It's Official. Sono italiana!
The official Italian stamp you see here is the seal of finality I've been waiting for. I am now Italian, recognized as such since the time of my birth. What's even more remarkable is knowing my birth is registered in Forio, the same town where my great grandparents, Francesco Iacono and Regina Foglia, were born. Forio is located on the west side of Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples. Based on my research and that of a distant relative I recently met, my family has over 400 years of history on Ischia, but probably a whole lot more.
This quest for Italian citizenship has been my lifeline, literally. It has been a long journey getting here, but going back to my roots and the island of Ischia, has been a positive experience overall. And now, finally, years later, I'm holding my Italian passport!
I want to take this time to thank my attorney Avv. Giacinto Matarazzo from Gaeta, Italy for his unwavering dedication to my 1948 jure sanguinis case. Without his legal experience, this day would have never happened.
I spent years researching, obtaining documentation, correcting my last name (Scalies to Scalise), legally correcting my grandmother's birth certificate in the United States and preparing scores of documents ready for an Italian judge to read. However, I didn't do all of this alone. I had assistance from friends, strangers, and even my departed ancestors. But in the end, it was Avv. Matarazzo, who got this done for me in a Roman court of law. ⚖ ⚖ ⚖ Additional (and perhaps repeatedly) thanks goes to my friends Manolo and Paulina, Lia Verrecchia Candelieri, Madeline Aneli Werner, George Stavropoulos, Clark C. Kingery, Esq., Curt Staropoli, Esq., Bob Brown (City of Philadelphia), Roberta Dougherty (Department of Health, PA), the unknown archivist in Harrisburg, PA, Christine Friend (Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center), Donna Barrett (St. Paul's Parish), Fr. William A. Recchuti, O.S.A. (St. Rita's Parish), Julie Bono, and last but not least, my father, Charles J. Scalies, Jr., who has supported me and cheered me on since day one. ❤