It is easy to smile in Italy

Sailors might want to tune out now. We have photos of the marina at Capri but not today. Today it is about the people who make me smile and how Italy has touched all of us.

My paternal grandparents were born in the beautiful village town of Giffoni Valle Piana. In the early 20th Century, because there was not enough work in Italy to pay taxes, create a life and have a family. Four million Italians arrived in America from 1880-1920.  My grandparents were two of those immigrants.

D'Angelo's in Gaia
D’Angelo’s in Gaia

They came from a valley above Salerno and the Amalfi Coast. This coastline and coastlines further south are exquisite. Various shades of green on the stone hills speak of olives, grapes, lemons, chestnuts and hazelnuts. In this area, most mozzarella is made from buffalo milk. It is simply OMG delicious.

There was a thread of connection with Giffoni. My Aunt Louise gave me quite a bit of information and old family photos, which made the search for our Italian families possible. I have been pleading with my cousins to join me in returning to Giffoni for several years after my first trip in 1999. After all Giffoni is now famous because it hosts the Giffoni Film Festival. Even Meryl Streep has visited and she wasn’t a cousin. This year we have made headway. We are a party of eleven De Angelo’s, comprised of two generations.  We planned a day, with cousin Sebastiano’s assistance, for our family reunion in Giffoni. Allora, what a day! Here are the photos.

Cugini and Carmine, the paterfamilas in Giffoni.
Cugini and Carmine, the paterfamilas in Giffoni.
De Feo Cousins
De Feo Cousins
The joy of the day was almost overwhelming and the two groups has such a good time.
The joy of the day was almost overwhelming and the two groups had such a good time.
The Marrandino cousins, in my Nonna's neighbourhood, Vassi.
The Marrandino cousins, in my Nonna’s neighbourhood, Vassi.
La Dolca Vita
La Dolca Vita – family, laughter and the expresso on the way

Ci vuole tutta la vita per imparare a Vivere. Seneca

Another trip soon we hope!!!