Florence Discovery

By admin
Posted on

09/30/2023
NORP


Florence Discovery
PERSON


Last week
DATE

, on my way back from TPAC I took a holiday in

Florence
GPE

,

Italy
GPE

. It was an awesome experience all around, but

one
CARDINAL

thing was really personal and I wanted to write it down..

So… I am

Italian
NORP

.

I know, "

Kardell
PERSON

" doesn’t sound

Italian
NORP

– and that’s because it isn’t.

Kardell
ORG

is my biological father’s name and it has, as best I know, a mix of

German
NORP

and

Irish
NORP

roots. But my from even my very youngest memories, I was raised with/by my maternal side. My parents divorced when I was all of

5
CARDINAL

.

My mother’s maiden name is

Frediani
PERSON

, and both of her parents were

first
ORDINAL

born generations in

America
GPE

, shortly after their parents arrived. My maternal grandfather’s family (

Muzio Frediani
PERSON

) was from

Tuscany
GPE

. His father was a printer (and all of his kids were later). Their print shop was a historic landmark in

Pittsburgh
GPE

‘s strip district. He also founded

the Italian Sons and Daughters of America
ORG

. Among a lot of other things, they did a lot with

Italian
NORP


Americans
NORP

, unions and political campaigns. My maternal grandmother’s family name was

Casale
ORG

and they were from

Silcily
GPE

. Her father (

Giuseppe Casale
PERSON

) was a contractor/

mason
ORG

and he built many of the houses in the neighborhood my grandparents lived in, and my mom now lives in.

This side of the family had a very strong culture. There was a lot of community. Some people in the family even still spoke

Italian
NORP

. They were constantly instilling this in me: You are

Italian
NORP

. And so, these are the roots that have always resonated in me.

When I learn about

Michelangelo
PERSON

,

Galileo
PRODUCT

,

Dante
PERSON

,

Leonardo
PERSON

,

Raphael
PERSON

or

Donatello
PERSON

(and so many more) – I felt… Actually connected to it somehow. I don’t know, maybe that’s silly. But the result was that

Italy
GPE

was the

one
CARDINAL

place I’ve always wanted to go since I was a child.

I never really managed to get very far in making a family tree (lots of those services to help you feel outrageously expensive to me).

Florence
PERSON

, where I went, is part of

Tuscany
GPE

. I went to

Florence
PERSON

because my sister had been there kind of actively looking for connections to our family.

Frediani
PERSON

isn’t a super common name – I’ve never met another myself.

Anyway… I went to

Florence
PERSON

.

A series of fortunate events. I wasted no time, I spent pretty much all of the waking hours touring something: some church, garden, museum, street, bridge, etc. In a lucky coincidence, some friend from TPAC was also in

Florence
GPE

and we met up for dinner. They asked me if I had been to the church where

Michelangelo
PERSON

was buried. No! They said "I think maybe

Dante
PERSON

is also buried there?". Wow I wanted to go so much – I’m so fortunate that I wound up in a situation where they were there and we had dinner and they could mention it! They had me at

Michelangelo
PERSON

, I was very keen to go. I went

the next afternoon
TIME

, but I was in shorts and that’s not allowed and I’d have to shift my schedule and come back the following day. So, on my very

last day
DATE

I went to this church at

Sante Croce
FAC

. Unlike every other thing I’d been to, there was no line. Because it was

the last day
DATE

, I had nowhere else I really wanted to go afterward. This was my last "big" stop. So, I decided I would really take my time, soak it all in, and pay my respects. Given this, I also decided to pay extra and do the audio guided tour. Looking down the nave of the main church. Inside I was surprised to see there were tombs in the floor everywhere – people were walking on them. A few were roped off – I think they were damaged, but mainly there were just occasionally these tombs in the floor. Around the outer wall of the church were bigger memorials to a number of important

Italians
NORP

(mainly

Florentine
PERSON

, but not exclusively). Yeah, wow.

Michelangelo
PERSON

,

Fermi
ORG

,

Galileo
PRODUCT

,

Dante
PERSON

, Machiavelli – so many. I really took my time. I learned a ton of interesting stuff and took a lot of pictures. Before leaving the main part of the church I sat down and listened to more about how all of the people buried here were somehow "important". I had this fleeting thought that maybe I should go through carefully and see if I can find my family name, but I dismissed this very quickly.

Florence
PERSON

is a huge place inside the huge place that is

Tuscany
GPE

– there can’t be

more than 70
CARDINAL

people buried here. The odds would be astronautical. I decided to plod on.