Re-connecting with Sulmona family after 4 generations

Sulmona has sent many of her sons and daughters all over the world over many, many decades. Some come back, plenty don’t, but what they all share is a sense of belonging to our fair city – a feeling passed down even to those who have yet to visit and whose sense of family and heritage draws them back here. 

Chris Di Censo from Boston and his extended family are visiting Sulmona in June of this year to re-connect with their roots and maybe meet some distant relatives, thanks to the help of our partner Mirella Ammirati from Southern Italy Travel. Here is Part I of his story.

Di Censo Family

When did your family leave Sulmona and where did they settle?  

My great grandfather Paolo made his first trip to New York we believe in 1901. We think he travelled with a cousin and eventually settled in Boston’s North End. His son, my grandfather Earl, joined him in the US at the age of 9 and went directly to Boston.  

Paul DiCenso
What can you tell us of their early years?  

Most of our family of Di Censos lived in East Boston. My grandparents eventually moved west of Boston to the town of Roslindale where my grandfather started his own construction company. 

Why do you now wish to re-connect?

I have been researching my ancestors since the 1990’s. We have a close family and have strong connections with our Italian ancestry. I would now like to learn where our ancestors grew up and lived. I have found almost all of the information on our ancestors who lived in the US so I now need to go to Sulmona to find the rest. Oh, and I heard that there’s an abandoned house that my grandfather grew up in so I thought I could buy it and have my own Italian villa!

Have you been to Sulmona before?

Most of our family has been to Rome and other parts of Italy. This trip is coordinated with a family trip to Tuscany for my parents’ 75th birthdays. 

Are you hoping to learn some more about your family history, or to meet blood relatives, or both?

Both. We have asked Mirella Ammirati of Southern Italy Travel to find some of our relatives when we are there. 


We hope to bring you Part II of Chris’ story after he has visited in June!

About The Author

The WTS Team

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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