Sanford man's fig tree brings back memories of childhood in Italy

Nov 06, 2017 523


Louis Vescio, 77, has fond memories of growing up in southern Italy with his parents and younger brother. The Sanford resident, who moved to the United States with his family in 1955 at the age of 15, remembers climbing fig trees and running through long rows of grapes in the vineyards. Their small hometown of Conflenti is located in Calabria, the southernmost region in the Italian peninsula. Beyond Calabria is the island of Sicily.

One of the types of trees in Conflenti were fig trees, and the Vescio brothers enjoyed snacking on the fresh figs they picked from the branches above their heads. “We used to go up there, sit, grab the branches and eat them. But those days are gone,” he said. About five years ago, he was shopping at Lowe’s when he noticed the store was selling fig trees. Although the trees are native to temperate climates and typically don’t survive cold winters, Louis decided to take one home anyway. When he purchased the tree, it stood between two and three feet tall. Now the tree towers high above his head.

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