When Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri Taranto created The Italian American Podcast in 2015, little did they know that they were setting out to produce the first and most engaging podcast dedicated to helping Italian Americans learn about and celebrate their brilliant heritage.
Their vision was simple—to chronicle the traditions and stories of the heritage they both cared so deeply about.
With that shared passion at its foundation, what began as a friendly project quickly grew into something greater, and with each new episode the audience grew. Italian Americans were hungry for the honest and thoughtful conversations that became the show’s calling card. A lineup of high profile guests like blockbuster “Avengers” directors Joe and Anthony Russo; MLB Hall of Famer Mike Piazza; literary icon Gay Talese; and famed chef and restauranteur Lidia Bastianich helped to solidify the show’s reputation for deep, intellectual exploration of Italian American identity—all the while maintaining a natural warmth that makes listeners feel like they’re with family at the Sunday dinner table.
Like every good Italian family, the podcast team began to grow in 2018, when The Italian American Power Hour was born, complete with a cast of characters that round out the family-dinner-table feel.
John M. Viola, Rossella Rago, and Patrick O’Boyle were joined by Dolores and Anthony in exploring an all-new style of show—unfiltered, raucous, round-table conversations digging deep into the “hows and whys” of who we are. A communal therapist couch for the Italian American psyche!
The audience loved the new format as a compliment to Anthony and Dolores’ one-on-one journalistic style of episodes, and what started out as two sides of the same coin quickly began to mature into a new phase in the young history of The Italian American Podcast.
Now, the original Italian American Podcast is heading into the future with an enlarged team, a new style, and an ever-deepening commitment to bringing the heart of the Italian American experience to the 25 million Americans of Italian descent who are lucky enough to have been born Italian.
Click below and listen in to this week’s edition of the Italian American Podcast:
IAP 109: “LEADERSHIP, LUNCHEONS, AND THE NEXT HUNDRED YEARS FOR THE ITALIAN WELFARE LEAGUE” A DISCUSSION WITH LINDA R. CARLOZZI, CHAIR OF THE ITALIAN WELFARE LEAGUE
Linda R. Carlozzi is known to many for her stellar legal career (she’s even included on Crain’s NY’s list of 100 Leading Women Lawyers in New York City). But, to those of us in the Italian American community, her ubiquitous presence amongst the leadership of countless Italian American organizations might make one wonder exactly how this “Wonder Woman” finds the time for anything but being Italian.
This week, Rossella and John catch up with this ever-present Italian American to explore some of the many institutions and initiatives she lends her talents to. From her college years as one of the founders of FIERI, the first national organization for Italian American college students, to her work with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), the Columbus Citizens Foundation, and the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW), Linda has become one of the most prominent and active women leaders in Italian America. Yet, even with such a robust ethnic résumé, it’s her work as Chairwoman of the 99-years young Italian Welfare League (IWL) that has defined her service to her community.
As the League gears up to celebrate its 99th anniversary in late October, we’ll discuss its founding in 1920 as a project of the American Red Cross in Italy, and its decades long service for newly-arrived Italian immigrants on the piers at Ellis Island, to its current mission born from the tragedy of September 11, 2001- to serve “i Nostri Bambini”, the children of greatest need in the Italian American community. This all-volunteer group is the oldest organization for Italian American women in the nation, yet it’s leading the way in redefining service in the community.
As they explore this history, they’ll take the well-worn, meandering path that comes with any episode of the Italian American Podcast, to search for better understanding of why our community keeps its culture so alive, and share a story (and argument) or two from the many years these three have crossed paths in their shared efforts to serve the community they all love.
It’s an episode that will inspire you to get active in the community, and leave you with a ton of laughs along the way.