AbruzzoAmerica: Introduction

AbruzzoAmerica Written by Dom Serafini and Generoso D'Agnese, the book is in Italian.
In its title AbruzzoAmerica the book declares the contribution of the Abruzzese people in America and also the proximity of the two populations. While it is relatively easy to describe the merits that the Abruzzese gained in America, it is more difficult to list all that the Abruzzese emigrants to United States did for Abruzzo. Besides bringing prestige to a little known region even in Italy, the Abruzzese in America contributed to the economic and spiritual wealth of their original land. It is with the so called "foreign currency" that the Abruzzese built houses, bought cars and created new employment opportunities. This fact is today almost forgotten and, with the arrival of the economic welfare, very few voices are interested in declaring that.

The Abruzzese population abroad is much more numerous than those living today in the region, being the population of the whole region less than the city of Rome. Looking at the national and international scenarios, we discover that some Abruzzese became cinema, television and music "top stars", economists of Nobel prize level, prestigious university professors, entrepreneurs dictating market rules, intellectuals mentioned in literary history, scientists that gave their names to discoveries. And journalists, politicians, magistrates, doctors, syndicate representatives, bankers, etc.

Another aspect treated in AbruzzoAmerica is the rediscovery of this beautiful region. Today being an "Abruzzese shepherd" is a reason of pride even in Italy, if we think that many of the shepherds' children of today - skipping the historical names of the region - are in government position (Gianni Letta, Nino Sospiri), in the Rai (Bruno Vespa), in parliament (Giovanni Dell'Elce, Sabatino Aracu, Andrea Pastore, Ottaviano Del Turco, Franco Marini, only to quote some), cover prestige roles (Alessandro Pace, a constitutional expert), lead parties and movements (Marco Pannella) and excel in sport (Danilo De Luca, Jarno Trulli).

Abruzzo was however more emphatically enriched by his children abroad (we cannot call them foreigners). While time ago being an Italian was a self-defeating feeling, today it has become trendy and many (especially the ones with a foreign last name) do whatever possible to show their Abruzzese origin openly. Beside the social and psychological aspects, to promote Abruzzo is a kind of challenge with Tuscany, the Italian region most beloved by foreigners. For an Abruzzese, our region has all that Tuscany has, and much more: the National Park with wildlife unique all over Europe (we need only mention the Marsian bear and the splendid Abruzzo chamois), the highest peak of the Apennine, wide, clean beaches, sweet hills. Not to forget the typical products: from the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo to the chitarra pasta, from fish broth to the sheep cheese. And also so much art and culture. Besides, a good road system and the good-nature of its inhabitants. It is with this spirit that, with the collaboration of Generoso D'Agnese from Pescara, I remind weekly from New York to the readers of Il Messaggero the contribution of the Abruzzese people in America and the value of Abruzzo. After about two years, part of the characters that appeared in the AbruzzoAmerica articles were grouped in a book published by Lupetti.

Dom Serafini
New York, 30 May 2002