Friday, August 6, 2010

Who's house?

A J Bartolomei Sept 15, 1918


  1. That's Uncle Dario, Patrick, Allesandro Del Carlo and Gram's cousin,Pasqualino Nardi. (He was in his late 80's and looked exactly like Uncle Bruno when Ze and I met him in '79. We just loved him, and were frustrated because we couldn't speak enough Italian to learn his stories!)

    The house is the Nardi 'villa' at the vineyard in Porcari, Lucca. David and Laura were there just after it sold to another family. 'Til then, it belonged to the Nardi's since it was built hundreds of years before. Property ownership in Italy can go on for centuries ... Gram's mother's family, the Del Carlos, lived not far away, in one of the row houses of stone. I know that the Del Carlos have lived there over 800 years. Elsa (from Chicago) and her brother, Alessandro (who visited us in the 60's) still live there. Gram signed her mother's home over to them, which is still next door to where Elsa and Alessandro live. Their mother was Zia Gemma Del Carlo. Didn't you and Tre meet her when she came to Chicago?

    Ask David ... I think the Nardi Villa is now a botanical camellias garden, if I remember the story correctly. I house sat for them when they visited in 04/05. I remember their story about the owner's father having a heart attack just before they visited. The people were still gracious to let them tour it.

    Ze and I were there in '79 with Gram, the day after Zia Gemma Nardi died. Gram was so upset since she was very excited to see her beloved aunt, and she reverted back to speaking only Italian, and all we could understand is that she wanted to take us upstairs to see 'the bedroom' which we thought that was where Zia Gemma was laying in repose since it was the custom then. Poor Ze was having anxiety attacks since she didn't want to see any bodies. As it turned out, Gram just wanted to show us her childhood bedroom!

    The next day we went to the hospital where we watched while they welded the lid to Zia Gemma's coffin shut. We then walked in a procession up the cobblestone hill to the huge church, holding Gram's arm on one side, and a huge wreath on the other. Oh that was a funeral! Just ask Ze about stories of the drunk professional mourners who walked with us, and the burial at the thousand year old cemetery!

    I think Patrick has even been there since David and Laura visited. That picture was taken during their visit in the 60's, so he might have some good stories. Ask him about riding the Vespa around the Nardi vineyard.

    Interesting story about Lois' uncle!First time I've heard it!

  2. Thanks for all the information, Kate. It is so important for us to know this as a family. I found the information on Antonio Bartolomei in the book that Cecil did for our family reunion.