Luca Dorigatti

lucaIt is with immense pleasure and pride that we announce that our very own Luca Dorigatti was recently chosen as the US representative (“consultore”) to the Province of Trentino. Interestingly, Luca’s parents read the news in the Trentino newspaper before he received the official announcement. Luca was our club’s secretary in the past, and he is now one our trustees. He is always at the forefront of any initiative our club undertakes and is most deserving of this honor. The Province has a total of 10 representatives from abroad covering areas of high Trentino emigration. Luca will join representatives from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Chile, Uruguay and two each from Argentina and Brazil. We wish Luca well on this new endeavor.

Passages 2014, Remembering those we lost.

Livio Cristanelli, a founding member of the club in 1980, passed away on April 1st.
Livio’s parents immigrated from Fondo in the Val di Non to the coalmining town of
Superior, Wyoming. He retired after working for Sunset Scavengers for 34 years,
reaching the position of president. As stated in his obituary: For some my decisions
were not always the most popular, but I always considered taking care of the working.
Livio also owned and operated the Tropicana Motel in Lake Tahoe and other investments around the lake. We extend our sincerest condolences to Livio’s wife, Marlene, and to his entire family. Livio will be sorely missed by us all.
Sister Rosangela Angeli, a native of Cloz, Val di Non, passed away on October 14th in Besozzo (Varese). She was the sister of club member Gemma
Angeli Zueck and aunt to many nephews and nieces here in California. She worked as a registered nurse for years at a hospital in Merano, primarily with the
minority Italian-speaking patients. She then transferred to the San Pangrazio Hospital in Arco, Trentino. Suora Rosangela belonged to the Order of the Santa Croce (Holy Cross) that was founded in Switzerland in the 1800s. She spent her final years at the order’s institute in Besozzo, As a side note, the nuns at the institute risked their lives during the war hiding Jews and finding safe passage for many to Switzerland (click here for more information). We send our condolences to Gemma and the entire family.

Michael J. Parks
On November 7th Michael J. Parks passed away at Stanford Hospital after a long battle with myelofibrosis and myeloid leukemia. Michael’s great-grandparents, Giorgio and Ida Mengon, were from Piazzola in the Val di Rabbi. They immigrated to Columbia Falls, Montana at the beginning of the last century. Michael’s cousin, Father Alberto Mengon, invited him to our 2012 Christmas event. Michael looked forward to becoming an active member of the Circolo Trentino. It is with great sorrow that we heard of his passing at the
young age of 45. Michael was originally from Seattle. He attended UC Berkeley and received a PhD in applied mathematics in 1994. He worked as a software engineer and held three US patents. Our sincere condolences go out to Michael’s family.

Ursula Leonardi
On February 14th Ursula Leonardi passed away at her home in Menlo Park, just shy of her 99thbirthday. Ursula was a founding member of our club and our first treasurer. Her parents, Luigi and Maria Leonardi, immigrated from Daone in Trentino. We send our deepest condolences to Ursula’s friends and family.

James Harrison Disney
James Harrison Disney passed away on December 13th. He was a native of North Dakota and long time resident of Walnut Creek. He became an honorary Trentino when he married Olga Degiorgio, whose family immigrated to Utah from Spera in the Valsugana. We send our sympathies to the entire family.

Giorgio Bortolon, nephew to our treasurer Laura Floriani Vitlacil and to club member Pierluigi  Bortolon, unexpectedly died from a heart attack in Trentino. On the day of his funeral, Christmas Eve, Laura’s oldest sister, Anna Floriani, also passed away. We send our heartfelt sympathies to Laura, Pierluigi and the entire family.

Our condolences also go out to Tom Ecker whose wife Jan Ecker lost her battle with cancer on August 4th.

Lucille Norris, nee Zanoni, passed away on November 29th at the age of 76. We send our deepest sympathy to husband Tom in Newport Beach, CA, and to brothers Bob, Paul, Richard, Larry and Leonard Zanoni.

2014, New members:

Joe Maffei
Joe Maffei last attended an event about 10 years ago. In the meantime he established his own firm in Oakland, Maffei Structural Engineering, married Holly and had two boys, 3-year-old Dario and 1-year-old Gabriel. His maternal grandparents, Ricardo Agosto Amistadi and Stella Mussi, were from Roncone in the Valli Giudicarie. They immigrated to Langeloth, PA in the 1920s. Joe’s father’s family was from Toscano. Joe was delighted to meet others from Roncone at the Christmas event, and we were thrilled to meet his lovely wife and kids.

Davide Carmeci
Davide Carmeci was born and raised in Trento and attended Liceo Classico G. Prati. He received his Masters in marketing and communication at the University of Bologna. He worked  as a manager for Italian and European companies in the digital media and information and communication technology industries. He moved to California in July 2012 to work as a business development associate for a Silicon Valley incubator. He recently started working as a business development manager for WebRatio, Inc., a software company. Here is his page:
Davide’s father was an Italian born in Tripoli. His family was involved in the trade between Italy and Libya. They moved to Trento to join members of the family that had previously relocated there. Davide’s mother, Mariapia Regensburger, is from Castel Tesino.

Greg Genetti and his wife Mary
New members Greg Genetti and his wife Mary attended our get-together in September.
Greg is the owner of a CPA firm in Campbell. The Genetti family is from Castelfondo in
the Val di Non. They immigrated initially to Hazelton, Pennsylvania surrounded by many
other Trentini who worked in the local mining industry. Hazelton has always
had a very active Trentino club, and the first US/Canadian Trentino (ITTONA) convention was held there. Lodging was provided at none other than the Genetti Inn & Suites. At our event Greg was delighted to meet Max Cologna whose family is also from Castelfondo, and Gemma Angeli Zueck whose brother, Padre Angeli, says Sunday mass in
Castelfondo. We look forward to sharing more good times with Greg, Mary and the
numerous other Genettis in the Bay Area.

100th Birthday

100th Birthday in Salinas: Kathy Ammann with granddaughter Erica, Genuina’s great nephew-in-law and great niece Lorie, Genuina, great nieces visiting from Pieve di Bono in Trentino
100th Birthday in Salinas: Kathy Ammann with granddaughter Erica, Genuina’s great nephew-in-law and great niece Lorie, Genuina, great nieces visiting from Pieve di Bono in Trentino

Genuina (Genny) Franceschetti, nee Corradi, from Daone in the Valli
Giudicarie, celebrated her 100th birthday on November 17th in Salinas. She was married to Marino Franceschetti from Cologna, a hamlet of Pieve di Bono.
They settled in Solvay, New York, which hosted many immigrants from the Valli Giudicarie. In the late 40s they moved to Palo Alto, and Marino worked as a painter at Moffett Field. Niece Kathy Ammann kindly sent us a photo of the event, which included relatives from Trentino. Happy 100th to Genuina!

Trentini in Space

CristoforettiSamantha Cristoforetti
On November 23rd Samantha Cristoforetti, a Trentina from Malè in the Val di Sole, became
the first Italian woman, and only the third European, to go to space. She left with two other astronauts from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz rocket. She is currently coming to the end of her long-term mission on the International Space Station. Click here for a feature story by
ABC News on this Trentina luminary.
According to a posting on the ITTONA Facebook page, the night skies of Malè offered the young Samantha an unfettered view of the stars and motivated her to become an astronaut.
Go to Samantha’s European Space Agency page for photos and postings from her adventure in space.
Club member Father Alberto Mengon is from the Val di Rabbi, very near Malè. He has met
Samantha’s grandfather and uncle on more than one occasion in Malè; naturally, he says they are very proud of her. Samantha’s family operates the Hotel Liberty in Malè.
One thing Samantha has truly missed in space has been her Italian espresso. NASA recently approved use of a machine designed in Italy. It was supposed to arrive in January, but a launch explosion quashed that plan. The machine dubbed the ISSpresso (International Space Station) finally arrived this month (April).
NPR reports Samantha will probably be awarded the first cup, but she will have to share with her colleagues 🙂

Aerospace Industry in Trentino
Trentino has become a bustling high-tech center, thanks in part to the assistance provided by Trentino Sviluppo. Fly S.p.a., a company supplying components for the new Airbus 350, is located in Grigno, 25 miles east of Trento in the Valsugana.
Fly’s products are also found in space launchers, chemical and nuclear reactors, gas and steam turbines, and in deep-water equipment.

Club Members Meet in the Val di Rabbi

Mike, Ramona & Father Alberto Mengon in front of the church in Piazzola.

Ramona Antonioni Krausnick and her husband Mike visited Trentino last September to celebrate their 20th anniversary, as well as the 20th anniversary of two of her cousins and the 75th birthday of another. Her cousins all live in Salorno, just north of the Trentino border. It is one of only five mainly Italian-speaking towns in the Province of Bolzano. The area is well known for its vineyards of Schiava, Teroldego, Pinot Grigio, etc.
Ramona’s relatives supply Mezzacorona Winery with grapes.
Ramona’s father was born in the Val di Rabbi, which is in the northwest corner of Trentino, just past the Val di Sole. Click here to see its location in Trentino. More than half of the scenic Val di Rabbi is within the Stelvio National Park, the only national
park in Trentino. Father Alberto Mengon is also from the Val di Rabbi, and he planned a trip to the area at the same time Ramona and Mike were going. They met in the
village of Piazzola and had a delightful time together

Coro Brenta di Tione

ponteSFThe last week of April, our club assisted Consul General Mauro Battocchi in hosting the Brenta Chorus from his hometown of Tione, Trentino.
They performed at Mission Dolores Basilica, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Italian  American Heritage Foundation in San Jose, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in  Sonoma and in Santa Rosa. They also spent a day each in Santa Cruz and Las Vegas before returning to Trentino. They received accolades from all. They sang wherever and whenever they could. You could not help but be moved by their voices and their spirit, whether you understood Italian or not.

Many of our club members contributed to the success of this tour. A special grazie goes out to one of our newest members, Mary Elmstrom, and her sister from Montana, Eileen Freller. They accompanied the group of 48 from the time they arrived at the hotel in San Francisco till they left Santa Cruz.

Santa CrusIn the pic on the right: Coro Brenta at the Marriott Fairfield in Capitola. Circolo members from left to right,Rino Zueck, Gemma Angeli Zueck, Luca Dorigatti, Dan Aspromonte, Rinaldo Cis, Eileen Freller, Mary Elmstrom, Silvia Torresani Prevedelli. Coro President Giuseppe
(Pino) Stefenelli between Rinaldo and Eileen. After an impromptu concert, he resented handsome wooden plaques of appreciation adorned with the tour logo.

Club member Luca Dorigatti, first on the left, visiting in June the Coro Brenta in Tione. Second on left, President Giuseppe  Stefenelli. First on right, Musical Director Leone Pellegrini.
Club member Luca Dorigatti, first on the left, visiting in June the Coro Brenta in Tione.

We established close bonds of friendship with the Coro. This past summer club members Luca Dorigatti and Rinaldo Cis both paid
visits to the Coro in Tione. Then, in September club member Mary (Boni) Elmstrom and her husband Gary spent 4 days with the maestro of the Coro, Leone Pellegrini, and his wife Giuliana. They hiked with chorus members to the Rifugio Val di Fumo and had many splendid meals. They got to know them much better and learned a bit more about the history and culture of the region. As Mary says: These people are so gracious, honest and caring! I am happy to share with them a Trentino heritage.

Stefenelli wrote an article about the experience (in Italian)…read more here

Club member Rinaldo Cis, hiking with Giuseppe Stefenelli and son, in July
Club member Rinaldo Cis, hiking with Giuseppe Stefenelli and son, in July

Trentino Thunderbolt (il Fulmine Trentino) Strikes Again

Club members Rinaldo “Fulmine Trentino” Cis and Dan Aspromonte celebrate with fellow Italians  Elena Fasolo and Mattia,Borsalino at the Santa  Cruz Harbor after the Wharf-to-Wharf Race
Club members Rinaldo “Fulmine Trentino” Cis and Dan Aspromonte celebrate with fellow Italian friends Elena Fasolo and Mattia Borsalino at the Santa Cruz Harbor after the Wharf-to-Wharf Race

As many of you may remember, a few years ago club member Rinaldo Cis had his number retired at the 100th Bay-to-Breakers in San Francisco because he beat the record established in the first race. At the end  of July in Santa Cruz, Rinaldo ran the  6-mile Wharf-to-Wharf in 34:57, placing him in the top 100 male finishers out of approximately 16,000 runners. He was in the elite division along with the Kenyans and Ethiopians who typically win the event. Congratulations to Rinaldo!

Rinaldo’s greatest joy comes in running the mountain trails of Trentino. This past summer he participated in the grueling Dolomite Sky Race, a 10k up and 12k down race that starts and ends in Canazei in the Val di Fassa. The race is part of the Skyrunner World Series.

Visitors from Trentino in Spring 2014

 Luca Cattoi and Colleagues

L to R: New club member Walter Pezzini, Luca’s colleague Andrea with the leather jacket, Luca’s colleague Lorenzo  with the beanie, Maico Campilongo, owner of Terún  Pizzeria, club member Matteo Baceda with the Trento jacket,  Luca Cattoi, Davide Carmeci, Luca Dorigatti, Rinaldo Cis,  Alice Amigassi, Christine Bologna and Tarcisio Pedrotti.
L to R: New club member Walter P., Luca’s colleagues Andrea  and Lorenzo, Maico C., Matteo B.,Luca C., Davide C., Luca D., Rinaldo C.,
Alice A., Christine B. and Tarcisio P.

We first met Luca Cattoi in 2012. He  was travelling with a group, composed primarily of Trentini, visiting the high tech industries of Silicon Valley. Luca’s company based in Arco,

His clients include such big names as Bianchi, Barilla, Microsoft, Giro d’Italia and Confindustria, just to name a few. Luca has now become a regular visitor to the area. In January he came with 3 colleagues and dinner was organized at the Terún Pizzeria in Palo Alto. Several of our club members were in attendance.

Federica Mandato from Pergine

Chiara Lazzeri teaches at a high school in Borgo Valsugana. She has accompanied students to the Bay Area on two occasions, and her students have interviewed members of our Circolo. She also invited Michael Job to be a guest lecturer at her high school.
Towards the beginning of April, Chiara’s childhood friend, Federica Mandato,
visited California to attend a scientific conference. Federica lives in Pergine, but works as an administrative assistant for Fondazione Pezcoller in Trento, a foundation that promotes biomedical research in the field of cancer. Chiara had Federica contact Michael in San Francisco. As always, Michael was a gracious host. Federica truly enjoyed her time here and promised to be back soon.

Michael Job & Federica Mandato in San Francisco
Michael Job & Federica Mandato in San Francisco

Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke

Lara Olivetti worked as an attorney for several  years at the Association Trentino nel Mondo, giving free legal advice on Italian citizenship and other matters. She received the admiration of Trentini the world over for her kindness and empathy. She has assisted many of our own club members with her expertise.

Lara now lives in Sweden with her partner Rickard Olseke. Rickard works on immigration and asylum cases. In mid-April they came to Northern California on vacation. It was a pleasure to spend time with Lara and Rickard and to get to know them better.
We found out that Lara is related to the founder of Olivetti, the computer, typewriter, etc. manufacturer, and her family endured hardship when anti-Semitism was in full force in Italy.