Links to postings with photos of 1976 trip to Agropoli

One of our blog subscribers, Amy, asked about photos of the Carola Hotel which was featured in a family story in the previous posting.  I’m sorry to say that during my move into my current apartment things got lost including those photos.  The rest of the photos from the trip to Agropoli were included with the very earliest postings to this blog.  My Uncle and I decided to use them as a starting point for presenting different members of our family past and present.

I have compiled a list of all the postings that contain the photos.  It is not necessary to read through each posting since each photo has a caption that tells you where the photos were taken and who is featured in the photo.

I know this is a lot of clicking and scrolling but if you have the time you can take an armchair journey back to the Agropoli of 1976 when convenient to you and at your own pace.

3-The Byzantine Gate 1976

4-Agropoli Through the Centuries

5-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli:  Luigi and Angela Maria

6-Serrapede Family in Agropoli:  Sabato and Filomena

7a-The Serrapede Family in Agropoli:  Gennaro and Rosa

30b-Muro Family in Agropoli-The house where Josie was born

31a-Bella Italia in 1976:  Paestum

31b-Bella Italia in 1976:  Amalfi

31c-Bella Italia in 1976:  Positano

31d-Bella Italia in 1976:  Gaeta

31e-Our last week in Italy, July 1976:  Back to Rome



31d-Bella Italia in 1976: Gaeta

Our last week in Italy 1976. Fourth stop: Gaeta

Route from Positano to Gaeta.

Some facts about Gaeta

  • One of the most stunning attractions of Gaeta is the Montagna Spaccata.
    • The mountain has deep crevices that create a natural sea grotto.
  • The waters around the coastline of Gaeta appear a deep turquoise blue and provide a stunning contrast to the countryside.

Our Vacation in Italy 1976: Remembering Gaeta

Grandpa Sam’s nephew Gennaro Serrapede and his family hosted us while we stayed in Gaeta. Gennaro love to go diving and showed us many fragments of ancient pottery he found during his dives. I found these object fascinating. On one of them, the handle of an earthenware pot was covered with many tiny shells. Others had deposits built up on them that formed an ornamental scrollwork.  Gennaro displayed these finds on shelves throughout his apartment.

We went for a drive along the coastline, stopping to take photos of the narrow inlets and beaches below the highway. Each view was more beautiful than the next.

The last days of our travels were very hot and lazy. I remember falling into a deep sleep the night we were in Gaeta. I could hardly believe we would be returning to Rome the next day. Three weeks felt like three months. I wondered if I could get back into the faster-than-fast tempo of life once we got back to New York.

From Our Photo Album

Grandpa Sam, his nephew Gennaro, Grandma Josie and Grandpa’s niece Italia. Summer of 1976 in Gaeta.

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21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes


Anthony Vermandois’ research on the families of Agropoli provides the basis of this exploration into our ancestors. He has compiled vital statistics of many families from Agropoli and the nearby towns which are available at his site, Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania.

Readings from other sources were also used in the preparation of this posting. A list of the titles and URLs is provided at the end.

Relationship Notes

This posting highlights events during the lifetimes of:

Maria Giovanna di Giaimo
-born in Agropoli, 1845
-died Jan. 7, 1915 Agropoli


Carmine Scotti
-born in Agropoli, 1846
-no date of death available yet

Carmine and Maria Giovanna (nee di Giamo) Scotti were:
–Sammy’s maternal Great Grandparents
–EmilyAnn’s maternal 2nd Great Grandparents


The Fisherman and his family: A Bittersweet Life

“A Neopolitan Fisherman” by Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety.

Today we often see the phrase “Bella Italia” describing the natural and cultural beauties of the country. Artists of the past such as Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety were inspired to leave their home countries to live in Italy.  Papety’s painting “A Neopolitan Fisherman” depicts a muscular, barefoot man dressed in the attire of a Neopolitan fisherman playing his mandolin on the beach while a woman with gold earrings and colorful headscarf looks on.  When I first saw this painting I thought it was too romantic to convey any truth about what life was like during the time Carmine and Maria Giovanna lived.  Having looked at the painting each day for the past two weeks I can now say it conveys a message.

The message speaks of a bittersweet life. It is a life filled with the rough beauty of nature.  The lives of those living amidst this nature are held captive by its unpredictability.  The fisherman and the peasant woman have a look of care and concern on their faces even though the moment when they hear the music gives them a chance to pause from their labors.  The rocks that dominate the foreground of the painting speak of a hard life.  No soft meadows or flowers adorn the landscape.  The sky is filled with many clouds.  The sun might or might not break through.

As a fisherman, Carmine depended on good weather and favorable conditions to yield the bounties of the sea when he spread the nets to make a catch. The families of Agropoli could also grow figs, olives or other fruits and vegetables if they had a even a small patch of land or a garden as a means to supplement their diet.  Even then nature held the upper hand and could provide abundance or devastation depending on forces that were out of a person’s control.

Maria and Carmine came of age during a period of great change as Italy united into one kingdom. Despite the natural beauty of their environment and the unification of the country the impression we have received is that very little change came into the lives of the poor in Southern Italy to make life better, easier or more hopeful for the future.

After the unification of Italy in 1861, Southern Italians now paid higher taxes to the northern part of the country rather than to local overlords. The new parliament located in Turin, in Northern Italy, had no interest or connection to the hardships of the Southern Italians.  Equally distant, the Southern Italians did not grasp the concept of a unified country having only the understanding of loyalty to their townsmen and locality.

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10d-The Serrapede Family in America: Learning about the prejudices Italian Immigrants Encountered


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.

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