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         Exclusively Ours

                        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 the town.
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 ancestral town.
Orders can be placed by visiting our on-line store at www.cafepress.com/thecracosociety , or by contacting us at memberservices@thecracosociety.org
, 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, "Craco: Visits 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 scenes.
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.
 This video 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. 
Running time: 61 minutes. 


It is available exclusively through the Society by contacting us at memberservices@thecracosociety.org.

Click on the links below to view brief video clips from three segments on the DVD.


1929 Movie              1963 Movie              1991 Movie 

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 City. 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 memberservices@thecracosociety.org


Homage to the Madonna della Stella


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

  following inscription:


                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

    longer friendship.


                                    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

June 2008



"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 On-Line Store


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 TheCracoSociety@aol.com 

Mouse Pad


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.


Tote Bag

Everyone who registered for our 2010 trip 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!



You can visit our store for prices and ordering information at;

www.cafepress.com/thecracosociety .


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