Bill de Blasio: A Trip Back to His Italian Roots
On July 18th New York City’s first family will say “Arrivederci, Big Apple” as they head to Italy for a family vacation. Bill de Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray and their two teenage children, Chiara and Dante, will spend ten days visiting Rome, Venice and Naples, as well as Grassano and Sant’Agata, the ancestral villages of de Blasio’s maternal grandparents.
De Blasio had promised to visit his grandparents’ towns during his election campaign.
“On election night, we watched in awe as the town of Sant’Agata live-streamed Bill’s victory in a small movie theater. We saw Italians—people who had never even met us—erupt in cheers when Bill won the final vote,” his wife Chirlane wrote on her blog.
“Returning to Italy this summer will be a homecoming for our family.
In 1903, Mayor de Blasio’s grandmother, Anna Briganti, immigrated to the United States from Grassano in Basilicata with her brothers and later married Giovanni de Blasio, who had been born in Sant’Agata de’Goti in Campagna. Their daughter, Dorothy, is Bill de Blasio’s mother. Bill de Blasio was estranged at an early age from his father, Warren Wilhelm, and strongly identified with his mother and her Italian heritage, even taking her maiden name.