Arch Entryway To Little Italy

A door or an arch are both passages that take us from an exterior to an interior space or even into another space in time and history.
It was not too long ago, March 2015, when I was awarded for my participation in the design concept of the arch for the Little Italy in San Jose, CA.
A team of architect, builder, designer, iron worker, stone fabricator, cement layer, lighting designer, investors and many more people in the committee of the Little Italy city project worked at the unison to make this come true. It was a many years effort from all of us volunteering to build something that was in the hearts of older and younger generations of Italians immigrated to this country for the continuation of our culture and traditions, but also as a bridge between other ethnicities of the area.

Little Italy Arch, San Jose, CA

It was a beautiful moment when we finally saw the arch raised and illuminated. That day, a huge celebration in the streets defining the Little Italy area was in order. Many people attended the award ceremony and afterwards they danced in the streets at the tunes of mandolins, accordions, guitars and the voice of the Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito.

Full view of the Little Italy Arch, San Jose, CA

The piazzetta is now full of bricks of various sizes with the name of donors to remember them in the posterity. Since then, we organized grand galas to raise money for the future public works in the area, many merchants established shops, an art & craft festival takes place every August, every October people fill the streets dancing to the sounds of Italian music, eat Italian specialties and feel as if they are in Italy for one day. A Museum of Italian culture is currently being built.

Brick from donors layed in the Little Italy’s piazzetta

Bronze plaque installed on the base of the arch with all the names of professionals participating to the design concept.

The plaque I received at the award ceremony

The plaque I received for my contribution in the design concept of this arch is still in my studio, I see it every day and proudly reminds me that I made a difference in my community together with a lot of other generous and professional people.

Myself celebrating with Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito

It’s always a pleasure to be embraced by the handsome Pasquale Esposito, our Italian tenor.
If you ever have the chance to be in this area, stop by the Little Italy, in San Jose, CA.

Dan Antion offers the opportunity to learn about doors in the world with his Thursday Door Challenge, please visit with us, it’s fun to see various interpretations of doors. Ciao,
Valentina
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Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

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One Day Two Years Ago | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Two years ago, this month, Little Italy San Jose, Ca was unveiling a new arch. I had been part of a design team for years. In-kind professionals formed the team, donating our time to attend meetings, discussion, challenges and all that it took to move a city project forward. In addition to time, many of the professionals donated construction material to build this beautiful artistic arch and when it was completed, all of us received the award in a form of an engraved plaque with our name.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).


Little Italy Arch – San Jose, CA – http://www.littleitalysj.com/archway.html


Above: My award – http://www.littleitalysj.com/archway.html

(President Little Italy – Joshua De Vincenzi-Melander, speaking at the arch unveiling ceremony – March 27, 2015)

The concept of the arch was to create a bridge between the old Italy and Italian emigrants who landed on American soil at the turn of 1900s and the vibrant Italy of today, competitive on the economic level with cutting edge stylish products known worldwide. The arch is situated in an area of San Jose where the Italian emigrants lived to honor their lives and work.

Some of the Victorian homes the Italians emigrants occupied were renovated for resell. An area, we called Piazza Piccola, delineates an Italian style patio with trellises and pavement made of bricks engraved with donor’s names. In Piazza Piccola, Little Italy organizes street fair, opera in the piazza, Italian Christmas carols in December and celebrates Befana Day in January, as it is customary in Italy.
Often visitors simply sit on benches and sip a glass of wine with friends. Little Italy have organized large fund racings, of which as a designer, I was part as well, and many small events of all sorts to find capitals to pursuit our goals.


(Photo above courtesy of Little Italy – Brick area in Piazza Piccola)


(Little Italy Gala – 2014.  Food, wines, music, silent auction and a load of attendees)

So far, we have established the presence of a few Italian businesses successfully operating in the Little Italy area: a restaurant, a café, an Italian language school for kids and the August 2-days Family Festival in the park, event which attracts $40,000 and more visitors every year. They flock to visit our vendors with Italian products, listen to the music sitting on grass, watch the Renaissance parade, participate to talks on various subjects related to Italian culture, watch art exhibitions, taste food and wine and many visitors will dance, happy to be in a recreated Italy.


(Pasquale Esposito, Italian tenor with Valentina Cirasola, Italian designer, celebrating the unveiling of the arch and the awards – March 27, 2015)

The unveiling ceremony was a day of celebration for many achievements and successes the Little Italy organization reached though the years. The ceremony culminated in Italian food, wines and music experience, as it should be.


(Above: Little Italy arch illuminated at dusk. Below: bronze plaque on the arch with all the “in-kind’ people’s names)

Little Italy future projects in the making are the building of an Italian-American Museum, a Pinocchio Village for children, a Bocce Ball Court, an Italian Cellar Bar and an authentic Trattoria.
It will be a very nice Italian village where everyone will enjoy Italian culture and learn about community.

It has been a journey, I met so many good people, learned so much….I would have never thought Italy is dearly loved outside its borders. I am an expat of modern times, to see so much love towards my country, warms up my heart.
I am proud of all the people who work to keep Italian traditions alive. I am very honored and grateful to have received an award for my contribution in the design concept of the arch. Ad majora, Little Italy! Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in interior and exterior, color analysis, kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also was seen on RAI – Italian National TV and has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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