Author and Actor Gianni Russo to Launch Italian American Heritage Month at Little Italy’s Amici Park with Book Signing, Meet-And-Greet, and Live Performance

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Convivio Society, San Diego’s premier non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Italian culture and heritage in San Diego County is hosting best-selling author and “The Godfather” actor, Gianni Russo, on September 30. The Hollywood-style, red carpet extravaganza kicks off Italian American Heritage Month with Russo (who played Carlo Rizzi in the iconic film), headlining the intimate evening sharing details of his extraordinary life before a crowd of more than four hundred fans.

Combining storytelling and crooning, Russo will captivate the audience, recounting his struggle to overcome polio as a young man, escape from capture by renowned drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and inspiration on how to act and sing from his mentors, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, respectively.

The evening will begin at 5:30 pm with 100 guests having the opportunity to spend time with Russo for a personal Meet-And Greet, receive a signed copy of his book, “Hollywood Godfather,” take pictures with him, and enjoy appetizers and Prosecco. The group also will be greeted by the voices of Rosario Monetti and Victoria Robertson, accompanied on keyboard by local favorite, Jim Bianchi. A VIP dinner presented by several high-end restaurants will follow. Russo will take the stage at 8:00 pm and finish the night autographing pictures and purchased copies of his book.

“We are humbled to have Mr. Russo help us to kick off October’s Italian American Heritage Month and join us in our mission to educate San Diegans about the vital role Italians have played in our city’s history going back to the late 1800s,” said Tom Cesarini, executive director of Convivio Society and Italian Honorary Consul in San Diego. “We are grateful for Mr. Russo’s commitment to serve as an ambassador in support of our numerous local causes as well as bring attention to the positive contributions of Italian Americans to the fabric of our society.”

In addition to Russo’s performance, Convivio’s Amici House coffee bar, Caffè Caritàzza, will be open to serve both its regular coffee offerings as well as signature specialty drinks. Wine by Mignanelli Winery, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. In addition, Russo’s book, event t-shirts, and Corleone-brand food products will also be for sale. An online, silent auction will offer guests the option to bid on unique items, and Russo will cap off the evening by leading his own auction offering bidders a chance at an exclusive dinner-for-ten package at Russo’s New York home.

For more information about Convivio’s celebratory evening and to purchase tickets to the Meet-And-Greet and Russo’s performance, visit

Russo will be flying in on the day of the event. Following a sound check, Convivio will be facilitating a media conference at approximately 4:30 pm, the details of which will be released the week of September 26. He is available for pre-event media interviews with radio, television, print, and online news sites from his studio in New York. (See contact information below.)

Convivio Society, a 501(c)(3) corporation was founded in 2001. The organization provides advocates, donors, and volunteers the organizational capacity to advance Italian cultural identity, preserve Italian cultural-heritage assets, cultivate community and fellowship, and foster multicultural awareness through the arts, humanities, and other disciplines.

Media Inquiries (for interviews pre-event and day of performance)
Dan Springer
Media Relations Officer, Convivio Society
Cell: 858-790-9551

SOURCE Convivio Society