Book Samples

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Giovanna Capitani Pandolfi (pouring) and Anna Pirani Biagioli. Delta Italians usually ran grapes through the process three times, making what they called a first, second and third wine. The first wine was pure grape juice. the second had some water and sugar added. The third had more water and sugar. It was sometimes called “ladies” wine.


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The Banchetti family, Augusto, Giuseppa, Valentine and Allen

Owens offered to sell Augusto 40 acres of lakefront property for 50 dollars per acre but Augusto refused “because he had his mind set on returning to Italy if he could accumulate some money, which didn’t materialize, and ironically, later in 1918 my father purchased land in the same area with minimal lake frontage paying 125 dollars per acre without any improvements thereon. This same land today sells for about 100 dollars per lakefront running foot. Had my father been fortunate to have foresight and not been influenced by the thought of returning to Italy and had purchased this select property, today the land would be a most valuable asset due to its ideal and prime location.”


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The Art of Making Bread


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A few years before Giacomo’s death his brother-inlaw Giuseppe Corte emigrated to New Orleans with the intention of making some money to improve his life situation and returning to Poggioreale. In 1892 he persuaded his widowed sister, Concetta, to send at least one of her sons to New Orleans and that year Pietro, Concetta’s second son (15), joined his uncle, Giuseppe Corte. Two years later, 1894, Pietro’s younger brother, Giuseppe (15) left for New Orleans with their sister Angela (21), her husband Vincenzo Giarrantano (28) and their ten-month old daughter, Anna. The next year, 1895, Concetta’s family – Pietro (Peter), Joseph, Angela, Vincenzo, and Anna – left New Orleans and began to make their way toward Vicksburg. They first moved to Monroe, Louisiana where they opened a shoe store; but they stayed there just a short time before moving to Natchez.


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Sicily is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean trade routes. Consequently, the Island’s history is rooted in the most ancient civilizations, like the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans. These foreign invaders and colonizers made great contributions to Sicilian culture, art, science, and even left their marks on the Sicilian language and the food. They established cities with aqueducts, Doric temples, art, and fine libraries. But “the colonizers took far more than they gave. The once rich island of earlier times became one of the most backward areas of Europe… Deforestation, poor agricultural practices, excessive water withdrawal, and salt and sulfur mining had detrimental effects on the land… The historical accounts that describe the fall of Sicily and southern Italy from a once proud position in the ancient world are long and tortuous.”