Italian Festival at Hofstra University


Ciao a tutti! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m back. And today I decided to check out an Italian festival at Hofstra University, in Hemstead, Long Island.

I’m the only dork I know who would actually get excited about a trip on the LIRR to check out an event like this, but you know what? It was fun!

Yes, it was full of oldsters, but they were all speaking Italian, so I got in a little practice and the entertainment was…cheesy but good!

One singer, Simona de Rosa, direct from Naples, had a strong voice and and endearing Italian warmth that drew a crowd. I bought a CD hoping it’ll help my Italian language.


I wasn’t much impressed with the “star” of the day, John Ciotta, but he was a Hofstra grad and got the crowd to join him in a round of “That’s Amore.”

After a totally unappetizing bowl of baked ziti from a Hofstra deli, and a totally appetizing glass of vino bianco from one of the food vendors, I settled in to hear the Bronx Opera strut their stuff.

Robert and Leslie were the tenor and soprano performing, and they did rousing renditions of some greatest hits: “Visi d’Arte” from Tosca, “La Donna è Mobile,” a love duet from act 4 of my favorite, La Traviata, before rounding the hour out with “O Sole Mio” and crowd favorite, “Con Ti Partirò” (I think every Italian concert now ends with that one now, thanks Andrea Bocelli).

It was a fun event. As I left, another Italian singer was leading the crowd in a sing-along to a song I didn’t know–in Italian. Era un bel di!