Consultants in Poggioreale, Sicily

We are very fortunate to have consultants for our website that not only live in Sicily, but are active in the daily life of Poggioreale.  Our list of friends in or near our ancestors' old home is growing and are ever vibrant in the relationships we have created as we enrich our PIA mission to "build bridges between the Sicilian Village of Poggioreale and the thousands of Poggioreale descendants living in the United States."

ANNA TODARO

LIAISON TO POGGIOREALE IN AMERICA

Anna Todaro

Her Story:  Born in Poggioreale, she lived in her hometown until the 1968 earthquake when she migrated to Australia with her parents, younger brother Pietro, older sister Theresa, and younger sister Rosalia. All three attended high school in Sydney.  There her father, Giovanni Todaro, worked on building and repairing houses and became well known not only for his work, but for his wonderful personality, she recalls. Her mother, Rosaria Fasullo, was a housewife whose cooking skills were outstanding. Anna remembers her mother’s weekly dinners that included extended family. They enjoyed a very happy life in Sydney.

While in Sydney, Anna worked at an Italian newspaper; her sister Theresa worked at a competing newspaper. In 1974 she returned to Italy for a holiday in Palermo and to stay with her aunt.  She met her husband, Ernesto Maniscalco, who was introduced by a friend while they were out socializing.  It wasn’t until two years later that they married.  They lived in a grand house in Palermo for many years; there they had two children, Sara and Luigi.  

In 2011, Anna and Ernesto moved back to Poggioreale  where she resides today with their son. She reconnected with the families of her hometown.  She became involved with the Poggioreale Antica Association where she found herself meeting many groups of people who came to Poggioreale from allover the world.  She greatly enjoyed meeting them, often acting as translator, and sharing with them our story and history. She also worked with the local government in trying to restore the old town and to try to maintain the work that had been done.  While she in no longer a part of the association, she still works with groups of Poggiorealesi around the workl, especially in the USA where she has discovered a large amounts of cousins previously unknown to her! She feels very strongly about creating these valuable connections as she, like us, strive to maintain Poggioreale’s heritage and family.

 

 

During his many years working for Partanna,occasionally some Americans came to the city office asking him to build a family tree from the records, and to assist them in finding any living relatives in the town. He found great pleasure satisfying their requests, and he witnessed the joy in the Americans and their Sicilian relatives.  He enjoyed uniting these people and witnessing their joyful emotions, and he wanted to continue doing family research for people as he, too, found great satisfaction in the work. In 2018, after forty years of service to the town of Partanna, he retired.  With his extensive experience with records, his ability to speak English, and the increasing popularity and growing demand from Americans of Sicilian descent wanting to create their Sicilian family trees and connect with local relatives, he created his Facebook page, “Sicily the Land of your Ancestors.” In 2018 alone he organized over twenty-five meetings between Americans and their local families, building or completing their family trees, and procuring documents.  He also acted as a guide in visiting their ancestral towns,  helped locate the the homes of their ancestors and visited family tombs, and translated documents found in the municipality or church records. 

 

Rosario is a frequent visitor and researcher in Poggioreale and has become known by many for his expertise.   We asked him in 2019 to be our travel guide and local family researcher in Sicily for the first PIA Trip to Poggioreale in September 2019.  See photos on this website for our activities.

Feel free to contact Rosario Sanfilippo:

 Email at sanfilippo.rosario55@gmail.com

Facebook Message at "Sicily, The Land of Your Ancestors"

Phone +39 348-844-0951

Rosario Sanfilippo

His Story:  Rosario lives in Partanna, a town that is only 20 minutes away from Poggioreale and was also affected by the 1968 earthquare. He was only twelve years old and remembers that, at night, they had to run away from the house because the walls were rocked.  He and his family spent many days camped in the cold.  After a few months, they moved to tents that the Italian army had prepared; in the Sumer they moved to barracks that were installed.  Those were not good days, he recalls, due the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.  There were no conveniences.  Construction of houses didn’t begin for ten years; Rosario and many others spent their youth in the barracks.  Later he attended the University of Palermo graduating in foreign languages at the age of twenty-four. Immediately he began working in the Municipality of Partanna Civil Status Office, also working in the Registry and Electoral Office.

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Our Mission

We build bridges between the Sicilian village of Poggioreale and the thousands of Poggioreale descendants living in the United States.

 

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