Part II of the DiCenso family’s trip back to Sulmona in search of their Abruzzese heritage

Do you remember the DiCenso family who visited Sulmona last year? We published part I of their story back in May 2015. Here is Chris DiCenso’s follow-up..

What did you find while visiting Sulmona?

Firstly, that our family was actually from a part of nearby Introdacqua, which over time became part of Sulmona. We also learnt that there have been a few different spellings of our name over the years. We found both DiCienzo and DiCenzo quite often. In many cases, a birth certificate would be spelled DiCienzo but the baptism certificate would be spelled DiCenso. We’ve all been using the DiCenso spelling and will continue to do so – but it’s been confusing my dad…

What did you think of Sulmona and Introdacqua?

Both are very beautiful and warm towns. We loved the views from the higher elevations in Introdacqua and were amazed that at 9pm the streets of Sulmona were very active with families taking an evening stroll. We were surprised at first that there were so many Americans who had purchased a house in Introdacqua. Having seen what we think is an abandoned house where my great grandfather grew up has made me think of buying one myself.

What were some of your favourite memories?

Wow! There were so many. Seeing the original books at the Comune of Introdacqua where our ancestors’ births and baptisms were recorded and holding my great, great, great grandfather’s birth records. 
Meeting other DiCensos, one of whom we now know lives only 30 minutes from us in the US. We did not know them before. Mirella Ammirati (of Southern Italy Travel, who organized our genealogy research and local tour) introduced us. We had their whole family over to my parents’ house last weekend and they are planning to invite us over to theirs soon too.  

The Aperitivo Experience arranged by Welcome to Sulmona was great not only because of the wines but because the location and atmosphere at the Hotel Ovidius were very relaxing. 

Seeing the “Casa DiCenso’ sign in Introdacqua, where most of our family came from, was particularly emotional.

And did I mention the wines….?

Wine Tasting Experience with the Di Censo Family at Welcome to Sulmona

What did your kids think about the experience? 

Many of the kids mentioned how they now feel more connected to Italy and our heritage through this trip

Do you mix with any other Italian or Abruzzesi families back home?  

We used to meet every year with my grandmother’s side. She was from southern Italy but that has sadly now stopped as many of them are now dead. 

Do any of you have Italian citizenship?  If not, is it something you might be pursuing? 

No, and we probably won’t pursue it.   

Do you think you’ll come back to Sulmona?

We’d really like to! We made some great connections and we’d like to come back and spend more time seeing more of the area and visiting more relatives. I’d like to find the DiCenso coat of arms and I’m also planning a return trip where we can spend more time talking with DiCensos about our heritage  without being in a group of 13! Maybe in a few years……

Overall, this holiday has been one of the trips that will put a smile on my face every time I remember it.

The Di Censo Family in Introdacqua - Welcome to Sulmona


You can read Part 1 of the Di Censo family’s story here
The DiCenso family visited Sulmona and Introdacqua in June of 2015.

Please get in touch if you would like to get help with your ancestry research queries such as:

  • birth, death and wedding certificates
  • family status certificates
  • historical research
  • dual citizenship procedures 

We shall be happy to offer our assistance in conjunction with our partner Southern Italy Travel.

About The Author

Written and curated by bi-lingual partnership Katy Gorman and Susanna Iraci, Welcome To Sulmona is the first born and remains the best-loved child of their marketing & communications consultancy ‘Quid Novi'. They enjoy researching and creating copy for their own website alongside that of the other many guest authors. More often than not Katy is ‘words’ and Susanna ‘pictures’. Katy Gorman: Ex-pat Anglo-American, Quid Novi wordsmith, English teacher & resident of Sulmona since 2009. Susanna Iraci: Marchigiana, Quid Novi visual designer & photographer - also resident of Sulmona since 2009.

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