My Sicilian Family

The Bavetta Family

My Italian American moment: On February 23, 1915, after a 15 day journey aboard the SS. Guglielmo from Palermo, Sicilia to New York City, my great grandfather Andrea Bavetta and his family arrived in the United States. Andrea was born in Sicily in October 1861 – not long after the unification of Italy.

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Little Italy in San Francisco

Grant Street, San Fransicso
Christmas Lights on Grant Street, Little Italy in San Francisco

I was born in San Francisco.  When I take one of those silly quizzes that ask you all sorts of odd questions about what you like to do, they always ends up telling me I should move back.  Maybe. Maybe some day. Read more

A Master’s Tools

Decades of tools, handed down from generation to generation outlined on the worktable  of master wood carver Filippo Romagnoli located in Chiantishire near Firenze.  His grandfather’s original frame work hangs in the Louvre.  Over the decades they fashioned furniture, candelabras, chandeliers, etc. to adorn some of the most famous Florentine homes. I visited his workshop in June 2016 and was able to see where the master works,  and learn about the history. His work continues along with corzetti pasta stamps, rolling pins and much more. These are are available to you via his Etsy shop.  His Facebook page has great videos and photos of his work.

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It’s a Caravaggio!

Do visit the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi while in Rome.  Take your time and marvel at the three Caravaggio paintings – including the The Calling of St Matthew , The Inspiration of Saint Matthew and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew.  I found them by happenstance, as I did the church. I ducked in while waiting for a walking tour to start and the Caravaggio paintings cascaded into my lap reminding me that this is the BEST part of visiting Italy – finding out what you don’t know and then starting to understand how the pieces fit together. Magic.

What have you found lately?

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Get Me to the Church On Time.

Why did the wedding cake cross the road?  Deep in Chianti in the town of Panzano, we had lunch at Solociccia a restaurant of Dario Cecchini – the Butcher of Tuscany.  He has several restaurants near his famous butcher shop – Anticia Macelleria Cecchini. and the day we visited they were just bursting to the seams with wedding guests.  I looked out the window from our table and noticed that traffic had stopped – so the cake could cross the road, TO GET TO THE RECEPTION ON TIME. Voila!