Katharina Fresta Modica

Katharina Fresta Modica

My name is Katharina Fresta-Modica and I will be sharing anything and everything Italian in St. Louis with my readers. Ok, you got me, my stage name is Katharina (aka Kathi) and of course when I travel to Italy and other parts of Europe. Yes, I know I am not on stage but I sort of feel that way getting involved with this fun and wacky web-site.

The closest I got to a journalism school was when I worked at my father’s Italian restaurant in Columbia, Missouri which was located on 9th Street across from the “J” school! So, my writing credentials are highlighted by a “B” that I received on a college essay.

A little bit about me and my life. The infamous question in St. Louis is “Where did you go to high school?” I went to Columbia Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri.

I met my husband Roberto (aka Bob, graduate of Desmet) while I was in college and we now reside in Kirkwood.

I am a great grandchild of Italian immigrants on my father’s side of the family. I never knew my great grandparents but wanted to feel connected to my ancestors, so I moved to St. Louis to attend college and be near my grandmother, Eleanora Fresta Modica and other relatives.

Some of the subjects I will be covering:

1. Italian cuisine of any kind!
2. Anything about the Hill!
3. Why did Italians settle on “The Hill?”
4. Featured Italians and businesses!
5. The word of the week!
6. Anything Italian calendar!
7. Our famous Italian sports heroes!

In closing, I hope you enjoy this adventure with me exploring anything and everything Italian in St. Louis!



The St. Joseph Altar at St Ambrose on the Hill

It will be held in the school cafeteria.

 Sunday, March 17, 2013

 5130 Wilson Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110

 Noon to 5:00 pm, Mass in Italian at 3:00 pm

 Generous food samples from local restaurants.

(Donation Requested)

 There will be specially prepared Italian delicacies for sale.

Music…Surprises…Traditions and Inspiration

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 10:38

Pasta Aglia e Olio Recipe

Simmer olive oil, lots of garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and parsley in a small sauce pan. 

In a large pot, boil water and add 11 pounds of pasta and cook until al dente.  Ladle a couple of scoops of the pasta water into the simmered oil/garlic mix and continue simmering.

Drain Pasta in colander and put back into pot.

Add the oil/garlic/water mix into the pot and bring to a quick boil.

Place Pasta in a large bowl and cover with lots of Pecorino Romano grated cheese.

 Recipe submitted by Michael Santangelo

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 11:50

That's Amore

Michael Santangelo is a family man, married to the beautiful Tanina DiPiazza Santangelo and they have four beautiful children.  Michael is very busy working at AT&T and volunteering with various organizations such as Lions Club, Sicilian Cultural Association and Unico National Organization.

Monday, 21 January 2013 13:41

Virginia Vitale and Family Trees

I met Virginia through my friend and cousin Janet Scozzari. Janet is also cousins with Virginia. I was amazed by Virginia’s memory.  She can remember everything:  names, birthdays, the date she met you. You name it she can pull it out of her memory bank. It is incredible and a phenomenon. I could never remember numbers or dates that is why I am so impressed.

There is nothing like being from a large Catholic Italian family.  I look forward to seeing all my siblings and their spouses, nieces, nephews, great nieces and my wonderful mother.  The family keeps growing and it is always a party when we get together.  I am sure it is like that for many large families.  We all gather at one of my sisters’ homes in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and it picks up at my other sister’s on Christmas day and goes until late in the evening.

Thursday, 20 December 2012 16:43

St. Ambrose Church on the Hill (Part II)

St. Ambrose Church on the Hill (Part 2)

Father Carotti’s frail health any many hours of work played havoc on his health.  He went back to Italy to regain his strength to the sadness of the parish.

Giulio Giovannini was then appointed administrator of St. Ambrose Church.  His authentic sincerity succeeded in uniting the parish.  He urged the community to stay focus on their ultimate goal.  Children would save their pennies to buy a ten cent brick.  The men donated many hours of labor.  Anyone who contributed to this great undertaking would have a star placed on the church’s ceiling.  Each Star would be a testament to their faith in their priest, their community, and their God.  Father Giovannini suggested that the bells be imprinted with the Italian cities which the immigrants came from.  The parishioners were so moved by this idea that enough money was raised to order five bells almost immediately.  Each bronze bell held the following inscriptions:

The people of the parish…

to St. Ambrose

The faithful of Cuggiono…

To Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The faithful of Inveruno…

To Saint Theresa

The faithful of Marcallo…

To Saint Nazario

The faithful of Casteltermini…

To Saint Vincent Ferreri

Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:26

St. Ambrose Church on the Hill (Part I)

In 1903, the people of the Hill witnessed the birth of St. Ambrose Catholic Church.  Father Cesare Spigardi entered the lives of the Italian immigrants.  He believed he was given a divine challenge to found a church for them.  A white, small frame structure with a single temple marked the birth of St. Ambrose Church.  In 1905, Father Spigardi appointed Father Lucian Carotti to be the first priest of St. Ambrose.

On January 20, 1921 the people of St. Ambrose suffered a serious loss when their church was destroyed by fire.  A temporary chapel was set up at the Salus Infirmorum Church on Shaw Avenue.  Fortunately in 1919, St. Ambrose’s congregation had purchased the property from the members of the old German Protestant Church.  The Italian immigrants would not give up and wanted their own church.  One built of bricks not of wood.  Angelo Carrubia was chosen architect and Casagrande & Spezia were the contractors.

Monday, 03 December 2012 16:20

Italians at the 1904 World's Fair

June 6, 1904 was the official opening of the Italian National Pavilion.  The visitors walked through the columns into a pavilion designed to remind you of an ancient marble villa of a Roman emperor.

Come out Saturday, December 1st, 2012 and enjoy the events scheduled on the Hill. Starting with a 5K run and walk then end the evening kicking-off the Christmas season with a complimentary concert. In addition, many businesses will have Christmas on the Hill extended hours and special offers.

 Thursday, November 22, 2012, come join this annual event since 1928.  This is the longest continuous tradition on the Hill.  A large crowd is expected since the weather forecast is considered to be good.

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