This book was a labor of love that took me ten years to finish. It's a story that I was meant to tell because I have carried bits and pieces of it in my soul from the day I was born and will continue to carry its people in my memory.
Bridge of Love contains the correspondence, in original Italian (Tuscan dialect) with side-by-side English translation, between young sweethearts--my grandmother, Pia Biondi, and grandfather, Angiolino Palamidessi.
Recently discharged from the Italian Army, Angiolino left Tuscany in December 1919 to find work in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania. During the next year, he wrote nearly weekly, affectionate letters to Pia and she wrote to him. The letters chronicle the young couple's courtship as well as the anxiety of young love, the economic chaos and food shortages in Italy, small town gossip and family conflicts. Pia finally emigrated in December 2020 and joined Angiolino in the 'New World.'
The book contains 30 pages of collage cut from family photos, journals and art produced in Post World War I Italy. The remaining pages contain the letters with photos of rarely seen emigration documents.
It was a joy to put together this book for my cousins and their children as well as for aficionados of Italian and Italian American studies.
A farewell to childhood book.
My daughter and I spent a beautiful summer month in Italy. She was 13 years-old--and the only redhead in Sperlonga, a beach town south of Rome. It was an affectionate time for us, since she was still a child yet a bit of a teenager and didn't mind me holding her in my arms in the sea like a baby while I, the mother, quietly and symbolically baptized her into the next phase of her life.
THE SPERLONGA STORY is an interactive book. The colorful collaged and hand-printed pages are meant to be shuffled and arranged on a table to read the story.