The Making of Bill de Blasio… literally

December 12, 2013 / Local Interest
Sant'Agata de' Goti, Campania

The sleepy hamlet of Sant’Agata de’ Goti was recently catapulted to fame by the election of the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio whose ancestral hometown this is.
 
Blood, as we know, runs thicker than water and in the months running up to his election, the entire population of Sant’Agata set to work to promote their descendant; his campaign was spearheaded with billboards and banners and de Blasio signs hung in every shop window.
 
While New Yorkers celebrated the returns on election day, Sant’Agata celebrated throughout the night with a great outporing of pride, and a sense of belonging to something bigger and better and brighter. In the following days our gelateria made a Bill de Blasio ice-cream cake; the Mustilli cellar produced a special limited edition of wines…everyone was ecstatic.
 
So what is keeping the whole town on pins and needles? The miniature statue of Bill de Blasio being made by master artisan Mariano Tubelli, a superb interpreter of the Neapolitan tradition of Christmas nativity scene figurines. This statue, commissioned by de Blasio’s family in Sant’Agata, is to be presented to di Blaiso at his inauguration ceremony in representation of his hometown. How, they wonder, will di Blasio be dressed: with a formal jacket and tie, or as uno di noi (one of us) in shirtsleeves rolled to the elbows? A seamstress, specialized in the preparation of miniature garments was employed to make the figurine’s tiny pants, shirt, jacket, tie and leather belt.
 
Some felt that il sindaco di New York should be portrayed leaning on a donkey; others, drinking a glass of the local Falanghina wine. But Maestro Tubelli had the great intuition to portray di Blasio holding up a red apple, the special mela annurca (annurca apple, a particular variety grown outside the town) to remind the new mayor – of the BIG apple – that Sant’Agata de’ Goti, with its sweet little annurca apple, represents his roots, family and home away from home.

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Barbara Goldfield

by Barbara Goldfield

Owner of “Savour The Sannio”, www.savourthesannio.com, a travel consultancy for central and southern Italy.

14 Responses to “The Making of Bill de Blasio… literally”

  1. Our roots cannot be forgotten just as our town of origin doesn’t forget one of their own. Being Italian American means knowing and appreciating one’s Italian roots and loving and participating in the American culture, history, life. This is a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with your readers. Buon Natale a tutti.

    Reply
  2. When I was a kid we had an Italian Mayor of New York – Fiorello La Guardia.
    He was a good Mayor. Unfortunately DiBlasio will likely not be so good! Time
    will tell.

    Reply
  3. JJ Jacobs

    Thanks for telling me about this town, so I can avoid ever going there. Bill DiBlasio is a communist masquerading as a politian. If the residents of Sant’ Agata think he should be in charge of anything, I am concerned or they don’t have a clue.

    Reply
    • Barbara Goldfield

      Dear JJ, This note is not about Bill De Blasio or his politics, but the fact that “blood runs thicker than water” and that the people of this small town still see America as a land of promise and opportunity.

      Reply
  4. Joanne Trevisano

    I am an Italian-American… I agree with JJ Jacobs?… This town should not be so proud…. DiBlasio is blatant communist and will not be good for NYC…. Not all Italians are good people…… Look at the man, not the nationality..

    Reply
    • Lex DiSanti

      It is amazing how so many people feel that someone who avows socialistic programs is a dangerous communists. How many of them realize that socialism is considered by the Catholic Church, in more than one papal encyclical, as the most Christian form of government,

      Reply
  5. Lex DiSanti

    This is a wonderful example of the pride for their ancestry felt almost universally for their ancestry by Americans of Italian descent and of the reciprocal pride which Italian residents feel for their people who have found success in other lands. A fascinating tale. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. shunji asari

    I believe that Mayor Di Blasio will truly be “uno di noi,” and that he will be both a credit to all the people in his ancesstral town as well as a blessing to the people of New York, especially the 99 percent.

    Reply
  7. David Bridgdes

    Thanks for the wonderful story and pictures. I am proud for Italians and happy for NYC. And again, this piece demonstrates the amazing talent in the Italian culture.

    Reply

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