Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!

An Immigrant's Tale: 
Antonio's Journey  from


Pizza on Earth, Good Will to All!

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 The Immigrant's Tale:  Part I   Part II   Part III  Part IV


 An Immigrant's Tale: Part 1

Grandpa Palmieri (my mother's father, Antonio) told this story many times, while we sat at his kitchen table: 

"I was born in Brazil. Oh what a place for a boy! My father owned a farm with tropical fruits and so much land! I spoke both Italian and Portuguese, (the native language of Brazil). When I turned 17, my father sold the farm to my brother and we moved back to Italy. I hated that Italy! There were no jobs there. I missed Brazil and I wanted to go back."...


 "My father said he knew a man in America. I could find a good job and save enough money to go back to Brazil. I decided to go to America. I got on a boat  and after a long voyage, we landed on an Island, right outside of New York (Ellis Island). Oh it was tough. They treated us badly. I was treated like a dog upon my arrival in America! Stand here, go there. It was not a way to treat a man. Finally, I was allowed to leave." 


Antonio Palmieri with his mandolin!
Antonio Palmieri with his beloved mandolin!

"After this terrible experience, I took another ship to Providence, Rhode Island. The first thing I saw was a black man driving a milk cart. I spoke no English and I was scared." 

"Ah" I thought, "this man must be from Brazil." I asked him in Portuguese, if he could tell me how to get to the house of my father's friend, on "Cherry Street". As it turned out, he spoke Portuguese! He told me to hop on the wagon and he took me right there!" 

"Little by little, I came to love America. I met a girl, we had a family and I never made it back to Brazil

Antonio's tale was told and retold over the course of his life. I watched his face grow taut  as he explained  how difficult  his arrival had been through Ellis Island.

 I had heard about a web site which chronicled the Immigrant experience. We decided to try to find my grandfather, Antonio Palmieri at Ellis Island!


If you have family that immigrated to the United States you may be able to find them at  Ellis Island!  Between 1890 and 1925 millions of Immigrants passed through. The site holds an incredible amount of information about these Immigrants and is fascinating. This site is worth a look for anyone! 



Read Part II
An Immigrants Tale (II): The Search for Antonio Palmieri

 The Immigrant's Tale:  Part I   Part II   Part III  Part IV








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(The above appeared in Pizza News, August 2000)
(Volume II No. 8) (ISSN: 1533-3795)
  Grande Publishing 2000-2014


Grande Publishing 2000-2014