Vicky Carabini knighted Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia

The Honorable Silvia Chiave, Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, Knighted Vicky Carabini, Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) on behalf of Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy. This distinction is one of Italy’s highest honors for Italians abroad and is bestowed upon individuals who have distinguished themselves in philanthropy, community activism, research, and promoting relations between Italy and other countries.

‘As an Italian American, I have great pride in my heritage and am committed to working to promote Italian culture whenever and where ever I can.  I am honored to have received this prestigious title.  I know that my grandparents, who left the land they loved for a new life in America, would be extremely proud of this acheivement.’

Vicky was knighted along side of Clorinda Donato, Director of the Clorinda Donato Center for Global Romance Languages and Translation Studies, Marianna Gatto, Director of the Italian American Museum Los Angeles and Hilary Stern Executive Director, Fondazione Italia. Vicky is Chair of the Italian Studies Council at Chapman University, Ambassador to San Juan Capistrano’s Sister City; Capestrano, Italy, Board Member of the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, Board Member of Mission Hospital, past Area Coordinator for National Italian American Foundation, and past president of the Italian Arts Council.

Posted in Community | Leave a comment

Student Receives Outstanding Italian Studies Award

Every spring the Department of World Languages and Cultures selects outstanding graduating majors in each language. The award stands for consistency and quality of academic achievements, intellectual curiosity, engagement in the Italian experience as well as contribution to the university’s Italian Studies community. The Italian Studies faculty is delighted to announce that this year the recipient of the award is Drew Murphy.

Drew Murphy completed two B.A.s, a self-designed major in Italian Studies and a major in Literature, Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. He is now working toward an integrated M.A. in English. During his studies, Drew consistently pushed himself outside of his confort zone and demonstrated a rare passion for the study of Italy, its society, literature, and cinema. He worked diligently and with maturity in all of his projects, bringing added intellectual vitality to all of his courses. Drew’s coursework in Italian Studies culminated in a capstone thesis focusing on contemporary media representation of the Medici family, which effectively identified several historical gaps and cultural inaccuracies in popular films and television series on the Italian Renaissance.

Drew is also the Director of the Florentines of San Lorenzo, at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, a connoisseur of Italian Renaissance fashion and a talent tailor in his own right. Recently, Drew was invited to deliver a virtual demonstration about Renaissance fashion to the students of Dr. Pacchioni’s course Imagination and Power in the Italian Renaissance.

Below a photograph of Drew wearing one of his costumes.

Posted in Students Success | Leave a comment

The annual appointment with the Italian Perspective is coming up!

Musco Center for the Arts, WIlkinson College, and the Italian Studies Program Present:

Food and Culture: An Italian Perspective
VIRTUAL EVENT – Ticket Complimentary, to register click here:
Saturday, May 1, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. PDT

“Today, at least in the more prosperous countries where variety is available to the masses, the label ‘Italian food’ is a means of marking one’s identity within an increasingly global and technological context in connection with ideas of quality, tradition, genuineness, nature, and community. The very notion of Italian food, now more than ever, entails a stance by which the creation of a new culture is at stake, no matter how apparently traditional it might seem. One of the aims of today’s event is that of understanding Italian cultural roots more lucidly by discovering how they make us what we are today.” Federico Pacchioni, Sebastian P., and Marybelle Musco, chair of Italian Studies

“Italy is a tapestry, and its history is what makes it one of the most fascinating places in the world. Its spectacular cuisine is only an expression of this tapestry, one that—while sprouting from culture—does not require a degree in classical letters to be appreciated. I hope today you will enjoy a new way to read the evolution of Italian culture through its most exquisite aspect.” Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman University 

Program Lineup
Opening Remarks:
Dr. Federico Pacchioni, Sebastian P., and Marybelle Musco, chair in Italian Studies;
Silvia Chiave, consul general of Italy in Los Angeles

“The Soul of Italian Food,”
a conversation between Daniele Struppa, Chapman University president, and Chef Sir Bruno Serato, owner of Anaheim White House Restaurant and founder of Caterina’s Club

“America, Italy’s Twenty-First Region: Italian Cuisine from Los Angeles to La Spezia,” a talk by Dr. Zachary Nowak, college fellow at Harvard University

“Poetry and Meat: Tuscan Traditions,”
a conversation with Dario Cecchini, traditional butcher from Panzano, Italy, featured in the Netflix series Chef’s Table

Posted in Community, Events, Italy Today | Leave a comment

Dr. Pacchioni speaks at the annual conference of the California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies

This year’s conference of California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies was hosted by University of California Davis and dedicated to the theme of Italian Experiments.

“Italian experiments have produced countless innovations in art, literature, design, architecture, science, politics, and more. The very nation/notion of Italy has constituted a kind of experiment at various points throughout history. In 2021, we are 100 years removed from the raucous premiere of Luigi Pirandello’s infamously experimental Sei personaggi, and we commemorate 700 years since the death of Dante, an author whose experiment in terza rimalikewise became a staple of the Italian canon. Drawing inspiration from these bold experimenters, we aim to look at Italian experimentation in its many disciplines, media, genres, and forms. Not only within Italy but also across the Mediterranean and world, Italian innovation has made for an experiment with global impact” (homepage).

Dr. Federico Pacchioni gave a talk entitled: “An Unbearable Guest: The Italian Puppet on the International Silver Screen” focusing on the experiments that Italian puppeteers attempted during the first part of the twentieth century, and the challenges they encountered in integrating their techniques and traditions within the body of the new medium of cinema, both nationally and internationally. The talk elaborated research  published in Dr. Pacchioni’s recent book The Image of the Puppet. Essays across Theater, Film and Literature.

Posted in Faculty Success | Leave a comment

Article on a New Approach to Humanistic Education by President Struppa and Professor Napoletani appears on Il Corriere della Sera

President Daniele Struppa and Professor Domenico Napoletani published an innovative take on humanistic education in one of Italy’s most respected newspapers, Il corriere della sera

Big data and machine learning have become pervasive in our day-to-day activities, starting with the way we search for information on the web. The authors explore how big data is changing our relation to knowledge and the radical implications for our educational system. In their article, they suggest that we need to rediscover the significance of our senses for analogical knowledge, if we want a humanistic approach to education to thrive on our reliance on data and machines.

For an English translation of the article click here.

Posted in Faculty Success, Italy Today | Leave a comment

Dr. Pacchioni’s new book receives award in Italy

Dr. Pacchioni’s latest book, The Image of the Puppet, was awarded the Gian Antonio Cibotto Jury Prize in Italy. In presenting the award, the jury stated: “Pacchioni delivers an original work that combines philological rigor with literary flair. With an eloquent and fluid style, the author reveals various aspects of the vitality and the evocative power of the puppet theater. The book is the fruit of great sensibility and passion.”

In his new book, The Image of the Puppet: Essays across Theater, Literature, and Cinema, Dr. Pacchioni identifies and interprets the aesthetic and cultural significance of the different traditions of the Italian puppet theater in the broader Italian culture and beyond. Grounded in the often-overlooked history of the evolution of different Italian puppetry traditions –the central and northern Italian stringed marionettes, the Sicilian pupi, the glove puppets of the Po Valley, and the Neapolitan Pulcinella– this study examines a wide spectrum of visual, cinematic, literary, and digital texts representative of the functions and themes of the puppet. A systematic analysis of the meanings ascribed to the idea and image of the puppet provides a unique vantage point to observe the perseverance and transformation of the deeper spiritual and humanistic values linking premodern, modern, and contemporary contexts. With the current advancement of cybernetics, avatars, animation, and virtual reality games, a thorough understanding of how the puppet metaphor originates from specific theatrical practices and media can be relevant today.

Posted in Faculty Success, Italy Today | Leave a comment

Journeying to Italy through Film: Dr. Pacchioni to present at the 2021 Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis/St. Paul

Every year, the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul, in partnership with the MSP Film Society, presents a series of outstanding contemporary films with the goal of broadening the view of Italy and offering a new perspective on the country and its people.

This year, Dr. Federico Pacchioni was invited to serve as the film history consultant by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul and to deliver a series of virtual talks during the upcoming Italian Film Festival. In his talk series, titled Viaggio nel Cinema, Dr. Pacchioni will provide an overview of the national characteristics of Italian film production, including representative genres, filmmakers and actors, ranging from the silent period until today.

The 12th Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul (IFF) presents eleven new films, including four U.S. premieres of the documentary work of three women (Valentina Pedicini, Elisa Fuksas, and Doriana Monaco). The festival includes also heartwarming stories of love, hope, family and friendship such as: Gli Anni Più Belli (The Best Years) by internationally acclaimed director Gabriele Muccino, Cosa Sarà by Francesco Bruni, Lacci by Daniele Luchetti, Il Grande Passo by Antonio Padovan, and Una Promessa, by Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio. Ten years after his death, the festival celebrates Italy’s Maestro of commedia all’Italiana: Mario Monicelli. Anna Magnani and Toto’ star in his comedic gem Risate di Gioia.

Posted in Community, Events, Faculty Success, Italy Today | Leave a comment

A Vital Spring Semester is About to Start in Italian Studies

In spite of the fact that the effects of the pandemic are protracting into the spring, the Italian Studies program at Chapman University is not slowing down its activities and is about to begin a particularly lively and stimulating academic semester, filled with guest speakers, virtual social events, and novel course offerings.

Italian Studies faculty continue to effectively deliver courses online at all levels of Italian and language instruction. In addition, this spring semester, Dr. Francesca Paduano will offer a new course titled “The Made in Italy: Fashion, Design, and Material Culture”, which aims to give a deep understanding of how Italian fashion culture has developed within a unique craftsmanship and artisan context, and rose to become a major influence on the global fashion arena. While exploring the “Made in Italy” brand, both in terms of its economic, cultural, and artistic significance, Dr. Paduano’s students will engage with a series of guest speakers representing contemporary expressions of Italian design and fashion.

This spring semester, Dr. Federico Pacchioni will also offer a new course, “Power and Imagination in the Italian Renaissance,” which investigates the ways in which Italy served, during this revolutionary period, as the crucible for the formation of new ideals and values as well as for a new understanding of the role the intellectual, writer and artist should play in society. By analyzing and contextualizing a variety of representative texts – including poetry, visual arts, and scientific and political treatises – Dr. Pacchioni’s students will examine the complex relationship between imagination and power dynamics of a political and religious nature.

In addition the many virtual social events organized by Chapman Italian Club, the event calendar includes various speakers presenting on Italian arts, cinema and society. On April 30, the Vice President of Regione Lazio, David Porrello, will connect with Chapman’s Italian Studies students to offer an inside look into the functioning of Italian regional government and on how it compares with US Federalism (interested community guests can contact Dr. Pacchioni at for details).

Posted in Faculty Success, Italy Today | Leave a comment

Federico Fellini’s Centennial Marks a Busy Year for Dr. Pacchioni

Italian director Federico Fellini, arguably the most influential filmmaker worldwide, was born in the Adriatic town of Rimini in 1920. All around the globe, Fellini’s Centennial was celebrated this year in numerous online events, retrospectives of his films, and new publications.

For Dr. Pacchioni, author of groundbreaking studies on the cinema of Fellini and its legacy, 2020 was a busy year. He was invited to talk at specialized international conferences such as Fellini, Italy, Cinema 2020, co-organized by the University of Toronto and Università di Roma La Sapienza, as well as to broader audiences at events organized by the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Fondazione Italia.

During 2020, Dr. Pacchioni also finalized a number of new publications on the director of La dolce vita, clarifying the cultural context and the deeper aims of this extraordinarily influential artist. Dr. Pacchioni’s new scholarship appeared in two new volumes: The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Federico Fellini and The Total Art: Italian Cinema from Silent Screen to Digital Image, while two more articles are forthcoming in the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies and in Toronto’s conference proceedings.

Furthermore, this fall, Dr. Pacchioni taught a monographic course titled The World of Fellini’s Cinema, thus building on the precious link between scholarship and teaching, and guiding Chapman students through the rich palette of events, talks, and celebrations unfolding this year around Fellini’s work.

Few artists have investigated the soul of Italians and manifested the peninsula’s artistic proclivity in new media as Federico Fellini has. Clearly, his films have now entered the realm of the classics and are bound to be remembered and re-experienced by generations to come.

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life”
– Federico Fellini

Posted in Faculty Success | Leave a comment

The success of Italian Studies major Briana Salatino in the art event industry

After graduating from Chapman in 2018 with a B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising, a B.A. in Italian Studies, and a minor in Sociology, Briana Salatino started her professional career with The Other Art Fair, a global artist fair offering visitors an opportunity to meet and buy directly from the best emerging artistic talent.

During her time with the company, Briana was instrumental in launching editions in Los Angeles and Dallas. She has worked with over 600 domestic and international artists for onsite special features, brand partnerships, and sponsorship deals. Her day-to-day involves communication with upcoming exhibitors, guiding them from the acceptance stage to onsite exhibition, all while navigating different timezones and language barriers (sometimes Italian).

Briana’s self-designed major in Italian Studies, and trips to Italy — including a semester abroad at The Umbra Institute in Perugia — have provided her with skills applicable to her current role.  “Learning a new language and immersing yourself into a culture different from your own challenges you to think on your toes, and differently from how you normally would,” says Briana. “In the events industry, contingency planning and creative problem solving are essential. I find that because of my experiences navigating a foreign country, practicing a foreign language and immersing myself in new ways of thinking, I’m able to pivot and adjust easily in a professional context. In the days of COVID-19, this skill has proven itself essential and allowed The Other Art Fair to expand into new territory when most are calling it quits.”

Not only did Briana’s experience with the Chapman’s Italian Studies program help boost her resume, but it also allowed her a deeper connection with her Italian heritage. In Briana’s words: “Taking the opportunity to really delve into Italian language through my self-designed major had great impact. It led to building relationships with members of my extended family living in Naples; reading books in the Italian language (L’amica geniale by Elena Ferrante, anyone?); translating my Nonna’s recipes as I transferred them from analog to digital for safekeeping; and feeling comfortable enough to spend three days traveling solo in Venice earlier this year. I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences if I wasn’t as comfortable as I am with reading, writing, and speaking Italian. I’m really grateful I took the plunge and took the extra step with my Italian education. A minor or major in Italian can be beneficial in your professional and personal development —it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Posted in Community, Students Success | Leave a comment

Italian Studies minor Massimo Lesti pursues promising career in wine industry

After graduating from Chapman in May 2018 with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in Italian Studies and traveling to Italy for six weeks for his post-grad summer trip, Massimo Lesti has been enjoying the start of a promising career at the Gallo Wine Company in Los Angeles. The E. & J. Gallo Winery is one of the world’s leading wineries and was recently ranked on Glassdoor’s “Top 50 Best Places to Work” for the fourth year in a row (in 2020).

Starting in October 2018 as a Wine & Spirits Sales Representative in South LA County, Massimo consulted with local businesses on how to maximize the sales revenue of their alcohol department. He focused on displaying select brands, educating customers on new products and digital advertising programs, and managing the overall business of his territory. In July of this year, Massimo was promoted to the Field Training Manager position, overseeing sales reps in Los Angeles and Orange County. In this role, Massimo is using his knowledge and experience in the industry to help Gallo Representatives grow and optimize their business in their respective territories.

Reflecting on the impact of his studies at Chapman, Massimo said: “My minor in Italian Studies and several trips to Italy – including a semester abroad in Rome – were useful in learning more about the geographical origins and pronunciations of various wine varietals, as well as giving me the practical know-how to be independent and confident in running my own share of the larger business.”

Massimo is also involved in recruitment on the Chapman campus for Gallo Wine Co. and will be helping Juniors and Senior Panthers connect with the company to find summer internships and post-grad career opportunities. Any Junior and Senior-standing students interested in learning more should contact Massimo Lesti at

Posted in Community, Students Success | Leave a comment

Italian Studies minor Grace Montgomery is awarded 2020 Casola Prize

Grace Montgomery from Seal Beach, Calif. has been awarded the 2020 Casola Prize from the Patrons of Italian Culture. Grace Montgomery studies Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.  She is also minoring in Italian as well as Business Analytics. Grace is currently serving as the President of the Italian Club at Chapman. She dreams to find a career that will mix both her passion for Business and Italian in the workplace.

The Casola Prize is a prestigiuos scholarship that supports the study of the Italian language and culture at the university level. The Patrons of Italian Culture is a nonprofit California Corporation that sponsors extensive programs and activities emphasizing the many aspects of Italian culture and heritage.

Congratulazioni, Grace! 


Posted in Community, Students Success | Leave a comment

Giving the Experience of Italy: The Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Endowment for Travel Courses in Italian Studies

The Italian Studies program at Chapman University is greatly pleased to announce the establishment of the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Endowment for Travel Courses in Italian Studies.

The students’ ability to fully commit to their passions for learning Italian language and culture through travel courses is an essential step in their educational experience at Chapman University. Growing from its inaugural travel class in Sicily, the Italian Studies program developed a robust set of experiential learning opportunities across the peninsula, including Rome, Florence and the Gulf of Naples.

Paul and Marybelle Musco’s unwavering commitment to the university continues to be an inspiration to Chapman and the community. Their leadership through their funding of the Musco Center for the Arts, their tireless fundraising efforts as co-chairs of Chapman Celebrates, and their investment in Italian language and heritage through their endowment for the Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco Chair in Italian Studies are just a few of the many ways the Muscos impact our students, campus and community. The new endowment will support Chapman University students’ participation in Italian Studies travel courses, with preference toward students pursuing a degree in Italian.

Posted in Community | Leave a comment

Celebrating the Vitality of Italian Poetic Language: Dr. Pacchioni’s Creative Writings Anthologized

Dr. Pacchioni has been included in the new online anthology of Italian poets, Ossigeno Nascente, realized by the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna. This innovative digital publication project, aimed at demonstrating the vitality and diversity of Italian poetic language today, organizes contemporary Italian poets by geographical areas of the peninsula and abroad. Dr. Pacchioni’s poems have appeared in Italian Poetry Review, Gradiva, Sinestesie, Graphie and Neoteroi. In 2014 his first collection, La paura dell’amore was published by Raffaelli Editore.

Posted in Faculty Success, Italy Today | Leave a comment

National Day of Italy

On the occasion of the National Day of Italy, the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, and the Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs of the Department of State, Philip T. Reeker, will be addressing the Italian and the Italian-American community.

Connect on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 11:30AM EST to the official Facebook page of the Italian Embassy in Washington DC.

For the occasion, you can also download the e-book “Piazze (In)visibili” in .pdf format or ePub.

Posted in Community, Italy Today | Leave a comment