(Translate Doct.Prof. Maria Antonia Losco)It was a day in the October of two years ago when a phone call revolutionized positively my next day…I needed some good news to happen and
only God knows how much I needed it!
It was Massimo calling. He is the owner and operator of an Airbnb on the Mondragone seafront.
He said to me that a couple of American guests, HELEN & ERNEST LALLO, in his B@B had told him they were born of Carinolese origin: the Ceraldi family! I was incredulous at first but I soon recalled my father saying that his father Vincenzo, had spent some time in America.
Massimo came up with the idea the American couple and my family were connected and actually it doesn’t take a thousand arguments to reach to this conclusion…
Massimo and I had been very good friends when we were young: we both worked in the same town. For about 50 years I owned a law firm, not operating any longer, in the city centre, in Mondragone.
We made an appointment for the following morning (if I'm not mistaken it was a Friday) for me to meet with the couple at Massimo’s b & B.
As soon as we met, I immediately realized my English was not quite perfect...I learned English as an autodidact with some great help from my wife, who is English herself: Pam, my wonderful partner for fifty years.
Regardless my shaky English, I managed to find out that the man was a solicitor the same as me.
I offered to drive them to Carinola with my not so new BMW but they had rented a car themselves in the Naples airport of Capodichino.
So we went, I was leading the way and they were following behind me. I had soon understood that they were descendants of the other Ceraldi family who was in Carinola, so I suggested them to take the provincial road for Falciano del Massico, home of a very renowned wine called Falerno. This wine dates back to ancient Rome, and it celebrates his “birthday” on April the 21st.
I knew that the oldest member of that branch of the Ceraldi family lived in Casanova, a hamlet along the provincial road we were traveling along. So we went to visit him at home but I found out he was in a very poor health. I didn’t want to give up and called his son who was at work and also at about 200 km from Carinola. At that stage I had no choice to give up.
We finally arrived in Carinola. The American man had told me that one of his relatives was an aunt who lived nearby Palazzo Marzano. Now you have to know that Palazzo Marzano is one of Carinola’s diamonds. Neglected for years and prey to pigeons today, the building has returned to shine, thanks to a recent renovation by three talented young architects. My new friends would have loved to see the building. We went there but unfortunately when we reached the front door, the workers did not let us in as they were throwing cement on the hall floor.
We headed then to the Cathedral and the sarcophagus tombs with their remains. We then passed to Palazzo Novelli, pearl of Catalan architecture and of course we could definitely not miss to have a “spumone” at the Aurora Bar. The spumone is a special coffee that Antonio, the bar owner, prepares at summer time, in particular for the celebration of St. Bernard, patron Saint of Carinola and last bishop of Ventaroli.
Ventaroli is a small village at about two kilometers from Carinola and it is known for the popular Basilica of S. Maria in FORA CLAUDIO, called more commonly Episcopio.
According to a legend, the Carinoleses would have stolen the body-relic of S. Bernardo.
After having our coffee, it was also time for Antonio to try his English. Antonio, in fact, was married to an American lady, Frank Matano’s sister. Matano actor and judge for years of a very popular pay Tv program ITALIA'S GOT TALENT.
It was lunch time so I suggested the couple to dine in a cosy restaurant in via Battisti which, at the time, was called Locanda Battisti.
I know they have moved somewhere else now, not far away. I am not sure though if the restaurant is keeping the same name but I am sure the delicious taste of steamed sea bass and seafood will still be the same. My new friends called me in the afternoon to thank me and to express their satisfaction for the wonderful lunch.
Later they also decided to visit the eighteenth-century Royal Palace of Vanvitelli in Caserta city.
And there is more: after a while I received from my American friend a video and so I found out that in addition of being a colleague of mine he is also a blogger the same as me.