SunBird American/Italian Club news


Frank Nechvatal

The March meeting was short in order to have more time for a movie. President Bob Sciaretta briefly went over the club shirts – logo and prices. He delivered shirts to those members who had ordered them at the February meeting. At the conclusion of the raffle we started the movie Uncle Nino. This was story of an Italian man who visits his nephew’s family in Chicago. The family is nearly dysfunctional with a father deeply involved in his job to the point he has lost his contact with his wife and children. The children, both teenagers, are rebelling in order to get attention from their father. Enter Uncle Nino. He begins to help the family reestablish itself as a loving family. His adventures are humorous and heartwarming.

April’s meeting will be the Baked Potato Buffet; it will start at 5:00 p.m. on the patio. We need members to sign up to bring toppings and/or desserts for this fest. See Shirley Montanaro to sign up.

In the continuing saga of Italian history we turn our attention this month to Italian Renaissance. Italy was the center of the renaissance or rebirth period for Europe. This was a time of rediscovery of ancient texts long forgotten in monastic libraries and in the Islamic world. Florence served as the center of the Renaissance and it spread out into southern Italy and into Europe. The greatest impact was noticed in Rome, especially the Papal Estates. This old knowledge made new again affected the arts, sciences, and architecture. Massive translations were done from ancient Greek and Latin documents into the vernacular of the day. Muslim scientists were imported into the Christian world and provided vast new material for European scholars, philosophers, artists and tradesmen. During the Renaissance constant warfare waged between the Italian City-States. By the 15th century the larger City-States annexed their smaller neighbors. Florence took Pisa; Venice captured Padua and Verona, while Milan took control of a number of areas including Pavia and Parma. At the end of the 15th century the City-States of Italy came under attack from France and Spain. Eventually France lost to Spain and which put in place a long period of Spanish hegemony over the peninsula. Renaissance drew to a close as Italy became dominated by foreign invaders. Rome was sacked by Spanish and German forces. Florence also fell at this time. The peninsula now experienced a long period of peace under the control of the Spanish crown. The renaissance ended with this period of peace.

Next: Early Modern History