Smells waft through the air of the dorms as pasta boils and sauces simmer in one of the many kitchen units of the first-year living area. As the food cooks, friends begin setting out plates, cups and utensils on a nearby table, while drinks are poured at each of the placements. Once the food nears completion, the friends begin serving it to one another, conversing in Italian throughout the evening; as the conversation develops, so do discussions about the possibility of developing a simple pasta night into an organization to celebrate and discuss a revered culture.
This semester, a new club has been established to commemorate the culture, traditions and cuisine of Italy. The Italian Club was founded by Carlotta de Bellis, Micaela Hoffman, Thomas Johnson and Jordan Minarelli; the students all come from Italian heritage. Italian organizations had previously existed on campus, but have since died out.
“As soon as we got here we would do pasta nights with a lot of friends. Professor Michael Ward was really excited about having an Italian group again, so when we got back, we were like, “˜Why not make an Italian club?'” said Minarelli, a first-year biology major.
Although the idea of forming a club seemed daunting, the students were surprised to receive the support of the Trinity community.
“I was very surprised that there were four students who are half Italian on such a small campus with other Italian professors as well. Dr. Rosa Aloisi in the political science department, Dr. Maria Paganelli in the economics department and Dr. Roberto Prestigiacomo in the theatre department are Italian as well and excited for us,” said de Bellis, a first year communication and art history double major.
As the founders of the club begin establishing their goals and events for their first semester, they have discussed the benefits of their club for potential new members.
“Italy is just awesome. If people join, we can push for more Italian classes, events and study abroad opportunities. There is so much to see and discover, there can’t be a limit to knowledge and learning about something new. We’re trying to make this knowledge accessible, to make it personal,” Minarelli said.
In order to promote the spread of Italian knowledge, the founders have begun discussing events they plan to hold.
“We have always done pasta nights, so now we want to do cooking classes, watch soccer games and have movie nights,” said van Zandt, a first-year communication and classics double major.
Other potential plans include a movie night featuring “La Vita Bella”, as well as an Italian happy hour.
“Our dream project for the semester is to host aperitivo, which is basically a happy hour. You meet with a bunch of friends before dinner for fun drinks. It’s pretty much established by all the young people,” Minarelli said.
Information for the first meeting of the Italian Club will be shared at their table during Chocolate Festival on Friday, Feb. 10th.