Page 1


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:13 PM Page 1

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans Fall/Winter 2015

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:13 PM Page 2


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:13 PM Page 3

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 filo.tiroles.com 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 filo.tiroles@att.net. Front Cover: Agritur-Malga Canali



Introduction to Primiero

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:13 PM Page 4

he Primiero, also known as the Valle del Cismon, is a valley in the eastern part of Trentino, Italy. See map on page 7. The valley includes the municipalities of Fiera di Primiero, Imèr, Mezzano, Siròr, Tonadico and Transacqua and nestles in the southern Dolomites, bordering the province of Belluno. Three big mountain ranges surround the valley: the Lagorai mountains in the west, the Feltrine peaks in the south and the Pale di San Martino mountain group in the north. The latter hides a large high-altitude plateau in between its more than 9842 ft high mountains. It consists of eight municipalities (comuni): Canal San Bovo, Fiera di Primiero, Imèr, Mezzano, Sagron, Mis, Siròr, Tonadico and Transacqua. It also includes Canal San Bovo, situated in the nearby Vanoi and Sagron-Mis, a small community beyond Passo Cereda in the Mis Valley. The Primiero proper, is specifically the central and upper Cismón valley. The important resort of San Martino di Castrozza (4738 ft) belongs to this group as well; it is situated not far from the important Passo Rolle (6509 ft), in view of the majestic group of the Pale di San Martino. As of 2016, there have combined San Martino with Primiero so that it is now referred to as Primiero San Martino di Castrozza.

The valley was inhabited by the hunters of the Neolithic period. There is evidence of this in various places of the Primiero. In the High Middle Ages, c. 1001–1300 the Lombards gave Primiero to the city of Feltre which was part of the Venetian domain. Specifically, the Primiero became the religious responsibility of the Bishop of Feltre. In the 1349, Charles I, the Holy Roman Emperor, conquered Feltre and Belluno and erected Primiero as his jurisdiction removing it from Venice and transferring it to the Counts of the Tyrol. There ensued a long period of Austrian rule. In 1784, the Emperor Josef removed the Primiero from the Prince Bishop of Feltre and gave Primiero and the Valsugana to the Prince Bishop of Trento where they remained until Napoleon’s invasion. The Duke of Austria gave to George of Welsperg of the Val di Pusteria, the jurisdiction of the valley thus beginning four centuries of domination of the Primiero by the Counts of Wellsberg.

Under the dynasty of the Welsperg`s, Fiera of Primiero enjoyed a remarkable economic and demographic development. Becoming the administrative and commercial center of the valley, the economy took off thanks to the mining of copper, iron and silver. Around the middle of the fifteenth century, about 3000 miners worked in Primero, mostly German. Most of the miners were imported from the Northern Tyrol and Voralberg of Austria. Primiero became the the second largest mining center of the Empire. There existed a dual jurisdiction..one for the indigenous Primierotti and the other for the German speaking miners.(hence the presence of German names in the Primiero population). With the discovery of the Americas, silver was derived from the Incas of Peru` while iron became ever less profitable to mine so the valley people turned to their vast forests. There developed a commerce of harvesting their forests which created a joint venture between the Venetian financeers and the Primiero businesses who combined to provide wood for the Venetian navies and the very pilings of the city as did the people of the Val di Fiemme. The local people used their skills and created teams dedicated to the harvesting of the timbers and transportation of them via rivers, streams and canals. Primiero timber was marketed throughout the Mediterranean basin. In the second half of nineteenth century Primiero was affected by two very different phenomena: a massive stream of emigration due to decommissioned mines (in 1875 had been closed the last iron mines) and the arrival of the first hikers and travelers, mostly British. In the valley and San Martino di Castrozza, they began building the first hotel, although the main activities for Primiero continued to be the agriculture, cattle breeding and the industry of wood . The valley’s exquiste beauty with its magnificient Dolomities, extraordinary landscapes, quaint villages became a magnet for tourists, hikers, climbers and vacationers. The valley embraced its natural resources by creating recreational areas, cultivating trails, building hotels, restaurants and thus accomodating its visitors. San Martino di Castrozza became a singular resort area in the shadow of the Dolomitic peaks while the town of Mezzano embraced its past organizing folk customs, costumes, and dances and becoming the center for the arts and music attracting artists and musicians from around the world. Primiero’s many attractions has become truly a paradise that attracts thousands of tourists. Written by Paolo Simion of Primiero, cousin of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. 4

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:14 PM Page 5



Our Cuisine: Torta di Mele

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 6

hat to do with apples in the valleys…???? There were many apple trees and they mature almost at once…Along with the strudel, la torta di mele…apple cake is a favorite in all the valleys. Simple ingedients and a simple recipe are the stuff of this paesant’s delight. I remember eating such a torta in my nona’s kitchen as well as in my aunt’s...neither were exactly the same in form but the same in their ingredients. The apples were on top, inside, all around. There was no exact formula…so that here is my improvisation from my kitchen


8 tablespoons(1 stick) of unsalted butter ½ cup of sugar Pinch of salt 3 large eggs 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour 4 large, tart apples 1 tablespoon for the top (try raw sugar) ½ teaspoon or more cinnamon


Peel and core apple with a apple…..Use a spring form pan or a pop out pan. My nona used a traditional round pan. Cut the slices in half removing the core. Arrange the wedges on their sides slightly overlapping the wedges fanning them around the perimeter…do yet another and another circle of apple wedges…placeing one wedge in the middle….Sprinkle the raw sugar or regular sugar on top…Do the same with the cinnamom. Bake the torta in the middle level of a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes.


Where We Were . . .

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 7

Many of our readers have asked us to locate the Tyrol, now the Trentino, within Europe‌within Italy and the valleys within all of that. Whereas our Tyrol extended from the Baveria down through Austria down to Rovereto, the Province of today is composed of two parts: the Trentino and the Alto Adige. We had been known as the Sud-Tirol as well Welch Tirol (German) as well as the Italian Tirol. Now, the Alto Adige is referred to as the Sud-Tirol on account of relatively recent questionable politics while the southern part is the Trentino. Its full identification is the Autonomous Province of the Trentino-Alto Adige. Its main cities are Bolzano and Trento. Look carefully at the map. On the left, there is a small image of Italy and the red section is us. Then within Europe, we have Austria to the north and Switzerland to the North West. Within Italy, there is Lombardy to the west with Milan as the principal city. To the east and south is the Veneto that includes Friuli with Venice as its main city. Below are the valleys of the Trentino. There is the need of some explanations. The Val Giudicarie historically included three valleys. Whereas they were once the Giudicarie Inferiori, Interiori and Esteriori, they are now the Val Rendena, Val del Chiese and the Val Giudicarie Esteriori. In the Valsugana area, there is Val di Cembra and Val di Pine`. Alta Garda rests on the Lake of Garda while Val di Ledro is to west. Valle dell`Adige includes the city of Trento and Val dei Laghi. Vallagarina is the Province’s southern border, the southern border of historic Tyrol and has Rovereto as its main city. These are the principal valleys and sectors while there are some others minor ones.



Romantic Mezzano

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 8

ezzano is a small town blessed with an amazing back drop of the Pale of San Martino, a Dolomite spectacle!!!!! Our own Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, whose family emigrated from this area, conceptualized heaven in the form of the Dolomites...possibly these very ones while UNESCO thought the same when it designated them as part of the World Heritage Sites, the only mountains in the world to have such a rare designation. To pile it on, Italy declared Mezzano as …Uno dei piu Borghi d`Italia…one of the most beautiful villages of Italy.

Folk Group of Mezzano

weaves precious damasks. Even the piles of wood are artistic masterpieces: along the narrow alleys, in the courtyards, under the stairs, on the balconies, the traditional supply of logs for the winter dresses up and takes on unexpected forms. The 26 works of the permanent exhibition Cataste & Canzei shapes dreams, reinterprets historical events, and tells the story of the owners. With their creative research and historical improvisations, Mezzano was entitled “romantic” since it engendered a true appreciation of its past and its ability to make it come alive. The creativity has drawn artists and tourists including Music Academy International of New York, opera singers, instrumentalists, pianists, choral groups. The came to Mezzano to rehearse their music, to teach it to others, and to perform for the public. It became a recital center, an academy and a celebration of the arts. Mezzano intensified their folkways evident by staging the pageantry of their historic folk costumes and their traditional folk dances. No other Trentino community is able to boast and host such enriched programs.


With all these external recognitions, Mezzano came to recognize itself and delve into its past and look to its future. Mezzano put on a show all of its own. It decided to celebrate its rural life with themed itineraries dedicated to water, orchards, farming architecture, engravings and frescoes. They arranged to have the past comes to new life in the old peasant houses in stone and wood, skillfully renovated; in the onion-shaped belfry of San Giorgio; in the squares that embrace the fountains; in the façades decorated by precious damasks. In this Museum under the sky, even inscriptions and frescoes; in the historic lisiera (laundry); in the wooden frame that from the 1700s



Cataste and Canazei

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 9

he long winters of the Dolomites imposed on its people the need to gather or harvest a large amount of firewood to heat their homes. In the past, to this present day, walking through one of the Alpine villages one encounters neat and towering stacks of wood (canzei) along the endless canisèle (wood piles) , in the hallways or on the balconies of the houses - in a sunny place and next to the fireplace. Each Canzel is a small masterpiece of thrift, skill and accuracy. Mezzano has transformed this canzei into artistic masterpieces in the spirit and with reverence for their past and future…Artists have been beckoned to compete in creating over 50 such arrangements. Here are some examples….



Folkways of Primiero

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 10

he folkways of our people are a mirror of our past. Throughout the Province, there are many efforts to recapture the ways and activities and even the “look” of the valleys and villages. There are passionate people doing research regarding this past of ours. In a recent issue of the Filò, Roberto Bazzanella of the Val di Cembra was featured. Roberto delved into the records of the past, into dowries, the art work, merchants to capture not only the look of the folk clothes but the very fabric as well. On September 5, I had the wonderful experience of going to Canazei in the Val di Fassa where they celebrated la Festa della Fin`d`Istà…the Feast of the end of the summer. I witnessed several hours of the procession, sfilate, of the villagers from the Val di Fassa, the Val Gardena and the Ladino. Each village had its representatives adorned with their historic festive garb or wardrobe, each distinct and different according to their villages; each with their marching band. It was one of the most lovely things I had ever seen!!! It needs to be said that such deliberate efforts underscore the counter effort to find and define themselves after the deliberate experience of the propaganda and deliberate effort of the Irrendentists and Fascism to make us forget who we were….or to repeat the theme of the Filò… Who we are will remain who we were!!!!

incorporates the characteristics, the vibrant colors and elaborate fabrics, which were once both women and men wore on holidays or even for weddings. Ivano Singher, the cultural activist of Mezzano, forwarded to me a ton of materials detailing the various articles of clothing worn by the men and the women as well as the jewelry and the coiffure of the women’s hair and braids. In great detail, I understood and appreciated the extent of what they understood of the “folk look”. We are merely providing our readers with some images of their festive clothing with expectation to delve in greater detail in subsequent issues of the Filò. These clothes were worn for festive occasions, “sagre”, weddings and even Sunday as they went to church for the “messa cantada”, the sung high mass. Made of sturdy material and given attention and care, they lasted a life time. They were differentiated from the clothing of their officials who had more of an Austrian or Venetian look. Their “work clothes”, their regular garb was that of peasant farmers with some resemblances to the festive wardrobe but hardly as colorful and distinct. The Mezzano Folk Group has also revived their ancient and traditional dances and has traveled to the The Folk Group of Mezzano is one such valley that has various parts of the made great efforts to embrace their past in the folk cos- Province and Italy to tumes and dances of their past. The costumes worn by present these folk dances. members of the folk group of Mezzano Primiero



Wooden Soles of Peasant’s Shoes

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 11

n the villages of the Valley of Primiero, the contadini-the farmers would wear dalmede, shoes with wooden soles. This did so up to and until the subsequent years of World War II. The rubber and the other industrial materials were not available and were too expensive. Whereas, one could find wood in great abundance throughout the forests of the valley. In addition, wood is an excellent insulator and kept the feet warm. The sole was modeled and shaped in a way that would fit the shape of the foot. Often, in fact, the sole was crafted by the very person who used them. To construct these wooden soles, one would use several tools seen in the illustrations: a small axe, a hatchet in the form Dalmede of a hoe, two chisels and a sharpened knife. The hatchet/hoe was used to carve the sole and the heel.

Chisels removed the ridges and chips and planed the wood smooth. As much as the sole was smooth and conformed to the shape of the foot, so much more was the fit comfortable. Finally, with another chisel and the knife, a channel Zopei was dug along the outside edge of the sole. The upper section of leather was fastened to this edge with tacks. The contadino than brought the wooden sole to the blacksmith. The blacksmith nailed metal taps: to the toe area, the center and to heel.

Metal undersole; cleats & taps

The contadino who needed a new pair of dalmede would choose small pieces of fir wood. The wood needed to have straight veins and be without knots. The wood pieces had a diameter of about 8 inches and were just a bit longer than a foot long. The contadino would use the hatchet to make two parallel plained sides. On one of the faces or sides, at about a third of the length, he would make a deep incision. He would then take the wood from one side and that of Axe-Hoe Tool the other side. He would obtain angular hollow. He, then would shape the edges. The block of wood would progessively take on the shape of the foot .At this point, he would use the hatchet/hoe to shape the heel chiseling it with the straight edge. With the curved blade instead, he dug out the platform of the sole for the foot. It had a depth of about one inch.

These metal taps were affixed with iron tacks of different sizes. Three of the iron nails of the middle tacks were longer than the others. It was possible then to walk on the ground, up slopes and on the ice without slipping. Dalmede is a dialectical word that does not have any equivalent in Italian. The word zoccolo in Italian best translates it but not exactly since it refers to shoes or slippers with wooden soles. In Giudicarie valleys, the

Curved-Blade Shaping Tool

The Shaped and Prepared Sole

Draw Knife and Curved-blade Shaping Tool

enclosed dalmede were called sgalbare. The shoes open in the back were called zopei . They are are open in the back like Crocs.(Who knows...maybe the zopei were the inspiration of our Crocs!)Written by Luca Faoro, a native of the Val di Primiero and an associate of the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina



Primiero’s Premier Artist

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 12

recounts…), the decorations of the iccardo Schweizer was born at Community Center of the Valley of Mezzano in the Valley of Primiero: “La Lontra e la valle” (The otter Primiero on August 31, 1925 of and the valley), the lengthy ceramic work a family who had a constructhat decorates the swimming pool of the tion company who imagined and sought a Fiera of Primiero… “Luce Colore e future in this field for their son. However, Allegria” (Light, Color and Happiness). the artistic soul of Schweizer emerged Surely his greatest artistic achievement quickly. Already at 11 years old, he realized occurs in 1992: “I sogni della Bancalonga”. his first affresco, quite evident, with a It is an alfresco of 130 meters square. It is brush made with the hair of his sister, Riccardo Schweizer painted next to the Centro Civico of Siror. Maria. The fresco was the “Madonna con Bambino” that is in the niche of the church of Saint In this monumental work, he inserts all the life of the Giovanni in the village of Pratri Liendri just above Valley that includes the episodes historically recorded Mezzano. At 20, he moved to Venice to study art and and the popular legends of the Valley’s traditions, the then the Academia di Belle Arti, where he also taught art. characteristic houses and the curious anthropological elements. It is tale that leads to the future by means of a Soon, he transferred to Costa Azzurra to become galaxy of colors, images and symbols. The linkage with acquainted with Paul Cezanne’s birthplace and home to traditions and the legends of the Primiero with its vilthe renowned Spanish great, Pablo Picasso, the author of lages and rural architectures of the valley as well as the Guernica. Here Schweizer comes to know Marc Chagall, Trentino in general remains a constant point of referHenri Mattisse, Fernand Leger, Jean Cocteau…He ence for the work of the artist. He inserts this references embraces a friendship with Picasso that is a rapport of especially in his works of considerable size and of public mutual admiration and respect. In these years, Schweizer character. He focuses on the origins of modern civilizaconcentrated not only on painting so that he becomes tion and its continuity with the past, on the origins of interested in “applied art.” He turns to artistic works that men of history and his art. brings art to public places and thereby becoming closer to the common people. He embraces an artistic pathway Schweizer lived always with an incessant need to fill that immerses him into a variety of diverse techniques: “white spaces” be they a napkin, a piece of paper, a curthe painting of sacred images, sculpture, bass relief with tain or a wall without distinction: truly a true and singular diverse materials such as ceramics and cement, creating need to create and paint until the very end. Ricardo interesting designs, architecture and sculpture, which ele- Schweizer lived in his house in Casez in the Val di Non ments combine into creations of a total art. He creates a where he painted until his illness permitted. By the end series of works that bring him international fame. of his life, he had painted over 200 pieces. “I would like Among these is the Cinema Palace of Cannes. In his to paint that is empty around us”. Ricardo Schweizer. home town of Primiero, he produced a series of artistic works of grand dimensions such as the primary school Written by Daniela Finardi, Mezzocorona, Trentino of Mezzano, “L`Albero Racconta” (The tree



The Little Church of Transacqua

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 13

he Alpine songs and repertoire have many characteristics. One of them is to carry on a dialogue in song about some memory of the war, a relationship...or some nostalgic aspect of their village or environmnet. This song focuses its attention on the little church in Transacqua. Its name means "on the other side of the water" and it is the largest centre in the valley. Owing to its position, a natural amphitheatre, the village enjoys a delightful panorama of the surrounding mountains and it therefore appeals to tourists who like tranquillity. Over the centuries all the productive activities were concentrated in Transacqua, in particular mining which began in the 15th century and died out in 1860. Its coat of arms portrays an otter, the symbol of the valley taken from the legend of its origin, and the Saint Mark´s Lion because of the exploitation rights of the Venetian Republic. “The song has a few simple words that describes the strength, the faith of the mountain people, capable of struggling in difficult moments and at the end reveal the segret of happiness..” Giuseppe Seppi, founder of the Coro Sasso Maor. La Cesota de Transacqua (dialect)

As tu vist la ceseta de Transaqua, de Transaqua, col Cimon dela Paia sopra i copi? Oh! La gh’ha i oci ciari come l’aqua, come l’aqua, e i cavei tuti dritti e senza gropi, oh!

The Little Church of Transacqua

Have you seen the little church of Transacqua With Cimon of Pala above the roof. Oh!

It has the clear eyes like the water And the beautiful straight hair without knots. Oh!

Si, gh’ho vist la ceseta de Transaqua, de Transaqua, Yes, I have seen the little church of Transacqua ma’l Cimon de la Pala no ghe xera, oh! But the Cimon of Pala was not there.Oh! Sopra i copi lustri de tant’aqua, de tant’aqua se vedeva ‘na nuvolona nera, oh!

Above the roof wet by the a great deal of water There was only black cloud, Oh!

Cosa importa se gh’ho le scarpe rote, scarpe rote? Mi te vardo e me sento il cor contento, oh!

What does it matter if my shoes are broken At the bottom of my hear, I am happy, Oh!

Nella cesa cjanta Messa il prete, Messa il prete, sul Cimon de la Paia fis ‘cia il vento, oh! Cosa importa...

Coro Sasso Maoro

In the church, the priest is singing the mass On the Cimon o the Palla there blows the wind, Oh! What does it matter...

Coro Sasso Maor was created in the fall of 1974 by some of the young men Primiero Valley. While they first pursued the repertoire of the SAT, under the direction of Don Giuseppe Seppi, the Choir is dedicated itself the collection of tradtional songs from Primiero and their harmonization from a variety of area musicians. They have recorded several records: Le Me Val91981), “No Sta Desmentegar” (1993) Vesin al Larin” (2002) and an anniversary album “Voci della Tradizione” 1999. In 2006, they did “Incanto” which contains 16 raditional songs of the classic alpine choir repertoire. The choir has made trips throughout Italy, Germany, Austria,Switzerland and a tour in the south of Brazil (1998). The choior has 40 members and has been under the direction of choral master Marco Gubert 13


A Tyrolean American Prince

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 14

worked to improve relations between Cardinal in ecclesiastical Catholics and Jews, strove for better church language is understanding between the Catholic regarded as a Prince of Church and Protestant denominathe Church and there has tions, and made pastoral visits to both never been a greater and more distinPoland and Hungary. guished prince in American church history than our very own, Cardinal Pope John Paul II appointed the Joseph Bernardin, the late Cardinal promising Archbishop Bernardin to Archbishop of Chicago…Here is a perhaps the preeminent See in the brief introduction…. Joseph United States – the Archdiocese of Bernardin, whose parents, Joseph and Chicago. Archbishop Bernardin Maria, emigrated from Primiero…to served as head of the NCCB/USCC South Carolina….His dad Joseph dies Ad Hoc Committee on War and when he is six years old and his mothPeace, which drafted the pastoral leter supports him and his sister as a ter The Challenge of Peace: God’s seamstress. Young Joseph purses a Promise and Our Response. This career in medicine, changes his mind, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin book-length pastoral letter challenged enters the seminary and is ordained a priest in the Diocese of Charleston. This diligent, talent- the morality of nuclear deterrence, and sparked a ed and enthusiastic young priest becomes a superstar… decade’s long debate in both the United States and for fourteen years he serves as the chancellor, vicar gen- abroad. Perhaps the most well know of these discussions nuclear eral, diocesan counselor and administrator. His talents on are recognized by Pope Paul VI and in 1966 appoint Fr m o r a l i t y Bernardin to become the bishop of the Archdiocese of played out in Atlanta, the youngest bishop in the United States. First the November General Secretary of the National Conference of 29, 1982 issue Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference of Time, enti(NCCB/USCC). He was instrumental in shaping the tled "God and Bomb," Catholic Church in the United States according to the the vision of the Second Vatican Council. Bernardin’s even- which featured handedness and compassion made him well suited to act Bernardin on as a mediator, and he was called to reconcile diverging its cover. Tonadico, Birthplace of Bernardin’s Parents parties in the changing Post-Conciliar Church. On November 21, 1972, Bishop Bernardin was appointed Joseph Cardinal Bernardin worked diligently for social Archbishop of justice in a changing world. Beginning in 1983, Cardinal Cincinnati by Pope Bernardin called for a "consistent ethic of life" in an age Paul VI, where he when modern technologies threatened the sanctity of all served for 10 years. human life at every turn, be it abortion, euthanasia, modWhile Archbishop of ern warfare, or capital punishment. Cardinal Bernardin Cincinnati, Bernardin consistently spoke out against the increasing violence in was named to the Lebanon, Israel, Northern Ireland, and elsewhere. Sacred Congregation Additionally, Cardinal Bernardin was the first to offer a of Bishops, was elect- Mass for divorced and separated Catholics at Holy Name ed to the permanent Cathedral. In 1985, Cardinal Bernardin established an council of the World AIDS task force to determine how the Archdiocese Synod of Bishops, might best care for those stricken by the AIDS crisis. In served as president of 1989, the Cardinal dedicated Bonaventure House with the help of the Alexian Brothers, a residential facility for the NCCB/USCC, 14

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 15

people suffering with AIDS. Ardently adhering to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Bernardin, first in Cincinnati, then in Chicago, was committed to ecumenical and interfaith dialogues. While Archbishop of Cincinnati, Bernardin maintained dialogues with local congregations of Jews, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Lutherans. In Chicago, this dedication led to the formation of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in 1985. Cardinal Bernardin served as the council’s first president. Subsequently, under his leadership, the Archdiocese of Chicago established official covenants with both the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Evangelical Lutheran Metropolitan Synod. Cardinal Bernardin participated in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1993. During his interfaith pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1995, he met with Israeli, Palestinian, ecumenical, and interfaith leaders, and urged peace and mutual respect between Israelis and Palestinians. Cardinal Bernardin also adapted a strong stance on sexual abuse cases within the clergy by implementing the strongest, most comprehensive policy concerning priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors. Bernardin’s reforms concerning this painful issue soon served as a model for other dioceses across the nation. Bernardin served the Universal Church having been

elected as a delegate ofthe NCCB/USCC to the Synod of Bishops, and was on the Council of the Secretariat of the Synod for sixteen years. From 1983 to 1989, Bernardin served as chair of the NCCB/USCC Committee for Pro-Life Activities, and from 1989 to 1993 was Chairman of the Committee for Marriage and Family Life. Bernardin was also a founding member and co-chair of the Religious Alliance against Pornography, a member of the Catholic Charities USA, and the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association. The President lauded Bernardin for his dedication to racial equality, arms control and social justice. Joseph Louis Bernardin invested the whole of his life showing the way of peace and conciliation to the world. He worked for justice, he strove for peace, and he gave all his strength to make life better for whomever he could. Through his many homilies, addresses, and pastoral letters, Cardinal Bernardin insisted that action be taken to preserve human life, dignity, and security by showing us that there is no other moral alternative. Even facing death, Bernardin showed us the gift and joy of life.

A personal memory…I had received several letters from Cardinal Bernardin and in our correspondence we joyfully referred to ourselves as Tyroleans…He was truly our brother…

Excerpt from Cardinal Bernardin’s book: The Gift of Peace

“It is quite clear that I will not be alive in the spring. But I will soon experience new life in a different way. Although I do not know what to expect in the afterlife, I do know that just as God has called me to serve him to the best of my ability throughout my life on earth, he is now calling me home. Many people have asked me to tell them about heaven and the afterlife. I sometimes smile at the request because I do not know any more than they do. Yet, when one young man asked if I looked forward to being united with God and all those who have gone before me, I made a connection to something I said earlier in this book. The first time I traveled with my mother and sister to my parents’ homeland of Tonadico di Primiero, in northern Italy, I felt as if I had been there before. After years of looking through my mother’s photo albums, I knew the mountains, the land, the houses, and the people. As soon as we entered the valley, I said, “My God, I know this place. I am home.” Somehow I think crossing from this life into life eternal will be similar. I will be home. What I would like to leave behind is a simple prayer that each of you may find what I have found – God’s special gift to us all: the gift of peace. When we are at peace, we find the freedom to be most fully who we are, even in the worst of times. We let go of what is nonessential and embrace what is essential. We empty ourselves so that God may more fully work within us. And we become instruments in the hands of the Lord.” 15


Favorite Son: Luigi Negrelli

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 16

the economic ministers foresaw the comhe enlarging of the Suez mercial possibilities of developing the Canal on August 6, 2015 canal while the ministers of the Foreign recalls the original plan and Affairs and the Interior feared problems design of Suez Canal opened with the Turkish Empire although, since in 1869 by the engineer and planner, the from the very beginning Prince favorite son of Primiero, Luigi Negrelli. Metternich was seeking a declaration of Historically, the many ships that were neutrality for the canal. In 1857, the forced to circumnavigate Africa to reach English opposition to the excavation of the Indian Ocean would have rejoiced the canal was front and center. In the face and embraced the 164 kilometers of the of this opposition, Vienna was facing the canal with its width of 53 meters and political dilemma of the developing depth of 8 meters. From ancient times, Luigi Negrelli union of France and the Kingdom of the commerce between East and West were well aware of potential advantage of a canal that Sardinia; Vienna inched closer to the position of would shortcut the passage. Napoleon had wanted to London. In 1858, in lively discussion of the Council of pursue such a canal in 1799 but was dissuaded by his Austrian ministers, Von Bull, the Foreign Minister of the technical advisors who mistakenly advised him that there Imperial House had reiterated: “The potential consewas a difference of seal levels of 10 meters between the quences of the opening of a canal at the Isthmus of Suez two seas. Accordingly, the French abandoned the idea. cannot even be evaluated.” One of the great possibilities Fifty years later in November 1846, the project of a canal would be the separation of Egypt from Turkish sovertook shape with the establishment in Paris of a study eignty. Such a venture would inevitably lead to complicagroup: Societa` di studi per il Canale di Suez” (The tions that will upset the peace and tranquility that has Society for the Study of the Suez Canal). At the sugges- existed between the Great Powers and will nullify whattion of Prince Metternich, the Austrian government soever commercial advantages that should be derived invited to a technical meeting the Luigi Negrelli, an from this project. By every reputable account, from 1847, Austrian, Italian speaking engineer, Luigi Negrelli born in Luigi Negrelli had presented the canal project 10 years Fiero di Primiero in 1799 and become an engineer in before it was approved and adopted by the International 1820. He had been committed to many important and commission for the construction of the Suez Canal. The critical hydraulic projects in the Tirol and the Val of grant for the work and for the exploitation of the chanPusteria in what is now the Alto Adige. He had been the nel, valid for 99 years, was assigned (1855) by Said Pasha designer and project manager of many projects of roads, to his gym teacher and friend, the Frenchman Ferdinand bridges, railways and the correcting the course of rivers. de Lesseps. Director of "Universal Company of the Suez In 1838, he was summoned to Zurich and appointed the Maritime Canal," Lesseps started work on 25 April 1859. head of the Mercantile Society. At 50 years old, was pro- De Lesseps, the director of the Compagnia Universale of moted Head of the Directorate the Public Works the Maritime Canal of Suez began its constructing April Authority, established in Verona. He moved there in 25, 1859. Luigi Negrelli had died 6 months before, 1848 and served as the Ministerial Commissioner for the October 1, 1858. The canal was opened November 17, Lombardo-Veneto area. In this new role in 1853, he 1859. For many years was forgotten by the official histodesigned the railway Verona-Trento-Bolzano that was ini- rians. During an international conference, a hundred tiated in the spring of 1859 as well as simultaneous years after the inauguration of the Suez Canal (1969), adjustment of various stretches of the Adige River. Prof. Umberto Corsini stressed that "the contribution of Notwithstanding the massive burden of his current proj- Luigi Negrelli, which technical and designer [Suez Canal] ects, he never ceased to be interested in the digging of has been ignored or underestimated in journalism in genIsthmus of Suez. He had begun this research 1838. The eral and historical information in French and English, at French government was looking forward to the begin- least in the German, exalted by the Italian one that ning of the Suez project while the English government attaches often to Negrelli priority of the idea and the was indifferent since they controlled the out of repair authorship of the final design.” Egyptian railway. The Austrian government was divided: Written by Alberto Folgheraiter, Trento, Italy 16


Leggenda: Guane and Arnica

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 17

n a mountain lodge, near the peaks of St. Martin, Now none of you will ever be able to see me again! No there lived a group of 'guane', pretty and benign one can touch a guana's hair.' With a tremendous effort, spirits, who usually lived near water, and who she broke loose from her husband's arms and ran away were different from human beings because one of across the fields. As she ran, strands of her hair fell out their feet pointed backwards. One of these 'guane' was so and wherever a hair reached the ground, a beautiful new beautiful, so really beautiful, that a certain young man flower sprang up, a flower the color of gold. The chilfrom Primiero fell madly in love with her. The young dren, seeing her flee, tried to run after her. They finally man was a bit afraid of approaching the little guana, but reached the little lake of Welsperg, with its reflection of his love for her was so strong that one day he summoned the Canali peak. All around the meadows there were up the courage to ask her to marry him. She immediately golden hairs being transformed into lovely flowers, but accepted, but on one condition - he was never, never, their mother was nowhere to be seen. The five boys, disever to touch her hair! The youth agreed and soon they couraged, started homeward, but the little girl insisted on were married. From the marriage were born five little staying right there to wait for her mother. The sad, long boys, each as radiant as the sun, and then came a little hours went by, but her mother did not return. Suddenly girl, as good and as beautiful as her mother. From her she heard a sound behind her. She turned and saw a little mother, she had inherited that marvelous head of hair - old lady, all shriveled up and looking very tired, but maka skein of spun gold! Unfortunately, one night when he ing her way toward the little girl. The old woman asked arrived home from work, the husband felt an irresistible the girl why she was so desperately sad and the little girl urge to pat his beloved wife's hair. The beautiful spirit told her the whole story. Then the woman, patting the stared at him in horror, the blood drained from her face, girl's beautiful hair, told her 'Only the stars can win over she trembled. And her body became thinner and thinner such wicked spells. Stop crying and go home now. But until it was just a slender plume of smoke. The curse come back here on St. Lawrence's day (August 10) and which had been visited upon her had come true. The des- that night, when you see the first shooting star recite perate man called out to her, he implored her, he prayed these words: Falling star, o little star of flame! Bring my - all to no avail. He cried all night. In the morning, he dear mother home again. The young girl was consoled went off to work, admonishing the children to be good and obeyed the old woman. She returned home and for and to stay in the house. On his return that evening, he months, diligently did all the chores which her mother found that the house had been cleaned, the children fed had done. On the night of St. Lawrence, she returned to and comforted, and they were now playing cheerfully. He the lake of Welsperg. and at the sight of the first shootasked the children who had done all this and they replied ing star, closing her eyes, she recited the words she had 'Mommy! She came and did all the chores, then ran away been taught. She suddenly felt herself being hugged from crying'. The same thing happened day after day for behind, by two soft arms she remembered very well. She months on end. Finally the man could no longer go on turned but almost did not recognize her dear mother. She without his beloved wife and he stayed home to wait for stared and suddenly realized that her mother's previously golden hair had turned into silver her. Soon, the door opened and his wife strands. The golden hairs had entered and started straightening out the been spread over the fields and house, while the children played happily in were turning into beautiful golden the garden. Was it possible, after so many blossoms. These were arnica years of love and happiness, that she flowers - not only beautiful, but would not want to embrace her husband with medicinal properties as well. again? When she passed close to his hid(Oil of arnica is still applied to ing place behind the cabinet, he could no sores and bruises.) longer resist. He leaped out and hugged her close, crying out 'Forgive me! Stay Written by Verena DePaoli, here with me. I love you so much and I Terlago, Trentino cannot live without you'. The spirit let out a horrible scream, saying 'What have you done? A terrible curse rests upon my life. 17


Tyroleans of Brandy Camp

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 18

hen you hear of predominantly Tyrloean communities, you think of Rock Springs, WY; Solvay, NY; Hazelton, PA. However, tucked in the highlands of the Allegheny Forest of Western PA is the small town of Brandy Camp which was settled by the people of the three plateaus of the Exterior Giudicarie Valley: Bleggio, Lomaso, and Banale. Brandy Camp was the largest Tyrolean colony in western Pennsylvania and the third largest settlement in the state. Brandy Camp began as a lumber town in 1840. In 1885 Brandy Camp became the largest coal mining area in Northwestern PA which attracted the poor farmers of the Giudicarie Valley to settle there in search of a better economic future. One of the first to arrive in the late 19th century was a Parisi from Santa Croce in Bleggio, along with Cesare Bellotti, Luigi Cenni and Vincenzo Serafini. Others followed from Lomaso/Bleggio and Banale. As the number of immigrants increased from the Giudicarie, those established in other areas relocated to Brandy Camp to be near family and friends. The names of families that settled in Brandy Camp include but are not limited to: Armanini, Benigni, Bellotti, Brunelli, Castinaria, Cenni, Gusmerotti, Marchiori, Martini, Morelli, Narsoni, Pasi, Riccadonna, Salizzoni, and Serafini. Many of these names are still prominent in Brandy Camp and surrounding area today. Different from other Tyrolean communities of western Pennsylvania was that not everyone worked in the mines. In fact, Tyroleans founded and managed numerous businesses in town. Merchants arrived to meet the needs of the miners and their families because the community was so numerous. The population of Brandy Camp was 4,334 residents, of which the majority was Tyroleans. Among the businesses was a bakery and meat market owned by Stanislao Benigni and Sons and a grocery store/gas station owned by the Pasi family. As some miners left the mines, they opened up

Church of the Holy Cross-1937

Brandy Camp - early 1900s

businesses in what was a booming mining town. One of which was a grocery store owned by Louis Cenni which has been passed down through the generations. The building still exists and his grandson, Joe Cenni, resides there with his family. He still makes his grandfather’s recipe brought over from Bleggio for sausage that is a favorite of Cenni store patrons and their families. Polenta which is the main staple of Tyrolean families is still a favorite among the families in Brandy Camp to this day. Also near the town was Bellotti’s store/home owned by Frank Bellotti where he lived with his wife and daughters, Clementine, Inez and Josephine who remained long-life residents in the home until their deaths. The store/house still remains today and is owned by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Shelley. Among other descendants that reside in Brandy Camp is Bill Castina (aka Castinaria) who raised his family here and lives in his parent’s home. He lovingly displays his mother’s polenta pot in the kitchen as a remembrance of their heritage. Also, Irvin “Doc” Pasi lives in the Pasi family home, his grandparent’s homestead. Brandy Camp’s Tyrolean business community shatters the notion that our immigrants were only miners and not entrepreneurs able to participate in American capitalism.


Benigni Store, 1902

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:15 PM Page 19

Instead, they thrived not only serving Tyroleans, but also the greater community.Trentini overall are dedicated to work and success no matter what the occupation. Regarding our community, we were not isolated to a few houses like the Tyroleans in Coraopolis or Verona near Pittsburgh. We were able to create a true physical sense of community because we were over half the population of the town. Also, the Tyroleans did not create a mutual aid society, because of the solidarity among many paesani and the business activities providing services and goods. The settlers of Brandy Camp prided themselves on family values, work ethics, customs and traditions, and foremost their Roman Catholic faith. At the time there was no place in which they could worship. Masses were celebrated at the home of the superintendent of the mines twice a month. As the population grew they yearned for their own church. In the spring of 1908 construction began on the church and it was completed later that year. The church was named Holy Cross Church and dedicated to The Church of the Holy Cross in Bleggio. Naming it after the one in Bleggio reveals a strong religious devotion to their religious traditions which they sought to maintain in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Paesani even had a bell sent over from Bleggio to symbolize the connection between the old world and the new one. The inscription on the bell that sits beside the church reads as follows: Chiesa R. Cattolica Italiana Della Santa Croce (translation: Italian Catholic Church of Santa Croce), Brandy Camp, PA A.D. 1910 Rev. D. C. Catalano, Rector. This bell was sent over to Brandy Camp by the sister parish in Santa Croce, Bleggio which still exists today.

The plaque in dedication of this honor reads as follows: Dedicated to the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of those who have made the Church of the Holy Cross possible and those who continue to do so. Members of the Holy Cross Church Parish in Brandy Camp are descendants of the first to arrive and generations have received sacraments inside these walls. Father Otto

Pisoni, a fellow Tyrolean and son of Otto Pisoni, Sr. (miner/blacksmith from Bleggio), was appointed as pastor of the church on June 9, 1955. As is a common practice he was assigned by the diocese to another parish. He returned to Brandy Camp in 1978 where he remained active until 1990 at which time he retired.

In September of 2015 I had the opportunity to visit the Exterior Guidicare Valley in the Dolomite of Brenta Mountains and meet family members of the Armanini and Benigni families that I had corresponded with previously. Nothing, however, compared to meeting them in person for the first time. As I was traveling up through the valleys to the different villages, I could see similarities between the vast hills and trees there that you also see while going to Brandy Camp, PA. After visiting the Guidicare Valley, I have a better understanding of why our ancestors chose to settle in Brandy Camp so like the homeland they left behind and chose to stay near the people of their own valley. After over one hundred years the family connections between the Valley and Brandy Camp, PA are still evident in all villages today.

As I visited the villages in Banale, I found that the same surnames are still there. The Morellis, Benignis, and Paraloris are the main families in Seo. The ancestors of the Armaninis still reside in Premione. As I went further south of the Guidicare valley, to Santa Croce in Bleggio where I had the great opportunity to attend church at the Church of the Holy Cross. After mass I was introduced to Father Delladotti and presented him with pictures of the Holy Cross Church of Brandy Camp. Father Delladotti introduced me to Lorenzo Serafini whose grandmother’s name was Gusmerotti and she was from Brookville, PA near Brandy Camp. Meeting someone whose history was closely related was a pleasant surprise for both of us. Written by Mary Kay Shelley (Benigni/Armanini) a fourth generation Tyrolean American. She wrote a book detailing her family and Seo, the village that lies in the Bleggio Inferiore, just below Santa Croce in the Val delle Giudicarie


Val di Primiero

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:17 PM Page 20

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:17 PM Page 21


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 22

My Uncle, The Cardinal y uncle, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, was the Archbishop of Chicago from 1982-1996. He served the Catholic Church starting in his twenties until the time he died of pancreatic cancer at age 69. He was installed as Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1983. His life and work were celebrated and also criticized. In his book, The Gift of Peace, he quoted a line from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, saying his life at the time was like, “the best of times, and the worst of times.�

More than anything, I believe he always strived to be an instrument of peace in a world of unrest and strife. It seemed to me, in many of the tough decisions he made, he had this prayer in mind. He used it when he was searching for answers that challenged him. He would recite the rosary, and pray deeply each morning, but most of us who knew him best believe this was the prayer he used as his roadmap for life and a way to handle the ironies of his life.

If you look closely at his life, you will notice that the ironies are one of the most interesting things about him. He was raised in a small town, and he came to live and lead in a big city, the second largest archdiocese in the United Sates; he was soft spoken, yet his voice was heard around the world on church teachings. He liked simple things, like hand carved rosaries, yet he lived a complicated life, similar to that of a CEO. He held tight to traditional Catholic doctrine, yet was considered progressive and he changed the

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago

Many people view him as a saint; however, I think he would be the first to say that he was not. He was an amazing man, a priest willing to protest on the steps of the White House against the death penalty on the same day he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US President Bill Clinton. Although he could arguably be considered one of the strongest leaders of the Catholic Church, he was human, flawed, and he faced and struggled with several personal challenges as so many of us all do in our lifetimes.

To understand the life he led, I think back on what he would do most Christmas Days. In the morning, he set off to visit Chicago prisoners and pray with them. He had the courage to go to a joyless place on one of the most joyful days of the year; he spoke with very lonely people whose lives were devastated by their poor decisions and actions. Some were very hardened criminals and did not want to talk to him at all. He persisted, and longed for them to seek refuge in Jesus.

Later on Christmas day, he would meet with wealthy donors of his charity Big Shoulders, an organization working to help inner city children attend Catholic schools. The people he met with had elegant homes, a stark contrast from what he left visiting the prisoners. The donors were business icons, legends in their fields. He could converse easily and comfortably with all people: rich, poor, imprisoned, and free. He was a dynamic man. He had incredible compassion and intellect. He was versatile, caring, loving; serving for others as an instrument of peace, similar to what is referenced in his favorite prayer, the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

The Cardinal in a pasture of his family among his beloved Dolomites

Catholic Church with his views on a consistent ethic of life. His life was relatively short, yet his teachings, particularly his common ground initiative, lives on and is still currently preached and quoted by church officials and politicians.


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 23

As complicated, ironic, and as over-stretched as his life could be at times, one of his outlets was travel. I remember how much he loved travelling. He loved the Dolomites; he loved northern Italy. It was his escape from the dichotomy that was his life.

were shared and I heard many stories of the old village. It was enchanting to think of having a family halfway across the world, who had such different life experiences and somehow, we were connected. I loved hearing the stories about Italy and hoped to see it one day. When my uncle became very sick near the end of his life, he embraced himself more in his Italian heritage: he would listen to Italian opera music. He would keep his body warm with an afghan made by one of our Italian relatives. He would look through photo albums and talk more about Italy more than anything else. He mentioned in his book The Gift of Peace that heaven to him would look a lot like the Dolomites.

The day came when he took his last breath on earth. His passing was peaceful. He was among close friends and my mother. His funeral was inspirational and moving. Cathy Bernardin, Lee Palazzolo, Cardinal Bernardin, Elaine Bernardin Addison, Many dignitaries attended the service and paid their James Addison respects. In his eulogy, Monsignor Kenneth Velo talked When I was growing up, I remember him as being my about how he was a teacher of life. He taught us how to uncle first; a priest second, and everything else was third. live and how to die with dignity. My uncle embraced He would visit our family in Columbia, South Carolina death and even called it a friend. about twice a year. He usually brought me a bag of pennies. I would enjoy the chance to count them and then As I grew older and realized the impact of my uncle on cash them in for a few dollars, dreaming of what I could the Catholic Church worldwide, I would think back on so buy if I saved up a good amount. He would also bring many things about him and his impact on me and the small gifts for all of my family members. His visits felt world. I would think back mostly on his visits to our like Christmas: the gifts, the nice dinners my mother home in Columbia; I would think back, now with adult would prepare upon his arrival, and all the extra family eyes, and note how he handled his stress. I came to realtime and love that was shared whenever he came to ize he struggled just like I do; his life was not charmed; it was challenging like so many of ours. His faith was town. It was always a celebration. I miss those visits. tested on many occasions; his life would be upside down My grandmother, Maria Bernardin, used to live with us. and controversial, and yet he would soldier on, as patiently and triumphantly as he could, to make sense of When my uncle visited, my mother and my it, to reconcile it through faith and prayer, and finally to love and accept it. He was just like each of us, trying to understand and make the best choices we can. I think back on the pennies. The pennies he gave me I view as small lessons in life – there are so many and what you do with them is entirely one’s own choice: choose well, dare to dream, embrace and accept the multitude of ironies in life, and value people and places that provide sanctuary, like the Dolomites and favorite prayers, when the days are tough. Angela Haddad, Cardinal Bernandin’s niece, a freelance Cardinal Bernardin, his mother, sisters , friends on the occasion of his elevation to Cardinal, Rome 1983 writer and marketing specialist, resides in Marietta, GA. 23


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 24

Tyroleans Fight to Save Primiero

Eastern front as well as other fonts for over a year. Hence, they had not sufficient men to cover the new front which had begun in the Italian (Tyrol) Alpine areas. Accordingly, they called to arms for Austria those men from 42 to 50 years as well as those who had already been utilized as the Standschutzen. These were the men who had served for time as Kaiser Jaeger and had returned home. They served as the standby companies for the defense of the local areas. The older Valley men (Primierotti) were conscripted on the mountains to the north of the valley in the Lagorai Mountains. In particular, they were situated on Mountain Cauriol, Mountain Colbricon, Mountain Cavallazza and the Rolle Pass, where the Austrians (the Tyroleans) had retreated in order to defend their territory. Since the first days of May in 1915, they had abandoned the villages of the Primiero Valley since they were indefensible. Hence, they retreated to the surrounding mountains where the defense was easier and secure. Prior to leaving the valley defenseless, they attempted to stop the Italian advance; they dynamited all the bridges of the valley as well as buildings and hotels at the bottom of the valley that could have served to lodge the enemy’s soldiers. Without firing a shot, the Italians were able to immediately occupy the valley. The people consisting mainly of women and children as well as old men as a whole adhered to a Tyrolean culture and sentiment, loving their Emperor Franz Joseph, appreciBarracks of Landschutzen ating the administration of the empire. They did not feel the Russians and at the end of the war, major of them oppressed by Austria Hungry but they did not resist the returned to the very lands of origin while the Valley of Italian occupation possibly due to the disposition of Primiero no longer belonged to Austrian Hungarian people was by nature peaceful as the fact that the people empire but then most definitely part of the Italian terri- could not possibly resist the advance of a regular army. tory. No one exactly knows the precise number of men that were called to arms from our valleys of the Austro- The people wanted only to have the war that was initiatHungarian Empire during the First World War. One can ed end quickly, that their men folk return quickly to their speculate that the number of men of the Valleys of homes, and that they lives be able to return to Cismon, Vanoi and Mis conscripted to the various fronts and interior of the Empire was probably 2000. orld War I began for the people of Primiero (Primierotti) in August 1914 when the contingents of Kaiser Jaeger began leaving for the Eastern front. The Kaiser Jaeger was the Austrian Hungarian division of our people. It included all able bodied men from 21 and 42 years old. . They left by foot passing the through the Rolle pass and the Valley of Fiemme, arriving at Egna, where they boarded the train along with many other Tyroleans... They continued the trip by train towards the final destination in the Austrian- Hungarian Empire. They arrived in Bohemia, the Carpathian Mountains as well other destinations in the Empire. The majority went to Galizia where many died in the tragic initial battles against the Russians. Many others were imprisoned by

Primiero differed from the other valleys since they were mmediately occupied after Italy declared war on Austria in 1915. It remained in Italian hands until the Austria reacquired Primiero and held it for one year, after which the war ended. Hence, soldiers of the Primiero, Tyrolean in origin, fought as Tyroleans for the Austrian empire and for their home, but these lands had then become Italian after the war. When Italy in 1915 declared war on Austria, the Austrian army were pinned own on the


Destruction the Bridges of Primiero

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 25

Destruction of the Valley Hotels

normalcy. During the Italian occupation many military equipment and operations were installed through out the valley: roads, cableways, trenches, barracks, water supplies, fortifications, small readouts, caves in the rocks, trails, and field hospitals. In July 1916, there were two battles to conquer the Tyrolean situated on Colbricon Mountain, Cavallazza Mountain and the Rolle Pass. In August, there was another effort to capture Cauriol. There were many casualties on both sides especially the battle of Cauriol. Although the strongholds of the aforementioned mountains had fallen into the hands of the Italians and though in the two years and half of the Italians that they were situated in the Primiero Valley, they never succeeded to overcome the barrier of the Lagorai Mountains to defeat the Austrian battle positions in the Fiemme Valley and then proceed in the direction of the Adige Valley. Many soldiers also died in snow avalanches due to the heavy winter snows in the winter of 1916. All the villages of the valley were both interested and disturbed by the military activity whether Austrian or Italian. But the village that was truly convulsed moe than any other villages situated on the front line was the tiny village of Caoria in the Valley of Vanoi since was situated at the very foot of Cauriol Mountain. Some of the inhabitants were forcibly evacuated by the Austrians to a concentration company in Mitterndorf in Austria. The returned only at the conclusion of the war while others of the village had fled to various regions of Italy. Even other villages, whether from the Vanoi Valley or that of Primiero, were made to flee from their homes and become refugees in Italy, but only later in the spring of 1916 and for less time. In the first days of 1917, the Italian army was defeated at Caporetto. As a result of

this defeat, the Italian soldier that were in Primiero area fled quickly not followed by the Austro-Hungarians (the Tyroleans). Fire fights continued in the valley between the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians as well as the bombarding of the villages. At first, many of the Primierotti were quite enthusiastic at the Austrian’s return. Between November 1917 and November 1918, a great part of the population of Primiero found themselves in dire straits on account of the lack of the insufficient of all kinds of food. A great amount of cattle had been requisitioned by the Austria army e the valley population attempted to accumulate .meat, milk and other necessary foods. Given such dire conditions even the original enthusiasm for the return of the Austrian troops was greatly diminished and they could not wait for the ending of the war. The Austro-Hungarian army was deprived of the very mans of subsistence and of clothing. Many of the soldiers of Slavic ancestry were defecting en masse; the officers were finding it difficult to maintain discipline so that the army was in total disarray. In the first days of 1918, the Italian soldiers returned chasing the Austrians in retreat and reoccupied most definitely the valley. In that same month of November, almost all of the surviving Primierotti that had been called to military service in the realm of the Hapsburg Empire, some by foot and others by other means of fortune, were enabled to reenter their homes. In all they were 500 survivors. With the war concluded, when these soldiers were again at home in their fatherland, no longer Tyrolean but Italian. The Italian government fearing that they might rebel and foment discontent, gathered the Primierotti by a military decree of the Italian military that were stationed in the valley. They were made to march by foot to Montebelluna in the Veneto. They were transported by train as prisoners of war to Isernia to Southern Italy in the region of Molise where they suffered hunger and badly treated and abused for over three months. Many became very sick and some died. These are salient phases of the First World War in the Primiero. Written by Edoardo Zagonel, a distinguished Alpine guide. In his excursions in the mountains, he gathered many of the war remnants and created a small museum. Fiorenzo Simeon was a school Preside (Director). He worked in schools in the Province and Northern Europe where he taught Italian to Italian immigrant children.



FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 26

Nos Dialet . . . Our Dialect # 13

utonoma Provincia del Trentino-Alto Adige is the nomenclature for the two autonomous administrative areas: the Trentino and the Alto Adige. These two area are administered separately and are both autonomous which refers to a separate identity within the Italian state. The current political and fiscal privileges are not relevant to the rationale that made the area autonomous…but language is. The Province has three distinct and separate linguistic minorities associated with its inhabitants: the Ladini, the Mocheni and the Cimbri. In addition, there resides a large minority of German speaking residents in the Alto Adige. While technically the various dialects of the different valleys were not part of the formula, they were stand by’s that reinforced the thesis of the current autonomy. Our people had emigrated to the USA literate. reading and writing due to the Theresian Reform of 1774 that imposed 8 years of schooling on our forebearers...in contrast to the Italians who were mostly illiterate. There occurred an episode in the Val delle Giudicarie..in Storo. Italy was invading the valley and they observed several of the valley women reading a bulletin board and they inquired with amazement: You can read??? In the USA, our people reverted to their dialects to differentiate themselves from Italians and to punctuate their affiliation with other Tyroleans.

It’s time for another tense of the verb to be…it’s Hortatory Sujunctive…First the dialect in red, Italian in blue, the interrogative in dialect, also in red. and the English in black. Che Mi sia Che Ti te sebi Che Lu el sia Che noi sente Che Voi seghe Che Lori i sia

(che io sia) (che tu sia) (che egli sia) (Che noi siamo) (che voi siate) (che essi siano)

That I might be That You might be That He might be That We might be That You might be That They might be

DIALECT SHOW & TELL La Tavola # 10

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. Capel Beret Spia Camisa Franze Camisa Mutande Col, Colet Giaca Bochin Pipa Piz Calzec/Calze Recia Barole Tasel Ocet Sola

Hat Cap Brim Blouse Fringes Shirt Underwear Collar Jacket Pipe Stem Pipe Lace Sock Ear Sock Top Sock Patch Shoe Eye Shoe Sole


Recin Buseta Piz Granate, coral Manega Fioch Camisot Camisa Corpet Bavar Fornel Spazolin

Earring Eyelet Lace Necklace Sleeve Bow Undershirt Shirt Vest Coat Collar Pipe Bowl Toothbrush

Fazol dal co/Fazol della testa Corpet Boton Fazol/sialet Col/colet Asola Giacetin Grombial, Grumbial, Gromial Sportina de Veludo Braghe/Caile Camisota Grombiala, Gromiaia

“Head”kerchief Vest Button Kerchief Collar Buttonhole Jacket Apron Velvet Purse Trousers Undershirt Apron

Bareta Tach Sgalbare Pezota Zola / Corda Guardol

Stocking Cap Heel Wooden Soles Sock Patch Shoestring Reinforcement

Baciocol/baciocola/pompon Scalfaroc/calzec Scarpinela/scapinela Scarpe colezole /corde Zopei

Cap “Pom-Pom” Ankle Sock Toe Piece Shoestrings Shoes with Wooden Soles


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


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 27



FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 28

The Madonna Rescues Primiero

A leaflet focused on the floods n Fiera di Primiero, there is that occurred on September 17 to a chapel santuary of Our the 20 of 1882 that devastated the Lady of Help. Behind the valley: “ Primiero is all yours, safealtar piece (c. 1701), there guard it, save it and sanctify it”. In are listed and specified the actions “recognition”,on October 30, taken for the rare processions with 1895, there were placed on the the image. The image is a copy of image of the Madonna of Help the venerated image of Mariahilf two golden crowns, adorned with of Lucas Cranach the Elder. It has precious stones that been blessed been removed from its niche on by Pope Leo XIII the previous the occasions of drought, floods August. This embellisment of the and war. As a witness, beginning in image was of offerings collected in 1800, the chronicled history is all of the villages of the Valley of found in the back of the painting Primiero by Angela Crescini of reads: “For the special devotion of Fiera. the Magnificient (Community of..) Fiera the 19 of this month of In summary, the flood of 1966 in August 1800, where the most prethe Valley of Primiero and the cious image of Mary Most Holy Madonna dell’Aiuto Valley of Vanoi sowed sorrow and was taken for the first time from its niche where it had been since 1707, who had obtained devestated valleys. The commentary in the rear of the the urgently sought for grace sending us three consecu- image is signed by the Mayor Pietro Gilli and the pastor tive days a most beneficial rainfall that could be imag- curate Luigi Sotoriva: The sacred image was carrried in precession December 8, 1966. , accomanied by authoriined.” ties and people recognizing Fiera and Pieve with their On account of the persistent drought, the Lady of Help prayers to always save the parish from every danger. was taken from the altar on July 12, 1814. The image was Written by Alberto Folgheraiter, Trento, Italy. taken and brought in procession to obtain rain as well on August , 1809 and in August of 1809. Following years of drought, there followed storms and floods. “On June 29, 1853, the image of Blessed Virgin and brought in solemn procession to the Fiera’s Parish Church so that there might return serenitiy for the valley and the improvement of weather. The Madonna of Help came “inconvenienced” therefore in the presence of calamity such as fires: “ On January 23, on the occasion of a terrible fire The Great Flood of the Primiero that occurred that same day at 1:00 in the afternoon and lasted until January 25th. The image of the Blessed Virgin was taken and transported to the Parish Church of Primiero. The roof of the Chapel of Mary of Help was engulfed in flames that did not create damages by a divine force. In 1881, there was yet more drought: “We have prayed for rainfall for the great drought.” As soon as the image was prepared the evening, the rainfall in such great amounts, that the procession for the great rainfall was cancelled. The following year, there occurred a flood.


Altar of the Madonna dell’Aiuto and Exterior of Church of Fiera


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 29

The Devastating Flood

years ago at the beginning of the raging waters broke the dams with a rupture of 200 November 1966, the Trentino along meters entering the plane and bottom part of the village with Florence and Venice were devastat- carrying away the house of Tullia Orsingher. Many of ed by flooding that caused great damage the town inhabitants of Mezzano sought refuge in the and killed 23 people. Days prior to the houses in the higher part of the village but here too an flood, there was a heavy snow fall in the mountains. In hour afterwards, the danger became even greater. The the Primiero Valley and at the Rolle Pass of the Valley, rivers that descended from Bedole` but especially from the snow was 20 inches deep. On November 3rd and 4th, the Valley of Stona, besides their waters unloaded a mixthere blew a very warm wind that that increased the tem- ture of mud, debris, rocks which reached everywhere perature and there fell a tropical rain fall. The snow melt- invading the roads, houses, stables creating a terror ed and the warm wind and the torrential down pour cre- among the inhabitants and forcing them yet another ated an enormous flood in just eight hours. By morning escape. The mornings of the fifth of November in on November 4th in the village of Imer, the fire fighters Mezzano, there were than 50 houses that were filled with were alarmed as the torrent Cismon swelled. By noon, all mud. The cemetery, the church were covered by the mud; the other tributaries that ran through the village had many automobiles were trapped and destroyed. In the swelled and over run its banks bringing water and rubble villages of Fiera, Siror, Tonadico and Transacqua were to the village. The houses close to the rivers were cleared the first four villages that received the first news of the and the persons fled to the edifices of the schools and flood right after the Sunday Mass celebrated by the pasthe church. The bells were rung by held hand hammers tor for the repose of the deceased. The first alarm had since all the electric power was blacked out. At 3:00 PM, been sounded at 9:30 when the stream flooded the Pieve at Imer, the struggle was on two fronts: raging and surg- Bar. Shortly after the siren beckoned the fire fighters to ing waters of the rivers and the land slides which soared gather and proceed to the area of Sasson and the saw from Bedole and against the fury of the Cismon River mill of Marino Debertolis and Simon Scalet, whose which has surged into the lower of the town threatening homes were more in danger due to the lack of dams. The all the houses. At 6:00 PM, the houses of Fortunato fire fighters increased their efforts as they desperately Collesel and Luigi and Federico Bettega were demolished called for help from other valleys. But by now the surge by the devastating fury of the Rizol River. As they tried of the flood raged through every village. Fiera and Siror to reach the school building to bring several people to were flooded by the swelling of the Cismon; Tonadico safety, Francesco Boninsegna were killed. The Cismon and Transacqua by the Canale River; Ormanico, by the River and the landslides destroyed the trout fish farm, River Carpenze and Pieve by the streams of the Bedole`. the hay lofts and several houses. Around 8:00 pm, the The situation worsened towards evening: a cloud burst wind and the rain stopped and stars appeared by the with intense gusts of wind battering the right side of the night was full of terror. Many families sought refuge in mountain side of the Cismon causing more mud slides the church and school house and in several other houses and dislodging yet more debris, destroying entire wooded that were still undamaged. The Valley of Primiero was areas, flooding the river banks of the rivers with debris. isolated from the rest of the world. The swollen rivers On the road of the Cereda Pass there occurred a catasand the landslides were blocking every exit. The phones trophe. The road simply disappeared and the Cereda were not working and the electricity was blacked out. unloaded rocks, trees and rubble to the Power Station of Two days of total isolation. Then, on November 6th, Castelpietra that was buried along with other houses. An after a meeting with the Common Council, two volun- avalanche descended from the Valleys of Santa Catarina teers were able to breach the Gobbera Pass and reach forced the Cismon River and a rushing and violent torLamon where they found a number of police cars which rent obliterated Villa Dramis and the Senior Citizen’s transmitted the distress of the Mayor of Imer, Nicholas, home without leaving a trace. When the flood receded, to the Prefecture of Belluno and then to the the population of Primiero gathered in pilgrimage to the Commissioner of the Governor of Trento. In the village Shrine of the Our Lady of Help in Fiera. The image of of Mezzano, the alarm sounded on the banks of the Mary the Helper was carried in procession. Cismon River where the fire fighters dragged a number Written by Alberto Folgheraiter of trees to buttress the dams. Notwithstanding at 4:00, 29


FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 30

The Mountains of Primiero

he Mountains of the Primiero Valley are spectacular. The Valley of Primiero is eastern most valley of the Trentino. To the north, there are the Valleys of Fiemme and San Pellegrino who look towards the Western Dolomites. Its southern border is the Valsugana. The Valley of Primiero have the following municipalities: Fiera di Primiero, Imèr, Mezzano, Siròr, Tonadico, Transacqua, Canal San Bovo (situated next to the Valley of Vanoi) and Sagron Mis. The Community of Primiero totals 10,000 inhabitants. There are three principal groups of mountains. To the northwest is the Lagorai , the largest mountain group of the Trentino. To the North West are Pale di San Martino, considered perhaps the most attractive Dolomite, which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. To the south, there are Vette Feltrine, the Feltrine peaks The Cismon waterway is also the name of the valley.

These mountains have different characteristics. From the hollow or depression of Primiero, it is relatively easy to distinguish the rock structures: Dolomitic Rock (Dolomia) for the Pale di San Martino as opposed to the magmatic rock (Igneous Rock composed of magma or lava) and metamorphic rock of the Lagorai mountains. The difference and diversity of the rock structures determines the variety of mountain forms that create the singular and spectacular landscape of the Dolomities. The landscape includes the plateau of the Pale of San Martino and with its many pastures. The principal peaks are: la Vezzana (10,472 ft), followed by il Cimon della Pala (10,446 ft) – whose form has prompted the title "Cervino delle Dolomiti" - Cima dei Bureloni (10,269 ft) e Cima di Focobon (10,347 ft). Other peaks e.g. the Pala di San Martino (9783 ft) measured between 8858 and 9514 feet in height.

The deer in the Paneveggio Natural Park

Besides the Dolomitic peaks, the other notable attraction of the Valley is Natural Park of Paneveggio, begun in 1967. It encumbers the area of Pale di San Martino, a section of the Lagorai, the Canali Valle, Val Venegia and Val Vanoi. This park is famous for the high fir trees that used in past by the Venetian Republic for its ships and pilings and the instrument craftsmen in the production of musical instruments whose excellent sounds derive from this wood stock. The other typical element of the park is the deer that is regarded as the “king” of the Paneveggio Park. All these features have attracted many foreign travelers since 1850. Even in the Middle Ages the valley was traversed by pilgrims and travelers who were able find comfort and lodging in the Hostel of Saints Martino and Giuliano in the village of San Martino di Castrozza. This hostel was the basis of establishing San Martino di Castrozza as a center for tourism and alpinists. There arrived for vacation rich British and Austrian as well representatives of nobility as well as writers such as the Vienese Artheru Schnitzler which situated his romantic novel in this area as well as the Italian writer Dino Buzzati. Due to these celebrated travelers, Primiero and San Martino became a destination of choice. New hotels and new roads were built as well as Alpine Refuges (Rifugi- rifugio Rosetta "G. Pedrotti", rifugio Velo della Madonna, rifugio Mulaz "Volpi", rifugio Pradidali, rifugio Val Canali "Treviso", rifugio-capanna "Segantini").

Today, the valley is one of the best destination for summer tourism with countless possibilities for walks, hiking, excursions and Alpine climbing guided by the local and competent: Le Aquile di San Martino (the Eagles of San Martino) as well as visits to monuments and important structures; e.g. the historic mines. In the winter, the valley transforms itself into fascinating white scenario while skiers enjoy panoramas of exceptional beauty. Written by Riccardo De Carli, Museo della Montagna, Trento. 30

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 31



FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 32

Finding Giovanni

am a third generation started at Grandmother’s village outTyrolean American who grew side of Turin and proceeded across up knowing little about the Italy to Rumo, Grandfather’s village ones who came before me. I in the Alps of the Trentino. Thanks remembered my grandfather, to a gracious lady in Canischio, who Giovanni Fanti, as an old man who did not speak a word of English, we spoke Italian but insisted he was were able to obtain all of Tyrolean. I knew he married my Grandmother’s family birth certifigrandmother, Catterina Ferro, in a cates at the City Hall. We took these coal mining camp in Raton, New to the National Archives in Turin Mexico and that she died from and obtained her brothers’ military tuberculosis just two weeks before records. With these dates I was able my father’s 3rd birthday leaving to trace their entrances into the Grandfather to raise his three chilUnited States through the Ellis dren alone. But it wasn’t until my Island web site. Unfortunately we father’s death that I found myself were not able to obtain wanting more. I knew so little about Grandfather’s birth certificate in Giovanni Fanti my grandparents’ lives, their strugRumo. The village cemetery was gles and their talents. Where did they come from and why filled with Fantis, but we couldn’t tell if we belonged to did they come to America? Who were their parents, my any of them without his birth record. great grandparents? Could we have family in Italy that still remembers my American patriarch? I wrote my It took another five years for me to obtain his missing book Finding Giovanni. It is a record of my decade long certificate and locate our living second cousins in Rumo. search and my grandparents’ stories. I wrote it for my In 2012 three generations of my family including myself, children and grandchildren so they will know and appre- my husband, older sister, daughter and granddaughter ciate the richness of Grandfather’s Tyrolean legacy and made the trip back to Rumo. We had a wonderful meetas an encouragement for others to begin a search for ing with Grandfather’s great nephews, Silvano and their family roots. Andrea Fanti and their families. They called us the Americans, but embraced us with open hearts, happy to I started my search with the few family documents left to share our common ancestry. We walked the same cobme. My father’s birth certificate told me Grandfather was bled streets as Grandfather did as a young man, took in born in Rumo, Sud Tirol in 1869. His father’s name was the same breathtaking views he so loved, sat in the Giovanni and mother’s Martinelli. His naturalization cer- kitchen where he grew up and entered the little church tificate told me he became a US citizen in 1927 in Fulton, where he spent many Sundays and holy days. I came Illinois. A copy of Catterina’s birth certificate told me home with a clear understanding of Grandfather’s sense she was born in in 1883. There was also a deed for her of place and an appreciation for all he left behind to start burial plot in the cemetery in Gallup, New Mexico. a new life in America. I am an American, but my roots I contacted my sisters and cousins for their stories and and ancestry need not we all agreed we should have asked more questions and divide me. They merely add been more attentive when our parents shared little snip- another dimension to my pets of their pasts. In Finding Giovanni you will learn the American identity. archives I used, the places I visited and the documents I Submitted by Shirley procured on my quest. But after exhausting all of these Whitcomb. Obtain Finding sources I still needed records in Rumo and Canishio to Giovanni at ondemandfinish tracing my Italian roots. So I decided to go Italy books.com which became quite a story in itself.Our three week trip IBSN 978194112543. included me, my husband and older sister, Vivian. We 32

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 33

A Challenging Appeal to All...

Dear Tyrolean Friends…

What if…what if you were to discover that you were related and connected to a significant and distinguished ancestor who made a critical difference and contributed something of great significance to your society and to the world? How would you feel about your self and your identity, your place in the world you live? Would you not feel special? Would you not feel proud and distinct of such a connection? Pondering this, let us remember who we were to better understand who we are…We are the descendants of emigrants who fled poverty and hunger to find a new life in a new world in a new society. Our people did not speak the language and the “mericani” who had come just a bit earlier hardly welcomed us “foreigners”. Even the Catholic Church kept their distance and left us to care of our missionaries. The white Anglo Saxon Protestants, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Know Nothings had a disdain for us and wished that we had not come…. Back to the What if…What if we had a significant and distinguished ancestor that made a critical difference and contributed enormously to America??? We did!!! We do!!!Father Eusebio Chini, a Tyrolean, a Jesuit, from Segno` of the Val di Non, arrived to the South West just 60 years after the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in the East and accomplished more than all the Pilgrims combined. Eusebio was an eminent explorer and cartographer, discovered the Baja peninsula, much of Northern Mexico, Southern California, New Mexico and Arizona. He was a well known mathematician and an astronomer who became the world wide expert on the comet that passed over the earth in those years. He was an agronomist that taught his Indians European agricultural methods and cattle breeding and was the champion and protector of his Indians from the fierce Apaches. He was a giant, a singular and exceptional person who contributed so much to our country so that no less that than the United States of America recognized and celebrated and declared him the Father of Arizona. For us, he is truly our brother, who preceded us to these shores, a fellow polentone, a proud Tyrolean who ate our foods, climbed our mountains, spoke our dialect, shared our thoughts, lived among our people in the Province and came to our shores and became the very first of our Tyrolean emigrants. Wow! What more can be said? Much more…Father Eusebio Chini was a very holy man that traveled the great distances of those enormous territories with his two horses evangelizing, serving and embracing his Indians. His virtues, his extraordinary service to his people demand recognition by the Church. HE DESERVES TO BE BEATIFIED!!!!!!!!! When Pope Francis came to the US, he canonized Junipero Sera in the face of great protest from our Native Americans. Some say that their protest was the sad memory of the history of Spanish Catholicism combining with Spanish Colonialism that had oppressed them. This was not the case with Eusebio. During his visit, I had a What if dream! What if we combine as a community and ask…demand…insist that Eusebio Chini`s service and holiness be recognized. The What if dream spurred some possible initiatives and steps to take. Here is a dream becoming a plan.

I met in September with Alberto Chini of Segno in the Val di Non. He is the President of the Fr. Chini society and the curator of the museum in Segno. He gave me his contacts and in the ensuing weeks, I will be reaching out to many. I will be contacting the Postulator of his cause in Rome, his Jesuit colleagues in Austria, the Bishop of Tucson, and many advocates who hold Eusebio in very high regard. I will try to engage journalists in the Province .s the Bishop of Trento, the President of the Province I will try to raise the awareness and consciousness of the virtues and service of Chini as a servant of God, his contributions as a Tyrolean American citizen who served our country so well. I intend and hope to become like the nuisance of the Gospels that kept knocking and knocking and knocking…I would like to make a great deal of noise and make people take notice using the Filo`in ways that I need yet to devise. I will keep the readership of Filo informed about the progress of what might ensue…I invite all to think about this appeal…and bring something to this table…ideas, suggestions…or simply prayers for and about and even to Eusebio…truly our brother. 33

Lou Brunelli

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 34

I Proverbi: Ladini Wisdom Stories

The following combination of proverbs (wisdom stories) and sayings provide us an insight in the mentality and imagination of our people in their discourse with one another. These expressions are “primierotti”…or in the dialect of the Primiero. They were researched for the Filò by Paolo Simion from the Fiera di Primiero, a cousin of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago. They are presented without their “Italian” equivalent but with a brief restatement in English. However, a literal translation will not communicate the denotation or sense of the expression so that one needs to struggle with the connotation of the culture.

In cesa coi santi …a l`osteria con I briganti. In church with the saints...at the bar with brigands. L è meio magnar tut…che dir fora tut. It is better to eat or consume everything than to tell all. No manca de laorar…a chi vol fadigar. There is always work for he who wishes to work hard. Ai preti, ai frati, e ai capitèi…levèghe sempre I capei. For priests, friars and shrines, tip your hat. Aver en cich de quel che se ghe dis. To have a little (understanding) of what one says. Chi sta a l`ombra de insta`…I à mal di panza a l inverno. He who stays in the shade (rests and refrains from work in the fields) has a belly ache in the winter. La òl star sora come l`oio….She wants to stay on top like oil. She is conceited. En gat par I pradi. A cat in the meadows. Someone who is out of place. El temp e I siori…I fa quel che I vol lori. The climate and rich people do whatever they want. Ogni di che leva la luna…ogni di ghe n impara una. Every day that the moon rises...one learns something. Al temp e a le femèna no se ghe commanda. One does not order or command the climate or a woman. O magnar de sta menestra---o saltar de sta finestra. Either eat the soup or jump from the window. Here is an expression or prayer provided by Paolo but heard frequently by myself from my mom when there was a thunder storm on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village in Manhattan demonstrating that you could take our people out of the Tyrol but you could not take the Tyrol out of people.Santa Barbara e San Simon…liberème dal ton. Liberème da la saèta, Santa Barbara benedetta. Saint Barbara and Saint Simon...spare from this thunder. Spare me from the lightning, Blessed Barbara.

Origin of Trentino Names

Bernardin – derived from the German…Berinhard-beran meaning bear and hardn or an individual signifiying one who is”strong, hard and valorous as a bear. Found throughout the Trentino. Derivations: Bernardinelli, Bernardini, Bernardelli, Bernardinatti, Bernardon, Bernardasconi Lucian – derived from the Latin lucere in the sense of illuminating, making light. Derivations: Luciani, Luciano, Lucetti, Lucioli, Lucioni. Three nun missionaries from Primiero: Maddalena Lucian, Teodora Lucian, Teresa Lucian Simion Derived from a person named Simeone, derived from the Hebrew Scimeion meaning …God has heard you..found in many parts of the Trentino. Variations: Dessimoni, Simeon, Simeoni, , Simoncelli, Simoncini, etc. Toffol-Derived from Cristoforo, Christopher meaning one who carries Christ. Derivations: Detofol,Tofanetti, ToffanettiTofolatti, Toffoli, Toffolon Zagonel – derived from the ancient dialectal word for a small jacket. In the Val di Fiemme, it resembles the word for zaghet, a jacket. Especially found in the Primiero. Variations: Zagagnin, Zaganelli, Zagato,, Zagatti,Zaghini, Zago. Persons: Bartolomeo Zagonel, 1868-1951, a famed and pioneer Alpinist.

PRIMIERO LEGEND According to legend, the Primiero basin was originally covered by a wide water expanse, surrounded on all sides by the Pale di San Martino and the Vette Feltrine. In the vast lake fishes lived peacefully with a solitary otter, until one day the otter – tired of her solitude – managed with patience and determination to dig a passage at the bottom of the basin: the water could escape roaring, and down it went, forming the Schenèr canyon (“Gola dello Schenèr”). The otter's noble gesture, which allowed man to become established in the valley, gave the animal the honour of being chosen as symbol of the area, and now it appears as an emblem of Primiero and in the coat of arms of all the municipalities of the valley. 34

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 35

Our Partners are . . .

Alberto Chini, Presidente 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 Stefano Miotto, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento Andrea Rella, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento

Our Contributors are . . .

Daniela Finardi-Mezzocorona, Trentino Luca Faoro- Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina. San Michele Franco Gubert-Choirmaster of the Coro Sasso Maor Angela Haddad-Marietta, Georgia Lucia Lucian-APT Primiero-San Martino Fiorenzo Simeon-Teacher and Author-Merano, Alto Adige Paolo Simeon-Primiero, Trentino Mary Kay Shelley-Brockway, PA Paola Toffol-President of Apt Primiero-San Martino Shirley Whitcomb-Sacramento, CA

Photo Credits

Trentino Sviluppo, Trento; APT Primiero-San Martino di Castrozza; Ivano Singher; Marco Simonini; Gianni Zotta; Daniele Lira; Mauro Batistelli; Raoul Giacometti; Silvano Angelani; Alessandro Gruzza; Nicola Angeli; Alessandro Angeli; Luciano Gaudenzio; Giorgio Deflorian

Our sincerest thanks to Giorgio Crosina and Phoenix Informatica Bancaria for making the distribution of the Filò possible throughout the United States. Tyrol USA-Mini Family Stories Having an annoying empty space to fill, I gave myself permission to insert a mini-family story of my own since I, too, am a Tyrolean American family. So here goes…above is my pretty grand daughter Giuliana, who initiated me into “grandfatherhood” (scorecard is now six girls and recently two boy twins) Her dad Jeremy(one of my four sons) hosts an Octoberfest every year and Giuliana wears her Tyrolean derndel with pride and charm. To the left, is the Tyrolean little house I made for my favorite daughter Maria (remember..she had four brothers). It has its own pontisel (porch) and a second floor (l`era..hayloft). When she was mischievous, insteading of saying Go to Your Room…I simply said.. Go to your house....Lou 35

FILO.PRIMIERO_STEPS Template 4.dat 1/4/2016 8:20 PM Page 36

Filò Magazine PO Box 90 Crompond, New York 10517

Pre-Sort Standard US Postage PAID Permit # 5432 White Plains, NY

Profile for Louis C. Brunelli

Filo - Fall/Winter 2015  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val di Primiero

Filo - Fall/Winter 2015  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val di Primiero

Profile for cbrunelli