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Despite the fact that Gelindo is an ingrained, longstanding Christmas tradition in Piemonte, he is a character little-known to Piemontesi-Americans. Gelindo missed the boat, so to speak.

Now, thanks to this multi-lingual book, edited by Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco, and published by the Associazione Cultural San Giacomo of Lu Monferrato and Monferrini in America, you can learn all about him.

In addition to the text of the Alessandria version of the play in Piemonteis, Italian and English, there are photos from past productions in Alessandria and Fubine, as well as a range of essays on the importance and history of Gelindo in piemontese culture.

For information on how to order a copy, send an email.


Piemonte's acclaimed Yo Yo Mundi mixes rock, pop and traditional elements on its latest disc, an homage to our collective terra madre. Inside a lovely package are 16 great pieces of music that display not only the considerable skills of the Acqui Terme quintet -- which has released music focusing on unions, the Resistance and other themes -- but also the cultural richness of the Monferrato.

At the moment my favorites are "Il Grande Libro Dell'Ombra," laced with melodies that conjure the Celtic roots of the earliest inhabitants of Piemonte, and the festive "Carve' 1928," which has an almost Parisian cafe vibe.

Monferrini in America is working toward bringing Yo Yo Mundi to the States -- hopefully this summer -- but there are some hurdles to jump. In the meantime, you can check out the music by watching the video for "Ssteila" and ordering the CD from the band's label via Ebay. Shipping to the U.S. is 5 Euro.

When there are U.S. dates to announce, we will announce them here and on our Facebook page. Stay tuned!


Piemonte Cinema is a review of films from Piemonte, in northwestern Italy. It is organized by La Citta' del Cinema in conjunction with the regional government of Piemonte, Monferrini in America and Discovery World.

The entirely free event presents three feature films shot in the Piemontese capital of Torino and in the Monferrato area to the east. In addition, a short documentary explores the National Museum of Cinema, located in Torino, and the Piemonte region.

The films will be introduced by La Citta' del Cinema's Domenico Gargale, who travels to Milwaukee to share the cinematic treasures of his native region.

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
6:30 p.m. -- Opening reception, including a tasting of a Piemontese wine -- courtesy of Purple Feet Wines -- and hors d'oeuvres, generously provided by Bartolotta Restaurants.
7 p.m. -- Introduction to National Museum of Cinema-Torino First Movie Capital
7:30 p.m. -- Introduction and discussion of "Dopo Mezzanotte" -- Domenico Gargale
7:45 p.m. -- "Dopo Mezzanotte"

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010
6:30 p.m. -- Introduction and discussion of "Zoe'" - Domenico Gargale
6:45 p.m. -- "Zoe'"
8:30 p.m. -- Introduction and discussion of "Tutti Giu' Per Terra" - Domenico Gargale
8:45 p.m. -- "Tutti Giu' Per Terra"

La Citta' del Cinema
Born in 2001 in Torino, La Citta' del Cinema seeks to promote cinema in Italy's Piemonte region in all its forms: from festivals and reviews throughout the area, to associations, university and specialization courses, to the films and television programs that have been shot in the area, animating the city of Torino and the region of Piemonte, and putting them back on the map of interesting and dynamic locations in the world of cinema. At the same time, La Citta' del Cinema intends to tell the illustrious and sometimes surprising story of cinema in the region, from moments of international fame to the continued presence of top-flight auteurs, actors and film professionals to the "underground" vitality that has given and continues to give new energy to a Piemontese "scene" that is in continuous contact with the world of art and culture.

The National Museum of Cinema
The National Museum of Cinema is located inside the Mole Antonelliana, the historic building that is the symbol of Torino. Soaring about 550 feet, the Mole is certainly the highest museum in the world. A scenic lift goes up through the center of the building to the dome and pavilion offering not only a spectacular view of the objects and exhibits on display, but also a complete scenic panorama of the city and the surrounding Alps mountains. The museum collection includes 7,000 film titles, 9,000 objects, paintings and old prints, 140,000 photographic documents, 150,000 posters, and more than 200 magic lanterns, along with a collection of 4,500 slides. The museum library houses 20,000 volumes, 3,000 periodical titles, an audio library and print archives of great historical value.

Monferrini in America
Monferrini in America is a national group, centered in Milwaukee, that brings together Americans with roots in the Monferrato and unites us with Monferrini throughout the world to promote our terra madre. We also seek to share our passion for the culture and history of our native land with others. The Monferrato is a hilly area located in eastern Piemonte. It is internationally known for its white truffles and wine, and stunning landscapes, among other things.

Discovery World
Discovery World connects innovation, science, technology and the environment with exploration and learning through interactive exhibits and experiential learning programs. We are dedicated to helping people positively impact their communities by developing a better understanding of technology and the environment while fostering both innovation and creativity.

The films

Dopo Mezzanotte
("After Midnight")
(Davide Ferrario, 2004, 92 minutes)

Martino (Giorgio Pasotti) is an avid movie enthusiast whose greatest passion is the silent cinema. Martino's both works and lives in Italy's National Museum of Cinema, located in Torino's fabled Mole Antonelliana, where he keeps the place clean and indulges himself by caring for the aging equipment and souvenirs. Martino also has a crush on Amanda (Francesca Inaudi), an attractive woman who works as a cook at a nearby diner. One day, after Amanda gets in a screaming match with her abusive boss, she throws a pot of boiling oil at him, and finds herself wanted by the police. While the cops, her car-thief boyfriend (Fabio Troiano), and her best friend (Francesca Picozza) all look for Amanda, she hides out in the museum. So when Martino finds her, she asks him to help hide her. As Martino's idealized love for the cinema collides with the real-life desire he feels for Amanda, he introduces her to his secret world of silent movies and the special meaning they hold for him. Ironically, given the love and care its characters display for vintage celluloid, "After Midnight" was primarily shot on digital videotape. -- Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

(Giuseppe Varlotta, 2008, 92 minutes)

"The film is the result of the union between the imagination of the authors and actual events that occured toward the end of the Second World War in the Monferrato. The litle girl's journey to find her father will remind viewers of "Alice in Wonderland"; it is a race to salvation, against the inequality of men, the sloth, the poverty, the solitude, the fear and other woes of a word that man today has still not erased from its dictionary: war." - Director Giuseppe Varlotta, giuseppevarlotta.com

Tutti Giu' Per Terra
("We All Fall Down")
(Davide Ferrario, 1997, 98 minutes)

Like many other Italian slackers, 22-year-old Walter would be an angry young man if it didn't take so much effort; he feels the same about his prolonged virginity. Instead of diving into life, he prefers to keep his distance and drift aimlessly along the edges while living at home in Torino with his volatile but hard-working father and his flighty mother. In some ways, he has given up before even trying. Based on a best-selling semi-autobiographical novel by Giuseppe Culicchia, this fast-paced, slightly cynical comedy chronicles the dubious adventures of Walter as he tries to cope with his own growing sense of alienation and hopelessness while dealing with mandatory induction into the military, corrupt government bureaucracy, and his various friends. -- Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

We've produced a CD! For complete details on "Reis Monfrin-e"
click here!

Welcome to the Monferrini in America web site. We are a group of Italian-Americans who wish to celebrate our Piemontese heritage, and more specifically, our roots in the beautiful Monferrato, an area in the region of Piemonte to the east of Torino (Turin in Piemontese and English), south of the Po River plain. See the map below for a general idea of its location.

There are two provinces in the Monferrato -- those of Alessandria and Asti (which was created in the 20th century by lopping out a chunk of the province of Alessandria). They are abbreviated AL and AT and you'll see those abbreviations quite often.

The Monferrato is best known for its wines, like Barbera and Moscato but especially for the sparking white Asti Spumante, which is made from Moscato grapes. But many crops are grown there, including grains, corn, sugar beets and hazelnuts. Small farmers and ambitious gardeners also cultivate apples, persimmons and other fruits. There are also numerous wines that are less well-known outside Italy: Grignolino, Freisa, Ruche', Malvasia and Brachetto among them. Other businesses in the area include leather companies, candy and food producers and many others.

We plan on adding many links to sites with information on the people, history, land, literature, food and music of the Monferrato. We also hope that the site will serve as a networking place for Monferrini in America to discover their family's history and renew links with family in America, Italy and beyond. The site doesn't sell anything and asks for no money, so feel free to use what's here to spread knowledge of our common history, but please give credit where it's due.

Most of the site is in English, but some is in Italian and there are some sections, especially "Our Stories," that are presented in both languages. I hope someday to have everything available in both languages. If you are fluent in both languages and want to help with that, please drop us an email.

There is still much to add, which we are doing each week, so we hope you will check back. We also want this site to be for you, so we urge you to drop us a line and join us in saluting the Monferrato. Your comments, memories, recipes, ideas, and photos can be posted on the site, so send them to the email address at the bottom of the page, and please sign our guestbook.

Read what News Italia Press said about Monferrini in America in August 2003. The site has also been featured in Turin's "La Stampa," Alessandria's "Il Piccolo," Casale Monferrato's "Il Monferrato," Chicago's "Fra Noi," Milwaukee's "Italian Times" and other publications and we thank them for their kind words and their help in spreading the word about the site.

(La versione italiana e' sotto la poesia)

Testament d'in Munfrin (1977) -- Alfredo Rota
(from "Spirit Munfrin," published by the city of Casale Monferrato, 2003)

Hear Alfredo Rota read this poem
Quand che la me vitta la sará 'n có
supplimi 'ns'la culin-a d'San Roc
sutta l'urm maestus
ca ‘marca la primma stela d'la sera.

Ant 'al matiná sclenti d'primavera
da lá vigarró 'ncura 'l brich da 'n Crea
-'l pi vsin al Paradis
d'ticc I curnisun dal mond --
e, an scoss a u sulí
'na resta d'ca sgagiá-ji
cun al campanin 'ns 'al spali
e la me curt an mes,
angalá-ja d'alsi-ja
ca la fa la vegia
a la tur dal caste;
e, 'ns 'al fianc d'tramuntana
la me ven-gna,
' na surgent d'buntá
che semp m'bitava se-j.

L'era tit 'l me mund qu'st,
cun pochi speransi
e tanta rasegnasiun.
Salve-lu da la rabia e dai valin.
E quand che j'omni
j turnarran a vrisi ben,
standí lá 'nsima in pra muslin:
santirró cantá l'Munfrá,
i fiulot a curi per giög nusent,
l'bisbiá di murusin
e in veg ca m'chinta di amis
mort an uera a vint'ani.
Quando la mia vita sara' alla fine
seppellitemi sulla collina di San Rocco
sotto l'olmo maestoso
che segna la prima stella della sera.

Nelle chiare mattinate di primavera
di lassu' vedro ancora il colle di Crea
il piu' vicino al Paradiso
di tutti i cornicioni del mondo --
e, in grembo al versante del sole
Una resta di case vivaci
con il campanile sulle spalle e il mio cortile in mezzo
imbandierato di candido bucato
che si riflette
sulla torre del castello
e sul versante di tramontana
la mia vigna
una sorgente di bonta'
che sempre mi dava sete.

Era tutto il mio mondo, questo
con poche speranze
e tanta rassegnazione.
Salvatelo dalla rabbia e dai veleni
e quando gli uomini
torneranno a volersi bene
stendete lassu' un prato soffice
sentiro' cantare il Monferrato
i bambini a correre per giochi innocenti
il sussurrare dei fidanzatini
e un vecchio che mi racconta di amici
morti in Guerra a vent'anni
When my life has come to an end
bury me on the hill of San Rocco
under the majestic elm
that points to first evening star.

In the clear spring mornings
from up there I will still see the hilltop of Crea
the cornice nearest to Paradise
in all the world --
and, in its lap on the sunny slope
a row of lively houses
with the bell tower on its shoulders and my courtyard in the middle,
emblazoned with white laundry
reflected on the castle tower;
and on the side of the north wind
my vineyard,
a source of goodness
that always made me thirsty.

It was my whole world, this
with little hope
and much resignation.
Save it from anger and poison
and when the men
return to love it,
stretch out up on the soft meadow:
I will hear the Monferrato sing,
children running at innocent play
the whispers of young lovers
and an old man that tells me of friends,
who died at war at 20 years old.

Benvenuti nel sito web dei Monferrini in America. Siamo un gruppo di italo-americani che vogliono celebrare la loro origine piemontese, e piu' specificatamente, le nostre radici che affondano nella magnifica terra del Monferrato, un'area all'interno della regione Piemonte che si trova a sud-est di Torino (Turin come si dice in piemontese e anche in inglese), e che ha per limiti il fiume Po, a nord; e la regione Liguria a sud. La posizione e' indicativamente segnata dalla mappa qui sotto.

Ci sono due province nel Monferrato, quella di Alessandria e quella di Asti (che fu creata nel XX secolo ritagliando una parte della provincia di Alessandria). Sono abbreviate con AL e AT, vedrete queste sigle molto spesso nel sito.

Il Monferrato e' soprattutto conosciuto per i suoi vini, come la Barbera e il Moscato, ma specialmente per lo spumante bianco luccicante di Asti, che e' fatto con le uve del Moscato. Ma ci sono molte altre culture, compreso il grano, il mais, la barbabietola da zucchero e le nocciole. Piccoli fattori e ambiziosi giardinieri coltivano anche mele, cachi e altri frutti. Ci sono poi anche moltissimi altri vini meno conosciuti fuori d'Italia: Grignolino, Freisa, Ruche', Malvasia e Brachetto tra gli altri. Altre attivita' presenti nella zona sono il conciamento delle pelli, la produzione di cibo e dolci e molte altre.

Abbiamo intenzione di aggiungere molti altri link a siti con informazioni sulla gente, la storia, il territorio, la letteratura, le tradizioni culinarie e musicali del Monferrato. Speriamo anche che il sito potra' servire come punto di comunicazione tra i monferrini in America per scoprire la storia della loro famiglia e ricreare contatti con gente in America stessa, in Italia o ovunque. Il sito non vende nulla ne' chiede denaro, quindi usate tranquillamente tutto quello che trovate qui per aiutarci a diffondere la conoscenza della nostra storia, solamente ricordatevi di citare la fonte ove e' espressamente richiesto.

La maggior parte del sito e' in inglese, ma ci sono parti in italiano e, specialmente alcune sezioni del sito come "Our Stoiries (Le nostre storie), sono disponibili sia in italiano che in inglese. Spero che prima o poi potremo avere tutto il materiale fruibile in entrambe le lingue. Se c'e' qualcuno con una buona conoscenza di italiano e inglese e volesse aiutarci in questo progetto, per favore ci scriva.

C'e' molto ancora ad aggiungere, ma noi lavoriamo ogni settimana, quindi vedrete il sito crescere sempre di piu'. E' nostro desiderio che questo sito sia per Voi, quindi saranno ben accolte tutte le persone che vorranno aiutarci. I vostri commenti, racconti, ricette, idee e foto possono essere pubblicate sul sito, quindi inviatecele all'indirizzo e-mail che si trova in fondo alla pagina. Vi invitiamo anche a firmare il nostro Libro degli Ospiti (guestbook).

Leggete qui cosa News Italia Press ha detto a proposito dei Monferrini in America nell'agosto 2003. Il sito e' stato anche recensito dal quotidiano nazionale di Torino "La Stampa", "Il Piccolo" di Alessandria, il giornale di Casale Monferrato "Il Monferrato", il giornale di Chicago "Fra noi", il giornale di Milwaukee "Italian Times" e altre riviste ancora, noi le ringraziamo tutte per i loro gentili apprezzamenti e per aver pubblicizzato il nostro sito nel mondo.

Traduzione da Andrea Cesanelli


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Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

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