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The Giambelli Foundation has made major contributions to religious, scientific, literary, educational, and other philanthropic causes, as well as improving the quality of life for many. We have a record of accomplishments to celebrate together thanks to the generosity of beloved Francesco and Mary Giambelli, who had the insight and devotion of visionary leaders.
Francesco Giambelli was born in 1915 in Voghera, outside Milan, Italy. Across the ocean in America, in Brooklyn, New York, Mary Anzalone was born one year later. Francesco started working at restaurants at the age of ten and worked in various hotels in his hometown as a waiter until he was 17. He then went to Milan to the famed Savini’s Ristorante, and then onto various restaurants in Rome and Siena. Mary meanwhile pursued her education in the New York City school system. She became a secretary and eventually an associate designer in the women’s millinery field in New York.
In 1937, Francesco went to Leipzig, Germany and while working in the restaurant industry there, he soon learned to speak German. Through other jobs in Monte Carlo, France and England, he learned to speak French and English as well.
In 1949, with all the experience he acquired in various restaurants in different countries, Francesco returned to his hometown of Voghera and opened his own restaurant, “Il Pesce d’Or”, which soon became a success. In 1954 he sold that restaurant and immigrated to America.
Francesco and Mary met one year later, marking the beginning of a remarkable personal and professional partnership. In 1956, Francesco opened Giambelli’s Ristorante on Madison Avenue and 37th Street in New York, where Italian American cuisine was elevated to culinary greatness. In 1960, he and Mary opened Giambelli’s 50th Ristorante on 50th Street near St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Later, Francesco and Mary took over the charming Mercurio Ristorante on West 56th Street in Manhattan.
Over the years, Giambelli’s 50th served many distinguished personalities, including presidents of the United States and other countries. Its clientele included kings, queens and other royalty, theatrical and motion picture celebrities, politicians and business executives.
While all enjoyed the exquisite cuisine and fine wines served by the Giambellis, the secret to their success was the incredibly warm and welcoming atmosphere they extended to each and every guest, which came from a sincere and genuine concern for others.
One of the highlights for the Giambellis was Pope John Paul II’s historic trip to New York City in October 1995. They generously hosted and had the privilege of serving the Holy Father and his guests of 50 Cardinals at the residence of Cardinal O’Connor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Taking to heart the words “not the least of my brethren,” Francesco and Mary demonstrated a lifetime of generosity toward those in need. On regular basis, Francesco and Mary contributed food and funds to the Cardinal’s program for feeding the homeless and made substantial contributions to many charitable organizations. They established the Francesco and Mary Giambelli Foundation with the intention of creating a legacy that would continue their lifetime charitable intentions and promote the ideals of Italian American Culture.
What We Do
We're Here To Help
The Francesco and Mary Giambelli Foundation works with a variety of donors and organizations, to award grants that enable community solutions that foster cultural and religious improvements and quality of life.
Organizations that promote the ideals of and further Italian culture
Organizations that provide scholarship opportunities for students to help pursue their educational goals
Health & Medical
Organizations that support healthcare and medical research
Organizations that provide food to those in need
Before applying for a grant, we encourage grantseekers to closely read our eligibility requirements about our current priorities to determine whether your project is aligned with these areas. If you believe that your nonprofit meets the criteria and is aligned with our strategic goals, then you may consider applying to a grant.
Due to our very specific grant criteria, some grants are by invitation only. Due to a large volume of inquires, we are unable to respond to unsolicited requests for funding.
What Are They Saying?
Feedback from our clients.
With the generous support of the Francesco and Mary Giambelli Foundation, and all our donors, the ILF is expanding its programs for students and teachers of Italian. Internships for students of Italian, AP Italian exam prep webinars, and new teacher workshops enhance the learning and teaching of all Italian nationally.
The Giambelli Foundation carries on the legacy of philanthropic giving that Francesco and Mary Giambelli established during their lifetimes – and we cannot think of a greater way to curb future pandemics…