the Lucchesi nel Mondo


On 11 September 1968, after three years of preparation with representatives of the town's institutions and with those who were interested in various ways in the problem of emigration, the Lucchesi nel Mondo Association was set up in the presence of the highest authorities of the Province (President of the Province of Lucca, Mr. Ildo Barsanti, the Mayor of Lucca, Dr. Giovanni Martinelli, the Mayor of Borgo a Mozzano and Mr. Osvaldo Orsi, and with the support of Dr. Mauro Fazzi, Director of 'Il Messaggero di Lucca' and Dr. Luigi Suffredini, Director of 'Il Giornale della Garfagnana'). As soon as the Articles of Association were approved, the first Board of Directors and the President of the Association, Mr. Pio Del Frate Attorney-at-Law, were elected.

Since the approval of the Articles of Association, there was already the intention to include the President of the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Promotion Agencies (A.P.T) in the Board of Directors.

This decision already showed what the aims of this newly set up association were: to build a bridge between the city and its expatriates abroad, to help exports and trade through these relations, and finally to encourage the return of those who left and of their families in that phenomenon that is now called back to the roots tourism.

In fact, people have always emigrated from the Lucca area, until the great 'exodus', during which the number of expatriates grew; the historian Giorgio Spini says, referring to the people of Lucca: 'they are hard-working people, without putting on airs and graces even when they manage to make their fortune, always demure and not very talkative, tied to their small provincial homeland but traditionally accustomed to travelling the world and being in faraway countries'.

Thus began the first contacts with fellow countrymen abroad through a series of visits to the most important and numerous communities coming from Lucca. Taking care of the homecoming/welcoming of those returning to Lucca to visit their families began, facilitating meetings with the city authorities.

In 1970 the Board of Directors approved the draft regulation for the Awarding of Compatriots who had honoured Lucca and Italy in the world, prepared by the Chamber of Commerce. The following year, while Dr. Valerio Cecchetti had taken over as President, the time had come to cross the borders of the province. From this moment on, a series of changes to the statute began, suggested by fellow countrymen abroad and participants at international conferences organized by the Association.

First and foremost, the presence of local authorities within the Board of Directors was strengthened (currently the President of the Province of Lucca, the Mayor of Lucca, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and four mayors representing the Garfagnana, Mediavalle, Piana di Lucca and Versilia are members by right). The first and most significant one was the constitution, outside the province, both in Italy and abroad, of circles that developed its....... in the territory and in the world, open to the participation not only of the Lucchesi but also of 'sympathisers' and friends of Lucca.

A particular change dates to 1973: the Association was endowed with assets in order to acquire legal status and be recognized as a Non-Profit Organization, a necessary step to complete the purchase of the house that once belonged to the Puccini family in Celle di Pescaglia, now a museum.

. A 'winning' card, however, was the very name of the Association, which synthesized the centuries-old history of Lucca. We considered the name 'Lucchesi nel Mondo' a valid expression also in relation to the events of the Nationes Lucenses, which, in ancient times, had brought together the Lucchesi, the people from Lucca, working in the most important cities and who contributed in no small measure to bringing prestige, wealth and splendor to Lucca.

A bridge therefore that, yesterday and today, connects the territory of Lucca with its fellow countrymen abroad.








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The province of Lucca is dotted with places linked to the figure of the great Composer