The Ciociaria in America
The  Ciociaria in America

Ciociaria is increasingly fashionable in North America

Riccardo Frattaroli Mayor of Settefrati and his trip to Canada

Riccardo Frattaroli

Maybe the Ciociari have something special. Perhaps they are refined entrepreneurs who were ahead of their time and are now admired and copied.

The success of the evening dedicated to Settefrati, and Mayor Riccardo Frattaroli's speech in front of 2,400 ecstatic people, once again demonstrate this reality. 2023 is the year of Settefrati and in honor of this beautiful village in the Comino Valley a gala evening was organized with Riccardo as guest of honour.

Windsor is a Canadian city separated from DetroitMichigan USA by a single tunnel under the Detroit River  and it is here that a group of friends over 50 years ago decided to build the famous Ciociaro Club.

Having overcome the logic of the "town club", these friends decided to build a common house dedicating it to the Ciociaria and to make it manageable they created a real 16-hectare residence with catering halls that can accommodate over 2,000 people, lounges, sports facilities, and an annexed space dedicated to religious festivals where a modern church has been built over the years but with the same façade as that of the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Canneto in Settefrati.

Before the Ciociaro Club, emigrants from central Italy called themselves from Rome or Naples (depending on preferences), today everyone wants to be 'ciociaro' in order to be charming and have the Club card . This year the president of the Ciociaro Club is Anna Vozza, an entrepreneur in the real estate field originally from Casalvieri (also in Val di Comino).

So much of North America and the Toronto area is attracted to Ciociaria and we don't have to do much to attract them to live real experiences in our lands.

Gino Cucchi Town Ambassador of San Donato Val Comino and Riccardo Frattaroli Mayor of Settefrati

Gino Cucchi and Riccardo Frattaroli

I called Riccardo to get the first warm impression of his 15-day trip to Canada between Windsor and Toronto and the first words he said to me were 'touching and powerful': “I felt a human warmth and an energy that it penetrated every point of my body, a 'cleansing of hearts' that empowered me. All this strength and warmth they have shown me today give me the moral duty to do something to build bridges with the new generations."

In fact, even if the Ciociaro Club model is successful and is now copied in many parts of North America (as in the Sfiac  of San Francisco )which our friend Jay Manciocchi told us.

I will tell more about Riccardo's trip to Canada in other articles, meanwhile this is Riccardo Frattaroli's speech at the Ciociaro Club ceremony dedicated to the town of Settefrati which has given him great warmth.

“Dear friends of Settefrati and of the Val di Comino and dear friends of the Ciociaro Club, this year Settefrati received the nomination of “village of the year” and all of Val Comino is happy with us. A valley as beautiful as a daisy, and Settefrati is one of its petals.

When many of you left, the situation was sad and difficult, but we all moved forward together thanks to the tenacity and strength that we Ciociari have. I meet many of you in the summer and we celebrated together the Madonna di Canneto (which you reproduced right here in Windsor). But now it's time for our children and grandchildren to meet, it's time for us to study new ways to stay in daily contact.

We of my generation use social media and FB groups, but we need to encourage young people to create new ways of communicating. We have to look for a way to engage them in some challenge that they might like.

Settefrati and the Comino valley are beautiful today. We have it all: lush nature, castles, abbeys but also a university that has 20% of foreign students, see the UNICAS website.

A young person can practice many sports: from horseback riding in the countryside to equestrian sports, from rafting on the Garigliano river to trekking in the mountains, he/she can follow the shepherds on the sheep tracks in the woods of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, he/she can play soccer and many other sports. Children can also go to the Bosco delle Fiabe – Tales Wood in Cassino.

In recent years, companies have been born that produce excellent Maturano and Cabernet di Atina DOC wines, Marina olive oil, pecorino cheeses that have DOP certification. We have excellent international restaurants, such as Villa Inglese or the 4-star Valle dell'Aquila, which is also the official catering of Napoli Calcio which we hope will win the Serie A championship. Here young people can learn the secrets of Ciociara and Italian cuisine.

So, I would like to suggest that we do a project aimed at young people together. Let's ask them to come and live for a week or two in the Valley and involve them in a documentary. Let's do something that can live on social networks and on the web.

With a group of you and with some of my collaborators we studied an idea. If you want, let's talk about it together because we have little time to pass on our love for Settefrati and the Comino Valley to the new generations. But this project will be able to unite the young Italians and Canadians of the Comino valley forever.

I thank you and I hope this journey is the beginning of a new journey”.

Tony Malizia Town Ambassador of Settefrati and Riccardo Frattaroli

Tony Malizia Town Ambassador di Settefrati  e Riccardo Frattaroli

Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

Subscribe to Newsletter

Discover a territory through the emotions of the people that have lived it.