Category Archives: News

Sleuths track down centuries-old copy of letter written by Christopher Columbus and stolen from Vatican

American investigators have tracked down a 500-year-old copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus, describing his first voyage to the New World, that was stolen from the Vatican and replaced with a forgery.   See more here: 

La Parola Scritta – XVI Centuries of Italian Culture in Ink

In honor of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States, this exhibition includes books from the 15th through the 19th century celebrating Italian contributions to printing, poetry, theater, music, geography, mathematics, botany, astronomy, anatomy, law, typography, dance, travel and more. Many of the books in this exhibition are first editions, including the first printed edition of Euclid’s Geometry (Venice, 1482) and Galileo’s Dialogo (Florence, 1632). The reception for this exhibition included hands-on displays of medieval manuscripts and 20th century artists’ books. Those books are included in the online exhibition.


3rd Annual Festa Italiana

Italian-American Civic League of Utah to host 3rd Annual Festa Italiana

Festival to be Held Sept. 16-17 in Downtown Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY – April 24, 2017 – The Italian-American Civic League of Utah (IACL) is pleased to announce Festa Italiana, which will be held September 16 – 17 in downtown Salt Lake City.

The 3rd annual festival, which will be located at The Gateway, will provide locals with an authentic Italian Street Festival experience that is prevalent in many other cities across the country. The festival is free admission and open to the public.

Festa Italiana will run from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday. Highlights of the festival include more than a dozen local Italian restaurants serving unique and authentic Italian food, non-stop performances by Italian musical artists, beer and unique Italian wine, and local and Italian artists will also be in attendance displaying their work.   This is a non-profit festival and a portion of this year’s proceeds will go to support Catholic Community Services.

“After visiting Italian festivals in some of the great cities across the country, our organization wanted to bring Italian culture, food and entertainment to the people of Salt Lake,” said Festival Director Nick Fuoco. “It is our goal to give a little taste of what we know as Italian-Americans to everyone who attends the festival.”

Last year’s inaugural festival was an overwhelming success with over 16,000 people in attendance. The change of venue to The Gateway should allow the festival to grow even more.

Festa Italiana is funded in part by residents of Salt Lake County through the Zoo, Arts, & Parks (ZAP) Program.

For additional information, visit

If you wish to sponsor Festa Italiana, visit


Media Contacts:

Nick Fuoco 801.597.9098


About the Italian-American Civic League

The Italian-American Civic League is a nationally recognized, successful non-profit organization that has been around since 1934.  The league has consistently brought various functions and events to Salt Lake City and the State of Utah for decades.  Comprised of over 200 active members, including a men and women’s chapter, the league participates in civic functions and cultural events such as Italian Day at Lagoon, Living Traditions Festival, and Festa di Colombo, and other national, local charities, and non-profits.  In addition to these events, the league continues to give back to the community.  Each chapter offers scholarships throughout the entire State of Utah, totaling throughout the years an excess of over $100,000.  The University of Utah has also honored the league by requesting publications, documents, and historical archives that highlight the history of the league and its local contributions to the State throughout the past century that can be found in the University of Utah’s Marriott Library.  For more information, visit or follow utahitalians on Twitter.


Relief efforts – devastating earthquake in central Italy

An open letter to all from Mike Homer, Honorary Italian Consul

From: Mike Homer
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2016 9:43 AM
Subject: Donations for Earthquake Relief Efforts


Many of you have made inquiries to my office concerning making donations for relief efforts in connection with the devastating earthquake in central Italy. I have been informed that such donations can be made to the Croce Rossa Italiana at They have a banner for donations on the main page “dona ora.” Although there is no English version donations there can be made via PayPal amongst other methods.



Comites survey

Elisabetta Ghisini
President, Comites San Francisco


We kindly ask you to fill out the questionnaire included here to help us understand the needs of the members of our community and  spread this questionnaire to all those who believe they are interested in the activities of COMITES and have suggestions.

Click here for survey


News from the Rare Books Division of Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah

News from the Rare Books Division of Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah

Leonetto Cipriani (1812-1888)
Bologna: N. Zanichelli editore, 1934
First edition
DG552.8 C56 M67 1934


Rolly: After 72 years, Italian POW’s Utah grave visited by relatives | The Salt Lake Tribune

Rolly: After 72 years, Italian POW’s Utah grave visited by relatives | The Salt Lake Tribune 

Meet the first Italian Consul in San Francisco, Leonetto Cipriani

Mike Homer, Italy’s Honorary Consul to Utah since 2008, is a historian among many other talents and has written several books on the American West and Mormonism.

In 2007, the Mormon History Association awarded him the Steven Christensen Best Documentary Book Award for On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930 (see cover above). Today, I’m pleased to bring you a selection from this book about Italy’s first Consul in San Francisco.

on the way to somewhere else















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Documentary briefly mentions Leonetto Cipriani’s visit to Utah.

There’s a very brief mention of early Italian travelers in Utah in this documentary.

After 71 years, a talk with the brother of an Italian prisoner of war buried in Utah

Roberto Dal Bosco is an italian video artist who you may remember. He went to Utah last January to present his Renaissance painting video animation displayed at the Salt Lake City Leonardo Museum.

While there, he was able – with the help of honorary consul Mike Homer and Kelly Nelson of Woosh Production – to film and produce a documentary about Salt Lake City’s Italian heritage. The program was aired by RAI, italian national state television. One of the stories told by the documentary was about the so-called «Twelve Apostles». Twelve italian prisoners of war that died while detained in Utah during World War II. The Twelve are buried in the Fort Douglas Cemetery in Salt Lake.

Fascinated by the story, Roberto decided, once in Italy, to find out if any relatives of the twelve are still alive. «That might be a touching story, like every war episode», he said. So, he started to track down soldier Vincenzo Pazzi’s family. There is a nephew that goes by his same name and is an acclaimed designer. Neither Vincenzo nor his father ever managed to meet the uncle Vincenzo. He left for the War while his young wife was pregnant, and never came back.

The real breakthrough came when Roberto met in Milan with Domenico, the brother of Nicola Daugenti’s.

That’s quite a story. Mr. Daugenti is 84 years old. He lost his brother when he was 9. He was a policeman in Milan, working first as an undercover agent against drug trafficking: «don’t laugh now – he told Roberto – but sometimes, in night operations, I even worked in drag». He was even able to locate some rogue FBI agents turned to druglords and arrested them while they were trafficking in Milan. Mr. Daugenti went up the ladder, became a marshall, but he had to quit, because of a shootout with a diamond trafficker in Milan’s Piazza Duomo in December 1974. He was seriously wounded, but managed to fight back.

Domenico told Roberto the story of Nicola’s. He was a submarine seaman. He was sent to Utah as a prisoner of war when his submarine was bombarded with torpedoes by Allied vessels. Ultimately the submarine was hit, the captain decided to emerge but to sink it before reaching the surface so as to prevent the Allies from taking it. The crew had to jump out of the submarine very rapidly. Four of them died in the process, The others, including Nicola, were apprehended and sent to Salt Lake City. There, as a prisoner, Nicola was able to write home. He said he was ok, and expressed a paradoxical worry: «now I am safe – he wrote – on the contrary you are going to be not». In fact, the war was then raging all over Italy turning into a civil conflict.


The notification of Nicola’s death for natural reasons was sudden. That letter was not taken lightly. His mother plunged into depression. His father was so devasted he had to quit working. So Domenico had to leave school and go to work as a fisherman with his elder brother. He regrets that, because he had good notes. He was the one, among the six children, that was supposed to go to college. Their family life unraveled, he said. «Most of the time we spoke – tells Roberto – I could spot a vibrant emotion in Mr. Daugenti’s eyes. What happened in Utah to his brother still deeply moves his soul».

it’s a great story to remember today, in the wake of Memorial Day. In the West we have all but forgotten the hardship of War on our soils. Nicola and Domenico Daugenti remind us that not all generations were as lucky as ours.


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