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A Journal for Tyrolean Americans Summer 2014


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: Carè Alto




Credit for the Poor

n the previous issue of Filò, we learned about the establishment of rural credit unions as well as consumer and agricultural cooperatives. Now we will delve a little deeper into each of these three developments starting with the credit unions. The 'cassa rurale' or local credit union was born in answer to a need for ready credit expressed by both peasants and artisans. In general, these were the poorer classes, that is, the majority of the population. These workers could not obtain credit from traditional banks as they were not in a position to guarantee their loans with mortgages. And yet, these people had an urgent need of money to buy a home, or a head of cattle, or just to meet their daily needs. According to a study of that time (1880), these workers were handicapped by a lack of innovation and little or no m e ch a n i z a t i o n , both due to the scarcity of money. And yet, stated this same study, the peasant, the owner of land, often has need of money 'up front', and it should be obtainable without putting a lien on his property. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen

and it would be difficult to find enough to fund a bank, even the unique bank he had in mind. And yet, Raiffeisen's institute, which all of the credit unions in the Tyrol copied, configured itself as a bank without capital. Upon joining each member contributed a symbolic quota. The mechanism worked because of the ability to reach a criticalmass, putting together the small possessions of the peasant - his land, his home, his livestock and his tools. Taken singly none of these had much value, but altogether they became enough to obtain market credit at more favorable rates. This arrangement would only be successful with the unlimited solidarity of the members. Each member was responsible for the collective debt, that is the debt the credit union undertook from the traditional banks. Each member pledged his own property to meet all the obligations assumed together. This was no small matter! It meant that each member might be burdened by the errors, the fraud, and the opportunism of the others. And yet the credit unions flourished. Why? Each rural credit union was small, it operated in its own limited territory, and in a climate of trust. Every member knew all about every other member and so could foresee probable difficulties and know who the less trustworthy associates were. And so they could proceed with all necessary caution. The 'cassa rurale' became the means of rendering 'bankable', that is worthy of credit, even those who had not been able to deal with the traditional banks on their own. This was an important step, providing the capital for rural development.

In the Tyrol, there was no shortage of money, nor was Written by Professor Alberto Ianes, Museo Storico there a lack of banking institutions capable of circulating that money. But for the most part, the peasants were not in a position to obtain any of it. Their land holdings were small and fragmented, and impossible to mortgage. Interest rates were often very high, and small loans with very short terms, often less than a month, were the norm. But the peasant's productivity was based on a yearly cycle. Faced with this situation, those who did not emigrate had to come up with an alternative. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen was the man who suggested the solution. In Germany, and particularly in the Rhineland, he had come up with a wondrous idea - have the poor get together and launch their own bank, facilitating access to credit and so obtaining a broader base for spending and 1896 - First Administrative Meeting of the Casse Rurali under the investing. The idea seemed bizarre - there was no money direction of Don Guetti 5


The “White Gold Rush� in Darzo

and risk made the miners proud of their work - it wasn’t just anyone who could do their job! When the cable car operator sent a load down from the mountain, there were girls and young men waiting to start the processing. These were young girls who were spared going to Milan as servants, and men who were able to remain at home, rather than emigrate to work in the mines of the United States or on the ranches of Argentina. If the men entered the factory before doing their military service, they were likely to remain until they reached pension age. Not so the girls! Once they married, they remained at 120 years ago, in this small Italian village a few kilome- home and assumed the role of mother, as was expected ters from the Austro-Hungarian border, a gold rush in that old-fashioned society. began - not for Klondike type gold, but for the poorer 'white gold', that is, for barite. Many tried to dig here and The sun began to set on the barite industry in the 1960's there on the steep mountain slopes, but few were suc- and 70's, with the inevitable depletion of the small veins cessful. Most of them invested money and hard work of the mineral. One by one, the plants shut down, with trying to exploit thin veins; some even erected cable cars, Corna Pellegrini surviving until 2009. Some smaller but most quit in a hurry. The small entrepreneurs were establishments continued to operate by importing followed by larger enterprises which succeeded in dig- quartz, feldspar and barite. But the white gold fever had ging deep furrows among the larches and firs, and for a died out. while brought economic and social development to the Another era began. From the barite industry grew a web community. The three largest companies were: Corna of artisans and craftsmen, which is now the backbone of Pellegrini della Valcamonica, (the first to open and the the local economy. Mechanics, electricians, carpenters, last to shut down); Maffei della Valsassina, for many and truck drivers started out in the industry, later estabyears the largest; and Cirna di Milano, the smallest mine, lishing their own businesses by first serving the industry they had left. But in time, and thanks to their own deterlast to open and first to close. mination and some help from credit cooperatives, they Generations of the valley's people worked with the bari- learned to stand on their own two feet and even to um sulfate, some in the mines and others in the process- employ some of their ex-colleagues. Such is the legacy of ing plants. The process was a simple one: excavating tun- the mining industry at Darzo. Lest this legacy be forgotnels, extracting the material, transport by cable car to the ten, an association, La Miniera, has undertaken to collect processing plant, where the material was sorted and clas- artifacts and to tell the story in videos, books, shows and sified before being ground. The final step was transport murals. Their website is by truck to the end user. Without a doubt, the hardest Written by Giuliano Beltrame, school teacher for many job was that of the miner, who spent the work week in years, Director and President of the of Social the bowels of the mountain eating dust and always at risk Cooperative, Cassa Rurale and Familia Cooperativa, and of becoming the victim of an explosion. The hard work a contributing writer to the Adige newspaper 894. Exactly 120 years ago, the first white stones were dug out of the mountain at Darzo. A man from Brescia, in search of veins of iron ore, came upon the barite, a heavy, easily crumbled stone, which, at that time, was ground up and used for making dyes. Since then multiple uses have been found for this mineral. It was used as ballast for ships and submarines during the Second World War, as insulation around oil wells, as blocks shielding operating rooms and radiology equipment, and in making varnishes.

House Mural from the Village of Darzo




ilk…Cheese…Butter…These are the elements of the trinity of the Tyrolean cuisine, quite different and distinctive from the Mediterranean cuisine. The Alpine terrain from the Tyrol up and through the Bavarian Alps suggests this culture and tradition. All the villages in the Tyrol were affiliated to a malga. A malga was a shepherd’s hut situated in an elevated Alpine pasture that afforded an abundance of pasturage. Every summer, the cows along with the sheep and the goats that were reared in the fondovalle, the valley’s “bottom”, were led up to these pastures usually owned by the local town or consortium of villages, to exploit the rich grazing areas. At the malga, there was the production of butter, cheese and ricotta. These products were then brought down to the villages and shared proportionately by all those involved in this cooperative.

Malga Stabio - Val delle Giudicarie

The butter was produced with the milk of the second or evening milking. It was placed in bacinelle di affioramento, basins in which the cream would emerge. It was left to rest throughout the night in a place well ventilated. In this way, the cream would rise and would be captured by a spannarola, a type of very large spoon with a short handle made in wood or copper. The “fat” part, the cream, was placed in the zangola (see illustration) where it was churned for a long time until the butter was formed. This yellow paste product was separated from the residual milk and cleansed with fresh water. It was carefully kneaded. Its final step, it was placed in wooden forms often decorated with designs. Every week, the butter produced at the Malga was brought down to the fondovalle, the bottom of the valley for local use and local sale. Just prior to bringing the cattle up in the spring and down in the fall, in some valleys, they brought to an intermediate location to graze and produce butter and cheese. In other valleys, the cattle returned to their owners and the milk was brought to the caseficio, the local dairy who churn butter for those who participated in the cooperative. Butter was also churned in the individual kitchens with the zangola. In the mountainous areas, butter constituted the only fat using in cooking. Written by Daniela Finardi, Mueso dei Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina

The life and activity of the malga was totally focused on the pasturing of the cows and the production of…formai e botér…butter and cheese. There were two daily milking of the cows: one in the early morning and the other in the late Zangola in the Home afternoon. During the day between the milking, the casaro…the chief dairy person, would dedicate himself to the production of the butter and cheese while the shepherds tended to the tending of the cows as they meandered in the pastures.

A Malaga Zangola and butter forms displayed a Mueso dei Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina



Family Stories: Nonni Papaleoni y nonno, Severino "Topsy" Papaleoni, left the mountain village of Daone in the Val de Giudicarie in search of new opportunity in the United States. He arrived by boat to Ellis Island in 1903, and like many other Tyroleans of that era, settled in a small town on the outskirts of Syracuse called Solvay, NY. After establishing himself in the community, he sent for my nonna, Maria Cadona, still living in Daone, to join him. They were married in the USA shortly after her arrival in 1911. They raised a family of six children in Solvay, NY, one of which is my mother, Irene Papaleoni Benedetti.

the stairs was a dark, cool room with dirt floors. Along the walls stood rows of large wooden wine barrels thatseemed to encircle the room. To this day I can still smell the fragrant aroma of the aging grapes that filled this space. Not wanting to waste any part of the grape, after wine making, the leftover skins and pulp were distilled to produce grappa. The red wine and grappa were enjoyed by family and friends, but were also a means of income for my grandparents. My mother recalls Nonna selling “coffee royal "(coffee with grappa) to the rooming boarders each morning for 10 cents a cup. A gallon of grappa sold for five dollars. During the Prohibition era, Nonno's hardware truck (pictured below) doubled as My nonno was a true entrepreneur of his time. He ran transport for "special deliveries" to local speakeasies. his own business, first a grocery store then a hardware Hidden compartments inside the truck cleverly constore. Nonno purchased a large commercial building cealed the potent cargo. that served as both a home to the family and a storefront to Papaleoni Hardware (pictured below). The location Even in today's global economy, it's hard for me to imagwas ideal, situated across the street from Solvay Process, ine emigrating to a foreign country where you know very a large chemical processing plant that employed many few people, are not fluent in the language, and bring litTyrolean emigrants. On the second floor of the family tle more with you than the clothes on your back. I am building was a boarding house where my nonna rented proud of my nonni for their courage and conviction, and simply furnished but comfortable rooms to local men. am grateful that their journey allowed future generations Many of these men were fellow Tyroleans who recently of Papaleoni descendants to enjoy a life of prosperity immigrated to the USA in need of a place to stay while and opportunity in the United States. Honoring our they settled into the area. Soon they would send for their Tyrolean roots by celebrating our heritage and preserving families and wives to join them, but in the meantime, my our traditions is a way to thank all those that came before nonna provided clean and welcoming accommodations us. they could call home. Written by their granddaughter Mary Benedetti Kyryk of the Philadelphia, PA area. My most vivid memory of this old building is the base ment, where I often played as a child. At the bottom of

Nonno Papaleoni’s Hardware Store

Nonni Papaleoni: Severino & Maria; their children: Irene, Anna, Fiorindo, Edith, Alyce, Esther



A Canticle to the Valley

he songs of our people often dwell on their love and admiration of their ever present and ever visible mountains and valleys that surround and cradle their villages. Their environment fascinates and provides them with a distinctive identity. The song Valle del Chiese captures this quasi rapture. The lyrics are inspired by the place of origin, from their beloved mountains, from their labor, and the war tragically experienced. Such songs always and above all reflect the hope and the love of our people.


Quante voci per ogni paese, quanti dialetti per questa valle, i monti e il lago ci portano in spalle per poi capir la bellezza cos'è.

How many voices through every village How many dialects throughout the valley The mountains and the lake bear us on their shoulders and have us understand what beauty is.

Lassù su una roccia il nostro castello che domina il lago e fa guardia al ruscello, che scendendo a valle tra rivoli d'acqua diventa un fiume ancora più bello.

Up there on a rock is our castle Which dominates the lake & keeps guard at the brook which descends to the valley as rivulets Becoming a yet lovelier river

The blue waves reflect the sky In that vastness, a flight of birds Who in their travel, stop and linger Along the streams and bushes…

Le onde azzurre riflettono il cielo e in quell'immenso un volo d'uccelli che nel migrare si fermano in sosta dentro i canali e numerosi canneti.

The stupendous villages celebrate the mountains Along with mountain quails and pheasants The whitened huts and the imposing bushes And the forts battered in the warfare.

Paesaggi stupendi regalano i monti tra galli cedroni e fagiani di monte, le malghe biancastre e i mughi imponenti e i forti abbattuti nei combattimenti.

Bitter battles up here at the border Remembered well by our ancestors But we valley folk without pretense Invite you to visit us in the Valley of the Chiese

Battaglie aspre quassù sul confine che i nostri avi ricordano bene, ma noi valligiani senza tante pretese vi invitiamo a trovarci nella Valle del Chiese. Coro Valchiese The Choir has have performed throughout the Trentino, Germany, Austria and in New York. Like so many of the choirs of the Trentino, they seek to preserve the rich heritage and folk traditions of its distinctive music sung for generations in the piazzas, osterie, and the filòs in their stables. The song Val del Chiese was written by Martino Cimarolli and put to music by its choir director, Dario Donati. You can go to their website as well as the Filò’s website to listen to the song. The website is


Coro Valchiese


Our Cuisine: Polenta Carbonera eeping in mind that our people have been referred to as polentoni, polenta carbonera is quite typical and even symbolic of the Val del Chiese. At the same time, it could be said that polenta is the quasi symbol of Solvay, New York where there is an enormous concentration of our people from the Giudicarie-Val del Chiese. Solvay is possibly the American community that has maintained its Tyrolean traditions and identity like no other. Each month, they host a Polenta meal for 250 people who get invited by rotation. It certainly could be declared the Polenta Capitol of the USA.

In preparing this article, I consulted both with Peter Albrigo, President of the Tyrol Club of Solvay along with Rob Cazzolli, its past President, the hosts of Solvay monthly Polenta meal and a Mauro Armanini, owner of the Agritur La Polentera in Storo, Val del Chiese. Polenta Carbonera combines traditional polenta with fresh salamini, butter, soft, hard and grated cheeses. Since we are not in the Val del Chiese, the ingredients have to be accommodated to what we have available in our local stores and supermarkets here in the USA. Specifically, the Val del Chiese recipe insists on Farina Gialla da Storo, a coarse corn meal that has not been degerminated, their fresh salamini and the area’s spressa and a harder cheese. In Solvay, they have located special grain stores and have Italian provision outlets that offer similar salamini for the recipe. To the left is the famed Polenta Gialla of Storo…to its right is a possible substitute Bob’s Coarse Polenta Flour found in many supermarkets in the organic food section. Yet spressa, a product of that area is not readily found so that one could substitute two cheeses: a Muenster and mild cheddar. Sometimes one can find a coarse corn meal in a health food store but I also found Bob’s Red Mill Coarse Grind polenta flour at a local supermarket. For the sausage, I would suggest a lucanica linkless sausage or some variety of such. Here is the combination Storo/Solvay recipe. I must presume that there is a basic understanding of polenta making…or go to very first issue of the Filò to see greater detail… Mom never measured neither do I…water to the brim…a just enough polenta flour to maintain a soft mixture. Ingredients: 2 pounds of polenta flour, ½ tablespoon of salt, 2 pounds of sweet sausage, ½ lb of butter, ½ pd. Of Cheddar cheese and ½ lb. of Muenster cheese, ½ cup of Parmesan grated cheese, black pepper, possibly 2 cups of white wine to the sausage mixture, optional caramelized onions Procedure: Boil water adding salt, melt a half pound of butter until it browns, and add the sausage without its casing until it is almost caramelized. After about 40 minutes stirring the polenta, introduce the sausage and then the cheeses finishing it with the grated cheese and black pepper. Keep the cheese from totally melting to maintain their texture. Mauro at la Polentera serves the polenta carbonera with verze (boiled cabbage) or Krauti (sourkraut) and slices of Gongozola cheese.

Agritur-La Polentera-Storo

Polenta Carbonera


Monthy Polenta Dinner-Solvay, NY


“Father Bonny,” Our Champion

here prior to the annexation to Italy. In the words of one of our people he met and was asked where he came from, he responded.Ostrica, mi sun Tiroles! In contrast to the Province that mistakenly characterized us as mirrors of what they had become, Bolognani reinforced our historical identity. Yet he did this not in Italian but in English acknowledging our complete Tyrolean American identity and striving to have us hold on to our heritage as such.. His book has three parts. The first part details our history from pre-historic times to the annexation. The second part is a biography of Fr. Eusebio Chini, the extraordinary Bust of Father Bolognani Jesuit missionary from the Val di Non, practically overlooked and forgotten by Europe. He Fr. “Bonny” was truly a Tyrolean. explored the South West and Mexico, was a cartographBorn in 1915 in the Tyrol, a citizen er, agronomist, a holy man, a defender and champion of in the Austrian Hungarian Empire, his Indians…and thus officially designated by the USA: he became a priest in 1938. In 1948, the Father of Arizona. Thus he gave us in Chini a signifhe came to the USA with the icant history and connection to the USA equal to that of unique and singular mission of the Pilgrims. The third part details our Tyrolean commuworking with the “Tirolesi”. This nities, their work, their struggles, and their associations. It was his mission, his apostolate, was research, data…our sociology here in the USA. He going from one community after wrote several other books: one about Fr. Chini and the another preaching the Word of God…and bringing the other about our people’s often chosen work of the coal presence of our emigrants` relatives and lands. As he mining. Father Bolognani’s focus and emphasis and distraveled, he observed and collected data about where our tinction of our Tyrolean American community inspired people were, what work they did, and how they lived. As and is reflected in the Filo`. It follows in the foot steps such, he was our historian and sociologist. His data was and pathway of this patron of ours. neither scientific nor empirical. He simply recorded whatever he learned about us. I recall as a boy, Fr Accordingly, I am happy to announce that we will be Bolognani would stop by our apartment in Greenwich doing two very special things to celebrate and honor this Village in NYC…This would prompt my mom to imme- great man. In the very near future, we will have his outdiately run around the neighborhood like Paul Revere. of-print book on the Filò website… On She would gather several Tyrolean families with their chil- August 31, we will do a sensational thing to honor him. dren. Mom would cook and feed everyone while we chil- We will move his bust created by our community in 2007 dren recorded his many contacts on index cards. He left from Palazzo Geremia to be rededicated in the town with data and contributions from those families to con- square of Cavedine. There will be presentations by tinue his work among us. He became our champion with notable persons and government officials of the affection and a passion for our people. It came all togeth- Province, journalists, the Franciscan friars, his relatives er in writing his significant book: The Courageous People and an American delegation including Past President of from the Dolomites in English. While the Province was ITTONA Eugene Pellegrini and current President, Ben going through the influence of the Irredentists, Fascism Manganzini. Stay tuned…we will provide you a summary and a process of Italianization, he affirmed who we real- in the fall. ly were historically…the 97% of the emigrants who came 11 ather Bonifacio Bolognani was a significant and pivotal figure in the history of our community in the United States. He was a Franciscan friar, originating from Vigo Cavedine in the Val dei Laghi and he spent 22 years with us traveling all over the country ever searching for our people in whatever place they found themselves. No one has had the impact and significance that he had for our community. The details of his biography will be found in future issues of the Filò. What follows are some interpretations and reflections of his role as our apostle and pastor…as well as our sociologist and champion.


Family Stories: Lewis Scaia ewis Scaia was the son of the Tyrolean emigrants from the Giudicarie valley: my nonno Angelico from Prezzo e my nonna Carlotta Radoani from Condino. Angelico was the son of Domenico Scaia who came to Solvay in 1887 recruited as had been so many from his valley to work for Solvay Process. In 1922 Angelico, Carlotta, my father Lewis and his sister, my Zia Mary left Solvay and returned to Condino. A year had passed and my nonno moved his family back to Solvay and returned to his job at Solvay Process until his retirement.

GI's, civilians, and local delivery trucks. At one point he road for miles on the running board because the truck was filled with people, no room for him. The last leg of his trip was difficult; he stood in the middle of the road not letting cars pass without asking for a ride. Lewis never gave up, he was exhausted, but determined to reach the village. After a full day of travel, late that evening, Lewis arrived in Condino for a long awaited visit. The 30- year-old had arrived 22 years later to the day that he left Condino.

Word traveled quickly and soon residents from Condino and neighboring villages came to talk to the Soldier from Solvay. "I got stuck in the piazza today, there were over one hundred people pulling on my shirt and my arms,� said Lewis. People asked about loved ones, family and friends back in the village of Solvay. The mail service was cut off during the war, so everyone lost contact during war time. Lewis was glad to hear and see that Condino and surrounding areas were spared destruction. He was sad to hear that an American plane had, crashed into the convent in Condino months prior to his visit. The friars that were inside the convent were killed, and many others were injured. The My father was a character who had character. An episode American soldier flying the occurred in Prezzo, that might have been a political com- plane parachuted safely to mentary or a revelation of what people of that valley an area near Condino. The who suffered so much in the war really felt about their locals kept him hidden new state. The photo displays Italian dignitaries and from the Germans for nearscores of children all raising their hand in a Fascist ly four months. He was salute‌with the exception of my dad (left lower side grateful to all who cared for marked by an X) who in contrast defied everyone and him and kept him safe. would not salute putting his thumb to his nose. A year Lewis was sad to see his had past, the Scaia family returned to Solvay. Lewis grew visit come to an end, but up attending Solvay Schools. He took classes at Syracuse there was good news waitUniversity while he worked in the Electric Department ing for him at his base. In a for the Village of Solvay.In 1941 he Married Rose Cartoli few weeks, Lewis would Officer Lewis Scaia -- 1945 and a year later was drafted into the Army. Deployed to return home to the states. Europe, he saw action in Alsace Lorraine. The following He brought back to Solvay many letters, wishes, and hugs year he was stationed in Ortzal, Austria. There occurred to worried love ones. He remained in Solvay working at yet another episode that revealed the character of my Solvay Process/Allied Chemical and as a part-time town dad. When granted a five day pass, Lewis Scaia, the police officer. Rose and Lewis raised two children, Judy American soldier knew exactly what he would to and and Daniel, in the very home where he grew up. Active where he would go. He would return to Condino. A full in many local organizations, Lewis spent a great deal of day of travel took Lewis on a beautiful trip from Merano, time with family and friends at the Solvay Tyrol Club. to Bolzano and Trento. Many roads were destroyed, and Lewis never forgot his family and friends from the bridges were blown up so that it made travel almost Giudicarie Valley. Written by his daughter Judy Scaia Malone, Syracuse, NY impossible. Lewis was determined takings rides from 12


The Valley’s Royalty: The Lodron

hen our emigrants left the Val del Chiese, they lived the poor and difficult life of peasants yet they lived in the shadows of royalty. The Val del Chiese was the cradle of the Lodrons, the ancient feudal lords who ruled these lands unchallenged for eight centuries, eight centuries of public history, of victories and defeats, of honors and dishonors - the history of a family, born in the backwoods, which made its way to the tables of the mighty, thanks to the feats of its members: men of arms, bishops, diplomats. Popular tradition dates the family back to the time of the First Crusade. Not surprisingly, then, the events related to such a noble family reached its peak in the fifteenth century It marked for a long time the fate of the Valley, leaving testimonials still tangible in this tormented and glorious period, castles, palaces and legends around them and their mythical occupants have flourished. They set forth from Lodrone, then a village of a few houses which overlooked the plain formed by the Chiese river as it bursts into the Lake of Idro, and they arrived in faraway places - first in the Adige valley, then into the Sudtirol, thence into Austria and Bavaria, with a branch extending southward toward Brescia.

beheaded in 1490 on the piazza of the Duomo in Trento, by order of the reigning Prince Bishop. The exploits of Marco are widely recorded in the local archives. There was an unsuccessful assault on Castel Corno in 1474. After that, Marco retreated to Rendena where he led the good life, even as he murdered, poisoned, blackmailed, assaulted, and terrorized the populace. His family defended him, but it could do only so much - Marco was arrested in 1488 when it was discovered that he was The palace in Concesio, where the future Pope Paul VI involved in a plot to wrest control of the Giudicarie and was born, once was home to a Lodron nobleman. The the Sole valley from the Prince Bishop. Bringing honor to Val del Chiese was part of the Principato of Trento, a the family is Paris, the bishop of Salzburg, who to this feudal state ruled by the Prince Bishops. The Lodron day is remembered as one of the most enlightened rulers were their vassals. Today, Lodrone boasts a thousand or of Mozart's city. A musical genius himself, he gave lesso inhabitants and has acquired a sizeable piece of land. sons to two little Lodron countesses. Two centuries earLittle evidence remains of the presence of the counts. lier, another countess, Anna, became the bride of Georg There are some ruins at the rock of Santa Barbara and Frundsberg, commander of the Lanzichenecchi who tertwo privately owned homes - the palaces of Bavaria and rorized most of Italy and sacked Rome in 1527. Eight Caffaro - which have not been preserved over the cen- centuries of glory and then a sad decline. Other resituries. Two other castles remain in the valley. The first is dences remain at Nogaredo near Rovereto, at Gmund in known as the 'Rocca de summo laco' (fort on the big Carinthia, and the Trento palace is now the seat of the lake) or as St John's Castle and it dominates the Lake of regional administrative tribunal. What does remain is the Idro from its rocky crag. The other castle is Castel Conventino, which is situated within the palace grounds Romano in the village of Bono. Each has its own myste- and has a long history. The Conventino was built around rious baggage of legends and historical facts, painted 1550 by Count Sigismondo Lodron. From 1580 to 1601, against a backdrop spattered by blood. There is the tale it was the seminary for the local area. From 1601 to 1918, of the countess Dina, who seduced, and then murdered by a strange twist of fate, it was transformed into a resiher lovers at Castel Romano. Among the true tales is the dence for the soldiers who guarded the borders. Sic tranlife of Marco de Caderzone. A century before his birth, sit gloria mundi‌thus fades the glory of the world. his ancestor Pietrozotto acquired some land in Written by Giuliano Beltrame, school teacher for many Caderzone and fathered four illegitimate sons. He was years, Director and President of the of Social followed by Paris 'the Great', whose son Giorgio was Cooperative, Cassa Rurale and Familia Cooperativa, and Marco's father. The infamous Marco was beheaded in a contributing writer to the Adige newspaper 13


The Art of the Val del Chiese

t bears repeating that the art that our families and ancestors viewed was not in classic museums. Art was viewed in the shapes of their churches, the mosaics, murals, statues and shrines. Hence, here some of the artistic images seen and enjoyed by our people‌.


Special Announcement…The Courageous People of

the Dolomites written by Father Bonifacio Bolognani was a seminal publication that has had special significance for Tyrolean Americans. Written in 1981, it was reprinted 5 times and distributed to 10,000 of our people throughout the USA by the dedicated and zealous Gene Pellegrini of Chicago, then President of ITTONA. His book has three parts. It first details our history from prehistoric times to the annexation. There follows a biography of Fr. Eusebio Chini, the extraordinary Jesuit missionary from the Val di Non, practically overlooked and forgotten by Europe and then officially designated by the USA: the Father of Arizona giving us in Chini a significant history and connection to the USA equal to that of the Pilgrims. The third part details our Tyrolean communities, their work, their struggles, and their associations. It was research, data…our sociology here in the USA. He became our champion with an affection and a passion for our people. It came all together in writing his significant book: The Courageous People from the Dolomites in English. While the Province was going through the influence of the Irredentists, Fascism and a process of Italianization, he affirmed who we really were historically…the 97% of our emigrants who came here prior to the annexation to Italy. In contrast to the Province that mistakenly characterized us as mirrors of what they had become, Bolognani reinforced our historical origins and our American identity. Yet he did this not in Italian but in English acknowledging our complete Tyrolean American identity and striving to have us hold on to our heritage as such. No longer available it can be easily read by going to the website These links will be placed on the Filò website: 15


The Tyrol Club of Solvay or Tyrolean emigrants, Solvay was a popular destination point due to the many manufacturing jobs in and around Solvay, which is located in upstate New York adjacent to Syracuse. One of the primary factories was the Solvay Process chemical plant (later Allied Chemical). The emigration of Trentini continued over several decades, establishing a large community of Tirolesi in Solvay, with most coming from the Vali di Giudicarie and from the Avio area east of Lago di Garda. The first formal assembly took place in October 1929, when several of these emigrants gathered to create the Tyrol Brotherhood Club. Twenty nine men assembled at Bagozzi’s Hall on Milton Avenue and they became known as the charter members of the Club. However, the core organizers are generally credited to ten men who are remembered as our “Founding Fathers”. They were John Scaia (Cologna, who became our first president), Paul Tarolli (Castello Condino), Frank Boldrini (Prezzo), Primo Tarolli (Castello Condino), Sylvester Maestri (Prezzo), John Mazzocchi (Condino), Joseph Pellizzari (Daone), Guido Mabboni (Avio), Abraham Tarolli (Castello Condino) and Antonio Marascalchi (Cimego). Their purpose was to create “an association that shall be for the advancement and the promotion of the general welfare of the Tyrolean Colony only .... and the stimulation of brotherhood to these ends”. Soon after the creation of the Club, with a global depression going on, a group within the Brotherhood was established – the Franz Josef Society, named after the former ruler of the Austrian Empire. Their purpose was to provide aid to fellow Tirolesi who were sick, disabled or out of work. The Society continued until the 1970’s, when it was decided they were no longer needed and disbanded. The Club had been created, but its growth and strength was aided by another core of Tyrolean emigrants. In 1938 the Tyrolean Women’s

Preparing for the Monthly Polenta Dinner


Auxiliary was formed. Angie Capella was president and the other officers were Margaret Maestri, Margaret Balduzzi and Elena Bome. They are a vital segment of the Club to this day. Some interesting notes: The original fee was $1.00 and dues were $0.25. Many early meetings were held at Caminolli’s Hall where rental was $15. Mr. Bagozzi was paid a fee of $1 for use of his hall. By the second meeting a constitution and by-laws were adopted. English was approved for printing of the by-laws in addition to the “mother tongue.”A password (Liberty) was required for admission. When membership grew to 136, admission of new members was temporarily closed. By 1933, “Brotherhood” was dropped from our name as it was changed to the Tyrol Club of Solvay. In 1946, the land for our present club was purchased and the building was completed in 1949. Highlights from our history abound: The Alpine Choraliers were formed in 1964 and, under the direction of Mary Frizzi, performed our native Tirolese songs for over 24 years. Monthly polenta dinners have become a staple event that routinely attracts over 270 people to eat polenta and reminisce. In 2008, our Club hosted the ITTONA convention which brought Tirolesi/Trentini from around the world to Solvay in what has been regarded as one of the most successful ITTONA conventions ever held. We have always had a strong social core and have had club-sponsored dances, annual picnics, softball, bocce, pitch & pinochle and golf for our members. For the past 10 years, we have a small group that meets regularly to continue our traditions by practicing our native dialect. Our club has become a vital member of the community and has generously donated to many local organizations, youth groups, schools and library over the years. In memory of those who came before us and with the expectation for those who will follow, we continue. Written by Bob Cazzolli, Past President of the Tyrol Club.


Leggende: Church of the Forty Dead he year 1630 was a terrible one - one of those years which pass into history not because of wars, battles or victories. No, it was the year of the plague! At that time, forty men of Castel Condino were drawn to Venice to pursue their commercial ventures. But they were surprised to find that the plague had preceded them - there were many quarantine stations and the dead and dying were everywhere! They quickly did an about face and returned to their own territory. But, arriving at the gates of Castello, the people of their town stopped them and prevented them from entering the town. The fear of contagion was stronger than any familial bond. The unfortunate group was des-

Illustration of the Black Death from Toggenburg Bible

perate and pleaded so much that they finally were able to arrive at an acceptable compromise. The men promised they would not set foot in the town, but would adapt themselves to living in a large cavern on the slopes of Mount Melino. The townsmen promised they would deliver a daily supply of food and water, being very careful to keep their distance. And so the plan was carried out, and the town was divided into two separate parts the town itself and the cavern. Unfortunately, however,


the plague was unforgiving and one by one the forty young men sickened and died. As long as they were able, the survivors buried their dead. The last man to die was buried by his relatives after there was no longer any risk of contagion.At the end of this sad episode, forty crosses were raised around the cavern on Mount Melino. And then an extraordinary event occurred. That first winter, the first snow covered villages and mountains but spared the plot of earth where the forty crosses had been planted. In fact, from the forty graves sprouted forty splendid lilies which, despite the bitter cold, bloomed until spring arrived. Everyone hailed the miracle and it was decided to set a large cross over the field. Later a small chapel was erected on the site, and still later, a fine and proper church was built. It was named the Church of the Forty Dead. To this day, the road leading to the church is travelled by the faithful who come to ask for the intercession of the forty young men who died of the plague. Verena De Paoli majored and specialized in the conservation of the cultural heritage of the Trentino. She has published eight books on the topic and has recited these stories to her four children.


Introduction to the Val del Chiese

he valley takes its name from the River Chiese. The valley is the lower part of the Giudicarie – “Interiori.” The valley of the churches has been inhabited since prehistoric times as evidenced by the numerous archeological findings at high altitude in the mountains and on the hills that overlook the valley then swampy and uninhabitable. Then it was occupied by the Gauls Cenomani that merged with the Jar, commonly known in Roman times as the Nets won by stepsons of Augustus Drusus and Tiberius. The Christianity arrived there with the preaching of Faustino and Jovita patrons of Brescia . Under the guidance of St. Ambrose of Milan , then came St. Vigilio, but organization of the Church after the Carolingian domination the valley was mainly in the Trento diocese. Civil valley belongs to the 1027 Principato of Trento in a constant confrontation with the power of Count of Lodron..A borderland, the valley of the Chiese river can tell many tales of being trampled upon by various armies on their way to conquering cities and states. A few examples: the Lanzichenecchi coming down from Germany, and crossing the valley in 1527 on their way to sacking Rome; the Napoleonic armies at the end of the Eighteenth Century and into the Nineteenth and the Austro-Hungarian and Italian forces which confronted each other here during the Great War. There remain many mute reminders of this last conflict. In particular, there is the line of forts near Lardaro. Of the five forts constructed between 1850 and 1914, there remain three. Two of these, Larino at the end of the valley, and Corno, overlooking Praso, have been restored and visitors may enjoy their imposing beauty. As a grim reminder that, between 1915 and 1918, this was the scene of bloody battles, there is the memorial cemetery of Bondo (known locally as 'El Monument') which is the final resting place of 700 soldiers. The silence which we experience here, under the canopy of the trees, serves as a warning against all wars. More memories of the war can be found at the museum in Bersone, founded and maintained by a group of volunteers. Here are gathered thousands of items from that conflict - tiles, cartridge-holders, helmets, uniforms, grenades and guns.

In this valley, in the 1960's, the first industrial development occurred. Large establishments sprang up in the southern portion of the valley, between Darzo, Toro and Condino. There was a time, starting in the 1970's and through the next few decades, when several companies, 18

branches of multinational giants, employed hundreds of workers. But after the crisis of 2008, only small, predominantly local companies remain, each hiring a few dozen workers. The valley of the Chiese is also a passageway. It is the corridor traversed by the tourists heading for the ski slopes in Rendena during the winter months. In summer, vacationers pass through on their way to Pinzolo and Madonna del Campiglio. In certain centers along the corridor, the tourist may dine and/or spend the night. Tourism has flourished along the lakes on the Lake of Idro, at Baitoni on the Trentino shore, and at the little lake of Roncone. In the splendid valley of Daone, where once the waters of the Chiese were used to transport logs to the sawmills, the waters now feed the hydroelectric plants. Because of the availability of water, for the past 25 years agriculture has rebounded in the lower part of the valley, particularly around Storo. A cooperative was formed for growing corn and its success has resulted in the increased popularity of polenta in all its traditional recipes. One local variant is 'polenta carbonera', a dish which calls for the addition of other local products such as butter, cheese and salami. Since we have ended up in the kitchen, another local specialty should be mentioned. Known as 'Capù,' 'Capus,' or 'Capugn' in the various local dialects, it is a stuffing made of cheese, bread crumbs, herbs, and sometimes garlic or raisins, wrapped in a cabbage leaf, or in a grape leaf. Written by Giuliano Beltrame, school teacher for many years, Director and President of the of Social Cooperative, Cassa Rurale and Familia Cooperativa, and a contributing writer to the Adige newspaper



Val del Chiese


Solvay Memories hen Lou Brunelli contacted me to write an article for a Filò issue about Val Giudicarie, he asked me why people in Solvay have such exuberant passion and love for Solvay and their Tyrolean heritage. “Is it the memories?” he asked. I believe it is treasured individual memories. It’s also collective memories that describe the Solvay Process Company’s system of benevolent paternalism and the Tyroleans’ role in the making of a remarkable village.

In 1990, nearly a quarter century ago, my book, Smokestacks Allegro: The Story of Solvay, a Remarkable Industrial Immigrant Village (1880-1920), was published. As I note in my preface, in 1976, my grandfather died and my stepfather was paralyzed by a severe stroke. Both men had been expert wine makers. One day, while in the basement, I noticed spider webs covering the grape press and felt sad. It was then that I decided to tap the memories of Solvay’s old people, so as to record their tales of a time now past that should not be forgotten. The story begins with coinciding events. In the late 1800s, the Belgian Solvay brothers, Alfred and Ernest, worked long and hard with the Hazard family and William Cogswell of Syracuse, New York to establish the Solvay Process Company, the first chemical industry in the United States. In 1873 and 1882, Austria suffered major depressions and Tyroleans prepared to leave their homeland in search of work. Frank Boldrini gave a valuable example of the “chain migration” process. He first explained that his cousin Candido Maestri and a couple of other fellows left the village of Prezzo in Val Giudicarie and arrived in America in 1879. Candido put his boss in touch with his uncle, Frank Maestri, to whom


I spoke English. Boldrini concluded with pride, “They wrote to my uncle and said, ‘Come over then. Bring all the men you can with you.’ 1884. He come over with 44 men. And they went down the Solvay Process. That’s the reason we accumulate here like we are now.” At first, most men came to Solvay without their wives and children, lived as boarders, and enjoyed their wine and grappa. Before the women arrived, social investigations in Solvay and around the country found crowded, unsanitary living conditions in company towns. Somecompanies maintained that immigrant workers needed new attitudes, values, and habits in order to survive industrial society and benefit factory production. Rather than chastise employers for their habit of taking boarders, the Solvay Process Company simply accepted the habit and improved the conditions. As stated in a Post Standard article, “Realizing the necessity for housing single men and the desire of man families to conduct a boarding house in order to reduce their own expenses, the company has had designed a special type of house which will provide for about ten single men and a family of five. Like other industrialists, Hazard outlawed alcohol on the job, but he allowed its sale and use anywhere else in the village. The Solvay Process Company helped assimilate Tyroleans while allowing them to preserve their customs, pride, and strong kinship network.

Just as Tyroleans stuck together in the community, they continued to stay together and win the respect of the employers at the Solvay Process. According to Santina Tarolli, when her husband started working at the Solvay Process, he was working with Tyroleans and sons of Tyroleans.” Giulio Leonardelli said he worked with “all Trentini.” Lyndon Tracey, one of the engineers explained the cleaning gang had a reputation as “an absolutely astoundingly capable maintenance crew.” He continued, “They had a great loyalty to the Company and would rush in and repair things in nothing flat. Amazing.” Like workers in other industrial towns, Solvay’s Tyroleans faced great risks, including fires, accidents, explosions, entering sewers, working overhead, suffocation from carbonic acid gas, and poisoning by carbon monoxide. Yet, they proudly persevered. While the Homestead, Pullman, and United Mine Workers strikes occurred, the Department of Labor asked Frederick Hazard to explain Solvay’s model of strike-free industrial relations.

In 1902, a Syracuse newspaper interviewed Hazard about why no strikes occurred in Solvay. “The Solvay Process Company,” said Hazard, “spends a considerable sum of money each year in furthering the interests of its employees and considers itself fully repaid by the care and devotion of its employees.” The Solvay Process provided workers with everything from shorter hours, higher wages, and health benefits to pensions, profit sharing, and recreation facilities. Mrs. Hazard made welfare work a family affair and founded the Solvay Guild to raise additional money to benefit employees. Though Tyroleans couldn’t attend exclusive Guild Hall affairs, they could participate in employee activities and open dances. Tyrolean Zina Artini, from Agrone in Val Giudicarie, said the Company sometimes hosted square dances. Artini explained, “They had music and they’d tape out, we’ll say maybe all of Milton Avenue. Nothin’ could pass no more, and there we used to dance, right in the street. 1915.” At Solvay, Hazard’s system of benevolent paternalism was truly successful. While dissatisfied workers picketed in front of factories, Solvay folks and Tyrolean families were dancing outside the plant.

In 1920, when the Solvay Process Company joined four other chemical companies to form Allied Chemical Corporation, many aspects of Hazard’s paternalism ended. Yet employee loyalty continued and Solvay remained strike-free until 1950. The Solvay Process had facilitated the Americanization of Solvay Tyroleans and allowed them to keep their proud heritage. Just as Trentini in Italy have guarded their autonomy, so too


have those in Solvay. In 1909, there was talk of Solvay being annexed to Syracuse and Louie Scaia said people in Solvay feared annexation would have resulted in “a loss of many of their own individuality.” In 1986, in response to Allied announced shut down, the topic of annexation arose again. At that time, Solvay Mayor William Campagnoni said, “Our residents find that thinking totally unrealistic and certainly of no benefit…All we ask is a chance to do as Solvay has always done: control its own destiny.” Still today, Solvay Tyroleans cherish individual and collective memories-and are proud of their village and heritage. Written by Rita Cominolli, M.D., who has a History degree from Yale and an MD from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, has worked as a health care writer for nearly 30 years. The daughter of Tyrolean immigrants, she grew up in Solvay, N.Y


Family Stories: Nonno Sabastiano

y Nonno is Sam Sabastiano (Chiarac eva) Bugna. He was born in Bersone (Val Giudicarie) on August 22, 1879. Sam came to America in 1898 at the age of 19 and settled in Pennsylvania – but no one knows for sure. We do know that sometime later he received a letter from a friend informing him that a fellow was courting his girl Bortolomea back home in Bersone. Sam hopped a ship back to Italy, had Bertha pack a bag and took her off to America via Southampton, England. No one was sure how they arrived in Southampton, but on the ship to America, they got married in 1904. Bertha was also a Bugna, the whole town of Bersone is Bugna, but Bertha was a Colandi.

Nonno was a stone mason, a brick layer. He helped Luisa Bugna, Nonno Sebastiano Bugna.Louis Bugna. Bertolna Bugna, build the Bell Tower in Creto which is still standing. Rosa (Serafina) Bugna Besides living in St. Louis, MO, where my mother Rose After that, the Club gave him the title of President was born in 1906, Nonno never lacked for work. During Emeritus, “a title of love that was never given to anyone the Depression he worked for a sewer contractor in else.” Later his grandson (me) became president, and his Chicago which is still in existence today. Nonno built daughter Louise became president of the Ladies Club. “catch basins” in Chicago and was supposedly the high- No one knows of Sam’s education but he had to have a est paid brick layer. It took two laborers to keep him lot of courage and common sense and a great personalsupplied with brick and mortar. Nonno and Nonna lived ity. Everyone who knew him, liked him. I never heard at 1145 S. California in Chicago. There they owned a him holler or swear; or ever saw him drunk – although house and a lot – the latter my grandmother converted he liked his beer. I remember seeing him sprinkle his into a flower and vegetable garden. Nonno used to set a mortar with beer to temper it up a little. When Nonna bird cage to catch the birds which my Nonna would and Nonna moved to Downers Grove, he had a few slaughter, clean and make into the greatest stew and acres. But instead of setting bird traps, he shot them with a .22 rifle – which I now own (and it still works!). polenta. Nonno ate the birds and I ate the heads. No, I do not shoot birds. Nonna always cooked for Remember, I was between five and ten years old. I Nonno. He ate steak; the children ate chicken. Once remember my mother telling me that she and her best Nonno told me that the first time he ate an olive he tied girlfriend (Diana, they were friends until their deaths in a piece of string to it. I asked “why?” He said “in case their 90s) would wait for Nonno to come out of the tav- I don’t like it I can pull it out!” Quite a story for a seven ern on Sunday and ask Nonno for a nickel so they could to 10 year old! Nonno played the accordion and congo to the show (movie) – Rudolf Valentino was playing certina. I do not know where he learned or if he could and the show was two for a nickel. During Prohibition, I read music. In 1950, he brought back from Italy a 120 do not know where, but Nonno had grappa, and would bass La Stradellina accordion for his son Louis who travel around the neighborhood selling it. He would take played extremely well. I now own the accordion and his wheelbarrow, place the grappa on the bottom and maybe someday I’ll pick it up and see if my fingers then place sand, cement and tools on top; and when “remember anything.”That’s all I remember about Sam. I someone would ask him where he was going, he told wonder what my grandchildren will remember about me. them he had a side job on the next block. He probably Maybe my train room? That’s all folks! got the idea from the story about the pregnant women of Written by Eugene Pellegrini, Past President of Val di Cembra. In 1934, Sam and a group of Trentini had ITTONA for 22 years. a meeting and formed the Trentini Alpine Club of Chicago. Sam was made president and served until 1946 24


Family Stories: The Maestri’s

rezzo is one of the paesi of Pieve di Bono in Val del Chiese, which is part of the larger Val di Giudicarie. This is mostly recounted from stories and information from my Nonna Betta, who was Silvio’s oldest daughter and child. Bisnonno Silvio was born in Prezzo in 1896 and was of the ‘Bonat’ Maestri’s. In 1920 he married Liduina Balduzzi, also of Prezzo. In 1922, Nonna Betta was born in Prezzo. Due to the difficult times, Bisnonno Silvio immigrated to America in 1923, leaving behind his wife, who was pregnant with Zio Silvio, and Nonna Betta, who was then only 1 year old. Bisnonno settled in Solvay, New York on William Street and found employment at Church & Dwight. He worked to save enough to bring the rest of his family here and sent what he could back to them. It wasn’t until 1934 that the rest of the family came to Solvay, after which they had their third and final child, Zia Mary, a year later. Growing up in Prezzo at that time was very difficult for everyone, but especially for Nonna with her father in America and a young brother to help take care of. She had vivid recollections of those early years, especially with so little to eat - having to go out in the darkness of early morning to guard their chestnut tree so they wouldn’t lose any and have enough to eat; gathering apples and bringing them home to Bisnonna; the same meals almost ever day – black coffee made from grinds of barley and fava in the morning, polenta with a piece of cheese for lunch and soup with homemade noodles and sometimes chestnuts, turnips or potatoes, for supper. They had a goat, but whenever it had a kid, it would be sold, so they had no meat. There were some exceptions like the Feast of San Giacomo, when they would have chicken or rabbit and maybe some eggs. Even fruit was fairly scarce, and Nonna always loved her fruit, almost with a passion. She didn’t have her first banana until the boat trip to America and then didn’t know you had to peel it before eating. The other vivid memory she had was how damp and cold it was in the winter. Her feet were always cold because the woodsoled shoes didn’t provide any warmth. She used a “scaldaletto” (in our monica)under the bed sheets to get them warm. Other times, she slept at her zia’s house with the cows in the hay because it was warm. In America things were better, but even that started outtough. Bisnonna Liduina didn’t want to come to America, but was forced to when Bisnonno threatened not to send any more money. Then in Solvay, Nonna had to get to know her father who she had never known. 25

Nonna grew up on William Street and then Summit Ave., which is where I can remember her. Bisnonno Silvio had a heart attack in the 1940’s, so everyone had to find work where they could to support the family. We never got to know Bisnonno – he died in 1950 at the early age of 53. But Solvay was a good place to be because Sitting: Elizabeth (Betta), Mary, there was work and Liduina; Standing: Silvio & Silvio Sr. there were a lot of Trentini, especially from the Vali di Giudicarie and in particular Prezzo. There were a lot of family and friends that made Solvay, and especially East Solvay, a unique Trentino community that made adjusting easier. Bisnonna Liduina wasn’t a good cook – she never had the chance to practice it I guess. So Nonna Betta learned after she got married to Joe Cazzolli (who was from Tione) from Bisnonna Ester, who had been a head cook at Terme di Comano near Tione. Nonna ended up being a great cook, making up for everything she lacked as a child. We loved going to her house to eat polenta e gallina, polenta di patate, uze scampe’, strangolapreti, gnocchi di patate and risotto. She always had something good to eat. Zio Silvio was a really tough guy and looked it too. He broke his nose as a kid when a priest was chasing him and he fell, so that made him look even tougher. He never married, but he was always good to us kids, especially in his later years. He worked his whole career at the Solvay Process like others in Solvay. But like his father, Zio Silvio died early at the age of 61 from a heart attack.Zia Mary was the only one in the family born here and she lived with Bisnonna Liduina the longest – until she married Louie Nicolini (from Daone) and finally moved out. Nonna and Zia lived next door to each other for over 50 years, so they stayed close and made it nice for family visits and get-togethers. My parents and we kids have all grown up here, but we got so much from our nonni and bisnonni. We thank for our Tyrolean heritage and all they gave us by making that hard move from Prezzo to Solvay. Through their hard work and love for us all, we will always have great memories. Written by Gina Cazzolli - granddaughter


Nos Dialet . . . Our Dialect # 8

ur dialect was the distinctive sound in our Tyrolean homes in the paesi..the villages. It came to the USA and lived on in the homes and kitchens and gatherings of our people. The Americans could not understand them nor could the Italians. The moleti from the Val Rendena even developed a separate language, il Taron, as they traveled up and through Europe…to keep distinct and separate as did the mountains and valleys in the Tyrol. It is quite challenging to really teach it; there is no curriculum with grammar, syntax and vocabulary. All the valleys have the basic dialect with differences in pronunciation and some words. Several weeks ago na veciota (an endearing way to describe an older lady) called me from the state of Washington. We spoke in dialect for 10 minutes…She then interrupted our dialogue and exclaimed…Ma, Louis…che ben che te parle il nones.” Translated…how well you speak Nones. I laughed to myself since I was just speaking the ordinary dialect of the Val delle Giudicarie…But the nonesi have this conviction that their dialect is like none other…Hence, in Minnesota two years ago at ITTONA, a group of Nonesi challenged me to a test out of their sense of exceptionalism. They gave me a vocabulary spot quiz of 20 words…I got them all right, a pat on the back…and possibly they had a notion of how much we share in common.

DIALECT SHOW & TELL #1 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. Fogolar/the fire place Parol (over the fire)/pot Banca del foch/bench flanking the fire Moi/pinchers Paleta, pala dal foch, dale brase/ash shovel Sopion/fire stoker Cadena dal frogar, dal foch/fire chain Anel/chain link Rampin/pot holder Gradela/grate Marmita/pot

Manach/handle Cavra dal foch/goat of the fire (handirons) Brusin, brustolin/coffee & orzo toasters Manecia/handle Scandia/Credenza Cogoma/coffee pot Ramina/brass pot Caza/ladle Padela/(font.fond-interior /cul[bottom]ass) Cogome/coffee pots Manach/handle

The panera…called the mesa in some valleys is a quasi bread machine. The image in the circle is As del Pan…the bread board seen in the illustration on its reverse side which is used to knead the bread. The As del Pan is also the cover or the top, placed above the chest cavity. The kneaded bread loaves are placed in the cavity, covered with the bread board, kneading side down. Then with the handle…it is lifted and placed next to the fornella, the stove so that its heat will help the loaves rise. When baked, the bread loaves were placed in the cavity as a bread bin. The portela is the dialect word for doors. The flour and kneading tools were place in the lower compartment

Pugnata/pot Trpè/3 feet Raspet/scraper Pala/oven peel Pomol/knob Caset/drawer Quert, coert/pot cover Cazdrel, crazdel/copper pot (water) Cop/cup Piat/plate Padela/ladle Cochirol/coffee pot spout Pegol/Foot (on a pot) Lavec/Bronze pot with 3 “feet” Pila/pilota….granite pestle used to grind coffee, toasted orzo and other grains

My mesa next to the bread oven in my home in the Bleggio

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




Immigrants-The Depression Years

he Quota Acts of the 1920's put an end to the mass migration of Italians and Tyroleans to the United States. From that point forward our immigrants into the USA were counted in hundreds each year, and in some years only dozens never again would there be thousands. And economic development had changed in the States. After the First World War, the thrust was on internal growth with resultant high salaries. But in 1929, things changed drastically. The crisis unleashed by the collapse of the stock market brought American might to its knees. An emigrant, Giuseppe Angeli, wrote to his relatives in 1930, 'Be advised that the poverty in this land is great; seven milon people are unemployed.'

First prices plummeted, then production levels fell in every sector of the economy, from agriculture to industry. In 1932, industrial production fell 50% and workers' salaries decreased by 65%. As early as 1929 it was estimated that there were 400,000 jobless, but the job market bottomed out in 1933 with 15 million unemployed. This meant that for the general public, and therefore for the immigrants, there was deep poverty. For some it might mean malnutrition and even the return of diseases which had almost been forgotten in prior years, like tuberculosis. The USA at that point was on the verge of popular uprisings. Only 'revolutionary' politics would save the day and put the country back on the road to economic and social recovery, the road which ultimately led to the United States becoming the major economic and military power of the whole world. This was the New Deal, the politics launched by President Roosevelt and inspired by economist John Maynard Keynes.


For the Tyrolean immigrants the crisis was long and devastating. From the mining town of Bradycamp in Pennsylvania, where 90% of the workers were from Bleggio and Lomaso, Luigi Benassutti wrote 'We work a day or two every fifteen days. Five days of work a month is considered a lot.' It is clear that in such conditions, income was very low and the company could take advantage of the workers. Only sticking together, becoming 'union men' could guarantee a minimum of protection. 'The union guarantees us a fixed rate of pay, job security, a pension, and compensation in case of sickness or accidents on the job'. While living conditions were not splendid in the past, the higher salaries allowed for some savings. But there was usually no electricity in the poorer homes, no running water, and whatever water was available had to be boiled before drinking.The roads were just dirt roads. While schools were always available, they were often at a great distance, a distance which the children had to walk each day. With the depression came greater hardships and hunger. Mothers had difficulty providing warm meals for their families. Things got better only after 1934, and by 1935, the United States was setting new production records and therefore, a better life for the workers. But it was not just the Great Depression which brought thousands of Tyrolean immigrants to the brink of desperation. The whole process of migration normally puts the individual workers, their families and even their whole social structure, into a situation of rapid changes. They had to seek and quickly find new methods of coping with every aspect of their new life - a different climate; a new language; new foods; often new religious traditions; new laws, both civil and moral; the new look of the world with its big cities, etc. Often they had to take up a new trade or adapt to new methods in their old trade. For the immigrant this process of adaptation, integration and assimilation would be long and painful. And on this tortuous road many would lose the battle and either have to return to the old country or live on the margins of society in their new land. With the Great Depression, naturally, everything became more difficult for the Tyrolean immigrannts in the States. The worker who had been striving to attain a decent way of life was summarily set back to Square One! Here let us summarize the dozens of letters which

Enrico Bortolotti, of Drena, wrote in the years between 1919 and 1933, to his wife, whom he had left in the Trentino with their children. The man suffered from rheumatism, a condition which caused him to be hospitalized several times. He had arrived in the USA in 1914, probably to avoid service in the war, but also to accumulate funds he needed to pay off a debt he had incurred with a fellow townsman. From his arrival until 1933, when we lose track of him, he existed on 'light work at low pay' from California to Chicago. These were terrible years for Bortolotti, a life of hardships. With only a few days of work each month and in poor health, he had to resort to public and private assistance and probably to the charity of friends and acquaintances. With anguish in his soul, he wrote home in 1919: "My dearest wife, yes, you are right to reproach me, but please know that our situation is not due to lack of good intentions on my part. I love you more than myself, but our poor hearts will suffer for the rest of our lives in this world, all due to my lack of good fortune, and the inability to earn a piece of bread in this land of trials and tribulations." And again, "to tell the truth, I can't remember anything. It seems that I Have been in this miserable America for 100 years." Eleven years later, in 1930, Bortolotti had still not found the American way, though he was still trying. In the midst of the Great Depression, he wrote "This cursed crisis! I am always going from one employer to another like a madman, seeking work. But no one hires me. Why?" And yet again, almost at the point of madness, "the lack of work and the difficulty in finding a job in these hard times..... Believe me, it has not gone well for me. The unemployment and my ill health have ruined my dream of providing for you as I would have wished. I confess that I have had to borrow money, but rest assured that I will pay my debts as soon as I find work".

By 1933, this poor worker finally saw a glimmer of hope and he wrote to his wife: "Here the working relationship between worker and capitalist has not yet been well defined, but Roosevelt has a strong arm and takes care of the poor. We hope therefore that this crisis will end, or there will be a big revolution. Pay rates have been set at $14 a week and nothing less, but Roosevelt taxes this pay. His intent is that no one should die of hunger, so I hope I will be able to find work". We don't know how Enrico Bortolotti's tale ends.


Possibly his life ended tragically in America. Sadly, we note that after so many hard years, he wrote to his wife: "We brought to America only our arms and our brains, but our hearts remained in the little houses and beautiful meadows of our Italy!" And lastly, a sweet, yet tragic cry from the heart to the soulmate he had left in the Trentino, who had given him children and who was his only beautiful memory: "If you only knew how much I love you, you would be content despite all our hardships. If I could fly into your arms for just one day, I would be the happiest man in the world. But if, in the end, this is not possible, we will meet in Paradise."

The professional and human trials of the man from Drena are not the average experience of our emigrants in the USA. The continuing traffic between the States and the Trentino testifies to the fact that many found what they sought - work and income, a home of their own and the possibility of providing a brighter future for their family. Others accumulated enough savings to bring back to Italy, perhaps buying some land, or opening a small business, and almost always, fixing up the old homestead. Some achieved fame and fortune in their new land. But all among the tens of thousands who left the Trentino bound for the United States, had to suffer the separation from their home and family and a long period of adaptation to their new society. Among other trials they had to suffer the feeling of being 'different', looked upon as strangers, and at times treated as 'inferior'. But in the end they won the battle. Renzo Grosselli is a noted journalist of L’Adige the main newspaper of the Trentino. He has researched the history of emigration from the Trentino and has published the book L’Emigrazione dal Trentino dall Medioevo all Prima Guerra Mondiale (Trentino Emigration from the Middle Ages to the First World War).


Mountains of the Val del Chiese

he Chiese River springs from the Vedretta glacier on Mount Fumo, a 3,418 meter peak, on the southern side of Adamello. The river traverses the valleys of Fumo and Daone, where it has been harnessed for hydroelectric purposes, creating the lakes of Bissina and Boazzo.In this area, the highest and most characteristic peak is the Carè Alto which, at 3,642 meters, is surpassed in height only by Adamello. The pyramidal shape of this lovely tonalite-rock mountain is unmistakable, with four defined flanks on the north, south, east and southeast. On the north and east of the Carè Alto are the glaciers of Lares and Niscli, joining in the frozen cap at top. This is the route usually taken by climbers. On the southwest, the mountain takes the form of a sheer wall which can be admired from the Fumo valley. The name of the mountain is derived from the name of a plant, 'Carex Curvula', which carpets the cabin 'Dante Ongari' and the top of the peak, a huge peak above 2300 meters. Skoda cannon was positioned. It is still there today! Also The first ascent of the Carè Alto took place 150 years near the cabin is the characteristic little church, built by ago. Two Britons, Sedley Taylor and Hugh F. Turkish prisoners of war in 1917, and dedicated to the Montgomery made a first attempt on August 4, 1865 but Madonna of Lourdes. Climbing along the glacier, it is not did not reach the top until their second try four days unusual to come upon detritus from the war: bombs, later on August 8, climbing from Borzago-Sella di Niscli pieces of huts, munitions, etc. Great care should be taken on the northwest face. The Rev. Taylor, born in Kingston to avoid contact with these objects as they may still be -on-Thames in 1834, was a member of the Alpine Club dangerous after 100 years. Also, if left undisturbed, they of London. He died in 1920. Hugh de Fellenberg serve as a resource for historians of that era. Montgomery, also a member of the Alpine Club of London was born at Fivemiletown in 1844. In 1922, he Climbing to the top of the Carè Alto requires both techwas elected a senator in Northern Ireland, but died two nical and physical preparation and it is best left to the years later. A few years later, on September 3, 1868, the experts, or at the least with the help of an Alpine guide. Bohemian official Julius Payer, repeated the ascent The climb to the refuge huts is much less difficult. The accompanied by Johann Haller, a hunter from San ascent to the Carè Alto refuge (built in 1912) is tiring, but Leonardo in Passiria, and two infantrymen of the takes under four hours. An easier and more pleasant Austro-Hungarian army: Griesmayer from Val Pusteria excursion takes the climber to the Val di Fumo refuge, and Corona, a native of Primiero. A few years after this inaugurated in 1960. Starting out from Daone, this is a climb, Haller would accompany Payer on an Arctic expe- comfortable jaunt of about an hour and a half, winding dition to map out a Northeast Passage, eastward over the at times along the beautiful Chiese river. And just below top of Russia to the Bering Sea. Another famous alpinist the refuge, there is the Val di Fumo dairy station, where followed these well known climbers. On August 26, the climbers can enjoy both the excellent cheese and the 1873, the English explorer Douglas William Freshfield view of cows and horses grazing in the Alpine pastures. reached the summit with friends I. Ritchie and R. Ritchie, along with the alpine guide Francois Devouassoud and Riccardo Decarli (Biblioteca della montagna-SAT, Trento) Riccardo knows the mountains that he presents local guide Bonifacio Nicolussi of Molveno. to us first hand. Hew just published Guida ai Rifugi del During the First World War, the Carè Alto was in the Trentino, where he describe the 151 “rifugi” in the middle of a war zone, where Italian Alpini battled the Trentino. The book is available from Panorama di soldiers of Emperor Franz Joseph. Between the refuge Trento: ( 30


The Great War in the Val del Chiese


Editor’s note: The Austrian forces and troops were none other than our very own people, families and paesani. orld War I was a bloody and unnecessary war that involved feuds of the ruling families who were found in the governance of the various countries. On June 28, 2012, the flame that ignited a chain of events was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo. It caused a chain reaction; a month after, on the 28 of July, Austria declared war on Serbia. Germany joined on the Austrian side while France, England and Serbia were their declared enemies. Two days after, on July 31, Austria mobilized its subjects which included the whole Sud Tirol or the Welsch Tirol of that day or the Trentino of today. The able bodied men throughout the Tyrol were conscripted into the Austrian army. Three successive drafts followed in October, the winter and the spring. Our people were specifically conscripted into the Tiroler Kaiserjager and were immediately deployed to Galicia (Poland/Russia of that day) where they fought bravely and died in great numbers. In its typical historical fashion, Italy remained at the window – alla finestra – deciding which side to pick so that it joined with France against Austria ten months after on May 23 in 1915 thereby making the Val del Chiese a war theater, a front of the great war.

December 13, 1915 to the areas just above Tione as well as Val Rendena and the Bleggio of the Val delle Giudicarie. The people of Bondo and Rancone remained in their villages along with all the great number of Austrian troops and of prisoners mostly Serbian who were used to build cable apparatus up the mountains and creating trails up and through the surrounding mountains. In Bondo and its surrounding area, there was set up a mess hall, the police force, an infirmary equipped as a little hospital, baths, a movie theater, a miller, eight bread ovens, a butcher, a saw mill and troop barracks.

On June 5th, the Italian command cleared Condino and Brione and its people were evacuated to area of Alessandria in the distant Piedmont, Italy. Storo was never evacuated since the mountain shielded them from the bombardment from Lardaro and the village people were needed to assist the resident troops. The engineer corps of both combatants constructed dug out caves, barracks, mule trails and passable roads on these slopes still used to this day. Italian forces preferred the roads in the valley bottoms while the Austrian forces constructed elaborate system of cableways to supply their troops To follow the movements and stages of the conflict, one scattered on the slopes and peaks of the mountains can refer to the centerfold map. May 24, the Italian army gathered just below Caffaro, the boundary between the Tyrol and Lombardy…Italy. The day after they seize control of Bondone. The week after they entered Storo, then Condino and Brione as well as those villages that were evacuated by the Austrians: Cimego and Castello. May 20th, took a fortified stand in Lardaro dividing the valley in to while evacuating the villages north of Condino placing them in the Val Rendena and the Bleggio. The entire Valley of Ledro was evacuated to Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Roncone’s evacuation followed on 32

Forte Corno-Praso

Except for the first months of the war with constant artillery barrages as well aerial attacks, the war was hardly waged. The combatants suffered from a long war of maneuver, hidden like serpents in their rock hideouts and trenches and the mud that swept down from the mountain sides, the flooding of their hideouts in the snows and glaciers. For three years, the territory of the valley was divided…and the valley was seriously hurt. November 4, 1918 the weapons were silenced with the armistice signed in Padova. The massacre had ended and the Tyrol became the Trentino, an annexed Italian territory.

trenches throughout the valley…at its base and throughout the mountain slopes, the dugouts in very rocks, the mountain trails and roadways, the structures that served as hospitals of the encampments, and the cemeteries of the fallen soldiers.–

The Great War was felt and lived in the very persons of the valley. This historical heritage has been embraced by the various municipalities who have collaborated to restore the physical evidence of the war with restorations of several forts as well as offering excursions, tours, presentations, displays, publications and other cultural events. The Ecomuseo of the Val del Chiese is the agency, organizer and promoter of the appreciation of this unique history experienced by the Valley. 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the Great War and is being remembered and celebrated throughout the Trentino but nowhere as intensely as in this valley. A complete listing of its activities and resources can be found on its website

The war left so many scars and wounds difficult to heal: the many killed and injured on the eastern front in Galicia in the service of the Emperor, the houses destroyed or seriously damaged. Many were in exile from Bohemia to the Piedmont to the neighboring valleys. There were difficult consequences of living side by side with the Italian troops in their villages creating a very difficult adjustment accustomed as they were to their preferred Austrian administrators and culture. There were many physical traces throughout the valley: forts and Written by Maddalena Pellizzari e Aurora Mottes Ecomuseo della Valle del Chiese artillery installations, the barracks and barbed wire, the

Bersone’s Museum of the Great War

The Village of Bersone has created its very own museum of the Great War. Its expressed purpose is to remember and bear witness to the tragedy, misery and suffering endured by the soldiers and the local population during that tragic period of history. A guide provides explanations of the memorabilia on display in the various sections: bombs, guns, rifles, knives, kitchen field utensils, camp cots, sleds, skis, sniper shields, uniforms, bottles, ink wells, helmets and hats, gas masks and the floor plans of the Lardaro fortifications. There are reconstructions of a high mountain hut for lookouts and the entrance of a tunnel leading to the shelters and storage areas on the high terrains. Recently, the Province printed a limited amount of a booklet in four languages celebrating the centennial of the Great War. One can access it in a pdf format on the web. The narrative is an itinerary of the different locations where the war was ranged in the Tyrol now Trentino. Go to 33

I Proverbi: Wisdom Stories

The following proverbs are specific to the Val del Chiese.

Chi capis compatis. Chi capisce, compatisce e non condanna. Who understands is sympathetic.

"L’é mäi än bu polsù che n bu bocù. Vale di più un lungo riposo che un pasto abbondante per riprendersi dalla fatica. A good rest is worth more than a huge meal to recover from fatique. Chi che ne gä có gä gambe. Chi non ha testa ha gambe. He who forgets things has legs to go back and find it. Äl l’ä magnà fò a le braghe. Ha venduto anche i pantaloni. He spent everything he had.

L’é cargà de lägna vérda. È carico di legna verde. He is a dummy loading up with green wood.

De san Bastià l’é sü lä cä däl soldà. Il giorno di S. Sebastiano (20 gennaio) il sole ritorna a illuminare la casa. On Sebastian’s day (January 20) the sun returns to illumine the house. Lä cä npatatà ne l’é mai famà. La casa con buona scorta di patate non conoscerà mai la fame. The household that has enough potatoes (food) will never be hungry.

The Origins of Trentini Names

L’é mäi än bu polsù che n bu bocù. Vale di più un lungo riposo che un pasto abbondante per riprendersi dalla fatica. A long rest will cure your fatigue more than a sumptuous meal.

Benedetti – from the name Benedetto, referring to the cult of St. Benedict from Norsia, reduced to the plural “consecrated, blessed by God.” Found in many valleys of the Trentino. Cazzolli – possibly from Cassuffo from the Celtic Catu. Possibly from the dialectal word cazzol, a wooden spoon

Maestri – nickname for one who holds ofice or for someone consiered a guide or expert in some specialized craft or profession. Val delle Giudicarie; 1126 Conradi Magisteri-Trento; 1296 Ognibene del magistri, Condino.

Scaia – from the scaglia which means layers, flakes, slivers, chips. Could also refer to a mortar used in plastering walls. Mainly in Val delle Giudicarie.; 1222 Odorico Scaiosus; 1228 Scayda a Storo

Tarolli – has as its base TAR meaning rock. Val delle Giudicarie: 1446 Giacomo Tarolli di Fontana; Domenico Tarolli, 1797-1882, Castel Condino, missionary


Our Partners are . . .

Alberto Chini, Presidente of Father Eusebio Chini Museum, Segno, Italy Alberto Folgheraiter - Author, journalist and specialist in Trentino culture Christian Brunelli - Technical Consultant Tomaso Iori - Bivedo, Val di Giudicarie-Curator of Museo Scuola, Rango Giorgio Crosina - Director, Phoenix Informatica Bancaria Ivo Povinelli - Director - Federazione Trentina della Pro Loco e loro Consorzi Jim Caola - Genealogist, nutritional counselor, macrobiotic chef, Daniela Finardi - Communications Department -- Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina Manuele Margini - Phoenix Bancaria Informatica Riccardo Decarli - Biblioteca della Montagna-SAT, Trento Renzo Grosselli - L`Adige, Journalist, AuthorVerena Di Paoli - Writer, Researcher, Scholar Alexander DeBiasi & Danielle Benedetti - Trentino Sviluppo SpA - Department for Tourism and Promotion Verena Di Paoli - Writer, Researcher, Scholar, Terlago Veronica Coletti, Teacher, Bronx, NY Stefano Miotto - Phoenix Informatica Bancari Vittorino Tarolli, Bersone, Val del Chiese

Our Contributors are . . .

Alberto Ianes, Museo Storico Rita Caminolli, Rhinebeck, Bob Cazzolli, Syracuse, NY Mary Benedetti Kryck, PA Eugene Pellegrini, Chicago, IL Judy Scaia Malone, Syracuse, NY Dario Donati, Val di Ledro Giustino Ghezzi, Daone, Val del Chiese Giuliano Beltrame, Darzo, Val del Chiese Mauro Armanini, La Polentaera, Storo, Italy Aurora Mottes, Ecomuseo della Val del Chiese Maddalena Pellizzari, Ecomuseo della Val del Chiese Giusi Tonini, Vice-Mayor of Storo, Val del Chiese Vittorino Tarolli, Bersone, Val del Chiese

Photo Credits

Front Cover: Pietro Lattuada Page 5: Archivio della Federazione Trentina della Cooperazione Pages 6: Museio degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina; Flavio Faganello Page 10: Mauro Armanini; Bob Cazzolli Page 16: Bob Cazzolli Pages 20-21: Trentino Sviluppo SpA -- Department for Tourism and Promotion Page 22-23: Rita Caminolli Page 27: Helene Lageder - Dizionario del Dialetto di Montagne di Trento of Corrado Grassi, Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina, San Michele all’Adige Pages, 13-15, 31-33, 36: Archivio fotografico del Consorzio Turistico Valle del Chiese, dell’ Ecomuseo della Val del Chiese e del Comune di Storo

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 - Summer 2014  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val del Chiese

FILO - Summer 2014  

A Journal for Tyrolean Americans - Val del Chiese