After spending the greater part of my career covering – and then working for – Mayors, Legislators and Governors, it seemed only fitting that when I visited Corleto Monforte, the hometown of my ancestors in Italy, and met the Mayor (or “Sindaco” as the office is called in Italy), Antonio Siciliano, he turned out to be a relative.
Antonio opened up Town Hall for my wife Anne, my cousin Nonie and her husband Gianfranco and me at about 11 p.m., so he could present us with books about the history of Corleto Monforte. He signed copies for Nonie and me.
At the end of the night, we spent time visiting outside nearby the members of a local soccer team, who were celebrating a big victory. The Mayor would walk over and chat with them from time to time, much like political leaders in the U.S. do when a local team – be it professional, collegiate or Little League – does well and brings some pride to the area.