A journey through love, romance, passion, and heartache.
The journey of life started at fourteen years of age, would take Simone’ and her family into a maze of pain, heartache and separation because of choices in love and decisions made while she was young and inexperienced even to the decisions made after her marriage to protect her family. She found herself in an endless vortex, a downward spiral laced with fear because of the fervent love she had for her family; she felt trapped like a bird in a cage. These decisions were almost detrimental to her daughter and her husband whom she loved with all her soul. Instead of protecting, those she loved, her decisions had painful consequences rather than healing remedies.
The influencing actions and devastating circumstances all surrounded and involved one woman, who wore a veil of mystery, even to her Father.
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Tuscany the Saga Begins
By Carlotta Maria Shinn Russell
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Carlotta Maria Shinn Russell
All rights reserved.
Roberto' Man 'son and Simone' Angelu'cia Giovanni Bandaci emigrated from Italy to the United States the year 1911 when great influxes of immigrants were coming to America settled in South Carolina for Roberto' to continue in the trade he loved, farming.
At the turn of the century, South Carolina was a rich, fertile area in the South Eastern United States in the early 1900's.
Roberto's cousin Amelio' Bandaci, had come to America a few years before, on the RMS Lusitania in 1906, soon after Carmeli'ta' was born. He wrote Roberto' that, South Carolina was a good place to farm any types of vegetables and encouraged him for five years to come to America, then bursting with prosperity with the Industrial Age appearing with the growth of a new country.
Roberto' and Amelio' were two brothers' sons. They only had one son each and no other children. Roberto' and Amelio' were close; their relationship was more that of brothers than cousins. They loved each other dearly and were best friends that spanned a lifetime.
Before immigrating to America, in the little valley, Roberto' and Simone' made their living by raising vegetables and selling them to the local markets in the beautiful city of Tuscany and other surrounding cities. The luscious hills and valleys of Tuscany's Farming Community sat against the eastern sky resembling a picture painted hanging in a beautiful frame. The greenery that surrounded the city like the beauty of the sea leant its splendor each day to the farming community. The hidden Tuscan Valley, with its grandeur, made its home at the foot of the Apennine Mountains. The mountains were a rock of dependence and hope like a Mother, poured riches into the soil yielding the farmers bountiful produce each year. The richness of the little valley was not its grapes or its vegetables, which of course gave them bountiful booty but the noticeable riches were the closeness, devotion, love, respect, support, and care the people of this farming community had for each other.
The Tuscany Wine Country surrounded the farming community. The beauty of the vines loaded with grapes supported by stands gave a three-dimensional look to the valley and wine country like stairs were being climbed all set against the mountains; a look that no artist could capture on canvas. The beauty of Tuscany's cultivated hills and animated elegance with blue mist rising over the mountains captured the heart and drew you close like a lover. A smoky haze hung over the farming community and Wine Country, giving the farms the appearance of being suspended in the clouds. The wine country was not mingled with the farms, like the people, the vineyards stood above the farmers; they were in two different social classes.
Roberto' and Simone' often took walks while courting to the hillside to enjoy the beauty and magnificence that graced their eyes.
The cottages that sit above and below the fields lined the skyline. The white embellished cottages like diamonds in the rough with flowers planted in window boxes stood against the skyline as if to guard the peaceful little valley.
Roberto' fields, each year, produced Petroselinum (Curly-leaved Parsley), Fluted Costoluto Genovese Tomatoes, Locanda Delia Valle Nuova (found in most foods in Italy), Tropeana Lunga Onion, Listada de Gandia, Purple Top Milan-Heirloom Turnips, Chioggia Beets, and Firoi di Zucca. Roberto' and Simone' Bandaci did well financially in their home town of Tuscany during the first five years of their marriage.
Roberto was born in in Tuscany December 24, 1885 to Roberto' Man'son Bandaci, Sr. and Francesca Elena Bandaci, an only child. Roberto', Jr. was born when Francesca was 45 years old and Roberto' Sr. was 49. Roberto' and Francesca tried for years to have children; unfortunately, Francesca miscarried three times before she was able to carry her only child to full term. Francesca called Roberto, Jr. her little miracle, because he was born on Christmas Eve.
As Roberto' grew, Francesca noticed he was a sweet, considerate, loving, humble, loyal, devoted, hardworking, grounded, respectful, and a kind child. He was strong, muscular built like his Father Roberto', Sr. They both loved their son and gave him the best they could in life. Roberto', Jr. worked hard on his family's farm and learned from his Father the art of farming and raising vegetables. He was astute in his studies in school as well. His parents added to his educational background the English language.
His cousin Amelio' Bandaci was born October 26, 1881 to his father's brother and sister-in-law Ernesto Franz Bandaci and Aryanna Contessa Bandaci. His parents noticed he was quiet, but deliberate in everything he did even as a small child. He was aware of his surroundings at all times. His father watched Amelio' become mature in mind and actions before he became a teenager. As a child he was strong, handsome, and had a pleasant smile on his face endearing him to everyone he met. He and his cousin Roberto' as they grew become closer than brothers rather than cousins they were best friends. Theirs became a lifetime relationship and bond that was never broken. Amelio', a few years ahead of Roberto' in age, parents added the English Language to his educational background also. Amelio' quick and astute in his studies, graduated from high school when he was 16 years of age.
Simone' Angelu'cia Giovanni was born in Tuscany March 6, 1888, to Franco Luigi Giovanni and Catarina Elena Giovanni. Simone' was an only child. Her parents were farmers as most families were in Tuscany.
When Simone' was three months old, her Father Franco noticed that she had mysteriously watery beautiful eyes that were framed by her long eyelashes. She had an ethereal look about her. The long keen nose that refined her face as if it has been sculptured, her black almond shaped eyes so deep in her head, with a perfect heart shaped mouth gave her an other-worldly look. She was a quiet child growing up she always had a look of being in deep thought.
Lots of mystery surrounded her, which worried her Father and Mother. Franco knew that his beautiful daughter had a dark side to her. To Franco, Simone' was elusive and quizzical, with enchantingly mystery-filled eyes. He noticed that she displayed a deep-seated passion for any task that he gave her, part of the mystery to her personality, which frightened Franco for his daughter. He knew her thoughts ran much deeper than an ordinary child's thoughts.
Simone' was sensitive and attached to her parents; she loved being home on her Father's farm where she felt safe and loved. Franco would soon realize his daughter, as she grew, had deep personal strength and resilience, a capable person. With the stamina and persistence she portrayed as a child, he knew that she would be even more of a mystery as an adult. Franco and Catarina kept these things in their heart as they watched their daughter become a young woman. At the age of 14, she became more enigmatic and indefinable.
Simone' Mother raised her to observe decorum and respectability a young woman should have in dress, mannerisms, and speech. They taught her Italian, as well as, the English language. She had all the necessary qualities of a Lady. Simone' learned well; her bent of mind, far-reaching, absorbed her training like a sponge, but there were still those mysteriously watery beautiful eyes she had her Father could not understand.
As they pondered the idea of moving to America, Roberto' naturally, was a little unsure about the move to a strange country. At that point, Roberto' and Simone' thought only of the opportunity their daughter would have in America rather than being a farmers' wife, which is how most families made their living. Roberto' and Simone's reasons and concerns for and about their daughter's future were at different ends of the spectrum of life. With fears of the unknown nagging at them, Roberto' and his wife of 6 years and their 5 years old daughter, Carmeli'ta', packed their belongings after getting approval from the American and Italian Embassies, came to America and settled in Charleston, South Carolina near his cousin Amelio'.
Roberto' and Simone' were young and had time to start over. Roberto' six years later is 26 years of age and Simone' is 22 years of age. Roberto's parents left him the farm when they were both gone to Heaven. Roberto' sold the farm and all his possessions when he decided to live in America.
Roberto' decision to leave his home and farm in the little Tuscan Valley and move to South Carolina was based on Amelio's promise that he would help him get his farm going and get on his feet financially. Even though Roberto' was not a poor man; he had done well in Tuscany, but would need Amelio's assistance in raising vegetables in a new country and getting use to the culture there, especially in South Carolina a posh southern society with people entrenched in culture passed down hundreds of years.
Roberto's sale of his farm increased his wealth. Therefore, money was not a real issue, only starting over. Amelio' built his farm and business into a successful enterprise. He supplied all the people and restaurants in suburban Charleston and in other surrounding cities. The large-scale vegetable business had become more than his ability to supply from his farm. He thought of his cousin Roberto', knowing that, between the two farms they could supply the needs of the citizens especially citizens that lived in the city of Charleston and those who did not have gardens.
Amelio' purchased two hundred acres of land and a house for Roberto' three months before he arrived. He cultivated the land and prepared it for planting. This effort would put Roberto' ahead and lay the foundation for a successful start. After Roberto' and his family's arrived in America, Roberto' and Amelio' worked to get Roberto's fields planted with vegetables. While Roberto' waited for his first year's crop, he helped Amelio' on his farm.
Leading up to the time that the vegetables would be ready for harvest, Roberto' called on the citizens of Charleston, restaurants, and grocery stores and secured their business. As Roberto' secured contracts from the citizen of the city of Charleston; of the families on his list of clients he would deliver fresh produce too, were, the Madison's and Meriwether's. They were the two most prominent families in Charleston employing the greatest number of people in the Madison Iron and Steel Mill, and Meriwether Textile Plants.
Simone' worked equally as hard to make their little nine room house into a comfortable home and get Carmeli'ta' prepared for entering school the next year. The first year they moved to America, Carmeli'ta' was too young to attend school, Roberto' and Simone' continued their daughter studies at home writing, reading, spelling, arithmetic and the English language. Simone' added to her training etiquette, which was always an important part of a young lady's training, which Catarina, her Mother, expressed over the years to Simone' as she grew.
In September 1912, when she was 6 years old, Carmeli'ta' entered Charleston Elementary School setting her feet on a path and journey that would enrich her life, as well as, cause her an enormous amount of pain and heartache. Like the heat from low burning coals over the years, the heartaches and pain grew unnoticed until it burst into a huge flame that burned out of control.
Therefore, the mystery and heartache begins ...CHAPTER 2
Roberto' just turning 20 years old when his father died, June 1904 within six months of his father's death, January 1905, his mother died also. Roberto' mother told him before she died he needed a wife and should consider one of the local girls in the Tuscany farm community since she nor his father would be there to guide his choice of a wife.
Roberto' six months later, at 20 old, met Simone' on Market Day, a warm Thursday morning in July 1905. When he saw her, he fell in love with Simone' Angelu'cia Giovanni, 17 years of age. Simone' 5'7" tall with long legs, long black curly hair, beautiful almond shaped eyes, small contoured body, and a peaches and cream look to her skin was captivating with a look of intrigue about her that Roberto' could not resist. She was the most beautiful young woman he had seen in their community. He could not take his eyes off her. Roberto' inquired of his neighbors about her family and found that she was the only child of Franco and Catarina Giovanni. At that time, he did not know she was chosen, years before by his Father, Roberto' Bandaci, Sr. to be his bride and he had been chosen by her Father to be her husband.
Roberto' soon found, after his talk with Franco, Simone's Father, chose her years before to be his bride.
Simone's parents farmers as well, this fact, Roberto' thought, "will give Simone' and me a common bond for our marriage and one which we can build a life on together."
Roberto' and Simone' had a short courtship before they were married. (Simone' did not have a choice of who she married, her Father chose Roberto' for her because he was successful and his daughter would have a home and security after he and her Mother were gone.) Simone' did not love Roberto', but was in love with a local executive, who ran his family's business in Tuscany; they met secretly and neither of their parents knew.
Years prior, summer of 1902, Simone' met Vincenzo' Alessandro Moretti when she was 14 and he was 17. He was a twin who missed his sister. When they met he told Simone' he had a twin sister he lost years before. They met and spent time together every day they could find time away from their families. After three years, Vincenzo' became an executive of his family's wine business. Vincenzo' loved and wanted Simone'. However, he would never get his parent's approval to marry Simone'. Simone' was as not in their social class. His parents had chosen another young woman to be his wife.
Vincenzo' Alessandro Moretti and Valantina Teresa Moretti, identical twins, were born May 26, 1885 to Francisco Paolo Moretti and Concetta Lu'cia Moretti. Valantina and Vincenzo' were close as they grew; but Valantina was not as strong as a growing child should be. Vincenzo' was protective of his sister and loved her with all his heart. As he grew, he was a handsome child with black curly hair. Valantina had beautiful long black hair with locks that fell around her face and shoulders, she was proud to have Vincenzo' as a brother. They went everywhere together. However, tragedy struck early in Vincenzo's young life when he was 10 years old. It seemed as if he tried to replace Valantina with Simone'.
Choosing in life is hard. Simone' was loved by Vincenzo' and Roberto' but only one could have her for his wife. She would marry Roberto'.
Roberto' loved Simone' from first sight of her in July 1905; four months later in October, 1905, Simone' 17 and Roberto' 21, were married in the Church of the Saints, a community church, located near his vegetable farm. Roberto's thoughts of Simone' as they courted for the few short months were, not only did he want a wife, but he also wanted Simone' for her mind, intelligence, beauty, body, and long legs that never seemed to quit and her mysteriously fluid eyes beneath those long eye lashes.
Her smile moved something in Roberto' that he could not explain. Simone' had that woman scent, captivating, inviting, and alluring. Roberto' unable to fight his feelings could not resist falling in love with her. Being in love with a beautiful woman was a renewal to him of spirit and heart; giving him a new outlook on life; he would not be alone any longer; she became his world, and his passion. To see a life with Simone' as his wife was all that he could ever want. Simone' was everything he hoped for in a woman and a wife and she was even much more than even he could explain to himself.
Roberto' driven by the passion to live and be successful so he could provide for his beautiful wife was the only thing on his mind. This yearning to provide the best for Simone' became a driving force behind his very being and every decision he made. The only thing that confused and baffled Roberto' was her mysteriously haunting eyes that lived behind long beautiful lashes which held her eyes like a picture in a frame. All of his hopes lay in those beautiful eyes and captivating smile he thought she had only for him.
After being told by her Father of the marriage arrangement to Roberto', Simone' struggled with telling Vincenzo' her Father had chosen a husband for her to marry, a local farmer. Vincenzo' angry and heart-broken she was marrying, knew that he would not have the chance now to convince his parents to agree to a marriage between him and Simone' now she was being married to another.
Excerpted from Simone' by Carlotta Maria Shinn Russell. Copyright © 2016 Carlotta Maria Shinn Russell. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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