Interview of Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo)



Interview of Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo)


Oral History, Italian-American, South Florida


  • Name: Nicoletta Sorice née D’Avanzo
  • Place and date of birth: December 16, 1936 in Roccarainola (NA)
  • Moved to the US: August, 1950

  • Family origin
    • Mother: Domenica De Simone, Sasso (NA)
      Arrived in the US on December 15, 1949
    • Father: Giuseppe D’Avanzo, Roccarainola (NA) Illegally came to the US in 1937

  • Spoken languages
    • Neapolitan dialect**
    • Italian
    • English
  • Relocation in Florida: 1982

**The dialect that Nicoletta speaks is a variety of the Neapolitan dialect highly influenced by the dialect of the Sannio area. Despite the fact that Roccarainola is in the province of Naples, it is very close to Benevento. 

Additional resources

Song title: Santa Lucia luntana
Music: E.A. Mario
Lyrics: E.A. Mario
Year: 1919

The song is about Italian emigration to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.

Partono 'e bastimente
Pe' terre assaje luntane,
Cantano a buordo:
Sò napulitane!


Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo)




Program of Italian of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, Florida Atlantic University




Viviana Pezzullo, Domenica Diraviam and Federico Tiberini


Program of Italian of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, Florida Atlantic University


Italian-American Oral History Collection at Florida Atlantic University Digital Library


Audio mp3


it, en


Oral History


US-FL, 2019


Viviana Pezzullo, Domenica Diraviam and Federico Tiberini


Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo)


NS's house


See Attached File

Original Format

Audio mp3



Bit Rate/Frequency


Time Summary



0:00 - 0:30

Biological information

0:30 - 2:00

Boat trip from Italy to New York, meeting relatives

2:20 - 3:50

Trip to Louisiana to be reunited with father, via Atlanta

First banana split

3:50 - 5:00

Settling in Shreveport, Louisiana. Parental relationship deteriorates due to 14 year absence. Mother and children relocate to NY.  

5:00 - 6:50

Growing up and ultimately raising a family in NY until her husband’s illness.

6:50 - 7:55

Children’s academic pursuits upon relocation to Florida. Reflecting on the positive impact of the move to Florida in 1982. 

7:55 - 9:00

Daughters’ weddings and children relocating. Nicoletta starts working various jobs after the death of her husband.

9:00 - 10:00

Discusses her grandchildren’s academic endeavors

10:00 - 11:00

Perspective of Boca

11:00 - 12:35

Y2K - Nicoletta begins to date Bob, her best friend’s widower.

12:35 - 14:55

Decision to go pursue her studies after retirement, completing her AA from Broward College and BA from FAU.

14:55 - 15:35

Reasons for choosing to study Italian

15:35 - 18:00

Childhood in Italian village and her fond memories of her relationship with her grandfather and her aunts and uncles.

18:00 - 19:00

Studious child because of the expectations of her uncle who was a monk. Continuous expectation for the children to leave for America.

19:00 - 20:00

The impact that each family member had on her upbringing in Italy (this portion described mostly in Italian and dialect).

20:35 - 22:30

Pride in what she learns from her own children and her daughter’s current battle with cancer.

22:30 - 23:45

Patriotism for the United States and her her children’s sense of hyphenate ethnicity

23:45 - 26:30

Presence of neapolitan dialect in the home. Anecdotes of her husband’s use of dialect and Nicoletta’s use of English as the language of the home.

26:30 - 29:00

Assimilation into American culture and learning the English language from the nuns as a new immigrant.

29:00 - 30:00

High school experience in LA and relocation to NY. Completing some college level courses

30:00 - 32:20

Recognition of space for dialect, Italian, English (expressed in Italian) and code switching throughout her life in America

32:20 - 33:15

Hyphenate identity and feeling more American-Italian than Italian while appreciating Italy

33:15 - 34:40

First repatriation to Italy in 1958 and having an arranged union with her husband.

34:45 - 36:15

Gratitude for her husband’s qualities as a father and a hard worker

36:15 - 38:00

Neapolitan songs associated with her childhood and memories of gathering with her friends to cook, sing, and dance with friends.

38:00 - 40:35

Shows linens she hand-embroidered as a young teenager and those she has from her mother’s trousseau

40:35 - 43:50

Shows the photos of family relatives which she is including in the story she is writing, including the photo that her mother shared with Nicoletta’s father who emigrated to America over a decade earlier than the rest of the family and the passport photo from which her image had been cut because she was not permitted to leave with her mother and siblings.

43:50 - 46:10

Letters revealing that her father had come to America as a stow away, a posthumous letter of employment, and a newspaper article praising her father. 

46:10 - 49:20

Distinction between life in LA and life in NY, including the mentality of a segregated society and exposure to ebonics and Southern American accents

49:20 - 51:14

Traveling from her native village to Napoli by train as a child and being exposed to modern city lifestyle. Arriving in America was not more advanced than what she had experienced in Italy.


Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo), “Interview of Nicoletta Sorice (née D'Avanzo),” Italian-American Memories: Documentary Archive, accessed April 13, 2021,