Diane McConnell and her sister, Denise Last, travelled to Contursi Terme in the Province of Salerno, Campania, where their grandparents, Rosa Pigniatiello and Salvatore Forlenza were born and married. Having immigrated to the United States in 1907, their grandparents settled in Pittston, Pennsylvania, where Salvatore went to work in the coal mines. A number of years later, he sustained injuries during an explosion; it was then that he and Rosa, along with their eight children, moved to Staten Island, New York, where numerous families from Contursi Terme lived.
Diane and Denise conducted research and were able to find their grandparents’ birth and marriage records and this fall visited the 17th century church where their grandparents were married. While in Contursi Terme, they met with town historian Mariano Cipolari and Mayor Graziano Lardo, who presented the two with plaques from the town.
In Contursi Terme, Denise Last, right, Kevin and Diane McConnell, left, met with the town’s Mayor, Graziano Lardo, who is shown holding a copy of the Italian Tribune.
To commemorate their visit to Contursi Terme, Mayor Graziano Lardo, center, presented plaques to Diane McConnell, at left with husband, Kevin and Denise Last. The sisters’ cousin, Gerardo Pigniatiello, right, was also present at the ceremony.