Angela Paolantonio, whose grandparents landed at Ellis Island, was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. Her love of photography began as she watched her father expose and develop contact sheets on the family kitchen table.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Art History degree from Long Island University, Southampton, New York. She is a writer and photographer, curator, and consultant for art and photography exhibits, books, and events, both in Italy and the U.S.
Angela lives in Calitri, Italy, on via Fontana, in the house where her grandmother was born.
The Ghosts of Italy
The Ghosts of Italy is Angela Paolantonio’s memoir of how she first discovers and then returns to live in the remote mountain village in Southern Italy where her grandparents were born. She sets out late one November, just after having celebrated Thanksgiving alone on a rooftop in Rome, the spirit of her ancestors guiding her in. “I really didn’t know I was searching for anything till I got here,” she says. “Then I realized what I was missing and what it meant.”
Angela Paolantonio’s archetypal journey to the village of the ghosts of her ancestors is a unique yet universal woman’s story. She ventures across the threshold of a lost world, reclaims it, and falls deeply in love along the way – with the town and its residents, the landscape, and the Handsome Man from Macchiursi. She follows the clues to rediscover her spirit and the spirit of her grandmother, and namesake, whose memory had been lost to her, locked inside her father’s heart.
The Ghosts of Italy opens with Angela’s daydream of one day owning a stone house on an Italian hillside, sheep grazing below her balcony. ‘Now I have them in view.’ Then wistfully, ‘But it’s not just any view. It’s the balcony view of my grandmother’s youth.’
With good timing, Angela ends up buying the very house where her grandmother was born, made of fieldstone set by hand by her great-grandfather, with the beautiful view, kept in the family for generations. But will she trade a career in Los Angeles to live the Roseto Mystery?