Help to find your family roots in Italy

Home To Italy:  Now there is help to find your family village or town.

During the past two years on my trips home to Italy, I tried to find and visit the village where my grandfather and great grandparents were born.  During the three months I lived in Sorrento I did not feel comfortable with the bus system to attempt the trip to the small mountain town of Petina, south of Salerno, Italia.

So before I took off for my most recent adventure I sent email requests to all the language schools in Salerno and Sorrento to find someone who would be willing to translate for me.   I did find a car service which had been in business since the 1940’s who agreed to drive me to Petina.  But this is not about the great visit to Petina I made in October, it is to tell others Italian Americans who may be looking for their family towns, that I have set up a small network of Italians who are available to help you.

In Sorrento, Italy, Peppe Fiorentino was an “angle” to me while I lived in Sorrento.  I wanted to try to live as an “Italian” and rented an apartment in a town where I only knew Mr. Firentino.  He was always there to help me with any problem or a friendly chat when I walked by his wonderful store, Cumo Lucky Store  .     The store has been in business since the 1800’s and has wonderful items.   

Now Peppe will be able to help travelers, Italian Americans and tourists with finding their home villages,
Contact Peppe by email at:

My next contact to help you find your Italian roots is Maria Lavergat, in Salerno.   Originally from Britain, Maria visited her Italian grandmother every summer and has lived in Italy for almost 25 years.   
I met Maria  when I sent a request to the Leonardo Accademy, a language school in Salerno, asking if any of the instructors would be willing to translate for me. 
I was incredibly surprised to find that Maria was willing to go with me to Petina (see our separate story) and assist me in obtaining my grandfather’s birth certificate,  a requirement to apply for dual citizenship with Italy. (dual citizenship to be in a future blog)
After helping me with the required paperwork, she and her photograper husband, found out that there might be decendants in the next town.   We did find a possible relative!   After more than 100 years since the family had left for America, a possible distant relative was living in the next town!   (home to Petina blog in the next few weeks) 
, Maria has agreed to help other “searchers” find their Italian roots.  You can expedite your search by having Maria research Italian data bases that we do not have access to.   
Don’t take years trying to locate your family village.  Speak with Peppe or Maria and begin your search now. 
Please contact Maria at

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

5 thoughts on “Help to find your family roots in Italy

  1. Hi! My great grandfather (Vincenzo Sarlo) was born in Petina too and emigrate to Argentina in the 20´s… I´m looking for his birth certificate for dual citizenship too and alredy sent an email to Maria. It´s going to be difficult without traveling to Italy though.Nice blog!Ramiro


  2. Ramiro,i have been traveling and just saw your wonderful to find another family from Petina!I will finally have a mini movie completed on my visit to Petina if you want to see photos. The have all the original documents (hand written) in bound journals at the town office! amazing to view 100 year old documents. I hope Maria can help you find your documents. I just received my appointment to apply for dual citizenship. 1 year wait! I had an appointment but was not ready with all my documents and had to ask for a post phonment. Good luck


  3. Ramiro,just thought, does your g. grandfather have any photos from Petina from the 20's? I have some from today i would be glad to send you. there is a short post here on my blog but i am working on a mini movie


  4. Hi!… I have a few photos from the family from the 30´s or 40´s that they sent us, but you only can see the countryside and not the town. But I´ve seen plenty of actual photos on the internet, and even virtually walked the town with goggle street! ;). If you want, I´d be glad to receive your pictures from Petina. In my last comment I told you about me looking for the birth certificate in Petina. Well… I found the town´s e-mail adress, so I sent an e-mail asking for the certificate ant two hours later I received a digitally scanned certificate and the promise of receiving the original by letter. Great! (I´m waiting for it)Ramiro ( about my poor english… 🙂


  5. How wonderful to have your document! I just spent the day putting the photos I took and those from my cousins trip into a mini movie. Just trying to add music now. but it should be posted here soon or if you like I can try to email it to you.I am working hard to finish the other 25 stories I cam back with from my Nov. trip. So much to see and share. Please do send photos. Lee Laurino


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