I previously talked about Cunevo’s early history and provided a listing of emigrants who left the village for the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Although this site is not suitable for an extensive history of the village, little tidbits and factoids may be of interest. For example —
- In September 1796, Napolean Bonaparte and his French army began an occupation of Trentino, putting an end to the 800-year rule of the prince-bishops. The Austrian military ordered the formation of companies of volunteers for the purpose of defending Trentino. The “Conta” (Flavon, Terres, and Cunevo) were asked to form a 34 man company. However, even with the offer of compensation, no one volunteered.
- Schools — Before formal schools were established, only the noble and well-to-do families were able to provide their children with instruction. In 1774, during the reign of Maria Teresa of Austria, schooling was required for children aged 6 to 12. A school began to function on a regular basis in Cunevo about 1786, with don Giuseppe Antonio IOB serving as the first priest-teacher. The original school was located on church premises, and later in private homes or village offices. In 1869, schooling was required until the age of 14. Classwork included two hours a week for catechism, and at least one hour a week for religious history. Circa 1885, boys and girls were segregated in the classrooms. The boys’ classes were not well attended, since during the winter months many of the boys travelled as helpers to the “spazzacamini” (chimney sweeps), and did not return until the spring.
- L’an de la fam — or the year of the famine, is often mentioned in tales of Cunevo. The year 1816 was an exceptionally cold, rainy year, and did not allow full maturing of the crops. Combined with a long winter and prolonged presence of snow on the ground, it was a year of hardship and hunger.
- The cholera epidemic that struck Trentino spread to Cunevo, with the first death there occurring on 9 October 1855. A total of thirty victims were buried outside the town limits, in an area known as “Casazze“.
- In mid-1914, the Austrian government issued a general mobilization order, requiring all able-bodied men between the ages of 21 and 42 to report for military duty. The following spring, the order was extended to men aged 18-20. Leaving their families, many of the conscriptees were sent to Serbia and Russia. Not all returned. Cunevo lost 8 of its residents as a result of the war’s activities, including two sets of brothers.
- S. Lorenzo Church — The church grounds contains one of the first cemeteries located within the town limits. The cemetery was expanded in 1824 through land acquired from Barolomeo Iob. Although still in existence, the cemetery is no longer active. The church contains frescoes dating to the late 15th century, and a tomb with the name “… Gaspar Job …” and the date 1574. Abandoned for decades, the structure was used as a warehouse, and served as a field kitchen during World War I. It was restored and repaired in 1924, and again during 1993-94. During the last restoration, a foundation for an ancient altar was discovered.
- Historically, the church at Cunevo was under the jurisdiction of the “mother” church at the nearby village of Flavon. Although in 1537 it was declared suitable, most religious activities, including Sunday masses, were still conducted in Flavon. In Feb 1647, Antonio de IOB provided a “benefit” for use in providing three weekly masses at S. Lorenzo. This benefit, followed by a series of letters in 1708 between Cunevo and don Riccardo IOB, a priest at Flavon, led to an agreement allowing Sunday masses to be celebrated at S. Lorenzo. Cunevo officials cited the problems their elderly, women, and children were having getting to Flavon during bad weather and through snow-clogged dirt roads.
- S. Redentore — In the mid-19th century, the villagers realized that S. Lorenzo was insufficient to serve the needs of the growing village, and thus began to plan for a new church. Construction started in 1858, and the church was completed in 1861, with a formal dedication in 1876. The church and town square sits on land formerly owned by Pietro IOB-perotel.
Related posts: The Iob (Job, Yob) families of Trentino