The Festa della Repubblica on June 2nd of each year celebrates the creation of the modern Italian nation. That occurred after WWII when citizens voted 12,717,923 to 10,719,284 for a republic rather than the House of Savoy monarchy. The members of the monarchy then fled in exile.
Each year the consul general invites members of the Italian community to celebrate this national holiday. This year the celebration was held at the St. Francis Yacht Club, and members of our club were present. They had the honor of meeting Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Governor and Homeland Security Secretary in the Obama administration, and currently the president of the University of California system.
Her father’s family is from the province of Foggia in Puglia, the heel of Italy, not from Naples, which is implied by her name.
On May 17th our club celebrated its 35th anniversary with a cruise on the San Francisco Bay leaving from Alameda. Nearly 100 attendees delighted in the experience. Present were some new members, Bruno Nardelli, Renata Gasperi and Maria Masè.
Bruno Nardelli At the age of 5, Bruno Nardelli’s father emigrated from the Trento suburbs of Gardolo/Roncafort to Argentina. As a child, Bruno participated in the activities of the Circolo Trentino di Comodoro Rivadavia in Patagonia, the world’s southernmost Trentino club. Argentina and Brazil have more Trentini clubs than any other countries, with 57 and 60 respectively. Bruno studied at the University of Trento for 5 years while volunteering at the Trentini nel Mondo Association. He then transferred to Houston for work and now to the Bay Area.
Renata Gasperi was born and raised in Milan, but her father was from Caldonazzo in the
Valsugana and her mother (last name Perazzolli) was from Mattarello, a suburb just south of Trento. Renata lives in San Francisco with her husband Don, whose family is from Lucca in Maria Masè was last in Giustino 50 years ago. “I felt like Heidi, gathering wild flowers from the sides of the road, eating strawberries and raspberries that grew everywhere, along with chocolate and bread, attending vespers in the evening at St. Lucia, then filling our pails with milk from the mountains. It was a long time ago, but the memories linger.”
Welcome Bruno, Renata and Maria to the Circolo Trentino di San Francisco!
On April 21st Ramona Antonioni Krausnick turned 70. Tanti auguri! Her husband Mike Krausnick treated her to Terra Mia in Livermore, whose owners also operate the Mezzaluna Restaurant in Half Moon Bay. Mike, our club’s unofficial photographer along with Roger Ecker, hid birthday notes throughout the house for her to find. She also contacted via Skype her relatives in Trentino and became very emotional. One of them offered her a tissue via the monitor screen. The couple then headed to Hemet in Southern California to see “Ramona”, America’s longest running dramatic play.
Ramona’s father was from the Val di Rabbi, but her mother’s family was from a small
village in Abruzzo, Montenerodomo. Nancy Pelosi’s grandfather, Tommaso Fedele
D’Alessandro, was born in the same village in 1868. Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the US
House of Representatives. In September of last year, Mike and Ramona visited Washington, DC.
They asked their congressman, Eric Swalwell, whom they knew from his years on the Dublin City Council, if he could arrange a meeting with Congresswoman Pelosi. They were treated to a private tour of the Capitol, and then had a chance to chat with Minority Leader Pelosi about their common heritage. Upon departing, Pelosi gave them a warm embrace. As Ramona said, she was very “gracious”.
Lara Olivetti and Rickard Olseke recently spent 3 weeks in San Francisco and the North
Coast of California. They were here last year at about the same time. Lara once worked as
an attorney for the Trentini nel Mondo Association imparting free advice on citizenship matters. That remains her specialty. Visit LaraOlivetti.net for more information. She now lives in Sweden with Rickard who handles foreign asylum requests. Club member Maria Mortati and her husband Mark Glusker provided lodging to this delightful couple while in San Francisco, and club members Jim Boin and Michael Job provided their customary warm hospitality.
Marco Gabrielli and Michele Sartori
For the Easter holidays Marco Gabrielli, bank director at the Cassa Rurale di Ledro, and Michele Sartori, mayor of Levico Terme in the Valsugana, paid a visit to the area with their respective families. Mayor Michele Sartori is married to Marco’s sister Claudia, and so the two families are intertwined. They spent time with son and nephew Matteo Sartori, who is completing a semester of study at the University of California Santa Cruz. Club members Luca Dorigatti and Rinaldo Cis met with the group and took them on a tour of Google and Stanford. In an email they expressed their sincere gratitude to Luca and Rinaldo for having shown a slice of life here in California.
Silvia Bernardi – “There Once Was a Button”
Silvia Bernardi is spending two months this spring with her Italian-American friend Anna in
Pinole. Silvia is from Storo, in the Valle di Chiese in southwest Trentino. In 1992 she moved to Trento to pursue her studies and has remained there since. Her grandfather Silvio immigrated to the US at the beginning of the 1900s. He married and then moved permanently back to Storo in 1930.
The parents of Anna in Pinole and the grandparents of Silvia were the best of friends, and for years they wrote to each other. Anna discovered these letters after her parents passed, and she sought out Silvia and her family in Trentino. They have remained the best of friends ever since.
In recent years Silvia has begun to make necklaces, bracelets and key rings from buttons. She is especially fond of antique buttons that tell a story. Many families have a box full of old buttons, some of which evoke memories: This one was on a jacket I wore in school; this one is from my mother’s wedding dress, and so on. Silvia has entitled her quest “C’era una volta un bottone. “There once was a button.” Silvia would love buttons from members of our Trentino club.
If you have a collection you don’t mind parting with, contact Silvia at email@example.com.
Longtime club member Ben Antoniolli is currently in the process of moving to Ohio, where two of his siblings live. Ben was born in Giustino in the Val Rendena. Like so many others from the Val Rendena, he entered into the knife sharpening business. For years he had a shop in San Carlos, and he maintained the knives of restaurants, hotels, etc. near and far.
Ben’s absence will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best!
Since 1908 the Italo-Americano newspaperhas served our community, and now an online subscription is available. It does a masterful job covering the West Coast and beyond.
On August 3rd a new publication launched,La Scintilla, “The Spark”, dedicated more specifically to Bay Area Italians. It is named after La Scintilla Italiana, a newspaper founded in 1877 in San Francisco by the philanthropist John Fugazi.Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LaScintillaSF. We the Italiansdisseminates weekly news in English related to the Italian community of
California. Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WeTheItalians.
Consul General Mauro Battocchi publishes an informative blog that covers a myriad of
subjects. For a free subscription, visit this page: http://sanfranciscoitaly.com/joinus. Moreover, Mauro now writes an insightful column for the Italian weekly, Panorama, entitled San Francisco chiama Italia. The Italian Consulate created a dynamic Facebook page with latest news relevant to our community.
Circolo Trentino di San Francisco was founded on February 9, 1980 during a visit to the Bay Area by Dr. Bruno Fronza on behalf of the Association of Trentini nel Mondo.
The first president was Vittorio Eccher, our current treasurer Laura Floriani Vitlacil was vice-president, our current president Giuseppina Piasente Alvarez was secretary, Ursula Leonardi was treasurer and Father Efrem Trettel was moderator. Vittorio tragically died in 1988 during the gala dinner at the Trentini Convention in Denver. Urusula passed away last year at the age of 98. The position of trustee did not exist at the time. From the initial group of 30, the roster has grown to around 200!
The first gathering was at Father Efrem Trettel’s hall and residence on Folsom Street in San Francisco, where he ran a radio and TV program for the Italian community, Apostolato Radio Cristiana. The club has always met 3 times a year. For years the Christmas and spring events were held at Father Efrem’s.
Historically, there are a few events that stand out. One was an excursion in 1993 to San Simeon, where we met with members of the Southern California and Tijuana Trentino Clubs. On the same trip we visited San Miguel Mission where Father Efrem’s brother, Father Flavio Trettel, was serving. Over the years our club has also proudly hosted many Trentini that have travelled to the area, including several high school classes and three choruses: Coro Sosat of Trento, Coro San Osvaldo of Roncegno and Coro Brenta of Tione. The event that was our crowning glory took place in 2004 when we hosted the ITTONA convention, a gathering of Trentini from Canada and the US.
Noteworthy is Cristina Piasente’s thesis for the University of Trento on the composition of our membership. Cristina then received a grant from the Province of Trento to transform her thesis into a book, Inseguendo il Sogno: L’Emigrazione Trentina nel Nord California (Pursuing a Dream: Trentino Emigration to Northern California), which was published in 2001.
We now have a website and a FB page with more than 200 members as today!!
On February 7th over 700 gathered to celebrate the Toronto Trentino Club’s 50th anniversary. The event was featured on Omni News with snippets from current and past club presidents, Davide Corazza and Sergio Marchetti, and the president and director of the Trentini nel Mondo Association, Alberto Tafner and Anna Lanfranchi.
For the event’s printed program, Alice Amigassi created a tribute from our club. Congratulations to our friends and family members in Toronto!