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A Journal for Tyrolean Americans Fall 2014

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An Introduction . . .

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



A Presidential Message Dear Tyrolean Americans:

I must thank the Filò for having dedicated this issue to the Val di Sole, my very own beloved Valley. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful valleys of the Trentino and well deserves to be known and visited. In the name of the community that I represent, I am especially grateful to be given the opportunity to renew the friendship, the affection and closeness of the Trentino to all the emigrants and their descendants in America. You are for us a second greater Trentino, once the Tyrol of your families! And we wish to remain your mother country, that small Alpine land where you have the roots of your history of your historical families. The Filò is deserving of credit and praise if the small Trentino feels greater as we think of you as our best ambassadors in the entire world. The extraordinary success of the Filò journal which reaches more 5400 families and individuals in the United State and Canada and soon Australia and England demonstrates quite clearly that you, Tyrolean Americans, have a great desire to know and understand ever more of your families homeland, to embrace its beautiful valleys, the magnificent Dolomites, its culture, its history….and its people.

I believe strongly that to every individual emigrant, son or daughters and relatives of our emigrants there belongs a heritage, an entitlement, a guarantee not to lose but to rediscover and embrace your very roots. It is truly this very right and entitlement that the Filò dedicates itself to defend and preserve. It continues to speak to you of the Trentino, once your Tyrol, as being yours by means of its dialogue with you in its articles and commentaries and images…asserting proudly that who you are is indeed …who you were. The Filò is a means and an instrument that affords you the possibility of preserving your identity and of truly discovering a part of your very selves. I wish to express my gratitude for all those in our Province who have collaborated with the Filò and for the generous support of Phoenix Informatica Bancaria. As we look to the future, the Filò will indeed have the support as well of the Autonomous Province of Trento. My dear Tyrolean Americans…we have need of you since the Trentino of Today is a small country which does not want to remain closed but wishes to open itself to the world and to move forward maintaining its identity…an identity that you share as well… Sincerely,

Ugo Rossi

President of the Autonomous Province of the Trentino 5


Introduction to the Val di Sole

The Valley’s people depended on their dairy production and their forests but it could not sustain its community. There was poverty prompting a great migration in the early 1900’s to the United States, Canada, Australia, South America and throughout Europe. In the United States the emigrants were drawn to the coal mines of Pennsylvania. This migration continued even after World II. New developments brought new industry to the valley. Along with the Val di Non, it became the producer of the Melinda apple exported throughout Europe. The tourist industry became central to its revitalization creating a network of hotels and an extensive network for both summer and winter recreation so that it is regarded as the “pearl of the alps”. There are two modern and historical health spas in the valley, Peio and Rabbi, both are located in an enchanting landscape and they each take advantage of the pure, fresh mineral water that surges from an altitude of over 3000 meters.

he Sole Valley (Ladin: Val de Sól , Italian: Val di Sole or Valle di Sole, German: Sulztal) is located in the north western part of the Province Lombardy borders on the west Lombardy on the north the Sud Tirol which together with the Trentino form one united Province. Along its central axis, there emerges in the upper portion the Valley of Rabbi and in its lower portion the Valley of Pejo, behind which rises the magnificent masif of the Ortles Cevedale mountains. Flanking these two valleys, is the great and famous Stelvio National Park In the southwest it is flanked by the Adamello group of mountains with the nature reserve Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta. The rest of the valley from Ossana to Mostizzolo is simply called Sole Valley. Some of the towns in the valley are Vermiglio, Peio, Dimaro, Croviana and Malè (the main town). The Sole Valley heads to the Tonale Pass, on the other side of the pass (and in the same direction as the Vermiglio Valley) begins the valley of the river Oglio which flows to Edolo. In the southern part of the region is the ski resort Madonna di Campiglio, just over the Campo Carlo Magno, a pass that leads to the Rendena Valley. In the east the region ends at Mostizzolo, where the main valley bends south to the Val di Non before joining the valley of the Adige north of Trento.

The Valley supports numerous dairy products that range from top-quality butter to ricotta, fresh cheeses such as the “Casolet of Val di Sole”, local aged cheese and Trentino Grana cheese. Casolet is a traditional Val di Sole cheese, once produced in great quantities. It is a typical mountain cheese made with raw ingredients and whole milk. It was once made only during the autumn season, when the herds of cows had already been brought down from the mountain pastures, therefore there was much less milk being produced and casolet became the cheese that families ate on a daily basis especially during the long winter months.

Val di Sole boasts a history that has been written over the course of millenniums. Some thousands of years before Christ, the Celts settled here, followed by the Rhaetians and Romans. After that, the Franks passed through the area, then the prince-bishops of Trento for 800 years and finally the Austro-Hungarians ruled for almost 200 years before the Tyrol’s annexation to Italy after the World War I. With so much history as a background, Val di Sole treasures rural buildings, strongholds, castles, palaces and churches such as the Castles of Ossana and Caldes, relics of this past era of bishops and the Counts of the Tyrol.

There are numerous local folk presentations, sport and cultural events, works of art, local handicrafts, the Solandra Civilization museum in Malè, the museums and forts of the White War, as well as the local culinary specialties.

In World War I, Val di Sole was frontier land and became Note: Inhabitants of the valley are called SOLANDRI. a strategic area during what became known as the “White War”: Our people were the very Austro-Hungarian Written by Alberto Penasa, APT Val di Sole troops who fought the invading Italian troops to have control of the surrounding mountain peaks and glaciers, among the freezing temperatures of the Adamello & Ortles-Cevedale mountain groups. There are many different types of battle remains in this area like trenches and forts that changed Val di Sole’s landscape forever. 6



Family Stories: Martinelli

n July 2014 my wife and I traveled to Dimaro and Terzolas, located in the Val de Sole, Italy looking for family. As luck would have it, the people were great in helping us find family. We met relatives of my grandfather, Attilio Martinelli and my grandmother, Ida Baggia Martinelli. Of the Martinelli family, we met Antonio Battisto Martinelli. He is from Dimaro, Italy and is the last male Martinelli in our family living in Italy. On my grandmother’s side we met Marco Baggia, his wife Teresa and their daughter Laura of Terzolas. Marco’s brother Franco, who we did not meet, has Ida Baggia - Attilio Martinelli Attilio, Ida, Vic & Angelo three sons who are all priests. The One of the things I remember most about my grandearliest known relative on the Martinelli side is Dominus Giovanni Domenico Martinelli in the year 1600. My mother were the visits to her house every Sunday after grandfather was born on 01 July 1892, in Dimaro. His mass. During these visits my father and grandmother life in Dimaro is at this time unknown to me. But, by the only spoke Italian, but my siblings and I were corrected age of 19, he was working in Basel, Switzerland. He was by her in English and Italian. She always had fresh baked a painter in Switzerland according to his Declaration of cookies for us. My grandmother must have been a wonIntention. Then, in 1911 my grandmother, Ida Baggia, derful cook, because my mother learned many of her came to Basel where they were married on 12 May 1911. recipes which we still enjoy today. Just before my grandShe was the daughter of Domenico Baggia and Lucia mother died on 14 March 1962, she moved to our house. Schweitzer Baggia. Ida was born on 03 March 1890 in Their sons all prospered. Angelo, my father, was a sucTerzolas (Austria) Tyrol. Terzolas is just up the road cessful contractor building homes and swimming pools. Working with my father from a very young age, I learned from Dimaro. invaluable lessons that have helped me to succeed in this On 10 April 1912, my father, Angelo Dominic Martinelli, same business. This has enabled me to retire and travel was born in Basel, Switzerland. Shortly after that, the to my family’s ancestral home. Victor was a prominent family emigrated to America, leaving from Lehavre, accountant and served as treasurer of Tuscarawas France on board the LaSavail on 28 December 1912. County, Ohio. He was treasurer for 29 years from 1944 They docked at New York City. They were accompanied to 1973 when he retired. Geno was a longtime high by Attilio’s brother Remo Martinelli, age 20. From Ellis school teacher in Uhrichsville, Ohio and he also served Island they went to Loretto, Michigan were my grandfa- as mayor of Roswell like his Dad. Geno is the only surther worked as a painter and Remo found work in the viving child of Attilio and Ida Martinelli. He is 90 years coal mines. While living in MI, my grandparents had old and resides with his wife Carmella Ruggeri Martinelli. three more children. Then in 1920 Attilio’s family Attilio had seventeen grandsons and six granddaughters. moved to Roswell, Ohio. Over the years, Attilio became We now try to remember things about our grandparents mayor of Roswell, worked as a painter for the state high- and parents who gave up so much to come to America way department and started a house painting business. to start a new life. I hope my children will take this cherHe served as mayor for fifteen years. My grandfather ished information and preserve it for their children. died on 21 May 1947 when I was only three years old, so the stories I tell were passed on to me by friends and rel- Written by Eugene Martinelli - grandson of Attiolio and Ida Martinelli, New Philadelphia, OH atives. 8


Our Music: Coro Noce

ongs have always represented and continue to represent the most true and vivid way to express history, lifestyles, the sufferings and happenings of a community. Such was the case of our emigrant relatives who found in their songs a unity and the occasion to relive nostalgically their lives in a place so very far away. Hence, in the song, there lives the very soul of a place, of a community and of a people. Song was embedded in the very blood and soul of our Tyrolean relatives. If you ask a Tyrolean when three of them get together, their response is a right ready: we sing. Paolo Magagnotti of the Coro Noce .

Here is one of the songs of their repertoire. L’è le undes gia passade ...It is already past 11:00...It is a nostalgic detailing and imagining of a mother making polenta. Step by step the song conjures up the beloved images of her service to her family. More than just a recipe or directions, it is a loving recollection of her presence, her special role and function to the family. The repetition at its conclusion that the mother is finished or ended is the memory of a mother no longer alive or with the family.

L’è le undes gia passade ... L'è le undes già passade e la mama se presenta per tacar su la segosta el parol de la polenta. (2x) La met l'acqua 'n del paròl la prepara la farina e la tol en po' de sal dal casset de la vedrina, e la tòl en po' de sal dal casset de la vedrina. (3 x) L'è le undes già passade Translation

e la cerca la canela già entant che if en banda scaoda 'l pocio 'n la padela. (2x) Ades l'acqua 'n del paròl lab 'n comincia a sbrodolar la farina a pugn a pugn e la taca a messedar, la farina a pugn a pugn e la taca a messedar. (3 x) L'è le undes già passade già le groste se destaca stondolando "Adess la è cota!"

la ghe dà l'ultima paca. (bis) Sula taola 'n gran taier na tovaia de bon !in la ghe svoida la_polenta e la m ama l'ha finì, la ghe svoida la polenta e la mama l'ha finì. (3 x) L'ha già finì, finì, finì, e la mama l'ha finì, l'ha finì ... finì'.

It is already past 11 o’clock and mother prepares the hearth and polenta pot. She puts the water into the polenta and gets some salt from its box in the closet. It is already past 11 o’clock and seeks the polenta stick while on the side; the gravy is warmed in the pan. Now the water in the pot begins to boil and receives the polenta flour fist full by fist full and she begins to stir. Leonida gia passate…already the crusts begins to separate from the sides of the pot. The polenta is cooked. She gives it a final stirring. On the table, there is a large wooden platter and a bottle of a good wine. The mother throws out the polenta onto the platter and the mother is finished.

Coro Noce: The Soul of the Val del Sole

The Coro Noce derives its name from the Noce River that runs the length of both the valleys of Sole and the Val di Non. It was founded by the Choir Master Gianni Cristoforetti who continues to direct the choir. They have produced several CD’s of their music. They have sung in concert in Austria, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Romania. This song can be found on the Filò’s website: 9

Coro Noce of the Val di Sole


Our Cuisine: Torta delle Patate

t is not a coincidence that we return to the potato…as did our people who in their poverty depended ever so much on the potato and polenta. To the grated potato, they added some flour, an egg, salt and milk…the few ingredients available to them. The torta is served as main course along with cheese and cold cuts or as side dish. There are creative variations which could include prosciutto and cheese in the very middle of the torta.

Here are the ingredients…4 pounds of peeled potatoes, a whole egg. ½ cup of milk, a tablespoon of flour, Salt, Grate the potatoes with a hand grater or a Cuisinart.

Add the flour, the egg and the salt. Add a dab of olive oil or butter. Place in oven at 350 degrees for one hour

An agriturismo (farmhouse in English) is primarily a farm and has a number of rooms or apartments available for guests. Most agriturismo's produce wine or olive oil, but often also grain, cheese, honey or jam. Agritur Ruatti is in Precorno in the Val di Rabbi of the Val di Sole. Severino Ruatti provided the Filò with this recipe. Here is their Agritur and their family.



Making Cheese at the Malga e return to the malga (the mountain dairy) and the production of the all essential cheese of our people…The cream is screened from the milk in order to produce butter. The remaining milk from the morning milking of the cows is introduced into the milk of the evening milking and placed in a very large copper kettle that sits over a fire. The mixture is heated to 36-37 degrees centigrade. There is added some caglio or rennet. The term rennet identifies a particular digestive enzyme that works exclusively on the casein of milk, the milk’s proteins. It is a substance extracted from the stomach of young heifer. After 20-25 minutes, the liquid coagulates, which then becomes fragmented into small pieces. This formation continues over the fire to a temperature of 45-46 degrees centigrade. It is cooked and stirred for 15 minutes. The individual pieces or clusters gather and unite at the bottom of the kettle forming an elastic paste: the cheese. With the help of a sieve cloth, the cheese maker gathers the cheese and places it into the “fascere”. These are wooden forms that are held together with strings to give a form to the cheese. The cheese enclosed into its form to season it rendering the cheese more or less flavorful. With the siero or the liquid whey which remains in kettle after the production of the cheese, ricotta cheese is produced. The siero is “re-cooked” (ricotta is translated “recooked”) at a temperature of 80-90 degrees centigrade There is added a “agro” (the siero or the whey that is allowed to acidify) to the coagulate, vinegar, salt as well as other acidifiers. The flakes coming to the surface are placed in wicker baskets. Written by Daniela Finardi, Museo dei Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina.



Family Stories: Pedrotti true son of Tyrol, Giacomo Bonaventura Pedrotti brought many of the Tyrolean ideals with him on his journey to the United States. His faith, love of family, dedication to hard work and service are among those that came to America with Giacomo and these ideals continue to carry through to the Pedrotti family today. While his history is well researched by generations of Pedrotti’s, many of his major life events remain a mystery.

Born in 1846, Giacomo was baptized in Magras, Tyrol. One of 10 children, he was the son of Giacomo Pietro Pedrotti and Felicita Giueseppa Marinolli. Giacomo left Magras for work in Verona, Italy when his father lost his business and could no longer support his family. He eventually immigrated in 1871 to the United States. In a letter dated January 22, 1874, Giacomo Pietro writes to his son and says, “ I know nothing else to say except to remind you to be a good man and Christian and remember there is a God.” Giacomo who became known as James Pedrotti, settled in Catawissa, Missouri (about 40 miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri). Why James settled in this rural location with a large Irish population remains an unanswered question to our family. However, his influence and those of the following generations has made a distinct impact on this small rural community.

Much more is known about Richard James Pedrotti, the first son of James Pedrotti and our (great)-grandfather. It seems Richard was a man of many talents, a farmer, a bootlegger, a well digger, but he was more well-known as being a thresher operator. A thresher is a machine that separates the grain from the stalks and husk. He also had one of the first automobiles in Franklin County, Missouri which perpetuated a family love of automobiles. Like his father James, Richard too experienced tragedy in his life, when his first wife, Teresa Katherine Brady and son, Ambrose (age nine) died within the same week of one another of influenza and pneumonia. Richard, also, was left to care for his six children (James Joseph, John Francis, Oliver, Leo, Ellen, and Theresa). He remarried Catherine Ann Timlin, shortly thereafter and they had two more children (Cecelia and William). A member of the Knights of Columbus, Richard was a dedicated community man. His obituary notes that “He was a kind husband, loving father and a good neighbor.” The Pedro’s (as the Pedrotti’s were nicknamed) were wellknown in Catawissa for their large families, work on behalf of the St. Patrick’s Old Rock Church and frequent parties. While most of the Pedrotti’s have moved from this small, rural town, each August the family returns to pay homage to our fore-fathers dating back to Tyrolean son Giacomo (James) Pedrotti to pay respects and raise funds for this non-supported parish church and cemetery. To this family, this final resting place and the history it represents, are a “little piece of heaven.” Written by Judy Pedrotti Andersen, Chesterfield, MO & Kathy Pedrotti Hays, Indianapolis, IN

After arriving in Missouri, James married Ellen Butler in 1875 and they had four children, (Richard, Dennis, Mary and John). After Ellen’s death in 1889; James raised the children by himself until his marriage to Mary Brady in 1892. Their marriage produced 5 more children (Charles, Celester, James, Mary and Catherine). Many of James’ children are named after his brothers and sisters in the Italian tradition. James Pedrotti took heed to his father’s advice and by accounts, led a purposeful and faithful life. Part of his legacy is the donation of a large walnut tree which was made into a mission cross at St. Patrick’s Old Rock Church in Catawissa, Missouri. This church has been a part of much of the Pedrotti history. At the time of his death, James Pedrotti had accumulated a fair amount of wealth and owned significant acreage. His obituary states, “Mr. Pedrotti coming to this country young and among strangers, had many trials to overcome which he did patiently and raised a well-respected family.” He was buried at the St. Patrick’s Old Rock church cemetery which has served as the final resting place for many generations of Pedrotti’s. 12

Giacomo Bonaventura Pedrotti


The Runaway Madonna he Val di Sole cannot boast of any impressive sanctuaries, but the church of Santa Maria in Pellizzano can proudly claim the title of 'Sanctuary of the Valley'. From Medieval times, processions have arrived from nearby villages and even from more distant places like Rabbi, Cis, Bresimo and Livo. The purpose was usually to invoke the help of the Madonna of Pellizano in times of crisis. Santa Maria of Pellizzano is one of the more interesting churches of the upper Val di Sole, rich in both Gothic and Renaissance details. It was rumored that Charlemagne had visited it on his legendary sweep through these parts. But historians now agree that his path had taken him through the Val Venosta instead. Nonetheless, up until 1841, there had been a fresco on the south face of the church, commemorating Charlemagne's passage. Legend has it that the statue of the Madonna had 'run away' one night from Livo and had positioned itself in front of the Pellizzano church. The parishioners of Livo brought her back home, but the following night, the statue fled again. At this point there was talk of a miracle and the citizens of Livo made a barefoot pilgrimage to Pellizzano to honor the emigrant Madonna and to install her statue in a niche on the exterior of the church there. The statue was protected by a wrought iron grate crafted, according to legend, by none other than the apostles Peter and Paul. But at Pellizzano, it is claimed that the best iron workers of the area were called upon to install the wrought iron around the niche, so that the Madonna could be moved only when it was to be carried in solemn procession on religious feasts.

On September 8th, the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, pilgrims arrived at Pellizzano from all over the valley. The statue of the Madonna is carried in procession on the first Sunday in September. On the three days preceding the procession, the statue is placed in the churchyard, dressed in silk robes. The people of the town have accompanied the statue on many a procession, most often in times of plague or natural disasters. In November of 1966, when the Trentino was devastated by floods, the Madonna was removed from its niche and placed on the bridge over the Noce River, in the hope that the swollen and menacing river would stay within its banks.

The 'miraculous' statue is most likely the work of a sculptor of the 1300's. In front of the statue, it had been the custom to place the bodies of children who had died before being baptized. Also, as was the custom in Trento, the bodies of those who had drowned in the Noce were laid here until proper identification of the remains could be made. Constructed in the fifteenth century, on the site of an earlier, rectangular chapel dating from before 1200, the church of Pellizzano was consecrated on October 16, 1474 by the bishop Albertino. It was enlarged in the following century by artisans from Lombardy who had settled in the valley.

The church was the meeting place of the confraternity of the Fredaia of Santa Maria. This group was also known as the 'Schola dei Disciplini' and a fresco in the church, known as the 'fresco dei Disciplini', depicts the rows of hooded friars. This painting is the work of Cipriano Vallorsa, and was probably commissioned by the Friary itself. 13


The People’s Clocks an has always desired to measure time and not be satisfied to alternate day and night, light and darkness. The very first sun dial that we are aware of arose among the Assyrian-Babylonians and was simply the most ordinary of sticks planted in the ground which projected a shadow throughout the daylight. From that time, the sun dials became quite sophisticated instruments of measurement. They needed the Sun…and truly in the Valley of the Sun, the Val di Sole, whose name had a special significance, they found a new vitality. In the years that passed, the sun dials were found on the churches, castles and on the more important houses of the villages. To this day, we can find many examples functioning and restored instruments. They scanned the day with precision along with the ringing of the bells. They defined the moments of the activities of the Solandri, their meals and their peasant’s life. It was difficult to construct and pay for their construction since they were the product of very complicated calculations which only few experts were capable of producing. As such, only the rich were able to afford them. Nonetheless, they were at the service of all. They were decorated with artistic elements. They signaled the hours in different ways but they also prompted commentaries about the temporal and passing aspects of time and of our lives.

cloudy days, one naturally accept it with a tranquility and stop running around respecting the rhythms of nature….a disposition and quality that our ancestors knew quite well…

Magras, Val di Sole

Val di Sole Sundial

In Monclassico and Presson the slow motion of the shadows, silently pronounces the march of time. Here, science and art came together to give life to an unusual and ambitious idea, yet one deeply grounded in an old tradition: the adornment of town buildings and squares with modern, artistic sundials. The project was conceived by the “Le Meridiane” cultural association, established with the intent to rediscover and enhance the cultural value of the area. Since 2002, the association has been coordinating the various phases of the project and its related initiatives, with support from the city of Monclassico and strong commitment from local residents. Since the onset of the initiative, every summer, five artists are invited to produce a sundial, crafted according to on their own ideas and inspiration and working in collaboration with expert gnomonists (or “dial”-ists), custodians of the noble and ancient science concerning the construction of sundials. Little by little, a legacy of utmost value took shape, composed of over fifty sundials. An outdoor art gallery open to the pubic has become a major tourist attraction, awarding Presson and Monclassico, in the Sun valley the well-earned title of “land of the sundials.” In Monclassico, a village in the Valley of the Sun, one For info: can find more than 50 sun dials with a great variety of artistic and technical elements, horizontal and vertical, Written by Sandro De Manicor, Journalist with a combination of Babylonian, Italian and French measurements, all quite precise to the very specific




Thermal Spring of Rabbi & Pejo t both ends of the Val di Sole (Sun Valley) two smaller valleys lead into the natural park of Stelvio, namely the Val di Rabbi and the Val di Pejo. At the end of each of these valleys there are thermal springs. The ancient fountain of Rabbi was discovered in 1666. The first news of this spring was given in a booklet published on February 18, 1671 by Giovanni Gaspari Papi of Pressano. At the end of the nineteenth century, the spring was flowing at 125 liters a minute, or 180,000 liters a day - close to 66 million liters a year! In 1846, a second spring was discovered nearby. In the late 1800's, famous patients began to arrive in the valley, afflicted by anemia, liver disorders, nephritis, etc. Among these was the famous abbot Antonio Stoppani, known as the father of Italian geology. At that time, various public locales were established in the valley to house and feed the visitors. Only the Grand Hotel remains today. It was completely refurbished in 1991. The hotel, as well as the springs themselves, was ceded to the town of Rabbi in 1983 by the province of Trento. Near the hotel is the chapel of St. Anne, built in 1784 and enlarged in 1835. Between the First and Second World Wars, from 1922 to 1945, these buildings were requisitioned by the Mussolini regime which used them as summer camps for GIL, a Fascist youth organization. The famous Italian pianist Benedetti Michelangeli (19201995) bought a shepherd's cottage in the Val di Rabbi and vacationed there between concert tours around the world, including some to the USA and the Soviet Union. The mineral waters of Pejo were known since the late sixteenth century. The first chemical analysis of the water occurred in 1650, when Arnold Blanchkenbach of Cologne, Germany, made a special four-day trip from Venice for that purpose. Two centuries later, the mineral water of Pejo was announced to the world as the "most famous water of the Austrian State" (Until 1919, the

Thermal Springs of Rabbi


Thermal Springs of Pejo

Trentino belonged to Austria). These waters are the lightest of the region. They have both diuretic and laxative properties and are often prescribed for liver diseases. Near the spring is the church of San Camillo. Among other tourist attractions are several ski trails. Most of the current population is engaged in dairy farming. At Pejo, the only surviving community cheese factory may be found. Called 'caseifici turnari,' for hundreds of years, up to the 1970's, these establishments could be found in almost every village of the Trentino. There were 351 of them at the start of the First World War. Any peasant who had one or more cows in his barn would bring his milk to this dairy. A cheesemaker and the equipment for making cheese were always available. The cheesemaker would duly record the quantity of milk in his ledger. The milk collected from all the villagers was pooled and when it reached a certain quantity, usually two hundred to two hundred fifty kilograms. it was time to start processing it. As the milk was collected during the day, it was placed in metal containers and immersed in vats of running water. During the night, the cream rose to the top, and in the morning it was removed and put into the churn, a wooden cask with a piston which was used to 'beat the sheets', that is vigorously stir the cream until all the liquid was removed and butter was formed. This butter was then pressed so as to remove remaining milk. The butter was then pressed into wooden forms which were immersed in cold water for a few hours and then wrapped in wax paper. The butter was then distributed, in turn, to the villagers, in proportion to the amount of milk they had contributed. This cooperative system allowed every participant to have butter and cheese. As a byproduct, the whey was used to feed the hogs. Written by Alberto Folgheraiter, Journalist & Author


Leggende: Ghosts of Castra House n the winters of 1969 and 1888, all of Europe was leveled by many avalanches. Tremosine was destroyed and it was not the first time. Several centuries ago in fact at the mines of Comasine, there occurred a terrible disaster. Suddenly the iron mines caved in killing many men. The years moved on and slowly but surely, the people began to simply forget the tragedy. One night two valley people saw the Castra house, abandoned for some time and still standing on the top of the hill next to the ancient mine illuminated during the day. They thought that it might be some passer-by who stayed the night. The following night, the entire village quite curious went to look. And as had happened, the house became illuminated. Every night the lights were lit. Increasingly the curiosity of the village grew and grew. Unknown by their families, a group of young girls decided to go to see what those lights might be. The following night, they put on party dresses and departed for Castra House. As they approached, they began to hear the sound of a waltz. Delighted to hear the music, they drew closer and were met by a group of young polite, elegantly dressed young men. The well-mannered and courteous young men invited the young ladies into the house and join the party. There was dancing and singing and a marvelous spread of food and refreshments. The party lasted all night. The young ladies convinced that they had found possible spouses came up to the house each and every evening.

But one evening one of the girls had an awful suspicion. Why is it that the end of the evening my gentleman companion is so very white and so fatigued. She asked her adventuresome companions and found that they too were thinking the very same thing. At the end of the evening, all the young men while they danced with the girls were saying‌Slowly make a turns while dancing since the dead have little strength. The girls realized that they were dancing with the dead of the mine tragedy. They fled at full speed down the hill. From that day on, no one ever again set foot in Castra House‌To this day, at night, it is said that one can hear a sweet waltz coming from the house. Written by Verena De Paoli, Terlago, Val dei Laghi



Ossana and its Castle rom time immemorial, the village of Ossana was the political, administrative and ecclesiastical center of the upper Val di Sole

As early as 1183, there are documents referVillage of Ossana, Val di Sole ring to a Pastor and 1191, the castle is also mentioned as Vulsane. The ancient name of Vulsana is a personal name of Volsius or Vulso. Recent archeological discoveries in the hills of San Michele suggest a settlement during the Bronze Age. Throughout the Middle Ages to this day, Ossana was a flourishing village on account of the mines of Comasine and Fucine as well as with the ongoing transactions with the nearby Lombard valleys. Ossana’s history is intertwined with its castle and conflict and strife with the Prince Bishop of Trento and the Count of the Tyrol. The castle was inhabited by a succession of feudal families from the Federici agli Heydorf ai Bertelli.. The village was also a war theater during the Guerra Rustica in 1525. November 5, 1918, at the end of the World War I, the Italian invading troops entered and burned the rectory.

The very size of Castle of San Michele of Ossana, leaves the passerby breathless. The Castle is “Roman-Gothic” in style with huge thick walls and an imposing tower, a drawbridge, and a fortified moat. Recent excavations reveale that it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. It was a classic lookout built strategically to oversee a key passage in the valley. It was usurped by Mainardo of the Tyrol and became the residence of the Prince Bishops of Trent. There followed other notable families of wealth and influence: the Federici, a Ghibelline family from the Val Camonica, the Heydorf, the Bertelli from Caderzone of the Val Rendena who were driven out by the farmer combattants in the “Rustic War” of 1524. During the Napoleonic domination period, it was the soldier’s barracks. In brief, between 1800 and 1900, it was owned by the Austrian Bohemian author, Bertha von Suttner. She was the inspiration of Alfred Nobel and the author of a famous opera of 1889 “DieWaffen nieder!” (Lower the Arms!). She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. Just to the east of Ossana, next to the church of St Anthony, there is the cemetery of 1400 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army who died on the Tonale front in the “Great War”, an army that included so very many our people from our valleys including the Val di Sole. Close by stands an austere monument to the Kaiserschutze which has become a Peace Park, as a symbol of a profound fraternity. During the winter, Ossana is the seat of one of the more significant expositions in the Trentino, the exposition of crèches. Throughout the village, the crèches are displayed crèches in the old stables, windows, wood bins and nooks and crannies.

In one of the homes in the historical section of the town, there were discovered murals of considerable interest from the 15th and 16th century. The parish church of San Vigilio rises in the upper portion of the village. Only the campanile is Romanesque in style whereas the church structure derives from about 1400. Written By Alberto Penasa, APT Val di Sole The facade of the church is Renaissance in style and is dated 1536. The interior has only one vaulted nave and has three altars. The main altar is made of inlaid wood by Ramus in the 17th century. The right side altar sculpted in marble by the Veronese Machesini (1665); the left side altar, also in marble, rendered by Tyrolean artists (XVIII). Outside of the village, there is the church of St Anthony surrounded by mini-shrines of the Stations of the Cross. It represents the most singular example of Solandro Baroque Art, built between 1686 and 1718, with frescoes by Lombard masters, the Solandro master Dalla Torre (1748-1751) and of Domenico Bonora (1685-1758), a painter from Cavalese of the Val di Fiemme. Ossana’s Castle 18

One of Our Own . . . In Space


Editor’s Note: Look up to the skies…One of very own, Samantha Cristoforetti of the Val di Sole, was launched into space on November 23 where she will be at the Space Station for the next 6 months. We salute her and are proud of her!

he is a Trentina from the Val di Sole. She is the first Italian female astronaut to have flown in space. Her name is Samantha Cristoforetti, the daughter of Sergio Cristoforetti and Antonella Pedrotti of Male`, Val di Sole, their homestead where her parents owned and managed the Hotel Male`. She was born on the 26th of April, 1977 in Milan where her parents resided for awhile in that time period. Her infancy was spent in the environment of her ancestors, the Val di Sole where she attended elementary school. Distinguishably special, she moved on to attend the Liceo della Marcellina in Bolzano. She completed in three more years her “maturita”-high school specializing in science at the Liceo “Leonardo da Vinci” in Trento. She pursued her baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering in the technical University in Munich, Germany along with studies in France and in Moscow where she wrote her baccalaureate thesis. The turning point in her career was when she opted to serve as a volunteer in the Italian military. In 2001, she entered the Italian Aeronautical Academy and after her studies for four years she became an officer and a military pilot. She then came to USA to complete her aeronautical studies

and training. Returning to Italy, she becomes a commander of A-Mx bomber. Her exemplary performance throughout her preparation resulted in her selection for the European Spatial Agency (ESA).

The desire and dream of flying in space was engendered since she was a young girl in the Val di Sole observing the star studded skies of the Val di Sole. She is now a captain in the Italian Air Force. To prepare herself for her flight in space, she was assigned to the Russian base of Baikonurs of Soyuz TMA. She was sent for further training in various part of the world including our own United States of America, where her young brother Jonathan lives and works in California as a Information technician. In space, Samantha will be pursuing a great variety of scientific tasks and studies as well as navigating her space craft. Malè, the Val di Sole, the Trentino-Alto Adige, all of Italy are profoundly proud of this courageous young woman. This intelligent and determined Trentina whose character has been forged among her beloved mountains of Val di Sole. Writen by Paolo Magagnotti, former Director of Communications for the Province, International President of European Journalist Association and traveling companion of Fr. Bolognani.


Val di Sole

The Mushroom Scientist Editor’s Note: Everyone of our Tyrolean families in whatsover part of the world should know and appreciate the special and revered place the mushroom has in our humble cuisine. Our alpine ancestors scoured the woods and mountain sides of their valleys to find them and finding them delightfully added them to their servings of polenta or risotto. Here is the story of the consummate and reknown expert and scholar of mycology, the study of mushrooms. He was a proud Solandro, a native of the Val di Sole.


iacomo Bresadola, priest and scientist, died at Trento on June 9, 1929. He was 82 years old. He had been born at Ortisè (the nettle place) at 2 AM on Sunday, February 14. 1847 and was baptized a few hours later as Giacomo Antonio. He was the first of 12 children born to Domenica and Simon Bresadola between 1847 and 1868. In the baptismal register of Ortisè and Menas, the parents are said to be peasants. The population of these two villages in Val di Sole then consisted of 297 souls. After elementary school in his own village, young Giacomo was placed with an uncle, Don Angelo Bresadola, the parish priest of Cloz. He remained there only a year, because he was deemed to be too vivacious! From there he went to Montichiari, in the province of Brescia, joining his father Simon, who, along with many fellow villagers, worked as a coppersmith during the winter months. In autumn, after work in the fields and on the mountains was finished, they would immigrate to the plains of Lombardy.

local friary. One of these monks, Father Placido Giovanella da Cembra (1828-1903) introduced Giacomo to the systematic study of mushrooms. He began a lengthy correspondence with the eminent Italian scientist Pier Andrea Saccardo (1845-1920) and with the renowned French mycologist Lucien Quelet (18321899). In 1884, Don Giacomo had to leave his beloved Val di Sole to assume a position as the Administrator of Episcopal Revenue. He was later assigned to an analogous position at the Cathedral in Trento. His vast mycological knowledge and the international esteem he had earned, remained unknown to his fellow citizens until 1927, when a committee was formed to honor don Bresadola on his eightieth birthday. Renowned scientists and researchers, among them Luigi Fenaroli, Givanni Batista Trener and Giulio Catoni, published papers and pamphlets calling don Bresadola an 'Italian glory'. The American C.G. Lloyd, who had visited him in 1923, declared, “I could not leave Italy without undertaking a pilgrimage to Trento to pay my respects to Bresadola, whom I consider to be the most knowledgeable mycologist in the world. He is truly a grand old man who will leave a legacy of systematic mycology to rival that of Persoon and Fries,” (Mycological Notes, Ohio, September 1923). There was widespread sorrow upon the death of Don Giacomo. On December 7, 1957, at Trento, the Bresadola Mycological Group was established. In 1987, it became the Bresadola Mycological Association. It publishes a magazine and various pamphlets, and maintains contact with the hundreds of Bresadola Clubs which have sprung up like mushrooms, all over the world.

Giacomo's scholarly predisposition and the family's comfortable earnings, led the parents to enroll him in the Royal Technical School at Rovereto. His call to the priesthood came later, and the young man transferred to the Prince Bishop's Seminary in Trento, where in a short time, he caught up on the material he was lacking, namely Greek and Latin. He was ordained on July 31, 1870 and sent to serve as chaplain at Baselga di Pinè, then to Roncegno, then on to Male`. He was designated as curate of Magras in the Val di Sole. It was here that he became friendly with the Written by Alberto Folgheraiter, Journalist & Author Abbate Giacomo Bresadola Capuchin monks in the 22


Fighting Poverty by Cooperating n the Tyrol, the Cooperative movement inserted itself not only in the area of credit for the farmers; it addressed itself to various aspects or needs of the world of the farmer. In 1890, there began in Villa of Santa Croce in the Bleggio a Consumer Cooperative. Begun by the Founder of the Cooperative Movement, Don Lorenzo Guetti. He called a Famiglia Cooperativa, a Family Cooperative. His term of “family” was used to capture the very spirit of solidarity present in a real family addressing the needs of agriculture and the farmers’ families. He thought that such a notion of a family dynamic of mutual reliance would have a greater power in the acquisition of goods and services than that of private entrepreneurs. There were two objectives. One was to enable the impoverished farmers to acquire agricultural necessities at a far lower price then they had to pay previously. The other was to provide time for the farmers to repay their purchases at a time when they had realized the harvests of their fields.

The beneficiaries of the Cooperative were the “soci”, the associates or those participating in the Cooperative and who had underwritten the social quota needed to creative the Cooperative. Such associates were enabled to buy not on the personal credit which they did not have but of that of the Cooperative. The purchases were recorded on a designated booklet and the farmers did not pay immediately but only when they were able. In truth, the reality was that the Cooperative was too indulgent. They would have to often remind the associates to pay their debts reminding them of their obligations. The Cooperatives were placed in jeopardy their balance sheets as they struggled to recoup their loans extended to the famers. These circumstances plagued the Cooperatives throughout the Tyrol but they could not do other than tolerate the delays. The very system with its accounting booklets was designed as a means of helping the poor farmers incapable to sustain them and deprived of any personal credit or assets.


Early Family Cooperative

The Family Cooperative sought to extend themselves selling their goods at the very costs and eventually deriving a slight profit to assist actual Cooperative store or outlet to sustain their expenses, avoiding cheating on the price of goods that were exchanged. Eventually, this mode of consumer cooperative played an extremely important role and function not only for the associates but also for the consumers in general who benefitted by this mechanism. Thanks to the Cooperative mechanism, the exchange of good experienced a resulting price control. Even the private vendors had to lower their prices to remain competitive and not be excluded from the commerce. This model questioned the position and privileges of the commercial enterprises that coalesced against the cooperative movement to place the cooperatives in difficult but without succeeding. The Consumer Cooperative served as a catalyst in a grand design to oblige the farmer to improve his agricultural practices by abandoning the poly-farming and embracing a production geared to the needs of the agricultural marketing. The initiative was to upset the equilibrium of the old order to enliven to a very needy area which had nurtured and prompted emigration Written by Alberto Ianes, Museo Storico, Trento


Family Stories: The Gentilini’s

n 2013, my Mother and her siblings sold my grandparent’s house in Chisholm, Minnesota. It was difficult for all of us in the Gentilini family to let go of the house that had been our family’s headquarters for 75 years. The house and surrounding 40 acres were purchased on April 15, 1939 by my GreatGrandparents, Pietro and Maria Gentilini. Peter had left the little town of Almazzago in Val di Sole of Trentino, Italy fifteen years earlier in 1924, bound for another tiny town in the Northeastern part of Minnesota in the United States. He left behind his pregnant wife Maria, a 3 year old son, Vince (my grandfather) and a 2 year old daughter, Corina. After arriving in Chisholm, he settled in with Maria’s relatives and began to work hard so he could save enough money to bring his family to live with him on the Iron Range of Minnesota. Finally, in 1929, all his hard work paid off when he was finally reunited with his wife and children, including his then 5 year old daughter Perina that he would meet for the first time.

Back (L-R): Perina, Venancio, Corina; Front (L-R(: Marina, Maria, Peter, Pietro Irma

Our family has enjoyed many, many happy years in Nonno and Nonna’s house, holidays and almost every other family celebration were held there throughout the years and friends and relatives were always passing through the door. Maria passed away in 1981, but the family lived on, making more memories and filling the house with more generations. There are currently 5 generations of the family living today, including 4 of my Ten years after his family’s arrival, Peter and his wife grandfather’s sisters. would purchase their very first home. Originally, the house came with a barn which housed, chickens, cows, Even though it was very difficult to sell our family’s orighorses and a few barn cats. Along with working in the inal home and close this chapter of the Gentilini family iron mines, Peter would gather eggs and milk that his story, it has given us time to pay reverence to what is realchildren would deliver to neighbors and friends on their ly important about this story, and it isn’t the house, it is way to school every morning. It was his contribution to the people, our Nonno and Nonna, who sacrificed so the other immigrants in the community. Maria con- much, who left everything and everyone they loved to tributed with her beautiful flowers and large gardens. come to a country where they didn’t know a word of the language or a thing about the culture, therefore allowing Peter and Maria’s family grew as the years went by to me to sit here today and write their story. finally include 3 more daughters and another son. The house was always full of life, people and much happiness. I remember seeing an interview with an immigrant and But as the years passed, the family would also experience her daughter years ago, the daughter said to her mother some very profound tragedies, including the tragic deaths that life was so hard for her after she had moved to the of a 3 year old daughter to influenza and the car accident United States, and she was sorry that her dreams of a that took their youngest son, Peter at the age of 29 and better life didn’t come true. To which the mother finally the death of Pietro himself in 1963. By this time, replied, “Oh, but they did come true! You were my their children had either married or moved away to start dream for a better life, it was you I wanted to have a betlives of their own leaving Maria all alone in the house, so ter life and you have far surpassed my dreams dear in 1966, she made the decision to move to Minneapolis daughter.” So, even though it has been hard to let go, it to live with her youngest daughter, Irma and her family. isn’t the house or things that really matter, it is the memThe house was then passed onto my Grandparents, ories of our ancestors and their lives and legacies that Vince and Lillian Gentilini, who packed up their family live on through us, and it is the love we have for those from the house next door and moved into Vince’s child- that came before us that will remain inside of us. We hood home, where they would raise their own 4 children honor them by making our lives and those that come and in 1967, I was born, ushering in the fourth genera- after us just a little bit better. tion of the Gentilini family to live in the house. Written by Stefanie Gentilini Carlson, Biddings, MN 24


Family Stories: The Gregori’s

onno, Domenico Gregori arrived in America in 1906 at the age of 26. He immigrated from a small village, Magras, located in the Trentino Region of Northern Italy, formerly Tirol. He left his home find better opportunities in America. Nonna, Caterina Nicoletti, was born in a small village, Sassoferrato, in the Ancona region of Italy. After her parents passed away, she eventually immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16. Nonna and Nonno met each other in a small coal mining town in Northeastern, Pennsylvania called Glen Lyon. They were married in 1909, had 8 children, 22 grandchildren, and countless other descendents. No one is sure how our family name, Gregori, evolved into Gregory, ending in a ‘y’ instead of ‘I’. Nonno and nonna had a business in Glen Lyon called Gregory’s Café. It’s presumed that somehow because of the business or possibly at school the spelling of our “cognome” changed. Nonno was famous for wine making and nonna for her spaghetti dinners. Prohibition did not deter nonno from his wine making and the café’ became a grocery store. I remember going to their house for spaghetti, ravioli and polenta dinners prepared by nonna and that wonderful aroma of her sauce simmering on the coal/gas stove. Nonno enjoyed the outdoors and hunting. He talked about his youth in Magras where he would spend the summers in the mountain meadows tending the grazing cows. Nonna always had a neatly planted vegetable garden and chickens in the coop out back. The attic of the garage is where Nonno kept his wine press. A story about Nonno’s wine making was the day some grappa leaked from the garage attic onto his brand new car and ruined the paint. Nonno was more concerned about losing the grappa than the damage to his car. He died in 1946, which was the last contact with his family in Italy.

Standing from left to right are Giustina, Celeste, Fridilino, Domenico (nonno) and Attilio (cugino Attilio’s nonno). Sitting are my bisnonni, Caterina Zanella Gregori and Gottardo Davide

wife Nicoletta, son Bruno, and daughter Angela. After a hearty lunch, Attilio, the ultimate tour director, and so proud of the Val di Sole, drove us around the area, including a visit to Madonna di Campiglio, the magnificent, snow covered peaks of the Dolomites. What a view! On Sunday morning we attended Mass in the village church, meeting many cugini. After Mass, a reunion luncheon was held in the Ristorante Conte Ramponi in Magras, where we met and chatted with many cousins, quite a few spoke English. We exchanged pictures, and ate some wonderful local foods and, of course, drank the local wines. The daughter of Giustina, nonno’s sister, remembered receiving the letter of nonno’s passing and the sadness of her mother. Later we walked through Magras, seeing nonno’s house, school and other sights and talking to relatives. After our first reunion, we continue to stay in contact. We visited Magras again in 2008 and 2013, the last 2 visits included my daughter and grand daughters. Attlio also visited us in the U.S. We are In May, 2001, my wife, Peg, and I decided to take a trip very proud of our heritage and so happy to have found to Austria and possibly to Magras, if it still existed, never family in Tirol. expecting to find family. A family friend suggested contacting his cousin who owns the Monte Giner Hotel in Written by Paul Gregory of Philadelphia, PA, Grandson the Val di Sole. So, I sent an email to the hotel owner of Domenico and Caterina Gregori. explaining who I was and asking directions to Magras. Much to my surprise, about 3 days later I received an Email from Attilio Gregori. Attilio and I exchanged emails and became acquainted. Attilio and I discovered that we had similar photos, shown above, of nonno as a young man. Attilio invited us to visit. We finally arrived in Magras and were greeted by Attilio and his family, 25


Nos Dialet . . . Our Dialect # 9

ascinating words…there are words and sounds that can be heard throughout the Trentino while others only in a particular valley. Moreno Tait, Val di Non, the personal secretary of Hugo Rossi, President of the Province, said to me the word..Madò…Although I could not explain it or analyze it, I knew actually what he meant. He explained that it meant “ma certo” or “sicuramente” from the meaning and sense of Madonna. I wanted to bring it to your attention so I asked Tomaso Iori of the Museo Scuola of Rango. After a “scholarly” argument, we concluded it really was an abbreviation for the word Madonna…It was not a blasphemy but simply an abbreviation. Truly so…as I recalled touring the city of New York with a dear friend who seeing the sights of the city, he would repeatedly exclaim…Madonna, che grant! Madonna, che bel? Mother of God, how big! Mother of God, how beautiful! It was innocent and spontaneous and derived from the rich religious cultural traditions of language and expressions of the Tyrol…Madò…l`è propri vera! Mother of God, it is truly so!!!!

The sound of our dialect. Without any claim to scholarship, I do recall an experience I had in 1968. I had not been in the Province since 1948…for four months in the Bleggio of the Val delle Giudicarie where I lived with a people that maintained its dialect and customs. That day I had spent the entire day in Rome, heard its pronunciation and nuances and sounds. I left on the midnight train for Trento and awoke to the sounds of our dialect, its intonations,. I looked out the window and saw our tall mountains as we were approaching Trento...and I felt at home…in my home in Greenwich Village listening to the sounds of my parents and our paesani talking with their words…and sounds. Bias? Prejudice? No…just memory…and just sounds…that reinforced our differences and our identity. Do consider going to the web site of the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina (The Museum of the Ways and Customs of the Trentino People) to hear film clips of the sounds and intonations of our people in the Province speaking the dialect…Here is their website

DIALECT SHOW & TELL # 2 La Cosina-the Kitchen

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. portasugaman/towel holder strusa/dish towel cesera-ciasera/door lock ola/pot snol/door handle cazol-menestro/ladle menestrador fora/ fluted ladle menestrador fora-spiumarola/ fluted ladle napolitana/coffee pot Neopolitan style tabiel/polenta board caseta par la-dalla legna/woodbin parol/polenta pot parolin/small polenta pot manach/pot handle trisa/polenta stick fer da sopresar/iron marmita/pot inserted into the stove centener/ granite forms to store butter banzola-spazadora/dustpan with handle

zanca/elbow tubo-canon/stove pipe vaschetta-vasca dala conomica/hot water insert porteia dal fom/ door of the “oven” porteia del calin/door of the small “oven” pegot-pe/leg finestra-vedri/window sperei/window frame squanz/recess manecia/window handle vedro-lastro/glass stagia fermabarcon/shutter hold vaschetta-vasca della conomica/hot water reserve cerchio-cercol-ceclo/concentric iron stove rings porteia dal foch/door of the fire porteia dala cendro/door to the ashes piastreia/tiles secer/sink bochirol/spout

The illustrations opposite are those of Helene 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 26



Remembering their Past

he Museo of the Civiltà Solandra (name of the People of the Val di Sole) opened in 1981. The museum recalls the testimonies and artifacts of the people of the Val di Sole. It attempts to preserve, reconstruct, and hand down the principal moments of the life in the past of this valley. The Museum is dedicated to the life and the work of the men and women of that time: woodsmen and carpenters, agriculture and cattle breeding, the work of the blacksmith, weaver, and the spinner. There is the reconstruction of the local houses of a peasant’s home: its kitchen, featuring an open hearth, connected with a horizontal flu, the credenza, the table, the bread chest and very many utensils used very day; the bedroom, the “stua” (stove), pictures of family elders and deceased relatives. The room is heated by large ceramic stove built in the valley. The room is illuminated by candles while the walls and ceiling are framed in wood paneling. There also several stores of craftsmen: the shoemaker, coppersmith, the blacksmith and the carpenter. The Museum is maintained by the cultural association “Centro Studi per la Val

di Sole, founded in 1967 which also is responsible for the Museum of the Great War in the village of Peio di Sole, founded in 1967 which also is responsible for the Museum of the Great War in the village of Peio. In another section, there is a display of great and famous mycologist solandro, Giacomo Bresadola, his writing and drawings, personal objects, report cards, documents, private correspondence and scientific of this celebrated Solandro known throughout the world. For information, one can visit the museum’s site: Written by Federica Costanzi, Attorney, Centro Studi, Malè Val di Sole. - A Virtual Library

In the absence of traditional communities with fixed locations in most places, the Filò website can serve as our community’s virtual library. All the past 8 issues of the Filò are archived there. Simply click on one of the covers, it enlarges and the pages turn for you. The articles of the past Filò are being situated on the left side of the site and arranged according to themes, e.g. Cuisine, Music, etc. This part is a work in progress. You will find the music of the songs that are featured in the individual issues. Finally, the special book for our community, The Courageous People from the Dolomites, written by Fr. Bonny, Fr. Bonifacio Bolognani is also there to read and enjoy. The archiving of the past issues is especially important for the many who register every day and who had not seen the previous issues. One can also register there to receive the Filò. Go to the library…and learn about your heritage.



Father Bonny, Our Champion

r. Bonifacio Bolognani was a very special friend to our Tyrolean American community. He gave us 22 years of service seeking us out from one community to another throughout the United States bringing us not only the Word of God but bringing to our immigrants the presence of their lands and culture. He was our apostle as well as sociologist describing and explaining ourselves to ourselves by his book Courageous People from the Dolomites. Finally he gave us as our very own, our very first immigrant, Fr Eusebio Chini who was a giant: cartographer, astronomer, explorer, holy man and the Father of Arizona. Accordingly, we together and individually had a Archbishop Bressan, the Superior General of the need…an obligation to recognize him and celebrate Franciscans along with several of his confreres, members of the Provincial and Local governance, Paul Magagnotti, him…and we did so on August 31, 2014. Fr. Bonny’s side kick, several journalists, the Office of As a background, Fr. Bonny had been celebrated in 2007. Emigration, the media, Fr. Bonny’s many relatives and with the creation of a bust statue of him. The statue was the entire village of Vigo. The statue was there directly initiative of Gene Pellegrini, the President of ITTONA across from the church’s entrance in a beautifully landand his wife Patty. It was to be situated conspicuously in scaped spot. The action began in the beautiful church Piazza Dante, the park directly across the street from the with a magnificent choir along with violins greeted the train station but instead it was placed in the entrance area procession of Bishop and 6 priests as they entered and of Palazzo Geremia in Trento in relative obscurity. At the concelebrated the Eucharist. Immediately a town official same time, Fr. Bonny’s epic book Courageous People was set the tone with a greeting the first eulogy for Father out of print and no longer available to our community. Bonny…The Bishop both spoke and prayed in Italian Something had to be done..and it got done. Gene and English as our American delegation was present. Pellegrini, Ben Maganzini, myself and so many special After mass, we gathered in the piazza outside facing the friends of the Filo` in the Province rolled up their sleeves veiled statue…The ceremony consisted of a series of and got to work. We actually did not move mountains but presentations with interludes of Alpine songs from the somewhat did by dealing with the quintessential Italian Coro Monte Verde. The first to speak was Ben bureaucracy for almost five months with letters, emails Maganzini, then Padre Patton, the Franciscan Superior and phone calls to move the statue from Trento to Vigo General, who framed Bonny’s life, followed by Paolo Cavedine in the Val dei Laghi, Fr. Bonny’s home town. Magagnotti…then Gene…being always Gene…pleased We then went about to orchestrate the feast from afar the crowds with his tender reminiscences of Fr. Bonny in with the Mayor Renzo Travaglia, Anna Dellape, the the USA, then Archbishop Bressan, then myself presentAssessore for Cultura, and special assistant, Gianni ing him as our sociologist who reinforced our Tyrolean identity and gave us Fr. Eusebio Chini…there followed Bolognani…and it came about on August 31, 2014. the other officials. It was absolutely splendid…and like what was said about the early Christians…See how they Present was the Bishop of Trento, His Excellency love each other…the villagers repeated the expression saying: See how they loved him! Yes, we certainly did…It goes without saying…we concluded with a dinner of….polenta, krauti e spezzatino…It should also be said that the Filo` continues the work that he inspired and his Courageous People is now saved and available on the Filò. Website: 29


Mountains of the Val di Sole

any ancient paths wind among the mountains of the Val di Sole, many of them steeped in legend. It is told that in 774 Charlemagne, having defeated Desiderio, King of the Lombards, came through the Tomale Pass and then proceeded through the Val di Sole and on through the Rendena Valley. In this way, he avoided crossing the Val di Non which was inhabited by hostile tribes. Around that time the Hospice of Tonale was built to provide shelter to passing travelers.

The main peak of this valley is La Presanella. At 3,558 meters, it is the highest mountain lying entirely within the Trentino. The first ascent of the mountain occurred in 1854, when a group of Austrian topographers climbed to the summit from Val Nardis. 150 years ago, on August 25, 1864, a group of Englishmen: Melwill Beachcroft, Douglas William Freshfield, and James Douglas Walker, reached the top with the help of the Alpine guide Francois Joseph Devouassoud and a porter, Vermiglio Bortolameo Delpero. Today the climb from either the Segantini Refuge or the Denza Refuge is easily made by an alpinist and with the help of a guide, even an excursionist in good physical condition can attempt it.

In the mountains grouped around La Presanella there are many refuges. The list includes the Rifugio Capanna Presena at Vedretta di Presena; Rifugio Cornisello at Lake Cornisello; Rifugio Dario Albasini at Maghet Haut; Rifugio Fazzon; Rifugio Nambino on Lake Nambino; Rifugio Malghette at Lake Malghette; Rifugio Nambron in Val Nambron; Rifugio Orso Brunoon, Mount Vigo; Rifugio Solander at Pra di Lago and the Rifugio Viviani Pradalago. Among the oldest and most famous, the Rifugio Denza was built in 1898 and named for the Rev. Francesco Denza, a renowned meteorologist. It is managed by the Alpine guide, Mirco Dezulian. Another well known refuge is the Refugio Segantini, erected in 1901 and dedicated to the painter Giovanni Segantini, a native of Arco. Among the other mountains of the Val di Sole, one other peak merits mention, not for its Alpine habitat, but because it was the scene of an event which taxed the resources of the Alpine rescue squads. Just before Christmas, 1956, an Italian Air Line passenger plane crashed into the Genir peak, causing the death of all 22 aboard. Despite terrible weather conditions, the rescue squads were able to recover all the bodies in record time.


In the northern portion of the Val di Sole there are higher mountains approaching an altitude of 4000 meters. The most important is Cevedale at 3757 meters, lying within the Stelvio National Park. The first ascent to the highest peak of Cevedale was made on September 7, 1865 by the Bohemian Julius Payer, while the smaller peak, known as Zufallspitze, had been conquered by Edmund von Mojsisovics and his guide Sebastian Janiger on August 13, 1864. Cevedale is higher than Presanella, but it lies partially outside the Trentino, in the adjoining Adige region. Today it is relatively easy to reach the peaks of Cevedale - a cable car climbs from Solda to the Città di Milano refuge and one can walk on to the Casati refuge and then on to the peak. Alternately, the peak may be reached from the Larcher refuge in Trentino. In the Cevedale vicinity there are other notable refuges.

In the Val di Rabbi is the Silvio Dorigoni, built in 1903 and managed by the family of another Alpine guide, Lorenzo Iachelini, who was a geologist. The present structure was updated with particular attention to technological innovations for the protection of the environment. This refuge can be reached by a pleasant hike which passes by the famous Saent Waterfall, among the best known in the Trentino. In the Val di Peio, there is the Guido Larcher refuge. It was first built in 1882, and has been renovated many times since. The refuge Vioz Mantova is the highest of the eastern Alps at 3535 meters. it was built in 1911 by an Austro-German Alpine Club. Near it is the church of St Bernard of Mentone, dedicated to the dead of all wars erected in 1947. Not far away, stands the recently founded historic site of Punta Linke. This site, at 3632 meters, was the nerve center of the Ortles-Cevedale front in the Great War. For decades, ice preserved the area, but toda,y the historian, as well as the tourist, can gain insight into the soldiers’ life. Several years of digs uncovered the cable car’s arrival hut which served the troops, housing for the funicular's motor, and a service shop. A 30 meter tunnel through the rock was excavated, and the departure hut has been reconstructed. Riccardo Decarli (Biblioteca della montagna-SAT, Trento) Ricardo knows the mountains that he presents to us first hand. Hew just published Guida ai Rifugi del Trentino, where he describe the 151 “rifugi” in the Trentino. The book is available from Panorama di Trento: (


The Great War in the Val di Sole Editor’s Note: 2014 is the anniversary of the “Great War” 1914-1918 in which our people suffered greatly fighting in Russia and in defending their homeland against Italy. At its conclusion, our people lost their homeland as it was annexed without a plebiscite to Italy by the Allies. Here is the first of a series of three installments by Uldarico Fantelli who details the experience of war on our people and their lands.


he Val di Sole was one of the many valleys from the Brenner Pass to Rovereto that formed for almost 200 years the Tyrol, part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire, loyal to its Emperor, Franz Joseph. With the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo, the Emperor declared war on Serbia after the failed diplomacy with the Serbians and the Slavic nations. The declaration of war was issued on July 28, 1914..Ai Miei Popoli…To my People…read the sad declaration of war in all of the villages and hamlets of the valley. It was posted on the walls of homes, village’s walls, bulletin boards, church doors: the declaration of the much feared war. The men of the valley were called to arms (first those from 20 to 42) prepared themselves immediately to leave…leaving homes, their families and their work. There were no manifestations of bellicose enthusiasm nor were there protests or fierce dissent; serious and obedient to the call of the Emperor.

There were long lines of horses, wagons, men on foot proceeding towards the depots of the local trains: Trento-Male` and Darmulo…Mendola and then to Trento and from there to Bolzano, Innsbruck, Brixen and Merano…transported to their quarters and to their regiments. The majority of these were the four regiments of the Tiroler Kaiserjager, the Tyrolean Hunters of the


Czar. For almost all of them, the destination was Galicia. It was name that few knew and yet fewer could find on any map.

No one could have imagined and then found Galicia, in Russia, in Serbia that inferno and that carnage that proved to be an unexpected war, long, terrible, bloody and devastating. Almost all of the 480 fallen from the Val di Sole, finally accounted for at the end of conflict, left their wounded and slain bodies strewn everywhere right on the eastern front. Many many more were imprisoned by the Russians and were scattered in those infinite spaces of the empire of the Czar. Their future was cast by pain, hunger, solitude, misery and ultimately the journey back to their paternal house, a journey of biblical proportions.

The valley people who remained in their villages had an enormous difficulty in having an idea to what was really happening. But with the many, they thought that this event was inevitable but nonetheless short lived, dangerous but necessary. They imagined that “around Christmas” that their men would be returning to their lives of every day, to the peace of their routines. But it was not to be that way. The war was becoming ever bitterer and the news from the front brought indications of great heroism and the fortitude of their fighters but also of the uncertainty of the time and the final results. When then the spring of 1915 seem to have brought the belligerent powers to be approaching some kind of accord to be verified, the political and military situation worsened for the inhabitants of the Tyrol with the entrance of the Kingdom of Italy (the relatively newly formed “Italy”) into the war, It was the beginning of

For the people who remained in the villages of the Valley, life changed. Changed for the very worse. From the District Commandant of Cles, there were issued the usual directives but the new political/military environment precipitated an already compromised situation which exasperated the civil and economic relationships.

fierce Calvary; it was the beginning of yet “another” front, the front of “the war at their door” of their house.

The war throughout the Val di Sole became “global”. It was not only so due to this new front becoming a reality that was next door, the clear and present danger in next valley, and the source of the cannon fire over their very own houses, but also because the civilian living was threatened at its very core and suspicion and fear became ingredients of every day life and the measure… between individuals and their institutions. Throughout the valley, there developed new “categories” of humanity: to the soldiers and their traditional “enemies” in the field, there were added the prisoners, the civil hostages, usually the mayors and the pastors, the refugees, those evacuated locally to other countries, the political suspects, The word “fatherland” became a sign of contradiction in the very heart of one` own family, the fatherland became s source of polemics and residual resentments within the very families where there occurred contradictory loyalties.

The theater of war was on the tops of the mountains impervious and most dangerous. It was now the theater of military confrontations and a symbol of unheard and audacious alpinism without any exception. There was about to begin the war that truly merited the title the “white war” and the “war of the eagle”.

Alpini, Kaiserjager, Standschutzen, Landesschutzen, Kaiserschutzen, soldiers and volunteers, infantry and artillery, alpine guides and special forces…all gave this war a new face and a new significance, because there will be bestowed a theatricality and a nobility which all men of the mountains knew how to cultivate under the tough skin of their poor and solitary existence.


The “Solandro” (Val di Sole) front revealed itself from the very beginning as an atypical front and in all marginal, the two combatants inserted between the two strategic and defensive positions, those of the AdamelloPresanella e the Ortles-Civedale. The presence of high mountains between the two combatants separated by the narrow trenches of the valleys with difficult access and tortuous and unsafe trails rendered the battle maneuvers very difficult. The length of the winter seasons, the inclement weather at the high altitudes, the chill factor that was ever present throughout the year...all combined to discourage the movement of large contingent of troops or equipment. The absolute bitterness of the mountain terrain frightened all who did not have advanced alpinist skills or were not able to adapt to highly risky maneuvers of the high peaks. Only men with proven skills were able to survive in the bitter environment of the winter or to sustain whatsoever human life. It became clear that in such an environment, the decisive factor was man’s relationship with nature. Of less importance was the traditional technical and military science. TO BE CONTINUED. Written by Uldarico Fantelli. He has served in many capacities in both local and Provincial Governance as well as Educational Administration. He is a noted author and Scholar regarding the World War I and our people.

I Proverbi: Wisdom Stories

Tuti i mesi se fa la luna e tuti i dì se n’empàra una. Tutti i mesi si fa una luna nuova e tutti i giorni si impara qualcosa. Every month, there appears a new moon. Every day one learns something.

A pagàr e a morìr se fa semper en temp. A pagare e a morire si fa sempre in tempo. To pay and to die, one does in time. L’aqua de Agòst la rinfresca el bosch.L`acqua di Agosto rinfresca il bosco. The rain of August refreshes the woods.

Chi vache para, chi femne mena ‘ndo che ‘l cret de arivàr a disnàr no l’ariva gnanca a cena. Che conduce mucche, chi accompagna donne, dove pensa di arrivare per l’ora di pranzo non arriverà per neanche per l’ora di cena. Who leads cattle, who chase women, thinks of arriving in time for lunch, does not make it for supper. Nigole rosse de sera, bel temp se spèra; nigole rosse de domàn, metite el gabàn. Nuvole rosse di sera bel tempo si spera; nuvole rosse di mattina, mettiti la giacca (sarà una giornata fredda). Red clouds, good weather one hopes; red clouds in the morning, put on your jacket (it will turn cold).

Origins of Tyrolean Names

Gentilini- meaning gentile with a suggestion of nobility, courteous, gracious-founded in various parts of the Trentino. Individuals: Bruno Gentilini (1925-1988) designer and architect of the Brennero autostrada; Luigi Gentilini (11812-1900), born inn Vezzano, priest and delegate to the Vienna congress. Gregori-originally from the Greek meaning one who rises early; with the meaning being alert, ready

Martinelli- derived from Martino with the meaning of being dedicated to the god Mars. It is found throughout the Trentino. Individuals: 1259 Martinellus-Bretonico; 1743 Bartolomeo Martinelli, Imer-

Pedrotti-derives from the name Peter which means rock, a name diffused throughout the Christian world, in dialect it is rendered Pero. With its diminutive, derivations and adjectives, there are many sopranomi, nick names. Individuals: Pietro detto pedrottus, Tiarno, 1494. In 1500’s there is a “noble family”, originally from Cognola. Individuals:Antonio Pedrotti(1901-1975);Enrico Pedrotti (1905-1965), born in Trento, cofounder of the renown Coro SAT, the most renown of the Trentino alpine choirs. There are almost 100 variations of this name.


Our Partners are . . .

Alberto Chini, Presidente of Father Eusebio Chini Museum, Segno Alberto Folgheraiter - Author, journalist and specialist in Trentino culture, Trento Christian Brunelli - Technical Consultant, Peekskill, NY Tomaso Iori - Bivedo, Val di Giudicarie-Curator of Museo Scuola, Rango Giorgio Crosina - Director, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento Ivo Povinelli - Director - Federazione Trentina della Pro Loco e loro Consorzi, Trento Jim Caola - Genealogist, nutritional counselor, macrobiotic chef Daniela Finardi - Communications Department -- Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina 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 - Bronx, New York Stefano Miotto - Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento Andrea Rella, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria, Trento Moreno Tait, Secretary to the President Ugo Rossi


Alberto Ianes, Museo Storico Claudio Bezzi, Phoenix, Val di Sole Sandro De Manicor, Val di Sole Paolo Magagnotti, Vald di Sole Renato Weiger, Val di Sole Federica Costanzi, Centro Studio, Malè, Val di Sole Uldarico Fantelli, Dimaro, VAl di Sole Severino Ruatti, Agritur Ruatti, Precorno, Val di Sole Alberto Penasa, APT Val di Sole Ugo Rossi, President o fthe Trentino Attilio Gregori, APT Val di Sole Amy Gentilini Carlson, Hibbing, MN Paul Gregory, Philadelphia, PA Judy Pedrotti Andersen, Chesterfield, MO Kathy Pedrotti Hays, Indianapolis, IN

We Acknowledge, Salute and Celebrate our very own Samantha Cristoforetti

Photo Credits

Front Cover: Mariotti Studio Fotografico Page 6: Daniele Lira; Gianni Zotto; Nicoletta Andreis; Mariotti Studio; APT Val di Sole Page 11: Museo di San Michele Pages 13: Gianni Zotto Page 14-15: Sando DiManicor Pages 20-21: Trentino Sviluppo Page 23: Museo Storico Page 31: Andrea Parolin; Tiziano Mochen; Silvia Fiorini; Adriano Dalpiaz; Mariotti Studio; Alaverz Alfredo; Federico Arno; APT Val di Sole Page 36: APT Val di Sole; Gianni Zotto; Marco Corriero; Giuliano Bernardi

Our sincerest thanks to Giorgio Crosina and Phoenix Informatica Bancaria for making the distribution of the Filò possible throughout the United States. 35

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FILO - Fall 2014  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val di Sole

FILO - Fall 2014  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val di Sole

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