I hired Southern Italy Travel to trace our roots and provide a guided tour in Venafro and Monteroduni as part of a trip to Italy celebrating my father’s 70th birthday. My grandmother had spent almost 40 years researching our family and we didn’t think there was much more to find…until Mirella came along! From our first email to her deep research before our arrival to a glorious day together to the folder of materials we left with, it was a priceless experience.
She even arranged for us to meet the mayor of Venafro, so we felt truly welcomed and connected to the region. Mirella showed us sights we never would have caught on our own, including the churches my 3x great grandparents had been married in. Remarkably, she found a marriage certificate that took us back another generation beyond anything we had ever found and pointed us towards another town that we hope to explore with Mirella on our next trip.
As we walked the streets of our ancestors and plied Mirella with questions, my father remarked that it felt like he was ‘walking in a dream’. Her expertise not just on our family but how the local history impacted their choices, what may have led to certain moves, careers and eventual emigration, was thorough and flawless. Throughout, she was so thoughtful and caring, so attentive to us and how to make this day special.
We spent fifteen days in Italy on this trip, and this one day with Mirella was the highlight of the entire trip. It was the experience of a lifetime and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. If you hesitate at the cost, DON’T. It is worth every penny, many times over. Truly a priceless experience that gets better every time I think back.
My expectations were high going in and she just exceeded them all. I can’t say enough to show Mirella how much this day meant to us, especially to my father. We consider her family now, our new Italian cousin.
Much love and best wishes,
Cassie Ritter Hunt
Ted and Jean Ritter
The D’Ippolito, DiPasquale and Saulino Families