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ISO: Long-Lost Son


Angelo Giuseppe Piroddi left the Italian isle of Sardinia to seek a better life over 20 years ago.

Now a lawyer is desperately trying to find him — to fork over his rightful inheritance of €1.5 million (nearly $2 million).

After falling out with his family, he decided to make his own way in the world. When last heard from in 1992, he was washing dishes in South London.

Piroddi’s mother, Anselma, died eight years ago leaving her son as sole beneficiary. As in the best of family dramas, the five sisters she fought with and cut out of her will are contesting it and hope to divide up the booty.

Her lawyer won’t give up the fight and is counting on the power of the Internet to find Angelo (email if you have any leads). It may be a tough melodramatic but this isn’t an unusual tale.

For the Italian diaspora – there are about 58 million Italians in Italy and something like 60 million people of Italian origin worldwide – seeking long-lost relatives is something of a past time.

Sometimes it’s easy. About a month ago, a photographer in the U.S. emailed asking for help trying to decipher mangled town names on a birth certificate that looked to be somewhere in Lombardy. He was looking to find out more about his roots and toying with the idea of asking for dual citizenship. We untangled the names, he did a bit of google-fu magic and emailed a couple of the official town websites, just fishing. Turns out a distant cousin just happens to work for the town government and was pleased as punch to have found an American relative.

A few years back, it was rumored that notorious mafia boss Rocco Perri who emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s had left a fortune to unwitting relatives.

I still get emails from people with his last name, but it turned out to be, at best, a misunderstanding. A foreign journalist was researching a book and set off the rumor mill in the tiny Calabrian village of Platì. A story made it into the Italian papers about how a foreign government was seeking Perri’s relatives to give them the illicit treasure. That was enough to set the emails flying.

Let’s hope things turn out better for Angelo.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 2:52 AM | Permalink

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