Club’s 35th Anniversary!

logoCircolo 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.

Dr. Bruno Fronza with Ralph Job. Dr. Fronza initiated our club 35 years ago during a visit on behalf of the Trentini nel Mondo Association; Now 90, he still maintains contact with us from Trentino
Dr. Bruno Fronza with Ralph Job. Dr. Fronza initiated our club 35 years ago during a visit on behalf of the Trentini nel Mondo Association

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!!

Join us on Facebook if you have not already.

Early gathering of the club at former Hacienda Winery in Sonoma. Back row: Vittorio Matuella, Byron Alvarez (Giuseppina’s husband), President Vittorio Eccher, Luigi Matuella, Frank Cazzoli, Giacinto (Gino) Galliani, Antonio Vitlacil, Father Efrem’s brother-in-law and sister Alma visiting from Trentino Front row: Marco Guerra, Mary (Ester Eccher’s twin sister), Laura Floriani Vitlacil, Giuseppina Piasente Alvarez, Ursula Leonardi, twins Rosanne and Janet Guerra, Vittoria Piasente Guerra (Giuseppina’s sister), Ester Matuella Eccher (Vittorio’s wife).