Victoria Cristiani Rossi has just released a memoir Spangles, Elephants, Violets And Me. It takes us behind the scenes of the traveling circus, a staple of the first half of the 20th century. The Cristiani family are one of the best known multi generational circus families, their skills on horseback were legendary, and over the years performed for kings and leaders.
They relocated to the US in the 1930′s and continued to enjoy great success and had celebrity status wherever they went.
The world though was a changing place, and by the 1960′s the writing was on the wall, attitudes were changing, as were the economics of running a huge traveling show.
Victoria was born in 1940 and although she herself was not a part of the daring horseback act she was a performer in her own right, she appeared in the Elephant act.
The Cristiani family certainly had personalities, likely fueled by their Italian heritage. Spangles is a fascinating look into a world that few people have ever experienced.
I had the opportunity to sit down one on one with Victoria and ask her about her life, and the rich history of the Cristiani family. You can listen to the entire interview here.