Tom And Tina Fellin

How We Discovered and Became Members of the Seattle Trentino Club
(It’s a great story!)

Written by Tina Codiano Fellin

May 2009 found us on our third independent trip to Bella Italia.  Our first stop in our little red FIAT Cinquecento rental car was a quick trip to Puglia to see, for the first time, where my parents were born: George Codiano (Giorgio Codianni) in 1899 and Minnie Tozzi (Filomena Tozzi) in 1906 in Chieuti, a very small town near the Adriatic Sea.  Not much time was spent there (this visit) because we were meeting up in Naples with two other couples, to head off to Tuscany to visit as many vineyards as we could!  And boy, did we!  

One of our stops was in the very small village of Castellina-in-Chianti where we had stayed previously in 2007, our first trip to Italy.  We were at a small hotel, Hotel Palazzo Squarcialupi.  What were the odds we would meet up with a couple from Seattle!  (We had a small home in Seattle at the time, but our main home was on Whidbey Island, WA).  But we did!  We three couples went out to the patio to enjoy a bit of wine and the sweet Tuscan countryside before our dinner reservations.   Lo and behold, this is how the conversation went with another couple enjoying the same such fun:

“Hi. . .would you like to join us?” we asked them. (The couple kept eyeballing us having fun, so yes, they did join us).  Chatting away, we discovered they were from Seattle! Of course, Tom got around to telling our newfound friends from Seattle that his Fellin family originated in a small town in Trentino, in the Val di Non.  “Oh, what is the name of the town?” they asked.  “You probably never heard of it,” Tom replies.  “Revò!”  “Well then,” they reply.  “Surely, since you live in Seattle, you have been to Café Revò?  It’s just under the West Seattle Bridge and it’s just amazing. They serve foods from Northern Italy!” they tell us.  “What?” we both chime in.  “No, we have not been.  We have never heard of it.  We can’t believe it!”  “You must go,” they say.

So, well, of course we must go.  Shortly after we returned from Italy, we made a reservation for dinner and arrived to see a long table filled with what looked like a typical “family dinner,” Italian style.  And surely it was! Joan Barker, Dan Zadra (pouring his wine), and probably others we now know were there, drinking, enjoying amazing food, and having fun, just the typical Italian family way of doing things.  Café Revò was so beautiful.  Everywhere we looked we saw wonderful photos on the walls of places in Revò: Hotel Revò, fields, homes, so many places in that area that we would soon come to know as the home of Fortunato Fellin and Ottilia Fellin, Tom’s great grandparents, both who are in his Fellin line, both born in Revò in the mid-1800s.
Not until May 2010 were we able to finally make our first trip to Val di Non and meet Tom’s relatives in Romeno and Cavareno.  Tom’s grandmother, Maria Tell, was from Romeno, in Val di Non.  This trip was mostly to gain as much information as we could about Fortunato and Ottilia Fellin, for we knew nothing of their story; as happens in many families, these stories were not passed down.  Now, after many trips there, meeting many people in Revò, meeting a family in Tregiovo who kept trunks filled with Fellin photos and documents, we know most of the Fellin story.  We will share that story with you at a later time.  The purpose of this 2010 trip was to gather Fellin birth records at St. Stefano in Revò and learn all we could about Tom’s ancestry.  Our son, Jason, participated in the student exchange program in 2005,  and was able to visit Romeno, Cavareno, and Revò.  Soon after, he learned it might be possible for him and Tom to gain their Italian citizenship through a new law Italy offered at the time.  Eventually, they did!

I digress!

At that first wonderful visit at Café Revò, (one of several more to come), Joan Barker and Dan Zadra encouraged us to become a part of the newly established Seattle Trentino Club. And boy, are we happy to be a part of this wonderful organization and become friends with other members.  Although these past few years have been difficult to meet in person, it was so wonderful to be a part of our Zoom calls organized by Mary Beth, and facilitated by her husband, Rich, and truly get to know each other a bit better via this new technology.   And a few weeks ago, we came together to celebrate ten years of existence at the new Italian Cultural Club in Seattle.  Although we live in Montana (but still have a small place in Seattle), we are so grateful for the times we’ve shared with some wonderful folks from Trentino and to be a part of the Seattle Trentino Club.   Filò, everyone!