As the Romans espoused, “Carpe Diem” (Seize the day!). Such passion for life’s opportunities has guided the Italian vision from ancient times through the Renaissance and into our current era. It is with this enthusiasm that a small group of people with interest in all things Italian met with Father Maestrini in Palm Beach. They decided to establish a society to promote an awareness and appreciation of Italian culture, arts, and language for people of all ethnic backgrounds.
In January 1976, Il Circolo, The Italian Cultural Society of the Palm Beaches was born. The founders chose the name Il Circolo, which literally means “the circle.” This expression was originally used during the Italian Renaissance to indicate an organization of scholars who gathered to cultivate the arts and literature.
Il Circolo was incorporated as a nonprofit organization on April 6, 1977, and has sponsored numerous cultural and social events, directed and organized under the guidance of seven successive presidents.
Italian culture is part of the mosaic of our daily lives, influencing our vision of art, beauty, fashion, design, architecture, cuisine, nature, language, poetry, philosophy, thought, opera, and music. Since the beginning, annual scholarships have been given to qualified students to study in Italy. In addition, Il Circolo has been a major supporter of Florida Atlantic University’s Italian Studies Program, one of only two major programs in the Florida State University System.
Il Circolo has contributed to a program related to Italian usage in the Arts at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Donations have also been made to the highly specialized Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts. Furthermore, Il Circolo contributes to the support of Italian language courses at public and private schools, such as Lake Worth High School, Pope John Paul II High School, and St. Andrews School.
Involvement in the arts is epitomized by Il Circolo’s annual granting of the “Maestro Anton Guadagno Award” (formerly called the “Giuseppe Verdi Award”) to one of the winners of the annual Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.
It is possible for individuals and organizations to give even greater support to Il Circolo’s programs in higher education and Italian culture through their individual gifts of cash, securities, bequests and other forms of tax-deductible contributions directly to Il Circolo, Inc.
Each season we celebrate these achievements at our annual gala by recognizing and honoring a distinguished person who has contributed to the enhancement of the community and mankind. The proceeds from the gala make it possible to continue our ongoing commitment to educational programs and scholarships for the study and appreciation of Italian language and culture. These achievements are a great source of pride for Il Circolo and the Italian-American community.