I’ve decided that now I have two birthdays’ dates: the day I was born and the day we have arrived in Gravina in Puglia, Italy: July 24.
Father of three and grandfather of one, my husband became a very sentimental person and decided to get the Italian Citizenship to honor his grandfather Felippo Losacco. Could be the right time to pursue what life still can offer to us and we may enjoy it.
Living in the USA since 2003, when we finally decided to gather all the documentation, we found out that the Italian Government now requires that all documents have to be originals. And, as we would be leaving on vacation soon, we decided to get his grandfather’s birth certificate personally in the city he was born: Gravina in Puglia. I have to confess that I would never, ever imagine how this decision would be giving me a new meaning in my life.
Until we get there, maybe because we had so many things to think about, like to book the tickets, the hotels, the car rental, things to learn about Italy, the excitement of the trip itself, I have not realized its magnitude.
Filippo Losacco, my husband’s grandfather, was born in Gravina in Puglia on February 2nd, 1878. Around 1896 he left Gravina with his sibling Salvador Losacco and went to Brazil, leaving behind their parents, Nicola Losacco and Donata Cataldi and their little brother, Nicola Losacco. As far as we know, they never saw each other again.
Gravina in Puglia is magnificent. Walking down the street we could feel the whole great love that our grandfather lived in that city with his parents and brothers and how courageous he must have had to leave the city and his family.
Suddenly, all the emotional arrival made me understand how he could leave: because that city encourages men to be brave.
Now I was sure his Gravina helped him; a place where he could extract the courage to live far from there, taking with him the will to win and given him the support to follow his new life, always thinking in his beloved parents and brother that still lived there.
Gravina in Puglia and the “Sotterranea” and its “habitat rupestre” still kept stored in its soul so much courage to thrill us. The city grew and maintains the dignity of their ancestors and all the struggle of a people to survive every day with faith; those who built every inch of each house in the city, La Basilica Cattedrale di Gravina in Puglia, il santuario Madonna delle Grazie, la Piazza Notar Domenico, la Chiesa di San Francesco d’Assisi, everything gave him the foundation to be a real man and built the family which I belong today.
How much love sprung from my heart in that moment! It was as if I had always belonged to that city. I wanted to run and shout “My Gravina, I came back,” and kiss the ground that my grandfather played and was happy when he was a child there, so deep was the feeling of love and identification.
Gravina in Puglia is also our town now. We are Italian by sanguine descent and Gravinese by heart.
We were completed enraptured, impregnated by the love left in the air by our relatives. We could feel it!
And this love, the “Sotterranea” that strengthen us, his honorable and hardworking people, those who left and those who stayed in Gravina, brought me a new vision of how being a real human being and the courage of to being like a bold Gravinese can be, like our grandfather. For all that, I found out, at age of 60, that I can be brave as a Gravinese and this saved me, not only the day, but my life, because it gave me a new purpose, a new motivation.
That trip, from that moment on, I flourished. Gravina in Puglia brought me a new beginning and the emotional feeling that I looked for, my entire life, to be able to write with passion.
Gravina, with its magical atmosphere, gave me, like a gift, the properly emotion to find the right words to describe the life beyond expression.
We went there seeking for our origins and we fall completely in love for the city, for the people and we left our hearts and souls there.
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