University to Host Italian Festival

default article imageThe University’s Department of Foreign Language Studies and the Italian Club “L’ORA DEL CAFFE” will present La Festa Italiana (Italian Festival) from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Thursday, in Wilson Auditorium.

Professor Maria Simonelli, Lecturer of Italian and Latin as well as the head of the Italian festival, is very passionate about the event. “The Italian Festival started about ten years ago and every year with different topics on Italian Literature, culture, art and music,” Simonelli said. “It is very important to celebrate such a rich and wonderful culture. The love for my country, language, history and culture pushed me to organize, together with my students, this event. We have been always honored by the participation of the Italian Counsel of New Jersey and Italian scholars.”

The festival is not only geared toward opening students’ eyes to Italian literature, history, and culture, but it also feature many guest speakers. Simonelli will open the program, followed by Dr. Andrea Barbaria, The Italian Counsel of New Jersey, Dr. Irene Deorsola, Professor of Political Science at the University of Torino and School of European Studies, Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

Along with guest speakers, student presentations will be a part of the festival as well. “I remember a couple of years ago, touching video interviews with some old Italian- Americans of New Jersey done by Monmouth University Students,” said Vincenzo Mele, a sociology professor of Italian nationality at the University.

“The Festa Italiana is always very well organized,” Mele continued. “Every year there are wonderful lectures on topics like the 150th birthday of Italy as a nation, historical character like the tenor Enrico Caruso or, like this year, the concept of love in the Italian literature and culture. Last but not least, there is something you can be sure about on the Festa Italiana - you can experience the best food on campus.”

Some students were not aware of the festival until recent emails about it were sent out. Now, many students said that they are excited and eager to go and see what the Italian Festival has to offer.

“I got an email about it and am planning on going,” said Casey Mc- Cabe, a sophomore at the University. “I think it’s a great way to bring people together on campus and learn about other cultures.”

“After hearing more information about it, I am definitely going to check it out,” said senior Gina Swedin. “I want to try and do everything I haven’t experienced on campus yet before I graduate.”

This event is meant to attract people of all nationalities and encourages diversity on campus. For more information about the festival, you can contact Professor Maria Simonelli by going to her office in room 124 in Plangere, by telephone at 732-263-5612 or by e-mail at msimonel@