When, until not so long ago, we thought about Abruzzese Americans, that is those Abruzzese who left, rich only with hope, the little hamlet hidden among the mountains or overlooking a poor Adriatic, which was at that time light years away from today's tourist routes, and then became famous in the "Land of the great opportunities", we used to think about Rocky Marciano, who made his way with his fists to become world champion, about Dean Martin, actor, singer and above all favorite shoulder of legendary Frank Sinatra, about Mario Lanza, one of the most beautiful opera voices. In a word, we used to think of people like them. But there are many more like them, and most of them unfortunately unknown in their Abruzzese homeland.
A gap that Domenico Serafini from Giulianova, Dom for his friends and readers, was able to fill as none before him. Dom, a big gentleman with a wide smile, that loves wearing broad hats and speaks an unmistakable Italian with a double accent, a giuliese and a NewYorker, paid finally a long-deserved tribute to the many Abruzzese in America that, in the last fifty years, gave, and are still giving, glory to their two countries: the country of their origin and their adoptive country. Dom is one of them: after leaving Giulianova filled with great ideas, he found in the United States the fertile soil to plant them and make them grow. By now a high-ranking character in the world of communications, he lives more on the airplanes than among walls: he bounces without rest on the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and between a meeting and a job, he is able, nobody knows how, to find also time for his family and, most unbelievably, to keep the appointment with the readers of "Il Messaggero-Abruzzo", writing stories about Abruzzo people that gained success in the States. His weekly article "Abruzzo America" is very popular.
It is by reading the stories collected in this volume that we were able to learn about Antonio Rocco D'Alessandro, a tailor from Ari, who at twenty years old arrived in the States and was so good as to get the task of manufacturing the uniforms of the Marines; of Mario Fratti, from L'Aquila, a Broadway lord who received five Tony Awards (the theatre Oscar); of Antonio Carlucci, the president of the mutual aid society of Orsogna that gathers more orsognesi than are currently living in the town of origin; of Fernando Masci, a chef from L'Aquila who with his restaurant called "Il Mulino" conquered the diffident tastes of New Yorkers. How much Abruzzo, and how much America, is in Dom's stories. Of course, there are also famous persons, from Lanza to Marciano, from the writer-mason Pietro Di Donato from Vasto, to Joseph La Palombara, also from Vasto, a great political expert. But the most interesting part of the volume is made of the others, the great, less known Abruzzese, whose stories Serafini recorded in "Abruzzo America". Those who already read the articles, will love to read them again, those who never read them will surely be pleasantly amazed.
Caposervizio of Il Messaggero-Abruzzo Culture Department