The Italian Almanac

a model of the new statue

Italian News - November 6

Joseph Paglione left his mountain hometown in Italy at 15 for the big city of Rome, carrying boyish dreams as well as a suitcase. There he learned a trade and became a tailor of fine clothing. But greater opportunity called to him and Paglione set out for America. Now Paglione, of Burlington Township, and other Italian-Americans with a connection to Capracotta are initiating a fundraising drive to finance a statue there honoring thousands who left in pursuit of the American dream.

"The statue will honor all the courageous Capracottesi who left the town and immigrated here or anywhere in the world," said Paglione, 65, who operates a fine men's clothing business in Burlington Township. Paglione met with the mayor of Capracotta in September to talk about the statue. Many of the town's immigrants came through Ellis Island. They settled in Burlington City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Bristol, Pa., Baltimore and Youngstown, Ohio. Others went to Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, Australia and elsewhere around the globe.

The proposed bronze statue with fountain, designed by Italian sculptor Antonio Campli, will depict an immigrant family -- a father with a suitcase and a mother coddling her baby and a child carrying a zampogna, an Italian bagpipe. They will stand on a marble map of the Molise region, where Capracotta is located. Paglione said the nonprofit Capracottesi Nel Mondo Committee goal is to raise $75,000 to build and erect the statue in Capracotta.

Paglione said the committee hopes to complete the project next year and hold a dedication open to all Capracottesi.