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/Our History - Pro Loco Michele Caputo

The background

The 70s began on the revolutionary wave of '68, and on the technological achievements of '69 (landing on the moon). For the world, both events were the drivers of a renewed desire to change and open up to new horizons. Even in Moschiano something was starting to move, above all thanks to the dedication and will of the then parish priests Don Salvatore Pierro and Don Giuseppe Manfredi and, starting from 1974, of the new civic administration led by the lawyer. Domenico Moschiano (Mimi').

By leveraging the history, culture and tradition of our villages and towns as well as the constant call for active participation in social and community life, they worked intensely to raise the cultural level and encourage especially the younger to be an active part of a society that was rapidly evolving.

The years from 1973 to 1979 saw the birth of various initiatives including: The first Via Crucis through the streets of the village, The birth of various musical groups, Harvest camps, The first Torch of Faith, The celebration of Carnival, the birth of a "free radio" (radio Onda Verde) as well as the staging of various plays or simple essays on the occasion of holidays such as Mother's Day, Christmas etc. These events were made possible thanks above all to the dedication of Sister Pia Cimetta of the Daughters of Charity of Lauro.

In 1978, in the absence of the Patronal Festival, starting from an idea by Carmine Rega, Salvatore Aschettino and Carmine Manfredi, the young people thought of organizing the first “Estate Moschianese”.  This consisted of a series of civil initiatives of various kinds to be held between July 26th and August 15th throughout the village with the aim of involving everyone and offering entertainment especially to the dozens of emigrants who returned to spend their holidays with loved ones. Among other things we remember various competitive athletics competitions, a volleyball championship, the staging of plays in the square, a singing competition for amateurs (La Corrida) and other various games.

The initiative was a great success and among the younger people it was realized that perhaps the time had come to give life to something more lasting and to form a group and/or association to make it more formal.

This was certainly nothing new for Moschiano. In the 1960s, the young people of the time (who were our mentors in the 1970s) had formed a Cultural Club named after Michele Caputo, Magistrate of Moschiano from the 1920s and 1930s, based in the houses that once were where there is now ' the small square with the reconstruction of the "Fountains". (See photo opposite) Of that group in addition to the lawyer. Mimi' Moschiano we remember the lawyer. Pietro Manfredi, Lawyer Franco Addeo, Prof. Anna Laura Palumbieri, Prof. Irma Palumbieri, Dr. Delfino Santaniello, Prof. Salvatore Manfredi, Dr. Carmine Vona, Lawyer Giacomo Dalia, Lawyer Andrea Moschiano, Rag. Francesco (Ciccio) Vona, Prof Desiderio Pacia and many others, some very young at the time. Famous at the time was an Encyclopedia and a collection of books (it seems impressive) that belonged to Michele Caputo and that the Caputo-Aschettino family still had and had made available to the Club.

Naturally we didn't want to be outdone because we firmly believed that culture was the key to the rebirth of Moschiano.


The birth

In 1979, spurred on by Mayor Mimi', the City Council, and the Parish Priests, it was decided to create a similar civil association independent of the parishes but which at the same time would gravitate around them. This would not only have ensured a formal status for the group but would have allowed it to have a more "open" entity covering not only the two parish communities and the groups within them (such as Catholic Action) but also gave space to those who were not part of these groups. Furthermore, this step would have opened the doors to grants that the Municipality and Provincial Tourism Board could make available to us for the good of Moschiano. The Association was improperly called Pro-Loco even though it was neither legally constituted nor recognized by the Provincial Tourism Board and was named after Michele Caputo. The lawyer Pietro Manfredi was elected President.

From then on, almost all the initiatives were completed in the name of Michele Caputo.  For example, we continued with the Seconda Estate Moschianese, but we also had the opportunity to dedicate a street (the former "Cupa da Chianca") to Prof Carmine Pacia, a man of letters from Moschiano who had emigrated to Como and had written some essays on Italian literature and other works.

We also named another street after an illustrious Moschianese who almost no one knew or remembered. The so-called "Vico Pacia" was named after Sister Angiola della Pace originally from Moschiano who seems to have been born in that alley.

For Christmas, however, the "pro-Loco" wanted to decorate Moschiano a little. Making lights would have been very expensive. It was then decided to decorate Moschiano with stars covered in glittering sequins and to use public lighting as a source of light. In addition to the stars, the pine trees in front of the school building were also decorated throughout the town.

At that time the Pro Loco headquarters were in the rooms on the ground floor of the town hall made available by the then Municipal Administration.

In February 1980, the Proloco organized festivities for the Carnival and in the spring, given the success of the initiatives completed by the Michele Caputo Association in the previous year and the positive response of the Moschianesi as well as the clear advantages that the association brought to Moschiano and to the young people it was decided to formalize it also legally.

On April 30, 1980, the deed of incorporation of the Pro-Loco Michele Caputo was signed in front of the Notary Maria Giulia Tranfaglia di Lauro (who donated the sum of the charges that would have had to be paid for the drafting and registration of the deed).(See photo alongside).

The founding members were: Don Salvatore Pierro, Don Peppino Manfredi, Rosa Cuozzo, Carmine Manfredi, Franca Volino, Lino Pacia, Avv Pietro Manfredi, Marco Arpaia, Dott Eligio Dalia, Rizziero Settembre, Sabato Pacia. The Mayor pro Tempore Mimi' Moschiano also entered the Board of Directors by right. Fashion designer Marco Arpaia was elected first President.

The first year of life

Once the Pro Loco Michele Caputo was formally established, immediately got to work. So in addition to the now well-established Estate Moschianese (that year a may pole was also introduced in Capomoschiano with rich prizes offered by Moschiano's food traders) the Pro Loco was looking for ideas to further enhance the town and the territory. In those years, village festivals began to take hold.  Given that after lean years in the Vallo area, the production, processing and trade of chestnuts was beginning to recover, it was decided to make an active contribution by organizing a festival.

However, in addition to the recreational aspect, it also had to have a cultural aspect and bring long-term practical benefits to the producers, workers and traders of the product and to the country as a whole.

It was therefore decided that it would be held towards the end of October and divided into two evenings (25th and 26th October). In the first day there would have been a conference where people would present, discuss and try to find solutions to a current problem to improve the cultivation, processing and sale of chestnuts (to be chosen year by year), while in the second day there would have been the actual Festival offering music, games and gastronomic tastings based on local products.

So it was. With the help of the municipal administration and the Provincial Tourism Board (EPT), a representative of the Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) was invited to hold a conference/debate on the local production and marketing of chestnuts abroad.

For the second evening, however, a series of desserts strictly based on chestnuts, sandwiches with sausages and more were prepared which were offered for free tasting in the square where games were played, there was music, dancing etc.

Thanks to Don Salvatore Pierro who allowed us to use the parish mimeograph machine, a little book was also prepared with chestnut-based recipes to be distributed to the guests who would come. The cover was designed by Tina Cuozzo (See photo of Sagra booklet on the side).

Michele Caputo.jpg
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