FROM A YOUNG AGE the author was intrigued by her mother Gaetanina's storytelling. She took seriously her mother's urging to scrivi e ricorda («write and remember»).
Itri, Italy nestled in a valley south of Rome, surrounded by the Aurunci Mountains, is home to the Santuario of Maria SS della Civita, and to her parents and ancestors.
Many of the Itrani people, including the author's parents, immigrated to the small town of Knightsville in Cranston, Rhode Island. Their faith, courage, and hard work in the face of severe hardships left a lifelong impression and a resolution to one day tell their story and fulfill the commitment made to her mother to write the family history. In this telling it is hoped that all generations, present and to come, will remember their familial roots and the people who have come before them.
Told by the perspective of this one Itrani family, Under the Pear Tree is a moving account of the trials, traumas and emotional life surrounding the Italian immigrant experience at the turn of the 19th century. This story is sure to inspire the reader to discover one's own ancestral past.