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This site is dedicated to my late father Loreto Rea and mother, Margherita. Also the memory of my grandparents, Marco and Maria Rea, (nee Arcaro) and Vincenzo and Brigida Schiavo(i) (nee Tiani), who I never had the pleasure of meeting. They died long before I was born; however I feel close to them through the stories recounted by my mother, father, aunts and uncles.

The old hamlet of Civitavecchia, Colle Lo Zoppo, Arpino, Frosinone, birthplace of my paternal grandfather, showing the 16th century church of San Vito
I have visited Italy often and been to the 'paese' of my origin. Here I feel truly at home, even though I am British born. To see the family houses that my granparents lived in, the ancient farmland they worked, the churches where family generations were baptised, brings their way of life home to me. I can't imagine what a wrench it must have been to leave their families, the picturesque mountain villages of their birth, and the force of the economic hardship that drove them away.

Via San Gerardo, Gallinaro, Frosinone, the birthplace of my maternal grandfather Vincenzo Schiavi (a.k.a. Schiavo)
They arrived in a grey industrial city with little money and even less knowledge of the English language. Classed as illiterate, to then build thriving businesses from virtually nothing and form associations of mutual aid and promote cultural activities was a great achievement. I have nothing but admiration for their pioneering spirit, their resourcefulness, and ability to adapt to adverse circumstances.

They created a tight-knit community where family bonds were strong, and the businesses they established left a legacy of security for the generations who followed. We, as those generations, should always remember the sacrifices our forefathers made.

Remember we've been left a rich cultural legacy that you can't just put to one side. Be proud you're Italian, wear your identity with pride as your forefathers did before you. It is one of life's greatest gifts, passed on by our ancestors.


As each generation moves farther from its immigrant beginnings, it longs to unearth roots and examine, in the most personal of ways, the origins of identity."

Lini S. Kadaba


My paternal grandparents, Marco and Maria Rea on their wedding day 22nd Dec 1907.
My maternal grandparents, Vincenzo and Brigida Schiavo with their first born son, Carmine, circa 1918.

All text and images (unless marked *) Anthony Rea 2010
not to be used without permission. All rights reserved