I wish I had some letters from my dad that he’d written to me but I think I might have found something a little better. I think I have mentioned that in 1998 my dad and his eldest brother went to Italy. They visited many relatives and the town in which my grandparents and uncle were born. They also visited some other tourist sites but mostly spent time with family in Campolieto. Today I was cleaning out a cabinet and found the bag of papers and pamphlets my dad brought back from his trip along with the trip journal. I found among the pamphlets a typed letter dated July 1998. It was from my dad and uncle to their relatives in Italy!
In reading those letters, I was able to get a glimpse of what my dad felt and experienced while in Italy. I also learned that he and my uncle planned to try to return in 2-3 years after that trip but I am sure that after 9/11, things changed. I guess I’ll never really know why they could not return since both have passed on. I still plan to go myself one day. I hope that day is sooner rather than later at this point. The longing I feel to make this trip is so deep, words will not do it justice so I won’t try.
My dad did say in one part of the letters that being in Campolieto was like being home. He made many comparisons to the homes of relatives and his parents’ home while growing up. I am certain the similarities are still there. Dad mentioned that the food and homemade wine tasted the same as his parents did which is amazing since they left in 1923 and 1929 and never were able to return. Sometimes the thought of my grandparents not being able to visit their homeland makes me sad. I know their siblings and parents had to have missed them along with numerous other relatives. I can only hope that I am able to make the familial connections when I finally get to go visit.