Arpino & its people
Old town of Arpino
Reas of Italy
Reas Spain & France
Reas of Britain
Reas around the world
Further links

From Arpino Italy to Manchester England

Reas and other Arpinian families have been leaving this remote town high in the mountains of the Ciociaria region of Lazio in the province of Frosinone for many centuries, and have emigrated to all corners of the world. This site looks at the possible origins and history of the Rea surname.

My grandfather Marco Rea was born on the 22nd of April, 1889, to Domenico and Concetta Rea (nee La Tessa). He was raised in the hill top hamlet of Collina, to be found outside the walled town of a medieval settlement called Civittavechia, which sits above the city of Arpino. He came to England a near penniless boy of 13 with his brother Antonio. He settled in Chester where he met and married my grandmother Maria Carmella Arcari in 1907, at the catholic church of St. Werburgh. My grandmother bore him 11 children, 7 boys and 4 girls. He started up as an ice cream vendor with a push cart, then later bought a fish and chip shop in Chester and travelled round the many fairs selling a variety of goods. He also went round the streets with Antonio with a barrel organ. He eventually settled in Manchester in 1922, where he expanded his bussiness. He became president of the Manchester Italian Society in 1935 until his death in 1955. His family continued the business until 1985 when they sold the business. However some members are still involved in the ice cream trade in their own right, the descendants of Marco and Maria Rea.


The beautiful piazza municipio, town square, of Arpino
My grandfather Marco, aged 16, taken in Chester, England, 1905
My grandfather's brother, Antonio, aged 17, photographed at the same time