The Italian Welfare League is pleased to partner with Lidia Bastianich, former honoree and long-time Honorary Committee member of its “Annual Autumn in New York Luncheon”, on the publication of her new memoir, “My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family and Food” (Knopf).

The passionate chef, accomplished restaurateur, avid cookbook author and TV host grew up behind the Iron Curtain in post-World War II Istria.  There she enjoyed an idyllic childhood in her grandmother’s backyard, vineyards and orchards.  When she was just ten-years-old her family of four was forced to flee Yugoslavia’s communist regime leaving their home, belongings and other family members behind.  Sneaking across the border to Italy, they spent two years in a refugee camp in Trieste waiting to obtain visas to the United States.   When they finally arrived in New York in 1958, Catholic Charities was instrumental in settling them first in New Jersey and then in Queens, New York.

The memoir of Lidia’s journey is now available on Amazon for a discounted price of $20.99. The IWL is offering one year’s $100 membership free for all new members who purchase Lidia’s book. 

Simply make your purchase through Amazon or any bookstore and email your receipt to: or send  your receipt to: Italian Welfare League, 8 East 69th Street, New York, New York 10021.  A brochure on the history of the Italian Welfare League and its beautiful “Autumn in New York” journal will be included with this new membership offering.

Thank you for your interest in purchasing this inspiring story of achieving the American Dream, and at the same time, joining one of the oldest charities in New York City.