Born on Broad Street not far from where the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers ply their trades, a graduate of three local schools (Bishop Neumann High, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Temple University), it’s hard for me to imagine anyone being more Philadelphian than I.
Nonetheless, during the 40s and 50s, if you asked me or my buddies what’s your nationality, to a man we’d say, we’re Italians. A badge of honor, we knew Italian was the way we could distinguish ourselves from other ethnic groups that surrounded our little world, our little Italy, known to us simply as South Philly. Filled with immigrants from Naples, Sicily and Calabria, we grew up eating the best Italian food, listening to the best music sung by the likes of Como, Bennett, Sinatra, and Deano; rooting for great athletes like Graziano, Marciano and DiMaggio; going to the same schools with other South Philly Italians, Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Darren, Buddy Greco, Bobby Rydell and Mario Lanza.
While growing up Italian, few if any of us kids ever aspired to visiting Italy let alone having the chance to live there for a year. Well, I did live in Italy. More accurately, Nancy and I did. The experience changed our lives. What we learned could fill a book. So, we wrote one. When you read it, we hope it will inspire you to do something exciting, something adventuresome. For us, it was Italy. For you, it might be something else. Climb a mountain. Write a book. Ask for that raise. Life is short. Find your Italy and do it. Avanti.
Visit Nancy and John at: http://NotInATuscanVilla.com