Always remember that we all come from immigrants ", these words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt push to reflect on the fate of many of our fellow citizens. One of these fortunes begins in Vicalvi .
Traveling along the state road towards Sora, if you look right at the center of the village of today's Vicalvi, you will notice an imposing pale pink building, inserted with some harmony in the urban context of the town, even if it reveals unusual lines and dimensions.
It is not necessary to be architects to deduce that the influences of the construction are North American. Because America was the fate of those who built that house and now live in it. This is Antonia (Annetta) Angeloni.
We are in the late thirties. Antonia is the third of the ten children of Emilio and Domenica Angeloni. Until a few decades ago the Italian family was numerous and had a precise rate of self-reproduction: the older children had to enter fairly quickly in the production cycle to contribute to the maintenance of the family itself. The times were hard, one was coming out of the terrible tragedy of the Second World War. The overwhelming majority of families lived in conditions of poverty and deprivation. Conditions of life difficult to understand for the new generations who fortunately do not know what it is like to live without running water, in environments not always comfortable, with shoes and clothes often worn with ultra prolonged use, with a stomach that often growled, with a book, if you went to school, read by the light of a miserable lamp, perhaps near a broken little fire ... .and always with so many things to do ... almost always in the fields.
This also happened to Antonia as the vast majority of the children and young people of our towns So, just 18 years old Antonia, only with a third grade degree , was put on a ship and sent to a very distant world. A world that everyone talked about, that everyone dreamed because it represented, as they said, the end of the sacrifices: first of all new clothes and abundant meals ... and then the dream of "luck": Americaaaa! Father Emilio was already in the United States, he had returned shortly after, because the country had called him back to send him to the Alps to defend it in 1915. The fate for Annetta is a small bar used by their uncle in the suburbs of Detroit (Michigan) . In this small bar begins the American fate of Annetta.A road that will lead to wellness, but paved with so much suffering and sacrifice. She immediately started working as a waitress in the bar, then became a worker in one of the many factories of the automobile industry in which Detroit is capital.
Annetta is entrusted with the hope of improving the living conditions of the rest of the family, so she must immediately save everything she can to send home economic resources that help the rest of the brothers to live better. She did not even take the bus to get to work, she went on foot to save even the small change of the ticket cost . Work, work and always work, without pauses, incessant. Also because of this rhythm, at the end of a very long day, she suffers a serious work accident .
Only in the mid-fifties, after six or seven years of continuous work, therefore, she returns back to Italy for a holiday.
And in this first vacation she meets and frequents, with family approval ... Armando Rossi, a promising young man from Villa Latina.Back in America, after an examination granting her US citizenship, she can recall Armando and marry him.
Antonia and Armando whit their son Claudio
Antonia resumes her work as a laborer while Armando is employed as a laborer / bricklayer at a building company of some Casalvierani's fellow-townsmen. Armando had studied as a surveyor and had some experience in building sites, but he started again from the bottom, with humility and determination. He used to tell that being one of the few whites to work in that company was bullied by the black majority of his work colleagues... The couple worked and saved, saved and worked. When the savings became substantial they bought their first car: a Buick from General Motors, one of those wide and comfortable boats... their status was finally taking off... With the subsequent savings the couple began to plan to build a house all for themselves. They searched and bought a site for the construction of the house. Determined , Antonia decided to proceed with the purchase of other neighboring sites. "You never know..." she said. Never a prediction was ever more accurate. So Antonia and Armando proceed with the construction of the house. As soon as the as it was built they agreed to try and sell it, the time to think it and the house was sold quickly and with a good profit. The couple tries again, builds another house and also sold quickly. For this is the start of their career of real estate developers. Armando had the expertise on the buildings, but the business was reserved for Annetta, her flair and her cunning... Meanwhile Annetta still manages to think of the family, first calls her father and together they recall almost the rest of the family.This is the small town saga of the Angeloni family : seven females and three brothers who we now mention. Their names are, in order of age, Clementina, Annunziata (resident in Canada), Antonia (Annetta), Rosina, Donato, Antonio, Elena, Flora (resident in the United States), Palmino, Teresa (resident in Canada), the photo sees them all gathered a few years ago in Sora. An impressive longevity: from Clementina 90, the only disappearance last year, to Teresa, now seventy. Seven of them will have their experience in North America.
With an ever more incessant rhythm, Annetta and Armando buy land, build buildings, and sell. And as time and business passed and grew Annetta began to take an interest and to enter into the merits of the planning phase. With unsuspected expertise she takes care of the aesthetics of the buildings, while her competence in institutional and bureaucratic matters remained un wavered , in the acquisition of the areas, in the specific tasks of building, and always with greater ability, was oriented in political webs and residential development plans for the Detroit area.So this is extraordinary of the adventure of Annetta: in her official curriculum there is only a third grade degree of the thirties/forties !!!!
They had set up a company, the "Rossi & Son", with this in a frenzied crescendo each year they build entire neighbour hoods, hundreds and hundreds of houses. During the day, on construction sites, at parties in the sales offices, without pause. The trade associations award prizes and awards to the professional activity of the couple.
A whirlwind of architects, designers, technicians and builders working for them ... The couple was very close: Armando always in the construction aspect , Annetta the business and everything else ... and as if the commitments were not enough, she began to take an interest in the "furnishings". Many houses, in fact, were sold complete of furniture, and for the furniture Antonia attends the best companies, the biggest fairs, to become at home in the Murano laboratories.
All this until 1995, when Armando suddenly passes away , and the company is taken over by Claudio, their only child. Forsome time Antonia will assist her son but then decides to return permanently to Vicalvi without completely renouncing business in the United States where she still periodically travels. Claudio, by now with a degree in Engineering, successfullycontinues the activity of parents with a new company, "Mirage development".
Antonia, on the other hand, after a difficultand austere youth, after years of enormous sacrifice, enjoys deserved rest in her immense "American" house in Vicalvi, not denying herself a few trips in the art world or some excursion into the business world, always with her impeccable taste and competence.