Accomplished initiatives




Italian Emigration Museum online

Online publication of Paolo Cresci's book "Partono i bastimenti," hard to find but requested by scholars. In progress.


Emigration Bulletin

Networking of the magazine Bollettino dell'emigrazione. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Centro Studi Emigrazione di Roma cultural institute of the Scalabrinians Congregation, which keeps some of the issues of the bulletin not in the Foundation's possession.


Museum Didactics

Development of museum education activities with schools in the Lucca area and neighboring provinces. Workshops and guided tours.



Implementation of the FACEBOOK profile of the PAOLO CRESCI MUSEUM, with the opening of the pages FONDAZIONE PAOLO CRESCI and GIOVANI ITALIANI NEL MONDO, where photos sent to us by young emigrants are collected.


Elsewhere. Journal of history and interculture.

Online publication of Nos. 14 and 15.


Series "The Foundation Notebooks"


Publication of volumes:

M. V. Paradisi, The steam of Saxony ran like the wind. Stories of Lucchese emigration from the Papers of the Pia Casa of Lucca.


A.Marchi, They were going to the figures with Canova and Donatello. Plaster casts of the classical and Renaissance traditions of Lucchese figurine makers in central Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Ongoing projects:


On the road again - Youth emigration yesterday and today

The project, already explained in previous councils, aims to promote knowledge of the history of emigration especially among young people by collecting and disseminating, documents and testimonies. Due to the cultural value and topicality of the emigration/immigration phenomenon among young people, it is intended to promote awareness of it with cultural events, workshops, audiovisual products and monographic issues of the online magazine "Altrove." Since 2014, Italians emigrating have increased more than immigrants residing in Italy, every year the phenomenon of Italians emigrating grows so much that the number of them (4,637,000) is approaching that of foreigners in Italy (5,014,000). The project intends to address the issues of the new emigration, which mainly concerns young people, to study its social and economic aspects and to collect testimonies, both as historical documentation and for workshops and interactive multimedia material that can be used within the museum, intended for high school students and under 35, aimed at developing awareness of the social dynamics related to mobility, focusing on its opportunities and critical issues.

The project is also creating a network through social networks to collect testimonies of young Italians who have moved abroad for study or work purposes aimed at creating a data base of information on existing opportunities, but above all a report on the psychological aspects behind the choice to go abroad, the difficulties encountered, the dynamics of integration and the mechanisms of cultural assimilation. The ongoing project involves the collection of interviews with young people abroad in which they recount their experience, while also offering tools to facilitate those who, like them, have decided to face this new life experience.

The material, suitably catalogued, will be used to create a data-base articulated according to territorial areas and types of requests to be made available to young people. Said interviews will constitute an important document on current emigration, destined to enrich the Foundation's historical archives.

The collection of testimonies of young Italians abroad, will be published on the website www.emigrazioneitaliana.org and used for a short film to be disseminated to schools and make available to voluntary associations, youth workers, etc.

This project was funded by the Region of Tuscany as part of the Integrated Culture Plan 2016.

To date, more than 30 interviews have been conducted with young Italians in the following countries: the United States, Canada, Germany, England, Estonia, and Australia, in addition to those being conducted in Italy.


Zeffirino Poli and the film "Poli's Wonderland.

Zefferino Poli, known in America as Sylvester Zefferino Poli, is one of the most important and forgotten pioneers of American cinema. Poli was born in 1858 in Bolognana in the town of Gallicano, then moved to Piano di Coreglia with his entire family. Seeking his fortune, he emigrated to America as a figurine maker and landed in New York at the end of the 19th century. The first years of American life were terrible but soon, however, his fortunes changed. His young wife suggested that he give up his peddling business and display plaster figurines in his window. She also convinced him to change production, no longer the usual cats but still-living celebrities or subjects that gave more of an idea of art. It was a great success, and in 1892 Poli moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he opened Poli's Wonderland. It is his first theater, but there is much more to it. It is one of those venues, popular at the time named movie palace (those gigantic cinemas with more than 2,000 posi very typical in the 1920s/'30s in America), hosting the most diverse shows. Poli is one of the first in America-and thus in the world-to realize that cinema would become the art of the twentieth century, and that factory workers needed a distraction from the heavy work of the assembly line. In just a few years, he built an empire of more than 100 cinemas. Today these cinemas no longer exist. One of the few left standing is the Majestic Theater in Bridgeport, a failing industrial town a few miles from New Haven. Abandoned for decades but miraculously untouched, the Majestic still retains the splendor of the Belle Epoque. A fact that has not gone unnoticed by a group of citizens who dream of reclaiming this precious architecture and reopening it to the public.

Luca Perei, Isaak J. Liptzin and Valerio Ciriaci, young scholars of Italian emigration, particularly of figurine makers have rediscovered the story of Zefferino Poli and decided to turn it into a film, Poli's Wonderland, in collaboration with the Municipality of Coreglia, the Museum of Chalk Figurines and Emigration. This collaboration is extended to the "Lucca Film Festival" and the Paolo Cresci Foundation for its historical and technical support role.



Projects carried out:


February 5 - Paris Theatre New Morning

The show MIGRANTS at the New Morning theater in Paris.

Music and solo piano performance by Nicola Sergio, Recalabrese artist and composer, narrator Atiq Rahimi, staging and direction by Nino Cannatà, Scientific advice and archival materials by the "Paolo Cresci" Foundation for the History of Italian Emigration in Lucca.

"Migrants" is a play on the themes of emigration-immigration.  which debuted at the opening of the Roccella Jazz Festival on Dec. 26, 2014, is articulated on the interaction of multiple artistic languages and has a component of improvisation in the "jazz way," in the performance of the music, in the live management of the video projection as well as in the text, so each performance is always a different and unique experience. The project, developed by Lyiriks Association, with the collaboration of various cultural entities boasts the collaboration of Don Ciotti's Libera Association. It made use of archival materials from our Foundation. The music, performed on the piano by internationally renowned composer Nicola Sergio written especially for the project, is inspired by research, news and experiences of migrants and will be collected in the album entitled "Migrants."

The set design and video projection are made by stage director Nino Cannatà with images, historical documents, words and meaningful messages in different languages


March 2016

The Cresci Foundation has been identified as the lead entity of museums in the province of Lucca for the Tuscany Region project, Integrated Culture Plan 2016. The project drawn up by the Foundation and the Province of Lucca in the amount of € 129,000.00 provides for actions of technical and functional adaptation of the various museum facilities in order to achieve the standards required for their recognition as museums of regional interest.


April 6 - Lucca Complex of San Micheletto

Presentation of the documentary "Revelstoke, a kiss in the wind" by Nicola Moruzzi. as part of Lucca Film Festival and EuropaCinema 2016 realized in collaboration with Fondazione Paolo Cresci for the history of Italian emigration.

 The film recounts the director's journey to Canada on the trail of his great-grandfather Angelo, who emigrated in 1913 and died in a work accident during the construction of the longest tunnel in North America. Thanks to the discovery of letters written to his wife, documents found in Canada and archive footage, Angelo's odyssey comes back to light, reminding us once again of the courage of migrants who left our country.

Winner of the in competition at the International Documentary Festival "Visions from the World" in Milan, December 2012, the documentary entered the finalist five at the David di Donatello, feature documentary section.

The following introduced the film: Leonardo Baraldi - Producer "Schicchera Production," Ave Marchi of Paolo Cresci Foundation, Pietro Luigi Biagioni - Director of Paolo Cresci Foundation, Nicola Borrelli chaired the event


May 14 - June 6 - Lucca Palazzo Ducale


Participation in the enhancement and popularization initiatives of Tuscan museums .

Night of the Museums : Presentation of the book by M.V. Paradisi, Saxon steam ran like the wind Stories of Lucchese emigration from the Papers of the Pia Casa di Lucca...


June - Lucca Ducal Palace

Stipulation of the agreement with the Province of Lucca for The joint management and enhancement of the museums of the Ducal Palace: Museo del Risorgimento and Paolo Cresci Museum for the History of Italian Emigration.


June 10 - Lucca Ducal Palace

Presentation of the Essay: "Escape and Return of a People" Northeast Calabria 1799-2012" by Francesco Filareto

Interventions by: Cataldo De Gaudio,President of the Centro Studi e Ricerche Calabresi

Tommaso Greco, Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Pisa

Pietro Luigi Biagioni, Director, Cresci Foundation

Ilaria Del Bianco,President Lucchesi nel Mondo Association


July 1 - Castelnuovo Garfagnana Piazza Umberto I

The Unione Comuni Garfagnana-in collaboration with the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, the Fundacion Internacional Astor Piazzolla, the Paolo Cresci Foundation, the Municipality of Villa Collemandina and the Municipality of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana,-has promoted an event dedicated to Tango, as part of the International Academy of Music 2016

Evening dedicated to Astor Piazzolla

The Garfagnana Tango Festival project promoted by Park in the World has been enriched for summer 2016 with a new event: the concert of the musical group Amores Tangos

Close ties with the Marplatense reality made it possible to intercept a significant opportunity for the further quality development of the project, the European tour of the Amores Tangos Quartet. Collaboration with the Civic School of Music of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana was activated and collaboration for musical aspects and with the Paolo Cresci Foundation for historical research on aspects related to emigration.

The initiative was included in the schedule of activities of the Summer Music Festival of the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (June 27-July 8).


July 2 - Villa Collemandina  

Setting up of the exhibition "GARFAGNANA'S HOMAGE TO ASTOR PIAZZOLLA" at curated by the Paolo Cresci Foundation

The Apulian origins of Vicente, Astor Piazzolla's father, have always been known. Recent investigations have documented that his maternal grandparents in 1888 left for Argentina from Massa Sassorosso, a hamlet of Villa Collemandina. Marriage certificates of Clelia Bertolami and Luigi Manetti, Assunta's parents, were found in the archives of the parish and municipal registry office. The newlyweds emigrated to Argentina, joining relatives residing in Mar del Plata. Here Luigi began working on a farm then, together with others, bought a large plot of land on the edge of town where they grew plants and vegetables. The story of the family and the musician is told in the exhibition, which reproduces documents and photographs belonging to or collected by the Paolo Cresci Foundation.


July 23 to August 7 - Castelnuovo Garfagnana Fortress of Montalfonso

Exhibition POPULARS IN MOVEMENT - TODAY AS YESTERDAY. photo by Francesco Malavolta and archives of the Paolo Cresci Foundation In Castelnuovo di Garfagnana as part of the , GARFAGNANA PHOTOGRAPHY, a festival organized by the Circolo Fotocine Garfagnana, with the collaboration of the Paolo Cresci Foundation for the History of Italian Emigration.

The theme of peoples on the move and migrants is addressed with the exhibition that matches today's photos By Francesco Malavolta, images of early 20th century Italian emigration from the Paolo Cresci Foundation. and historical covers of Domenica del Corriere. Francesco Malavolta is a photojournalist who has been working with national and international photo agencies, humanitarian organizations such as UNHCR and IOM since 1994. Since 2011 he has been documenting what happens at European borders on behalf of the European Union agency Frontex along the continent's sea and land borders. He immediately focuses his work almost entirely on borders and consequently on peoples' migration flows, particularly by sea. His experience in this area goes back to the early 1990s, to the time of the great exodus of people from Albania.. The ultimate goal of his work is to tell stories through easy-to-read images. Major clients of his work include Associated Press, European Community, Frontex Agency, IOM (International Organization for Migration), UNHCR.


September 10 - Lucca Ducal Palace 


At 9 p.m., in the Garden of the Paolo Cresci Museum, the Ducal Palace Museums presented the show: Journeying to a New Life: Between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: music, recitals, images and documents of the Risorgimento and Italian emigration by Vera Giagoni

Unpublished music and excerpts from the literature of the Risorgimento and 'emigration



Finding the marble block for making the monument to Astor Piazzolla by the association Latin American House of Viareggio, which will rise in the garden in front of the St. Peter's gate in Lucca


19 November - Lucca Museum Paolo Cresci

Display of the plaster cast collection in the Paolo Cresci Museum and presentation of the volume "They went to the figures with Canova and Donatello. The plaster casts of the classical and Renaissance traditions of Lucca's figurine makers in central Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries" by Ave Marchi

The company Toskanischen Industrie, established by Archimedes Nannetti with partners Marchi and Mariani of Bagni di Lucca at the end of the 19th century, as well as that of Felice Martinelli "Felix Martinelli & co Kunst-Anstalt" constituted flourishing businesses as shapers of statues, decorative elements and plaster furnishings in Munich. Their production, which had as its cultural references the 15th- and 16th-century Florentine period, was a great success among the cultured Bavarian bourgeoisie. The activity continued until the first decades of the 20th century when the protagonists of these important commercial and at the same time artistic events returned home. The sample books, catalogs, photos and other important documents of this activity flowed into the Nannetti - Vincenti collection, heirs of these dynasties; thanks to the generosity of the custodians of this collection, the Cresci Foundation is enriched with this important heritage that testifies to the creativity and resourcefulness of Lucca's figurine makers.


21 November- Lucca Complex of San Francesco

Signing of the cooperation agreement with the School of Higher Studies I.M.T.

By entering into the agreement, it is intended to establish a collaborative relationship for the implementation of initiatives of common interest in the field of scientific research and collection of evidence on the phenomenon of migration, preservation of the memory of the events to stimulate reflection on them in order to better understand the current dynamics on mobility and multiculturalism with their social and economic implications, in particular, the activity will cover:

  • Organization of seminars of general interest, open to the public, with topics chosen by the parties and conducted by IMT professors and researchers or external faculty experts in the field invited by the parties.
  • Collaboration between the Foundation and IMT students, with plans for joint initiatives aimed at a fruitful exchange of technical and scientific know-how.
  • Activation of shared research projects on migration issues
  • Organization of public events, exhibitions, conferences, publications, etc., aimed at spreading awareness of the issues covered by this agreement and the results of the work and activities of common interest carried out.
  • Activation of internships and training placements.


21 -28 November - Lucca Complesso Monumentale di San Francesco

Setting up EXHIBITION "100 of Tuscan flavors in the world"

Commissioned by the Council of Tuscans Abroad of the Region of Tuscany, the exhibition presents the history of Tuscan dining in the world from the pioneering origins of our emigrants' restaurants to the more modern and refined forms of gastronomy and catering that have made us famous and in the world and proud of our products spread as a distinctive character of Tuscany: oil and wine.

It will be set up in the cloisters of the monumental complex of St. Francis on the occasion of the signing of the collaboration agreement between the Cresci Foundation and the I.M.T. School of Advanced Studies for the beginning of the '2106-2017 academic year


November 23 - December 3 - Rome Senate of the Republic.

Committee on the Affairs of Italians Abroad - Rome NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 2, 2016


Exhibition POPULARS IN MOVEMENT - TODAY AS YESTERDAY. photos by Francesco Malvolta and archives of the Paolo Cresci Foundation in collaboration with the Circolo Fotocine Garfagnana. The theme of peoples on the move and migrants will be addressed with a exhibition that matches today's photos By Francesco Malavolta, images of early 20th century Italian emigration from the Paolo Cresci Foundation. and historical covers of Domenica del Corriere.


November 30 - Rome Senate of the Republic to

Presentation of the docufilm "Revelstoke, a kiss in the wind." by Nicola Moruzzi as part of the review of events: MIGRATIONS: FROM MARCINELLE TO LAMPEDUSA "UNDERSTANDING OUR HISTORY TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE"

The film recounts the director's journey to Canada in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Angelo, who emigrated in 1913 and died in a work accident during the construction of the longest tunnel in North America.

Thanks to the discovery of letters written to his wife, documents found in Canada, and archival footage, Angelo's odyssey comes back to light, reminding us once again of the courage of migrants who left our country.

Introducing the film: Renato Turano senator; Alessandro Bianchini, president Paolo Cresci Foundation; Nicola Moruzzi director



December 15 - Rome private collector Prof. Amtonio Molfese

Donation of memorabilia related to transoceanic emigration. The case of the emigrant's personal effects..

Prof. Antonio Molfese, a former ship's doctor on ocean liners and president of an association for historical studies in Lucania, has over time collected memorabilia related to Italian transoceanic emigration. After exhibiting a selection of the material in his possession at the recently concluded exhibition on Italian emigration held at the Vittoriale in Rome, he decided to make a donation to the Cresci Foundation of an heirloom of particular symbolic value and very rare to find: the wooden briefcase, accompanied by its contents,in which the emigrant -a task entrusted especially to women- jealously kept his travel ticket, passport, money, and the most precious personal effects ( letters, photographs, prayer book, etc.). 

The Foundation, despite the wealth of material in its possession, did not possess an heirloom like this one that will soon be on public display as part of the museum tour.


December 20 - Lucca Palace of the Province

Study day on museums in the province in relation to the regional project Integrated Culture Plan 2016

The Paolo Cresci Foundation, as the owner of the Paolo Cresci Museum for the History of Italian Emigration, which has been declared a museum of regional interest, has for years fulfilled the function of lead partner in the Integrated Plan of Culture 2016 project promoted and financed by the Region of Tuscany for the coordination of interventions to bring museums in the province of Lucca that have joined the project up to regional standards and comply with them.

The project that started in April 2016 ends on December 31. The meeting organized by the Foundation, in collaboration with the Province of Lucca was an opportunity to reflect on the work done, critical issues and also to draw the programmatic lines in anticipation of the next regional PIC project scheduled for March 2017