My grandfather Martino Calaprice was born in Locorotondo, province of Bari, Italy in 1893. At the young age of 16, he departed toward New York’s Ellis Island with a friend. Upon his arrival to America, he immigrated to Utica, New York where many people from the same region of Bari were from. He worked construction and went on to meet and marry my grandmother Salvatrice Zampardi in 1944. They had two sons, Vito Calaprice, who is my father and Frank Calaprice.
Although, my grandparents died when I was young, many memories have kept them alive all these years. Their sacrifices, bravery, hard work, love of family, traditional recipes, but most of all their strong faith in God and their beloved Saints Cosmas and Damian, St. Rocco, St. Martin of Tours, and St. Lucy. I was blessed to have visited Locorotondo with my parents back in 2007. We had a lovely visit uniting with our family my father hadn’t seen in many years, sharing delicious traditional Apulian meals, and made many lasting and loving memories.
I am grateful to have been raised with a strong pride for my Italian heritage and continue to work hard to honor and keep my grandparent’s memory alive today. I pray God allows me to go back and visit my Locorotondo family again soon!