalfi Coast.
The Tabula Amalphitana is a maritime code that Amalfi sailors created in the 11th century.
Each year in Amalfi, a miracle occurs when the image of Manna Sant’Andrea appears.
Amalfi’s patron saint is Sant’Andrea and the annual feast days are celebrated on June 27 and November 30.
A white eight-pointed cross is the symbol of Amalfi and this is also known as the Maltese Cross as it is also the symbol used for the Order of the Knights of Malta.
This area of Italy is where some of the first paper was made in Europe.
Between Amalfi’s piazza and the top of the Duomo there are 62 steps.
Errico Alvino, a Neapolitan architect, designed the façade of the Duomo which was built in 1871-91. This is not the first façade as the original one collapsed in 1861 on Christmas Eve.
On May 12, 1208, the relics of Sant’Andrea arrived in Amalfi.
The fountain in Piazzo dello Spirito Santo and the fountain at Largo Scario are the locations of elaborate nativities that are constructed each year.
Fictional race tracks in the Amalfi Coast Feature in Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport 3 and Forza Motorsport 4.
The Amalfi Coast was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997.
Anna Maria Pierangeli and her twin sister Marisa Pavan were born on June 19, 1932, in Cagliari, Italy situated in the southern region where Sardinia overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. When the twins were three, the Pierangeli family moved to Rome where both little girls set their sights on becoming film stars. The time came to realise their dreams and Anna adopted her surname and split it in half. She would find fame as Pier Angeli, a nom de plume that would drift upon the memories of her friends and associates long after her untimely death.
Angeli's first appearance was in an uncredited role in the 1948 Italian production of The Million Dollar Nickel. It was largely a forgettable film, however, for Pier Angeli, at 16, although a predominantly tempestuous beginning for she would not appear on screen again until 1951, it was a start. Between 1949 and 1951 she appeared in stage productions and found work in menial jobs but she found how the powers of frustration could mercilessly hinder her progress for she longed to become a part of the lights and the glamour.
Yet it seemed her impassioned yearnings were answered when Angeli's debut came to her in the Vittorio De Sica film Domani è troppo tardi ("Tomorrow Is Too Late") in 1951. It appeared she had become famous overnight when she was awarded a Silver Ribbon (Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists) for Best Actress for her performance in the film. She later appeared in The Light Touch as Anna Vasarri opposite Stewart Granger, but it was during the same year when MGM signed her to play "Teresa" in the Fred Zinnemann film that at 18 the critiques compared her with Greta Garbo. She was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Female Newcomer in 1952 an accolade that would carry her toward The Devil Makes Three, a film that followed in 1952 wherein she appeared alongside Gene Kelly. Then in 1954 she played in Mam'zelle Nitouche (Oh No, Mam'zelle) then Somebody up There Likes Me in 1956 with Paul Newman. That particular role had been earmarked for James Dean, but after his death, Newman was contracted and would thereby make his acting debut. In 1959 Angeli made a well received record of Italian songs titled "Italia con Pier Angeli". Her singing voice had already been used in "Mam'zelle Nitouche" and again in "Port Afrique" and she was finally fully established.
She had a brief affair with James Dean to whom she became engaged, but under constant pressure from her dominant mother who engineered a change of phone number so that Dean could not reach her daughter, Pier broke the engagement and later married Vic Damone in 1954. However, it was not a happy union and when Dean, 24 died in a car crash in 1955 by 1959 Angeli's marriage was in trouble. After their divorce, she and Damone were plagued by court battles for the custody of their son, Perry who was awarded to his mother until his teens when he went to live with his father.
After her divorce, Angeli returned to live and to work in Britain and Europe and made a strong comeback to British drama. She starred opposite Richard Attenborough in The Angry Silence in 1960 and was nominated for Best Actress for her performance. She married her second husband in 1962, Italian composer Armando Trovajoli with whom she had another son, Andrew.
Reunited with Stewart Granger in the film Sodom and Gomorrah she followed on with a brief role in the epic film Battle of the Bulge in 1965. In 1968 she named James Dean the greatest love of her life and during a turbulent four-year period through to 1970, Armando Trovajoli left Pier Angeli in 1965. She later, in 1971, made her final appearance in a low budget B-grade sci-fi opus Octaman. It was the event that brought an undeniable understanding to Angeli that her dream of super-stardom would never come to fruition. It was the final blow that rendered her asunder.
On September 10, 1971 Pier Angeli was found dead of a barbiturate overdose in her Beverly Hills home. She was 39 years old. On 14 September 1971 Angeli's funeral service was held at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Vic Damone, her son Perry, Norma Eberhard, Dr. Ramon Spritzler, Liza Minelli, and the families of Kirk Douglas and Louis Jordan attended the service, later she was interred at the Cimitière des Bullis in Rueil-Malmaison, France.
Rocco Farinola and Mamie (nee Damone) were Italian immigrants from Bari who chose America to bring up their family. Vito Rocco Farinola, their first and only son was born to them in Brooklyn, New York on June 12, 1928.
Rocco Snr. was an electrician who also sang and played guitar and Vito's mother Mamie taught piano while his cousin Doretta Morrow was the actress and singer. Musically inspired, the young Vito emulated popular crooner, Frank Sinatra. His mother, who noticed his talent scrimped to attain $1 each week so she could pay for her son to attend singing lessons. That dollar would also pay Vito's subway fare from Brooklyn. Vito began singing at Sunday Mass at St. Finbar's Church in Bath Beach, Brooklyn, where he exercised his passion under the guidance of organist Anthony Amorello.
When Farinola was fourteen, his father was injured at work and the young lad dropped out of high school to support the family. He attended work as an usher and elevator operator in the Paramount Theater in Manhattan. He later recounted during an interview, "Perry Como was starring there one night and I was taking him back to his dressing room on the fifth floor. He had just finished a show. I said “I am a great fan of yours. Can I ask your advice?”
“What is it kid?” replied Como.
“My Mom thinks I can sing but we really can't afford $1 a week for a lesson. Would you listen and tell me if I have any talent?” I stopped the elevator between floors. The song I sang was “There Must Be A Way” and I sang four bars and stopped. Perry says, “Go ahead,” so I sang another four bars and stopped.
“Just finish the song,” he told me and I sang the rest. Then Perry says, “You've really got something kid. Don't stop singing.” I asked if I should continue voice lessons and with Como's encouragement he instructed “Keep singing” then referred me to a local bandleader.” Como would later become somewhat of a mentor.
Vito Farinola adopted his mother's maiden name and won first place on the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts Show in 1947. It was his first directional break when he began regular professional gigs on the local radio. His paths were leading him toward a strong and promising future and when he met Milton Berle, he was directed to sing at a prominent nightclubs, La Martingue and The Aquarium. Damone was 19.
He released a debut single, “I Have But One Heart” and followed with, “You Do” and a duet with Patti Page, “Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart." All sold well but it wasn't until he began hosting his own radio show on Saturday Night Serenade that his career began to radiate across the airwaves.
It was 1949 when Damone hit the airwaves with “Again” and followed it with “You're Breaking My Heart”. Both singles sold over a million copies and Damone was riding the success wave at last. By the early fifties he was a successful recording star and when he recorded “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady, Damone found super-star status. However, it was his version of “An Affair to Remember”, one of the last songs ever written by Harry Warren, that remains unparalleled by any other singer in history.
With several marriages under his wing, his longest union being with the late Rena Rowan-Damone who died in 2016, his singing career spanned over five decades and brought him more often to the TV screen where he became a personality and a variety-show guest.
55 years after the young Damone left school to support his family, he returned to Lafayette High School in Brooklyn to receive his high school diploma in 1997. It was 2002 when Damone gave his last concert performance at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida. Kravis Chairman, Alex Dreyfoos delivered a post-performance speech to a sold-out audience. “Vic Damone is the kind of performer who comes along once in lifetime,” he said. “Fortunately, he came along in our lifetime.” Damone, regarded as one of the most prolific crooners in our history suffered a stroke during that same year and retired.
Just shy of his 83rd birthday, he returned to the stage one last time wanting to introduce his six grandchildren the privilege of seeing him on stage for the very first time before he died. Vic Damone is 89 and lives quietly at home in Palm Beach, Florida having lost his beloved wife, Rowena who at 88 died on November 6 2016.