A small town in Sicily is overjoyed as one of their own, Dr. Jill Biden, is about to be First Lady of the United States.
Following the news of her husband Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, Dr. Biden's eighth cousin, Caterina Gacioppo, 64, in Gesso, Sicily, is already hoping for a visit. And, in typical Sicilian fashion, the menu is planned.
"I’m so happy,” Gacioppo told Forbes on Monday. "I invite her to Gesso, I really hope she comes to visit me. When and if she will be here, I will make for her platefuls of meatballs with tomato sauce and we will eat together. I will also make Jill other top local delicacies like aubergine parmigiana with cheese, pasta incasciata, and Cannoli pastries filled with fresh goat ricotta which are one of my specialties”.
Biden’s grandfather, Gaetano Giacoppo, was born in the remote town in the province of Messina. When he was two years old, in 1900, his family immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island and settled in Hammonton, N.J., where Giacoppo, whose name was Americanized to “Jacobs,” worked as a furniture delivery man.
The teacher, who served as the Second Lady from 2008 to 2016, reminisced in July in a Q+A with US World Herald about how she'd enjoy Sunday dinners at her grandparents' house in New Jersey.
Fast forward to today and her grandfather's hometown is celebrating her new title in the wake of a historic election season.
‘’It is as if the whole village won the American elections,’’ president of a cultural association in Gesso, Tonino Macrì, told The Guardian. “Now we are already working on officially inviting the first lady here, in Gesso. We want to show her origins and this enchanting place. We are ready to organize a nice party.’’
If Biden does decide to visit, she will be able to see local landmarks that were important to her family including the Gesso church where her great-grandfather was married before leaving for America, Forbes reported. A house that belonged to her family is still standing on the outskirts of the village.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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