Who We Are

Friends of the Italian Cultural Center of Boston, Inc. [FICCB] is a hub of Italian culture aimed at preserving our rich Italian heritage and forging a strong, united community of italophiles.  FICCB provides a diversity of modern programs: from public lectures, concerts and art shows to social events designed to build bridges across segments of the Italian and Italian-American communities in New England; from promoting enterprise, innovation, science and technology to supporting the teaching of the Italian language; from celebrating Italian heritage in food and culture to strengthening the region’s ties with Italy.  FICCB’s long-term goal is to build an Italian Cultural Center as a physical “home” for all of these programs and a site for closer collaboration among associations with similar missions.


Newsletter for August 2018

August 13, 2018

Dear Friends of the Italian Cultural Center of Boston:

Welcome to the first FICC-B newsletter.  We want to share news about our activities, including the expansion of our Board of Directors, and events we have held during the past months, as well as future events that we are planning.

FICC-B’s long-term goal remains that of building an Italian Cultural Center in Boston as a venue for all those who work to promote Italian culture and celebrate our Italian heritage.  We hope to create a place where we might all achieve our independent missions while also working closely with each other.

In the short term, FICC-B is committed to planning and executing, in collaboration with similarly-minded organizations, programs with an Italian common thread:  from public lectures, concerts and art exhibits and talks, to social events designed to build bridges among different groups; from supporting enterprise, innovation, science and technology, to supporting the teaching of the Italian language; from celebrations of Italian heritage in food and culture, to supporting Italian-American communities.

We encourage your participation in the coming events, as well as your comments and ideas about future programs.

For more detailed information, please visit our web site at: http://ficcb.org.

Cordiali saluti a tutti,

Anthony Pangaro, Chair, and Ettore Santucci, President


Board News

In an effort to broaden the range of voices from the Italian and Italian-American communities in New England the FICC-B Board has been expanded.

Current Board members are: Anthony Pangaro (Chair), Ettore Santucci (President), Susan Angelastro, Emilio Bizzi, Anna di Robilant, Alberto Fornaro, Alessandro Rollo, Dante Roscini, Joseph Selvaggi, and Elisabetta Vitali

A heartfelt “thank you” to our new members for their commitment.  We are honored to welcome them and look forward to their contribution to FICC-B’s mission.  You can find short bios for each director at the end of this newsletter.

Programs and Events

Following our last Italianissimo! Gala held, thanks to their generosity, at Eataly Boston upon their opening, we decided to focus on topical events in order to engage with FICC-B supporters and the Italian and Italian-American communities.  In case you missed them, here is a brief description:


MAR 22

Conversation and Reception with Dr. Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc. and inventor of the Viterbi algorithm, recipient of FICC-B’s 2018 Thomas M. Menino Award

Alessandro Rollo and Marta Bergamaschi hosts, at their home in Back Bay, Boston.


Screening of the film “Gianni Agnelli”


At the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline

APR 30

The Coming of the Italian Baroque to America: The Case of the Metropolitan Museum, a Lecture with Andrea Bayer

With the Italian Studies & Bluhm Lecture Series at Boston College

JUL 10

The New Old Age: Italian science and culture can help reinvent longevity, a Panel Discussion

With the Armenise Foundation at Bernstein Wealth Management in Boston




Dolci’s Florence & Piranesi’s Rome Exhibits Guided Tour and Reception

With the Exhibit Curator Davis Museum, Wellesley College, in Wellesley

MAY 10

Europe after Brexit, a conversation with C. Pacciani, Chief Risk Officer, European Stability Mechanism, and Prof. M. Di Maggio, Harvard Business School

With Professionisti Italiani a Boston (PIB) at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston


Juventus vs Real Madrid, the Game

With food and drink at GameOn in Boston


Botticelli at the MFA, Exhibit and Guided Tour

With the Exhibit Curator, Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston

OCT 18

FICC-B at Ostra and La Tosca, a reception, discussion and the opera production

With the General Director, Boston Lyric Opera, and at the Emerson Majestic Theatre in Boston

OCT 23

The Book of the Art of Trade – Benedetto Cotrugli, a Lecture

At the Harvard Business School in Boston



For the second year in a row FICC-B joined with the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation to fund a summer fellowship for a promising researcher/scientist from Italy at one of Boston’s leading research labs.  This year the fellowship was awarded to Luigi Saccaro, an Honors MBBS Student at the prestigious Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa.  He will be located in the Cell Biology Department at the Harvard School of Public Health.

For more on this initiative please read the summary at the end of this newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Looking ahead to the Fall and Winter, we would like to share with you our plans for FICC-B’s next two events:

OCTOBER 29, 2018

Books of Trade in Italy in the Late Quattrocento, a panel discussion with noted scholars and a Viewing of Rare Manuscripts from the Boston Athenaeum’s collections in Boston


NOVEMBER 2 and 3, 2018

Idea Boston, a two day literary festival with noted authors, food, music and theater created by Nicola Orichuia of IAM Books with lead sponsorship by FICC-B, to be held at the Dante Aligheri in Cambridge.


FICC-B’s Mission

For more detailed information, please visit our website at: http://ficcb.org



Anthony Pangaro (Chair) has been a principal in private real estate development since 1980, completing over $3 billion of projects in Boston, most notably the Millennium Tower (the Filene’s Department Store site), the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers, the 10 St. James Avenue Office Tower, and the Four Seasons Hotel and Condominium.  Until his retirement in early 2018, he was principal in the joint venture between his firm, MDA Partners of Boston, and Millennium Partners of New York City.  Previously he managed the development of Boston’s Southwest Corridor transit project, which includes a five-mile-long public park, and held positions at the New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

A registered architect, Tony earned degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in architecture in building science and a master’s degree from Harvard University in architecture and was awarded the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard.  He has served as a director on numerous Boston community and nonprofit boards, including the American Repertory Theater, Berklee College, the Boston Center for Adult Education, Opera Boston, and the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation.  He is a member of the board of overseers of the Museum of Fine Arts and a member of the executive committee of the board of the Esplanade Association and served on the Boston Conservatory board for 25 years, including as co-chair, and on the executive and building committees.


Ettore Santucci (President) has been a partner in the business law department of Goodwin Procter LLP since 1992, dividing his time among the Boston, New York and London offices.  He joined Goodwin in 1986 from White & Case.  His practice focuses on cross-border finance, mergers & acquisitions, and the equity and debt capital markets.  In his active cross-border transactional practice, Ettore regularly advises U.S. clients in outbound investments, international joint ventures and mergers & acquisitions, as well as Italian and European clients in similar transactions inbound towards the United States.  He chairs the firm’s Italy Practice and Debt Capital Markets Practice and co-chairs the REITs and Real Estate M&A Practice.

Ettore earned a Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Bologna, Italy, and a Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from Boston College Law School.  He chairs the Legal Opinions Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association and is a member of the TriBar Opinions Committee and the International Bar Association.  He has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business).  He has also been listed in U.S. News-Best Lawyers and The Legal 500 U.S.


Susan Angelastro is an executive for a major U.S. insurance company and in that role travels frequently to Italy.  Through her business and nonprofit activities she has developed broad and deep relationships in Italy, which she brings to bear on her efforts to promote Italy in its multi-faceted aspects and Italian culture in Boston and Florence.  Susan earned master’s degrees from Middlebury College and the University of Florence in Italian language and literature.  She is active with several nonprofit organizations, including serving as Member of the Executive Committee, Secretary and Project Chair for Save Venice Boston, President of Circolo Italiano di Boston, and Board member of the Cesare Barbieri Foundation – Trinity College.  She was recently named to the International Advisory Board of Advancing Women Artists, Florence, Italy.


Emilio Bizzi is Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as chairman of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences from 1986 to 1997 and Director of the Whitaker College of Health Sciences, Technology, and Management from 1983 to 1989.  His primary research interest is the understanding of how the brain controls voluntary movements, focusing on two related questions: how does the brain handle the enormous complexity involved in making even the simplest movement and how does the brain learn a new motor task and then generalizes that learning to each new variation of the task.

Emilio earned a MD summa cum laude from Sapienza Medical School, Rome, Italy, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pisa, Italy.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he recently completed service as president, and the Academia dei Lincei.  In 2004 he was awarded a degree honoris causa in biomedical engineering by the University of Genova, Italy, and in 2005 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.  He is the recipient of many awards for his research and academic work, including the W. Alden Spencer Award, the Herman von Helmholtz Award for Excellence in Neuroscience, the President of Italy Gold Medal for achievements in science, and the Empedocles Prize.


Anna di Robilant is a tenured Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law.  A property law scholar trained in both Europe and the United States, she teaches and writes in the areas of property law, property theory, legal history and comparative law.  Her scholarship focuses on two main themes:  first, questioning the traditional thinking that property law in Europe and the United States is fundamentally different, by suggesting instead that modern Western property is the product of a “transatlantic dialogue” shaped by intellectual, professional, social, and economic factors; and second, designing property law institutions that reflect the values of a free and democratic society, committed to making access to fundamental resources, such as housing, water, cultural or natural resources, more equitable.

Anna earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Turin, Italy, an LLM and SJD from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Trento, Italy.  She chairs the Property Section of the “Common Core of European Private Law,” a project that has brought together more than 200 legal scholars and practitioners to analyze and map the connections and underlying similarities in contract, property, and torts laws across Europe.


Alberto Fornaro is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of IGT Plc, a global company where he is responsible for financial strategy, bringing over 25 years of experience in international business to his role of overseeing the finance, accounting controls, M&A, strategy, legal and compliance and ERP organizations.  Prior to IGT, he served as Group CFO and President of the Europe, Middle East and Africa Division of Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, a world leader in the construction equipment industry formed by Bobcat and Doosan Infracore.  He also served as General Manager and CFO of TechoGym, the second largest worldwide manufacturer of fitness equipment, and Vice President in the finance group at Case Holland (CNH) Global/FIAT Group in Italy and in the U.S.

A licensed CPA, Alberto earned a degree in Economics and Banking from the University of Siena, Italy, and a master’s degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Siena’s Post-Graduate School.  He was also a Visiting Scholar at the Ph.D. Program in Economics at Columbia University in New York.


Alessandro Rollo is the founder and chief portfolio manager of Rollo Capital, a Boston-based investment firm which focuses on the materials, chemicals, capital goods, automotive, energy and the aerospace/defense industries.  He is also co-founder and Chairman of Philavest, a company that brings together expertise in financial software, investment, and management to assist non-profits in managing their finances and investments.  Previously he was a partner of K Capital, an investment fund, and Director, Proprietary Trading, at Morgan Stanley in London.

Alessandro earned a Master of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Universita’ Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy.  He is a member of the Investment Committee of the Boston Latin School Association.


Dante Roscini is Professor of Management Practice in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit of Harvard Business School.  He has published a number of cases and notes related to sovereign debt, monetary policy, central banking and international investment, focusing his work on the interactions between macroeconomic policies and the financial markets and the frameworks for analyzing risks and opportunities in international investment.  Previously he spent twenty years in senior positions at three US investment banks in New York and London: Managing Director and Head of European Capital Markets for Goldman Sachs, Head of Global Equity Capital Markets and Head of the European Capital Markets and Financing Group for Merrill Lynch, and Country Head of Italy and Chairman of European Capital Markets for Morgan Stanley.  Prior to his career in investment banking Dante worked as a researcher in nuclear archaeometry at the University of Rome, as a design engineer and project manager with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in the US, and as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Paris.

Dante earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard and a summa cum laude degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Rome, Italy.  He is a member of the board or the advisory board of several public and private companies.  He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York and of the Atlantic Council in Washington.


Joseph Selvaggi is a Vice President and Investment Advisor at Bernstein Private Wealth Management in Boston, where he advises high-net-worth individuals and institutions regarding investment strategies, working closely with clients and their professional advisors on a wide range of matters, including tax and estate planning, concentrated stock positions and the sale of privately held businesses.  He also advises nonprofit organizations and foundations on sustainable investing and spending strategies.  Previously he built a retail and manufacturing company and ran for U.S. Congress in 2012.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master in Public Administration in Public Finance from Harvard’s Kennedy School.


Elisabetta Vitali supervises the Italian programs and communication strategy at the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation, whose mission is to establish multidisciplinary, basic science research that will support leading scientists at Harvard Medical School and at foremost institutions in Italy in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific discovery for the benefit of humankind in the fields of medicine and agriculture.  The foundation devotes a significant part of its budget to Italy and to fostering scientific collaborations across the Atlantic.  Previously she worked in corporate finance and private equity for almost 20 years, both in the U.S. and in Italy, including as advisor on mergers & acquisitions for Enel Green Power North America in Boston, senior mergers & acquisitions consultant for Banca IMI Securities, Inc. (the U.S. branch of Banca Intesa) in New York, partner in the Italian infrastructure fund F2i SGR, and vice president at Lazard & Co. in Milan.

Elisabetta earned a Master of Science degree in Economics from Universita’ Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy.



As part of its mission, the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation (GAHF) supports leading scientists at Harvard Medical School and at foremost institutions in Italy who are active in basic research in biomedical science, helping outstanding scientists pursue their vision and advance our understanding of key pathological mechanisms.  GAHF devotes a significant part of its budget to Italy, and to fostering scientific collaborations across the Atlantic.

One of GAHF’s most impactful programs is the Summer Fellowship for Italian University Students, which brings 10-13 Italian graduate or medical students to the Harvard Medical School campus for a two-month period each Summer, so they can gain experience working in a basic science lab in the U.S.  The selected students are placed in laboratories on the Harvard Medical School campus or in laboratories of Harvard affiliates, where they will actively work as part of the lab team for the entire Summer.  Each student receives a stipend of about $3,000, to be used toward travel and living expenses.

The Summer Fellowship is an amazingly high-impact program that offers a very productive, full-immersion experience in the Boston scientific community.  Participants gain an innovative and open-minded perspective on how to do science, how to manage science, and how to respect it.  As the next generation of leading scientists, they can be expected to transfer their knowledge and experiences when they return to Italy.  This program has been extremely successful, with alumni going on to graduate work all over the world.

This year the selection process was extremely competitive, and the review committee (comprised of twelve Italian scientists at Harvard Medical School) had a very difficult task selecting the best eleven candidates out of 106 submitted applications.  The candidates are evaluated strictly on the basis of merit, academic performance and their passion and devotion to science and research.  The student-funded by FICC-B is Luigi Saccaro, an Honors MBBS Student at the prestigious Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy.  Luigi’s ambition is to make contributions to the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.  He will spend the Summer at the “Farese & Walter Lab” in the Cell Biology Department at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he will deepen his knowledge of the (dis)metabolism of important players in membrane homeostasis, an area of research he is very interested in.



RAI recognizes FICCB at MFA’s Botticelli

Stefano Salimbeni has produced a piece on the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ Botticelli exhibit. This was first aired on January 1st, 2018 on RAI  and featured FICCB’s special event – a guided tour of Botticelli’s led by Frederick Ilchman, the exhibit’s curator.

See the link below to view the segment –

Botticelli – the Search for the Divine


Book of the art of Trade

October 20, 2017


Benedetto Cotrugli’s “The Book of the Art of Trade”

Please RSVP to Holly at hsalter@hbs.edu

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October 12, 2017


BYSO Concert

ENJOY the  60th SEASON OPENING CONCERT SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th at 3:00pm Sanders Theatre at Harvard University   Tickets $25-$35 Call The Harvard Box Office at 617.496.2222  or visit www.BYSOweb.org Federico Cortese, BYSO Music Director, was the recipient of the 2016 Menino award at italianissimo!   Boston Youth Symphony Federico Cortese, Conductor  DEBUSSY Jeux                […]

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September 18, 2017


FICCB at Ostra and Tosca

Against a backdrop of war, chaos and corruption, a singer named Floria Tosca must give the performance of a lifetime to save the man she loves. Set in early 1800s Italy, Tosca is the passionate, sweeping story of three strong-willed characters destined to become masters and victims of their own fate. October 18, 2017 Emerson/Cutler […]

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