Milazzo, Sicily Thursday July 20 2006
"Here's where it all began"
Well, half of it at least. Milazzo is the town my mother's father's family was from. and I had been eagerly awaiting the chance to visit this fishing town for the longest time. I was armed with some history, my father prepared some geneology reports on my mother's family that I brought with me. Beyond the family relevance, this town was everything I imagined Sicily to be and was beautiful beyond words.
After driving around for awhile soaking in the town we found a beach and decided to do a little swimming. The beach was all pebbles (we could have paid for the part of the beach with the runway and chairs, but decided against it). I don't really swim, but I sat in the sea letting the surf push me back onto the beach then letting it take me back out, it was surprisingly strong. We must have sat there for an hour, doing pretty much nothing but enjoying the sea and relaxing. I filled my pockets with some of the tiny pebbles and put them in a special edition Coca-Cola bottle commemorating Italia's victory over France for the world cup to remember this day. The bottle sits on our mantle with our Italian love knot from Murano (which sits atop our lace from Burano) and my Grandfather's Navy burial flag.
After getting enough sun we got back in the car and drove to the center of town. We parked the car along the waterfront and started to walk around a bit. I was stunned to find a statue that remarkably resembled the Fisherman at the Wheel Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts. This statue did not feature the wheel, but the fisherman was nearly identical to the statue back home. We walked some more and found the directory of the city and I was reminded of something I had nearly forgotten, there was a palace here that bore the name of my grandfather's family. While at the directory I figured out where the church my great-grandmother was baptized and married in was and we were off. The palace and the church were not more than a block away from each other. I was overwhelmed by the feeling that my ancestors lived here, walked here, prayed here. It was a special moment I was glad to share with my new bride.