josiesut52's activity

Questions Asked

I'm coming with family to visit my parents village - Fanna, Province of Pordenone - in 2022. 

I have not been there for over 30 years and have no surviving relatives that I know of.

Wed, 02/16/2022 - 10:24

Comments posted

Sun, 06/05/2022 - 12:47

Hi Riccardo,

Apologies for the delay in responding to you, I have been away in Scotland and no access to my computer...

I'm afraid I don't know Maria Toffolo's maiden name - it might have been Petrucco, I will try and find out via my brother who still lives in Totnes.  He was born in Fanna.  I'm hoping his memory is better than mine!

My Uncles; Joe, Bert, Sante and Tony were related to my mother by adoption, they also had other siblings.  My mother was also called Toffolo and lived near them in via xx settembre - I don't know if/how they were related.  She was abandoned by her mother at age 4 and taken in by the above Toffolo parents.  She lived with and cared for them until they died and she married my father, over 20 years.  I don't know if it was a legal adoption or not but she went everywhere with them - including to Darlington (UK) for 5 years when she was 9yrs old.  She always thought of them as her family and so I guess so did I.  

Yes Georgia Toffolo is the daughter of Bert Toffolo who was Tony's (above) son.  He used to have a pub (The Sea Trout Inn, Staverton, Devon, around the corner from my married home...

Whether we are related or not, it has been a lot of fun being in touch with you, Riccardo and I thank you so much for all your help and the information you have shared with me.  If I find out anything more, I will let you know!

My email is:






Fri, 05/27/2022 - 08:36

Hi Riccardo,

Well it seems we may be related - small world isn't it!

Bepi was my Uncle Joe, his brothers Sante, Bert and Tony were all based in the area - Totnes and Torquay.  They had a mosaic & terrazzo business and my father, Domenico Girolami (also born in Fanna) and my brother Osi (Osvaldo) worked for/with them.

Maria Toffolo was my godmother.  Their daughter was called Adua and they lived up the hill from us.  Monsignor Adrian Toffolo was Sante's son (one of them - the other died of polio in the early 50's).  Bert Toffolo never married, although he had a girlfriend when he was young - his one and only love - called Josephine/Giuseppina.  I was named after her and I was his favourite.  he also loved corgis!  He taught me to drive aged 17yrs - I remain very grateful.

I haven't heard of Giacomo or his bar, but I will certainly check that out in August.  You may well be right about offices being closed in Aug and I wouldn't normally choose that time, it's only that all the grandchildren have to go during school holidays or not at all - I really want them to see where their ancestors lived....

Also Elide Filipetto, sounds fascinating - I will try and get hold of her book/s and try to find her.  

Thank you so much for all this information..

Saluti a te






Wed, 05/25/2022 - 12:50

Hi Riccardo,

Thank you so much for your comments and TIPS!  I have already started looking at the restaurants :)

I'm so excited to know that your parents were born in Fanna too - this is such a lovely thing to know;  and that they came to the UK at a similar time and not so very far away either - my parents came to Totnes, in Devon.

I first came back to Fanna with my parents in 1963 when I was quite young.  My grandmother still lived there with my aunt (in Via XX Settembre).  I have only been back a few times as an adult.  I'm sorry I haven't been more often, or that I don't know more about who they knew in Fanna.

I will try the central archives in Pordenone to find out more.

I remember going to Barcis and Meduno.  Also to Udine to a restaurant called the Black Cat - my father had long held memories of eating there...

We have hire cars and so won't need buses but thank you for the advice!

We are all so excited now that it is only a few weeks away.  We aren't staying in Fanna so it will be quite a drive for us from our rental homes, but it will be great fun, I'm sure.




Mon, 05/23/2022 - 08:06

Hi Liz,

Thank you so much for your message and your information - I have just visited the sites you mention and they are really helpful.

I will contact the commune in Fanna and the priest if I can find an address.  My cousin is Monsignor Adrian Toffolo, living in UK, but he is old and frail now.. I will try to find out the address of the priest in Fanna.  Living in the UK for so long has led to a split in the family heritage - I feel as if I don't know the Italian/Friuli side at all, I'm ashamed to say.  Both of my children are very keen to know more about their history.  We are coming (13 of us), to honour their heritage and mine and of course my parents, who as children, lived next door to one another in Fanna.  

My children are particularly interested in their grandfather's involvement - rescuing UK pilots shot down over/nr Fanna during WW2.  He helped them by walking them over the mountains to the then Yugoslavia.  I wonder if you might know where I might find out more about this?

It would be lovely to meet you and perhaps you could help us when we are in Italy in August?  I'm sorry to say my Italian speaking is very poor!  

Saluti a te



Thu, 05/19/2022 - 13:14

Hi Tim,

Thanks for this info - my mother emigrated to UK in 1951 - just 10 years ahead of yours!  My mother's father was also called DeMarco!!!!!  I'm not sure where he came from but it was in or near Fanna... He emigrated to USA (Chicago, I think).  Would be quite a coincidence, I guess... 

My mother died in 2013, my father in 2006.  

We are going to Italy from 13th Aug > 27th.

Yes I do have a facebook account.  Happy to contact on facebook messenger. I don't know this publication either...

Josie Sutcliffe (Devon UK)

Tue, 05/17/2022 - 07:40

Hi there!

Thank you so much for your comments and thoughtful reply - really helpful tips.

I haven't been to Maniago for 50 years but I remember going with my father to buy some 'good knives' to take back to the UK.  He had been a woodsman in Fanna and then turned to mosaic & terrazzo to make a living in the UK with the Toffolos.  My parents lived in the Uk from 1952 and that's where I was born.  My older sibling was born in Fanna just after the war.

I have only been to Fanna 3 times in my life and I have visited Cavasso (is there another one or is Cavasso Nuovo the same?), whilst there and also Spilimbergo, and Udine.  La Madonna dela Strada was also a place he took me too and Monte Eouf, , Monte Cavallo and Profabro was a favourite place of my father's - I think he had friends or family there...  My father was called Domenico Girolami and my mother, Mariutta Toffolo.  

I will have limited time and there are a lot of family coming - I wonder if there would be an english-speaking guide I could hire for a small tour of the area?

I will definitely go to the museum & municipio!

Again thank you so much for your help :)