The Early Years

The Vermont Italian Cultural Association was established in 1983 as an organization which would share the rich cultural heritage of Italy. In the words of past president Dr. William Tortolano:

“I think you preserve your culture by doing more than eating Italian food…we get hung up on our our cuisine - which is the best in the world - and forget that there are other things that come out of Italy. There’s history, literature, music, art, sculpture, poetry. There’s all these things which make an identity to a people, that makes an identity different from another people.”

We are grateful to many of the early members, their families, friends, and colleagues, for allowing us to collect and share their stories. A special thanks to Albert Bernasconi, Frank Caruccio, Barbara Ciongoli, Alfred Pellegrini, Dr. Mario Morselli, and Janet Sisson for their contributions as early members.

The individual recorded interviews provide an invaluable glimpse into the beginnings of our organization, the foresight and hard work of our founding members, to whom we will be ever grateful, as we carry on their legacy.