Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

The GhNow thats Amore
Helmut Huber and wife Susan Lucci Mario Gabelli and Mary Fahrenkopf Elizabeth and Tony Lo Bianco with Martha Alito Bob Johnson with Leslie and Mary Fahrenkopf  
Franco Nuschese and Tania Paiva NIAF Robert and Christina Allegrini Vince Ferragamo Frank Stella and Jennifer Nasser  

y the time October 12 rolled around, everyone in town wished they were either Italian-American or a friend of the National Italian American Foundation, as supporters swooped into town for NIAF’s annual star-studded weekend. On Friday night, 200 guests partied with Yogi Berra at a glamorous dinner party at Cafe Milano hosted by Franco Nuschese. Berra, the perpetually favored dinner guest who is known as much for his witticisms as his baseball acumen, offered clues to his success: “I usually take a two hour nap from one to four."
No one was napping when they realized that Dion, the ‘60s rock’n’roll icon and lead singer of The Belmonts, was there. The ultimate doo-wop eartthrob was casually dressed and upbeat, having just finished his latest album, “Son of Skip James.”.

While the album is a major deviation from his classic hits like “Runaround Sue,” “A Teenager in Love,” and “Kansas City,” Dion explained that, “Blues was my first love.” Asked what he had been doing in Kansas City, as if anticipating the question he remarked: “I was a kid from the Bronx; it was no big deal.”

On this night though, it was a big deal. Dion was wedged between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Italian actress and photojournalist Gina Lollobrigida. At dinner’s end other guests piled on, including soap star Susan
Lucci, Justice Samuel Alito, former Rep. Marty Russo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Rep. Mike Ferguson, Fred Cannon, Italian Amb. Giovanni Castellaneta and his glamorous wife, Lila, and Dean’s little girl, songstress and author Deana Martin.

The wine was Sicilian, the ambiance, Positano, and the guests -- priceless, reaffirming that immigration is a good thing.

In between Milano and the gala on
Saturday, rock and roll hit-maker Neil Sedaka performed at the Hilton’s “Salute to the Martini,” whatever that means.

Corridor chat at the Saturday night event included former Ambassador to the Vatican JimNicholson, who spent three and a half years in Rome. Referring to the evening, he said: “It makes me very sentimental for the days I had in Italy. The Italians are very warm, generous
and people who really do love Americans.”
At the VIP reception, it was very warm and generous, and clearly we really do love Italians. Justice Antonin Scalia suggested the Supreme



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