The Homecoming – Lacedonia, Italy – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.

By Posted in - Big Trip & Europe & Featured Post & Italy & Photography Posts & Photos & Somewhere In Time on April 1st, 2011

Somewhere In Time is a weekly photo from around the world. Enjoy!

I’ve wanted to visit Lacedonia ever since I was a little girl. Lacedonia is a small little town tucked into the hills of Southern Italy. Most people have never heard or even know where it is and why would they? It isn’t in any Lonely Planet guide books or anyone’s list of must see Italian locations.

Lacedonia is so important to me that this little town was the sole reason why Europe was put first on the itinerary of the big trip. Out of all the bucket lists of things I wanted to do around the world (and it’s a big list!) this one was always number one. Why?

This is where my Nonna & Nunu were born. There were my father’s parents and they immigrated to the U.S. around 1918, 4 months after they married and my Nonnie was just 17. They arrived by ship to America where on arrival our last name was changed from Salvagno to the Americanized Salvon that it is today. Although my grandfather died before I was born I was very close with my Nonnie until she passed away when I was 12. We had a very close bond – I am always told by my aunts how much I look like her and that I have some of her same mannerisms.Β  I have always felt that she has been looking out for me and it’s hard, even more than 20 years later, for me to even think about her without crying.

So Italy was beautiful for me but in a strange way very difficult. It was very emotional from the day we arrived on the train. Lacedonia was the last stop we had planned in Italy and it was pretty surreal even being there. My Nonna had 7 brothers when she left Italy and they all remained in Lacedonia raising their own families. My grandfather left family behind there as well but I’m not sure how many.

We literally wandered around the town asking for the name Pascuiti (my grandmother’s maiden name) in my extremely pathetic Italian. Fortunately having 7 brothers in a small town can leave a lasting legacy and so we were able to track down lost family members and spent 3 days meeting each other, Skyping a lot of family members in America, hugging, kissing, eating & crying. Basically what happened was completely mind-blowing. I was the first visitor in over 19 years and I am the only one to bring back videos and an endless supply of photos (over 1,000) and the only person who was able to unite the Italian & American families by Skype. Before my arrival there I had only seen 1 photo and it was blurry. I had no idea it was perched on top of a hill and that the surrounding landscape would remind me so much of California.

It was almost like sleep walking – walking around town, meeting my father’s cousins and an endless amount of relatives, looking at pictures I have never seen before of my grandparents in Italy, eating amazing homemade food and I also met my nonna’s niece who was 95 years old – after I randomly bumped into her son on the street. When she first saw me she called me Antonietta (Nonna’s name) and started crying. I had to explain a few times that I wasn’t her but really it didn’t matter. I was in Lacedonia, surrounded by family and even with language difficulties there were no awkward silences. I was home.

I have so much to share about this experience but I won’t lie, it’s going to take a while. Honestly I don’t even know where to start – there is still so much to wrap my brain around and organize and my heart is still trying to process it all. In fact right now, I’m wiping away tears trying to get this much down. Paris was beautiful but Italy was like a return home. Visiting Lacedonia was a journey – not a trip, not travel, not an adventure. It was a journey home that was decades in the making. It was so emotional for me that I times, I felt like it wasn’t even my journey. That I took a little bit of Nonna and my other relatives with me and they all got to go home to Lacedonia.

I promise though as I make my way through the photos and get the stories down you will love them. Turns out my Lacedonian family is pretty awesome and we had a great time there! I’m so thankful that I was able to go, meet them and reconnect the families in the digital age – to me it’s mindblowing! I hate to use the word again but I don’t know of another that fits. Before we arrived the families were separated by 19 years of silence now everyone is connected by email, Skype and Facebook – I can’t even believe it! I don’t know, it’s just a bit surreal to me. Even though I was meeting all of these relatives for the first time it was so natural, as if we had been relatives in the same town for our entire lives. The distance between Italy and the U.S. seemed non-existent.

The photo: This was taken our last day in Lacedonia. After we said our goodbyes we took a spin around town a few more times before making the run to the airport in Milan for our flight to the U.S. On our arrival to Lacedonia we were welcomed with blue skies and puffy white clouds – we left Lacedonia in the drizzle and fog. It was beautiful and appropriate and I was so happy I got to see both the light of the bright sun and a rainy day in my grandparent’s home town. I took this photo through the front window of the car, which gives it that kind of cool, textured look. I really didn’t want to leave this little town.
*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of, & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(30) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • ayngelina -

    April 2, 2011 at 4:45 am

    I have a love/hate affair with your Italy stories and photos. I so desperately want to go but have to remind myself I am happy where I am.

    But oh the food…

    • Bethany -

      April 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Well it’s not like Italy is going anywhere – you’ll have lenty of time to visit. And you definitely should! It was a great place 6 weeks there was not even close to enough time. I feel like I hardly saw the country but the experiences we had were out of this world. It also reminds me a LOT of Mexico. The whole time I was there I would look at something and say “Mexico or Italy?”

  • Sonya -

    April 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Brilliant photo and post! It’s incredible how moving homecomings can be.

    • Bethany -

      April 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks Sonya – I’m glad you liked it. πŸ™‚@Sonya,

  • Sofia – As We Travel -

    April 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    What a journey! I think it’s important to know your roots and where you come from, and I can see why you went there to understand and get to know the history behind your grandparents and extended family.

    They must have been so surprised when they heard you were there!

    • Bethany -

      April 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Oh well I got lucky found someone in a bakery who knew someone in my family. We walked to their house but no one was home. Then randomly Randy and I were walking down that same street to our car (it’s a very small place) and we saw someone walk out – it was my father’s cousin but we had no idea. I called his name in the street, he turned around and I told him who I was – then the tears started flowing and our 3 day craziness of family meetings started off! It was nuts, really. I can’t wait to write it all down in more detail. I ran into another relative the 3rd day on the street. The whole time was just surreal. @Sofia – As We Travel,

  • Annie -

    April 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    What an amazing story Bethany! The longer I travel and the longer I am in Italy, the more stories I hear about meeting long lost family and it really makes me long to know where my family came from.

    I am so glad that you had such a touching experience in Lacedonia, I can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks Annie – It seems like Italy is the motherland for meeting long lost family members. Have you ever researched your family tree? @Annie,

      • Annie -

        April 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm

        @Bethany, I started to think about doing it once. Apparently, some of my family members have started it but I think our European roots go quite far back. It’s definitely something I still think about doing!

  • Sarah Wu -

    April 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Wow, this is such a special place for you. It’s so interesting that you know where your family come from and stuff. Especially to visit the place.

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      It was a pretty remarkable experience. Thank you Sarah for commenting πŸ™‚ @Sarah Wu,

  • jade -

    April 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Such a sweet story and I can totally relate on wanting to visit a place with so much history for you. The photo is pretty spectacular, too!

    • Bethany -

      April 18, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Thanks Jade! Yes, it was an amazing place to visit – I can’t wait to get through the photos so I can share them on here. πŸ™‚@jade,

  • Angela -

    April 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Lacedonia is in Campania, isn’t it? I have been to Avellino and Naples provinces, beautiful places and the food was just amazing, one of my favorite regions in Italy food-wise.
    It’s great that you got to meet your family in Italy, I’m pretty sure it was great, and now that you’ve established the contact you will go back more often. Make sure you travel around Southern Italy, it’s a very nice area, and of course don’t forget to visit Sardinia, my hometown πŸ˜‰

    • Bethany -

      April 25, 2011 at 8:07 am

      Yes, I believe it is. It is def. part of Avellino province. I can’t wait to go back and see Sardinia! My sister went a few years ago and raved about it. Most of the time we spent in Southern Italy was spent in Lacedonia but I did see Sorrento which was really beautiful too. πŸ™‚@Angela,

  • Italian Notes -

    July 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I’d never heard of Lacedonia before, though I know the area, so thanks for an inspiring post and a great poetic photo.

    • Bethany -

      July 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Thanks for commenting! I bet now you’ll see the name pop up somewhere on your travels. πŸ™‚ @Italian Notes,

  • Charu -

    July 12, 2011 at 5:36 am

    It is so very important to know your roots. Matt had a similar experience in Sienna (his last name is Minucci) and there was this one charming lady called Miranda Minucci who hugged him and kissed him on both cheeks thinking he was a long lost descendent. It’s a wonderful feeling.

    • Bethany -

      July 12, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Oh wow! That must’ve been quite the experience! We are all connected by some thread I do believe. πŸ™‚ @Charu,

  • Andrea -

    July 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Such a beautiful story! It’s amazing how technology can unite people across the miles today. It must be so interesting to meet people who would otherwise be strangers and to have so much history and characteristics in common with them. And how wonderful to be at home so far away.

    • Bethany -

      July 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

      I know – it was a crazy trip. I have still yet to edit the photos but I can’t wait to get the stories and photos up. I look just like them all! It’s so funny! It was so comfortable the entire time too, which was the best. there was no awkwardness at all. @Andrea,

  • Emily @travelated -

    July 18, 2011 at 6:31 am

    What w wonderful story! Knowing your roots is so very humbling and important, and it’s amazing when you get to experience something like this. I’d never heard of Lacedonia before–thanks for putting this little town on my map πŸ™‚

    • Bethany -

      July 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks for commenting Emily. It was quite an unbelievable experience. πŸ™‚
      @Emily @travelated,

  • Maria of The Culture-ist -

    February 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Having family in Southern Italy that I’ve never met and a Nonna that recently passed, this story truly touched my heart.

    • Bethany -

      February 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Sorry to hear about your Nonna Maria. Hopefully you’ll make it to southern Italy and meet some of your relatives. πŸ™‚ @Maria of The Culture-ist,

  • […] I found this on Beers and Beans through Randy’s stories and Beth’s photos (and stories). The two are currently traveling the world and sharing their travel tips, tales and adventures. Their site is loaded with stunning images that tell anecdotes of their own, and are unlike any others I’ve seen. I rarely spend more than a few minutes on most blogs, but I can honestly say that Beers and Beans has captured my attention for an entire hourΒ amongstΒ which I’ve laughed and even shed a few tears. […]

  • Samuel -

    April 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    It sounds like you had an amazing experience visiting! Italy is such a special place to travel to – I can’t even imagine what it must feel like going to a place your family is from. It’s always friendlier to visit a city where you have people who love you waiting for you. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Steph -

    April 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Such a lovely story. Finding your roots is always an emotional experience but to have the opportunity to visit the rural side of Italy is wonderful. It’s not until you get out of the cities that you experience a whole other side of Italy.

  • Tom cardone -

    August 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

    What a wonderful story. My grandmother and grandfather were from lacadonia. And both settled in springfield mass. Around the same time. I was curious where your family settled as your last name is common in springfield.

  • Teyah Caponigro -

    May 17, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I love this post so much. Reading about your trip brought tears to my eyes because your story is so very much like mine. My family, specifically my grandmother, great grandmothers, great grandfathers and so on, is also from Lacedonia. As part of my (hard earned) 7 week sabbatical from work, I booked our trip to Lacedonia. My grandmother passed away about a year before I was born (in the same hospital and around the same day) so I never knew her but the stories are amazing. Her “can do” and adventurous spirit is very much alive in me. I’ve never known my family in Lacedonia so this trip will be very quiet. Just recounting the steps to the past and looking up birth/death records before 1902. I am so very happy that you got to reconnect with your family in this very heartfelt way. You’re an inspiration for me and generations to come (oh, and btw, I am also from California). A presto!