During the past two years on my trips home to Italy, I tried to find and visit the village where my grandfather and great grandparents were born. During the three months I lived in Sorrento I did not feel comfortable with the bus system to attempt the trip to the small mountain town of Petina, south of Salerno, Italia.
So before I took off for my most recent adventure I sent email requests to all the language schools in Salerno and Sorrento to find someone who would be willing to translate for me. I did find a car service which had been in business since the 1940's who agreed to drive me to Petina. But this is not about the great visit to Petina I made in October, it is to tell others Italian Americans who may be looking for their family towns, that I have set up a small network of Italians who are available to help you.
In Sorrento, Italy, Peppe Fiorentino was an "angle" to me while I lived in Sorrento. I wanted to try to live as an "Italian" and rented an apartment in a town where I only knew Mr. Firentino. He was always there to help me with any problem or a friendly chat when I walked by his wonderful store, Cumo Lucky Store . http://bit.ly/gEainH The store has been in business since the 1800's and has wonderful items.
Now Peppe will be able to help travelers, Italian Americans and tourists with finding their home villages,
Contact Peppe by email at: email@example.com
My next contact to help you find your Italian roots is Maria Lavergat, in Salerno. Originally from Britain, Maria visited her Italian grandmother every summer and has lived in Italy for almost 25 years.
I met Maria when I sent a request to the Leonardo Accademy, a language school in Salerno, asking if any of the instructors would be willing to translate for me.
I was incredibly surprised to find that Maria was willing to go with me to Petina (see our separate story) and assist me in obtaining my grandfather's birth certificate, a requirement to apply for dual citizenship with Italy. (dual citizenship to be in a future blog)
After helping me with the required paperwork, she and her photograper husband, found out that there might be decendants in the next town. We did find a possible relative! After more than 100 years since the family had left for America, a possible distant relative was living in the next town! (home to Petina blog in the next few weeks)
, Maria has agreed to help other "searchers" find their Italian roots. You can expedite your search by having Maria research Italian data bases that we do not have access to.
Don't take years trying to locate your family village. Speak with Peppe or Maria and begin your search now.
Please contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org