6 ABC’s Alicia Vitarelli on Living in South Philly and Raising an Eagles Fan When You’re a Native New Yorker

The newscaster tells us the song she always turns up in the car, why she never worked from home during COVID, and her big superstition.

Alicia Vitarelli

6 ABC’s Alicia Vitarelli. Photo-illustration by Jeff Manning

My full name is … Alicia Marie Vitarelli Pantaleno. Lots of vowels.

I grew up in … Staten Island, which is very much like South Philadelphia. So when I moved to 8th and Christian, it felt very familiar. The stoops. The tchotchkes in the windows. And everybody in Staten Island calls me Lisa, even though that’s not my name. Same in South Philly. Must be some kind of weird Italian thing.

I first came here … for undergrad at Villanova. And then, after I went to Northwestern for my master’s and moved around a bit, I got the job at 6 ABC in 2010 and was starstruck.

One challenging thing about being a native New Yorker in Philly is … that I have to tell my husband, who’s also from New York, that he needs to let my daughter, who was born here in Philly, cheer for the Eagles. He can’t impose his teams on her. It would be socially crippling for a seven-year-old.

My toughest class at Villanova was … physics. I still don’t understand the laws of physics. I have absolutely no sense of direction, and I think that has something to do with it.

Working from home during COVID was … something I never had to deal with. There was a group of us who were like soldiers in the Apocalypse, doing the show from the station. Every. Day. We grew really close.

A song I always turn up in the car these days is … “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, of course. The remix with DaBaby. If you’re driving next to me on the Schuylkill when it’s on, you’ll know.

My husband likes to complain that I … keep us busy all the time. I pack our calendar like it’s the presidential itinerary. I’m bad at lounging.

I knew I wanted to be on TV … by the time I was five. I love to talk, and my father always told me: If somebody will pay you to talk for a living, we’ll be thrilled.

I am really good at … the art of the quick change. I can get ready for TV in 10 minutes, and that’s with a full face of makeup. Oh, and Scrabble. I’m obsessed.

One superstition I subscribe to … is the Italian thing about no shoes on the table. It’s bad luck. But I believe in so many superstitions. I wear an Italian evil-eye protector.

I buy most of my dresses from … this amazing Italian designer named Chiara Boni, when I can get them on sale. She makes dresses for Italian women who eat pasta and drink wine. The material is, like, some kind of scuba thing. It, uh, works.

I have traveled to … 26 countries. Russia. Ukraine. Throughout Europe. To all the winemaking regions of Italy. But now, I’m dying to go to Africa­ and Asia.

Social media is … complex. It’s amazing at connecting people, but the dark side has gotten very dark.

My favorite color to wear is … hot pink.

One thing I wish I could change about myself is … my anal-retentiveness. I don’t let my husband or daughter put the stamps on the Christmas cards. They’d all be crooked.

Published as “One of Us: Alicia Vitarelli” in the August 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.