Accomplished initiatives

Project Development


Italian Emigration Museum online

  • Full publication of No. 30 interviews with young people who emigrated abroad.

The Project entitled "On the Road Again" was made possible by the contribution of the Tuscany Region

  • Publication of insights made by experts



Elsewhere. Journal of history and interculture.

No. 14 published online


Series "The Foundation Notebooks"

Publication of the volume:

D. Benedetti, From Lucca to the Cape of BuonaSperanza - History and events of Italian and Lucchese emigration to South Africa.


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.



Enrichment with new donations.

Review of the filing in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archivistica e Bibliografica della Toscana, by commitment of the Superintendent Dr. Diana Marta Toccafondi, who will provide free of charge the program made by the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa



Cataloging of books that create an original fund by containing often unobtainable publication.

Project carried out in collaboration with the Archival and Bibliographic Superintendence of Tuscany



Open for 36 hours per week.

Realization of QR codes, texts that can be consulted online with a smartphone, made available to the Foundation, also in Spanish, after those already existing in Italian and English


Communication plan

In collaboration with the Press Office of the Province of Lucca, work will be carried out to promote the Foundation's activities through local and national generalist and trade media. This work will be developed through the drafting and sending of dedicated press releases and contact with editorial offices.


Site and Facebook page updates

The sites www.fondazionepaolocresci.it e www.museoemigrazioneitaliana.org Will be constantly updated.

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.


Ongoing projects


On the road again - Youth emigration yesterday and today

The project, already explained in previous councils, aimed 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, published on the 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, that hosts a wide variety of shows. Poli is one of the first in America-and thus in the world-to realize that film 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.


New projects


Villa Regina and the music of Massimo Priviero

Singer-songwriter Massimo Privero unveiled a new album last September that is essentially about "stories of Italians," from yesterday to the present day. It starts with Italian emigration to Argentina, with a piece entitled "Villa Regina."

In anticipation of the album, a blog has been set up as a virtual journey and open for fans to contribute their stories.

The blog was created in collaboration with the Foundation, and a link was made to the www.museoemigrazioneitaliana.org

The album was released in September and presented at a major event in Milan


Accomplished or upcoming projects


January 13- Bagni di Lucca Circolo dei Forestieri

Presentation of the volume "They went 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" by Ave Marchi.


April 6 - Lucca Agora

Presentation of the documentary "New Human Alphabet" as part of the Lucca Film Festival and EuropaCinema.

The film recounts the hardship of migrants once they arrive in Italy and the initiatives of a group of volunteers from an association in Milan to offer them the first tools for integration into their new reality.


April 21 - Capannori Library the Pomegranate

Presentation of the volume "They went 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" by Ave Marchi.


April 30 - June 30 - Palazzo di Vetro Porcari

The Thread of Memories exhibition - Porcari and its emigrants

Documents, images testimonies of Lucchese emigration

The collaboration with the Municipality of Porcari, Fondazione Lazzareschi Lucchesi nel Mondo Association


May - June - Coreglia Antelminelli

Participation in events related to the Enhancement of the figure of Zefirino Poli and initiatives aimed at schools in the municipality to disseminate the history of emigration from the Serchio Valley


July 2017

The Cresci Foundation as a museum of regional significance participated in the Call for Projects issued by the Region of Tuscany, Integrated Culture Plan 2017. The project was developed by the Foundation and includes actions aimed at expanding the range of museum users with special reference to disadvantaged groups. The actions planned and the products made within the project contribute to the implementation of the intervention to expand the exhibition spaces. The project was 10th in the regional ranking and fully financed for the requested amount.


August 2017

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 2017-2018. The project was prepared by the Foundation and the Province of Lucca 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. The project ranked 10th in the regional ranking and was fully financed for the requested amount.


July 2017 February 2018 Paolo Cresci Museum

Accession to the project "Rights on the way to the future: tourism and human rights" which envisages the involvement of Institutes for Tourism ("Sandro Pertini" of Lucca and "Carlo Piaggia" of Viareggio), the "Fratelli Pieroni" Hotelier Institute of Barga and the "Guglielmo Marconi" Hotelier Institute of Viareggio, the Campus Foundation-Tourism Sciences and the Made School in a didactic-operational path that, starting from the recovery of local memory, enhances and promotes local excellence through the creation of tourist packages centered on territorial history and its ethical values. The subjects involved are Associazione Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe ONLUS, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Fondazione Campus - Laurea in scienze del turismo, Province of Lucca, Institute for Tourism of Lampedusa, Associazione Lucchesi nel Mondo, Unione Comuni della Garfagnana, GAL Parco delle Madonie - Sicily, Ucooi, Tuscan Jewish Community, Italian Institute of Resistance

The E.U.'s call for proposals has been approved and funded, and activities directly involving the Foundation are being implemented that include educational tours, workshops, and guided tours for students from high schools in the province of Lucca participating in the project.


May 20 - June 4 - Lucca Palazzo Ducale         


The theme proposed this year for Friend Museum, which draws freely from the theme of ICOM International Museum Day, is "Museums and Controversial Histories." Museums are invited to present, starting from their own collections, testimonies and memories of controversial and unexpressed episodes of the past and present, proposing-through activities of exhibition, interpretation, discussion, and mediation-the reinterpretation of them from several points of view and inviting the public to a critical reflection, free from passions, partisan prejudices or cultural and ideological preconceptions. Icom's proposal is therefore to reflect on the role of museums in society, whether they are indeed places of confrontation that are also open to all categories of users, even those disadvantaged either by intrinsic limitations of fruition or by the difficulty of approach from a cultural point of view-. A special event that the Cresci Foundation joined, as part of the Amico museo 2017 event with the Night of the museums. with the opening of the museum from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the organization of an event aimed at the enjoyment of the museum by disadvantaged groups: guided tours and workshops were organized in sign language, tactile experiences aimed at the blind, etc. based on the discussion of the " controversial topic" as proposed by ICOM identified in the current phenomenon of emigration-immigration readable through the documents, films and testimonies of emigrants who returned home.


June 24-July 5 PESARO Pesaro Film Festival

The Mostra internazionale del Nuovo Cinema di Pesaro (Pesaro Film Festival) is one of Italy's most important film festivals. Conceived and designed in Rome by Lino Miccichè and by Bruno Torri in 1965 is now in its 53rd year.

As part of the 2017 edition in view of the social issues addressed by the films presented within the framework of the festival, at the invitation of the festival's artistic director Luca Zingaretti, the Foundation was invited to present the Exhibition "Peoples on the move " which recounts in pictures the events of emigration yesterday and those of today read in the beautiful and dramatic photographs of Francesco Malavolta, but also in black and white images faded by time, in watercolor drawings of illustrated newspaper covers from the late 19th century. The exhibition set up in Pesaro's town square, the heart of the events, was inaugurated as part of an evening attended by Pesaro Mayor Matteo Ricci, Luca Zingaretti, Valter Veltroni and several film critics.


August 5 - Barga Museum of towers and fortifications

Presentation of the volume "They Were Going to 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" by Ave Marchi.


August 25 - Barga Museum of towers and fortifications

Presentation of the docu-film Arandora Star a forgotten tragedy and exhibition set up


September 5 Fornaci di Barga

"From the Serchio to the Clyde Female emigration from the province of Lucca to Scotland''

Conference discussion on female emigration from the Serchio Valley to Scotland.


September 10 - Lucca Ducal Palace


At 9 p.m., in the Cortile degli Svizzeri of the Ducal Palace in agreement with the Museo del Risorgimento show with music by Astor Piazzolla and tango steps by the Tango Querido Association and presentation of the "Garfagnana's Homage to Astor Piazzolla" exhibition produced by the Foundation on the Garfagnana musician's Garfagnana origins and the events of emigration to Argentina.  



Design of the intervention to expand the exhibition spaces of the Paolo Cresci Museum.

November - Barga Higher Education Institute Fratelli Pieroni

As part of the EUHOFA international conference working in training and improving professional education in the hospitality industry, organized by Campus University and ISI Fratelli Pieroni of Barga, the Exhibition 100 years of Tuscan flavors in the world as part of the cultural initiatives promoted in the 2017 edition entitled "The Emotion of Tuscan Hospitality."

Precisely because the purpose of this edition was to acquaint the more than 200 Euhofa members from different nations with the hospitality, culture, traditions and territory of Tuscany, the exhibition presented a cross-section of our history: emigration, and an original implication of this phenomenon in the field of catering and the dissemination of traditional products that have contributed so much to making us known in the world.


18 November -10 December - Lucca Palazzo Ducale

LUCCA Fotolux participation in the exhibition I - Ʃmigrations. set up inside the Ducal Palace


16 December CIAF Center - Gallicano

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.


December Lucca Ducal Palace

Presentation of the donation of documentary material by explorer Adamo Lucchesi a native of Bagni di Lucca who made many scientific and commercial expeditions to Argentina and Brazil visiting unexplored lands by traveling up the course of the Parana River and some of its tributaries.



Publication of the 2018 Calendar With archival images from the Foundation.

The initiative proposed by a local pharmaceutical company will print 5,000 copies of the 2018 calendar. In view of the fact that the pharmacy's founder emigrated to America in the last century, this year's edition will feature images about emigration from the Serchio Valley. The calendar, which will be distributed as a Christmas strenna and therefore not marketed, will be an effective tool to raise awareness of the Foundation and its activities.



Presentation of the museum layout project


Lucca, 11/28/2017

                                                                                              The director

                                                                                   Arch. Pietro Luigi Biagioni