getting help

    Some of the prior posts on this blog have advice for identifying your ancestral home town, and searching for relatives there. If your language skills will allow it, you can call the phone numbers found on line, in the hope of finding a connection to your search information. But a foreign language can be even more challenging over the phone. Fortunately, there are other options.


    If you can travel to your town, pick a hotel with a web site that explicitly says that the staff speaks English. When you call to make reservations, ask the cost of hiring a local driver who speaks English.  Chances are good that the hotel, the recommended driver, and the persons whom you want to meet will all be from the same town.


    I recommend calling the driver prior to your trip. Let him or her know that you need a person who can interpret as well drive. Ask the cost of the driver's services for an afternoon of driving around town. And invite the driver to lunch or dinner as your guest at your hotel on your first day in town.  Most of the people whom I have met in Italy , especially those in a business connected to tourism, know how to return even a small favor. 


    These simple steps can put you together with a local driver who speaks English and wants to help you find relatives. If your ancestors came from a city instead of a town, you can use the same ideas, but on a larger scale. Many people in Italy know that they had ancestors who emigrated to the United States over one hundred years ago. Some of those people probably share your curiosity about stories of family history.