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The Italian Americans II: A Beautiful Song

For Italian Americans, life is “a beautiful song” – to be lived with operatic intensity. THE ITALIAN AMERICANS II: A Beautiful Song celebrates this particularly Italian way of understanding life and explores what it means to be Italian in America, examining the ideals of generations and the icons of the culture from Dante to Sinatra. Julius La Rosa narrates.
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Actors Danny Aiello, Alan Alda, Dom DeLuise, Paul Sorvino and Susan Lucci, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, comedian/talk show host Joy Behar, Nick Stellino of public television’s Cucina Amore, and many others share their personal stories and celebrate what many express as the “privilege” of growing up in an Italian-American family. As Paul Sorvino explains in the program, “life is too short to go through it without being an Italian.”

Warm remembrances recall traditions like the family dinners that are so much more than meals, where conversation is the main course and generations find emotional sustenance with laughter and amore. For so many Italian-American families, these gatherings are the center of family life where culture is passed from one generation to the next like the seemingly infinite courses served. THE ITALIAN AMERICANS II: A Beautiful Song demonstrates how the lessons learned around the table – hard work, honor, honesty, self-confidence – are preparation for great success.

This one-hour tribute to Italian-American culture explores the universal connections all Italian families share – the bonds that bridged the distance from Italy, formed a path to success in America and continue to pave the way for future generations. In cities across America, the idea of famiglia extended beyond parents, siblings and cousins to include entire neighborhoods, a way of life Danny Aiello recalls as “the greatest life.” It’s a way of life which, according to Nick Stellino, “you don’t have to be Italian” to understand, “but it helps.”

The program highlights many of the Italian-American role models and their contributions to American culture and pays tribute to the late Frank Sinatra, a true Italian-American hero who embodied Italian acceptance and success in the American mainstream. Among the fans and friends who offer fond recollections are Dom DeLuise, Danny Aiello and comedian Tom Dreesen, Sinatra’s longtime opening act.

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS II: A Beautiful Song is the sequel to THE ITALIAN AMERICANS produced by WLIW21 New York, also seen nationally on PBS. This program is funded in part by grants from Bertolli USA, Inc. and Sorrento Cheese Company, Inc.

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