Category: Tyrolean History

Tyrolean Wisdom Stories #2

CastelfondoWell

Central piazza fountain – Castelfondo

Proverbs from Trentino:

Dialect: Se t eves ben, te perdones dut, se to odies no te perdones nia.

Translation: If you love, you forgive; if you hate, you forgive nothing.

 

Dialect: Vardavene da n om che fila, da na femena che scigola e da la bocia de n cian.

Translation: Beware of a man who spins, a woman who whistles and the mouth of a dog.

 

Proverbs courtesy of Filo Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.

Visit Filo for a fascinating glimpse into our ancestral arts, culture, cuisine, history and much, much more!

Tyrolean Wisdom Stories

CastelfondoVideo

Village of Castelfondo, Val di Non, Trentino

Proverbs from Trentino:

Dialect: A pagàr e a morìr se fa simper en temp.

Translation: To pay and to die, one does in time.

 

Dialect: Colazion bonora, disnàr a la so ora, a zena ‘n pochetòt, se te vòi viver tantòt.

Translation: Early breakfast, a punctual lunch, and light supper for a long life.

 

Proverbs courtesy of Filo Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.

Visit Filo for a fascinating glimpse into our ancestral arts, culture, cuisine, history and much, much more!

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!

 

Canederli – A Tyrolean Food!

Canederli di Speck, photo from "Italian Food, Wine, and Travel"

Canederli di Speck, photo from
“Italian Food, Wine, and Travel”

I just came across a delectable post on the blog: Italian Food, Wine, and Travel. Written by Chefbikeski, the Culinary Director and Owner of Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine, the yummy post is entitled: Canederli di Speck – Traditional Dumpling from Sudtirol.

If you travel through the provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige in northern Italy, you’ll find various versions of these heavenly bread balls on most menus. Stop at a mountain hut while hiking (also known as a Malga or an Alm) and canederli will be the main attraction, handmade with love in the back kitchen!

Canederli can be sweet or savory, made steamed or poached, with meat or no meat, eaten alone or in a bowl of broth. They are sumptuous dumplings created by combining leftover stale white bread with milk, butter, flour, eggs, seasonings and whatever else you want to throw into the mixture. Upon one of my visits to a traditional malga, I had a tri-color combo of canederli – white (made with cheese), red (made with beets) and green (made with spinach). The dish was delicious and VERY filling!

For a taste of our ancestors, stop by the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel blog and clip their recipe for Canederli di Speck. For those of you who have never tried “speck”, it is a smoked prociutto-style ham that is made in Trentino-Alto Adige. My mouth is watering just thinking about the salty, smokey slices of speck that always accompanied every breakfast when we visited the city of Bolzano in Alto Adige. Click here to read the full blog post by Chefbikeski.

Want to try your hand at other Tyrolean dishes? I found two cookbooks on Amazon that you might like:

Traditional Cooking – Tyrol (Amazon link)

Cook Book from Tyrol (Amazon link)

Our thanks to Italian Food, Wine, and Travel. Stop by and read more of their wonderful travel posts, illustrated with beautiful photographs of Italy.

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.

New Book – The Tyroleans: A Journey of Hope

TheTyroleansJust added to our family Book Store – a lively account of a Tyrolean emigrant family. Read my review:

The Tyroleans: A Journey of Hope, A true story of a remarkable people and their emigration to America, (this is an Amazon affiliate link, click on title for information or to purchase), by David A. Prevedel, published in 2010. Available as a paperback through Amazon, price: $17.95. The minute you open this book, you know it’s a labor of love and a tribute to the author’s Tyrolean roots. David’s grandparents, (Giuseppe and Ester Rauzi, Floriano and Angelina Prevedel), all emigrated from the Val di Non in Austria (Italy). They, along with many other families from the villages of Brez, Castelfondo, Traversara, Fondo, Cloz and Tret, settled in Wyoming. At first they worked the coal mines in Superior and Rock Springs. After saving enough money, many families moved to Utah, becoming farmers and opening businesses. The author draws inspiration from in-person interviews conducted over the years with his Tyrolean relatives, friends and their descendants. Mr. Prevedel weaves family stories together with historical details, to create a lively and sometimes, humorous portrayal of Tyrolean immigrants building a new life in America. He touches upon the origin and history of Tyrol, as well as the affect World War I had on the people of the Val di Non. Continuing to Wyoming and Utah, the author provides a glimpse into life during the 1920’s and 30’s, Prohibition, the Great Depression, becoming an American citizen, the role World War II played in the lives of Tyrolean immigrants, and the post war years. Not only did I find Mr. Prevedel’s book warmly human and heartfelt, but this small volume truly captures the reality our Tyrolean ancestors experienced in a new land. Sprinkled throughout “The Tyroleans“, I recognized many surnames from my own research and from our Genetti family tree: Corazza, Menghini, Anselmi, Rauzi, Segna, Cologna and yes, even Genetti. Matter-of-fact, I believe David Prevedal’s book has provided a new clue to another branch of our family I have yet to research. I thoroughly enjoyed this touching memorial to a Tyrolean family and highly recommend it to anyone with ancestral roots in the Val di Non.

Stop by our online family Book Store to see all of our selections, click here!

Shop for family mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, glassware and family tree prints at our online Genetti Shop, click here!

The Tyrol Guide

Tyrolean Folk Costumes

Traditional Tryolean Folk Costumes
photo by Elzbieta Fazel, copyrighted

I just stumbled upon an interesting website/blog about Tyrolean culture. For those history buffs who would like to know more about our cultural roots, I found this to be a very informative site. It has a rather long official title: Tyrol Guide: History, Culture, Religion, Photos, Folklore and Present Day, but don’t let that put you off. You’ll find this website charmingly captivating.

The author of the blog, Elzbieta Fazel, lives in Telfs in the Austrian Tyrol. Not only a blogger, she is also an accomplished photographer. Many of Elzbieta’s posts are illustrated with beautiful images of Tyrol, which can be purchased through various sites as fine art prints. I hope Elzbieta doesn’t mind – I have included one of her lovely images here for you to enjoy. At the end of this post are links to Elzbieta’s portfolio where you can view more of her work and perhaps select a print or greeting card.

Although most of the information presented by the Tyrol Guide website covers the history and culture of Austrian Tyrol (north of the Brenner Pass), I’m sure you will still find it fascinating since this was also our history prior to 1918. Before World War I the lands of Italian-speaking Tyrol (our homeland) located south of the Brenner Pass, belonged to Austria. After the war, this region became the northern Italian province of Trentino. So to read the history of Austrian Tyrol is also a peak into our cultural past. In the right sidebar of the website you’ll find a Brief History of Tyrol, an abbreviated version of events that formed the region’s interesting and sometimes confusing past. It’s worth reading!

For easy reference, the site’s web address has been added to our Link section found in the right hand column section of The Genetti Family website. You can also access the Tyrol Guide at: www.tyrol-guide.com.

To enjoy more photographs by Elzbieta Fazel go to:

Pictures of Tyrol

Redbubble: The Portfolio of Elzbieta Fazel

 

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!