While we were in Canicatti, we visited two very special places.
Enza’s son, Salvio, drove to the oldest part of town – the “quartiere antico.” We parked and had to search a few streets . . .
And we finally found it – the remains of the home where Frank’s mother lived as a girl – the home of his grandparents, whom he never got to meet.
There is not much there now – just the walls, floor, and front steps. But we could just picture the family sitting down to their own Pasqua or Antoinetta skipping down these streets.
We have been here before but there was too much debris to really see inside the house. The debris has been removed, so we could finally could spy . . . the window! (If you look closely, you can see through the trees.)
The story goes that Frank’s father first saw his mother sitting in the window when she was just 16 and asked for her father for her hand in marriage. Frank’s father went on to America and (we think), the two got married by proxy, which was common at the time for immigrants who were apart. He then sent for his new bride, and she sailed to Ellis Island when she was 18. All from sitting in this window.
It was very moving. We said a prayer and reached in and took 3 stones from the crumbling walls – for each grandchild. A link from Frank’s grandparents to his granddaughters. We think Antoinetta would be proud.
Then a neighbor popped her head out. Salvio explained what we were doing. We think this woman’s family had lived on this street for many years, so she knew of the Buccheri Family. She pointed us to the house around the corner – so off we went.
The orange house at the top of the stairs has been fixed up and was the home of Frank’s great-grandparents! Antoinetta’s nonna and nonno. Wow!
What a very meaningful day.