Italy

John Bender / RIPR

Italian-American enclaves around the country celebrated St. Joseph’s day Sunday. This holiday comes with its own culinary tradition – a luscious pastry called a zeppole.

In the kitchen at La Salle Bakery in Providence Rhode Island – a state where zeppole are famous -- a team of bakers furiously prepare. They know lines will be forming to snap up this seasonal treat.

The annual Statehouse celebration of holidays held dear by Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, March 18) at 4 p.m. at the Capitol.

This annual event is a traditional one: The patron saints of Ireland (St. Patrick) and Italy (St. Joseph) are celebrated in song, speech and glasses hoisted in toasts. Frank O’Donnell, a well-known Rhode Island comedian, has been selected to deliver the annual speech about the Irish heritage in Rhode Island. On the Italian side, Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena, will speak about Italian heritage.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Five European companies are looking to set up shop in Rhode Island. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the announcement is part of an economic tide rolling in to Rhode Island.

At an announcement at the Statehouse, the five companies said they have plans to put down stakes here. SCORE, an encryption technology firm, will locate a data processing center. REIOS designs efficient lighting systems and will build an assembly plant. Italian restaurant chain Galivm will open at least one location. And Furniture maker Monaghan Brothers out of Ireland said it will open a show room.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Marcel Valois, executive director of Commerce Rhode Island, will embark on a European trade mission that will be focused on meeting with executives of companies that have expressed an interest in establishing operations in Rhode Island.

Chafee’s press office issued a statement saying that these company executive officials are interested in Rhode Island due to the state’s ``proximity to Europe, as well as the location in the busy northeast corridor and the convenience of TF Green Airport, industrial ports and rail and highway transportation systems.’’