The town of my beginnings.


Check-out time from our hotel in Rome. Hmmm, where to go from here. Let's take a look at the map and see how far San Fele is, the place my grandparents came from to America, the birthplace of my family. I never actually thought I would be visiting the town of my ancestors where it all began. We set the GPS in our vehicle and set off for San Fele in the commune of Potenza which was about 2 1/2 hours southeast of Rome. So many small towns to go through, such winding roads throughout the trip and then finally we began to see signs with the town name on it. I heard stories from my father of homes having dirt floors, steep walkways throughout the town and a very old church as well. Driving through tiny streets we ended up in an area which had a restaurant and many small homes scattered with businesses inside them. I asked a local if he knew anyone with my last name which led him to take us to a home which actually was 20 steps away from where we were. I rang the door bell only to have someone from the restaurant come out and tell me it was their home and their restaurant. We started to speak and then found out we were indeed related. He was the owner of Ristorante "Tipicamente" and also the local dentist. This Michelin starred restaurant served us the best food we had in all of our Italy travels as the chef came out and offered to make us what he felt we should eat which we happily agreed to. We could not have chosen a place to have a better meal at; we will definitely be going back when we return. I originally wanted to go to the town hall to look up records but had arrived after closing. We were leaving that same day and therefore could not get what I wanted. I need to see those family birth records as well as apply for an Italian passport which is a right you have if your parents or grandparents were born in Italy. This gives me just another reason to come back to my roots and stay a little longer, finding out all there is about this small mountainside town. The point I am conveying here is: no matter what, try to make that trip, find your roots, go where it all began.

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