MY IMPRESSIONS OF BERNALDA WHILE EXPLORING MY ROOTS:
FIFTH TRIP (2016)
Unlike the first two trips, where, I wrote down daily notes, on this trip (like the 2008 and 2016 trips) the following is based on CharleneĠs and my recollections.
Tuesday to Wednesday, August 2-3, 2016: Cleveland-Atlanta-Rome-Bari-Bernalda
After parking our car at the Cleveland airport, we flew to Atlanta, where we had our shortest (1 hour) layover before boarding the flight to Rome. We made the connection with ease but, from there things went very bad. After taxiing onto the runway, we had to return to the gate due to a generator failure. Delta assured us that a replacement plane was available and we would soon be on our way. They kept assuring us of that for the next 5.5 hours when, after boarding, we waited again while the baggage was loaded (more on that later). After finally taking off, we were assured that, since we would miss our connecting flight to Lamezzia Terme, we would be rebooked on the next available flight. Although we would miss our lunch date with Angela DellĠOsso and her family, we would still be able to pick up our rental car and drive to Bernalda in time for our dinner with Angelo DellĠOsso and family. However in Rome we were told that we would have to wait until after 9pm for a flight to Lamezzia Terme which would not get us there in time for our rental car or the 2.5 hour drive to Bernalda. We had to rebook to Bari, which is closer to Bernalda and for which there was an earlier flight; we were assured that our bags would be on the flight to Bari. In Bari, we found out that our 2 bags were not on the flight and needed to be located and flown to Bari and then delivered to our hotel in Barnalda. In Bari, the Hertz rental desk would not honor our booked rental car since it was for Lamezzia Terme. We had to rent a car at 3 times the price at another company. We did, however, manage to drive to Bernalda in time for our dinner with Angelo.
We had a great dinner with Angelo, his wife, and son at the Masseria Cardillo restaurant. Unfortunately, we did not have any clothes except for those we wore on the trip. It would be 3 days before CharleneĠs bag arrived but mine never did arrive; I had only my original clothing for the next nine days, despite being told repeatedly that it was being located and would be delivered soon.
Thursday - Monday, August 4-8, 2016: Bernalda
We spent the next 5 days enjoying ourselves in Bernalda and visiting Craco (the abandoned city) and Pisticci. On Thursday, we spent time with our good friend, Antonio Salfi, his wife, Lia, and my cousin, Guido, whom I first met on my 1992 trip to Bernalda). On Friday, we drove to the abandoned Òghost townÓ of Craco and toured the ruins; we had lunch in Pisticci. We enjoyed Bernalda on Saturday and on Sunday, after meeting with Don Mariano, we toured Via Antica (Strada DellĠOsso) where we met Cosimo DĠElia, the librarian who had helped us so many years ago. He took it upon himself to drive us around and arranged a visit into the 400-year-old, one-block-long Palazzo DellĠOsso, my first visit into my ancestral home. The families who now live in the renovated northern 1/3 of the palazzo kindly allowed us to visit and see the central portion that had not been renovated. This was the first and largest palazzo in the area and was the first to have an underground sewage system leading down hill away from the palazzo. The DellĠOsso family built it in the early 1600Ġs and built smaller houses along the whole street. Various members of the extended DellĠOsso family lived in and retained ownership of those homes until the 1900Ġs, when they were sold to other families. On Monday, I placed a copy of the whole DellĠOsso family tree on Cosimo DĠEliaĠs computer in the Commune. Later that afternoon, we were visited by Angelo Tataranno, whom we had met on earlier trips. I showed him my work on the DellĠOsso family tree. Each night we had great dinners at a different one of our four favorite Bernalda restaurants.
Tueesday, August 9, 2016: Bernalda-Lamezzia Terme
On Tuesday morning, we drove to Lamezzia Terme and, after checking at the airport for my missing baggage, which did not arrive as promised, found our way to the Bram Hotel, where we checked in. We had a large dinner and relaxed.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016: Lamezzia Terme
We met with Angela DellĠOsso and her father, Franco at our hotel. We exchanged gifts and I showed them my research on the San Lucido branch of the DellĠOsso family. It is uncertain which branch (Bernalda or San Lucido) they belong to. We relaxed the rest of the day and had dinner in MaryĠs Pub.
Thursday, August 11, 2016: Lamezzia Terme-Rome-Atlanta-Cleveland
Uneventful flights and CharleneĠs bag arrived with us in Cleveland late in the night. I was told my bag had been located in Rome, would be flown on Friday to JFK in New York and then to Cleveland to be delivered to me on Saturday.