This posting was originally entitled “10d-Station Break: The Trevi Fountain”. It started out as an informal entry about my visit to the Trevi Fountain in Rome during the Summer of 1976. Prior to the trip my view about the fountain was shaped by Hollywood movies and the accounts relatives gave of their own vacations in Rome.
At a deeper level, the posting enabled me to present a subject I had struggled with, namely learning about the very strong opposition Americans had towards admitting Southern Italian immigrants to the U.S. from 1900 through the 1920s. I now realize that I had two purposes in crafting the posting this way. One was to show how different my personal experience of the Trevi Fountain was from what was presented by the popular culture I grew up in. Likewise my Great Grandfather experienced a different reality in America than the one he may have heard from other birds of passage. The discovery of many news articles from the 1900s through 1910s which present in all the immediacy the bias against Italian immigrants was a new experience for me. It was one I was not prepared for since I had never been taught this in school nor had my grandparents ever complained to me of it.
To honor the memory of Great Grandfather Gennaro, I have changed the title and added this introduction so the reader will get a better idea of the purpose of this entry consisting of various memories and discoveries. It reflects the changes this family history project is making in my thoughts and life on many levels.
The Trevi Fountain: More beautiful than I had envisioned
My first view of the Trevi Fountain. Rome, June-July 1976.
Grandpa Sam’s niece Italia and her husband Antonio hosted my Grandparents and I when we stayed in Rome during our vacation in Italy in the Summer of 1976. On a very bright, hot day Italia and her daughter Stefania took Grandma Josie and I out for a whirlwind tour of Rome. We covered all the major sites including the Vatican. As the sun climbed higher into the sky the heat and brilliance of the sun increased. When we came to the Trevi Fountain it beckoned us to draw closer and closer. This fountain was bigger than anything I’d seen at home, including the fountain in Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, New York. The fantastic palace in the background added to the sense that I had stepped into a movie set. It was everything I expected and more. I wanted to linger there but since we had a full schedule there was only enough time to take one photo.