From Pittsburgh to Isola delle Femmine to discover own origins

From Pittsburgh to Isola delle Femmine to discover own origins

It’s been over a century since his family left the native village of Isola delle Femmine and now, Vincent Ferrante, the last descendant of that branch of the family Ferrante, has decided to go back to where this story began. A story that is the story of tens of citizens of Isola delle Femmine who had to leave what was still just a small fishing village to pursue the American dream.

Vincenzo Ferrante

Vincenzo Ferrante

The great-grandfather, Vincent Ferrante, left Isola delle Femmine in 1899 and the other great-grandfather, Vincenzo Di Maggio, followed him in 1901. They arrived in California and settled in Pittsburgh and Martinez, the birthplace of Joe Di Maggio, living as fishermen into Sacramento River delta. The catch was plentiful, especially salmons. All were fishermen, until the government decided to transform the area into a tourist area and the delta was closed to fishing. For this reason, our emigrants islanders had to reinvent a trade. The pioneers moved to Monterrey, while others, including family Ferrante, undertook new activities. The family Ferrante found work at the «Factory Cannery».

Vincent Ferrante is an electrician who has been working for a big company for 30 years, while his wife Nicole – also of Italian descent – works in a shipping company. They decided to do this trip together to learn about Isola delle Femmine. Vincent was able to rediscover the lost roots, learn about the history of his family, the fishermen, the traditions. With the help of municipal employees he found the birth certificate singed of his great-grandfather and has made an incredible discovery: Vincent Ferrante had a twin brother, and nobody knew about it! “For me it’s like I did jackpot at the slot machine,” said with joy Vincent.

firma

Concerning Isola delle Femmine, Vincent and Nicole were fascinated by her beauty, the food, the friendly people, the citizens which welcome to the children and grandchildren of their immigrants. I asked if they will return: “Of course“, replied Vincent; “We want to move here definitively” said Nicole, who shows me the photos of the statue of the fisherman which is located in Pittsburgh, identical to that which it is found to the center of the «Square Pittsburgh» of Isola delle Femmine.

Vincent and Nicole are come back in California, but certainly we will meet again soon. To them we entrust the greeting of all citizens of Isola delle Femmine to our fellow citizens on the other side of the ocean.

(leggi l’articolo in italiano)

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Eliseo Davì
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Eliseo Davì

Ha conseguito la laurea magistrale in Giurisprudenza con lode presso l'Università degli Studi di Palermo. Ha scritto un romanzo storico, "Societas", edito da BookSprint Edizioni. Scrive sul blog di informazione online "Il giornale di Isola", ha collaborato con "L'ora", con il giornale online "MasterLex", con "IoStudioNews", Tv7 Partinico e Tgs.
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