My grandfather came to the United States in 1907 from a small Italian town, Bagnoli del Trigno. Even though he died when I was only 7, and I really didn’t know him all that long, I always had a yearning to visit his home town. I had been to Italy 3 times previously but never had the opportunity to get off the beaten path to Bagnoli.
This journey finally became reality for me in September 2014, when I had an opportunity to visit Italy with a couple friends. My plan originally was to just go and stroll thru town. But I had the luck of finding Southern Italy Travel and was introduced to Mirella, who completely made my day in Bagnoli del Trigno so very special.
My friends, Marcia and Kristy, and I arrived in Bagnoli del Trigno on September 1st in the evening and went straight to the Hotel Domus. From the hotel, we had a great view of town but from a distance. I could hardly sleep that night anxiously awaiting morning. Mirella met us at the hotel as expected on Sept 2 and we began our adventure. Previous to our arrival, Mirella had come to Bagnoli del Trigno to do research on my family and learn what she could in preparation. She had lots of surprises for us!!
Mirella had arranged for a local resident and history buff, Emanuele, to show us all around town. He knew the history inside and out but spoke mainly Italian, so Mirella translated perfectly for us. We spent the day wondering around town, talking to town residents, taking in all of the sites, and learning about the history of the town.
Everything about our day with Mirella completely was above and beyond what I had expected. She had arranged for us to meet with the mayor of the town, who pulled out the old old record books to show me the original recordings of my grandfathers birth record as well as his parents marriage record. What a treat that was and so unexpected.
My biggest surprise that day was that Mirella had found a couple of my cousin’s who still lived in Bagnoli. We were able to visit with one, Emilia. This was special for me and I really felt at home in her home. We ended our day with a traditional meal from the only town restaurant.
When Mirella dropped us off at the train station, I hated to leave. I felt content and grateful that I was able to experience what I had that day. Not only was Mirella an expert tour guide and genealogist, she was warm and friendly, and someone we really felt comfortable spending the day with. I will forever be thankful for Mirella, who was the angel that made my visit to the “Pearl of Molise” extra special.