Cultural Italian American Organization 144 Genesee Street, Suite 102-240 Auburn, New York 13021
Cultural Italian American Organization144 Genesee Street, Suite 102-240Auburn, New York 13021



October 12, 2020


The Cultural Italian American Organization held a flag raising ceremony at the Christopher Columbus monument in Auburn. The Stars and Stripes was raised to “The Star Spangled Banner,” as the Tricolor flag was also raised to the Italian national hymn, “Fratelli d’Italia.”


As in many cities of the USA, many Italian organizations commemorate Columbus Day with events such as CIAO’s annual Testimonial Dinner, at which we honor a local person for their dedication to the betterment of the community. Due to these difficult times during the pandemic, CIAO postponed this event until 2021.


The flag raising took place by the Christopher Columbus monument erected in 1992 by the St. Francis Parish in Auburn, honoring the early Italian immigrants who settled in Auburn.


Participants were Tony Gucciardi, Vito Charella, Dick Paulino, Paul Saltarello, Paul Vitale, and Tony Tesoro.



We also once again helped the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park, located on the New York State Thruway, with their fundraiser on September 3, 2020, by again making and selling our traditional Pizza Fritte; all net proceeds were given to the park.




CIAO Cuccina Crew was busy this summer with several events. On July 31 and August 28, we made CIAO's traditional pizza fritte for the children who attended the summer camp at Booker T. Washington in Auburn. 



  • December - Buon Natale Christmas Party held at Osteria Salina, Auburn

  • September - Grape and Wine Making Festival at State Street Mall, Auburn

  • June - Limoncello and Italian cookies given out at admission to attendees of opening night of the musical "Light in the Piazza" at Merry Go Round Playhouse, with music provided by Paolo and Felice. 

  • Memorial Day - pizza fritte sold in front of Knight's of Columbus

  • March - San Giuseppe Day - A traditional St. Joseph's Table Dinner was held on Sunday, March 15 at Springside Inn in Auburn, with over 100 people attending. Ceremonies related to the Festa San Giuseppe took place during dinner. The altar of St. Joseph was adorned and set up. Homemade bread shaped like a shepherd's staff and zeppole were prepared by CIAO members and distributed during dniner. Click here for Auburn Citizen newspaper article.


  • March – San Giuseppe Day – A traditional St. Joseph's dinner was held on March 19 at Osteria Salina in Auburn. This event will be an annual feast of St. Joseph's Day with traditional food served for this day and will include live music for everyone to enjoy. Canned food items collected are brought to the St. Alphonsus Food Pantry.


  • A Pasta dinner was held at Genesee Elementary School in Auburn to raise money for the Odyssey of the Mind competitive teams.


  • June/July – Bocce League, with a banquet to conclude the season. This will be an annual league.


  • August – A concert was held August 11 at the Emerson Auditorium of Auburn Junior High School featuring the New York State National Guard Army Band from Kingston, New York.


  • September – The First Annual Grape-Wine Making Festival took place on September 28. This family event was held on the State Street Mall.


  • October – The Christopher Columbus Day Recognition Day Dinner was held on October 13 at the Springside Inn and honored Jack and Jerry Bisgrove, and Matteo Bartolotta. This sold out event was attended by 280 people. Mistress of Ceremonies was Carrie Lazarus of NewsChannel 9. This annual event will honor distinguished citizens of the Auburn community. From the proceeds of the dinner, C.I.A.O. donated $1,000.00 to the Brian Bisgrove Home of Courage at Everest Park. The goal of this center is to provide a retreat from the struggles of life, and foster growth and faith with a deeper understanding of God's presence in daily life.


  • December - The 1st Annual Buon Natale Christmas Buffet was held on December 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn. A wonderful buffet was enjoyed by all in attendance, and zeppola and homemade cookies were served for dessert. Music was provided by Paolo and Felice, and included a sing-a-long and caroling. 


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