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.
While in Caltabellotta, Sicily, we hiked up to the highest peak. The view was tremendous, from La Chiesa della Madrice to the ocean and everywhere in between.
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.
In 1968 a 6.1 earthquake rattled the Belice valley in Sicily, completely destroying Santa Margherita di Belice – where my grandfather was born. Over 400 people died. Every Italian American family has an earthquake story to tell – it shapes our lives and our future. The photo is of myself and my cousin Fabio Bavetta in the old part of Santa Margherita di Belice (devastation left in place, after the earthquake) when I visited in 2013. Please help those in Amatrice and the surrounding area recover by donating and helping with whatever you can do. Here’s one way to help – donate to the Italian American Relief fund
Check out this little video I made about my love affair with Italy. It’s cute and short 🙂