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We got stuck on an island 🙂 I visited the island of Ustica, Italy (it’s a tiny island of 300 or so residents off the northern coast of Sicily) Legend has it that my great grandfather was born there and at the age of 6 moved to New Orleans, where the rest of my Dads side of the family live. Living in Italy, I knew I had to visit this majestic land to see my roots and Italian heritage. We had to fly to Sicily and take a ship to Ustica. It was an adventure like no other. I threw up on the boat three times on the way there – i guess the sailer in me died a long time ago lol
We finally arrive to see this glorious island – beautiful with greenery, mountains, and a coast like a dream! We stayed at a hotel on a mountain that overlooked the sea. As we drove to the hotel, i told the hotel manager my family story and when she asked my maiden name – she automatically said “yes!” we have 2 families here with that name. I didn’t know if they were actually related to me but the thought of it being a possibility was exciting. She also said that she had a friend who did lineage tracing and she called him right away for me. Next day, we were learning about the islands history as well as setting up a meeting with my long lost cousins!
We met all of them and they are wonderful. No one spoke English so we used a lot of google translate and Robert’s Spanish/Italian interpretations. I prayed that God would give me wisdom to understand. We told them we were departing the next day in the afternoon and they had invited us for coffee the next morning. But as the morning approached we got news that a terrible storm was over the water and the boats were not going to be running… all of sudden we found ourselves stuck!
Oh no, we have non refundable reservations at other hotels, flight reservations, my husbands work and other things we had to call and figure out planning for! Our morning turned into hours of being on important phone calls – then i realized we missed our coffee date with my family!! I was so sad. Then all of a sudden i go a knock on the hotel door – it was the hotel owner and my cousin Domenico! He came to check on us and thought we left without saying goodbye. I tried best to tell him that Robert has been on the phone all morning and his number was in his phone. Dominco invited us to dinner that night at his home. So after Robert was done arranging everything i told him the good news!
Later that night we met up with Domineco and walked the beautiful city streets to his lovely home. The city of Ustica is tranquil and all the buildings are covered in hand painted murals. As we arrived, Domenicos wife and family prepared the most wonderful and delicious italian food i ever had! Our children played together as we ate, talked and laughed! It was a night to remember forever! We even did our family tree 🙂 I knew we were related but i wanted to fit the pieces together. My great grandfather had a brother and when my great grandfather left for New Orleans, his brother stayed in Ustica and his family is all there still today.
God truly has blessed my life with all the desires of my heart. I always dreamt of visiting Italy and now i live here. I always wanted to go to Ustica and see my heritage and now i know i will always have a home in Ustica and family to greet me 🙂
I feel like a piece of history has been put back together.
Thank you God for always guiding me and loving me 🙂
Il comandante Ettore Morace parla sempre di mare. Vive a Torre Faro affacciato sullo Stretto di Messina ed è figlio d’arte di Vittorio, amatissimo presidente del Trapani Calcio e fondatore della compagnia di navigazione Ustica Lines: 54 anni, il comandante Ettore ha da poco più di un anno preso in mano le redini dell’azienda, leader nazionale dei trasporti marittimi.
“Tutta la mia famiglia è “di mare”” spiega Morace. “Mio nonno era avvocato marittimista, mio padre armatore: io ho scelto di lavorare come amministratore delegato in altre compagnie, tra l’Italia e la Spagna, finché papà Vittorio è andato in pensione: era l’1 settembre 2015, io allora lavoravo in Tirrenia. Da quel momento è toccato a me guidare la società di famiglia”: 33 navi veloci, 100 mila partenze e un milione di miglia percorse in un anno.
“L’ azienda è nata nel 1994, quando la Regione siciliana” continua il comandante “ci chiede di iniziarei collegamenti marittimi tra Napoli e Ustica con un piccolo aliscafo a noleggio. Fu un successo, e la regione ci affidò anche le rotte verso Favignana, Lampedusa e Linosa”. Nel 2004, Morace acquista il ramo siciliano della Snav e poi la Siremar: ora Ustica Lines, che dall’1 dicembre si chiamerà Liberty Lines, ha 600 dipendenti (d’estate diventano 800) e tre anni fa ha realizzato, partendo da zero, un cantiere navale proprio a Trapani. “In questo cantiere abbiamo appena costruito l’aliscafo più grande del mondo: il Gianni M., da 350 posti, interamente disegnato, progettato e costruito da giovani ingegneri e da manodopera siciliana. Ne siamo orgogliosissimi” conclude Morace.
– QUI tutti gli eventi di Panorama d’Italia a Trapani