Discovering My Italian Roots (by Bob Arbucci)

Bob Arbucci is a Learning and Performance Consultant from New York who recently made a trip to his ancestral town in Italy. Bob wrote about his emotional journey in Mugnano del Cardinale and kindly agreed to share his story with us. Thank you, Bob, for allowing us to play a small part in discovering your Italian Family as researchers and guides!


Tracing my ancestral roots in Italy was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was able to better understand the lifestyle of my ancestors by seeing the town firsthand.
My father’s family was originally from Mugnano del Cardinale, a town close to the city of Avellino in the Campania region. 

I met Alfredo, the researcher My Italian Family provided, at the local Municipio where we researched the old registers to find clues about my family. I learned they were "sportellari" or basket makers and where they resided before migrating to America. We then walked portions of the town to find my ancestral neighborhood and soaked up the beauty and history of the town. I saw the school that my grandmother attended, and located the home where my great grandmother lived. The locals were very friendly and took time to answer many questions I had.

I was overwhelmed when I met two cousins. One, Giovanni, heads the youth group in Mugnano. They immediately invited me to an outdoor lunch. The youth group members even welcomed me with a fun t-shirt. For dinner, we enjoyed glasses of home-made local wine and ate a delicious meal of pasta marinara, polenta and sausages. 

My family roots spread further than Mugnano to the adjacent town of Baiano, where my great-grandfather lived.  A local gentlemen took us to the home of my cousins. We were invited inside and shared many memories of our families.

These experiences were significant milestones in my life, ones I will never forget. I hope to return to my ancestral towns and further explore the history of those that came before me.