University of Warwick / University of Geneva
|How did you learn about My-Parish?|
|E-mail Address (available to other members)|
|What aspects of parish life, culture and heritage most interest you?||
archeology and architecture, art and imagery, genealogy and family history, households and the domestic environment, landscapes and pilgrimage, officeholding and local government, preservation and memory, ritual, devotion and religious change, towns and urban environment
|Which regions most interest you?|
|Please briefly describe your parish interests and any past and present parish-related projects||
I am interested in parish history mainly for its relationship with migration, especially in the so called ‘Italian bailiwick’ (Ennetbirgische Vogteien), the subject territories of the Swiss Cantons situated south of the Alps which at present form the Italian speaking Canton of Ticino. From the late Middle Ages and throughout the whole early modern period, this pre-alpine and alpine region was characterised by mass emigration to several European countries. The phenomenon had important and varied effects on the homeland of these migrants, and also on parishes, in terms of economic, devotional, artistic and cultural contributions. In fact, these migrants were generally seasonal and they used to keep strong bonds with their home villages and towns.
|What resources or experiences were most influential in shaping your parish interests?||
On the one hand in my research I am often confronted with migrants who kept strong and intense ties with their homeland, including their parishes. On the other hand, I have been always struck by the countless evidences of migration still visible in urban and rural churches and chapels throughout the Ticino.
|With what parish or parishes do you feel the strongest connection and why?||
I feel strong connections with the parish of Santa Lucia in Massagno (Switzerland), where I grew up, and San Biagio in Ravecchia (Bellinzona, Switzerland), where I have got married. Another parish which is important for me is Ponto Valentino, in Blenio valley (Switzerland). Every year, on the third Sunday of July the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Madonna del Carmelo) is celebrated with a mass and a procession accompanied by the Rosary brotherhood and a militia composed by the men of the village wearing nineteenth-century uniforms (the so-called “soldati della Madonna” or “Tradizionale milizia napoleonica”). Some friends who live (or have relatives) in the village made aware of this tradition: since then, I have taken part in this celebration whenever possible.