In 1907, 20-year old Pasquale de Medicis (far right), took a chance, leaving his family to embark on a long journey full of insurmountable risk in hopes he would accomplish his dream of immigrating to the United States of America.
Leaving his home village of Collelongo, Pasquale set out for the United States with what he could carry. Traveling first to the port of Naples, and then finally setting sail for Ellis Island, New York.
Upon arrival to Ellis Island in 1907, Pasquale de Medicis applied for naturalization to become a citizen of the United States. He fell victim to a regular occurrence of the times, having his last name misspelled by immigration officials on his legal documentation. One document even showing three different spellings of his last name. Ultimately causing "de Medicis" to become "DeMedici". Like many other Italians, Pasquale settled in Appalachia where coal mines were eager to hire hard-working Italians.
Finally, in 1933 Pasquale fulfilled his dream and was granted his United States Citizenship (Certificate of Citizenship pictured right). Tragically, Pasquale would be killed in a coal mining accident just twenty days after becoming a United States Citizen. He left behind his wife Lucia, Three sons; Carlo, Mario (Marshall), Lorenzo (Lawrence) and one daughter Gemma (Jean).
The year was 1933, and Carlo DeMedici became the man of the house, charged with helping his mother tend the home and raise his three younger siblings.
At the age of 18, Carlo DeMedici worked hard to make sure his Mother and siblings were taken care of.
In 1943, as WWII raged on, Carlo and his brother, Lorenzo, were drafted into the United States Army. Both attended basic training and were sent to Europe to fight with the Allied forces. Carlo was first sent into France, days after the invasion at Normandy and fought in some of worst European theaters of WWII, including the Ardennes.
Upon safely returning home upon the wars end, Carlo continued earning a living for his family.
In 1950, he married his love Olympia "Olie" Lattanzi at the local Catholic Church and the two hosted their family and friends at the Loggia La Vittoria Sons of Italy Hall reception.
The two had three children, Carla, Theresa, and Carl (Butch) DeMedici. Over the next several decades "Olie and Carl" worked hard and raised their three children who eventually went on to have children of their own. All the years, sharing and preserving the proud tradition of their Italian culture with the family.
Over a hundred years after Pasquale landed at Ellis Island, Pasquale's Great-Grandson and Carlo's Grandson Nicholas Carl "Nick" DeMedici had the dream to open an authentic Italian restaurant so that others may enjoy many of the flavors and feelings he did as a child. Nick with the help of Harma Hospitality, was able to make his dream a reality and name it in honor of his Grandfather Carlo.
"Nonno Carlo" meaning "Grandfather Carl" in Italian draws flavor inspiration Nick gathered while visiting and reconnecting with family in the families home town of Collelongo, in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The flavors are authentic and as time tested, as the cobblestone streets of Rome. The interior was inspired by fixtures Nick observed while exploring Italy and features many of Nonno Carlo's personal effects.
While the flavors come from Italy, Nick attributes his work ethic and sense of family to his parents and Grandparents, especially Nonno Carlo. A man who lived an extra ordinary life. Sadly, Carlo passed on in 2008 and was never able to see the restaurant in person but his spirit lives on daily in the sense of family and Italian culture that is "Nonno Carlo"
(pictured left: Carlo DeMedici and his six grandchildren, Natalie, Amanda, Nicholas, James Joseph "JJ", Megan, and Joseph "Joey".)
Carlo DeMedici and his Grandson, Nicholas Carl "Nick" DeMedici
Meet our owner, Nick DeMedici as he discusses Nonno Carlo with @PositivelyWV!