giovanni dalle fusine


Recently the diary of a World War I Italian soldier in the front line trenches of Italy in WW I was opened for the world to see.  It has been in the safe keeping of his American born daughter who could not understand the Italian writing.  Today, an Italian scholar has translated and published this remarkable insight into the real life of a brave, hard working soldier fighting in hopeless combat.

Settimio Damiani was one of only 6 percent of the Italian population who could actually read and write in the early 20th century.  Even more rare, was owning a pen or pencil in the midst of combat.  Settimio gave up crackers in exchange for a pen to write in his diary.  (Think of it as a meal for a hard working man fed almost starving rations)  The diary delivers the story of the irrepressible spirit of this young man, who returned briefly to Italy from America, knowing he would be drafted.  Settimio was sent to the front lines to repel the German/Austrian attack.  Everyone knew the Italians were outmanned, out gunned and lambs for the slaughter. 

Day after day, he fought to save his comrades or to bury them, weakened, worried, and dedicated to do his duty. In America,  he eventually sent for his wife and 6 year old son Eleuterio (Ted),
and had 3 more children, Cesare (Chester), Gaetano (Guy), and Nicolena (Lena).  His daughter kept the diary of her quiet father.  It is ironical that years after his death, she is hearing his story through the devoted work of an Italian scholar, Alessandro Gualtieri  and her nephew, Tim Damiani, devoted to the family history who eventually contacted the scholar.

Giovanni Dalle Fusine, co-authoring the book with WWI Italian scholar of the Great War, Alessandro Gualtieri,  presented his research to an acclaimed publisher from Brescia, Italy (Nordpress Edizioni): the outcome was an already best-selling 168 page-book. The English version of the book is available worldwide with the title of “An Italian forever”.

The 2009 schedule of presentations of the book includes one official event, hosted and supported by the Municipality and the Italian Authorities of Acquaviva Picena and San Benedetto del Tronto, and a major promotional event in Chicago, IL, USA.


An Italian Forever

by Giovanni Dalle Fusine and Alessandro Gualtieri

Giovanni Dalle Fusine lives and works near Vicenza, Italy. He writes for many Italian newspapers and magazines, including «L’Altopiano», «Il Vicenza», «Le Tre Venezie», and «E-Polys». He also manages many local press offices on the Asiago Plateau and is the co-editor of the website 

Journalist, Historian, Researcher