Tag Archives: family house Italy

via dei Beati… and being almost home

Coming up this street in Fossa always feels like being ‘almost home’ whether returning from nearby L’Aquila or a long flight from Australia. For just around the next corner is my family’s house and while it has centuries of history, to me it also has that comforting feel like coming to stay at your grandparents’ house.

In recent years, this street was renamed via dei Beati for two saints born here, Bernardino in 1420 and Cesidio, 1873. But for me, this is also where Granny Maddalena stood not far from the church door you can see and watched her son, Annibale, then 15, walk away from her as he carried just one port to start his journey to Australia. It changed the course of our family history from then on, but his keeping a part of Fossa in his heart to one day share with us showed me that in a way it was part of us too. (For which, after resisting it a long time, I’m now very grateful!)

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Beyond the earthquake…

Since the earthquake, my family’s house in Italy remains too damaged to stay in. Much of the village remains empty. And now, thieves have broken into the house. They mainly upturned drawers adding to the mess of earthquake damage, since belongings inside are mostly of sentimental value, but of course it is another blow.

For the past week, my cousin has been there cleaning up and an unexpected side to what’s happened is that she’s come across old documents, letters written by our great-grandparents and photographs, including this lovely find!

My mother (on the left) was just twenty-two at the time when she and my Dad were the first to travel back to the house after the family migrated to Australia decades earlier. Pierina (on the right) is the relative who lived in the house and kept it maintained all those years before the family could return. This was taken in Fossa just before Christmas in 1970.

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Filed under art + photographs, italy