Monmouth University’s Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Italian Club presented their annual La Festa Italiana, or Italian Festival, on April 4 in Magill Commons with presentations, performances, and food to celebrate Italy and Italian culture.
The festivities began with an introduction from Dr. Maria Simonelli, a professor of Italian and Latin and the faculty advisor of the Italian Club.
The club rooms 107 and 108 were almost completely filled by students and faculty. Simonelli excitedly thanked all for attending, and gave special thanks to her Italian language students and club members who helped to set up, provide food, and give performances for the event.
“The students of the Italian club are very important for the success of Festa Italiana,” said Simonelli. “Their commitment in keeping the Italian culture alive is vital.”
She handed the stage over to guest speaker Dr. Carlo Davoli, the Education Office Director from the Consulate General of Italy in New York City.
Davoli gave a presentation on diversity throughout the Italian regions, going in depth into why certain regions have developed in different ways.
He concluded his segment with showcasing photographs from all throughout Italy that had all in attendance enraptured.
The festival then segued into student performances, beginning with a presentation from freshman psychology student Caitlin Mazzella on diversity of food through the Italian regions.
“I was a little nervous to give my presentation because I usually have stage fright,” admitted Mazzella.
“Of course, I powered through. I knew I wanted to present something informational but fun. I decided to do it on food because it is a big part of the culture, and who doesn’t like food?”
Next was senior secondary music education student Alexandra Stambaugh, who sang “Bel Piacere” by George Frideric Handel.
“I’ve been studying Italian in the formal classroom setting for the past two semesters, so it was interesting to apply what I’ve learned to my music studies,” said Stambaugh.“I was happy to share what I’ve learned with everyone at the Festa Italiana,” Stambaugh continued.
Freshman music industry student Samantha Lobasso and junior music industry student Amanda Mctigue both performed some traditional Italian songs, and freshman communication student Amanda Sanchez concluded with the more recent pop song “Tintarella di luna.”
The festival was concluded with a dance performance of the tarantella, the traditional Italian line dance. Lauren Di Palma, Brenna Doherty, Samantha Lobasso, Caitlin Mazzella, and Emily Papamarkos showcased the dance while the audience clapped along.
Simonelli thanked everyone again for attending, and invited all to variety of Italian food and desserts that were available.
“My favorite part of the event was seeing the student performances because they are all so talented,” said sophomore elementary education and history student Samantha Papa, also one of the co-presidents of the Italian club.
She continued that Simonelli and her fellow club members played a huge role in organizing of the event, and looks forward to doing even more with the Italian club next year.
“Our main goal for next year is to plan an off-campus trip open to the whole school,” said Papa.
“We are always welcome to any suggestions from members as to what events they would like the Italian Club to host,” Papa continued.
Sophomore elementary education and history student Juliana Illiano and co-president of the Italian Club agreed that the event was a success, and is excited for the future of the club and the World Languages and Cultures department.
“I really enjoy meeting new students and listening to their ideas for the club,” said Illiano. “I also enjoy learning about different cultures on campus, while also spreading the Italian culture.”
IMAGE TAKEN from MU Italian Club instagram