Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cervinara Roots Around the World

When I started writing this blog, my only goal was to share an interesting lifestyle change with a few friends and relatives.  It's a pretty unusual situation, being able to spend extended time abroad, particularly in a non-touristy town where we would become absorbed into the community and become recognized as permanent residents rather than temporary visitors.
As time has gone on however, it has become apparent that this blog has begun to reach folks from all over the world and when you Google "Cervinara", a link to my essays pops up fairly high on the Google list.  Who could have imagined?  As a result of this phenomenon, I have been in touch with people whose roots reach back to Cervinara, usually a couple of generations back. 
Life was hard in many areas of Italy, and Cervinara was no different.  Many Cervinaresi emigrated to the US, Canada, England, Australia and South America in an attempt to find more opportunities for a good life.  Now,  2nd and 3rd generation Italians are searching for their roots, using the internet to try to reconnect with their ancestors.  A need to know and understand one's origins seems to run deep in the children and grandchildren of immigrants, and now I am trying to help folks whose ancestors were from this area to find their way back to Cervinara.

On Facebook, I have formed a group entitled "Cervinara Roots Around the World".  My idea is to provide information about what Cervinara has to offer the genealogical tourists who might want to spend a bit of time retracing the steps of their ancestors.  It's not always easy to find your way here; it is not on anyone's radar for tourism, there are no hotels in town, no TripAdvisor forums to offer advice.  Even the town and the Chamber of Commerce (Pro Loco) websites are only in Italian.  If you are looking for help in getting to this hill town, you will not find it easy to access, particularly if you don't understand Italian.
Before I left Cervinara this fall, I met with the mayor as well as with a young man, Francesco Viola, who serves as a link between the administration and the Pro Loco.  Francesco  is as ardent in his support of Cervinara as anyone I have ever met and he publishes a well-written blog about day to day life there as well.  My thought was to provide direct links on the town website, in English, where someone trying to research a trip would get some needed guidance.  But as is so often the case, it's difficult to deal with bureaucracies and the response wasn't as enthusiastic as I had hoped. Therefore, rather than attempt to put things directly on links offered on the municipal website, I have decided to try to get the information out to people doing their research by offering the group on Facebook.
So, if you are interested in talking to someone about Cervinara, or are interested in getting nuts and bolts information about how to get to Cervinara, where to stay, what to do, etc., drop me a line or post a question and you will get a quick and speedy response.  My goal is to bring Cervinara to the world, and to bring Cervinara's descendants back there.  I hope to hear from you soon!


  1. Thank you for this blog which gives a wonderful glimpse of my ancestor's home. I have been researching my family history as part of my effort to be recognized with dual citizenship and have slowly been learning Italian. I was wondering, does Cervinara have a local newspaper, like many towns in the USA have?

    1. Hi Jim,
      There is a local newspaper in Cervinara, called "IL Caudino". They have an online version that is available, but it is all in Italian. If you are on Facebook, you can subscribe to it. Here is a link:

      We have gone through the process of becoming dual citizens, although it was easier for us because my husband was born in Italy and just had to do some work to get his original citizenship back. Good luck with the process!

  2. My grandmother, Maria Domenica Cioffi, was born in Cervinara on December 31, 1908. A few years later she and her family emigrated to the US and settled in Rutland, Vermont, where many Cervinara families settled when they came to the US. Many of the Italian family names in Rutland today would be very familiar to residents of Cervinara. My wife, 2 adult children and I are visiting Italy for the first time in June, 2013 and I was wondering if you have any recommendations for guides who would spend a day visiting cemeteries, town records, etc. to help translate and show us around. We will also be visiting Candida, which is where my grandfather's family originated. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
    John S. Romano

  3. John....I have responded to your comment on the Cervinara Roots Around the World page in Facebook. Hope you find my reply. This will be a wonderful trip for you all!

  4. We're actually traveling to Cervinara at the end of this month--it was my grandfather's birthplace. I'm trying to figure out how we're going to get there from Rome. Will we have to rent a car? Is there a bus or train we could take? Many thanks for any advice you may have. I'll go look for the FB page now. --Cristina

      Here is a link to the train schedules to Cervinara from Naples.
      You can get hourly trains from Rome down to Naples. Another possibility is to take the train into Benevento from Rome, and then get the train from there to Cervinara. I don't have those hours, but there are pretty regular departures from there as well.
      Check out the FB page for more details and suggestions. You can click on the "files" tab for the train schedule and lodging possibilities.

    2. If you arrive by train, the station is not too far from the town center. If you want to go out and about beyond that, it could be a problem because there are no taxis that service the town.

      If you come by car, let me know and I will give you some suggestions for the best route. GPS directions are not always the most efficient!


    Francesco Viola

  6. Hello. I am very interested in connecting with family. My paternal grandparents immigrated from cervinara in the way 1900s. Last name is Garofano and my paternal bonnie maiden is Cioffi. I was told my gre as t grandfather was the place chief in Cervinara. Any advice orr guidance is appreciated.

  7. Apologies on spelling. Meant...
    Immigrated in the early 1900s.
    Paternal grandmothers maiden name.