They Really Say Mamma Mia! A Tale In Discovery of Family

They Really Say Mamma Mia!

by Ed And Sandy Picard

mamma miaMamma Mia! This is a heartwarming and amusing journey of discovery into family and ancestry as we travel two continents to find undiscovered Italian ancestors in a little village in Italy.

It is a tale which changed our lives forever and has the potential of changing yours. Our adventures will cause you to rekindle fond yet forgotten memories of your own youth, your family and a time of innocence. Our little book will make you smile.

Come with us on our heartwarming and entertaining journey across two continents as we attempt to connect with lost and forgotten Italian ancestors separated by oceans and time. Our lighthearted treks, sometimes hectic but always fulfilling, will put a smile on your face. Read how our lives have been changed forever. Read They Still Say Mamma Mia!

Their Little Book

Our little book has the potential of enriching your own life. Reading our tales will make you think about memories of your own family, your first home, your youth and a time of innocence. You might ponder your own family tree and ancestry roots. You don’t need to be Italian to enjoy the richness of our journey.

We don’t claim to be professionals or experts. Our experiences in Italy as we tried to discover the ancestry of the Picardi family tree has changed our lives and we want to share things with you. We put together some tips we found helpful for us. They might not be the best choices for you. A must read – They Still Say Mamma Mia!

This book is a fantastic tale of experience and how finding family through their travels was a life changing event for them. Take some time and purchase this book. Who doesn’t love a great story!

Ed and Sandy have also offered suggestion for Italy travel and cuisine. Take a look at the loads of information about Italy that have shared with us.


I. ABSOLUTELY, you MUST go there. mamma mia You will never get younger and it will never get cheaper. We waited until later in life before we discovered the fantastic charm, beauty and unimaginable richness found in Italy.

II. We found the  bus system in Italy is quite cheap and reliable. The bus tickets are usually purchased at the tobacco shops, (la tabaccheria), before you get on the bus. It is important to validate your ticket by inserting the ticket into the little validation box when you get on the bus. Sometimes the traffic police will be on the bus and check that you validated your ticket. The other place to buy the tickets is the ticket office, (la biglietteria). The bus schedules, just like the train schedules, are printed out and rather accurate. The local bus stops are referred to as the FERMATA, (the stop), can be simply a little sign on a pole.

mamma miaIII. Although the hotels in Italy are fantastic consider staying at a Bed & Breakfast. These are inexpensive and typically family owned. You can get a wonderful flavor of the local Italian culture.

IV. Morning breakfast, (la colazione), is a light breakfast and what we refer to has a Continental breakfast, (duh.) It is enough to get you going until you pick up something for lunch.

V. There are generally two types of places to eat. The first is il ristorante which is what we consider a typical restaurant.  Another option is la trattoria. These are smaller, less expensive and less formal restaurants. Often, outside seating is available. The food can be fantastic in either the restaurant or the trattoria.

Keep going this is wonderful information

VI. Things shut down in the middle of the day then reopen around 4. Plan your travel schedule so you are not waiting around for things to reopen. (Also, many things in Italy shut down in August for a couple weeks.)

VII. Public toilets are not the highlight of Italy. We try to utilize the private restrooms while Sandy and I are sharing a cappuccino and espresso in a cafe’.

VIII. If you go to Pompeii, be sure to visit the Villa of Mystery, which is down a little path. You will not forget it. mamma miaAlso, try to visit the other city destroyed by the eruption, Herculano. Herculano is smaller, has much less tourists and very impressive. In Herculano, be sure to see the bones.

IX.Try an espresso or if you are really brave, try a doppa espresso, (double espresso). It is an entire cup of coffee in about a tablespoon. If Popeye did’t eat spinach he would have taken an espresso. Sandy prefers her cappuccino sprinkled with chocolate, (la cioccolata).

X.     Try to learn a few words of Italian before you go. Don’t worry if you can’t. You will know a bunch by the time your trip is over.

XI.     Don’t bring a chainsaw to Italy.
(Trust me! If you are curious go see our little book.)

My Mom’s Recipe for Shrimp Spread

mamma mia


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