My name is Joe D’Amore. I am a 21-year-old Italian-American from Winthrop, Massachusetts. My dad moved to the States when he was 25 years old, leaving Montefalcione, his small town close to Naples. In the States he met my mum, who happened to be a second-generation Italian herself. I think the influence of the Italian culture and outlook on life has influenced much of who I am today. My dad is a member of the Winthrop lodge of the Sons of Italy, so we have always been surrounded by his Italian-American friends, and this has contributed greatly to keep the Italian culture alive in my heart and my house.
What I love most about Italy is the relaxed but lively atmosphere one feels in the streets. Some years ago, I was in Naples with my dad during the San Antonio feast. We had just finished our three-course meal in a Neapolitan trattoria, and were taking a walk, when we bumped into a group of men having lunch. They had set up a long table on the sidewalk and their wives kept coming out of the apartments behind them carrying bowls of homemade pasta and casseroles. The men were chatting and eating, and as soon as they recognized in my dad some twice (or ten times) removed cousin, they invited us to sit down with them. Their wives joined us, and we spent a fascinating afternoon discussing our cultures.
This episode also reminds me of my childhood in Boston, Massachusetts. On lazy Sundays, my dad would partner up with my grandmother to make lunch. I remember plates of fusilli with meatballs, and especially the smell of the sauce my dad would make from scratch the night before. I think the food has an important role in my relationship with the Italian culture, but I have also always been interested in the Italian history and language. For this reason, I chose to minor in Italian.
Since I was two years old, I went back to Montefalcione with my family almost every summer, but I never lived in Italy for more than a month in a row. I came to study abroad in Italy because I wanted to truly experience the Italian lifestyle, and I chose Rome for a variety of reasons. First of all, it allows me to be close enough to Naples while experiencing the feel of living in a different city that I had only seen once up to now. I am also a big fan of the Roma soccer team, and here I can root for my favorite players from the stadium’s bleachers rather than on a screen. Rome also allows me to easily travel around Italy; in the two months I have been here, I have already been to Modena, Florence, and Naples.
Marketing major, Italian minor
JCU study abroad Spring 2015
Class of 2017