Sandra Serafini, President of Laziali nel Mondo in the Capital District

Professore Pasquale Bianchi, of Fontechiari, Frosinone, formed an organization in 1956 to promote the beauty and value of the Italian culture and language. He wanted to give thousands of emigrants from Italy an opportunity to unite and work towards preserving their heritage for generations to come.

This organization was, at first, called l’Unione degli Italiani all’Estero (UNITES). Professore Bianchi wanted to start this organization in Schenectady, New York. Due to jobs available at General Electric, Schenectady was where many Italians from Fontechiari, and its surrounding areas, had settled. In 1968, UNITES was renamed Laziali nel Mondo and it quickly became one of the largest Italian American organizations in the world. Professore Bianchi is the Presidente Generale of 153 worldwide chapters that are recognized by the Italian government.

In the summer of 2003, Professore Bianchi commenced work on the creation of a new chapter that would be comprised of Schenectady, Albany, Saratoga and Troy with the eventual goal of forming a gemellaggio between the Capital District area and the Lazio region of Italy. He contacted Sandra Serafini, Dante Bianchi and Viviana Bianchi and encouraged them to begin this chapter. The three worked diligently, along with the help of Delio and Celestina Mesercola who served as one of their liaisons in Italy. After several meetings, a board of members was formed and Sandra Serafini was unanimously elected as President. On September 21st, 2003, the chapter became officially known as Laziali nel Mondo of the Capital District of New York.

Today, our chapter is growing steadily in membership and each event held has been a total success, thanks to the hard work and support of all of its members and friends. We are excited about the future of the organization as we move towards the gemellaggio and many more cultural events that showcase the magnificence and wonder of the Italian language and culture.