Lida Allegrini dies; she helped build bridges between U.S. and her native Italy

May 19, 2019 443

BY: Maureen O'Donnell

As a girl growing up in Tuscany, Lida Allegrini harvested wild berries and dipped her net into a stream to catch minnows to fry for dinner. She washed her clothes in the river near her hometown of Colognora di Compito. She was 7 when she first met her father. He was in Chicago, where he’d immigrated ahead of her and her mother and started a wholesale banana business at the South Water Market.

She grew into a stylish young woman who became the May Queen at Harrison High School. Her clerical skills, outgoing personality and command of English and la bella lingua made her a valuable asset when she worked for the Italian consulate in Chicago in the years Italy was being rebuilt after World War II. 

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