Discovering the roots: the story of Ornella Pesetti

19 February 2024

3 minutes

From Piatrasanta to New York and back: the story of Ornella Pesetti’s family.

“Every day –
says the Mayor of PietrasantaDozens of requests for birth certificates from deceased relatives arrive at our civil registry for the purpose of obtaining Italian citizenship. The USA, Argentina and Brazil are the countries from which the most requests come This year there were about 500. An enormity of requests for a municipality like ours that must be managed and that I must say are met with great professionalism, humanity and speed.”

“It’s a mammoth job because the registers are paper-based and the search is never easy. It takes patience, a lot of patience. Sometimes information is missing, sometimes it’s partial, sometimes it’s wrong, and that leads you astray. There are many relatives who want to reconstruct the family tree to affirm the pride of being Italian and of being from Pietrasanta. A pride that they want to pass on to their children. This is a service that our municipality provides with great commitment and with a great spirit of service.”

From this availability, one of the last beautiful stories is that of Denise Giacoia, daughter of Ornella Pesetti, in turn daughter of Ines Vivaldi born in 1900 and Urbano Pesetti, marble craftsman born in 1878. The two had married in Pietrasanta in 1922 but a few years later, in 1926, they had moved to New York. Ornella had never returned to Pietrasanta, where she had lived for just three years. Her daughter, Denise, did it for her a few days ago in an attempt to find distant relatives who are still alive but also to reconstruct her own family tree to leave to her children and grandchildren.

Mum Ornella Pesetti’s last wish

The whole story is extensively reconstructed on the website of the Municipality of Pietrasanta and represents a positive example of the moral duty to give back the history of our fellow citizens scattered around the world.

The story ended with Denise bringing the ashes of her mother Ornella, who died a few years ago: “her last wish – Denise said – was to be buried in Pietrasanta.”

Denise’s story begins over half a century ago, when her grandparents decided to leave Tuscany in search of new opportunities in the distant land of America. Growing up in a context where the stories of her homeland were handed down like precious treasures, she always felt the call to her Italian roots.

Denise Giacoia’s journey has become not just a personal story, but a universal message about the importance of preserving our family history and honoring the traditions that have shaped us. Tuscany welcomed Denise with open arms, and her journey will remain etched in the memories of Pietrasanta as a touching and unforgettable chapter of local history.


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