Cafolla Family History

We are so delighted that the Quaffolla website launched last week and we’re excited to start fulfilling your Italian coffee needs! To celebrate the launch, we’d like to share a little bit of our family history with you for our very first blog post. My name is Federica Clarkson (or just Freddie), and I am Nina’s daughter. I, along with my siblings, am very proud of our Italian heritage and am thrilled that I can honour our family in this way.

We are one of the many Irish-Italian families who come from the Val di Comino region of southern Italy. Located between Rome and Naples, this valley is filled with small mountainous villages. Many Irish-Italians can trace their ancestry back to the village of Casalattico, or Casal as it is known. With a population of just over 550, this quiet town is considered home by many of us. Casal seems to triple in size during the summer when the families of those that left return for their summer holidays. Many families still have relatives that live there. Our family visits the region every summer to see our aunts, uncles and cousins.

Agriculture was a huge part of life in the region, from which many families made their living. Our grandmother and her siblings tended to the cows from a very early age and were required to work to support the family. Opportunities for work were slim, so in the 1960s our Nonna traveled to Dublin for work, along with her sister, Loreta Marrocco. It was here that she met and married our Nonno and raised their family. Chain migration played a major role in the huge number of Italians who came to Ireland to make a living. Our Nonno was born here in Dublin, but his father, Giuseppe, settled here after a meandering journey through England and Scotland. There are Italian communities in Scotland and Northern Ireland who also come from the Val di Comino region.

Community is a very important part of life in the Val di Comino and traditions, such as the weekly markets, play a huge role in the culture of the area. The importance of community relations was carried through the generations and was brought right here to Ireland. Many Italians left the region behind and came here to find work, settling all over the country, from Dublin Centre to Ballina in Co. Mayo. My Nonno was born on Capel Street and lived for many years on O’Connell Street. Italians socialised together, going to mass and cultural events. Thus one of the largest foreign communities in Ireland was formed.

Another integral part of Italian culture is, of course, food! Many people associate the Irish-Italian community with fish & chip shops, though they have contributed so much more than that to Irish society. Italians who emigrated here brought with them previously unknown delicacies, like olive oil and pasta.

Here at Quaffolla, we intend to continue this tradition of introducing Italian goods to Ireland. La Brasilera coffee offers a taste of authentic Italian culture, from a real Italian family! We are so excited to provide all your coffee making needs, from guides on how to make the perfect cup of coffee to traditional Italian recipes. All of which will be posted on our social media and right here on the blog.

Grazie mille for your support and we hope that we can bring a bit of Italy into your life!
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