When we receive a request to start heritage and genealogy research in Abruzzo it is always a pleasure. There is much excitement as to what will be uncovered – dates of birth, death or marriage.
I am so happy to share with you the article in last week’s Lismore Northern Star paper, about my father’s (Sabatino Masci) emotional journey back to where it started for him in Australia in 1952.
All guests who travel with Luciana Masci and her team have had memorable experiences and are willing to share it with others. Her passion for Abruzzo is evident as well as her attention to detail and truly personalised service. Touring abruzzo italy tours trip advisor.
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You will find my small group tours to ABRUZZO – are going strong and still very popular, after 12 years.
TOURING ABRUZZO is proud to work with a great team of professionals who make my work a pleasure.
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After extensive research with wonderful guides and learned archeologists, Luciana can now offer fabulous new destinations in Southern Italy:
Other regions of Italy also saw huge numbers of migrants heading to USA and Canada in those years. The regions were from Fruili Venezia Giulia in the north of Italy to Sicily and Calabria in Italy’s south. This migration has been referred to as the Italian Diaspora.
Migration then had another peak in the post second world war period especially in the 1950’s. Here many of the Abruzzese travelled to Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and of course Australia.
My father Sabatino and my mother Rosa were one of these migrants with a sponsored passage to Australia. This was in 1952 for my father and in 1956 for my mother.
This is particularly satisfying when my guests share this real emotional connection to their past and to their long lost family and creates memories to last a lifetime.
Here are some of the many villages I have had requests to research and reconnect:
Where is your family from?
Civitella del Tronto
Civitella Messer Raimondo
Fara San Martino
Roseto degli Abruzzi
Sant’Eufemia a Maiella
So many migrants left on foot to the nearest railway station or if they were lucky there may have been a wealthy villager or landowner with a car to take them to Chieti for example.The most amazing and thrilling coincidence was that Angela’s father Valentino Di Sciascio and my father Sabatino Masci were actually onboard the same boat from Naples! The S.S FLORENTIA arrived safely in Melbourne on April 24, 1952 after 6 long weeks at sea and 1500 tired and anxious young men aboard. This amazing synchronicity and circle of friendship has found its way to Angela and myself to complete the story of 2 Italian/Abruzzese migrants… What I must find out though is if my father ever met Valentino, who he played the piano accordion on the ship.
Angela and I paid tribute to several migrant statues in bronze that have been created in Abruzzo to honour the sacrifice and hardships the migrants made to leave their homeland and in search of another destiny. We visited these 4 in the Chieti province:
VASTO – it is a modern piece with a family encircled in a globe of the world.
ALTINO – this statue is of a sole migrant saying farewell to Abruzzo and facing the Adriatic coastline salutes it and ponders when it will see it next…
FARA SAN MARTINO – this statue is emotional as a father farewells his child and salutes the Maiella – also wondering in sadness when he may return or see the mother mountain again…
CASOLI – this statue is a large piece and very modern, donated by a Perth migrant Mr Fini to the town of Casoli. It depicts the Abruzzese migrants going to all parts of the globe – to Australia, the Americas and to Northern Europe. Here we are picking up’ a suitcase in Casoli.
Here is an extract from my father’s memoirs “A DIFFICULT HARVEST” (by Sabatino Masci) which describes this day and his experience on board the FLORENTIA…
page 152 …” After our documents had been checked, some sailors led us along corridors and down flights of stairs to our numbered beds. Mine was one of a triple deck. The beds were all lined up in a very large and high cargo hold. There were 3 cargo holds set up this way, each to accommodate 500 young single men (aged between 17 and 20 years)..
…The sailors started to remove the big mooring ropes that held the ship and I began to feel a deep pain as if something was breaking inside of me. …of leaving Italy and all I knew – hit me like a knife tearing me apart and tears started to roll down my face..“
page 154…‘Making the situation worse for the more sensitive ones was the song, “Arrivederci Roma”, playing through the loud speakers all over the ship. …and tears rolled down our cheeks..”
For interest in purchasing my father’s book “A DIFFICULT HARVEST” by SABATINO MASCI please contact Sabatino:
+61 7 3395 3929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interest in purchasing a copy of Angela Di Sciascio’s book ” FINDING VALAENTINO” please contact Angela email@example.com