We recently had the opportunity to visit my great-grandmother’s hometown in Larino, Italy. Thanks to Mirella, it was the highlight of our Italian vacation. From the beginning, she was extremely helpful answering questions and helping us plan details of our trip. We enjoyed a beautiful drive from Rome, and Mirella suggested two towns to visit on our way (Vasto and Termoli). Her restaurant recommendation in Termoli was superb! We enjoyed walking through both of these beautiful beach towns along the Adriatic coast, which was a part of Italy we wanted to experience. Without her suggestions, we would have missed these Italian gems.
When we met Mirella in Larino, she greeted us warmly with mimosa flowers for World Woman’s Day – a tradition we were not familiar with, but enjoyed learning about. We would have many of these moments throughout the day as Mirella shared many aspects of Italian culture with us and answered all of our questions.
She also served as our translator throughout the day, allowing us to interact and meet with the locals in a way we could have never done on our own.
Prior to our visit, Mirella was able to track down numerous family records and even happened to meet the mayor of Larino who arranged a private tour of Larino and the local museum for us. We were fascinated to match old family photos to locations in the town. The day was filled with so many amazing and emotional moments as we saw the church where my great-great grandparents were married, the home where my great-grandmother was born, and the cemetery where my great-great grandmother was buried. One of my favorite moments was walking in a small shop in town and finding pastas and baked goods that I had learned to make with my grandmother and great-grandmother that I wasn’t able to find anywhere else in Italy. Learning that these traditions had been passed down to me from this small town was a special experience. Mirella also called a local shop owner whose store was closed and got her to open the store for us in order to buy some unique Larino gifts.
Mirella arranged a farmhouse lunch for us at a wonderful place on a lake on the way to Campobasso. We enjoyed fabulous food, wine, and conversation with her before continuing our adventure. None of this experience would have been possible without Mirella. She went above and beyond what we expected to make our trip memorable. I’m looking forward to planning a trip back to Larino with my grandmother, and I can’t wait to tour the town again with Mirella!
Theresa and Josh Watson