The Craco Society organized an inaugural trip to
Craco from June 14 - 21, 2008. This
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 come!
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,
more than doubled the initial
meeting held last year, was
an outstanding achievement.
Even more awe-inspiring events
developed over the weekend,
including the presentation
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 attended!
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
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
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
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
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 2013, the organization has grown
to 445 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 112th year in New York
October, 2013. 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.