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Celebrating the Italian-American connection

During International Creativity Month, researcher salutes contributions

— The population of the United States is defined by diversity, and one of the brightest pieces in this mosaic is the Italo Americani community, says author and business consultant Lou Quattro.

“All cultures bring valuable gifts to the table, but the Italian/Sicilian people and culture are especially clever and creative,” says Quattro, who was born in Italy and work for 10 years, with Sicilians in property development in Italy, where he learned many nuances and insights into the island’s culture and history. He authored “I Siciliani (The Sicilians),” www.louquattro.com.

International Creativity Month is celebrated in January – a reminder for all of us about how essential it is to be innovative if we want to be successful. A great example is the Sicilians, who are very

right-brained in their approach to life. They’ve had to be resourceful because of their rough history, in which various rulers – Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish at one time or another

conquered and controlled them. Some of the conquerors were particularly cruel and brutal imposing new taxes, languages, cultures and religions.

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention” was never truer than in Sicilia (Sicily) throughout the ages. I think creativity is firmly set in their DNA.”

The list of modern creative celebrities alone is impressive: Martin Scorsese, Frank Sinatra, Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Sal Mineo, Cyndi Lauper and Frank Zappa, to name just a few, he says.

Quattro reviews the major contributions of Italian-Americans. Not coincidentally, many hail from southern regions where there is less opportunity, hence, more need for creative resourcefulness:

• Food: Sicilians have come up with dozens of different dishes just for potatoes! Because the majority of the island’s population have lived as peasants for centuries, they have been forced to devise creative ways to prepare accessible foods. Recipes such as bruschetta pair basic yet highly complementary ingredients for unfettered goodness. Of course, the legacy of Italy’s food can be found everywhere today, from America’s relatively recent love affair with espresso to cooking essentials like olive oil, garlic and wine, to our favourite easy meal, pizza.

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