My nonna’s name was Leona Zechinato.
Her family came to USA through Ellis Island, like most Italian-American families. Her mother grew up on Coney Island and then somehow ended up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I’ve been told the Zechinato ancestors were Romans, living in the eternal city of Rome.
They migrated to Firenze and now live in Verona and Padua. Sadly, I haven’t kept in touch with my relatives in Italy. I did, however, find a cousin who is Italian-Brazilian.
Since I come from a state with harsh Winters, I decided to visit Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Calabria while in Italy. It was an amazing three-week vacation filled with the history of Rome, the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and the wonderful beaches of Calabria.
It’s difficult to explain the pride of Italian-Americans. We are known for our great work ethic, delicious food, our family values and our passion for life. We are proud. I only hope our next generation keeps the Italian heritage alive and well.