Category: Trentini

Iceman – New Movie About Otzi

I can’t wait to see this movie! “Iceman” is about Otzi, the world’s oldest preserved mummy and an ancestral Tyrolean. He lived 5,300 years ago during the Bronze Age in what is now the Italian Alps.The fictional story line was created around facts discovered about the famous Iceman, such as his death was a result of being shot with an arrow. In an interesting twist, the movie was filmed using the ancient Rhaetian language, spoken by the people of the Eastern Alpine region (Northern Italy, Southern Germay, Eastern Switzerland, Slovenia and Western Austria) during the pre-Roman and Roman periods.

I hope “Iceman” is made available to US audiences soon!

Click here to see the movie trailer for “Iceman”!

Want to know more about the Rhaetian Language? Click here.

FYI – Some interesting news!

garygenettipodcastOur cousin, master glass artist Gary Genetti, was interviewed recently for “Inspirational Creatives” podcast. I love listening to podcasts and this show was of particular interest to me since I also have a background in the arts. Gary’s interview is very insightful, offering a personal glimpse into his creative and life philosophy. Find “Inspirational Creatives” at iTunes. Congrats Gary – great job! Click here to access their website and listen to Inspirational Creatives Podcast. Gary’s episode is #194.

And from one of our cousins in Italy, Chiara Dalla Nogare, here is information about an exchange opportunity between youth in Trentino and the descendants of Trentino immigrants. If you are a Genetti descendant whose family originated in Castelfondo, Trentino – and a young adult, you might be eligible for this fantastic program. The information is available in Italian, English and Spanish. Click here to access the website MondoTrentino. Thank you Chiara for sharing this wonderful program with your American cousins.

More About Ötzi, The Iceman

Otzi The Iceman

This life size model of Otzi, created by Dutch artists Adrie and Alfons Kennis, is on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. Photograph by Robert Clark – National Geographic.

For all of you Ötzi fans, The Iceman has been making the news recently.

PBS just aired an informative NOVA episode, “Iceman Reborn”, filming the unique process used to create an identical replica of the Tyrolean mummy. Ötzi’s twin will be available to scientists who are unable to observe the famous ice mummy in person.

Paleo-artist, Gary Staab, worked for five months to reproduce the first of three copies utilizing cutting edge techniques in 3-D printing combined with his extraordinary talent of observation and artistic skill. I loved the program!

Read an interview with artist, Gary Staab at the Smithsonian: http://goo.gl/ZZHSOz

Or, watch the PBS NOVA episode at: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365669542/

In other Ötzi news – The Iceman Speaks! Well … not quite. Scientists are in the process of recreating Ötzi’s vocal tract, including his vocal cords and mouth. The experiment will then combine the replica with software that will approximate what Ötzi’s voice sounded like 5,300 years ago.

Of course scientists have no idea what language was spoken by the famous Tyrolean, since the earliest written inscriptions by humans appear around 1500 BC. Ötzi’s birth date is between 3359 and 3105 BC. According to project coordinator, Francesco Avanzini, “We should be able to recreate the timbre of his vowel sounds and, I hope, even create simulation of consonants.” How exciting!

Click here to read the article “Can mummies talk? Scientists find out” by The Christian Science Monitor.

See more photos of Ötzi, published in the March 2016 issue of National Geographic, click here.

Want to get up-close and personal with The Iceman, then hop on over to Ötzi’s home at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology: http://www.iceman.it/en

 

 

Felice Anno Nuovo

New Year's Eve Celebration 1955

New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Genetti Ballroom located in the Genetti Food Center, N. Laurel St. in Hazleton. Year: 1955. The gentleman wearing a bow tie is Stanley Genetti, one of the four Genetti brothers of Hazleton, PA.

Looking back on 2015, it has been an amazing year of exploration into our shared genealogy! So many new discoveries, so many new cousins! I feel truly grateful to everyone who has supported our family website/blog. Thank you for your contributions in the form of research, photographs, emails and encouragement (and yes – sometimes even monetarily). Your support has helped grow our website into an amazing resource for Tyrolean families throughout the world. Mille grazie!

At the end of each year, WordPress (the hosting company for our website/blog) compiles an Annual Report with stats on how we did during the past twelve months. Here are a few details from 2015:

  • Our blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015.
  • 89 new photographs were uploaded in 2015 (about 2 photos per week).
  • On our busiest day, August 27th, we had 140 views of the website.
  • We’ve had visitors from 86 countries!
  • Most visitors came from: The United States, Italy and Brazil.

As we bid farewell to 2015, here are a few words from our ancestors in the form of Tyrolean proverbs (courtesy of Filo Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans):

Dialect: Chi che vol ben viver, l’toghe i mondo come l’ven.
English: He who wishes to live well, should take life day-by-day.

Dialect: Chi è stret di man, l’è stret di cor.
English: He who is tight with his hand is tight with his heart.

Dialect (Val di Non): Col tem e la paia s’è Madura achja I nespoli.
English: With the passage of time and with patience, all things mature.

Buon anno a tutti!

 

 

Buon Natale!

San Nicolo

Altar piece of the San Nicolo Catholic church in Castelfondo

Did you know that the patron saint of Castelfondo is San Nicolò? That’s right, the church of our ancestral village is named after San Nicolò in recognition of an early christian saint who is the inspiration for Father Christmas, aka: Santa Claus. In English he is known as Saint Nicholas.

San Nicolò di Bari lived during the 3rd to 4th centuries AD in a Roman colony that is now modern day Turkey. He died on December 6, 343 AD of old age.

There are several legends and miracles attributed to San Nicolò. One in particular may be the beginning of the gift-giving tradition associated with Father Christmas. Upon hearing of a poor man who could not afford dowries for his three daughters, Nicolò (then the Bishop of Myra) gifted part of his wealth to the daughters in the form of three bags of gold, saving them from a life with no husbands and most likely, forced prostitution. To read the entire story, (which includes one sack of gold being thrown down a chimney!) I recommend visiting the site: Life in Italy. This informative page includes the historical details of San Nicolò’s life and the explanation of how his legend morphed into today’s Santa Claus.

The photograph above pictures a prominent painting gracing the baroque altar of Castelfondo’s beautiful church. During my 2011 visit to the village, I was given a tour of San Nicolò by a lovely little woman who is the caretaker. She took me by the arm and escorted me around the altar, all the while describing paintings, frescoes and statues that adorn the church. Of course her explanation was in Italian! I nodded dutifully as I caught a word here and there. I was so appreciative that she had turned on the lights for us. Her obvious devotion to the church and the history it represented touched my heart. While she spoke, I could feel the spirit of my ancestors fill the pews. Generations of Genetti, Marchetti and Zambotti had worshiped in this church for hundreds of years! They had walked this very isle where I now stood. I’m sure they had a family pew where they knelt to pray, just as I had as a child in Hazleton, PA attending church at St. Gabriel’s with my father. I was awed and overwhelmed by that moment … reaching through time to share a moment with the ancestors who had shaped my life.

As we gather with our families this Christmas, remember to thank your ancestors. Without their bravery, determination and Tyrolean values, our lives would be so different. How wonderful it is to know our roots and inherit a rich culture that we share with many cousins around the world.

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo a tutti i miei cugini!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my cousins!

 

New Video!

CastelfondoVideo

Photo of Castelfondo by Cristina Paternoster

I just added a new video to our Gallery Video Page. Created by Cristina Paternoster (from Castelfondo), this is a wonderful representation of modern day Commune di Castelfondo. The video clip offers beautiful views of the village, upper pastures, mountains that border the town and mountain huts known as Malgas. Cristina posted the video yesterday on the group Facebook page of: Chei da Chastelfon. I knew it would be the perfect addition to our Video page, offering a glimpse of Castelfondo to those who have never visited our ancestral home.

Thank you Cristina for sharing this video with your American cousins. Grazie mille!

If you are on Facebook, I recommend visiting the public group Chei da Chastelfon (this title is in the Nones dialect – not Italian! It translates as “People from Castelfondo.”). All photographs posted to this group page are little pieces of history and shared by Castelfondo natives. Just click the “Join Group” button and you’ll receive updates in your newsfeed when new photographs and videos are posted. Who knows, you may even spot an ancestor or two among the photos uploaded by your Italian cousins!

 

New Book Review

OurFirstYearI just added a lovely book to our family’s online Bookstore. “Our First Year: Sketches from an Alpine Village” was written by a fellow Tyrolean American named Allen Rizzi. He has returned to live in the home of his ancestors, the tiny village of Tret located in the upper Val di Non. This eBook is a treat for those who yearn for their Tyrolean roots.

Visit our Bookstore and read my review! Available as an eBook for $2.99 or Audible book for $6.95, “Our First Year” is a bargain and a heartwarming read.

Click here to shop at the Bookstore.

The Nones Language on YouTube

If your ancestors are from the Val di Non as are the Genetti family, your family’s native tongue is a dialect called “Nones”. An ancient Rhaeto-Romance language, Nones is now considered an endangered language with only about 40,000 people in the Non Valley of Trentino who can still speak the dialect.

Today I stumbled upon a surprising YouTube link by the Endangered Language Alliance. It was a five part video series of three members of the Flaim family telling of their life as Tyrolean immigrants in New York City. I recognized the family surname right away, as we have several Flaim women  who married into the Genetti family and are listed on our family tree. Also the Flaim family originated in the village of Revo located near Castelfondo in the Val di Non. As it happens, one of my great-grandmothers was Catterina Lucia Fellin (married to Giovanni Battista Marchetti). Catterina’s family was also from Revo.

So I was absolutely delighted to view these video clips. Giovanna Flaim speaks of her family in her native dialect, although I’m certain that Italian was also mixed in with the conversation. The old photos used to illustrate the videos are marvelous. It was well worth an hour of time listening to their words, beautifully melodic and foreign, awakening my ear to the language of my great-grandparents.

To view all of the Flaim family clips on YouTube, click here!

You also may be interested in a short webpage by Carol E. Genetti, a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Dean of the Graduate Division at UC Santa Barara (and yes Carol is a descendant of the Genetti family who originally immigrated to Wyoming from Castelfondo). To read more of Carol Genetti’s experience with the Nones dialect, click here.

And finally, you can view an interesting section on the website maintained by “Filo: A Quarterly Magazine for Tyrolean Americans” describing the Nones dialect, written by Lou Brunelli, Editor of this enterprising publication. Lou grew up hearing dialect spoken in his home. He includes several word lists of dialect along with their Italian and English translations, plus a history of the Nones language. For this link at Filo, click here.

Wishing all of my Genetti kin a happy and prosperous New Year!

The Old and the New

OldTownPhoto

The view of Castelfondo from the hill outside of town. Probably about 1900.

 

I love old photographs! Particularly fascinating are “then and now” images comparing hundred-year-old photos with updates of the same location today. Sometimes the area looks completely different and unrecognizable from the original photo; sometimes little has changed and it appears time has stood still.

Village

Castelfondo today. Photo from the “Commune di Castelfondo” website. Click photo to access this website.

Here are a few photographs from Castelfondo – the village in Northern Italy where the Genetti family originated. You judge for yourself how much has changed … and how much has stayed the same.

CastelfondoWell

Castelfondo’s central well, photographed June 8, 1921.

The village well (fountain) is located in a little piazza near the center of town.

The town’s women would gather here to do laundry.

Photo provided by Dino Marchetti of Castelfondo.

 

 

 

 

Castelfondo-6

The town well today. This is not from the same view as the older photo.

The town well today is completely restored and mostly ornamental in function.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SanNicolor1800s

San Nicolo, late 1800’s.

The interior of San Nicolo church photographed in the late 1800’s and San Nicolo today.

Church-3

San Nicolo, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DamianoDoor

Damiano Genetti standing in the doorway of the Genetti homestead in Castelfondo, about 1937.

The doorway of the Genetti Family homestead in Castelfondo.

GenettiHome-2

Louise Genetti Roach standing in the same doorway, 2014.

 

 

 

Castelfondo and Fondo, Trentino, Italy

GenettiHome-2

Louise at Casa Genetti

Ciao! I finally have an afternoon to chat with you! There have been so many wonderful adventures during this trip to Italy that I will probably have a year’s worth of blog posts to write when I get home. For now I’ll just share the highlights.

I spent most of last week exploring the villages of Fondo and Castelfondo located only a few kilometers apart in Trentino, Italy. My husband and I hiked the beautiful and mysterious canyons that weave through the area (more on this later), visited the Genetti casa in Castelfondo, made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and enjoyed the company of my Italian Genetti cousins.

Over the past five years I have had the pleasure to correspond by email with several people from this area – some found me, others I tracked down for help with various genealogy questions.

MarcoGenettiMeDino

Marco Genetti, Louise Genetti Roach, Dino Marchetti

Last week I met with Marco Genetti of Fondo and Dino Marchetti of Castelfondo. Somewhere in the distant past Marco and I may be related. Since most Genettis can trace their ancestral root to Castelfondo, it’s a matter of finding a common relative. Marco shared a very impressive collection of documents with me along with his family tree. His family moved to Fondo from Castelfondo in the mid-1600s. Since I do have the original baptismal records from the village going back to 1565, I will be doing my homework when I arrive back in New Mexico to find out if we share a many times great-grandfather from centuries gone by. I also made a connection with Dino Marchetti through my 3rd cousin, Brian Lockman. You see I am also a Marchetti from Castelfondo through my fraternal grandmother (Brian and I share a great great-grandfather). It turns out that Dino is an accomplished historian and once the town mayor. Although we are not related, Dino was especially generous with his time, taking us on a tour of Castelfondo, giving us a book he had authored about the village, and sharing his archive of vintage photographs. Grazie mille to you both!

MarcoRomanoAndrea

Marco Romano, Louise Genetti Roach, Andrea Cologna

I also met with my friends Marco Romano (a researcher and historian) and Andrea Cologna. Marco and Andrea were kind enough to be my guides on my first trip to Castelfondo in 2011. I have kept in touch with them over the years and treasure their friendship and wisdom. We had a lovely lunch together in Tret.

And of course I spent a good bit of time with my Genetti famiglia. Last Sunday the family gathered for a hike into the very high country above the village. Since my husband and I love hiking, this was a real treat. In the Trentino-Alto Adige, everyone (both young and old) gets out on the trail. And on weekends, it’s a family event!

3SistersAndLouise

Me with three of the Genetti sisters: Maria, Louise, Lidia and Luciana (missing is Adriana).

My closest Italian Genetti cousins are related through my great-grandfather, Damiano. The four Genetti sisters (Maria, Lidia, Luciana and Adriana) are my third cousins, once removed. This means that they are of my father’s generation and their great-grandfather and my great-grandfather were first cousins. Our closest common relative is my great great great-grandfather, Alessandro Genetti. The photo to the left shows me with three of the sisters. Unfortunately Adriana could not make it that day.

The family gathered in the morning at Maria’s home in Castelfondo. The sisters live elsewhere (Bolzano, Trento) and have summer places in the village of Castelfondo (some have apartments in the original Genetti homestead). With all the little ones packed up and ready to go, we headed higher up into the mountains above the village. After parking, getting hiking sticks and strollers out, we trekked up a beautiful path that wove through peaks and above valleys. Past grazing cows with jingling bells hitched to their collars, we hiked with other families to a mountain hut or “malga”. These respites tucked into the hills were originally a refuge for shepherds during the summer when they grazed their herds in high mountain pastures. Now they are restaurants run by farm families that feed passing hikers. The dishes are simple traditional fare – tasty home cooking such as dumplings and venison, beer and wine, apple strudel for desert. What a great way to hike with a meal waiting for you at the end of the trail!

GenettiFamily

Genetti cousins

After lunch we gathered outside the malga for a group photo, then hiked back down the trail. The day ended with espresso at Lidia’s apartment in the old Genetti home in Castelfondo. A great ending to a week filled with memories, friends and family.

malga

The mountain hut or malga where we stopped for lunch.
That’s Leonardo, Chiaro’s son and Maria Genetti’s grandson running ahead on the path.