New York Mayor-Elect de Blasio Maintains Strong Italian Roots

deblasioOf course Bill de Blasio won’t be New York’s first Italian-American mayor, but the man elected to that office last week has shown great pride in, and strong connection to, his ancestral homeland.

The New York Times ran a story yesterday discussing de Blasio’s grandfather’s birthplace, Sant’Agata de’ Goti, outside of Naples in Campania.

Mr. de Blasio has become something of an Italian sensation, within and beyond this town’s medieval walls. A Neapolitan artisan fashioned a terra cotta figurine of Mr. de Blasio, with tricolor sash; a pizza-maker wrote “Napoli Love de Blasio” in mozzarella on a pie. In New York, candidate de Blasio offered interviews in Italian; his campaign staff jokingly designated a press aide who spoke a bit of the language as the “Italian desk,” and on election night, 15 journalists from Italy showed up to cover the festivities at the Park Slope Armory Y.M.C.A.

According to the article, de Blasio is an Italophile through and through. He’s visited Sant’Agata de’Goti half a dozen times, given his kids Italian names, he practices speaking Italian, and of course keeps plenty of fresh mozzarella at home. As for Sant’Agata, residents have reciprocated this pride, hanging American flags from balconies, naming a cake for him, and at least a few said they plan to come to New York for his inauguration.

EDIT – The good people over at the Italian Dual Citizenship Message Board have determined that Mr. de Blasio is most likely an Italian (dual) citizen by birth, through ancestry.

The New York Times – His Roots in Italy, de Blasio Now Has Fans There

Blitz Quotidiano – Sant’Agata dei Goti festeggia l’elezione di Bill de Blasio

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