i-ItalyNY - 5thBirthday Special Issue. The Best of i-Itay - page 26

26 |
i-Italy Magazine
| Special Issue | Winter 2017-2018
Ottorino Cappelli
Your grandparents came to the US from
Ionica, near Reggio Calabria; and Palazzo San
Gervasio, not far from Potenza in Basilicata.
Have you ever visited your ancestral towns?
Not until I was an adult. My parents didn’t have
a lot of money and didn’t do a lot of traveling;
our vacations meant going to the beach in New
Jersey. That’s about it. But my sister and I have
since gone, and I found it to be a very moving
experience. My sister first went to the townwhere
my father’s family came from. At the time we
had some very elderly cousins still living in the
area, so they took her to this house that was still
standing out in the country. The house was made
of stones. I think it was maybe two rooms. Beau-
tiful setting. Olive trees. But very dry, very rocky.
Then I went backwithmy whole family to the two
towns, and it was very moving to me. We went
to the parish church in Roccella Ionica, and the
pastor was very nice to us. He took out the books
of the registries of birth where we found my fa-
ther’s birth record and my grandparents’ and my
Palazzo San Gervasio, my mother’s town, made
a striking impression onme. It was very beautiful;
you could look down and see the ocean. It’s up on a
hill. It rises up out of the Mediterranean. Again, it
was very steep and very dry and rocky. I don’t know
howthey evermade it. …It’s aplacewhereno tour-
ist ever goes, so while we were walking around ev-
eryonewould look at us, you know, thinking, “Who
are these people walking around?” We attended
mass at a church located on a hill right near the
Nominated to the Supreme Court of
the United States in October 2005,
Justice Samuel Anthony Alito is the
highest-ranking Italian American in
the US institutional establishment. In
this interview lasting almost an hour,
Justice Alito unveiled to us the
multifaceted aspects of his Italian
experience, from his family roots to
his life in college, from his first job
interview to visits to his ancestral
towns to his feelings as he walks the
corridors of the Court alone at night.
Shot inWashington, D.C.
The project features a series of in-depth
conversations with prominent leaders of Italian
extraction in Washington, DC. It shows how much
the Italian-American community has achieved, in so
many different halls of power, in the nations’
capital. It also highlights that even the most
accomplished Italian Americans are willing to share
their Italian stories and acknowledge that their
heritage is at the core of who they are.
Featured in the first series:
Samuel Anthony Alito
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the
United States
Patricia de Stacy Harrison
President and chief executive officer of the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Vice Chair
of the NIAF Board of Directors.
Anthony Stephen Fauci
Medical scientist and immunologist. Director of
the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Anita Bevacqua McBride
Executive-in-Residence at the Center for
Congressional and Presidential Studies in the
School of Public Affairs at American University in
Washington, DC.
Luigi Diotaiuti
Award-winning chef-restaurateur. Founder of Al
Tiramisu Restaurant in Washington, DC. Member
of the State Department’s American Chef Corps.
Mario W. Cardullo
Engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. Received the
first patent for a passive, read-write Radio-
frequency identification tag.
Justice Samuel A. Alito.
The Italian Side of the Story
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