Nonno Bellino Entering Ellis Island 1902

 

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Ellis Island 1902

 

This is part of the documentation of my maternal grandfather Fillipo Bellino (Bellina) entering Ellis Island in 1902, immigrating from Lercara Friddi , Sicily. Our family surname was actually Bellina spelled with an “a” at the end, and not Bellino which became our family name as a result of just one of many mistakes made by clerks working on Ellis Island. This happened to many families.

My grandmother Giuseppina Salemi immigrated to New York, also from Lercara Friddi , Sicily, five years later in 1907. My mother’s parents were married in New York and later settled in Lodi, New Jersey where Nonno Fillipo opned a shoemaker shop on Main Street in Lodi. They lived above the shoemaker shop and had 5 children; Lilly, James, Frank, Anthony, and my mother Lucia.

The notorious Mafia Boss Salvatore Lucania, aka Charles “Lucky” Luciano was also born in Lercara Friddi, Sicily and immigrated to New York 1906, and settled on East 10th Street in the Lower East Side of the city.

 

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Nonno

FILLIPO BELLINO 

1902

 

Frank Sinatra’s family was also from Lercara Friddi Sicily. Like my grandfather, Sinatra’s grandfather was a shoemaker in Lercara Friddi. Frank Sinatra’s father Martino Severino Sinatra immigrated from Lercara Friddi, Sicily to New York City in 1903. He later moved to Hoboken, New Jersey where his son Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. Frank Sinatra would go on to become a singer and actor and was considered by millions to be the greatest entertainer of The 20th Century.

 

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Frank Sinatra

At 3 Years of Age

Hoboken, NJ

1918

 

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The BELLINO’S

LODI , NEW JERSEY

1939

Fillipo, Lucia, Antonino, Giuseppina

Not in Picture, Sister Lilly, and Brothers James and Frank

 

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RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA

Amazon

 

Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook / Recipes From My Sicilian Grandmother (Nonna) is a book based on my mother Lucia Bellino’s recipes that she learned from her mother, my maternal grandmother Giuseppina Salemi Bellino. My nonna came from Lercara Friddi, Sicily in Provincia di Palermo, which was a town about 45 minutes south of Palermo. Most of the recipes in the book are Sicilian dishes, but not all. Both my grandmother and mother Lucia had friends from other parts of Italy, like Naples,   Genoa, Calabria, Abruzzo, and Puglia, and my nonna as well as my mom picked up recipes from their friends whose families came from these other regions of Italy. 

Their are also recipes from my Aunt Fran whose family was from Lazio (South of Rome), and my Aunt Helen Cavallo who was born near Salerno, Italy and was a wonderful cook, making Neapolitan dishes along with those of Salerno, and the nearby coast of Amalfi and the region of Campania.

My uncle Tony became quite a good cook, specializing in meat preparations as he worked at his friend Jimmy Scarlotta’s family butcher shop on Main Street in Lodi, and some of the recipes are mine, that I picked up in Italy, and was taught some by my former boss Pasquale who was from Brindisi, Italy, and was quite a good chef.

 

 

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Me in SICILY

TEATRO GRECO

SIRACUS , SICILY

2017

 

 

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Back in Lercara Friddi

At a Caffe in the Piazza del Duomo

Lercara Fridi

2017

 

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Chicken Sandwich Wars I Want Mine Popeyes Fried Chicken KFC Wendys

 

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The POPEYES CHICKEN SANDWICH

That Started The WAR

“I WANT MINE” !!!

Yes there are Chicken Sandwich Wars going on right Now. Better than a  military one. It all started on August 12th 2019 when Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen released the Popeyes Fired Chicken Sandwich. Those who love fast-food, Chicken Sandwiches, social media, and Instagram in particular started a quick Buzz by Tweeting and posting pictures and comments of their feelings for the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. They all loved it, and it became an instant hit

 

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Positano is Coming – Update

 

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BACK on CAPRI

And a APEROL SPRITZ at BAR TIBERIUS

PIAZZA UMBERTO CAPRI

Back to Italy 2019; Rome, Salerno, Naples, Capri, Ischia, and Positano, the Amalfi Coast, vacation and research trip to put the finishing touch on my upcoming book Positano The Amalfi Coast – Travel Guide / Regional Cookbook. Had a great time, and learned a few new things and going staying in two places I’ve never stayed at before, Salerno and Ischia. I’d spent some time in Salerno last year with my cousins Tony, Marta, and Mimmo, but I stayed there for 2 days this year and did a little exploring. I stayed at a wonderful hotel, the Plaza Hotel, which I had a wonderful time at, and I highly recommend staying there. It’s a super nice hotel with nice rooms and excellent service from owner Gaetano and his staff. The hotel is situated in an excellent location to make it an affordable base to stay if you’re looking to do Positano, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast, and you don’t have $350 a night or more to stay in Positano or Capri, but you want to spend time visiting and eating in those spots, then staying at the Hotel Plaza at about $95 a night for two, including a tasty and robust breakfast, his hotel is one of the best choices you could possibly make to explore Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the outer islands of Campania. Besides being such a great hotel, the location could not be more ideal. The Hotel Plaza is located 200 feet from the Salerno Train Station that can get you a train to Naples in just 30 minutes and just 1 1/2 hours to Rome. The hotel is just 3 blocks to the Marine Terminal where you can get frequent ferry boats to Positano, Amalfi, Cetara, Minori, and other points on the Amalfi Coast. Very convenient.

Besides staying in Salerno, I finally made it to Ischia, a place I’d been wanting to go to for years. The reason I’d never gone before, is that I love Capri so much, that I had a hard time not going, so year after year I’d be back on my beloved Isle of Capri. Well I did like Ischia, it’s a beautiful place, but having spent 4 days on this lovely volcanic island, I still prefer Capri, which is more compact and easier to get around to the beaches and most popular sights and such. My favorite things about Ischia were watching a couple fishermen bring in their fresh catch of the day, swimming, drinking Biancolella with every meal, and finishing the meal with the a wonderful new Amaro I discovered, the locally made Amaro Rucolino which is made with its own secret recipe of roots and herbs and the main flavor ingredient being locally grown Arugala (Rocket). I just loved it, and brought 2 bottles of it to bring back home to New York.

While staying on Ischia, I took the short 20 minute ferry boat to the Island of Procida, another new discovery. I quite a nice time in Prociada where the shot the movies Il Positano about famed Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, and The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Palthrow.

I had a nice tasty lunch of Alici Fritti at the Trattoria / Pizzeria Piazzetta on Procida were I had a lovely time chit-chatting with a couple English ladies sitting at the table next to mine outside on the piazza, with our gorgeous view of Procida. Quite a nice time.

One day, I walked the 3 short blocks from the Hotel Plaza to the Marine Terminal of Salerno and caught a ferry boat to Positano to go visit my friend Mario and his wife who were staying at the Hotel Poseidon in Positano. It’s a beautiful 50 minute boat ride from Salerno to Positano, that cost just 12 Euro. Glad to be back in Positano, I stopped at the Delacatessen for an Aracini and fresh fruit before making my way up to see my buddy Mario and his wife Esperanza. It’s a nice little walk up the pathway and then onto the Via Pasitea where the Hotel Poseidon is located at # 148 Via Pasitea. This hotel is perfectly situated at one of the nicest spots in Positano, with a spectacular view of the town on its large terrace where you get one of the best views in town. The Hotel Poseidon has a nice pool on their terrazzo, along with a bar, and one of Positano’s best restaurants, the Tridente.

I had one of the best times on my whole vacation hanging out with my friends Mario and Esperanza that day on the Terrazzo of the Poseidon Hotel. We swam in the beautiful pool, drank Campari, and Aperol Spritz’s and had the most wonderful time, hanging out poolside in Positano, with our gorgeous view of the most famous and treasured town of The Amalfi Coast Italy. Yes it was a very day hanging out with Mario and his lovely wife. A day I will always treasure and always remember.

On this trip I visited some of Underground Napoli (Naples) which was quite interesting. There was a Roman Market and other buildings that were built over older Greek Ruins. It was quite interesting to see. 

I started my trip in Rome, were I stayed for 2 days before taking a fast train from Roma Termini Station down to Salerno (1 1/2 hours). Once I got off the train in Salerno, and out of the train station, it was a nice easy 300 foot walk to the wonderful Hotel Plaza just across the street from the train station. Again, I reiterate, the Plaza Hotel is a great place to see to base your trip to the otherwise expensive Amalfi Coast of Italy. This hotel is lovely and a wonderful place to stay. Ask for Gaetano and tell him “Daniel from new York,” sent you. And have a Great Time!

Daniel

 

SEE PICTURES  of The TRIP

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Look For POSITANO

The AMALFI COAST

TRAVEL GUIDE

to POSITANO NAPLES

The AMALFI COAST

TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK

RECIPES INFO & STORIES

Of NAPLES CAPRI POSITANO

and The AMALFI COAST

ITALY

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BACK in POSITANO

The AMALFI COAST

ITALY

2019

 

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