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Notable Poggiorealesi, Then and Now

We at Poggioreale in America have found that, the more we study the people of Poggioreale, it becomes very clear that these are a people of inordinate determination and courage.  When studying them as individuals, it also becomes clear that these were men and women of great talent as well. We will bring to your attention many individuals of Poggiorealese descent that have made contributions of all sorts to their world in a variety of ways.  Some are historians, writers, artists, poets, researchers, entrepreneurs, activists and more. Many made their mark in America, others made their contributions in Sicily, and still others made a mark in Australia.  As we learn about Poggiorealesi who have made such contributions over many decades, we will attempt to bring them to the forefront for you to "meet" here on this page.  


If you would like to suggest that we write about someone you know, please reach out to us so we can put a spotlight on their contributions and celebrate their efforts! Our list is alphabetical and in no special order or geographic location.


 This page will be under construction for some time, so visit here periodically to see who we have discovered of late!

Burke, Ruth Ann Buttecali of Seabrook, Texas

Ruth is an artist/photographer who lives and works in Seabrook, TX.  As a young girl, Ruth remembers her mother, Rose Salvaggio Buttecali (Buttacavoli), retelling the wonderful stories that her own mother, Mary Ippolito Salvaggio, would tell about living in Poggioreale.  Her descriptions of the beautiful countryside outside Poggioreale were filled with vibrant colors; these images must have inspired young Ruth's artistic soul to explore her own creativity and heritage. Her creative drive followed her both in school and in the workplace. In 1999, she finally visited Poggioreale for herself, taking her family along. The visions of her grandmother's stories became a reality for Ruth and she used her camera and artistic skills to capture what unfolded in front of her eyes!  She began sharing her photographs with family; how lucky for us that she now shares her photographic images with everyone.  She invites us to view her online collection called "A Walk Back in Time" at Her prints are available for purchase as well.  Recently, Ruth donated some photos to our PIA Junior group to use in their first PIA scholarship fundraising venture, a 2022 calendar that will be available to the public in the near future. ***We invite you to read more about Ruth's story by clicking on the link to the right!***         

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Maniscalco, Pietro of Sydney, Australia


Pietro Maniscalco was born in Poggioreale in 1950 where he enjoyed a happy life with his parents. He has grown up to be an accomplished former resident of Poggioreale.


Restifa, Teresa Todaro 1952 - 2018

Born in Poggioreale to Giovanni Todaro and Rosalia Fasullo in 1952, Teresa and her siblings lived a charmed life until their world was turned upside down by the earthquake in 1968. She tells us in own words how she was studying architecture and art in Sicily, yet only a few months later she had arrived in Australia to begin her new life by taking a job to help her family. Like so many talented Poggiorealesi who came to America, she didn't simply adapt to her new country of Australia, she stepped forward  by joining the Italian Assistance Committee where she volunteered to help young Italian immigrants. In time she married, raised two children, and continued doing good for others even as she devoted her life to being the beloved matriarch of her family. She put her personal aspirations on hold. But by 2004, her desire to help Italian immigrants led her to become a leader in the Italo-Australian community. Her numerous contributions,  accomplishments, and offices held are detailed in her several life stories that can be read using the link to the right of this text.  We at PIA are proud to present her story and to include her in a long list of talented Poggiorealesi who made a difference in their world ... and ours.

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Zummo, Gaetano 1935 - 2018


Although Gaetano Zummo lived all his life in Poggioreale, he was born in Palermo to father Gaetano Zummo and mother Caterina Tusa because his parents wanted him to be born in a safe hospital setting. Sadly this lead to the loss of his mother marking the first of many losses that darkened Gaetano's budding life. Knowing his story we know that no matter what his challenges or hardships, they were never enough to stop him from a notable life filled with purpose and accomplishment. After a military career, and surviving the earthquake of 1968, Gaetano grew to be a beloved and renowned teacher rising to become one of Poggioreale's most renowned and prominent citizens. In his later years, after he retired at age 60, he became passionate about writing and became a published writer and poet. He contributed to the intellectual and artistic environment of Poggioreale and beyond, all the while living a wonderful life with his wife, Nellina Salvaggio, and their family.  His is a story of a life well lived. Read the fascinating details by clicking on the box to the right.

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