Mozzarella making and a century’s worth of history at Loggia Glen Cove

One way that Loggia Glen Cove is preserving Italian-American heritage is through its mozzarella-making night. // Photo by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate

By Antonio Schoenhardt

Picture this: tables adorned with platters of freshly made mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with basil. Around those tables, people have gathered to share stories and laughter. That was recently the scene at Mozzarella Night, hosted by Loggia Glen Cove, on Glen Street in the City of Glen Cove.

Mozzarella Night is one example of the social scene at Loggia Glen Cove. Club patrons can take part in many activities that are intended to foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging among members. The lodge hosts a variety of events most weekdays, catering to patrons of all ages and interests, from card nights to soccer nights, movie nights to dance nights.

The mozzarella was carefully braided in preparation for eating. // Photo by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate

Videography by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate and Hofstra News Now.

Charles Gambino, the husband of the current Loggia President Marisa Gambino, spoke about the importance of the events to the community. “It’s all about bringing people together to talk, speak to people and more importantly, hear about their accomplishments,” he noted.

The tables were full with Ital delicacies sat the recent mozzarella-making night. // Photo by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate

In 1899, Angelo Cocchiolo and his family were among the first group of Italians to arrive in Glen Cove, then a relatively small community surrounded by large estates in the heart of Long Island’s “Gold Coast.” On April 10, 1920, Cochhiolo and other Italian-Americans such as Giuseppe Nigro and Vincent Gambino founded the Island’s first Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Lodge. Now it is known simply as Loggia Glen Cove.

These men and their families were part of the influx of Italian immigrants that formed America’s Italian diaspora. Between 1880 and 1924, more than 13 million Italians immigrated to other countries. A great number of them found their way to the East Coast of the United States.

Flourish chart by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate

Peter Munda, a chiropractor and Loggia Glen Cove member for 35 years, said, “This place is very important because it gives us all a chance to be part of a community,” adding, “You get to know the community, contribute to the community and give back to the community.”

Munda said the lodge “gets people to get along with each other. This lodge really does bring everyone together.”

Flourish chart by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate // For an interactive version of this graphic, click here.

Over its 80-year history, Loggia Glen Cove has evolved to meet the changing needs and desires of its members while upholding its core principles, members say. Initially, the lodge focused on assisting members in obtaining American citizenship, reflecting the aspirations of Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. Following World War II, the lodge played a pivotal role in aiding Italy’s post-war recovery efforts.

In 1948, amid growing concerns over the Communist Party’s gains in Italy, Loggia Glen Cove spearheaded a local initiative to support the Christian Democratic Party, founded in Italy in 1943. Other community groups rallied behind the lodge’s efforts to aid the Christian Democrats during the Italian elections.

“We are 104 years old and we are still constantly trying to get everyone together at social events to keep the atmosphere of the lodge alive,” said Marisa Gambino, the Loggia Glen Cove president. “We want to get the younger generation involved, and they don’t even have to be Italian.”

Charles Gambino spoke of the need to preserve Italian heritage. “I’m tired of all the stereotypes,” he remarked. “We’re educated, we’re accomplished, and we helped build this country.”

Today, Loggia Glen Cove stands as a symbol of Italian-American pride and heritage. Throughout its history, the lodge has been dedicated to fighting Italian defamation and preserving Italian culture and tradition across different generations of Italian-Americans.

“We want to see the Italian community thrive and we want to see the Italian heritage thrive,” Charles Gambino said. “This place was special to a lot of people in the past, and now it is special to a lot of us.

Marisa Gambino said, “We must keep our heritage alive. We came to this country, and it wasn’t easy. I came from Italy. I wasn’t born here, and while I have a very strong bond to Italy, I must accept that this is my new home.”

For more, visit the Loggia Glen Cove website here.

Lodge members at the mozzarella-making evening. // Photo by Antonio Schoenhardt/Long Island Advocate

country and it was not easy.” She went on to describe to give her personal perspective. “I came
from Italy, I wasn’t born here and while I have a very strong bond to Italy, I must accept that this
is my new home.”
If you have any questions or would like to become a patron or member of Loggia Glen Cove,
just visit their website.