Photo in a Shoebox
This website is the result of four years of research into the life of Monsignor Valerio Anzino. The journey started with the discovery of an old faded photograph in a shoebox by one of the descendents, (Tom Marchisa), of Valerio’s aunt, Angela (Anzino) Gotta. The photo had been passed down though 4 generations of the descendents of Angela Anzino. There were some scribbled notations on the back of the photo that were sufficient to start an online search that focused on Italian kings in the 1800s. This search and discovery took place during an Italian dinner prepared by another descendent, (Lorraine Lombardi, Tom’s cousin), of Valerio’s aunt. The search eventually led, (after a few bottles of Chianti), to an online
photo of Monsignor Valerio Anzino attending the wedding of Vittorio Emmanuel III in 1896. At that point, Tom and Lorraine knew for sure who the person in the photo was. They now searched for “Valerio Anzino” which produced lists of scattered documents and newspaper clippings about the Monsignor. It was a very exciting moment!
In addition to many, many hours of online research through Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and other websites, Tom made two trips to Italy. During the first trip in 2016, a set of serendipitous circumstances led to meeting a woman from Milano, (Laura Santoro Ragaini), whose ancestors had connections to the Anzino family. Laura had in her possession photographs of Valerio Anzino dating back to the early 1860’s. With her photos and help, and with the help of an Italian genealogist, (Iuri Silvestri), many documents were discovered in Fubine, Torino, and Roma that added to the body of knowledge of Monsignor Valerio Anzino. Hopefully at some point in the near future, the Monsignor’s story will be told in a book, film, or mini-series on streaming TV.