Preserving Our Italian Heritage

For All of Us

“To preserve, protect, and promote the Italian-Sicilian cultural heritage among the descendants, immigrants, citizens and friends of Isola delle Femmine, Sicily and around the world.”

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Il Notiziario
Vol 1
Il Notiziario
Vol 1 No.2
Il Notiziario
Special 2020
Special Edition

BENVENUTI (Welcome!) to our new website and to our newly formed non-profit organization, The Friends of Isola delle Femmine, Inc.

Our purpose is to continue the legacy we started 28 years ago, the Sister City relationship with Isola delle Femmine, Sicily, Italy. If you have been to this enchanting, charming, little village where our ancestors came from your hearts have been touched.

Our new website is chock-full of wonderful areas of interest to explore and learn. For example, our own Alexander Grillo, PhD has done extensive research on the islands name origin. He puts the name origin in factual details with footnotes to back up his research. (Click on the History tab to view) Check out the photo albums section under the Events tab for historical photos of past trips and events.

Some tabs are still under construction. These tabs are Travel assistance, Mangia Bene Tutti, Ancestry, Sicilian Language, and more.

Monthly, we will be featuring individual members family history & BIO’s for all of us to get to know who our Cugini are. Because we are all Cugini, aren’t we?

Please explore our website and consider becoming a member of our organization, your membership and donations will allow us to help those college bound students of Italian descent receive scholarships & fund students and group cultural exchange programs. Your contributions are tax deductible as we are a 501 (C) 3 non-profit charitable organization.

From now until the end of this year our $75 per person per year membership will be reduced to $60 for the first year and your membership will be a Charter-Sustaining Member. This means your membership after the first year will be locked in at $75. Your membership will get you discounts at special selected events, dinners, merchandise, travel assistance, and firsthand information on upcoming opportunities and events via a Newsletter. Your membership will also be published in our website for all to see. You can join on the BECOME A MEMBER tab.

This year we will kick off our Friends of Isola delle Femmine, inc (FOI) with a “FUN” fundraiser on October 3rd at the historical and famous 100-year-old Colombo Club-Italian Social Club. The only way a non-member can visit this wonderful Club and facility is by member invitation. You are now invited! Please review our sponsorship packet, consider being a sponsor, bring your family, friends, employees and come celebrate with us at this event.

Due to the terrible pandemic we are working closely with the Colombo Club regarding having a big event at the club. We will keep you posted well in advance if we will have our event or postpone until early next year. But WE WILL HAVE OUR EVENT!

This is the event of the new decade. “THAT’S ITALIAN” Dinner & Show presented by Friends of Isola delle Femmine and directed by Mary Pappas Coniglio, event coordinator, (past Pittsburg Seafood Festival Director) so you know it’s going to be SPECTACULAR!

Explore our website, join our membership, donate to our causes, and sign up for our “That’s Italian” Dinner & Musical Show and be a part of history.

Come join the “FUN”, See you all at the Show,

Frank Bruno
President of “The Friends of Isola delle Femmine, Inc.”

Photos of Isola delle Femmine are provided with permission of photographer Orazio Sansonini from Isola


Our non-profit organization will promote our American Italian-Sicilian culture through a cultural student exchange program, by advancing higher education to Italian-Americans college bound students via scholarships, developing a professional group study exchange program, and assisting the current California sister cities of Pittsburg, Monterey, and Martinez in cultivating their relationships with Isola delle Femmine, Sicily for the preservation of our cultural heritage.

Governing Board

Vincent S. DiMaggio
1992 Founder & Chairman

Frank B. Bruno
1992 Founder & President

Mary Pappas Coniglio
1992 Vice President & Secretary

Executive Board

Vincent M. Malfitano, D.M.D.

Salvatore N. Coniglio
Liaison to Isola delle Femmine

Albert D. Seeno Jr.
Advisor & Business Consultant

Vincent S. Ferrante
Historian & Liaison Pittsburg,
Martinez & Monterey

Alexander A. Grillo Ph.D.
Historian & Researcher

Cyril Bonanno
Membership Advisor

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News & Events

That’s Italian! Dinner & Show

Date: May 8, 2021
Where: Columbo Club 5321 Claremont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
Cost: $75 per person
Parking: Free parking available at DMV across the street
Information: 5pm – No Host Cocktail

Communicate with FOI

Use this form to contact us if you want to JOIN F.O.I., DONATE, BECOME A SPONSOR, OR HAVE A QUESTION. We will contact you ASAP. Thank you.

All of your information will be kept confidential and is for the PRIVATE use of FOI only.
Growing up in the areas of Pittsburg and Monterey in the mid to late 40’s and hanging around the water fronts and the wharfs where the Sicilian fishermen mending their nets and attending many Sicilian dinners and events I listened to their stories and the talk of the “old country “. This gave me the awareness of our connections to the “old country” and the people. I always knew that something would be done officially one day. Who knew that I would be involved!
- Vincent S Di Maggio

Co-Founder “Friends of Isola delle Femmine Committee”