Delving Into the Past to Solve Family Mysteries

Mary Tedesco, co-host of Genealogy Roadshow 

Mary Tedesco, co-host of Genealogy Roadshow

This past week marked the premiere of the new season of the popular PBS television series Genealogy Roadshow.

The show, part detective story and part emotional journey, combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans. This season, the show follows a diverse cast of participants on an emotional journey that uses history and science to uncover their fascinating family stories. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America. The programs feature participants from six American cities — Albuquerque, Miami, Houston, Boston, Providence and Los Angeles — who want to explore a genealogical mystery.

We chatted via email with Mary Tedesco, co-host of Genealogy Roadshow and Founder of ORIGINS ITALY, a firm specializing in Italian-American American genealogical research, about her show, her firm and uncovered a little bit about her Italian heritage.

Ciao Pittsburgh: For our readers who are not familiar with your show, can you please give them an overview of Genealogy Roadshow? 

Mary: Genealogy Roadshow is the perfect complement to the mega-trending family history movement in America. People really want to find out from where they came; to whom they are related; and, by association, who they are. The series brings to the TV audience personal family histories—stories that unfold in surprising and often emotional ways; stories that make you laugh, make you tear up and cry, or maybe just nod and smile. Transcending nationalities, ethnicities, races and cultures, the program underscores the noble idea that we share life through understanding and empathy. I think Genealogy Roadshow illustrates that people are not so different from one another, but are a part of the same humanity. Or as my great grandmother always said, “All people are like us.” Our new season of Genealogy Roadshow airs on PBS every Tuesday from May 17, 2016 through June 28, 2016 @ 8:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM CDT.
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Old School Italian Cooking

Le Bremner chef Danny Smiles hits up the east end of Montreal to learn the secrets of old-school Italian food prep and preservation from Mario Terrone and his wife Cathy. Under their watchful eye, Smiles gets a master class on backyard gardening, pickling, and making cavatelli by hand. He even gets a quick peek inside the Terrones’ top-secret cold room. Watch the clip below!

Making Homemade Ravioli with Great Famiglia and Amici

(This article was initially posted in October 2012)

By Jack De Leonibus

I hope you’ve been enjoying the types of recipes we have been featuring on Ciao Pittsburgh. In addition to sharing recipes, we have also sat down with several family friends of ours to learn more about their traditions and to get a firsthand account of how to actually make their favorite Italian food.

One particular recipe we want to share with you is from my good friend, Albertina (Tina) Cox. This recipe was been handed down from Tina’s mom (Alietta Berardi) and has been in her family for over 100 years. Personally, my family and I have been using this recipe for about two years now. Since my son Nevio had an interest, I took him along with me to help make  Tina’s family cheese ravioli. We ended up cooking these ravioli’s during my mom’s birthday celebration a couple weeks ago (see the photos below). Sunday dinners are back!!!!!!!!!

We here at Ciao Pittsburgh would love it if our readers would like to be featured as well. Send us your favorite family recipes (as long as it’s not top-secret, of course!) and email me at to be profiled in an upcoming article.

As always, please feel free to SHARE this story with your friends and family, LIKE this on Facebook, and most importantly, tell us what you think!

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Mother’s Day and The Meaning of ‘Love’

Madonna_and_Child_with_St._Anne-Caravaggio_(c._1605-6)Mother’s Day is looming and I am a middle aged guy who grew up in an Italian household in a very Anglo-Saxon society. I played football and Rugby and basketball and yes, I am also a self-confessed momma’s boy. Only my mom isn’t the same as all of the other moms of the guys in the football team or the basketball team. In fact my mom is almost the complete opposite. My mom is an Italian immigrant.

My mom would walk me to school (she didn’t drive) and then back again, sometimes walking several miles in 6 inch heels to buy about 12 bags of shopping and then carry them home again. She protested if I tried carrying any as they were “troppo pesante’ per te’” or ‘too heavy for me’ in the new currency. She had immaculate presentation. She would spend hours doing her hair into a long outdated raven haired beehive (which was never ‘in’ to begin with in my neighborhood). She would do her nails and wear the finest in European style dresses many of which she may have fashioned herself as she was a trained seamstress.

There are marked differences when you have an ‘Italian’ mom. My mother treated me like a king. She did everything for me and had sympathy for everything I didn’t do for her. She has always been patient and unbelievably kind. She would make my outfits for my school plays. I would choose the fabric and all the appointments and she would adorn me in ways that no MGM studio could replicate. My mother would make me world class saleable hats for the hat parade, and magnificent bespoke suits for the school dance that was worthy of any red carpet. She would source for me the most beautiful Italian leather shoes and belts and most extravagant fragrances. She would create hand-made linen for my bed and sew the highest quality curtain fabrics to drape across my windows. [Read more…]

Italian Style Weddings

Italian Style Weddings—we give cash instead of gifts!