As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
Co-author Julie Whitman Jones and I have published her late stepfather, Edmund Burke O'Connell's memoir of his service as an Army combat newsreel photographer during the Italian Campaign of World War II. He met Tina Calamai during the liberation of Florence in 1944 and used her family's villa, then known as the Villa Calamai as a base of operations through the final months of the war. He returned after the war to marry Tina in 1946 and worked at the Livorno Army base until her death in 1972. He then returned to the U.S. for the first time since the war and married Julie's mother in 1972. O'Connell moved his family to Italy in 1974 and their country address was listed as follows:
Villa Calamai, Colli Alti
San Mauro, Florence, Italy
Julie visited the villa at the age of 15 and recalls a well and large fig trees outside its massive stone walls. We can furnish photos of what the villa looked like in the 1970s if you can be of help in our background search. Julie and I are also trying to locate the owners of this villa and surviving Calamai family relatives to learn more about this unlikely love story. You can read an excerpt from the book at www.thelastfarewell.net or send us an email at email@example.com
Tom Sullivan and Julie Whitman Jones, Pacifica, California