Our real adventure begins today! Frank has a huge family in Sicily. Both of his parents emigrated to the United States from Sicily. His father, Angelo, was from Castrofilippo (near Agrigento) and went back and forth to the US a couple of times before (as the story goes) spying a young woman in the window of her house in Canicatti, Sicily – the next village over. He asked for her hand, the match was set, and they were wed, all in the span of a month. She was just 16 years old.
Angelo went back to America to earn enough to send for his bride, Antoinetta. Frank’s mother arrived at Ellis Island a couple of years later. She was 18 years old and meeting a husband she had really only known for a few weeks in a new country.
They settled in Brooklyn and raised their family.
But . . . all of her brothers and sisters stayed in Sicily, so all of Frank’s cousins are here. Lots of them. And most of them are still in Canicatti.
We have been to Canicatti many times and gotten to know them – and Frank’s first cousin, Enza, has come to stay with us in Annapolis (some of you have met her!).
This picture is Enza and Frank in front of what is left of the home of Frank’s grandparents – where his mom, Antoinetta, grew up.
When we planned our trip to Italy, we weren’t sure how much we could visit with COVID, but decided to at least try to see the family and sent word of our plans. Well, Italians being Italians, everything seems to come together, albeit in a chaotic fashion, at the very end.
So we are setting out today for Canicatti to celebrate Pasqua (Easter). By now all the rental cars are taken so we have ordered a taxi, believe it or not. We have asked the taxi to drive us to Canicatti (3 hours away) and pick us up on Monday night. We will be staying with the family.
Who in the world knows what will happen over the next few days – but I am sure it will be filled with joy, boisterous conversation, wine, celebrations, tears, and unexpected adventures.
See you on the other side!
P.S. Anticipating this moment, we picked up souvenirs in Paris. Then picked up wrapping paper and tape (which they just call “Scotch”) in Venice. In Taormina, we picked up beautiful Easter cakes and giant chocolate eggs, which are the tradition here. Even arriving by taxi in the middle of Sicily, you have to have good manners. : )