Silas Bronson Library will be observing Italian Heritage Month with ten  free programs, beginning  Monday, Oct 1 – 6:30  with  ¡¡¡HOLA!!! & CIAO!!!  Similar Languages/ Different Cultures, a program of both Spanish and  Italian Music and  Song featuring Enzio Boscarino, Dennis Castillo and Jose Rodriguez, celebrating the convergence of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct.  15) with    Italian Heritage Month   (October).  Sicilian-born   Enzo Boscarino  will sing songs of Italy and Spain, accompanying   himself on the guitar while    Dennis Castillo will sing songs of Puerto Rico and various Latin American countries, accompanied by Jose Rodriguez on the guitar.
         Boscarino came to the U.S. as a young man and completed his education at Central Connecticut State University. He has taught Italian and Spanish on the high school and college levels, he writes poetry in both languages, and a fencing instructor and champion. A frequent traveler to Europe, he has also participated in the famous running  with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
         Born in the Dominican Republic, Dennis Castillo sang with the Kent Tones at New York City’s famed Studio 54 in the 1980’s. He continues to sing at various venues and is in the choir at the Sunday noon Mass at Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon Church in Waterbury.
         Jose Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico, came to the United States in 1950 and to Waterbury in 1952. Well-known throughout the Hispanic community as an organizer of musical groups, Rodriguez has played in various ethnic, folk, and rock and roll bands since the late 60s and has appeared in numerous educational and cultural venues throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. He accompanies the choir at the Spanish Mass at Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon Church. At the library concert, he will play both the guitar and the cuarto, the 10-string instrument of Puerto Rico.

         Tuesday, Oct 2 – 6:30 pm – Al Avitabile  and Dorothea DiCecco, retired UConn Waterbury faculty will present  GROW YOUR  OWN GARLIC: The History,  Anatomy,  Planting,  Harvesting,   Storing and Uses of this Incredible Plant.  This  entertaining and informative  lecture by  this greatly loved and highly esteemed duo  will not only inform garlic lovers and users  (Italian and non-Italian alike) of the many uses of this staple of Mediterranean cooking, but will also serve as  a great opportunity for local UConn alumni to reconnect  with two of their favorite teachers and recall the days when Mr. Avitabile (who taught zoology and geology before becoming director or the UConn “Branch” as it was called during its earlier years) would drop in on Mrs. DiCecco’s Botany class as “the guest lecturer from across the hall”. Avitabile  is also the founder of the annual Garlic & Harvest Festival in Bethlehem, CT.
Tuesday, Oct 9 – 6:30 pm – Waterbury native  Donna Palomba,  will speak about and sign her new book JANE DOE NO MORE:  My 15-Year Fight  to Reclaim My Identity: A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Redemption and the struggle she endured  with the Waterbury Police Department  when her  rape was not taken seriously.  The case, which became the subject of  an episode of the nationally televised  program Dateline led to changes in the way police departments handle rape cases – and to the establishment of her foundation Jane Doe No More.
Wednesday, Oct 10 – 6:30 pm – The city of Bologna, in the Emiglia Romagna region of Italy, has long been a famous culinary center. But what happens when a woman from this  northern Italian  city cooks for a priest with roots in Avellino (southern Italy)?  A great cookbook!! ! Franca Bosio Bertoli and  Fr. Matthew R. Mauriello will not only talk about how their cookbook  FROM A RECTORY KITCHEN evolved, but also serve free samples of tiramisu!!!!
Saturday, Oct 13 – 2:00  pm – 5th Annual Tribute to LUCIANO PAVAROTTI Encore performances by  tenor Matthew Cimino and Waterbury soprano Marissa Famiglietti will be featured at the 5th Annual Tribute to Luciano Pavarotti as Mr. Cimino  will sing such beloved songs from Pavarotti’s repertoire  as “Quanto e bella” from Donizetti’s  L’elisir d’amore, “M’appari Tutt’ amor” from von Flotow’s Martha and neopolitan favorites Santa Lucia, and  Mamma. With Ms. Famglietti, he will sing the first act duet from  Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment , and “Brindisi” fromVerdi’s La Traviata. Ms. Famiglietti will offer two Puccini arias, “Mi chiamano Mimi”  from La Boheme and   “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from La  Rondine. The concert always begins with a prayer for Pavarotti – this year, Schubert’s “Ave Maria” – and closes with  “Non ti scordar di me”, a nostalgic song that Pavarotti often closed with.  The audience is invited to join in on the second verse in honor of the late tenor who was born October 12, 1935 in  Modena, Italy and died there September 6, 2007.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 – 6:30 pm –  “The Unification of Italy and the sacrifice of Pontelandolfo: the shameful massacre of  a peaceful town exposed 150 years later”  will be the topic of a lecture by Dr. Bart De Petrillo. On August 14, 1861, during the war of unification of Italy, Pontelandolfo was torched after a barbaric massacre of its people. The number of the victims still remains a state secret. The nearby villages of Casalduni and Campolattaro faced a lesser tragic destiny. The sacking of Ponteladolfo was never investigated and the sacrifice of these peaceful towns remained unreported for 150 years, never appearing  in school textbooks. Succeeding generations grew up unaware of the sacrifice paid by their forbearers.  Dr. De Petrillo will revive the event with historic exactitude, paying tribute to those who lost their lives at the hands of those who sealed the unification of Italy.
         A graduate of the high school of the famed Abbey of Monte Cassino, Dr. De Petrillo received  his medical degree in Obstetrics & Gynecology from the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest university. Now retired, he has presented numerous programs on Italian art and history  at the Bronson Library.


Saturday, Oct 20 – 10:15 am – FLY AWAY  Feature film  written and directed by Janet Grillo. This is a poignant yet humor-filled story about the single mother of a teenager severely impacted by autism as she  is  forced to reckon with her daughter’s future. As her child becomes an adult, what used to work, no longer does. What will sustain her daughter, and herself? A parent-child love story, when love means letting go. Meet Emmy Award-winning producer/director and autism advocate  Janet Grillo, part of Waterbury’s well-known Lanza family.

Tuesday, Oct 23 – 6:30 pm –  “THE ARABS IN ITALY: Devastation & Legacy”  Talk by Dr. Bart De Petrillo  Arabs first arrived in  the “Terra Lunga”, (long earth) as they called Italy, 951 years ago. In 827 A.D., however,  they landing in island of  Sicily, remaining there as rulers/lords, until 1061 when they were replaced by the  Normans. Although the Arab administration of Sicily was far from being egalitarian, it was not considered very harsh by medieval standards. Under them, Sicily became one of Europe’s most prosperous regions, intellectually, artistically and economically.  In 1200, the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci da Pisa introduced the Arabic numeration, invented by the Indians, to Europe. The Arabs also made contributions   in medicine, mathematics, philosophy and astronomy.
Wednesday, Oct 24 – 6:30 pm – LIVING LA DOLCE VITA: Bringing the passion, laughter and security of Italy into your daily life  Book talk and signing by self-help specialist Dr. Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, holds a PhD in Educational/Cognitive Psychology  ando advocates preserving Italian lifestyle  and traditions as the road to physical and emotional well-being. An internationally acclaimed author, speaker, former psychology professor, life coach, and stress-reduction interventionist at Yale University, Dr. Mautner is also the producer and host of “The Art of Living Well” radio show on Mondays at 7am on WNHU 88.7FM (streamed  on, the program the New Haven Register asserts “that can change your life”.
          Dr. Mautner’s core is her Italian American family where warmth and love promote outward growth while maintaining  a secure sense of  belonging. Like a superbly spiced puttanesca sauce, she liberally seasons her philosophy with anecdotes (a very Italian trait), demonstrating  values learned from her family, especially  the Italian concept of the “bella figura” (beautiful figure), meaning  “putting your best foot forward”. Dr. Mautner  pinpoints the qualities that make Italians seem so earthy, easy-going and yet, oh-so-worldly. Above all, she is a firm proponent of turning  Lemons into Limoncello , the title of another book!!!

Tuesday, Oct 30 – 6:30 pm – ELLA GRASSO,  Connecticut’s  Pioneering Governor   Book talk & signing by Jon E. Purmont. When Ella Tambussi Grasso ran for governor of Connecticut in 1974, she had not lost an election since she was first voted into the state’s General Assembly in 1952. The people of Connecticut chose her as the nation’s first woman to be elected governor in her own right–the capstone of a long and successful career dedicated to public service, effective government, and the democratic process. During her tenure as governor, Grasso’s leadership was tested in the face of fiscal problems, state layoffs, and budget shortfalls.
         The daughter of Italian immigrants, she endeared herself to her constituents during the great Blizzard of 1978, when she remained at the State Armory around the clock to direct emergency operations and make frequent television appearances. Author Jon E. Purmont, who served as Grasso’s executive assistant when she was governor, draws on his diary from that time, research in Grasso’s archives, and interviews with Grasso’s family and friends to give  a rich and intimate portrait of this political pioneer who is probably the best-loved governor  in modern times.
         Although the book’s official release date is  November 6th, Mr. Purmont has graciously accepted the library’s invitation to participate in the library’s Italian Heritage Series.

Silas Bronson Library
267 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Tel: 203 574-8233