Epiphania Trevisan, our Italian grandmother, immigrated to America in 1920. Like many Italian immigrants, circumstances of time and place, marriage and duty caused Nonna to travel to the US with her husband Santo. Her first child was almost born on the Re d’Italia, sailing from Genoa in July and arriving at the port of Staten Island, New York in August. Families with names like Paladini, Stratta, Fontana, Amerighi, Piccinini and Marasco were part of the 2,020 passengers that made the trip with 3,000 miles of separation.
But Nonna’s heart was still in the Veneto, a region in Northern Italy located in the Venetian plain whose cultural and culinary traditions make it one of the most visited regions of Italy today. The oral traditions of life in the Veneto were kept alive in our family and everyone was influenced by them. Families in the Veneto wrote to families in the United States, over holidays and birthdays, through wars and liberations, at births and deaths. Letters and pictures were sent, money and presents exchanged, dreams and disappointments lost and found.