ItalianSide stories: travel to the roots (part 2)

ItalianSide stories: travel to the roots (part 1)
February 8, 2013
ItalianSide stories: travel to the roots (part 3)
February 12, 2013

by Virgina M.

Initially we were going to make our way to Sorrento and use the Circumvesuviana train to reach Terzigno and San Giuseppe Vesuviano, but once in Rome we decided hiring a car would be a better option.
Seemed like a great idea at the time, and it was, but if you are a skittish driver or non assertive, then don’t do it to yourself.
Now we know why Italy is famous for its racing drivers, cars and bikes.
They cut their teeth in a country where almost anything goes.
But they are courteous, they know how to merge, they don’t sit in the fast lane, there are no trucks to be found in the fast lane and they have bucketloads of patience.
Under the TerzignoSign1

Although I will say indicators are not required. Not sure why they are in the car. But all great fun and we had lots of laughs although sometimes the laughs were bordering on nervous hysteria.

We opted for apartment style accommodation where we could. This was a great choice giving us the opportunity to shop in the supermercato. The selection of fruit, deli meats, cheeses, fresh bread, olives, and Italian wines had us eating like the locals. The variety, freshness and colour of the food were mind boggling. Add to that the cost and we soon realised how much we are ripped off here in Australia.

Sorrento was our home base for a week. From here we drove to San Giuseppe and Terzigno. We visited the Comune di Terzigno and with the birth certificates in hand we managed to obtain further details about the Miranda and Boccia family. We now have a contact name and email address for the Comune and will be requesting further information from them.
In San Giuseppe we visited the family house, still standing after nearly 90 years and took photos of my husband and his sister out front. For both of them it was an emotional journey, walking through the square their father had played in, seeing the house where he had lived.

Unfortunately we didn’t have letters of introduction for San Giuseppe as we thought the birth certificates and information we had would have sufficed. It didn’t, so if you are going, make sure you have letters explaining who you are and what you are looking for in the language of the country you are visiting; unless you are fortunate enough to speak the language.

We had taken Italian lessons in the months leading up to the trip and it did help to some extent, but we would have been more successful if we had had letters of introduction.

If you are travelling to Naples or its surrounds, then a visit to Mount Vesuvius is a must. Climb to the top, it is absolutely worth the struggle, mentally, physically and visually.
Take note, there are no bathrooms on the mountain. After a wonderful week enjoying the la passeggiata of Sorrento and stomping around the home grounds of our Italian family, we flew to Catania Sicily…third and last part