Vivo-Fruttauro Collection

Title

Vivo-Fruttauro Collection

Subject

Italy -- Emigration and immigration -- History
Italian letters
Italians -- United States -- History -- 20th century

Description

Letters from the Curbside (1)





Curbside History

In July 2016, Lisa Giordano of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, arrived at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute’s midtown Manhattan offices bearing a cache of letters written in Italian. On an early Saturday morning in March that same year, she had come upon the letters strewn on the sidewalk in front of a brownstone on Degraw Street, between Smith and Court Streets. Carroll Gardens was once a significant Italian American community that became gentrified over time, many houses being gutted for renovation by new owners.

Giordano thought the Calandra Institute, a City of New York University research institute, might provide a haven for these discarded artifacts. We accepted her donation, even though the Institute is not an archive, with the hope to one day do justice to those epistolary correspondents.

Toward that goal, the Institute partnered with graduate students Domenica Diraviam, Viviana Pezzullo, and Federico Tiberini at Florida Atlantic University to make the letters part of the Italian American Memories: Documentary Archive, an online digital collection of letters and ephemera from Italian American lives the three students had created.

We are excited to announce the launch of the Vivo-Fruttauro Collection, which features transatlantic correspondence between members of the Vivo-Fruttauro families from Brooklyn, La Spezia, and Bagnoli. The letter writers covered a variety of topics, including pending emigration to the United States, among other quotidian matters.

Joseph Sciorra, PhD
Director of Academic and Cultural Programs
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Queens College, City University of New York

Calandra Italian American Institute
Collection in partnership with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

Map



Relationships

The recurring people in Giuseppina's letters are: Vincenzo Vivo (Giuseppina's husband), Rosa (or Rosina, Giuseppina and Vincenzo's daughter), Giuseppe Fruttauro (Rosa's husband and Giuseppina's son-in-law), Angelo Fruttauro (Rosina and Giuseppe's son, Giuseppina's grandson).

Creator

Vincenzo Vivo, Angelo Fruttauro, Giuseppe Fruttauro, et al.

Source

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, City University of New York

Publisher

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, City University of New York

Date

1947

Contributor

Domenica Diraviam, Viviana Pezzullo, Federico Tiberini

Rights

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, City University of New York

Format

paper

Language

it, nap

Type

letters, cultural artifacts

Coverage

Brooklyn, US-NY
La Spezia, IT
Bagnoli, IT

Collection Items

January 12, 1947. Letter from Vincenzo Vivo to Giuseppina Vivo
Vincenzo comments to his son that he spent a happy Christmas but missed his family like a shepherd misses his flock. He reiterates the details of how his son spent Christmas Eve, eating from 7-10, then dancing until they finally went to church. He is…

January 12, 1947. Letter from Vincenzo Vivo to Giuseppina Vivo
Vincenzo writes to his wife whom his affectionately calls “his dear Giulietta”. He is overjoyed to learn of her good health over this past year since she has suffered so many headaches in the past. His prayers are being answered. He recognizes that…

January 17, 1947. Letter from Maria Bruzzese to Giuseppina Vivo
Maria writes to Giuseppina and says her brother Giovanni (in the U.S.) sends money and packages to Maria and her parents. Giovanni wants to come Italy but doesn't know when. She says everyone in the family is proud to know Giuseppina. Raffaele also…

January 18, 1947. Letter from Vincenzo Vivo to Giuseppina Vivo
Vincenzo writes to his wife who is in La Spezia with their daughter Rosina. She will be headed to Bagnoli with Peppina. Vincenzo hopes that this will facilitate her return to America. We learn that she has been in Italy for a few months at this time.…

January 28, 1947. Letter from Rosa Fruttauro to Giuseppina Vivo
Rosina exchanges pleasantries and asks about her mother’s health. She talks about Peppino’s fever and how cute Mario is as he dances the tarantella. She warns her not to fight with Zio Gugliermo over his indifference.

January 29, 1947. Letter from Vincenzo Vivo to Giuseppina Vivo
Vincenzo writes that many people have died, too many to list. He inquires about his family members and sends love. He also asks Giuseppina if she has $50.

January 30, 1947. Letter from Maria Teresa Domiello to Giuseppina Vivo
Giuseppina laments not having met Maria Teresa. She tells them about her family's health and her son's travels.

January 30, 1947. Letter from Vincenzo Vivo to Giuseppina Vivo
Vincenzo begins his letter to his wife updating her on their previous correspondences and telling her that he is happy she had a good trip from (La) Spezia to Napoli. He understands that she is sad to no longer be with their daughter but he reminds…

February 2, 1947. Letter from Angelo Fruttauro to Giuseppina Vivo
Angelo writes following his long ride back from Napoli to La Spezia via Rome where he has been to visit his grandmother. Throughout the trip he envisioned her each time he rested his eyes. His parents asked about her as soon as he arrived at the door…

February 3, 1947. Letter from Rosa and Giuseppe Fruttauro to Giuseppina Vivo
Rosina writes the first part of the letter to her mother and then addresses a page to her aunt. She expresses her concern about her mother’s health and says that if she lived closer she would have been there immediately. She has received a package…
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