59b-Carola family of Agropoli: Carola Hotel in Summer of 1976


This posting is created using a story I attached to the Serrapede-Torregrossa family tree in 2014.  I am sharing it again here at WordPress because of the relationship to the Carola family.   Please note that moving forward I will be more involved at my job as we begin new projects.  I will not be on WordPress everyday.  Comments may have to wait for approval.  I will catch up with blog friends and their postings as time permits.  I appreciate your understanding for the gaps in time and my inability to follow anyone’s blog on a consistent basis.

Photos of the Hotel Carola from early 20th Century

These photos are from the family tree of Ancestry Member donandjan1.  Jan replied by email in 2014 that she does not have the name of the book where they came from.

59b-Carola Hotel from Ancestry DonJan
View of the Carola Hotel from the street.

Continue reading “59b-Carola family of Agropoli: Carola Hotel in Summer of 1976”

59a-Carola family of Agropoli-Hoteliers, Coachmen and Shopkeepers, Part 2


This posting is a continuation of 59a-Carola family of Agropoli-Hoteliers, Coachmen and Shopkeepers, Part 1.  We turn our attention now to the professions of the family heads in Angie’s maternal line.  Also considered are possible connections between Angie’s Carola line and Uncle Sammy’s Serrapede line.

Aunt Angie’s Maternal line—Possible relationships to our Serrapede and Muro lines

59a-Angie's maternal line
Angie’s maternal line-di Luccio family.

Aunt Angie’s mother, Rosa di Luccio was born on December 5, 1875. She was the daughter of Salvatore di Luccio and Filomena D’Agosto. Salvatore’s professions included agricultural work and driving a coach. It’s interesting to consider that Rosa’s father-in-law was also a coach driver. Their work may have created a close relationship between the families so that when Gaetano was ready to marry his parents introduced him to Rosa as a good match.

Aunt Angie’s maternal lineage is composed of relationships that might intersect Uncle Sammy’s by ties of blood and/or marriage through her maternal Great Grandmother Maddalena Montone (1820-1900)

Uncle Sammy’s Third Great Grandmother was also named Maddalena Montone. She lived in the latter part of the 18th century and was the wife of Giuseppe di Giaimo. The Montone bloodline enters Sammy’s pedigree through his mother, Josie Muro Serrapede. Although Anthony has done some new research on the Montone family in Agropoli there isn’t any information available about our Maddalena Montone at this time.

59a-Uncle Sammy Serrapede chart
Sammy’s paternal line-Serrapede family.

Another possible relationship by blood or extended family connections created by marriage may come through Aunt Angie’s Great Grandmother Rosa Serrapede. There is no record of her outside of the marriage to Filippo di Luccio. If there exists a relationship it enters Sammy through his father Sam Serrapede’s line.

Continue reading “59a-Carola family of Agropoli-Hoteliers, Coachmen and Shopkeepers, Part 2”

59a-Carola family of Agropoli-Hoteliers, Coachmen and Shopkeepers, Part 1


What started out as a simple addition of some family members to the family tree of Mary Angela (Angie) Carola’s branch turned up some possible connections between her maternal line and Uncle Sammy’s maternal line. We also gained some insights into the business activities of the Carola family. Since most of our direct line and branch families made their living in agriculture or from the sea we spent time discussing some of the possibilities that offered the Carola family the opportunity to open their own hotel in Agropoli during the late 19th-early 20th century.

We acknowledge use of the research of Anthony Vermandois of ImaginesMaiorum in the preparation of this posting. Please see Resources section for links to the charts of descent for the Carola and branch families mentioned in this posting.

Relationship Notes

Mary Angela Carola lived on the same block in Wilmerding as Peter Muro did. The Muro and Carola families were from Agropoli in Campania Province, Italy. Mary Angela and Peter married in 1937. Everyone called Mary Angela “Angie”.

Peter Muro was the younger brother of Josie Muro Serrapede. Josie was the wife of Sam (Sabato) Serrapede and mother of Sammy, Gerald and Emily.

Angie and Peter were Sammy’s maternal Aunt and Uncle.

They were EmilyAnn’s Great Aunt Angie and Great Uncle Peter but because these terms were never used I called them my Aunt and Uncle, too. So you will find this manner of addressing them used in the posting and the discussion.

Tracing back the earliest mentions of the hotel

The only way to trace the evolution of the family’s entry to the hotel business was to examine what the occupations of the men were in Angie’s family line from the earliest ancestors Anthony Vermandois has researched. As we entered each family member into her pedigree chart we used online dictionary Reverso (see Resources section) to find the English equivalents of the Italian words used for the occupations. At first nothing seemed to come together until we completed entering Angie’s parents to her chart. There were certain occupations that struck us because of their relationships to each other. We will put those particular ones into bold font. The children in each generation who are part of Angie’s direct paternal line appear in italics. Let us know if you begin to make the associations we did as we progress through Angie’s family line.

59a-Angie's paternal line
Angie’s Paternal Line.

Aunt Angie’s Paternal 2nd Great Grandparents

Ignazio Carola and Anna Pirro. No other information is available except that Anna was from the town of Prignano Cilento.

Aunt Angie’s Paternal Great Grandparents

Ignazio and Anna’s son Gennaro Carola was born in 1801. He married Gabriella di Lembo, born in 1798 to Pasquale di Lembo and Rosa Cincio in Prignano Cilento.

Gennaro worked as a blacksmith (fabbro ferraio). With Gabriella he had four children for whom Anthony found birth dates:

Rosa born circa 1827
Nicola born circa 1830
Alfonso born circa 1835
Raffaele born circa 1844
Gennaro died in Agropoli on January 28, 1866.

Angie’s Paternal Grandparents

Gennaro and Gabriella’s son Raffaele married Cristina Vitagliano di Giuseppe. They were the parents of:

Nicola b. April 20, 1868
Gabriela b. 1866
Gaetano b. February 15, 1870
Mariangela b. 1872
Alfonso b. 1874
Rosa b. 1877

According to Anthony’s research Raffaele worked as a coach driver or a coachman (vetturino). Raffaele passed away in Agropoli on January 5 1879.

Angie’s Father

Raffaele and Cristina’s son Gaetano was born on February 15, 1870. He married Rosa di Luccio in Agropoli on January 18, 1896. Before they immigrated to America Raffaele and Cristina became parents of:

Raffaele 1897-1916
Nicola b. 1900

While he lived in Agropoli Gaetano worked as a fisherman (marinaro). He was also a landlord or landowner (possidente).

Raffaele and Cristina had more children after immigrating to the U.S. They were:

Christina 1910-2003
Antoinette b. 1911
Mary Angela October 12, 1913-October 24, 1978
James 1915-1998
Ralph b. 1918
George 1920-1967

Things are looking very interesting when you consider the possibilities:

  • Angie’s Great Grandfather Gennaro was a blacksmith. His customers would include people with horses that they rode or used to pull carriages or coaches.
  • Angie’s Grandfather Raffael was a coachman or a coach driver. It’s possible that he got this position through one of Gennaro’s clients. Raffael may have been exposed to working with and handling horses from an early age and so came recommended for a position as a coach driver.
  • Gaetano, Angie’s father, did not work with horses or carriages but is mentioned as being a landowner or landlord while the family still lived in Agropoli. So where did the connection to the hotel come in and how do these pieces come together? It became necessary to look at the professions of Gaetano’s brothers and we found what we believe completes the answer to our question as to possible ways in which the family got into the hotel business.

Continue reading “59a-Carola family of Agropoli-Hoteliers, Coachmen and Shopkeepers, Part 1”

Family Story: The Carola Hotel

Title:  The Carola Hotel

Location:  Agropoli, Salerno, Campania, Italy

Occasion:  Visit to Muro and Serrapede Families in Our Ancestral Hometown

Time:  Summer 1976

My Maternal Grandparents, Josie (nee Muro) and Sam (Sabato) Serrapede, took me on a three week trip to Italy in the Summer of 1976.  The main purpose was to celebrate my Grandmother’s retirement and to reconnect with the family in Agropoli.  Both my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather were born in that town which is near Salerno in Campania Province.

Grandma Josie was firm that we were going to stay at the hotel because she wanted the comfort of all the modern conveniences.  I did not understand her emphasis until after we arrived in Agropoli.

The Carola was situated at the foot of the Old Town, a slight distance from the high hill upon which the Old Town is located.  There was a view of the beach from our room.  It was especially beautiful at sunrise.  I remember how the water looked bronze and the side of the hill began to light up from the base to the top as the sun climbed higher in the sky.  At night we could see the night fisherman out in their rowboats carrying lanterns.  I was told the light would stun the fish and make them less likely to escape from the nets.

The weather was very hot and on some days slightly humid, on other days dry.  I ended up taking two showers a day, frequently washing my hair.  The hotel did not have air conditioning at that time.

My Grandmother and I shared a room while my Grandfather had a large room to himself on the floor above us.  We could hear him from the terrace right above ours as he talked to friends who passed by on the street below.  Our room was very simple by American standards.  There were no rugs or fancy drapes or slip covers.  I’m glad there weren’t because the room would have felt too closed in during the hot weather.  The walls were smooth and painted a neutral color, beige or sand.  The furniture was very simple, too.  Everything was very neat, well-ordered and very clean.  Given how bright the sunlight could be and how hot the long days were, I found that simplicity and order all I needed to be satisfied with the comfort the room offered.

I didn’t appreciate just how much the conveniences at The Carola Hotel meant to me until we visited Grandpa Sam’s sister Italia.  She lived in a very, very old Pre-WWII building right at the foot of the stairs leading up to The Old Town.  It was quite an accomplishment that Italia’s family had gotten running water up to her apartment.  The toilet, though, was still a shared facility.  It was situated in a little room in the hallway of the floor where she lived.  Other tenants on the floor also used that toilet.  There were times a bucket of water had to be thrown down to ensure everything got flushed away.

I wasn’t aware that the Carola Hotel was owned by the family from which Mary Angela (née Carola) Muro’s father was born into.

Mary Angela was my Grandma Josie’s sister-in-law.  We always called Mary Angela by her nickname of Angie.  Angie was married to Grandma Josie’s younger brother Peter Muro.

On February 13, 2014 Claudia Muro, daughter-in-law of Angie and Peter Muro, told me the Carola Hotel was closed some time ago.  Claudia is married to Angie and Peter’s son, Robert Muro.

Claudia told me that the Carola Family operated the hotel and its restaurant separately.  She knew one of the cooks who worked at the restaurant.  He wanted very much to work in America and he loved Wilmerding, the Muro’s home town in the U.S.A.  He was unable to complete the process, though and could not come here to live and work.

As much as I loved visiting all the relatives, I was thankful we had the hotel room to retreat into each night while we were in Agropoli.  I enjoyed the quiet company of my Grandma Josie and the view of the beach each morning and night.  I needed that quiet time after all the sightseeing and visiting each day.

EmilyAnn Frances May

May 14, 2014