First in a series of articles about famous people around the world who can trace their origins to our region! Very few people know about Robert De Niro’s real Italian origins. Although it is very well known that his family emigrated from southern Italy to the US towards the end of 19th century in search of a better life, most people ignore that his great-grandparents came from a tiny and beautiful village in Molise.
More precisely Giovanni Di Niro and Angelina Mercurio, came from Ferrazzano, in the province of Campobasso, where the surname Di Niro is still very popular. By mistake indeed, the family original surname Di Niro was turned into De Niro by the American immigration office in Ellis Island once Giovanni and Angelina arrived in the US. Robert De Niro is still very bound to his ancestors’ home village and he promised to come for a visit in the next future. In the meantime, his commitment to the Italian emigration topic is visible in one of his latest performances, the short film Ellis. With ItalyIndeed, you can visit the lovely Ferrazzano, with its Palazzo Chiarulli, Carafa’s Castle, the wonderful Lotus Theatre and the delightful old centre!