Dreaming of Italy

Feb 01, 2017 973

Many of us dream of Italy. Kathy McCabe transformed her Italian dreams into an award-winning newsletter and a PBS travel series. Blonde-haired McCabe doesn’t look Italian—nor does her name sound Italian. But the first time she visited her great-grandfather’s village in Campania, McCabe felt that she had come home. “When I was growing up in New Jersey, I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents—both children of Italian immigrants. They had a great love for family, food and Italy, and when I went to Italy, I felt that I was with them again.”

Her grandfather’s longtime dream was to visit the small town his father had left in the late 1800s. In 1995 McCabe and her mother fulfilled his wish by traveling to Castelvetere, a town of about 1,000 people an hour from Naples. “We were the only blondes and the only American women at our hotel,” McCabe recalls. Armed with a list of residents with the same last name as her grandfather's parents—Nargi—they knocked on doors until they found two cousins. Manfredo and Livio Nargi invited them into their homes, showed them the local churches and cemetery and took them to the town hall, where they found her great-grandfather’s birth certificate. “It was like a scene from Brigadoon. The town seemed to come magically to life for one special day.” 

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SOURCE: http://becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com

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