So, you are asking yourself, “What is Team Polenta?” Team Polenta is a group of Italian and Italian wannabe cyclists dedicated to the concept that the only way to cycle is the “Italian Way.” Team Polenta was started by two “polentoni” and an American cyclist who is coming back as an Italian in his next life.
A polentoni is a person who comes from Northern Italy, where they tend to eat more polenta than pasta. Adriano Canzi and his son Gabriele are from Sant’ Agata, a suburb of Gorgonzola, which is just north of Milan. The other co-founder, and self proclaimed “capitano,” is Jeffrey Berman, who was forced to reject his heritage and take Bermanelli as his last name in order to become a member of Team Polenta. Although he was born in Los Angeles, Jeff has been to Italy about thirty times and will tell you that he is an expert on anything Italian (with the exception of soccer).
Adriano and Jeff live in Los Angeles, California, a few blocks from one another. Adriano is the Chief Technology Officer of Tactilis Ltd, an electronic design and manufacturing company specializing in miniaturization and biometrics. Jeff is a lawyer and an ordained minister. Gabriele, who has a Ph.D. in nano-technology, whatever that is, and works for Illumina, “a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function,” whatever that means.
Adriano is married to his high school sweetheart from Sant’ Agata, Patrizia Lissoni, who previously was Jeff’s Italian teacher, and now teaches Italian to Jeff’s wife, Susan. In addition to their son Gabriele, Adriano and Patrizia have a daughter, Chiara, who lives in Virginia where she works as a journalist. Not to worry, Adriano and Patrizia are not lonely “empty nesters.” They live with their their cats Tia and Leo.
Althought Jeff and his wife Susan, a retired psychologist, have no children, they have had lots of cats. Unfortunately, they are down to one, Lucia.
We are passionate for all things Italian, especially food and wine , and Italian bikes. We are especially proud of the Italian cycling heritage. Of course, Italian women are recognized as being among the most beautiful in the world. And, once the cycling season is over, all Italians are mindful of the Roman saying “panem et circenses,” (“give them bread and circus shows”), and turn their attention to the greatest show on earth, Italian politics.