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A Journal for Tyrolean Americans Volume XV


An Introduction . . .

The Filò is to be published and distributed on a quarterly basis and is targeted to the children of our immigrant parents. The Filò (pronounced fee-lò) was the daily gathering in the stables of the Trentino where the villagers met and socialized. The intent is to provide a summary of our culture, history, and customs in plain English to inform and provide you with the background of your roots and ancestry.. If you wish to contact us, call Lou Brunelli at 914-402-5248. Attention: Your help is needed to expand our outreach to fellow Tyrolean Americans. Help us identify them, be they your children, relatives or acquaintances. Go to and register on line to receive the magazine free of charge. You may also send your data to Filò Magazine, PO Box 90, Crompond, NY 10517 or fax them to 914-734-9644 or submit them by email to View of the Lake of Garda with the Tenno Castle in the foreground-Mauro Grazioli



Introduction to Alto Garda

ntroducing the Alto Garda is a challenge…While all the valleys of the Province have their differences, Alto Garda is “more” distinct than all the other valleys with its own specialties. While it has no Dolomites per se, it has its own signature and characteristic mountains and dialect. Alto Garda is a veritable in land sea; the Lake of Garda opens the lower valley

Arco has its own special history (detailed in this issue, pg. 6). Located on Riva’s outskirts, it boasts the same weather and vegetation, but avoids the direct winds from the Lake and its humidity. After silk production and vine-

Riva del Garda-the Northern shore of the Lake

yards failed, the Empress Sissi was invited to Arco for a vacation which commenced the long history of Arco as a health spa and meet-up of Europe’s 18th century “jetset” to enjoy a restful and relaxing locale. It became a mountainous alternative to he French Riviera for the Empire the Riviera replete with palaces, dance halls, restaurants and health facilities.

Castle of Tenno overlooking the Lake of Garda

with a semi-Mediterranean climate and vegetation and an international location as a spa and gathering of European nobility while serving as the historical crossroads of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Alto Garda is bordered to the west and north by the Val delle Giudicarie, the Val dei Laghi and Valagarina to the east and by the Provinces of Brescia and Verona to the south. The geography of the Trentino section of the Lake resembles Norway’s fjords as the mountains descend sharply to the lakeshore, especially near Arco and Dro, where rock formations and remnants of the glacial period define the lake’s shape. Alto Garda is a combination of seven municipalities: Arco, Drena, Dro, Ledro, Nago-Torbole, Riva del Garda, Tenno. In 2010, the Val di Ledro was joined with the Alto Garda.

Riva’s Harbor and Torre Apponale


Riva was the pivotal city of the Lake, the cross roads of north and south, heavily fortified with military installations and battlements as far back as Roman times. The Romans called Garda, “Lake Benacus” and fought and stopped the invasions of the Germanic Barbarians from the North. For 800 years, it belonged to the Principate of Trento, the feudal regime of Trento’s Prince Bishop assisted by the secular Lords of the Tyrol. For periods, it belonged to the noble Scravegni family of Verona and for a short period by Napoleon. In 1814, it became part of the newly reconstituted Austro-Hungarian Empire. Besides the presence of some important industries, including paper mills, its economy, once traditionally based on fishing and agriculture, is based mainly on tourism. Strong winds have favored the creation of a internationally recognized sailing and windsurfing recreations (in fact, there are many high-level regattas held on the lake), and mountain scenery has allowed in recent years the development of mountain biking and rock climbing courses. The main flow of tourists comes from Germany, for which the area is famous as the first warm climate you meet heading south towards Italy.



Tenno has a distinct Alpine lake climate with aquamarine waters delightful to look at and refreshing to swim in. It contains the remarkable historic hamlet of Canale that maintains the look and feel of its medieval past (detailed in this issue, pg. 11). Canale’s houses, doors, stone walk-

with costumed persons performing theatrical productions and concerts replete with the serving of historic foods. Further up the mountain, following hairpin turns, there is the village of Varone that has an intriguing waterfall now part of a mini park. Museo Alto Garda

Lago di Tenno

Arco-The Castle Mount

ways and porticos have been carefully preserved and maintained. Besides the beauty of the village itself, it hosts the Casa degli Artisti - the House of the Artists that display works of art, seminars, and art instruction. The Medevo Rustico is celebration of the Medieval times

(MAG) overlooks Lake Garda. It includes the Museum of Riva del Garda, and the G. Segantini City Gallery. These two museums offer exhibits and displays of the area’s history, archaeology, landscape, art and the contemporary world.

Village of Canale

Festival of the Medeovale Rustico



Arco: The Riviera of the Empire

he prosperity of Arco, as a place for holidays of the international jet set, starts with a crisis of the 1850s, when a disease damaged both vineyards and silkworm cultivation. Prospero Marchetti, the podestà (the imperial equivalent of a mayor) at that time, received a request that asked him to arrange a luxury dwelling for the empress Sissi, because she wanted to spend her holiday at Arco. A house could not be found in Arco and the city lost the opportunity to host the august guest. However, Marchetti, with some local businessmen and forward-looking landowners, envisioned a different future for Arco. The town was always well-known for its mild climate, temperate winters and the salubrious air. Its proximity to the lake allowed it to take advantage of warm temperatures, but far enough to avoid intense wind and humidity.

Arco’s Imperial heyday lasted until 1914 with the start of First World War. Many famous artists, like Rainer Maria Rilke or Ferruccio Busoni and nobles, like the king of Neaples and Sicily, Francesco II di Borbone (he died in Arco in 1895 and has been buried inside the Collegiata until 1917), made Arco their winter retreat.

The whole world of noblemen, rich and powerful guests marks Arco and its Promenades, the beautiful gardens with evergreen, exotic plants from all over the world, the Kurcasino and the luxury hotels, that can be found throughout the town.

Arco was praised in tourist guide books and by physicians, writers and artists because of the beauty of its villages and climate. In addition, its thermal spa, its stores with magazines and newspapers from all Europe, and, at beginning of 19th century, the wonderful Salone delle Feste, which hosted high society's dance parties. While the “Belle Époque,” to us today reflects a gilded age before a sadder time with the First World War devastating all of Europem, it is still the golden age of this city, the Imperial Riviera.

In 1918, at the end of the war, the world and the geopolitical equilibrium was completely different: as the Austrian-Hungarian empire disolved, Arco lost its noble guests. However, it was a whole world, an epoch that disappeared and left behind (in its archives, writings and paintings) many stories of its splendor and richness in the time of Kurort, the golden age of Arco.

Aerial view of Arco

The Kurort (a spa) began building the new public gardens; the gardens were already planted, but they were hidden behind the city’s medieval walls. The medieval city walls, south of Collegiata Church, were torn down to give public access to the gardens. They added a wooden veranda to enjoy the winter sun. This allowed a tourist season that started in October and ended in late spring. These investments paid off when the Archduke Albert von Habsburg’s, cousin of the Emperor Franz Joseph, decision to winter in Arco. His connections and political positino drew many to Garda’s shores when he built his own house and garden there, including many the Empire’s powerful and rich subjects, who wanted to keep near the imperial court. Arco’s fame as an international tourist spot took off. From 1872, when the park was built, many new houses with gardens appeared – such as the noble and spectacular chalet of the Archduke.

Written by Giancarla Tognoni,the Assessore for Tenno, and oversees the cultural activities of Arco.


The Promenade of Europe’s nobility


Sanctuary: Santa Maria delle Grazie here are no apparitions of the Mother of God or popular legends regarding the origins of the sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie. There is instead a statue of uncertain origin and the Franciscans who were invited explicitly by the Count Francesco of Arco in 1478. This was related by Father Bonifacio Bolognani, the Franciscan apostle to our emigrants in the USA. Nearby the friary of the Friars Minor in Varignano of Arco, there developed a veneration of a Madonna enthroned on the main altar of the church which was consecrated on October 18, 1492, the very date of America’s discovery. Nonetheless, from earliest times, there was a devotion on the part of peoples of the Tyrol as well as the people from the Veneto and Brescia areas along the Lake of Garda. It was constructed with only one nave with a wooden nave behind the altar where the choir of Friars were situated. In later years, more chapels were added. In the first years, the Sanctuary of S. Maria delle Grazie was not only the destination for many pilgrimages but also the center of ancient political-administrative controversies. Of political significance, there are documents revealing discord followed by a peace accord between Maximilian of Austria in 1508 and the Republic of Venice.After a century of the establishment of the structure, the growing importance of the place, the increased amount of processions and celebration were prompted first expansion of the structure. After the French Revolution in 1789 and the conquest of Napoleon of Northern Italy with its transformation as the Kingdom of Italy, the Religious Orders were suppressed so that Friars were forced to abandon the Friary and the Sanctuary in 1810. The statue of the Madonna was transferred to the church of Varignano of Arco. After the Congress of Vienna and the passage of the Tyrol (Trentino) from French and Bavarian domination to the Austrian Hungarian Empire, the Franciscan Friars re-opened the Friary and the Sanctuary. Then, the church and the Friary were several times flooded by the waters of the Bordellino River. It was then decided to reconstruct the Church and the Friary in 1857 in an area less prone to flooding. When Italy declared war against Austria in 1915 and a year after the declaration by the other Allies, the statue of the Madonna delle Grazie was removed from the altar and transferred to Hall just outside of Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol where the populations of the Val di Ledro and Lower Sarca area had been evacuated fleeing the bombardment by Italy and Garibaldi.At the end of the

Altar and shrine of Santa Maria delle Grazie

World War I, the statue returned to its original site and was received by great crowds of rejoicing people and placed in the artistic altar of the sanctuary. During World War II, the basements of the church were transformed into a refuge for older people, women and children. The last official act for the Madonna delle Grazie occurred in September 27, 1964 when the statue was crowned with a golden diadem.In the last decades, the cult of the Sanctuary declined in importance. The votive picture frames, ex voto devotional frames depicting alleged miracles, that covered the walls as well as the wooden images, the silver and painted hearts all were removed. They were the testimonies of cures and graces received.. Antonio Miori of Varignano, who emigrated to America, returned home in 1910 stricken with tuberculosis. He promised the Madonna candles worth 200 crowns. Whether it was the vow or the salubrious air of his house, after a year at Varignano he returned to the USA completely cured. Alberto Folgheraiter, Author and Journalist


Exterior of the Church- Shrine of Santa Maria delle Grazie


A Tyrolean Love Story...

lightning bolt, the finance their execcution. But the intense love of the distraught father not only had his young baroness Louise royal lineage, but also had many Lindegg and a railway privileged friends, and he found worker – this is what led to the investors, including the Bank of building of the shuttle train MoriBolzano. Construction started in Arco-Riva which was inaugurated 1890 with 200 workers, recruited on January 28, 1891. She was the mostly from Mori and the region of daughter of the Baron of Lizzana; Castione di Brentonico. The bridge he, Otto Karl Stober, was a young at Ravazzone went up, but not withMAR - Mori-Arco-Riva Railroad railwayman – handsome, but poor out some bureaucratic snafus, which and with no noble lineage. They met when she was wait- precipitated a strike, the first ever in in the history of the ing for a train in the Vandoles station in the South Tirol Trentino. At any rate, in a few months, the line was built and they fell madly in love. Her father, the Baron de and the first train departed from Mori at 10 AM on Lindegg, desperately tried to bring his daughter to her January 28, 1891. An hour later, it puffed its way into senses, but his rebel daughter could not be swayed. The Arco which was decorated for the occasion. It was greetdisconsolate father had no recourse but to obtain a posi- ed by the authorities and serenaded by the local band tion and a title for this embarrassing son-in-law. But in before all the dignitaries sat down to a banquet – 140 order to appoint him a railway director, one needed a people attended. fully functional railroad! And so, Otto Karl Stober Rovereto continued to press for an extension to the line, became the first director of MAR, the Mori-Arco-Riva but only in the aftermath of the First World War did it railroad! get its wish, when the Mori-Arco-Riva line joined the In truth, the idea for that shuttle line had been broached before. In 1870, a committee had been formed in Riva del Garda to study the feasibility of a Riva-Mori link. The project was well received at Trento and the engineers Tavernini and Negri had prepared plans for a full service line 22 kilometers in length. This plan was based on the hypothesis that the line would eventually be installed in the Italian railroad network. But Vienna let it be known that it preferred a limited service shuttle. The years passed and in 1880, Vienna passed its legislation governing local railroads – the Lokalbahngesetz – and with that the plans for the Riva -Mori spur were archived. But a year later, the plans came to the fore again and the engineer Mutinelli drew up plans for a reduced service link out of Rovereto. It would be a single-track line with a single locomotive traveling at 20 kilometers an hour. The entire course would be traversed in roughly one hour and a half. But even this modest plan drew more opponents than supporters.

More years went by. Finally, in 1887, the engineer Rudolf Stummer, after obtaining some concessions, presented Still another plan to Vienna and obtained its consent! But the drew the ire of the residents of Riva, because the 'head of the line designation went to Arco! But, while it is fine to present plans, it is another thing altogether to

Italian State Railway system. On May 19, 1925, the MAR became the RAR (Rovereto-Arco_Riva) amid the protests of the people of Mori, which considered itself defrauded, losing the head-of-line designation. That branch of the railroad was destined to become a money loser in a very short time and it was closed down in 1936. The single locomotive, called 'Riva' continued in service on various lines in central Europe. It puffed its last on a track in Romania in the late 1980's. It was then shipped to Ohio in the USA to be used in an amusement park. Written by Alberto Folgheraiter, author and journalist, Trento, Italy


The Mori-Arco-Riva Railroad running its route

Riva..the Jewel of Lake Garda


iva lies on the northern shore of Lake Garda and in the region of Alto Garda (Upper Garda). Often referred to as the “jewel” of Lake Garda, it serves as the gateway to an inland sea a Mediteranean climate. The mild climate favors a typical semi-Medditerranean vegetation with lemon and olive trees, laurels and palms. Despite the presence of this “coastal” setting, it is surrounded on three sides by high mountains, and a short journey to the Dolomite Alps. Riva is a pleasant place where one can stroll along winding streets and relax in waterfront squares with pastel painted houses and structures as commonly found on the Riviera. The town's main lakeshore is made up of a harbour, a park and a beach.

Riva situated on the Lake of Garda

especially during the summer months. Torre Apponale is the medieval belfry dating back to 1200 overlooking a lovely piazza. It belonged to the first fortress of Riva, The city gates Porta San Marco (11th century), built by the Venetians, and Porta San Michele (13th century), at the Piazza Cavour, are remnants of the medieval city walls. The Porta San Michele has a small fortified belfry for the parochial church of Maria Assunta. This church was originally a romanesque-gothic building from the 14th century. It was rebuilt in baroque style in 1728. It has a single nave and nine altars. The church Chiesa dell'Inviolata, dominates the Largo Marconi, is considered among the most beautiful churches in the Trentino. It is an octagonal building with a belltower.

The original settlement dates to Roman times, although there are archaelogical remains in the area which point to an earlier Etruscan settlement. The Romans knew Lake Garda as “Banacus.” Like many towns on trade routes, the area experienced the waves of invasion from the north following the fall of the Roman Empire. Even during a period of relative stability in the Middle Ages, it still had to worry about the warring Italian city-states and duchies with Trento and Verona nearby and claims from even further away of Venice and Milan. Riva came under control of the Tyrolean counts of Merano and later Innsbruck as part of the Imperial domains of the Holy Roman Empire, and eventually under the Hapsburgs until 1919. It is not surprising that much of its history is reflected in wars and fortifications.

Riva del Garda also developed as a tourist centre from the mid-19th century onwards with the advent of "Kur" German for destinations of wellness and baths centers, tourism. The town became popular with the nobility, the wealthy, and the cultural elite - such as Thomas Mann, Frederick Nietzsche and even D.H. Lawrence - giving the town a refined air. These days, Riva is one of the most popular resorts on Lake Garda and especially popular with German speaking tourists, sometimes referred to as the ‘fourth Barbarian invasion’.

Some of points of interest include the Museo Civico located in the Rocca, a medieval fortress with quadrangular bastions, bounded by a canal with drawbridge at the lake’s edge. It was home to the noble family Scaligeri (1124), who became the Lords of Verona. It was rebuilt several times and used by the Austrians as barracks in the 18th century. It is frequently the seat of cultural activities,

Chiesa dell’Inviolata

Torre Apponale


The Rocca Medieval Fortress - Museo Civico


Music: Quel Mazzolin d Fiori

l Mazzolin dei Fiori . . . the flower bouquet song . . . is probably the most popular and well-known Alpine song among our emigrants who came to the USA. Composed in Lombardy, it pre-dates the wonderful harmonic compositions of Antonio Pedrotti and the SAT choir who made the songs of the contadini a true art form. Our people’s reportoire of songs were sung in the osteria, the local bar much more innocent than the American saloon where you could drink wine along with cake and gelato. While professional choirs sprung up throughout the Tyrol, the contadini continued singing their common songs in the piazza and in their filo’s in their stables … as well in NYC’s Greenwich Village where my Zia Meri would come by on her way to market. A spontaneous chorale would ensue. My Mama Dele would prepare coffee con la sgnapa (grappa), followed the exchange of news and correspondence from the villages and then… the inevitable song. You can take our people out of Tyrol but you cannot take the Tyrol out of our people.

Quel Mazzolin di Fiori

Quel Mazzolin di fiori che vien dalla montagna Repeat phrase e varda ben che no `l se bagna che lo voglio regalar Repeat phrase

That bouquet of flowers That comes from the mountain Repeat phrase Take care not to get it wet So that I can give it as a gift Repeat phrase

Stasera quando `l vien sara na brutta sera Repeat phrase e perche` e sabato di sera lui non l`e` vgnu` da me Repeat phrase

This evening when he visits It will be a terrible evening Repeat phrase Since it is Saturday night And he did not visit me Repeat phrase

Lo voglio regalar perche l`e` un bel mazzetto Repeat phrase lo voglio dare al mio moretto questa sera quando `l vien Repeat phrase

Non l` e` vegnu` da me l`e` anda` dalla Rosina Repeat phrase e` perche mi son poverina mi fa pianger, sospirar Repeat phrase

I want to give it away Because it is a beautiful bouquet Repeat phrase I want to give it to my beau This evening when he visits Repeat phrase

He did not visit me He went to visit Rosina Repeat phrase Am because I am miserable He makes cry and sigh Repeat phrase

The choir “Lago di Tenno” begun in 1979 was formed by a group of friends inpired by their beloved mountains. The choir’s name is derived from the stunning Lake of Tenno of the area with its blue acquamarine waters set in a ring of mountains. The choir consists of twenty five members drawn from the area of the Alto Garda under the direction of Arianna Berti, who leads them in their four voice harmonization of their extensive repertoire. Their repertoire spans traditional Trentino and Italian choral songs as well as religious & sacred music. The choir has offered concerts throughout Italy and Europe. Visit their website 10

Maria, my daughter, with her mazzolin di fiori

Coro Lago di Tenno


Canale...The Past Crystallized anale is a hamlet in the township of Tenno. It has remained almost timelessly frozen in its past, with its narrow streets and doorways that wind between ancient stone walls. These picturesque reminders suggest generations upon generations who lived simple lives, cultivating the land, little as it was, caring for the domestic animals that warmed the stables where they gathered for filò. One can date the houses by studying the walls, their forms, their building materials and styles of arrangements of the stones. The village’s structure and houses point to the early Middle Ages if not earlier. Village of Canale

Canale is also part of the four village “quadra” Ville del Monte along with Calvola, Pastoedo and San Antonio. These four hamlets formed a "governing body involving the heads of the families who administered the assets of the hamlets. These assets left over during times of pestilence were distributed through the system of the “Vicinia,” a system of mutual social help. Canale was especially honored by its designation as “un dei piu bei borghi d`Italia,” the most beautiful hamlets of Italy.

Canale is more than a static museum or monument to the past. It is a dynamic hamlet that offers art expositions, music concerts and classes on sculpture, drawing, and painting. Its Casa dei Artisti (The House of the Artists) gathers artists from art institutes from throughout Europe and England. Its “Rustico Medievo” festival focuses on the Middle Ages and offers a celebration of Medieval music, food, dances and people in costume. Throughout the villages, one finds murals, banners and signs offering a panorama of its past. . .and what a past! Written by Giancarla Tognoni, the Assessore for Cultura, Tenno, and oversees the cultural activities of Arco.


The Festival of Rustico Medievo


The Coal Miner...American Hero!

lcide Benini is our Tyrolean of a Combat Control Team, he took the brother…emigrating from lead in establishing the team's new tacCologna in the Alto Garda tics, procedures, organization, and logisat 9 years old, speaking our tics requirements - veritably one of the dialect when he joined his father at 17 in founding fathers - of the Air Force's the Pennsylvania coal mines intending to Combat Control mission. For the next live an ordinary life in an ordinary com15 years, Bull led his teams in the most munity, but his future was destined to be secret missions anywhere in the globe to extraordinary and his contribution to his numerous hot spots such as the Congo, adopted country would be exceptional. Lebanon, Pakistan and Kashmir. He distinguished himself in combat durStationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, he ing World War II, the Korean War and led missions with his explorers into Master Sgt Alcide “Bull” Benini the Vietnam War as a soldier and leader. Lebanon, going into the Congo during Alcide enlisted on May 6, 1940 just before the entrance the crisis of Elizabethville, in the Pakistan region of of the United States into the war, expressing his prefer- Kashmir where he supported the construction of an airence not to be a combatant in Europe where his relatives port. He served during the Vietnam War and in the resided. He went to the Philippines with the 31st Himalayas participated in numerous flights and missions. Infantry Regiment as a rifleman and radio operator. Back home in 1965, he was at Langley, the CIA’s headAfter the horrendous battle of Bataan, he was captured quarters, and in 1970, after thirty years service, he was by the Japanese and entered history as one of the 80,000 honorably discharged. American and Filipino prisoners that were forced to Alcide was a hero, buried with full military honors in march 75 miles. Thousand died from exhaustion and tor- Arlington Cemetery. Due to his illustrious service, the ture in this historical “Bataan Death March” to Camp United States honored him by naming the flight deck of O`Donnell. Alcide, called the “Bull,” survived. He was the new aircraft carrier Bataan: The “Bull Benini Field.” tried, convicted and was placed on the notorious “hell In his honor, the Air Force named the Heritage Center ships” where the prisoners were crammed in suffering and Museum located at the Combat Control School at asphyxiation and death. The convoy was bombarded by Pope Field, North Carolina after him. American planes unaware of the cargo. Surviving and arriving in Hong Kong, he again survived months in the Alcide Silvio Benini..your nation salutes you…your famPOW camp working in a sugar factory and zinc mine for ily honors you…and your Tyrolean brothers and sisters 3 ½ years. Following the war and repatriation, he went to are proud of you! Army Jump School in Japan and was assigned to the Pathfinder Platoon of the 82nd Airborne Division. In July 1952, he was selected to be part of the initial cadre for the Army Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, based on his wartime experience and his fluency in Italian and Spanish. He became a special forces instructor, in particular teaching methods survival and communication. It was during this period that the Air Force established its own Pathfinder program, and Bull was recruited to help develop it. On 8 January 1953, he resigned from the Army and enlisted in the Air Force on the same day. The Air Force quickly changed the name of the Pathfinder program to Combat Control, and Bull became the first official Combat Controller. As the first non-commissioned officer-in-charge Dedications of the Aldcide Benini Center & Flight Deck of the US Bataan Aircraft 12


Family Stories: Alcide Benini

y childhood memories of – all the laundry was hung up in the Alcide Benini are vague – backyard to dry. Meals were delicious he and his family visited in and mainly comprised of the wild Pennsylvania occasionally game that he hunted in the fall. but mostly they were “away.” I remember Housekeeping was not a priority to they lived in exotic places like Kansas and him so I would step in and go to work England, none of which meant much to cleaning up. That was always followed me. When they did visit, we were told to by 3 days of complaining because I treat our cousins with kindness and not had moved his things. But mostly we get in the way of the adults! Everyone spent time talking, drinking a little (or seemed to be a little in awe of this man a lot!) of wine, and comparing notes Master Sgt Alcide “Bull” Benini and we kids cut a wide swath around him. about the life of a soldier during his No one dared stir him up – we saw him discipline his career vs. what my experiences were in the “modern own children and none of us wanted that kind of atten- army”. never talked about his experiences as a POW to tion. The biggest mystery was trying to figure out why me. I believe he didn’t want any woman to know the everyone called him a different name. His wife called horror and shame he had experienced. Yet, my uncle was him “Ben” and Nonna called him Alcide, his friends indeed a super hero surviving the Bataan Death March, called him “Bull” and his siblings called him Cidio. He the Hell Ships and the Japanese POW camps distinguishwas and always will be my Uncle Cidio! What I do know ing himself as a soldier and a patriot. He did talk about for sure is that my Nonna loved her first born son – I missions in other parts of the world – the Middle East remember thinking “Why is Nonna carrying coffee and Europe. He certainly let a person know, in no uncerupstairs to that man? She is old and he seems to me per- tain terms, that he had risen from the coal mines of fectly capable of coming down stairs to get his own cof- Pennsylvania, the eldest son of immigrant parents, to a fee.” I know she loved him as any mother loves her son. successful and well educated man. He was never at a loss When she became deathly ill with cancer, she came to of words to talk about those accomplishments! live at our house. She was so weak and so sick but she His focus remained steady on his children and their welrefused to die until he came home from England so she fare throughout their lives. He gave them everything that could see him one last time. He arrived in Pennsylvania he possibly could. Yes, he was a demanding parent when and Nonna died within 24 hours. they misbehaved but all of that paid off as they grew I came to know my Uncle very well as an adult. I was stationed at Fort Eustis at 3 different times in my career and each time I would live in his home for several weeks while I found housing for my family. The first time was in 1982 – Uncle Cidio was brewing beer in his living room and dating! The women loved him, men wanted to be him (as the saying goes). He opened his home to me every time without hesitation. He never Master Sgt Alcide Benini, Founder of the owned a clothes dryer Combat Control Unit

into adults that he was so proud of. He also remained steady in his commitment to his wife continuing to provide support both financial and emotional to her as long as he could. Uncle Cidio was a lot of different things – loud, abrasive, stubborn, determined, kind, experienced, humble, and giving. I am proud to say that I am his niece. Written by Georgiann Miller, Katy, Texas



Outreach to us . . . an Editorial

here has been from time to time an outreach by the Province to its “historical” immigrants. 97% of our emigrants from the Tyrol came to North America prior to the annexation of the Province to Italy without a plebiscite due to the maneuvering of the Allied Powers…It is historical and accurate to say that we were and remained who we had been while our relatives were being Italianized and subjected to an intense campaign to obliterate the memory of 1000 years of Germanic sovereignty first through the feudal control of the Principato of Trento and Bressanone with the Lords of the Tyrol as “advocates” of the Prince Bishops. It was suceeded by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. While we were embracing our new country, our relatives were being persuaded if not forced to accept another. This dichotomy of historical experiences continues to exist and linger to the widespread uncertainty in this day and age as who we are with the diminished recollection of who we were. In this context, let’s review the “outreach” to us as regards our origins. There was no deliberate outreach on the part of the newly constituted Province since the effects of World War I, the new government had few financial resources and possibly even less awareness of our development here in North America. More importantly, there arose Fascism and Mussolini and thereby distancing themselves from our nation and government and becoming part of the Axis Powers aligned against the USA.

In 1947, John Amistadi of Brooklyn, NY became a pioneer who accomplished an inspired and amazing thing…he reached out…seemingly all alone.. to our immigrant community to awaken them and launching the Risveglio which means awakening. It was in Italian with some space written in English. He published it monthly, 48 issues, 4 years worth between 1947 and 1951. The total registration is not known. There was a modest registration fee of several dollars. John, with the assistance of his son, did all the writing and formatting and attended to its distribution.” There are letters of appeal for support for the struggling journal that seem to articulate his mission statements that included uniting us, supporting the Tyrolean clubs, and engaging our young people regarding their heritage. When he announced the termination of the journal, it would seem that the Province was MIA for whatsoever reason which might include their usual Italianate complexity and intrigue. Our community owes John an enormous debt of gratitude. He did a singular thing demonstrating truly his love and appreciation for who we were.

As the Risveglio was winding down in 1950, a Franciscan friar who traveled and assisted us throughout the country for 22 years, Bonifacio Bolognani of Cavedine, wrote the definitive narrative of who we were and were becoming in this country: The Courageous People from the Dolomites. He summarized the aforementioned history in detail, revealed to us the heroic and productive, prototypical emigrant, our very own brother and polentone, the Jesuit Eusebio Chini, the Father of Arizona. He detailed the features of our various communities, took up the issue of our historic Tyrolean history and identity, and recognized us and affirmed us as a traditional but emerging community and insisted that we were not the mirror image of what they had become in the Province. His signature book can be found on the Filò’s website… While supported by the Province, its widespread distribution was the work, the zeal and energy of Gene Pellegrini of Chicago, who served as the President of ITTONA for 24 years and was the companion and close friend of Fr. Bonny.

The Office or Department of Emigration made many contributions in the form of calendars, almanacs, booklets. For a time, they distributed a magazine of images of the Province with sidebars in several languages. In my opinion, its greatest contribution was the Collana di Monografie: La Patria D’Origine in both English and Italian. It included individual booklets each dedicated to such topics as the Province’s history, cuisine, poetry, music and valleys. They were excellent but their distribution had to have been limited since their data base was and continues to be quite limited and anachronistic. The Trentini nel Mondo organization publishes a newsletter and has very few recipients in the USA. There is an intransigence as they publish solely in Italian which very few of our community understand. Moreover, the content is hardly relevant due to a fixed style of presenting an album of images of “Trentini” gathering, marching, eating polenta and drinking coffee with their ubiquitous banners accompanying each and every image.. Despite the Province’s support of their activities, there is nonetheless a registration fee.

Briefly stated, the Filò is now 5 years old and 14 issues young and has grown to over 6000 families, written in English and sent out with no registration costs to its subscribers in every state of the USA and Canada. 14


Family Stories: My Brother Geno

ino was a very gifted, talented of his heritage and enjoyed many trips to and shy boy growing up in Italy visiting zias, zio and many cugini. the small coal mining town of Special among these trips was the one he Acosta in western made with our mother to visit her homePennsylvania. His curiosity and intellect land. It was an unforgettable experience for often led him to explore many subjects and me as well traveling to meet our relatives. he would read anything he could find. However our parents were very proud of Often he would hide from his siblings and being American and insisted that the chilfind a good book to read in order to avoid dren speak English. He learned Italian after doing his share of the chores. In other many years of studying and enjoyed talking Msgr Geno Baroni respects he was a genial boy like so many with friends and relatives in Italian. boys his age. Although as a child he was a picky eater, he While he rose from being a priest and teacher in western grew up to love the Italian foods we ate at home, polenta, Pennsylvania to being a parish priest in Washington, DC, risotto and many vegetables and fruits that we grew. We he became active in the civil rights movement and advohad great supply of grapes, which were used for making cate for the disadvantage and an influence on presidents wine and jellies. We all helped to stomp the grapes with of both political parties. He always remained an immiour special boots until we got a wine press. Gino would grants son, he never forgot his roots. One of his favorite laugh about having purple feet. In later years when he things to do was reading many newspapers each day. He visited our relatives in Arco our Zia would always cook would go to the newsstand late at night to get the mornhis favorite food, risotto con carciofi e fungi. ing paper and call up friends at 2:00 in the morning to Gino seemed to find that the church had much to offer. share what he had read. He was an avid sports fan who As an Altar Boy his love for the church increased. Often could watch three or four games at one time, read a his Parish Priest would talk with him and encourage him newspaper and sometimes talk on the phone, all at the to attend college and Seminary. Like so many other boys same time. In addition he loved opera and going to the in the coal mining towns his other choice would have theater and his Irish setter that he named Arco. He been to find a job in the mines with his father. Instead looked forward family visits and hearing how the nieces Gino chose to enter the priesthood. As a high school stu- and nephews were doing. dent, Gino was an average student with a part time job During his last years of his illness we spent many days selling fruits and vegetables. At the time did not show the traveling together to cities in the United States to find the traits that made him in later life an outstanding example best institution for treatment of his cancer. Throughout of the priesthood. He was manager of the wrestling these many months, including a trip to Lourdes, Geno team and through that experience he became continued to pray that with God’s help he could lifelong friends of the wrestling coach. overcome his disease. In spite of his illness he Following high school Geno chose to attend continued to meet with cancer patients, physiMount St. Mary’s College and entered the cians and friends in the pursuit of the relief seminary at Emmitsburg, MD. His family was from the ravages of cancer. very proud that their son was studying for the priesthood. They, along with the many peoDuring his career he was great at networking ple in the small town of Acosta were excited and had a wide range of friends in the church, to attend his first mass in Somerset, PA. business, and government. He touched many Growing up, Gino and his brothers and sislives and worked tirelessly, even to the end of his ters did not have relatives in the United life, to achieve social justice throughout the States. Special occasions and celebrations world. were celebrated with godparents (paesani) and friends of the family from the same Written by Rose Baroni Hebda, Msgr.Baroni’s region of Italy. Gino never forgot his roots sister, Waynesboro, PA. in the mountains of Italy. He was very proud Guido & Giuseppina BaroniSons: Angelo & Geno



Refugees of the Great War

he First World War impacted the zone of the lower Sarca River valley. In the decades before 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had built several fortifications designed to impede the advance of Italian armies – even though the two nations were then allies. War broke out in the summer of 1914, and immediately many men left for the front, primarily in Galicia, among them my grandfather! Italy entered the war in May 1915 and our people were 'invited', that is obliged, to leave their homes, animals and towns to go toward the unknown. It was time to tend to the silkworms, but everything had to be abandoned. The exiles were mostly women, children, and the elderly, since all able-bodied men were at the front. The trains carrying the refugees were directed to Austria, Moravia and Bohemia. In Austria special refugee camps were constructed - at Braunau and at Mittendorf. An additional camp at Katzenau was built for those who were deemed politically dangerous. Each camp consisted of wooden barracks for the refugees and all the necessary services needed in the daily life of the community. There was a small hospital, community ovens, a butcher shop, a school, a church, etc. Many families were also placed in the villages of Moravia and Bohemia. The women provided useful arms for the upkeep of the camps, the children were put to work tending the farm animals, principally the flocks of geese. The few men worked in factories. Particular privileges were reserved for the nail makers of the Ledro Valley. Their output was necessary for the military.

There are many photographs of family groups and of groups of villagers. The priests played an important role in keeping alive the relationships among the refugees. Many diaries have been preserved in which the refugees recount their experiences. There are some sad tales, but they remained safe from the bombardment which devastated their home villages, particularly Riva and Arco. In the diaries, we learn that the local population was initially not very welcoming. The refugees often heard themselves referred to as 'Italian swine'. But, as time went by, relations became more cordial and in the end, some real friendships developed. Soon, some families were allowed to

Refugee Camp a Praunau

return home – particularly those from areas which were no longer under bombardment. And finally, the war ended in November 1918 and in the spring of 1919, our people returned home. There were emotional reunions at the train stations, when those who had remained at home greeted the returning refugees. In some towns, the local band provided a musical welcome. But in many cases, the returning citizens found their homes damaged and uninhabitable, the fields, left uncultivated, were now just expanses of weeds. The people of Ledro were hardest hit, with their homes so damaged that they had to be put up in the hotels of Riva while they went to work to restore their homes. And then, almost as if to complete the disastrous effects of the Great War, came the epidemic of influenza which killed thousands. It first showed up in Spain, so that it was called 'la spagnola'. My grandfather who had been a soldier in Galicia, and then a prisoner of war in Siberia, returned home to Arco only to succumb to 'la spagnola, leaving my grandmother a widow with four children. Over the years, this sad bit of history has been recorded in many publications and commemorated in many ceremonies. The Ledro valley population has been quite active in renewing its ties with the Bohemians among whom they had lived. Some 'twin' relationships have been established between the descendants of our refugees and the descendants of those who hosted them in Bohemia. I, myself, have written of the experiences of my family, and in particular about my father Mario, who was a refugee as a child in the First World War and then a soldier in the Second World War, ending the war as a prisoner in a Nazi lager.

The devastated villages due to the bombardment


Written by Romano Turrini, teacher, scholar, and author

The Marriage of Garda & Sarca

Editor’s Preface: This lovely tale needs some references to appreciate its imagery and fascination. A Nymph is a mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other location. The Sarca River comes down from the mountains to the Sarca Valley and runs into the Lake of Garda. Monte Baldo hovers high above the Lake and is inhabited by nymphs who bring gifts including holy wine from Toblino Lake in the Valley of the Lakes. Benaco, a “brook” facilitates the marriage which produces the Mincio River which nourishes the arid Po Valley and wed to Maya…produces Vergil, the Roman poet who details Aeneas, who founds Rome itself he river Sarca was the most famous and the largest river noisily descending the mountain. While traversing the tranquil, quiet Valley of Arco, Sarca caught sight of a beautiful nymph called Garda, who happened to be washing her long blond hair in his waters. He fell madly in love with her and immediately asked Benaco for her hand in marriage. Benaco was a quiet little brook who feared the fury of Sarca and had tried to stay apart from him. Monte Baldo on left with Lake Garda and Riva But Sarca proposed From the marriage of Sarca and his beloved Garda, joining his waters with would be born a son, the Mincio river, which would those of Benaco in spread into the plain and empty into the Po, bringing its order to form a great waters to the arid countryside. lake to which they Along its banks, the Mincio would meet up with the would give the name of enchanting nymph Maya, whom he would marry. Their the beautiful nymph little one would be named Virgil. At his birth, Virgil Garda. would be wrapped in laurel leaves; he would sing of the Benaco agreed to this beauty of a rustic life and of the exploits of Aeneas, who noble union and the would come from faraway Troy and reach the shores of wedding was celebrated with all the pomp it deserved. Italy. where he and his crew would establish mighty All the other nymphs came down from Mount Baldo, Rome. bearing precious gifts. These gifts enriched the menu of Never in the world was a wedding so anxiously awaited the guests and were the most precious products of the and so fruitful in its outcome, than this wedding of the land – fragrant wines, the sweetest of fruit, aromatic oils, river Sarca and the nymph Garda. rare fishes, and from the faraway Lake of Toblino, that most precious nectar - ‘vino santo’, the holy wine which Presented by Verena De Paoli, author, activist, Terlango, was the pride of father Bacchus. Trentino. During the sumptuous banquet, the prophetess Manto made her way to the center of the hall, and in the hushed silence of the guests, spoke of future happenings which would result from this matrimony. She predicted that the waters of the two rivers, Sarco and Benaco, would flow together into a great valley forming a lake, where the nymph Garda would reign. The inhabitants along the shore would found a city, calling it Riva del Garda.




Tyroleans of Rock Springs, WY anestrini, Bertagnolli, Tosolin, Albertini, Rauzi, Bonini, Broseghini-----these are some of the names of Tyroleans who immigrated to Rock Springs, Wyoming for work. Rock Springs is located in the high plains desert in the southwestern corner of Wyoming. It is known as the “home of 56 Nationalities.� The communities of Rock Springs, Reliance and Superior, Wyoming were a melting pot of races, religions, nationalities and cultures. Many areas of Trentino were experiencing sickness, hardship, and severe economic conditions during the mid to late 1800’s and, as a result, people from Trentino began seeking a better life elsewhere. They generally traveled with Austrian passports, which helped them avoid much of the discrimination suffered by Italians. Migrants wrote home describing the job opportunities in Wyoming and persuading others from their villages to come here. Companies like the Union Pacific would recruit workers because there was a need for coal to power its trains. Many of the Tyrolean immigrants came to this area by train from New York, changing trains in Chicago and then reaching Rock Springs, a trip that took four to five days .They wore tags with their names on their clothes to make sure they got on the correct train and were given food in Chicago for the rest of the trip. They also carried cards that they used to answer any questions they were asked while traveling. When Joe Profaizer reached Rock Springs after that train ride, he said that his brother Frank was not there to meet him so he walked down the street and heard various voices in unfamiliar languages. He felt homesick until he finally heard someone speaking Nonnis; he entered the Fountain Club, a saloon that was a place frequented by many Tyroleans. He felt like he was at home. There he met someone there who took him to his brother in Superior. In Wyoming, the immigrants found sagebrush,

1911 Camp #4 - One of the many camps in the vicinity of Rock Springs


Sisinio Canestrini, Attilio Canestrini and his cousins Guide and Eugene

dry dust from the desert, whirling snow, and other aspects of a harsh environment. Even though the conditions were harsh, there was coal there and that meant work for the Tyrolean immigrants. It was a job that paid well. They did not speak English, but they brought with them their customs, music and food. They were here for employment in the coal mines, primarily from the Val di Non searching for a better life. They came knowing that they may not see their families again. Many were not prepared for the harsh environment. It was a shock for the people, but they were a strong people that persevered even in the worst conditions. They were recognized as being intelligent, hardworking and honest people. They soon advanced to more responsible positions, even becoming leaders. When they arrived here, many single Tyrolean men lived in boarding houses. Rachele Anselmi was one of the individuals who often took in immigrants that first came to the area. Many also lived in batches, shacks or dugouts cut into the creek bed. They would take their meals with the family who owned the boarding houses or batches. This gave many Tyrolean families extra income. Many Tyroleans would send money and other items home for their families. Gloria Canestrini Tomich relates that her mother was always sending packages to the Trentino region for relatives. She would put them in canvas and then sew all around the package. The single men also sent for brides from their hometowns. They did not necessarily know the woman, but the proposals were encouraged by friends, relatives or friends of family members. The men would write to the women from America and send them money to come here for marriage. Despite the harsh conditions, Rock Springs and the surrounding towns of Superior and Reliance gave the Tyrolean immigrants an opportunity to support themselves and their families.

Many of their descendants still live in the area and are making positive contributions to the community. During the depression of the 1890’s and the Great Depression of the 1930’s, coal miners were lucky to be working one to three days a week and they earned far less money than in the prosperous times. Edith Broseghini Magnetti tells the story of workers in the coal mines: “During the Depression years, there wasn’t enough work for everyone all of the time. The railroad did not need the coal for their trains and they would try to alternate the mines so the people got some work at least. They didn’t have any of the modern conveniences like a radio so the coal company would inform the mine workers by a whistle the night before if the men would work the next day. Two whistles would mean that number 4 mine was working; 4 whistles was for #8 mine; 5 whistles meant no one worked.” There was tragedy associated with coal mining, too. In Superior, there were two mine explosions that occurred in 1923 and 1924. Among the 129 miners killed in these explosions, there were 19 Tyroleans. Trying to make Reliance more like their homeland, some people would grow large vegetable gardens; some had flower gardens, too. The conditions and soil were not the greatest, but with a lot of hard work, they were able to produce beautiful gardens. Then they would dig down into the ground and make a cellar where they could store the carrots and other vegetables they grew during the winter. Even though they were far from grape orchards, many families would get together and have grapes shipped in railroad cars from California to make their own home-

Memorial statue of the Coal Miner with his mule to draw the heavy coal car.

among the Tyroleans. Each season, they would clean the barrels by burning wood in them so no smells or sediment would get in to the next year’s wine. They also made a special treat called boiled wine which was made mostly from red wine. They would add different spices in a small cloth sack, throw it into the wine, and boil it for a while until the flavor of the spices infiltrated the wine. They would then light a match and set it on fire to burn off the alcohol and enjoy the special treat. Many families made their own sausages and salami. They would get pork, fat and casings at the slaughterhouse. They ground up the meat and added spices to the meat mixture. The mix was then put in casings and one end was tied with a piece of string. They would then hang the sausage behind the coal stove on rods that were lying on nails hammered into the walls. Then the sausages were given time to cure; paper was placed underneath to catch the grease that would sweat out of the sausage. After curing, they would be preserved in the basement in grain. They looked like salamis when eaten. Social life included families visiting with each other, usually on Sunday. They would be served homemade cookies, coffee and wine. There were also dances at the Klondike Building. Many Tyroleans did not want to continue working in the mines and left to start businesses in the area. In Superior the Union Mercantile Company was started in 1909 by Joe Berti and John Bertagnolli; it later moved to Rock Springs in 1956. Joseph Anselmi opened the Miners Mercantile Company with some friends. Others who were involved in the business community were Leno Menghini and Olivio Bertagnolli who became bankers, Renaldo Menghini who was a dentist and the two Rauzi brothers who started a garage. Otto Canestrini opened a pool hall in Reliance where they sold beer, ice cream, candy, and soft drinks; it became the social hall of Reliance. Sam Albertini started a bar in Superior. Joe Profaizer operated the Thayer Junction store where he sold groceries, beer, soft drinks, and gasoline and had motel rooms for rent. Presently, many of Tyrolean descent are still active in the community. That includes educators, politicians, business men and women, bankers, religious life, engineers, etc. Despite the harsh conditions, Rock Springs and the surrounding towns of Superior and Reliance gave the Tyrolean immigrants an opportunity to support themselves and their families. Many of their descendants still live in the area and are making positive contributions to the community.

made wine. All members of the family helped in the pressing of the grapes. Boots saved for that purpose were worn to mash the grapes usually in washtubs. Then it would be put into barrels and left to ferment for a period of time. Drinking homemade wine was a social event Written by Jospehine Profaizer, Retired Educator and Past President 19

of Tyrolean Trentini of Wyoming

Alto Garda


Family Stories: John Amistadi am writing about my grandfather and my father, both of whom, like many others, came to the United States seeking to build a new life. But, unlike many others, devoted much time and effort establishing a mechanism for maintaining ties between Trentini in the “homeland” and those scattered around the US pioneering a new life.

America. From 1933 to 1954, Giovanni taught romance languages while living in Brooklyn with his family. He published two Italian language texts. He also was an interpretor at the Magistrate Court. Giovanni and Emma had two other children-Louisa Diana, born in 1936 and succumbed to pneumonia when she was My grandfather, Giovanni Amistadi, was born a year and a half old; and John Ciro, in Arco in 1891 to a well-to-do family. He and born in 1937. John became a medical his two sisters received a good education, device specialist and lives in the New Giovanni becaming fluent in several lanJohn Amistadi, his wife Emma, son Ezio and York area. Between the years 1947 guages. Around 1912, Giovanni came to their dog Lola and 1951, Giovanni published a America seeking adventure and within a year or so, was offered the opportunity to go around the monthly magazine titled “Risveglio.” My father, who world on a private yacht as an interpretor and tutor for would have been 16 years old in 1947, helped write and the children of a wealthy Canadian family. In 1915, after produce the magazine. In my father’s words, in the July, this trip that touched 5 continents, Giovanni went to 1947 issue of Risveglio: …The Trentini and their decenHavana Cuba to study Spanish and received a diploma as dants have now a medium of expression and a sort of a foreign language teacher and correspondent. He then ideal center where their thoughts can converge. ……We returned to the US where he was an instructor of lan- intend to make this publication interesting not only to guages in the New York/New Jersey area. In 1919, when the people who are bound together by the common World War I ended, he returned to Arco for a time dur- denominator of having been born in the same region, ing which he met my grandmother, Emma Fozzer, born but also to their offspring born in this country. in Arco in 1898. Emma and Giovanni had their first child, Ezio Enrico, who is my father, in 1921. In 1926, Giovanni returned to New York, leaving his wife and son in Italy. From 1926 to 1931, he worked as Circulation Manager for Il Trentino, a weekly publication for Trentini emigrants published in Hazleton, PA. During his first two years working for the news weekly, he traveled around the US--from Mexico to the Great Lakes and then across the country to the west coast and Alaska--to gather subscribers for Il Trentino. Along the way, he gathered information about the lives and work of his fellow Trentini. He photographed and filmed Trentini in their jobs building the nation’s bridges and tunnels, and working in the mines. In this work, a new passion emerged—to preserve the unity and culture of his countrymen from Trentino-South Tyrol. Unfortunately, his employment with the weekly ended in 1929, when Il Trentino changed ownership and 3 weeks later Wall Street collapsed. But in 1931, he published the book, Tridentinità Transoceanica - Transoceanic Tridentin Spirit – a collection of information about hundreds of people gathered in his travels around North


My father established a special section in the magazine where young Trentini had a place to express themselves by contributing stories, essays, and poetry, as well as listing social news and event announcements. My father went on to become an electrical engineer with two patents and a myriad of other professional accomplishments to his credit. The historical record of the Trentin-Tyrolean emigrants and their families that my grandfather and later my father assembled, is a treasure trove of geneologic history that isn’t found in birth, death, and other records that people typically use to conduct such research. Many articles in Filò and other publications draw from the information in Tridentinità Transoceanica and Risveglio. To the extent that sharing the rich history and culture of our Trentin ancestors keeps their memories alive and gives their decendants an appreciation of their heritage, my grandfather and my father would be delighted. Written by Lynn Amistadi Knight, the granddaughter of John Amistadi, Harpswell, Maine. .


The Eloquent Statue

rizona is today a large state in tered and warring tribes of Indians the United States. It is slightly into one nation. smaller than Italy in area and In the early 1900's, the American perits population is not quite 7 ception of Arizona was based on the million. The territory was acquired from myth of the cowboy. In this realm, Mexico in the war of 1848 and the southtoo, Fr. Chini had been a 'founder'. As ernmost portion was bought from early as 1699, he had established a Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase of ranch in the land of the Papagos - a 1853. In 1863, Arizona was organized as ranch of 36 heads of livestock, includa separate territory. Only in 1912 was it ing droves of oxen, horses and flocks admitted, along with New Mexico, as a of sheep and goats. These were state of the United States. For several entrusted to the care of the Indians. decades, a statue of Father Eusebio They were already familiar with the Francesco Chini has stood in the Hall of horse, but the good father's gifts Fame on Capitol Hill in Washington – he allowed them to increase their expertis honored as the 'founder' of Arizona. ise in breeding and caring for liveThe representatives of the state of Statue of Eusebio Chini-Capitol Bldg stock. Arizona chose this Jesuit missionary as the founder of this great state on the Mexican border because of his But his greatest work was the establishment of missions activities as explorer, historian, breeder, builder of mis- throughout the territory. He seemed to build a new missions and apostle to the Indians. All these attributes are sion every year of his life. Let us enumerate a few! engraved on the base of his statue and they truly reflect Dolores, Tumacacori, St. Xavier of Bac, Sonoiita, his activities in the 17th and 18th centuries. He traversed Caborca, St, Valentine, Pitiquito, St. Teresa, Tubutama, the Mexican state of Sonora and the yet to be formed Magdalena, Remedios, St. Ignatius, Imuris, Cocospera, U.S. State of Arizona on horseback. Every title etched on St. Lazarus, Santa Maria, Guevavi, Quitoa,Saric, his statue is reflected in the life of Father Chini – they Bacoancos, Busancos, Busanic, Aquimuri. These form his Route of Missions, even today linking widely separatdescribe the most important achievements of his life. ed settlements. The spirit of Father Eusebio Chini conFirst, he was an explorer. It is said that on average, he tinues to hover over them and he was buried, in 1711, at traveled more than twenty miles a day for almost three Magdalena, now known as 'de Kino'. He was a true decades. His first wanderings occurred between 1683 'apostle of the Indians'. He sought to raise them out of and 1686, when he traversed the California peninsula the misery which fate seemed to have allotted to them from east to west with a Spanish military expedition. He and he converted them with great wisdom. He had a made notes of all the geographic characteristics - coast- great love for these indigent people, in direct opposition lines, islands, lakes, mountains, rivers, and land for possi- to the will of the Spanish conquerors who sought to ble cultivation. He was in fact a consummate geographer, exploit them. In his work, Father Chini showed a total who scientifically demonstrated that California was a dedication to Christ and to the people entrusted to his peninsula and drew the first maps of the region. Father care. He was truly a missionary, steely in his self disciChini did not do this merely for the love of knowledge, pline and always determined to set a good example. In but above all, as a brother of the indigenous population every circumstance, he was patient. He trusted in the whom he hoped to convert. grace of God, more than in his own talent. In contrast And Father Chini was a historian. We can read his tales with the Spanish colonizers, he always had great respect in the 'Favori Celesti' – the Divine Favors – where he for and acceptance of the Indians as people. In his dealdescribes everything which would contribute to the ings with these people, he always put himself last and knowledge of the Indian tribes. He tells of incidents operated with patience and tolerance. from the past and the battles, often bloody battles which he himself witnessed. He sought to preserve those mem- Written by Reverend Fortunato Turrini, Cles, Val di Non ories which would contribute to joining the various scat23


Cimego’s Antonini, Russia’s Apostle

native son of the Tyrol is being considered for Beatification and Canonization as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop Bernardo Antonini, Vicar of the Apostolic Administration of Central Russia, fulfilled a life-long dream of revitalizing the Catholic Church in Russia, reopening the seminary in Moscow 60 years after Communists destroyed the churches.

Bernardo Antonini was born in Cimego (Val del Chiese) on October 20, 1932, to Domenico (“Menic”) and Alicia Tamburini Antonini. His grandfather, Bernardo Antonini, for whom he was named, was a former mayor of C i m e g o . Grandfather Bernardo’s brother, Domenico Romano, immigrated to the United States, living first in Geddes, New York, near Solvay, and later in Alliance, Ohio, where he and his wife, Teresa Scaia, owned a grocery store and raised four children. Their descendents, Don Bernardo’s second cousins, live in and around Alliance, Ohio. Domenico and Alicia moved their young family to Raldon, near Verona, because farming was so poor in Cimego. They moved from one farm to another, trying to make ends meet during the world Depression that preceded World War II. After the war, Bernardo entered the seminary in Verona, and one of his sisters, Colomba, entered the convent. His brother Prospero became a commercial airline pilot, and his sister Felicita married and had three sons. On June 29, 1955, Don Bernardo said his first Mass as a priest. His father’s four first cousins in Alliance and their children pooled their money and sent him a gift of $100. He sent beautiful thank you letters to them, writing in English and asking them to send back the letters with corrections! His father built him a chapel in Raldon so that he would have a place to say Mass and pray when he came to visit his family. Young Bernardo and his mother, and Catholics around the world, prayed to the Virgin Mary every night for the conversion of Russia and the end of Catholic persecution and death under Stalin. Don


Bernardo had a great devotion to Mary. From the time he was young, he had a dream to go to Russia and help rebuild the Church.

Don Bernardo had a gift for languages. He would study a language and then spend a summer in the country where it was spoken so that he could learn it better. In this way he learned German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, English, and Russian. He was 57 years old when he made his first trip to Russia in 1989. Because he did not know how the Communist regime would treat him, he brought no chalice, using a glass instead to say Mass until a Russian priest gave him an extra chalice. By this time, Stalin had died, and Gorbachev was in power. The government was more lenient toward Catholics, and Moscow Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz asked Don Bernardo to stay. On April 5, 1991, he received permission to transfer from his diocese in Italy to Russia. All but two church buildings in Moscow had been desecrated, destroyed, or in Moscow on September 1, 1993; but conditions remained very difficult. He the government allowed him to use the top floor of a former seminary, the first floor of which was occupied by a bank. The seminarians worked hard on this building, too, to make it livable. Finally, in 1999, three new priests were ordained, the first in 82 years since the Communist Revolution in 1917. Don Bernardo rebuilt the physical church and its spiritual life, but he also worked very hard to rebuild the strained relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Communists vilified Catholics, tortured and killed them, and accused the Church of being money-hungry and extremely warmongering. Children were encouraged to turn in their parents who practiced their religion. The Communist government attempted to destroy the Catholic Church by giving most of its property to the Orthodox, and priests were accused of being “robbers of souls” for proselytizing. Don Bernardo had walked into a difficult situation, trying to reclaim the Catholic Church’s property from the Orthodox Church that understandably did not want to give it up after eight decades.

Bernardo Antonini as a seminarian

He was a peacemaker, and he ing, when he did not arrive at church early, befriended the Orthodox, gradually as was his habit, the seminarians went to improving the relationship between his room and heard the television. When the Churches. 2001, Bishop Jan he did not answer the door, they called Pawel Lenga invited Don Bernardo to padre Athanasius, who found him seated, Karaganda, in Kazakhstan, to become with a smile on his face. The cause of Vice-Rector of the recently estabdeath was an aortic aneurism. In death, as lished seminary there, the only in life, he accomplished what he often told Catholic seminary in Central Asia. others, “We must have the face of a happy The Catholics of Kazakhstan, which person.” He had asked to be buried in became independent from the Soviet white, with the liturgy of Resurrection and Union in 1991, were persecuted by hope. Don Sigmund received his body in Bishop Bernardo Antonini of Cimego Stalin and his successors in the same Verona, where he is buried. way that Russian Catholics had been. Hundreds of thou- He had wished to be buried in Russia if he died there. sands of German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Baltic Karaganda civil authorities expressed their regrets at not Christians had been deported to slave labor camps and having known in time. His March 28 funeral in coal mines in Kazakhstan and Siberia simply for practic- Karaganda was attended by more than 200 priests, repreing their faith. In December, 2000, while visiting sentatives of the Russian Catholic and Orthodox Kazakhstan, Don Bernardo (as he was known even after Churches, and many friends and acquaintances. Don he became an Archbishop) was in a terrible wreck in the Bernardo had spent only a short time in Karaganda, but town of Orenburg, in the Urals. His car slid off a nar- he made a huge impression on people. Russian Catholics row road in a blizzard, down an embankment, and into a began making pilgrimages to Verona that continue to tree, which saved his life. With spinal injuries and broken this day. People who knew him in life now pray at his ribs, unable to sit or stand, he somehow managed to tomb and visit the places where he lived, saying, “A saint crawl up to the road when he heard a snowplow. He has died.” He touched many lives and lived his Catholic never fully recovered. Just before Palm Sunday, 2002, faith joyfully. The Diocesan Inquiry into Don Bernardo’s Don Bernardo sent the young Rector of the Karaganda Beatification and Canonization began February 11, 2009, seminary, Don Sigmund Kwiecinski, to be treated by the at San Luca Church in Verona and ended at the Verona doctors who had treated him after his accident. Cathedral of Verona October 20, 2013, on what would Reluctant to leave because of Don Bernardo’s frailty, have been his 81st birthday. The Vatican will determine Don Sigmund said jokingly, “If the Rector is ill, the Vice- whether there is sufficient evidence to honor him with Rector cannot leave.” Holy Tuesday, March 26, Don the title “Blessed.” To be made a Saint, two miracles Bernardo concelebrated Mass with Bishop Lenga and must be attributed to him. More information about Don other local priests. Extremely thin and suffering from Bernardo is on the internet. exhaustion, he was his usual cheerful self and joined the others for supper, stopping to visit padre Athanasius, Written by E. L. Pandin, Josephine Pandin Rogel, and spiritual father of the Seminary, for confession and Mary J. Rogel, second cousins of Don Bernardo. Unction of the Sick. Around midnight, he wanted “to hear the last news of the church,” referring to the only television news available in Karaganda. The next morn-

Bishop Antonini’s ministry in Russia



Nos Dialet . . . Our Dialect # 15

hile at table with Gino Benini and his folks in Gavazzo overlooking the Lake of Garda, relatives of the American war hero, Alcide Benini, a dialect discussion ensued wherein they themselves expressed their fascination of the often differentiated pronunciation of dialect. Specifically, they compared the pronouncing of the word giù, the Italian word for down, to the pronunciation of the three contiguous valleys: their own, Alto Garda, Val di Ledro and the Val delle Giudicarie, my valley. Trying to simulate the sounds, the Italian giù with an accent came across as zo…gio. Hence, the effetto montagna, the mountain effect…the valley enclosures of each of the valleys of the Province unwittingly and naturally evolved different pronunciations for the very same words. I noted at their table that they had said putelot (word for a young boy while putelota is for a young girl)…It is how we say it in the Giudicarie, Ledro and Alto Garda while in Trento and Valsugana…they would say matelot or matelota. …Specifically, besides the content of this installment, please…please make the effort to go the website to hear the sounds and nuances of how our people communicated. Website where you can hear different sounds of the dialect. It is time for another tense of the verb to be: the Imperfect Subjunctive. The subjunctive is a grammatical mood found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, obligation, or action that has not yet occurred.Red in Dialect; Blue in Italian and English in black.

Che Mi fussa Che Ti te fusse Che Lu el fussa Che Noi fussen Che Voi fusse Che Lori i fussa

(Cheio fossi) (Che tu fossi) (Cheegli fosse) (Che noi fossimo) (Che voi foste) (Che essi fossero)

That I might be That You Might have That He Might be That we might be That you might be That they might be

I had been You had been He had been We had been You had been They had been

DIALECT SHOW & TELL #4 L`Ort-The Garden

Let’s look to the illustrations on the opposite page, observe their labels of the items. Starting from the top and going left to right…We will cite the dialectal word in the illustration and literally translate it into English. The Italian equivalent will not be cited. These words and nomenclatures are derived from the dialect around Tione.


Camp-Field Pianton-post Stanga-rail Bacheta-stick Stamp Gerlo-basket Corno-Horn

Cestel de seminar-seed basket Canestro-small basket Manecia-handle Patate-potato Formet-grain Segala-Rye Fond/font-bottom of basket

Porcel-pig Orz-barley Formemton - buckwheat Manach-handle Zappa-Hoe Coa-tail (of hoe)

Voltin-plow Quert/coer-Cover Sesola- Sickle Piof-plow Ort-Garden

Badil-Shovel Bachet/bacheta-small stick Vanga-shovel Baston-Big stick Stupaia-fence Squzador-Watering Can

Oc-hoe head Corno-tine sarcel-small hoe Zapet-little hoe Spaventapaseri-scare crow


Class in session with Tomaso Iori, Curator of Museo Scuola-Rango

The illustrations opposite are those of Helen Lageder; they appear in the Dizionario del Dialetto di Montagne di Trento by Corrado Grassi, produced and distributed by the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina, San Michele all’Adige




Our Cuisine: Mosa con La Trisa

reakfeast in the Tyrol reflected the poverty of our people and their meals. Certainly, there were no Wheaties or Corn Flakes nor protein-rich bacon and eggs. They simply combined the few things they had like some milk from their cows and the standard polenta meal. With these constantly used and reused items, they made a porridge called Mosa. The polenta meal was cooked in milk with the possible addition of some sugar and a dab of butter. That was it! And with that, hardly a breakfeast of champions, they had to go forth to pursue their farming tasks up and down the slopes of their mountainous terrain. This was their daily realities of survival. Alberto Folgheraiter, the prolific author of so many books regarding the Trentino and the dearest friend of the Filò sent me his nonna’s recipe, Maria Benedetti Mattevi, who remained a widow after her husband Celeste was aassasinated on 9/11 in Telluride in Colorado. She then remarried his grandfather, Luigi Vilotti, who had returned from Raton, New Mexico where he had worked as a coal miner for 20 years- 1900 al 1920. He explains that Mosa was the dish of the poor since its sole purpose was to fill the stomach and eliminate hunger pangs. Mosa is referred to as a minestra di farina bianca e farina di mais-a soup of white flower and ncornmeal. Of course, where you have polenta production, you have la cana della polenta, the trisa, the wooden stick that stirs the polenta...orthe mosa. I still have mom’s polenta stick or trisa...resting over the polenta pot or the paròl that hangs over my kitchen sink. It is a memory...since besides stirring delicious polenta, it remained the menacing instrument of keeping me behaved and on the straight and narrow on the challenging streets of NYC. Ingredients 2 1/2 cups of milk 2 1/2 cups of water pinch of salt (possibly a pinch of pepper) 2 1/4 cups of cornmeal A pugno of farina-loosely translated...a handful of white flour

Stirring the Mosa with a Whisk

Pendant over my kitchen sink, my nona`s paruol and my mom’s polenta stick.

Procedure Bring the milk/water mixture to a boil, lower the heat and cascade the polenta meal and flour using a whisk to prevent lumps(grumi.). Then stir it with the trisa. Lower the heat and cook for twenty minutes adding a tablespoon of butter. Serve hot adding some grated cheese or sugar.

The Mosa Served

Tutti a tavola ... in the Bleggio with my mom, Zio Tomaso, Zia Silvia, Zio Tano (Gaetano) and cousins


Stirring the Mosa with the Trisa (Note Butter)

My collection of polenta sticks...on left, my mom’s, then Zio Tano’s, others acquired


Canazei: Festa da d’Istà

n 9/11…three months ago, I gave myself a special treat and drove to Canazei...or Cianaciei as the Ladini say, in the Val di Fassa where the Ladini keep their own language and traditions and folklore celebrate the Festa da d’Istà…the feast of the summer. For several hours as I had done once before, I thrilled to watch the various villages of Fassa and Val Gardena pass in procession with their individual historical folk clothes along with their bands. Wow…When I was doing the Val di Fassa, my Ladini friends insisted that I had been one of them in a previous life…I totally agree. Here are some of the images of that glorious day.



The Mountains of Alto Garda

The mountains form a crown around Riva del Garda and Arco. They are not of the highest but they have historically fascinated travelers, writers, artists and poets. The Lake of Garda is the largest lake basin of Europe. The part of the lake in the Trentino insinuates itself like a fjord amidst mountains and as result , it creates a mild climate so that the vegetation is Mediterranean like. One can truly say that the Lake of Garda is little sea situated among mountains. To the East there is the massive presence of Monte Baldo (which is part of the Venetian pre-alps), with the propaggine trentina called the Monte Altissimo of Nago (6821 ft) that provides a magnificent view of the lake. Just under the peak, there is very high refuge “Damiano Chiesa”. It belonged to the SAT(Società Alpinisti Tridentini) and was inaugurated in 1892. Access to the refuge by foot is an easy and safe walk.When reaching the summit, it is not difficult to see some herds of chamois. In the area of Nago-Torbole, you can visit the interesting pot holes of glacial wells witnesses to ancient times when this area was covered with a layer of ice.

The northern part of the lake is characterized by Monte Brione (1234 ft.) where one comes upon a picturesque refuge, San Pietro (3193 ft) with its adjacent chapel built in 1683. Here the poet from Riva, Giacomo Floriani (1889-1968) was staying in a hut. . Inspired by magnificent panorama of the lake, he wrote many poems in the Trentino dialect… “ I appeal to you , O Lord, grant me the grace that before I die to have a shepherd’s hut like those of shepherds, , greatest dream of mine, my wish of all my life. The refuge San Pietro can be reached from Canale of Tenno. Canale is the Medieval hamlet takes one back more than 1000 years in history and has been declared one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. Canale hosts


the renown “Casa degli Artisti”..The House of Artists”. Returning to the Riva del Garda, one should stop to visit the suggestivo canyon waterfall, that apparently inspired Thomas Mann’s Enchanted Mountain and many artists of 18th and 19th centuries…Edward Theodor Compton, Zeno Diemer, etc.)

The mountain that stands out more providing a back dropt for the Lake Garda with the unmistakable silhouette of Mount Misone (1803 which separates Alto Garda from the Lomaso and the Valley of the Giudicarie.The eastern part of the Lake of Garda is more articulata : Rocchetta Giochello (4984 ft.), Cima SAT (4187 ft.), Monte Riva (2868 ft.), Cima Rocca (3576 ft.), Cima Capi (3179 ft.). On these lower peaks, one finds challenging trails, some well appointed, that provide breath taking views of the Lake. The Arco area is an international center outdoor sports, in particular sport climbing and mountain biking. The mountains in the Arco area are low: Colodri (1313 ft.), Monte Colt (1427 ft). On the eastern part there are the following major peaks: Monte Stivo (6755 ft.), with the Marchetti refuge and Monte Biaena (5305 ft.) with refuge Somator. Written by Ricardo DiCarli, Museo della Montagna, Trento



The Manure Buckets oday’s farmers have at their disposal many light, strong containers made of plastic or metal, in a great many shapes and sizes. With these containers, they may easily transport anything they need. But at one time, plastic did not exist,

three meters in length and as thick as a man’s little finger for the smaller baskets. The larger baskets required branches as thick as a thumb. The farmer used a small bill-hook to gather the sucker branches. Once home with his sheaf of sucker branches, the

and metal was costly and heavy to manage with just the strength of one’s arms. So, frequently, containers were made of another light but strong material which cost little and was quite plentiful, namely wood! Small containers were merely hollowed out of a chunk of wood, while larger containers were made of braided wood strips. And so it was with the manure bucket.

farmer had to get to work on the basket before the wood dried and lost its flexibility. He used a special four-footed bench which had four holes drilled across its horizontal axis. Into each of these holes was secured a pair of sucker branches forming the frame of the bottom of the basket. A long sucker branch was then woven around the base of the frame, then folded back and woven in the opposite direction to its start. Taking another long sucker, the farmer repeated the process over and over. Every ten rows or so, he would leave a pair of suckers hanging loosely. These would form the ribs of the basket.

This type of bucket was a large basket in the shape of a bowl, but longer and wider. It could be as much as two meters long, one meter wide and one meter deep.

The farmer might also have smaller baskets on hand, but the larger ones were used to transport manure from the barns to the fields. When necessary, these larger baskets could also be used to carry gravel, stone, or wood chips. Every farmer was capable of weaving these baskets. The construction was undertaken only in the spring when the tree sap started to flow, making the wood flexible. The farmer would go out into the woods and cut down a considerable number of sucker branches from the ashes and hazelnut trees. These branches had to be at least two or

Once the base of the basket was formed, it was detached from the bench and placed on top of it so that the farmer could weave the sides of the basket. The top of the basket was finished off by weaving a shorter sucker around the edge in a spiral pattern. The finished basket was placed on a sled which was pulled by hand. Or it might be placed on the shaft of a two- or four-wheeled wagon. Written by Luca Faoro, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina.



Genealogy Corner # 2

elcome back to “Genealogy Corner”. Last time, we looked at how our Trentini ancestors’ surnames (cognomi) evolved over time, and how they may have changed after immigration. We also talked about sopranomi – special nicknames frequently used in addition to - or, sometimes, instead of - a surname to differentiate branches of a family. In this installment, we will explore ancestral first and middle names – their nomi.

When researching your family history, it is important to remember that many people changed their nomi when they migrated to America, so as to fit more easily into America culture. Thus, while your grandfather may have been known as “Joe” in America, chances are his birth name was actually Giuseppe. While many first names were easily translatable, some names had no real English equivalent. When that was the case, people often changed their name to something that sounded like their Trentini name, rather than a translation of it. That means your Uncle Ned and Auntie Mabel might actually have been Zio Nerino and Zia Amabile.

Latin first names resemble German names, such as Johannes (for Giovanni) or Joachim (for Gioacchino). You’ll also see some fabulous old names like Hieronymus (for Girolamo) and Aloysius (for Luigi).

It’s useful to remember that different families tended to use the same nomi throughout the generations. Children were commonly named after parents, grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides of the family. Knowing this can help you identify and connect family groups more easily when searching through old records. Sometimes, you will find more than one child with the same name born in a family, which is usually an indication the earlier child/children died. One of my 2x great-grandfathers was the fourth son named Matteo, following the death of three older brothers, all called Matteo. So don’t immediately assume you have found the correct birth record for your ancestor just because it has the right nome. Keep looking ahead to locate the births of all children of that family, to see if there was a child of the same name born in a later year.

For the Trentino genealogist, it is also crucial to remember that sometimes people were known exclusively by one of their middle names. For example, everyone in my family knew my great-grandmother as “Europa”. She is referred to as Europa in her marriage record and in the baptismal records of all her children. But if you try to locate Europa Parisi in the baptismal records, you won’t find her. Why? Because her birth name was actually Domenica Filomena Europa Parisi. So, if the father of one of your ancestors was named Luigi, but Back when we looked at cognomi, I stressed that there was no concept of standardized spelling until you cannot find a Luigi in the birth records, try looking relatively recently. Well, this rule applies even MORE for someone with the middle name of Luigi. when we are talking about nomi. For example, the name There are so many more things I could say about Elisabetta might be written Elisabetha, Isabetta, nomi, but that’s all the room I have in this issue. Helisabeta or even Isabella. Such variations in spelling do Next time in Filò, we’ll take a look at the specific chalNOT indicate different people. The same woman might lenges of researching your female ancestors. I think appear as “Elisabetha Roche” in her birth record, but as you’ll find it interesting. If you’d like to read more arti“Isabetta Rocca” in her marriage record, for example. cles, see my latest research or ask me any questions, I corShortened forms of a name (such as “Elena” instead of dially invite you to visit my blog at, and to join our Trentino “Maddalena”) are also frequently interchangeable. If you work with pre-19th century parish records Genealogy group on Facebook. There are also cases where a person’s name bears no resemblance to the original. For example, my father’s birth name was “Romeo Fedele”, but in America he was known as “Ralph Raymond”. My grandmother’s sister was born “Rustica Fausta” but she changed her name to “Lena”, simply because she hated the name Rustica! These whimsical kinds of name change can certainly make it challenging for the family historian.

(something we’ll look at in later articles), you will discover that nearly all nomi appear in their Latin forms. What’s interesting is that many Latin names actually look like English. You’ll see Joseph (for Giuseppe), Anthony (for Antonio) and Jacob (for Giacomo). Some


LYNN SERAFINN is an author, marketing consultant and genealogist specializing in the families of the Giudicarie, where her father was born in 1919.


I Proverbi: Wisdom Stories

he following proverbs..wisdom stories are drawn from the Raccolta Proverbi Rivani (Collection of Rivani Proverbs). They were gathered by the famed poet Giacomo Floriani whose work is presented in the dialect of our people. They were gathered by the writer and author Mauro Grazioli. Here are the introductory remarks of Mauro Grazioli…

Giacomo Floriani, in notebook and other sheets, now kept at the Library of Riva del Garda has handed down a number of proverbs that now belong to the past and to a dialect that is unfortunately disappearing. The collection does not appear extremely careful in terms of spelling and dialect-nor with its accents. Evidently the work had no immediate publication purposes; perhaps it served as an archive, or as raw material in the author's poems. But as such, it does not present a problem since it makes it more vivid and closer to the dialect spoken. A spoken dialect recalls a cultural background of great interest, often corresponding to generalized models but also to the specific area of philosophy, the way of conceiving reality. The proverbs collected by Floriani ranging indeed in all fields, are measured with life and with its facets: the everyday, social, family, work, health, time. Only in some cases they are still grouped by themes. Most often they appear without specific order, annotated according to the occasion or the memory. If understood, they reveal deeper meanings, full of values and wisdom; not a superficial wisdom but full of historical and pragmatic reliefs. Essentially these sayings reported the practice of lived experience of surviving. Wisdom is the capacity to grasp the peculiar aspects of things, without following rigid schematic developments of events and the changing situations. It is a gift that is not learned from books, but from life; a natural prudence derived more from practice than from grammar. Mauro Grazioli The dialectal representations are literally and freely translated in English in an attempt to capture the meaning or sense of the expression. Read them carefully..between the lines to appreciate the true intent. La roba per forza, no la val 'na scorza. A forced thing is not worth its skin. Chi va piam va lontam- He who goes slowly goes far Tuti i mati i fa i so ati – All the crazy do their things. Far e desfar l'è tut laorar. To do and to undo is all work. Ogni promessa l'è 'n debit. Every pledge is a debt. Se pol perdonar, ma miga desmentegar. One can forgive but not forget. Lassa star 'l cagn che dorme. Do not disturb a sleeping dog. Chi se taia 'l nas, se 'nsanguna la boca. He who cuts his nose, bloodies his face. La part dei altri la par sempre pù granda. What others have always seems more. Se crede più al mal che al ben. One believes more the evil than the good. Le bote no le piass gnanca ai aseni. No one likes beatings not even donkeys. Giacomo Floriani El poc, l'è meio che gnente. The little is better than the nothing. Soldi fa soldi, pioci fa pioci. Money makes money while bugs make bugs. Quando s'è al bal, bisogna balar. When at the dance, you need to dance. Val meio do soldi guadagnai, che zento milioni robai. Two cents earned is better than 100 million stolen. Chi dorme no ciapa pessi. Who sleeps does not catch fish. Tuti i zerca de tirar l'acqua al so molim. Everyone wants to draw water to their mill. Chi va al molim, i se 'nfarina. He who goes to flour mill gets dusted with flour. A caval donà no se varda 'n boca. One does not look in the mouth of the gift of a cow. Bisogn far 'l pass, secondo la gamba. One needs to take a step according to the length of your leg ATTENTION: MOMS & DAD...AUNTS & UNCLES...!!!! If you cherish and embrace your heritage...if you understand the link and significance of being culturally literate to become culturally aware to become culturally identified, then consider registering your children, nieces and nephews for the Filò. There is no charge but the information is priceless... Prompt your children, nieces and nephews, and Tyrolean friends to register either by mail Filò, PO Box 90, Crompond, NY 10517 Fax: 914-734-9644; Phone: 914-739-2313 or on-line at the website: who we are is who we were! 34

Our Partners are . . .

Alberto Chini, President of Father Eusebio Chini Museum, Segno Italy Alberto Folgheraiter- Author, journalist and specialist in Trentino culture, Trento Christian Brunelli. Teacher & Technical Consultant, Peekskill, NY Tomaso Iori, Museo della Scuola, Rango, Val di Giudicarie Giorgio Crosina-Director-Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento Ivo Povinelli, Director- Federazione Trentina delle Pro Loco e loro Consorzi . TrentoJim Caola Genealogist, nutritional counselor, macrobiotic chef, Philadelphia, PA Daniela Finardi, Communications Dept.- Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina. San Michele Manuele Margini-Phoenix Bancaria Informatica, Trento Ricardo di Carli -Biblioteca della Montagna-SAT, Trento Renzo Grosselli-L`Adige, Journalist, Author, Trento Alexander DeBiasi Trentino Sviluppo SpA Verena Di Paoli.Writer, Researcher, Scholar, Terlago Veronica Coletti, Teacher, Bronx, NY Lynn Serafinn, Geneology specialist, Great Britain Stefano Miotto, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento

Our Contributors are . . . Mauro Grazioli, Riva, Trentino Giancarla Tognoni, Arco, Trenino Don Fortunato Turrini, Cles, Trentino Romano Turrini, Arco, Trentino Lynn Knight, Haperswell, Maine Rose Haddad, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania Georgeann Miller, Katy, Texas

Photo Credits

Trentino Sviluppo, Giancarla Tognoni, Mauro Grazzioli, Ornella Marconi, APT Alto Garda,

Our sincerest thanks to Giorgio Crosina and Phoenix Informatica Bancaria for making the distribution of the Filò possible throughout the United States and Canada.

Some Images...

When space needs to be filled, permit me to share some glimpes of “cose mie” regarding my heritage...Below is my ancient kitchen in Cavaione in the Bleggio of the Val delle Giudicarie. The china closet belonged to grand parents generations ago; the bread oven has its door dating back to 1500; the sink is the original, the chest is the mesa, a copy that I made from that of my paternal nona. It served as a “bread machine”, the top was flipped and served as a bread board, bread was placed in the chest and covered and moved towards the stove with the handles to allow the bread to rise. I had the plaster removed from the ceiling whose vault style is called Volta bot. The old ladies used to criticize me warning me to restore the plaster otherwise sand would descend into the pot of the minestron!!!! The interior door led to the stable. The first floor kitchen/stable combination was characteristic of houses in the Tyrol. I made the tablewith my American tools plus a transformer and substituted a corner stove remvong the old stove.


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Profile for Louis C. Brunelli

2016 Volume 15  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Alto Garda

2016 Volume 15  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Alto Garda

Profile for cbrunelli