Christmas Party 2016

For our Christmas event once again Father Alberto Mengon arranged for us to have our gathering at the lovely campus of the Salesian College Preparatory School in Richmond.

We had a typical Trentino meal with polenta, crauti (sauerkraut), etc.
For entertainment Carlo from Coro Allegro will lead us in song with his formidable voice as he did 2 years ago. Also, in the spring Paola Tonelli of the Leonardo Da Vinci Society gave a presentation on the epic Trentino mountain climber, Bruno Detassis. She has offered to give the same presentation at our event. Grazie Paola!!

A special thanks to Laura Bortolon McKinnon for the following pictures


ittonaIn August the Trentino Club of Southern California hosted the biennial ITTONA (International Tyrolean Trentino Organization of North America) convention aboard a cruise from LA to Ensenada, Mexico. It included a tour in Baja California of the prestigious Cetto Winery, founded in 1928 by Angelo Cetto from Levico Terme in the Valsugana. Francesco Bocchetti, Vice Director of the Trentino nel Mondo Association, gave a captivating presentation highlighting the history of the Association and the role it has played in supporting the Trentino diaspora.
The US has 21 Trentino clubs and Canada 5, and there were representatives from several of these clubs in attendance. A big thank you goes out to the Southern California Club and to ITTONA secretary Anna Vann who worked tirelessly to put on this event. Grazie Anna!!

Antonio and Laura 60th Wedding Anniversary

On May 19th Antonio and Laura (Floriani) Vitlacil celebrated 60 years together. Antonio was born and raised in Borgo Valsugana, but his father was born in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, and his mother in Vienna, Austria. Laura was born and raised in Bienno, Valsugana, where they married in 1956. They then immigrated to Switzerland, subsequently to Canada, and finally in 1963 to California.

Congratulations Rena and Don, Frank and Silvia, Antonio and Laura!

Prevedelli’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Son-in-law Sam, daughter Geri, Silvia, Frank, son Nick.
Son-in-law Sam, daughter Geri, Silvia, Frank, son Nick.

On May 5th of this year, Frank and Silvia (Torresani) Prevedelli reached their golden anniversary. Friends and family gathered at Prevedelli Farms for a grand celebration. Frank’s parents immigrated from Brez. They initially tried their hand at citrus in Florida, but then made their way to California to grow apples, as is the tradition in the Val di Non. The couple married in Silvia’s native town of Cloz, also in the Val di Non. Fellow Trentino, Father Alberto Mengon, blessed the couple and gave a talk that moved all that were present.

Italian Citizenship

Italian Citizenship – Immigration Prior to 1919

November 2015: Consul General Mauro Battocchi with elated Italian citizen, Michael Lawrence Job
November 2015: Consul General Mauro Battocchi with elated Italian citizen, Michael Lawrence Job

Many Trentini emigrated prior to 1919 when Trentino was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were not Italian citizens, and consequently their descendants do no have rights to Italian citizenship. Many felt this to be unfair, and so the government enacted a law that gave those in this situation till the end of 2010 to apply for Italian citizenship.

Several of our club members applied, and we are happy to say that all but one has received an Italian passport. Passport recipients so far through this law are: Jim Boin, family from Vigo Cavedine and Lasino in the Val dei Laghi; Beth Bonora and her son Owen Laine, family from Cologna, a hamlet of Tenno in the Alto Garda; Michael Job, family from Torra and Dardine, both hamlets of Taio in the Val di Non; Richard and Gloria Daffner, brother and sister, family from Trento and Cagnò in the Val di Non.

Italian Citizenship – Immigration Prior to 1919

April 2016: Maria Mortati shows off her passport with glee in front of the Italian Consulate
April 2016: Maria Mortati shows off her passport with glee in front of the Italian Consulate

If your Trentino grandparent(s) came to the US after 1919, when Trentino was clearly part of Italy, you may be eligible for citizenship. For more information, see the “Iure Sanguinis” section of the Consulate’s citizenship page, i.e., the right to citizenship via bloodline.

We are delighted to announce that club member Maria Mortati just had her citizenship recognized via “Iure Sanguinis”.

Maria’s father is Calabrian, and her mother’s family is from Giustino in the Val Rendena of Trentino.
Congratulations Maria!

2016: Happy Birthday

In the past year Rino Zueck and Americo “Mac” Agostini celebrated their 80th birthdays. Rino is a native of Brez in the Val di Non. He immigrated to Silverton and Durango, Colorado just after the war at the age of 15, and then to Santa Cruz. Mac’s family is from Cologna in the municipality of Pieve di Bono in the Valle del Chiese.
Happy birthday to Rino and Mac!

On February 28th Romeo Zuech in San Luis Obispo celebrated his 90th birthday. Romeo is a native of Brez. He completed his studies in Bolzano and then immigrated to the US. As chronicled in the section “OUR STORIES”, he played an instrumental role in landing us on the moon. After retiring from the aerospace industry, he founded Piedra Creek Winery.

He proudly produces a wine named after the patron saint of Brez, San Floriano, which includes the typical Trentino varietal, Lagrein.
Romeo, happy birthday and salute!

On May 17th Father Efram Trettel celebrated his 95th birthday surrounded by friends, including Trentini Luca Dorigatti and Marco Di Ianni. Marco lives in San Francisco, but he was born and raised in Trento. His family operates an iconic pastry shop in the Cristo Re neighborhood of Trento. Luca and Marco frequently visit Father Efrem, and they say he is holding up rather well considering his advanced age.
Father Efrem worked tirelessly in support of the Italian and Trentino community.
Happy 95th Padre Efrem!

Citizenship Legal Advice

Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke enjoying a pleasant, sunny day in San Francisco
Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke enjoying a pleasant, sunny day in San Francisco

For the third year in a row, Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke visited the Bay Area from their home in Stockholm. They attended the “Celebration of the Dolomites” event where they had an opportunity to meet many of us.
Lara worked years as an attorney for the Trentini nel Mondo Association, imparting legal advice to those applying for Italian citizenship. Rickard works with asylum seekers in his native Sweden.
Obtaining Italian citizenship can be an arduous process. If you reach an impasse and need legal advice, we recommend you consult Lara:
She won a landmark decision extending the right of citizenship to descendants of women as well as men from Trentino. Congratulations to Lara on this triumph, and congratulations to Lara and Richard on their recent marriage!

Blueprint – Trentino Youth Gathering in Wyoming

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 6.40.03 PMFrom May 25th to the 30th, the Trentini nel Mondo Association held a gathering in Rock Springs, Wyoming for youth ages 18 to 39. Many Trentini settled in Rock Springs to toil in the mine industry. Marina Brun from Lafayette and Greg McGarry from San Francisco participated in the event. Luca Dorigatti of Palo Alto also attended as the US representative to the Trentino Province and the Trentino nel Mondo Association. The event was the cover story of the June issue of the Trentini nel Mondo magazine. As a result of this gathering, a website was created,, and a Facebook page.

Club Representative Greg McGarry
Gregory Eugene Tafner McGarry aka Greg represented our club at the Blueprint gathering in Wyoming. Greg’s great-grandfather was from the city of Trento and his great-grandmother was a Pedri from Cagnò in the Val di Non. Greg is a distant relative of the current president of the Trentini nel Mondo Association, Alberto Tafner. In the US Tafner got changed to Daffier. Greg’s mother, Gloria Daffner, is a member of our club and became an Italian citizen this year. Greg currently teaches high school English. He is also working on a Master’s in Education at Stanford. In Greg’s words:

Although I never got to meet  my Trentino grandfather, Eugene, I have always felt a connection to Trentino. My mother made sure to take me there as soon as I was old enough, and I was able to meet my Trentini cousins and fall in love with the small city nestled in amongst the Dolomites. I have not returned to Trento for a couple decades now, but this summer I was able to reconnect with Trentino in a different way, at the Trentino Blueprint 2016 in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Dozens of Trentini – young and young at heart – from all over North America and Italy converged on the Outlaw Inn (run by a Trentina family for 5 generations) and got to know each other– and our shared history – via workshops, oral histories, presentations, and speeches. It was a wonderful event. We had polenta, dance parties, and late night swims, even making a local watering hole our home away from home (and we dominated Karaoke night!) I was very proud to represent the San Francisco Bay Area and so glad to meet so many wonderful people. Thanks to social media, many of us have stayed in touch. For many of us, it was a reimmersion in the world of all things Trentini, a world I don’t intend on leaving any time soon!

Club Representative Marina Brun
Marina Brun lives in Lafayette, California and also attended the Blueprint gathering in Wyoming. Marina is from Brazil and of Trentina origin via her mother. She works for Google, and the company relocated her to California in July 2015.

Before that she lived in Ireland for 6 years, and before that she studied for 6 years in Trento through a scholarship provided by the Province. No one in her family spoke Italian, only a few words of dialect passed down from generation to generation.
Marina’s mother, Isabel Teresa Piccinini, decided to learn Italian and convinced her to do so as well. When she applied for the Trentino scholarship, she was already quite fluent in Italian. English came later. Marina’s great-great grandfather, Gioele Piccinini, was from Maso Piccoli, a hamlet of Lavarone, 12 miles southeast of Trento in the Altopiani Cimbri (Cimbrian Plateau). Lavarone, Folgaria and Luserna are the 3 towns that form the Altopiani Cimbri.

Cimbrian is the ancient German dialect that most spoke at one  in the area. Giselle was born in 1884, one of 14 children. Marina’s family arrived in Brazil at the end of the 1800s, when the country tried to replace slave labor with European immigrants. They settled in Capias do Sul, in Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. There Gioele married Clementina Fronchetti, also from Lavarone. They moved about 40 miles west to Santa Tereza, near the heart of Brazil’s renown wine country. Marina’s parents met in Santa Tereza, but she was born and raised about 100 miles further north in Lagoa Vermelha, in the same state of Rio Grande do Sul. There her father, Marino Brun, opened a small business. His Italian family immigrated from Frisanco in the Province of Pordenone, Region of Friuli. There was massive Trentino immigration to Brazil and Argentina. There are more Trentino clubs in those two countries than any others, 60 in Brazil and 57 in Argentina. Compare that to the 21 in the USA and 5 in Canada. There is even a town in Brazil named Nova Trento, New Trento.

In reference to the Blueprint gathering in Rock Springs, Marina stated: For me being Trentina and my experience in Trento are a big part of who I am. It is very difficult to explain that to anyone else; so it was a great experience to be able to share this time with people who understand and feel the same connection.

50th Ordination Anniversary

Father Mengon with Ramona Antonioni Krausnick, family also from the Val di Rabbi, and husband Michael
Father Mengon with Ramona Antonioni Krausnick, family
also from the Val di Rabbi, and husband Michael

Father Alberto Mengon was ordained a priest 50 years ago as a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Father Mengon was born and raised in Piazzola, Val di Rabbi. He is currently pastor at Saints Peter & Paul Church in North Beach, but before that, he worked at schools and parishes in Watsonville and Richmond, California and in Sierra Leone, Africa. In March he travelled to Sierra Leone to celebrate this milestone with his former colleagues and friends.

At the end of August, he will travel to his native Val di Rabbi for another celebration. Father Mengon, congratulations on reaching this milestone and thank you for your years of service!

Visitors from Val di Non

March 4th, Santa Cruz: Second group of Trentini from the Val di Non to visit us in 6 months accompanied by Father Claudio Holzer kneeling on the right
March 4th, Santa Cruz: Second group of Trentini from the Val di Non to visit
us in 6 months accompanied by Father Claudio Holzer kneeling on the right

On Monday November 9th, 2015 a group of over 50 Trentini, primarily from the Val di Non,visited San Francisco accompanied by Father Claudio Holzer of Denno. For 10 years he was a pastor in Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago and the home of many Trentini immigrants. He is now the director of the Casa Italiana in Washington, DC.
Several of our members met with the group for dinner at the San Francisco Athletic Club. The group quickly filled the venue with song and celebration accompanied by an accordionist.

On March 4th of this year, Father Claudio returned with a much smaller group from the Val di Non. They met with Father Alberto Mengon in San Francisco and with a small group of our members for lunch in Santa Cruz. Two of the ladies had connections to Cloz.

Club members Gemma Angeli Zueck and Silvia Torresani Prevedelli are from Cloz and were present. They had a delightful time speaking about those they know in common. It felt like we Trentini are all one big family.