It all started with the Italian Soul blog, my high school ‘all-year’ project in 2015 that I still continue today. Through Italian Soul, I’m on a journey exploring my maternal Italian heritage, searching for my ancestors, as well as collating stories, and of course recording my nonna’s delicious recipes. I’m sharing my ancestral journey with the world to hopefully encourage others to do the same in finding out who lead to them, and even to find some unknown relatives along the way.
After finding extensive information about my ancestors and extending my family tree back generations, I decided to create Souls of Lunigiana. This site aims to provide the descendants of people from the historic Tuscan Lunigianese villages of Taponecco, where my nonna came from, and Apella, where my nonno came from, with information to help them research their ancestors and find out more about who lead to them. Lunigiana is a mountainous region in Italy dissected by the Magra river, covers an area which runs from the Apennines to the Mediterranean Sea, now belongs in part to Toscana (Tuscany) and in part to Liguria. It takes its name from Luni, a Roman town, which became the principal urban center on the northern Tuscan coast. Some contend that the name Luni refers to the moon, a celestial body whose beauty is made all the more attractive when framed by the white-peaked Apuan Alps and high Apennine mountains.
The pure joy that my nonna and nonno expressed when showing them the ancestor research I had done inspired me to create Souls of Lunigiana, and I hope I can build up an insightful and informative site for every Lunigianese descendant of Apella and Taponecco to explore. I gladly accept any help from anyone with information to contribute.
Charlie Aitken – Founder of Italian Soul.
This is dedicated to my Nonna Elisa and Nonno Ilario.
In memory of their parents, and to all the migrants who brought their food and culture to Melbourne.