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When Columbus lowered the gangway

And set foot on unknown Amerikay

He knelt down and began to say

'I take this land for Castile and Aragon

As for the Italians they may come later on'

(Lamberto Bozzi "The Italian Alphabet", 1983)

Navigators, Swooners, Crooners, Saints, Jesuits, Spokane, Florence, and the city of Mantua in 'fruitful Lombardy'

Cristopher Columbus (1451-1506), an Italian from Genova (Genoa) in the service of the Spanish crown, discovered the New World (named America after Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512), a Florentine) in 1492, the year after the birth of Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556 ), the founder (in 1540) of the Jesuit Order . Anthony Martin Sinatra, an Italian from Catania, tied the knot with Natalie Della 'Dolly' Garavante, an Italian young lady from Genova, in the City Hall of Jersey City (February 14, 1914); Their son Frank (1915-1998), internationally known as 'the voice', started his long singing career as a 'swooner' (a singer that makes teen-agers enter a state of rapture and unconsciousness). A 'crooner' is a singer who sings with a low soothing voice like Harry Lillis 'Bing' Crosby (1903-1977). Bing was educated by the Jesuits in a Spokane college named after St. Aloysius Gonzaga . St. Aloysius (1568- 1591), the patron of youth, was born in Castiglione delle Stiviere * (Mantua). Gonzaga college, founded by Father Giuseppe Cataldo, an Italian Jesuit from Terrasini (Palermo), admitted its first class in 1887. Father Joseph M. Cataldo, S. J. knew the language of the Indians. The college library, the gift of Bing Crosby, was opened in 1957 and is named after the singer. Since 1963 the Gonzaga-in-Florence Program enables students to study in the magnificent Palazzo Antinori (Piazza Antinori, 3 - 50123 Firenze ).

The ' Cantinetta Antinori '**, one of the top Italian restaurants, is open from Monday to Friday in the Palazzo.

The Commune of Gonzaga is located in the Province of Mantova (Mantua), in 'fruitful Lombardy ', as Shakespeare called it in one of his plays ('The Taming of the Shrew' Act 1, scene 1, line 3). Virgil was born in Pietole, near Mantua.

*Castiglione delle stiviere = «Castilione li Stivere .da Stiveriis», a. 1126 «Curia li Stiverii» ecc.; Castilione e un derivato di castellum (da cui castello). Quanto alla specificazione, secondo Tassoni (1983, p.50) rifletterebbe un derivato aggettivale dal latino stativum nel senso di 'castello cinto da accampamenti estivi o sede di militari stazionari'. Olivieri (1961a, 50) ipotizza una derivazione (non presente nelle spiegazioni locali) dal latino stiparia da stipa 'erica arborea', percio siviere sarebbe equivalente di 'brughiere', peraltro non presenti nella zona. Li delle forme antiche corrisponde a i, articolo dialettale di genere femminile (e anche maschile). La tradizione locale, ormai stabilizzata, trae Stiviere dal latino aestiva 'luogo di accampamenti estivi'. (Dizionario di Toponomastica (UTET.Torino, 1990))

** Cantina/ cellar, (cantinetta/small cellar) = an outlet a landowner opens in town to sell the wine produced in the family vineyards.

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Christopher Columbus

Amerigo Vespucci

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