Hi Jason (and all members of the Fra Diavolo Group),
We apolgise that it has been so long since we have been in contact,
but we have been through a really rough period just lately. We hope
you will understand.
Just to remind you we are an English family now permanently living
here in Itri, Italy.
Louise's father was quite poorly, suffering from heart problems and
kidney failure. We nursed him here at home in Itri, which included
daily dialysis treatments, except for periods when he was admitted to
hospital. Sadly his condition steadily deteriorated and he died here
at "Tre Cancelle" at the end of March 2008. We are gradually coming
to terms with losing him. Louise also lost her mother, here in
Italy, 2 years ago.
So now it is just the 2 of us.
We have lots of work to catch up on, which we were unable to do
whilst caring for Dad. We are busy trying to tidy up the olive grove
(between 500 and 600 trees) but there is so much of it, we will have
to do it in stages. We have 2 olive workers who are currently
helping to teach Paul how to prune the trees to get them back into
shape and hopefully back into full production.
Plus we are busy with guests, this year we are doing quite well with
bookings here at "Tre Cancelle"
Currently we have some family staying with us, and yesterday we took
them to Atina (Frosinone) to see the place where their Italian
ancestors were born and to meet the family living there for the first
time. Louise's grandparents left Atina in 1911 and settled
in "Little Italy" in Clerkenwell, London.
So yesterday was quite a day! There was also a procession as it was
the feast of Corpus Domini and the cobble stone roads were decorated
with carpets of flowers. Here in Itri there was also
Well, regarding the Baptism records for the Itri Church of San
Michele Arcangelo (1761 to 1788).
As we have mentioned before, things in Italy more often than not move
very slowly. Things cannot be rushed !!!
This morning, one of our friends managed to organise an appointment
to meet Don Mario at the church and talk to him about the above
We told him about the Fra Diavolo Group on the internet, and that
Jason Soccia had visited him in 2002.
He showed us the ancient register which consists of several hundred
pages. He said that we would have to talk to the present Parish
Priest, Don Alfredo, about obtaining permission to take digital
photos of the register. Don Mario is now retired, so it would
definitely have to be approved by Don Alfredo and possibly other
members of the clergy. Don Mario is well into his 80's and is rather
frail, but seems to be a very kind man.
We think it would be helpful if perhaps Jason Soccia or someone
representing the Fra Diavolo Group were to personally write a letter
to Don Alfredo, explaining about the Fra Diavolo Group and
researching ancestors from Itri, and asking if it might be possible
to digitally record this register.
You would need to make clear the motive for doing this, explaining
that it would be for no financial gain. I think you will need to
tread carefully, and be very couteous and polite.
If you are unable to write the letter in Italian, we can try to help
you translate it. Then we will try to organise an appointment to see
him and pass on your letter etc.
Once again, we would be only to pleased to help with photographing
the register, if it meets with Don Alfredo's approval.
We are sorry that these things are not easy, and take time, but will
try to help you as best we can.
Very best wishes
Louise and Paul Shapcott
"Tre Cancelle", 04020 Itri (LT) Italy