Note Storiche Sul Comune Di
Craco by Dino D'Angella
Italian Language History of the Town of Craco, now
available in English!
The Craco Society proudly announces the
publishing of the English language version of
Note Storiche Sul Comune di Craco, the
definitive history of the town of Craco written
by Prof. Dino D’Angella. This now out of
print book was published in Italian in 1984 and
reprinted in 1999. Prof. D’Angella, who
authored other books on the history of Bernalda,
Pisticci, and Basilicata, used his extensive
understanding of the region and its history to
infuse his work on Craco with the events in each
era that influenced the town and its people.
Beginning with Craco’s origin and then spanning
centuries of invaders, plagues, famine, natural
disasters, economic and social upheaval, along
with political changes, Prof. D’Angella tells
the long and rich history of Craco ending in its
final catastrophe in the 20th century. He
also includes material about the dialect,
customs, and even proverbs which are unique to
Recognizing the importance of this book to the
Society’s mission, after getting Prof.
D’Angella’s permission and support, a project
was undertaken using volunteer members to
translate it into English. Extensive
effort was provided by Tom Rinaldi, Joseph D.
Rinaldi, and Dr. Helen Tuzio along with a
non-member Linda Lee Davis. Bob and Janet
Rubertone undertook the long and laborious task
of converting the translations into an artfully
edited final version. Along the way they
refined difficult passages, upgraded the
photographs, and prepared the book for printing.
To make sure the book is always available, an
on-demand printing process was selected.
The book will be stored in a digital form with a
service provider who prints and ships the book
directly on every order.
In today’s world it is not common that
individuals have available such an extensive and
factual documentation about their family roots.
For anyone who has any Cracotan blood in them
this is a “must-have.” Parents and
grandparents should make sure it is available to
all their family members ensuring that the next
generation understands the story of their
Orders can be placed by visiting our on-line
www.cafepress.com/thecracosociety , or by
contacting us at
, or writing to us at The Craco Society, 14 Earl
Road, East Sandwich, MA, 02537, USA.
Craco: Visits Through Time
Another Society project to document and
preserve the history, culture and traditions of Craco is a new DVD entitled,
Through Time." It opens with a segment from
a joint BBC/PBS documentary, For The Colors, A
Journey Through Italy. The film’s subject
and presenter, artist Jeffrey Becom visited
Craco with the film crew in 1989. He
provides a poignant narration of the town’s
difficult past. Next the DVD viewer steps
back in time to a 1929 home movie taken by
Joseph Benedetto and Mildred Rinaldi who were
married in Manhattan on March 21, 1929.
They traveled to Craco that spring on their
honeymoon. Their view of Craco portrays what the
town most closely resembled when the wave of
Crachesi left a generation earlier for a new
life in America. During the summer of
1958, Dominick Rinaldi, Joseph & Mildred
Benedetto’s nephew, along with his family
visited the town. Their film offers the
first color views of Craco from the mid-20th
Century. Five summers later, Angelo
Rinaldi, who was born in Craco and immigrated to
America at age 16, returned to his hometown with
his son. Their footage preserves the town
and the field activities in late June, 1963.
In the late summer of 1967, while on a family
trip to Italy, Dominick Tocci and his wife
Angela Maria Mormando, both children of Cracotan
immigrants made a family visit to Craco.
Their movie reveals signs of the frana on the
buildings and provides the last glimpse of daily
life before the population relocated to the
valley below. The next segment, donated by
Nicola Panarella to the Colibrì organization,
was filmed by Don Salvatore Romano. It
documents scenes of the frana devastation,
activities to clear the destruction, and the
development and opening of the new town of Craco
Peschiera. The May 1980 segments, compiled
from the movies taken by Frank Rinaldi when he
and his family returned to his birthplace,
provide views of the traditional celebration of
the Feast of the Madonna della Stella being
celebrated in both the “new and old” Craco.
The last segment, taken eleven years later, in
May 1991, by Frank’s brother Joe Rinaldi , gives
a loving view of the haunting beauty of Craco
Vecchio. Throughout the DVD traditional
Cracotan folk songs are interspersed with the
For such a small town that has been abandoned
for 40 years it seems amazing that this material
exists. It is providential that the images of
life in Craco were preserved and shared with us
by these families.
is a unique and educational keepsake for family
members to show children and grandchildren where
our ancestors came from. It should be in
every home that has a connection to Craco, so
future generations will be able to view it.
It is available exclusively through the
Society by contacting us at
Click on the links below to
view brief video clips from three segments on the DVD.
San Vincenzo Martire And the Crachesi In Two Worlds
This original publication produced by the Society in 2009, tells the
story of San Vincenzo Martire, the patron saint of Craco and the
early Crachesi immigrants to New York. In the first part of this
book, copies of original Italian publications about the saint are
preserved and translated into English along with historic photos of
the patron. The second part of the book uncovers the lost story
behind the Società San Vincenzo Martire di Craco, established in
1899 by the early immigrants from Craco who settled in New York
The narrative carries the story about the organization and its
devotion to San Vincenzo through the intervening years to connect it
with the Craco Society. In the process it uncovers little know
facts about the Saint and exposes several mysteries that are related
to relics and statues that are in America. This is the second
printing of San Vincenzo Martire And the Crachesi in Two Worlds,
the first selling out at the 2009 Reunion. It is available
exclusively through the Society by contacting us at
Homage to the Madonna
The long history and story of the
Madonna della Stella is told in Omaggio alla
Stella, an Italian language publication produced
by the Associazione di Volontariato Colibri.
The Associazione kindly
granted us permission to translate their
publication into English so it can be made
available to our North American members.
A volunteer group completed the translation and
the book was premiered
during our Fourth Annual Reunion in August 2010.
This translation represents the last of the
books and materials available from Craco that
provide us with the history of the town, its
culture, and traditions. It serves as a
cornerstone piece along with the two other
translated books and the DVD about Craco.
Everyone with roots in Craco should consider
adding this publication to their library!
Our Virtual Museum
Gifts presented to The Craco Society from the Comune di Craco during the Society's Inaugural trip to to Craco in June of 2008 include four
works of art; an engraved crystal commemorative plaque, a beautifully framed photograph of Craco Vecchio, and two original paintings from local artists. Other poignant and meaningful
tokens of friendship included a bouquet of sheaths of wheat and grapes, and old Italian coins.
This engraved crystal commemorative plaque bears the
To the President of the "Craco Society"
On the occasion of this appreciated visit to our town,
with the hope of a long cultural exchange and an even
The Mayor and Administration of
the Comune di Craco
To the President of the Craco Society
The Mayor and Administration of the Comune di Craco
"Tears for Craco"
by Anna Lucia Nuzzo
An impressionistic view of Craco
By Enzo Rinaldi
This beautiful arrangement of wheat and grapes was
presented to the Society upon our initial visit to Craco
Peschiera by Angelina LoPorchio and Anna Lucia Nuzzo.
This symbolic bouquet represents the essence of life in Craco,
The Craco Society
The Craco Society is proud
to introduce our line of personalized goods bearing our logo
as well as beautiful photographs of Craco Vecchio. You can visit our store, and order online at
www.cafepress.com/thecracosociety . If
you have any questions or suggestions about our store,
please drop us a line at
Decorative Ceramic Tile
Due to member requests, The
Craco Society is pleased to make available a decorative ceramic
tile in its own stylish cherrywood frame. It's the
perfect way to complete a decorative gift or keepsake.
Rounded edges and quality construction make this framed tile
the ultimate wall accent. Frame measures 6" X 6", with
a 4.25" X 4.25" tile.
Everyone who registered for our
to Craco, received a Craco Society
logo tote bag. Now you can purchase one of
these stylish and functional totes and let the
world know where you ancestral roots
lie. They're the perfect carry-alls for our 2nd
annual reunion to be held August 6 - 8, 2010 in
New York's Catskill Mountains!
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