NEWS » Doctor Who, Status Quo, Lady Gaga and Picinisco linked?

Doctor Who, Status Quo, Lady Gaga and Picinisco linked?

Picinisco, a village in Lazio, is celebrating its 1000 year this year. Some Backhill readers will be descendants of families who first emigrated to the Uk in the late eighteen hundreds.

What do a small village in the mountains of Central Italy, King Canute , Edinburgh in Scotland ,Winsor Ontario and Doctor Who have in in common ? King Canute came to the English throne in May 1017. He was the English monarch who famously tried to order the tide to retreat and almost drown himself because of his obstinacy This date is shared by the village of Picinisco which also celebrates its millennium this year.

The majority of Scots of Italian descent and in particular those in Edinburgh are the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the people who once lived in this beautiful village hidden away in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise in central Italy. Winsor Ontario is similarly populated by people from Picinisco together with its surrounding hamlets.

To celebrate both its millennium and the enduring bond between the sons and daughters of this village a group of prominent Scottish Italians have come together to set up a charitable foundation called Picinisco 1000. The Trustees’ immediate objective is to raise £100,000 to be spent on heritage projects in this unspoilt medieval village which will include restoring the frescos in the main Church following earthquake damage together with short term restoration projects within the village’s historic city walls. As part of these celebrations they also hope to create a public memorial to give public recognition of the warmth of the welcome their forefathers were given in Scotland and other far flung country’s and to explore whether a duplicate memorial could be erected in Windsor.

 As part of this initiative the trustees are in close contact with the Ciociaro club in Windsor to invite its members to l partake in the celebrations as well as take the opportunity to visit the Picinsico area again. In connection with the project the Cociaro club has generously offered to organise and host a fund raising Gala dinner in December which members from the Foundation will attend. The final answer to the question is that the current Doctor Who , Peter Capaldi is also descendant of grandparents from Picinisco .

Picinisco is to be found in Val di Comino in the Lazio Region of Italy in the mountains above Montecassino,, 1.5 hours from both Rome and Naples. • The Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise is described by Lonely Planet as 1 of the 5  Best in Europe

 “Picinisco 1000” is a legally constituted Scottish charity regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. with the name Picinisco, Val di Comino Millennium Foundation • The links are recognised in one of the panels of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry depicting Ice Cream • Current projects promoted by the Foundation include a stain glass window, renovating the local Tennis Courts, signposting a pilgrimage walk, and the publication of 2 books – on the history of the town – one describing the journey on foot of a well known café owner to Edinburgh.

 Picinisco shares many characteristics with rural Scotland. It is located in the mountains, one of its main farming activities is sheep and especially cheese (including the famous Pecorino di Picinisco DOP. The ancient traditional musical instrument is the zampogna which are basically bagpipes by a different name. Thistles are to be found there. A typical afternoon drink (brewed in “La Keetella”) is tea – with both the habit and the name being brought back from Scotland. • Famous Britons whose families are from the town and the valley include Sir Richard Demarco, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Lord Charles Forte, Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia ,Mary Contini, and,Peter Capaldi (the actor who plays Doctor Who). Other famous personalities from the area include Mario Lanza, Lady Gaga and Francis Rossi of Status Quo 

Any readers wishing to find out more or get involved are asked to contact the TRustees via the Foundation Website www.picinisco1000.org.

Michael Capocci

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