Frank Giunta, resident of Oakland, passed away on July 23, 2016. Frank’s paternal grandmother was a Trentina, a Serafini from Bleggio, now part of Comano Terme in the Valli Giudicarie. In 1969 Frank visited his Trentino relatives for the first time, and he remained in contact with them till he passed. He was originally from Western Pennsylvania but moved to the Bay Area years ago. He worked for the University of California Berkeley in various administrative positions and was an active sports fan.
Carolyn Zullo Giannini (1940 – 2016)
We were informed by the husband of Carolyn Zullo Giannini that she passed away July 27, 2016. She was described as the “quintessential San Francisco Marina Italian-American girl.” She was born to Albino Zullo, a Ligurian from the province of Savona, and Marie Gius, a Trentina, from Malosco in the Val di Non. Carolyn followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a teacher. She taught 5th grade at the Alvarado Elementary School in Noe Valley. She married David Giannini, an attorney whose family is from Lucca in Tuscany. They had 3 sons, David, Thomas and Matthew. Carolyn was active in many organizations and an avid traveler.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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: laraolivetti.net.
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!
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!
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.
Laura Floriani Vitlacil was one of the founding members of our club 36 years ago, and our first vice-president. For years she has worked tirelessly as our treasurer, but she recently decided it was time to retire.
At our Christmas gathering, in the company of her 2 daughters and son, she received a plaque as well as a heart-rendering letter from none other than the President of the Trentino Province, Ugo Rossi.
Here’s a quick translation:
From the US a mysterious messenger relayed your intention to retire after more than 25 years of service as the treasurer of the Circolo Trentino di San Francisco. I know as well that you were the club’s first vice-president. It is comforting to know there are people like you that bring honor to the entire Trentina community. You have supported your fellow Trentini with passion and thoughtfulness while balancing family demands, and we are forever grateful. I can only imagine what a full life you have led. You carry uncountable experiences and memories in your heart. Each has brought meaning and purpose, including your encounter with husband Antonio, the birth of your children and grandchildren, and your immigrant experience. Life was certainly a challenge in your birthplace of Bieno and in Trentino, and so you were forced to leave for a faraway land to seek better conditions.
Please know, dear friend, that you are in our hearts. In the name of the entire Province of Trentino, I extend the fondest of wishes. Your beloved Trentino sends you a warm embrace.