Every two years ITTONA, the organization that represents the Trentini of the US and
Canada, puts on a convention. Our club hosted the convention 10 years ago, and this year it was held in Ogden, Utah, home to many Trentini immigrants. Max Cologna and Olga Degiorgio Disney from our club are originally from the Ogden area, and they were on
hand for the event. Our Stockton representative, Bob Zanoni, was also in attendance. Bob wrote a letter to the Ogden club praising them for organizing such a fabulous event.
Bob’s family is from Cloz in the Val di Non, as are many other members of our
club and the Ogden club. The Mayor of Cloz, Maria Floretta, travelled the
distance to attend the convention. Mayor Floretta has written a book in Italian on the Trentino immigrant experience entitled Nelle Viscere di Queste Miniere, which gathers letters and stories of Trentino immigrants. The mayor was certainly delighted to be surrounded by so many of her compatriots abroad.
Alberto Tafner, President of the Trentino nel Mondo Association, was present and delivered a formal address that chronicled the role of the association in assisting Trentini emigrants and their descendants over the years. He also highlighted two pivotal moments in recent
Trentino history, the first being Italian annexation in 1919 and the second the granting of special autonomy to Trentino-Alto Adige after WWII. The latter meant that the Italian speakers of Trentino and German speakers of Alto Adige (South Tyrol) had to learn to coexist in peace and harmony. As he pointed out, that was not easy at first.
Between 1956 and 1967 the area was rife with domestic terrorism, causing damage to bridges, railway tracks, utility lines, etc. and the loss of 21 lives.
In 1972 the Provinces of Bolzano, i.e., Alto Adige, and Trento received certain autonomy from each other and from the central government, and that has seemed to
bring peace to the area. With peace has come economic vitality.