Craco Society organized an inaugural trip to
Craco from June 14 - 21, 2008. This event
marked the largest return of
descendants ever, with 44 members returning to
their ancestral home to learn more about their
roots, reconnect with family, and establish many
new family links. The residents of Craco
could not have been more accommodating and
gracious in welcoming us. The Craco
Society was also officially recognized by the
local government in Craco, promising continued
goodwill and cooperation for generations to
The Craco Society's
inaugural trip to Craco, June 14-21, 2008.
By almost any measure the Second
Annual Cracheshi del Nord
America Reunion held in New York
City's Little Italy was an
overwhelming success. With 119
individuals participating in events
over three days from August
15-17, 2008 the turnout alone, which
more than doubled the initial
meeting held last year, was an
outstanding achievement. Even
more awe-inspiring events developed
over the weekend, including the
of a statue of San
Vincenzo to The Craco Society by
Camille & Vincent Niceforo.
The 2nd Annual Crachesi del Nord
America Reunion, August 15-17, 2008
The 3rd Annual Crachesi del
Nord America Reunion, held in Brooklyn and Manhattan over
the weekend of Oct. 23, 2009, once again allowed us to
gather and share warm memories. We were also able to
revisit former homes, schools, churches, and local landmarks
of the Crachesi's migration to Brooklyn. Intentionally held
to coincide with the feast of San Vincenzo Martire, this
Reunion also provided an opportunity to hold a celebration
in Manhattan's Lower East Side akin to what was done by the
early Crachesi immigrants, and is still done in Craco.
Attended by 130 individuals of Crachesi descent,
there were several recommendations from members about plans
for the Society for future events. These included a 2010
trip to Craco and a Reunion next year in the Catskill region
of upstate New York, which was a popular getaway from the
city bound Crachesi in the mid-20th century.
The 3rd Annual Crachesi del Nord
America Reunion, October 23-25, 2009
Twenty five members embarked
upon the Society's second trip to Craco from June 26- July
2, 2010. They stayed at the luxurious Torre Fiore
resort, located on the outskirts of Pisticci. They
visited not only Craco Vecchio and Craco Peschiera, but
Tursi, Castelmezzano, an olive oil processing plant in
Ferrandina, a street festival in Matera, the Carlo Levi
museum in Aliano, and the Amaro Lucano plant in Pisticci
Scalo. The trip received rave reviews from all who
The Craco Society's second
trip to Craco, June 26-July 2, 2010.
The design of our Fourth
Annual Reunion was based on member requests to provide a
facility that allowed more participation for families. Held
at the Villa Roma resort in Callicoon, N.Y. from August 6-8,
2010, this location afforded a complete schedule of daytime
activities, indoor sports complex with bocce, shuffleboard,
ping pong, table and video games, indoor swimming pool &
Jacuzzi, fully equipped fitness center, outdoor bocce &
shuffleboard courts, and outdoor swimming pools.
At the Reunion, the 70 participants had a great chance to
learn directly from those who joined in the Craco 2010 trip;
sharing their impressions and experiences there.
Presentations also included a history of Craco, the premiere
of the Society's latest project; the translation and
publication of the Colibri Association's
Homage to the Madonna della Stella, and
members memories of summers spent in the Catskills.
Family life and growing up in Craco were also highlighted.
The 4th annual
Crachesi del Nord America Reunion, August
The October 24th 2010 celebration
of the Feast of San Vincenzo at St. Joseph’s
Church in Manhattan was highlighted by the
unveiling of the restored 109 year-old statue.
The restoration work was completed only three
days before the Feast. The most visible
changes were the addition of drapery that covers
the bare brick wall behind the statue and the
saint’s turquoise cape. Extensive research of
San Vincenzo in Craco was done in order to match
fabrics and colors. The statue of San
Vincenzo at St. Joseph’s Church now is as close
a match to the original as is possible bearing
in mind that the two pieces are separated by
many years and many miles. After Mass, the 40
participants enjoyed a wonderful meal and
fellowship at Il Cortile Restaurant in
Manhattan's Little Italy.
The statue of San Vincenzo, St. Joseph's Church,
New York, October 24, 2010
Our 5th annual
reunion focused upon the 110th Anniversary of
San Vincenzo in New York.
On Friday, October 21, 2011, the group gathered
at Sirico’s in Dyker Heights to meet and share
stories of the past year. The mood was set with
a photo montage that showed historic scenes from
daily life in Craco Vecchio, along with
fantastic images of the village and countryside.
Saturday the group gathered for a luncheon
meeting at the Rex Manor in Brooklyn. The lively
group gathered around a series of photographs
and scenes of the
Societá S. Vincenzo Martire di Craco
along with many other photos that members
brought. After exchanging many stories, the
group enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Afterwards, a
presentation about the history of San Vincenzo
in Craco and New York was followed by the
announcement of plans to sponsor a trip to Italy
next year, under the theme of "Basilicata: Coast
to Coast." Sunday, we gathered at St.
Joseph's Church in lower Manhattan to celebrate
San Vincenzo's 110th anniversary in North
America. Besides the annual mass, a special
ceremony to dedicate a memorial plaque was held.
It was followed by a buffet lunch in the
church's gathering room, where nearly 70
individuals of Crachesi ancestry had an
opportunity to visit and share stories and
recollections about our common roots.
Anniversary Mass for San Vincenzo. St. Joseph's
Church, New York, Oct. 23, 2011
During the weekend of July 27-29, 2012 90 people
attended the 6th Annual Crachesi del Nord America Reunion.
With the theme of a "Reunion Within A Reunion" families came
in groups representing the historic Craco clans.
Attendees used the time to exchange stories and
research family history. The one formal session included a
history of the surnames in Craco and a virtual tour through
Craco to visit the homes of attendees’ ancestors.
CRACHESI AT VILLA VOSILLA—The attendees at the
6th Annual Crachesi del Nord America Reunion are shown
outside the Villa Vosilla Resort Hotel.
As of February 2014, the organization has grown
to 463 members. Our enthusiastic and
vibrant society is currently working on projects
to meet our future goals. These include:
expanding our membership to reach the many
Crachesi descendants worldwide in an attempt to
share the history, culture and traditions of the
town. We are planning our next
event, the 7th annual Crachesi del Nord America
Reunion next summer, and the celebration of San
Vincenzo's 113th year in New York in October,
2014. We will continue to work to support
the preservation and renovation of Craco Vecchio
from the ravages of nature, obtaining historical
and genealogical records and establishing even
closer bonds with the residents of Craco.
We invite anyone with a special place in their
heart for this ancient, historic town to join us
in our mission.