If so, please contact Maurizio
Gily, who is editing a new book about
Mombaruzzo in celebration of the centennial of the town's wine cooperative.
Maurizio is trying to locate emigrants from the town and their descendants,
especially ones from Guasti, California, which was founded by Secondo
Guasti, who emigrated from Mombaruzzo toward the end of the 19th century. The community
he founded lured many emigrants from the province of Alessandria.
Today, there is even a San Secondo d'Asti Catholic Church -- apparently
modeled on a church in Mombaruzzo -- in the town, which was once
to the largest vineyard in the world.
If you have any information about emigrants from Mombaruzzo and/or
photos you can share, please help.
Fubinese company provides lights
for WTC memorial
An Italian firm specialising in illumination techniques will memorialize
New York's World Trade Center Twin Towers with a virtual monument
made entirely of light, Turin's La Stampa newspaper reported recently.
According to the paper, Space Cannon di Fubine will soon place 7,000-watt
xenon lamps in the spot where the towers once stood. Eighty-eight
lamps will project tower-shaped beams of light up about four miles
into the sky.
"We are working day and night to complete the project as soon
as possible," said company president Bruno Baiardi told La
Baiardi said New York City authorities may decide to turn the lights
into a permanent monument of remembrance for the victims of the
September 11 attack.
fixtures are being manufactured at the factory in Italy but Space
Illumination Inc. (North America) in Edmonton, is finalizing
and handling the logistics, Space Cannon North America's Marina Muze told Monferrini in America.
Based in Fubine, Space Cannon has in the past used its powerful
xenon lamps to illuminate the Niagara Falls and Mecca. Last year
they were used at the Olympics Games in Sydney.
A remarkable resource for Tigliolesi
Who are the folks in this turn of the century view of Tigliole d'Asti?
You likely could find out
at Silvano's amazing Web
site. There are pictures of the village -- past and present
-- and a few articles about the history of Tigliole. But, most importantly,
Silvano has done your research for you and has dug through the town's
records. On his site his lists every birth in the town from 1582-1850!!
He includes birthdate, name and parents' names. Even though I don't
think I have any roots in the town, I was
amazed at the two pages of births I compiled for my family's name.
Parco del Sacro Monte di Crea
Sacro Monte rises on one of the hills (355-455 meters above sea
level) of the eastern part of the Basso Monferrato, on a hill with
very steep slopes made up of sedimentary rocks.
The Sacro Monte is dedicated to the Rosary mysteries and was planned
at the end of the 1500s along with the pre-existing Romanic origin
Sanctuary dedicated to Maria Assunta. The 23 chapels and five hermitages
spread in the woods form a rich complex of precious artworks in
a natural setting. The realization of statuary groups in multi-coloured
terracotta and paintings and frescos were made by Guglielmo Caccia
(Il Moncalvo), Giovanni e Nicola Wespin (I Tabachetti) and Il Fiamminghino.
The Sacro Monte rises in front of the Sanctuary and is entirely
boundered in the bottom by a shady avenue that winds into the woods
with an easy route. It is possible to climb to the famous Cappella
del Paradiso. On the dome vault there are painted angel musicians
in the act of praising the triumph of the Holy Virgin Mary Coronation.
Visit the Parco di Crea Web
Emigration: one family's story
Vaughan Cubitt, an Australian visitor to our site, is descended
from emigrants from Casorzo, a town in the Monferrato. On his Web
site he has photos and information about his Piemontese family.
to visit and get a glimpse of one family of emigrants among many.
We encourage you to share your family's story, too. If you don't
have a site of your own for us to link to, we'll be happy to post
photos, memories and data here. Send us an email
and share your story.
as catalyst for emigration
Filossera, or phylloxera, is a disease that attacks vines and it
devastated Europe a century ago, including northern Italy. We recently
got some information about the effects of phylloxera in Monferrato
from expert Maurizio Gily, who is based in Casale Monferrato. The
disease, which destroyed vinewayds, was a factor in many small Monferrini
farmers leaving their native villages for other countries. It may
be why many of us are now here in the New World.
The peak of the disease in many villages of Monferrato would have
been in the 1920s and '30s. Actually, even though the pest was found
many years before in the province of Novara, and probably at the
end of 1800s in the Monferrato, it doesn't spread very quickly,
and a stricken vine can take many years to die. The reason for the
social tragedy is that viticulture was a very important activity
for the small growers of the Monferrato. Because it was an intensive
crop and required a lot of manual jobs, even people who owned or
rented a few acres of land could live a life, albeit a poor one.
It did, on the other hand, provide many jobs. There isn't a remedy
for phylloxera, except to re-plant the vines grafted on American
vine rootstock. But many poor people had no money to do this, and,
mostly, couldn't wait three or four years for the first crop; they
would starve before. That's the reason why many people were forced
to leave from the Monferrato. A big crew from the village of Conzano
sailed to Queensland, Australia, where they became sugar cane cutters.
Nowadays, the village of Ingham, Queensland, has more people originally
from Conzano, than does Conzano itself. Many other people sailed
to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the U.S., as well as to France,
where the re-planting from phylloxera occurred an average of a dozen
years before it did in Italy. There were many other stories of emigration
due to crop diseases, such as the big migration from Ireland to
America and Australia in the mid 1800, due to the terrible potato
The photo above was taken by Maurizio in Australia in January
2002. Notice the infected vines in the foreground are much less
vigorous than their healthy neighbors.
At left is an antique figurine from Moncalvo, as pictured on a postcard
photographed by Sergio Amione. The figure, donated to the Comune
of Moncalvo by Ing. Flavio Ponzellini, is a colorful and whimsical
piece of Monferrini history.
To read more about Moncalvo, visit the town's Web site by clicking
Krumiri, a heavenly Casale treat!
These sensational biscuits are sublime and nobody makes them like
Learn more at the Rossi website (in Italian and English) click
Now, Krumiri Rossi can be ordered via the Internet in the USA!
Visit the Web site of the Bay Area's A.
Luigi Longo, figlio Fubinese
Luigi Longo, 1900-1980 (born in Fubine, Province of Alessandria),
Italian political leader. He was a founder of the Italian Communist
party in 1921. In the Spanish civil war he served as inspector-general
of the international brigades and fought personally against Benito
Mussolini's troops at Guadalajara. Returning to Italy during World
War II, he organized partisan units to fight against the Germans.
He was elected to the constituent assembly in 1946 and to parliament
in 1948. From 1945 to
1964 he was deputy secretary of the Italian Communist party. He
became secretary-general of the party
in 1964 and served until 1972, when he was given the largely honorary
post of party president.
Read more about Longo (in Italian) here.
Music of the Monferrato
If you've never heard the joyous sound of the piffero, you must
of Robi Droli and pick up some music from the Monferrato.
The Camerata Corale La Grangia di Torino is a group
of students of Piemontese popular song, amateurs but with professional
commitment to "the poetic ... popular tradition of their Piemonte
" (Ernesto Caballo).
A chorus of some 30 men of various professions that
for 50 years has reintroduced the songs of their own land. Founder,
investigator and director Angelo Agazzani, professional designer,
is a self-taught musician.
Fifty years of concerts in Italy, Germany, England,
Switzerland, France, Yugoslavia, and the chorus is still active
in research like that which will result in the first two volumes
of Conte e canson and book/cassette sets dedicated to Robert Tagliero,
Teresio Cordero, Lou Pan dla Cierità, and "Un museo contadino."
For more information or to order CDs, contact Angelo
If you were a Piemontese astronaut...
this would look like home. Here is a of satellite image
of the Monferrato
Marshall Pietro Badoglio
was a Monferrato native and his town, Grazzano Monferrato
was renamed in his honor (it's now called Grazzano Badoglio).
Here's what Encyclopedia.com
says about Mareschiallo Badoglio...
Pronounced: pyatro b¨džlyo , 1871-1956, Italian soldier and public
official. After serving in World War I, he was governor of Libya
(1929-33) and succeeded Gen. Emilio de Bono as commander in chief
in the Ethiopian conquest, which he brought (1936) to a victorious
end. Created duke of Addis Ababa, he was briefly viceroy of Ethiopia,
then chief of the Italian general staff until 1940. After the fall
of Mussolini, he was made (1943) premier by King Victor Emmanuel
III. He negotiated an armistice with the Allies, whom he joined
in the war against Germany. Meeting with much opposition in Italy,
he resigned in 1944.
To learn more, visit www.badoglio.it/
Read about BLESSED IGNATIUS OF SANTHIA, CAPUCHIN
Football season is underway...
and Torino is back in Serie A and struggling (although there havve
been some highlights,
like a victory over Milan). But what can you do? Meanwhile, in the
of the Mole, crosstown rivals (actually they play in the same stadium)
Juventus are near the
top of the classifica, as usual. For more on the Piemontesi teams,
visit the links below.
I monferrini nel mondo shouldn't forget to root for Alessandria
in Serie C2A (see photo
below for this year's squad)!
took place in the city center on Sun., September 16, 2001
CLASSIFICA FINALE 2001: 1. S.LAZZARO, 2. TORRETTA, 3. MONCALVO,
4. CASTELL'ALFERO, 5. S.PIETRO, 6. CATTEDRALE, 7. MONTECHIARO, 8.
SAN SECONDO, 9. SAN SILVESTRO (N.C.).
to read all about it and see photos!
Peter (Pierino) Dorato, whose parents are from Villadeati, and
his daughter Sylvia have collaborated on a book about Italian
and Italian-American culture. Included are discussions of the
Piemontese language, songs in dialect
and other material of interest to Monferrini in America.
to read about it on OnMilwaukee.com.
to visit the publisher's page and order online.
The Palio d'Asti is also a fabulous Piemontese restaurant
located in the heart of San Francisco's financial district. Owner
Gianni Fassio, whose family hails from Isola d'Asti, also runs
the Palio Paninoteca around the corner. It's a perfect spot for
lunch. Click here
to visit the Palio d'Asti restaurant web site.
New York City also has some Piemontese restaurants, click the
names below to see menus
and more from Barolo
in SoHo and Barbetta
Folks in Philadelphia will find some tasty Piedmontese wines and
specialties at the wonderful Ristorante Le Castagne,
1920 Chestnut St., located about a mile west of the historic colonial
Philly site. For directions, opening hours and other information,
you can call them at (215) 751-9913. We ate there in June 2002
and had a sumptuous meal at a reasonable price and the staff was
outgoing and friendly.
Denver has the Barolo Grill, which serves Piemontesi (and
Tuscan) specialties. It's located at 3030 E. 6th Ave. Call (303)
In the nation's capital, Piemontese chef Roberto Donna has a
range of restaurants, from the top-notch Galileo to the
more casual Vivo!, Il Radicchio and others. You
can see them all here.
Another restaurant, Obelisk, which spotlights specific
Italian regions and their cuisines, also serves some Piemontese
dishes. We visited Vivo in March 2003 and enjoyed the wood-fired
pizzas, the large agnolotti and the rare (in the U.S.) Menabrea
beer from Biella (distributed in the U.S. by Dufour).