learn more about less

   Finding relatives in Italy will probably require more than one trip. That was true in my case. But in order to stay focused on the process, I recommend that an unsuccessful trip to your ancestral town be followed by another trip there. I have found it more useful to dig deeper in the same place than to start looking somewhere else. 

 

   Italy has so many beautiful and historic tourist attractions that it is easy to be distracted.  On your first trip, you will hear suggestions that you visit other places on your next trip. I am glad to have done so, but I have always reserved time to renew my ties with persons whom I met on a prior visit. By returning to those whom you know, you demonstrate that you are serious about wanting to regain some degree of connection to the places where your ancestors lived, and to your modern relatives.. In Italy it is a compliment to say that someone is a "serious person," "una persona seria."

 

   In my own experience, there were instances when I was told important information only after

a first meeting with someone. Examples of this from my book include the information that my Lanzieri relatives were shoemakers in Scafati, and the conjecture that my grandfather's brothers might have been living in Sarno when my grandmother saw them on her return trip. Persons who are sources of family history seem to share more of it as they get to know you

better.