Locating the grave of our Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano

The only photo that I have seen of Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano
The only photo that I have seen of Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano

I was excited about today. It was the day that my cousin Maria (Bernardo’s Zia) was going to show us where our great-grandfather was buried. Bernardo and I were at the cemetery 4 times & could not locate the grave. We looked above ground at the mausoleums & below ground in the catacombs. But I remembered the grave being above ground. We even went to the office to inquire of the records but there was no information, nada. How was that possible??

I could kick myself, as 17 years ago when cousin Lorenzo brought Laurie & I to the cemetery, we saw the grave. I even took notes of each grave that we visited. I wasn’t bold enough to take photos at that time. I have since learned to do so.

Cimitero Comunale (Via Euclide - 91014Castellammare Del Golfo(TP))
Cimitero Comunale (Via Euclide – 91014Castellammare Del Golfo(TP))

Bernardo picked me up and we drove to cousin Maria’s home. We had café’ normale and then piled into the car & drove to the “Cimitero Comunale” on the other side of town.  Maria reminded us that each week she changed the flowers at her father-in-laws grave.

Once we arrived, Maria moved quickly through the cemetery. She started rolling one of those huge “library” ladders & started to climb up. All we could do was hold her & the ladder. Bernardo fetched the water & I handed Maria the flowers.

Mausoleum wall where our Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano rests
Mausoleum wall where our Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano rests

But, there it was. No wonder I couldn’t see it. For those of you who know me, I am vertically challenged, aka short.

Plus the inscription on the stone is faded. 

Gravemarker for Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano in Cimitero Comunale (Via Euclide - 91014Castellammare Del Golfo(TP))
Gravemarker for Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano in Cimitero Comunale (Via Euclide – 91014Castellammare Del Golfo(TP))

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t thank Maria enough. After paying our respects, I went with Maria to her husband, my cousin, Lorenzo’s mausoleum. We swept out the dust, watered the plants, changed the water in all the vases & added fresh cut flowers. We visited all the other family graves.

The office was closed when we were leaving but when I returned home, I wrote to Signor Maurizio Cassara inquiring into the process and cost to clean and restore my great grandfather’s grave marker.  I have yet to hear from him.

In & Around Castellammare del Golfo

When I arrived at the Café Garibaldi this morning, I was greeted by the owner Vito & sat outside. A little while later, I was joined by a gentleman, Enzo, who is a childhood friend of my cousin Bernardo.

Enzo
Enzo

What a wonderful man. He is a retired IT (Information Technology) professor. When I told him I was a retired mainframe computer programmer & web designer, we both laughed. We had a very enjoyable morning discussing tech. He also asked to see the charts & book I had as people had told him why I was here. I laughed again, as I was brought up in a larger city where everyone did not know your name nor your family.

Cousin Bernardo tracked me down & said “Andiamo”. Today he decided that it was time to go for a drive!! He told everyone we would be gone all day.

So, he drove us to see the Cathedral at Monreale (gorgeous)…..

First view of the Cathedral
First view of the Cathedral
Restoring & cleaning the facade of the Cathedral
Restoring & cleaning the facade of the Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fountain in front of Cathedrale of Monreale
Fountain in front of Cathedral of Monreale

 

Inside Cathedral Monreale
Inside Cathedral Monreale
Another wall in the Cathedral
Another wall in the Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

… then to Palermo to see the Capuchin Catacombs and Theatre Massimo.

Outside of Teatro Massimo
Outside of Teatro Massimo
Foyer of Teatro Massimo
Foyer of Teatro Massimo

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful lunch at Spinnato’s (spinach rice cake, tea & sfogliatelle). The sfogliatelle was so delicious – to die for!!

Another exciting day in Sicily!! 

Later that night I took a walk which led me to Mama Cocha for a delicious late night snack – an outrageous small pizza. And of course, one scoop of gelato from Vernaci.

Gelato at Vernaci
Gelato at Vernaci

Finally!! My Long Awaited Trip – Part 2

Sunday

Breakfast (café normale & a pistachio cornetto) at Café Garibaldi where I met a gal & her Mom. After introductions, I learned that she works with refugees in northern Italy. Her Mom is French, married an Austrian & divorced. They asked why I was here & I showed them my paternal family chart & my book. They were fascinated. The gal said she knows nothing of her father’s family & maybe she should start asking questions. They’re here for 4 days, a long weekend.

Word has gone out that my family is from here & I am researching my roots. So now, folks are stopping by the café as they are interested in seeing my family tree chart & the book.

Bernardo met me on the Corso. He knew I was researching both family trees & tracked down a Vincenzo Vivona, who we met at another café on the other side of town.

Signore Vincenzo Vivona
Signore Vincenzo Vivona

Vincenzo is from another branch of the Vivona’s & gave me his sister’s name & address in Brooklyn, as she may know more info.

Along the drive, we saw lots of motorcycles & heard that there was going to be a blessing of the helmets.

We drove out to cousin Lorenzo’s vineyard. I was very sad to hear that the vineyard was sold as my sister Laurie & I had many happy times there. 

The Vineyard in 1999
The Vineyard in 1999

Bernardo said cousin Maria was waiting at his house, so he drove us there, saw Maria & Vincenza. Maria reminded me that I was invited to dinner today.  She’s such a lovley lady. She said we will go to the cemetery during the week to show us where our great-grandfather is buried.

We left with Maria & drove to both marinas – Alcamo & CdelG. The CdelG marina was packed with cars & you couldn’t get through – unreal – La passeggiata Domenica. So we walked.

Harbour
Marina

Dinner at Maria’s – OMG – what a feast – homemade pasta, salad, grilled meat, potatoes & zucchini, plus many dolce.  I kept closing my eyes while eating & Maria thought I needed to sleep. I told her that I was in heaven & savoring each bite. Nothing like homemade spaghetti!!!   What a day!!!!!  

Maria's homemade spaghetti
Maria’s homemade spaghetti
More dolce - Berries
More dolce – Berries
Maria cooking dinner
Maria cooking dinner

I decided to walk back to the B&B so I could begin to digest that wonderful meal.