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THE CAPISTRANO FAMILY

"The Family: A group of persons related by blood; a group descended from a common ancestor” (Collins English Dictionary , 2003).


 

 

 

 

Very few people have the same clear-cut, ancient historical past that we Capistranesi have. Very few people can trace their roots as far back as we can. Our people have been together for a very, very long time. Historical sources trace our roots all the way to the mountainous region between Greece and Albania over three thousand years ago. They were a Greek-speaking group that moved into Central Greece and created a Greek state called “Locris.”

From there around 2700 year ago some left and moved to Calabria and founded a colony called “Locris”. Some of our unstoppable ancestors moved on and created three new colonies on the western side of Calabria in the area of Vibo (Hipponion), Pizzo (Napitia), and the Angitola area (Crissa). From there, after having mixed with the local Latin tribes, they moved inland and created Capistrano and the surrounding towns.

While on the side of Mount Coppari, they struggled against want, challenging winters and extremely hot summers; too much rain or not enough rain; powerful storms and destructive winds.

Together they endured destructive Muslim invasions; together they left their new beloved land and moved to Vallelonga for about 80 years to seek protection from those invaders; together they endured devastating earthquakes and tackled wave after wave of epidemics which decimated both young and old. Together they suffered greatly but every time they moved on ready to fight whatever was ahead of them and did not surrender.

While all these trying events took place, they married and had children. The Caputos married the Feras, the Mandalitis married the Pasceris, the Tuccis married the Tinos and on and on.

Over the centuries they created us, their offspring, made of essentially the same genes. As we move back in time, we all have the same blood and thus we are very similar in our essential temperaments.

We all have Montesano, Scolieri, Fera, Mandaliti, Tino, Natale, Pisani, etc. blood. Going back just three generations, I am a Caputo, a Fera, a Tucci, a Mendaglio and a Lomoro. But that is just the recent past.  Going further back would reveal that I have ancestors from all other families in town as well. And so do you, if you are a Capistranese.

We Capistranesi are indeed a family – an ancient family that goes back thousands of years. We are a courageous and adventurous family willing to continue seeking new shores, like our Greek ancestors did 2600 hundred years ago. And like them we refuse to forget our past and our roots. Like the “Locrians” who named their new colony like their motherland “Locris,” and who kept a strong link with their motherland for a very long time, we too may move away from our modern Locris (Capistrano), but our heart longs to return to our town and strives to maintain a bond with our people “back home.”

We capistranesi around the world love our town, we love our people, and in loving our people around the world we love a part of us, for their ancient blood flows in our veins and our ancient blood flows in their veins.

We are the capistranese “family”. A family in the truest sense of the word. A family with deep genetic and historical roots. A family of tenacious, vivacious, tough, adventurous and caring people.

Like all humans families, at times we have our differences; at times we might even make the mistake of struggling with one another. But when emergencies arise, we leave aside our differences and we are there for one another, like our ancestors were for centuries. And we, their offspring, will continue being like them, for they are in us and they live in us with the same stubborn spirit that refuses to surrender, in spite of the many storms and winds and earthquakes that come our way.

WE ARE the Capistrano "family"!

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