The story of José Pizarro from Puerto Rico




The exciting story of José Pizarro with his wife Rosita who shared with us a three-day tour discovering his roots.

For many years I tried to learn about roots of my grandmother who was born in Puerto Rico, of parents who immigrated from Italy in the 1800’s. I had little information about them since she passed away when my father was born. In April 2018, I got in touch with the Museo del Cognome for the first time. Since then, hundreds of emails, messages, and investigations to trace the stories and histories of my great grandparents, Vincenzo Mugno from Padula and Rosalia Maria Albina Marotta from San Giovanni a Piro. Year after year, one step after another, we shared efforts and enthusiasm. My dream was to one day travel to Italy to visit the land of my ancestors. My dream finally came true when recently my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to the land of my ancestors. During our visit we built connections and made the family ties stronger. We all turned into distant cousins, a large and crazy family who reunited last days here between Padula and San Giovanni a Piro. We all together walked far and wide the alleys of the old town. The same tiny streets his ancestors walked a long time ago. In every corner that we visitied, every streets and alleys that we walked, and every church that we visited and prayed, I felt a connection I cannot fully explain. I felt like I was at home with my family. This feeling was possible thanks to the kindness, professionalism, experience and the friendliness that Michele and his team at the Museo del Cognome had with me and my wife, that made us feel like we were a family. They made all the coordination for our trip and provided the interpreters, and all the service and advise that we needed to make our visit a complete success. There experience and kindness exceeded our expectations by far. It was also a pleasure to meet my distant cousin, Francesco, and his wife, who provided us a tasteful Italian lunch with products of their farm in their Agriturismo Tre Santi restaurant. After this visit, I believe that there may be more stories to tell, and feelings to live. Many more to come!