Tuesday, September 9, 2008

San Pietro Avellana

Although my parents met in Pittsburgh, their hometowns are only about 45 minutes away from each other. So, we spent a day in San Pietro Avellana.

Who's still there: my mom's aunt and uncle - Zia Philomena and Zio Gino - along with their 3 sons - Corrado, Amico, and Armando. Corrado is the only one with a family. He is married to Donatella and they have 4 children - Michele, Claudia, Andrea, and Chiara. When we were there in 1981, Michele was only a few months old. There are a few other cousins of the my mom's that are still there as well, including Lena and Laura.

The day that we were there was the Assumption. Being a Holy Day of Obligation, we went to mass at the church in town - Sts. Peter and Paul. Although the town is named after St. Peter, I must explain the significance of another saint - San Amico. There are various pictures of his statues. San Amico performed a miracle in the hill that separates San Pietro Avellana and another town, Ataletta. The story goes like this: San Amico was gathering fire wood with his donkey when a wolf attacked the donkey and killed it. However, San Amico was able to tame the wolf, which then in turn allowed him to haul the wood back to the town. There was another miracle involving a spring of water - but I can't remember that one right now. There is a church built at the sight of this miracle in honor of San Amico, my Mom refers to this church as the "Church in the Woods." Because the people of San Pietro Avellana are so reverent to San Amico, a male in pretty much every family is named Amico. My Mom's one brother (who we refer to as Uncle Mike) is Amico, and as I stated above, her one cousin is also Amico. As you can see, Italians are very religious!

Anyway, Corrado had a picnic for us at his farm. It was a fantastic afternoon. Michele is engaged to a wonderful girl, Imola - she and I hit it off. She speaks English very well, so we chatted all day.

There are many pictures of all the people I mentioned, in addition to a few that I scanned in from 1981. Here is the link:

4 comments:

Becky said...

Is Marina standing up straight in this picture? I don't remember you being that much taller than her?!?

Carla said...

no, i think that she is swatting a little. but i am a few inches taller than her.

pajama mom said...

zia philomena is my new favorite name! do they call her mena? too cool!

Carla said...

no, we just call her zia. but the other philomena's in the family we refer to as "phil."