Forza Gelato

July 4, 2013 / Local Interest
Italian-American USA

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forzagelato1Given the prodigious amounts of ice-cream eaten and because it was a day off from school, my Italian-American grandmother recounted that she and the other children in the neighborhood in Chicago (as well as most adults) simply referred to Independence Day as Forza Gelato, which roughly means “Go, Team Ice-cream!” or “Hurray, ice-cream!”

Hmm… quite a stretch. Then again, say “Fourth of July” quickly 5 times in a row in English but with a strong Italian accent and you’ll notice that the “translation” is quite close, at least phonetically.

Therefore, since so many of you live in the US, please allow us at ItalianNotebook to wish you and your families a most Happy Forza Gelato to all!

forzagelato2

GB

by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

50 Responses to “Forza Gelato”

  1. Margie

    Mille Grazie, GB for your good wishes in your inimitable style which I love. Happy “Forza Gelato” to my adopted country and to all of my fellow Italian-American compatriots.

    Reply
  2. Angela Sopranzi

    Grazie, GB, you made me smile this morning. My grandmother didn’t say it quite that way, but she struggled to learn English so she could take the test required to become an American citizen. She was so PROUD to be an AMERICAN, but never forgot her Italian roots. Happy 4th of July to all who love this country!

    Reply
  3. THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING THIS VERY IMPORTANT DAY GB.
    GELATO ICE CREAM BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF WALKING WITH MY FAMILY TO DOWNTOWN CELLE DE. (NEVER HAD A CAR)IT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST TREATS ON A HOT SUMMER DAY “PELLEGRINI” I THINK WAS THE NAME OF THE ITALIEN FAMILY THAT HAD COME SO FAR NORTH TO SERVE US SUCH A DELICIOUS TASTE.
    WE DID NOT HAVE ANY REFRIDGERATION IN OUR HOMES THEN SO YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW VERY IMPORTANT THEIR WORK WAS TO US.
    THIS IS THE FRUIT OF THE LABOR THOSE OF US THAT DARE TO LEAVE OUR HOMES FOR WHATEVER REASON AND TAKE THE GOODNESS WITH US AND ALSO LEARN SO MUCH FROM ALL THE CONTRY CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND GREAT FOODS AND THEN SHARE THAT WITH EVERYONE THAT IS DARING ENOUGH TO TRY :)
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL TINA

    Reply
  4. Joanne Dell'Aquila

    So charming, loved it. I get so much from this site. As an American I celebrate the 4th, and appreciate your mentioning our greatest American holiday. However as an Italian American I want to share with some of your readers two little know facts about our Declaration of Independence. Two of the signers of that document had an Italian heritage. They are Caesar Rodney of Delaware and William Paca of Maryland. I celebrate my Italian heritage also. Long live the 4th of July and ice cream.

    Joanne Dell’Aquila

    Reply
  5. Gelato should be the national food for 4th of July and all year long.
    Having grown up in the Bronx, New York with an Irish family, I nurtured friendship with my Italian/American classmates hoping for a decent meal once in a while.
    My travels have taken me to a lot of places, but Italy is the soul of Europe offering us ART in all forms.
    Forza Tutti!

    Reply
  6. Bob Siefker, Indy

    That’s funny!
    My wife is a gelato “junkie”
    What can you come up if you say “Happy Independence Day” five times fast with an Italian accent?
    I’ll lay 8 to 5 it has something to do with food! ;-)

    Reply
  7. Agnes Esposito

    Gelato on the 4th of July ! Now that is a great thought. While being very very proud to be an Ameriacan, my Italian roots are always near and dear to my heart. Wonderful article and tribute. Grazie

    Reply
  8. Agnes Esposito

    Gelato on the 4th of July ! Now that is a great thought. While being very very proud to be an American, my Italian roots are always near and dear to my heart. Wonderful article and tribute. Grazie

    Reply
  9. humberto levrini

    my mother took me to italy 84 yrs ago when i was 4 and i remember her taking me one day to monreale in sicily and us going to a gilatoria(i dont know if i spelled it right)an italian ice cream parlor-and the sight of so many different colored gelliti and cannoli,just overwhelmed me(image 4 yrs old and i still remember it!!!we tried different flvors of ice cream and colors and tastes of the cannoli creams—that was a wonderful day out with my mother!!!

    Reply
    • Umberto, you’re responses touch our souls. A child or the child part of us (the part that is forever growing, changing, learning) sees the world through a wider window. Your two stories of your first experience eating gelato con la Mama sua reminds me of a statement long ago by Mary Carolyn Richards…Where there is light, there is always shadow, there must be and vice versa.”
      Mille Grazia

      Reply
  10. humberto levrini

    there is a sad part of the story -on that day as we enjoyed the ice cream and connoli–( the ice cream parlor was on a boulevard-we heard screeching of brakes and as we looked out we saw that a bus had hid a boy of about 15 or 16 who had crossed the bus’s path on his bicycl-he was laying on the ground all full of blood, and people where saying that he was dead-i remember that day as it were today -i remember my mother crying and holding me tight and then i cried too–

    Reply
  11. Gretchen Bloom
    Gretchen Bloom

    We toasted to July 4 yesterday with a ‘Forza Gelato!!’ led by Peter Bloom, at a rooftop party in Rome, thanks to this IN entry. Thanks, as always, GB!

    Reply
  12. Peter & Getchen Bloom

    We are in Newport, RI for the summer and this is a very nice and fitting IN. We will be going to the oldest continuing July 4th parade in the country in Bristol RI, about a half an hour from here. They probbly get 150,000 people in this little New England town which keeps its center stripe re, white and blue all year. Abbracci, P&G

    Reply
  13. Dante

    This made me smile this morning, reminding me of my great-aunt Millie, her delicious food (zeppole sent over in pizza boxes for us kids- to name one), her wonderful accent, and my beloved Italian heritage. Thanks, GB!

    Reply
  14. Susan Caracciolo Keane

    Independence Day in our home wouldn’t be complete without a tradtional American hot dog topped with traditional Italian hot peppers! Happy 4th!

    Reply
  15. francesco costa

    caro gb, grazie di cuore! con le immagini di quei gelati così invoglianti mi hai fatto sentire un po’ di fresco mentre sono inchiodato al computer per fare l’editing a un mio romanzo. in questi giorni il caldo è un’autentica tortura. so però che stasera ci sarà il solito, fantastico venticello e allora scenderò in piazza per gustarmi un buon gelato! un abbraccio e buon lavoro, e non sudare troppo, francesco

    Reply
  16. Larry Giacchino

    My memories are of South philadelphia where you could
    walk to th cornern and buy tow types of homemade water ice.
    Lemon or Cherry. All made from those fruits and served from
    a large pale or trash can where it was mixed. The best
    ever as a kid. Nothing compared to what’s out there now like Rita’s or others. I would buy mine from the Italian men
    at the corner of 8th and Reed Sts.
    Great memories.

    Reply
  17. Linda Boccia

    forza gelato a tu GB e magari c’era una gelateria italiana qui a San Rafael, vicino San Francisco in California. Ci sono a San Francisco ma noi siamo attraverso it ponte Golden Gate.

    ciao, ciao

    Linda

    Reply
  18. Linda Gasbarro

    I don’t remember my grandparents ever using that expression. They came to the US in 1902 as teenagers from the Abruzzo region of Italy. But then again their accents were so heavy maybe I just didn’t understand it, lol. Grazie for the info, very interesting.

    Reply
  19. Lucille Sanfilippo Ponte

    The best times my husband and I spent was in traveling to Italy and the gelato – out of this world. He passed away six years ago but my best memories of him will always be our great times in Italy,

    Reply
  20. linda zelkowitz

    I just wanted to tell you that i mentioned the fact that 4th of july was national gelato day in italy to some italian friends tonight, and i was laughed at and pointed at and humiliated in front of my entire family. It turns out this is a total bullshit story, and that an italian would never say FORZA GELATO. Stop spreading rumours please, some of us believe your made up italian stories.

    Reply
    • GB

      Linda, best that you re-read the note. You will notice that I was speaking about Italian-American children, in the US, who had invented a fun term for the 4th of July US celebration. Of course your Italian friends laughed about a national gelato day in Italy, as there is no such thing!

      Reply
    • Linda Gasbarro

      I just wanted to mention that I use my maiden name on this forum in case someone who may be related would contact me but the strange thing is my married name is Linda Zelkowitz and there is a negative comment from someone with that exact name posted today. That comment was not sent from me!! The strange thing is that there was an disagreement that I was involved with and this may be someone trying to use my name. I read comments on this site all the time and never saw that name on it before. Curious?!?! I just didn’t want my name associated with that comment, I would never be so rude. If it is someone misrepresenting me I wish they would stop!! But if it is someone with that name then nevermind.

      Reply
  21. Thank you for your “Gelato” wishes. Thank you also, for all these wonderful “notes” – I so enjoy them. Keep up the good work!!

    Marianna

    Reply
  22. Barbara Armenti

    GB, So thats what my grandmother was shouting on the fourth of July!!!!! Maybe that explains my addiction to gelato! I loved the note… Barbara

    Reply
  23. Linda Gasbarro

    Dear GB – I did verify that the comment from “Linda Zelkowitz” was what was thought to be a gag from the person who argued about Forza Gelato!! So please remove their post. The person who sent it has a sick sense of humor and had a lot of nerve using my name. I’m so sorry for his insults.

    Reply
  24. Malinda

    say “Fourth of July” quickly 5 times in a row with a strong Italian accent and you’ll notice that the “translation” is quite close, at least phonetically.

    I did it, you are right !
    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Reply
  25. Evanne Brandon Diner

    Yes, GB, Italians love their gelato, and what about the tradition of fireworks at night? Italians love fireworks, so except for the doggies that are mightily frightened by the noise they make, fireworks are a big hit in Italy, with folks eating their gelato while swooning at the explosions overhead as darkness descends. Despite the many and varied celebrations today in the U S, we would not choose to live out our lives anywhere but here in Italy. You are so wonderful to bring tastes of Italy to everyone around the world who love anything Italian. Big hugs,

    Reply
  26. I am glad we live in a town that makes wonderful ice cream in State College, Pennsylvania. We miss the gelato of Italy. We long for our Italian relatives in Citta S’Angelo and all the loving, caring people of that town. Grazie Mille Grazie, John B

    Reply
    • Mary Donnelly

      John B.,
      We discovered Berkey Creamery this year (my daughter in an incoming freshman at Penn State). It is wonderful! My first taste of gelato was at a little place in Lake Como a few years ago, and it was just amazing. I hope to go back to Italy soon. Mary Beth

      Reply

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