Wisconsin Italian-American Clubs/Organizations
Italo-Americano Groups (associations, organizations, clubs, etc.) were once founded to help Italian immigrants who had difficulties communicating in English and needed to integrate into the American way of life. Today, many of these same groups strive to preserve the Italian heritage and culture that has been passed down through the various generations, while introducing new and recent customs from present-day Italy.
NOTE: Here are some of the Italian-American Organizations in Wisconsin. This list may not be complete.
Green Bay Italo-Americano Club - was founded in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1994, by Riccardo Paterni a native of Lucca, Tuscany. Activities include: learning and practicing italian language and culture; watching and discussing italian movies; learning, sharing and enjoying italian recipes; and promoting cultural and social activities. The Green Bay Italo-Americano Club is not limited to only people of Italian descent. They welcome all people who wish to celebrate and experience “Italianismo” through traditions of Italian culture, recreation, culinary delights, and civility.
Address for Membership Materials: 1810 Oakhill Drive, Green Bay, WI 54313
Contact Person: Richard Daley
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Club-ItaloAmericano-of-Green-Bay/139063499457160
Gogebic and Iron County Paisano Club - was founded on August 6, 1969. The purpose of the club is to supply scholarships to local high schools. Members enjoy quarterly dinner meetings, participate in the Hurley Italian Festival, and hold an annual picnic.
Address: 5885 W. Rangeview Drive, Hurley, WI 54534
Contact: Dorothy Walesewicz (715 561-2459)
Italian-American Society - was formed in Kenosha, Wisconsin in September 1923, as the result of combining several previously established organizations, such as the G. Giaribaldi Society, the S. Francesco Society, the S. Michele Society and the Maria SS Della Schiava. Together, they built the Italian-American Home, a club house where they could freely meet for entertainment and educational opportunities.
Address: 2217 52nd Street, Kenosha, WI 53140
Clubhouse Telephone: 262 658-4881
Contact Person: Steve Torcaso
Italian Workmen's Club (IWC) - was founded in Madison, Wisconsin, by Italian Workmen, on the 18th of January, 1912, with the object to better the economical conditions of the Italian Workmen; to protect and help the members; and to develop friendly relations in the community. To apply for membership, you need to be an Italian man or a man married to an Italian spouse.
Address: 914 Regent Street, Madison, WI 53715
Clubhouse Telephone: 608 258-1880
Contact Person: Ross DePaola
Website and Bi-Monthly Newsletters: www.iwcmadison.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/IWCMadison
Festa Italia Website: www.festaitaliamadison.com
Italian-American Women's Club (IAWC) - was founded on February 22, 1934, as a mutual aid society for the purpose of greater social understanding, comradeship and beneficial aid to members and their families of the Italian-American women of the Greenbush neighborhood in Madison, WI. It was an auxiliary club to the Italian Workmen's Club. Today, they are a non-profit organization with membership open to any woman who shares an interest in Italian language and culture. You do not need to be Italian to join. Meetings are held 1st Wednesday, each month, at St. Joseph's Church, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy, Madison, WI 53713-2335.
Contact Person: Jean Musillami, President (608 273-1711)
CIAO! (Cultural Italian American Organization) - was founded in early 2001 when a group of Italian-Americans decided to form an Italian social club for men and women. CIAO! offers cultural events for men and women of Italian ancestry, including spouses of Italians, with a mission of preserving their Italian heritage.
Contact Person: Maria Messina Ritacca, President, CIAO!
UW-Madison Italian Club - The UW-Madison Italian Club is welcome to anyone, even if you are not studying Italian or do not know Italian but are interested in the language/culture. People who join are notified of official (and unofficial) Italian Club meetings on campus. You can bring your friends to meetings too!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - to be added to their mailing list for Italian Club events and news information.
Jelena Todorovic (Faculty Coordinator) email@example.com
UW Italian Club Facebook page: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28276254670&ref=ts (exit WisItalia).
Giuseppe Garibaldi Society - was founded on December 7, 1908, at the rooming house now known as "Potter's End" in the Bay View area of Milwaukee. The Giuseppe Garibaldi Society provides companionship and social activities. Starting out with 40 members, the society grew to 136 members in 1929, 192 in 1939, and 219 in 1952. Today, there are approximately 125 members. The Giuseppe Garibaldi Society is Milwaukee's oldest Italian organization in terms of years of continual existence. The Garibaldi Society is open to individuals who are of Italian decent or married to an Italian. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month.
Address: Giuseppe Garibaldi Society, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Contact Person: Kenny Bontempo
Membership Contact: Tim Kenney (414 303-0992)
Italian Community Center of Milwaukee - is Wisconsin’s largest Italian-American organization. It was founded in 1979, shortly after a successful festival organized by a group who had grown up in the city’s Italian neighborhood and wanted to recreate the “festa” that was such an important part of their childhood. Since that first effort in 1978, the ICC’s annual Festa Italiana has come to be recognized as America’s premier Italian festival. It’s a celebration of all things Italian – music, food, tradition and, of course, family. The ICC also publishes The Italian Times 11 times a year, sharing local, national and international news about Italians and the Italian experience. Classes in introductory Italian are offered for adults, and free Italian classes are also available for children. Twice a year, the ICC’s Culture Committee presents Student Culture Day, at which middle school students spend a half day at the Center learning such things as how to make pasta and play bocce, and becoming “Italian immigrants” at Ellis Island. The annual “Taste of Italy,” a food-sampling extravaganza, has become a popular dining experience for hundreds of Milwaukee area residents. The ICC operates a public restaurant – Cafe La Scala – and, during the summer months presents four nights of free music in its spacious courtyard.
Address: Meetings held at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contact Person: Dave Spano (414 223-2180 - ICC phone number)
Website and Italian Times Newspaper: iccmilwaukee.com
ICC Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ICCmilwaukee
ICC Cultural Group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/250177481670368
Festa Italiana Website: www.festaitaliana.com
Festa Italiana Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/festaitalianamilwaukee
Marche Group of Milwaukee - is a family-orientated group formed to cherish traditions, help each other in times of need and to entertain Marchigiani families with special events, ranging from teaching your children how to make Capalletti to Adult Marche Regione Wine tasting events. As you can guess, this is a fun group celebrating all things from the Marche region of Italy. Besides hosting events (there are no formal meeetings at this time), the group keeps its members informed through quarterly newsletters on Marchigiani Italian information, such as the "Marche Cultural Happenings" and "Articles of Interest Pertaining to Le Marche Italian Americans." The Marche Group is currently working on a website. There are approximately 50 members, some from as far as Connecticut. Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Kenosha are populated with Italian-Americans from the Marche region of Italy.
Contact Person: Tim Kenney (414 303-0992)
Tim's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Person: Jim Santi
Jim's Email: SaintJ36@aol.com
United States Marchigiani Group Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=51520765990. It is a great place for Marche people to meet and greet.
Order Sons of Italy in America - Filippo Mazzei Greater Milwaukee Lodge #2763 - is the only Wisconsin Lodge of the national Order Sons of Italy in America. This organization is for both men and women of Italian heritage in the United States. Its mission includes encouraging the study of Italian heritage and culture in American schools anad universities; preserving Italian American traditions, culture, history and heritage; and promoting closer cultural realtions between the United States and Italy. View OSIA National Leaders 2009-11 announcement (pdf). The local Milwaukee chapter has bimonthly meetings at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.
Address: Meetings held at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Contact Person: Joseph Palmisano (414 281-5556), 5302 S. Hidden Drive, Greenfield, WI 53221
National Website: www.osia.org
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Sons.of.Italy
Sons of Italy Blog: osia.wordpress.com
Pompeii Men's Club - is a non-profit organization, formed in 1968 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by a small group of holy name men from the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Church to perpetuate the memory of their childhood church and be symbolic of their faith, spirit and ethnic background. Since the destruction of their beautiful church, this organization has functioned as a non-profit club with religious ties to the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii, sister church, St. Rita's of Cascia of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This club is dedicated to the belief that faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life and that service to humanity is the best work of life. The Pompeii Men's Club supports a variety of local charitable and non-profit organizational causes in Milwaukee. Among the local charities that have benefited include the Sojourner Truth House, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the Ronald McDonald House and Special Olympics. The club's motto is "Together in Unity," and has approximately 124 active and non-active members, who are men in the religious life, attorneys, judges, people in public office and men who wish to carry on the traditions of the founders of the club.
Address: Pompeii Men's Club, 6213 Mansfield Drive, Greendale, WI 53129
Contact Person: Charles Lazzaro, 414 421-7359
Pompeii Women's Club - Formed in 1978, this non-profit organization provides support for various charitable organizations and projects in Milwaukee, WI. It is their aim to aid culturally and historically to the community, not just the Italian community, but the community at large.
Address: Italian Community Center (ICC), 631 E. Chicago Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202
Telephone: 414 427-4897
Santa Rosalia Society - was founded in 2005 by Milwaukee area residents who traced their roots to Santo Stefano, Quisquina, a town in the province of Agrigento, Sicily. This Society is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes the preservation of cultual traditions and family, and giving back to the local community. Membership is open to any interested persons, with many members ranging in age from grandchildren to grandparents. They hold an annual fundraiser for a designated charity determined by its members. Meetings are held approximately 8/year, with picnics and gatherings, as well.
N47 W27184 Greenhill Dr.17035 Elizabeth Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005
Contact: Joe Zambito (262 241-3421)
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
UNICO - Milwaukee Wisconsin Chapter - UNICO National is an Italian American service organization in the United States, with a chapter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its objective is to promote and enhance the image of Italian Americans; for members to be of service to the community; to promote Italian heritage and culture; to promote, support and assist charitable, scientific, cultural, educational, and literary projects; to promote members interest in public welfare and to cooperate with others in civic, social, cultural development.
Address: N47 W27184 Greenhill Drive, Pewaukee WI 53072
Contact: Tom Falsetti (262 691-8868)
National Website: www.unico.org
Milwaukee Ladies of UNICO - was founded on June 15, 1931. It is a service organization whose purposes are to provide scholarships for women of Italian ancestry and to support community projects. It sponsors fund raising activities, the proceeds of which are used to carry out these goals. The Ladies of UNICO coordinates its programs with the Milwaukee Chapter of UNICO for the betterment of both organizations.
Contact: Anna Pitzo email@example.com
Roma Lodge - was founded in Racine, Wisconsin, in the early 1900s. Originally, there were two organizations, Roma Lodge and Roma Hall, that formed as mutual aid societies, helped Italian immigrants find jobs and housing, paid sick and death benefits, provided instruction in English language and civics. They also helped preserve Italian customs, language, literature, and culture. Today, members of Roma Lodge share a deep appreciation of their Italian heritage and the continuing contributions of Italian-Americans to life in the United States. It strives to enroll in its membership all men of Italian birth, descent, or lineage, regardless of religious faith or political affiliation.
Address: 7130 Spring Street, Racine, WI 53406
Members Telephone: 262 886-8850
Fax: 262 886-6286
Contact Person: Buddy Alfano, President (262 639-4733)
Board of Directors: March 2011-2012 (pdf)
Website and Newsletters: members.romalodge.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100000941150738
Italian Club of Sheboygan - was founded in 2009 by Mario Ciotola. At that time, the first course of 'Beginners Italian' at UW-Sheboygan had 28 students. Out of the desire of many of these students, to continue to get together, a group was born. The idea was to further through friendship, the Italian culture, language, food, art, music, etc. The club meets every month, entertaining with various events, getting to know each other, and sharing Italian food and drink. The Italian Club of Sheboygan is open to everyone – you don't have to be or speak Italian. They have members of all ages, backgrounds, and degrees of connection to Italy – what all members share is an interest in Italy and Italian culture.