For those interested in pursuing their family roots, we encourage you to visit TrentinoGenealogy.com. Many of our members have also joined the corresponding Facebook page. Lynn Serafinn is a master of Trentino genealogy. On her website she also hosts the Filò magazine, with each issue dedicated to a different area of Trentino. Click here to receive a free subscription of the paper version of the magazine.
Vittoria Piasente Guerra
Club member Vittoria Piasente Guerra passed away on November 9, 2020. She was born in 1935, 2nd youngest child of Fortunato Piasente of Castello Tesino and Maria Assunta Granello of Pieve Tesino. Her mother had 13
children in all, but 4 died in infancy.
At the time Mussolini gave a ribbon award to women who had several
children. Vittoria’s mother proudly wore that ribbon.
At the age of 33, Vittoria came to California to visit her sister, club president Giuseppina Piasente Alvarez. She met fellow Italian, Marco Guerra. They married, formed a family and settled in San Francisco and then in Fairfield. Church bells rang in Tesino commemorating her life.
Donald “Don” Rossotti
Donald “Don” Rossotti passed away at his home in Salinas on June 26, 2020, husband of club member Rena Rossotti Prevedel. Don followed in his parents’ footsteps farming artichokes and a variety of line vegetables. Rena’s parents, Aldo Prevedel and Ida Dorighi, were from Brez in the Val di Non. They immigrated to Superior, Wyoming, and then to the Ogden, Utah area where Rena was raised.
Wine Enthusiast, a world premier wine magazine based in New York, selected Trentino as the Wine Region of the World 2020, “unrivaled in Italy for its diversity.” There are 164 wineries in Trentino, 77% of the production being in white grapes and 23% in red. Organic grapes comprise 12% of the total, and that percentage is constantly increasing. The main importers of Trentino wines are the US, the UK and Germany. Wine Enthusiast adds:
“The Trentino region is one of the most dynamic, multifaceted, quality terroir driven wine-producing areas in the world today.”
In 2005 Wine Spectator, the “Bible” of the wine world, named Cantina Mezzacorona one of the “Top 20 Value-Oriented Wineries” for its quality and reliability. Only 5 European wines were on the list. Mezzacorona’s Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay were acclaimed for their “refined varietal aromas and vibrant acidity”.
The Trentino nel Mondo Association was founded in 1957 as a bridge to the many Trentini that had emigrated to other lands. In 2017 they held an anniversary celebration in Trento. Speakers included Honorary Association President Bruno Fronza and Past President Ferruccio Pisoni. Bruno Fronza visited the Bay Area 41 years ago and helped launch our club. Ferruccio Pisoni attended the 2004 ITTONA Convention hosted by our club. He recently passed away. The Trentino nel Mondo featured Ferruccio Pisoni on the front cover of the November/December 2020 issue of their magazine.
We have reached the fundraising campaign goal to support the post-production of the documentary.
A big Thank You to everyone for the support! This project is possible thanks to you and your generosity.
The documentary editing process will be a long and exciting journey. The goal is to release the documentary by the beginning of 2022.
Supporting the project is still possible and open.
Any additional donations will be used to extend the TrentiniAmericani web page and publish the film’s extracts.
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates on the project.
Many of you know Vincenzo Mancuso, the documentarian commissioned by the Trentino Historical Museum to interview Trentini in the US. A few years back Vincenzo interviewed several of our members and produced a short documentary that was featured on Trentino television and elsewhere. Click here to view the series of short documentaries that were produced by Vincenzo and shown in Trentino. Vincenzo would like to assemble a full-length documentary entitled Trentini Americani tapping into the over 160 interviews he conducted from 2009 to 2018. L’Italo Americano newspaper featured the project in a full-length article entitled
Preserving Memories, Strengthening Identities: The Trentini Americani Project.
Unfortunately, the Trentino Historical Museum can no longer fund the project. Hence, Vincenzo has reached out to the Trentino community for help. As he says: This film is about your history, your memory, and your families.
Vincenzo has budgeted $9000 for the project. He has received donations for just over half that amount. Costs will cover the ollowing: selection and editing of interviews (Seattle / Idaho / Montana), 16 mm and super8 archive digitization (Solvay, NYC, Colorado, Pennsylvania), editing of episodes (NY/ Colorado / Wyoming / California / Pennsylvania), audio editing, music copyrights, stock footage, translations and subtitles (Italian-English) and graphics and post-production.
We encourage you to donate to this project by visiting trentiniamericani.org.
As part of Boy Scout Troup 941, middle-schooler Christopher Lam of Pleasanton (mother Michelle is a descendant of the Avanzini/Zuech family of Brez, Val di Non) produced face shields with 3-D printers for frontline healthcare workers. They purchased the material through fundraising. They worked non-stop, fabricating thousands of shields. They donated them to hospitals all over California and even Washington D.C. They also donated the shields to dental and physical therapy offices, Pleasanton Unified School District, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, etc. Way to go boys!
A recent article in the Italy Magazine was subtitled Six Lakes to See in Trentino. It featured Toblino in the Valle dei Laghi, Molveno aside the Brenta Dolomites, Levico in the Val Sugana, Ledro and Tenno near Riva del Garda, and Tovel, the largest natural lake in Trentino.
I Borghi più belli d’Italia is an association of the most beautiful villages in Italy. There are 281 in all that have received this honor, including 6 in Trentino: Bondone, a fortress town in the southernmost part of the Valle del Chiese; Canale di Tenno, a medieval hamlet near Riva del Garda; Mezzano, at the foot of the Dolomites in the Valle del Primiero; Rango, “where time has stopped”, in the municipality of Bleggio Superiore in the Valli Giudiarie; San Lorenzo in Banale, at the gateway to the Adamello Brenta National Park; Vigo di Fassa, with majestic views of the Catinaccio Dolomites.
Jim Boin was a former board member of our club. After retirement he decided to relocate to his hometown of Chicago. He visited us in 2019 and plans to do so again once it is safe to travel. In February of 2019, Mirko Martinelli and his family vacationed here in California. Mirko runs the Hotel Martinelli in the Val di Gresta. It was the 50th anniversary of the hotel, and this excursion to California was part of the celebration. We did not know Mirko, but he has numerous friends here in California that put on cycling trips in the Val di Gresta. One of those cyclists organized a welcoming party at his home in San Carlos and invited our club members to attend. Ivo Finotti, secretary of the Toronto Trentino Club, is also from
Val di Gresta. He flew to the Bay Area and surprised the family with his presence.
Elena (Zuech) Aspromonte
Elena Aspromonte passed away in Santa Cruz on January 30, 2019. Elena was born in Brez, Val di Non to Giovanni Battista Zuech and Fiorella Menghini. At the age of 17, she immigrated to Silverton, Colorado. She then settled in Durango where she married Joe Aspromonte, of Abruzzese origin. They moved to California in search of a better life and to be close to Elena’s relatives in Watsonville, the Prevedellis. She became a widow at a young age and later married Dennis Wall. She had 3 children: Dan, Billand Mark. She had a very successful career in the hotel industry. She also leaves her brother Rino (Gemma) Zueck and sister-in-law Anna Angeli. The day after she passed, the bells in Brez rang in her honor. Several members of the Circolo Trentino attended the funeral and sang the Inno Trentino (Trentino Anthem) and her favorite, Mazzolin dei Fiori.
Genuina Corradi Franceschetti
On March 5, 2019 at age 104 Genuina Corradi Franceschetti passed away. Genuina’s family was from Daone in the Valli Giudicarie. She married Marino Franceschetti from the nearby village of Cologna. They settled in Solvay, New York, the destination of many immigrants from the Valli Giudicarie. In the late 40s they moved to Palo Alto, and Marino worked as a painter at Moffett Field.
Dirce Frank Rond
Dirce Frank Rond passed away on March 10, 2019. Her parents, John Frank (Franch) and Felicita Flor, had their origins in Cloz, Val di Non. In addition to raising 6 kids, she was a campaign manager for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, an English teacher, a school instruction aide and an assistant to the Vietnamese community. Also, she was a member of the Lodi Merrymakers Dance Club with her husband Lemuel. Her sister Ruby and brother-in-law Bob Zanoni are longtime, active members of our club.
Longtime club member, Ester Bugna, passed away May 6, 2019. Her father Giacobbe Bugna was from Bersone and her mother Rosalia Nicolini was from Daone. Both towns are in the Valli Giudicarie. Her father initially immigrated to Mexico, as did so many other Trentini. During WWI her father kept a diary, where he chronicled his life as an evacuee, fleeing deathand destruction in war-torn Trentino. Those writings are archived in Tione and have been part of a travelling performance, La Guerra di Giacobbe.
Ester’s mother was pregnant with her when they immigrated to California. Her father worked as a gardener on the Fernwood Estate in Atherton. Ester obtained a degree in biology and worked at the NASA-Ames Research Center for 35 years. Her late husband, Ted Sorenson, served as the mayor of Menlo Park, and Ester was active in the town’s historical association.
Ester kept close contact with her relatives in Italy and loved delving into Trentino history and culture. She became good friends with Mary Beth Moser, the president of the Seattle Trentino Club. Mary Beth wrote a thesis entitled: The Everyday Spirituality of Women in the Italian Alps: A Trentino American Woman’s Search for Spiritual Agency, Folk Wisdom, and Ancestral Values. After reading the thesis, Ester made a comment that summed up her life: I love the analogy of a life as a woven piece of fabric. Lately I have been visualizing my eight decades as 8 blocks of yarn, each block with 10 rows of yarn with different textures and colors, depending on what I was experiencing.
Frank Rauzi passed away in Stockton on December 27, 2019 at the age of 92. Frank’s father, Francesco, was from the Cloz, Val di Non, and his mother, Edith Anna Armanino, was from Stockton. He had fond memories of times spent in Cloz as a child. He was an active member of our club along with his
wife of 66 years, Marilyn. Every 2 years Frank and Bob Zanoni organized our club’s Christmas feast in Stockton. In 2015 we presented him with a plaque in honor of his many years of dedicated service.
Frank worked in the family meat business and then spent 35 years as a sales representative for Gallo Salami Company. Following the family tradition, Frank’s three sons, Grant, Frank Jr. and Kurt, gather together once a year to make homemade salamis and sausages. Frank was involved in many sport, charity and service organizations. In his memory our club made a donation to an organization that was dear to him, the TLC Foundation for Homeless Children of San Joaquin County. The Foundation responded: Frank always supported our mission and cared for the children we served. He would be pleased by your kind gesture.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cologna
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cologna, wife of club member Max Cologna, passed away on January 26, 2019. Jackie, a native San Franciscan, was born to Calabrian parents, Nick and Rose D’Andrea. Max is originally from the Ogden, Utah area, where there is a large Trentino community and club. His parents were from Castelfondo in the Val di Non.
Florio Angeli and Giuseppe “Joe” Angeli
Club member Luca Angeli lost two dear uncles in 2019, Florio Angeli in Cloz, Val di Non, and Giuseppe “Joe” Angeli in St. Louis, Missouri. Joe immigrated to St. Louis with his two brothers, Lino and Silvio. Upon retirement he spent a good part of each year in his native Cloz. A VitaTrentina article honored his legacy and quoted him as saying: Life is short; a day without joy is a loss.
In 2019 we celebrated Christmas at the Waterloo Gun & Bocce Club in Stockton. Bailamo, an Italian folk dance group based in Sacramento, provided entertainment, including a few Trentino dances. Trentina Anna
Zacharias, sister of club treasurer Mary Elmstrom, is a member of the group. At the same event Ron Agostini delivered a moving eulogy of longtime club member, the late Emanuel “Sketti” Franceschetti.
As always, the club thanks the Central Valley Trentini for their hard work. They always put on exceptional events and manage to attract numerous participants.