Category: Tyrolean History

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

 

 

Tyrolean Wisdom Stories #4

SanNicolo1800s

San Nicolo Church, Castelfondo, late 1800’s

Proverbs from Trentino:

Dialect: Tutti li cimi scorla.

Translation: All genius are somewhat disturbed.

 

Dialect: Chi zappa, zacca e chi mette giù, tol su.

Translation: The one that hoes, eats; the one that sow, reaps.

 

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 #3

Damiano Genetti

Cosma Damiano Genetti in doorway of Genetti home in Castelfondo.

Proverbs from Trentino:

Dialect: Mort, fech e amor, l’é trei robes che no se sarà mai bogn de scone.

Translation: Death, fire and love can not be hidden.

 

Dialect: Ò prèst ὀ tardi sé paga tut.

Translation: One does not know if the remedy is worse than the cure.

 

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 #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.