Southern Brooklyn

Bensonhurst’s annual Rosalia Feast coming soon, with Italian food, culture 

August 12, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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This month, Bensonhurst will once again host one of Brooklyn’s most storied traditions.

The annual Feast of Santa Rosalia begins Thursday, Aug. 18 on 18th Avenue – aka Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard – from 68th to 75th streets. It will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 28.

As usual, the 10-day event, sponsored by the Federation of Italian American Organizations, features rides, music celebrating Italian culture, games for the kids, drinks and food.

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This year’s grand marshals for the feast are Louis Coluccio, the owner of A.L.C. Italian Grocery on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, and Rossella Rago, author of the popular internet cooking show, “Cooking With Nonna”and author of the book, “Cooking with Nonna: Celebrate Food & Family With Over 100 Classic Recipes from Italian Grandmothers”

One of the grand marshals for the feast, Louis Coluccio, holds a colorful wheel of cheese. Photo courtesy of alcitaliangrocery.com

“It is an honor to be nominated alongside my longtime friend and best-selling author Rossella Rago of ‘Cooking with Nonna’ fame as grand marshals of the Santa Rosalia Festival,” Coluccio told this paper. “I am grateful to the Santa Rosalia Committee for giving us this honor, and l am looking forward to celebrating not only our culture but the rich history of the festival this August.” 

Grand marshal Rossella Rago, host of “Cooking with Nonna.” Photo courtesy of Instagram

“I am beyond excited to be this year’s grand marshal,” Rago told this paper. “I’ve been coming to the Santa Rosalia feast since I was a little girl, and to be able to be a part of it in such a meaningful way is such an honor.”

On Aug. 28, the final day of the feast, a procession will begin at 3 p.m. from the chapel of Santa Rosalia on 18th Avenue and 72nd Street to St. Dominic’s Church on Bay Ridge Parkway and 20th Avenue, where Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m.

File photo courtesy of Paul C. Gordon

Participants will be able to follow a marching band during the procession and will enjoy refreshments after the Mass, courtesy of Villabate Alba bakery on 18th Avenue.

Later that evening, several entertainers will perform at the Senate Theatre building at 7311 18th Avenue at 7 p.m. The lineup includes Angelo Venuto, Maria Venuto, Vinnie Medugno, Lisa Messina, MC Carmelo Venuto, DJ Peter Venuto and Little Marcello.

In Italy, the Feast of Santa Rosalia takes place in Palermo every July and is a major tourist attraction for that city. According to local lore, in 1624, the city’s patron saint, Santa Rosalia, saved the city from a plague after her relics were found at nearby Monte Pellegrino.


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