By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 20, 2006 at 8:52 AM
Festa Italiana has become synonymous with searing temperatures in recent years, so we're hoping that the descendants of Albert the Alleycat are correct in their prognostications for this weekend's weather ... about 80 degrees for each of the four days. For some, perhaps, 95-degree, sun-soaked days conjure images of a Sicilian summer, but I'm not that guy. After all, my idea of heaven is a bit of morning fog dipping around green, vine-covered hills with the snow-capped Alps as a backdrop. Give me 78 and sunny the rest of the day. Sorta like the photo above.

Last year's Festa was cursed with especially disastrous weather and it happened to be the year I spent nearly every waking moment of four days at the event, as part of the team organizing the Piemonte Regional Cultural Exhibit.  Although there was rain when the gates opened Thursday morning, it was nothing like the torrential storms that struck mid-day on Saturday sending thousands home. Sunday was hot as blazes, as Festas have been lately, and most potential fest-goers chose the local mall instead of forming part of a human fritto misto at the lakefront.

I'm going back this year to work with the Piemontese folk group Ariondassa again and so I'm thrilled at the prospect of 80 and partly cloudy. And 81 for Sunday's procession means I can march without having to worry about having my skin seared off by the sun.
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.