Tagliarini & Caravella Our Ancestry Our Philosophy
Gianna Francesca Tagliarini and Joseph Caravella are proud Americans. How could we not be, as we are in a country of freedom and opportunity? Yet we are also proud of our heritage and are especially mindful of our ancestors; immigrants to the United States of America who worked very hard yet lived with very little. Our families, as many others, endured many challenges, hardships, and pains that are sometimes taken for granted by the generation today. Throughout Ybor City, an area of Tampa known for its immigrant history, the names and legacies of the Tagliarini and Caravella ancestors grace the pavement, markers, and statues. In Tampa, our own Italian and Spanish heritage means that we are never far from being a “second cousin” or just two degrees of separation from many others. We are not special though, nor are we unique - but we are humbled - as there are many other family names and legacies inscribed alongside ours. This is not just our story; it is an American story common for so many.
We can trace the core of our family lineage from the towns of Verona (in the north of Italy); Oviedo and Lugo (in the Asturias Region of Spain); Santo Stefano Quisquina and Alessandria Della Rocca (in the Province of Agrigento, Sicily); In the walled city of Alife’ (in the Province of Caserta, near Naples, Italy) and Isola di Ustica (a remote island just north of Palermo, Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea). Particularly, we have been fortunate enough to travel to many Italian "comune" (communities), to touch the earth and look through the centuries old official municipal records (Joe learned by looking through official municipal records in Alife' the surname of his paternal grandfather was actually Caravelli). In those Italian communities we were also able to eat well from the local land, drink homemade wines, and be with family and friends - new and old.
In our home town of Tampa, and before our time, our ancestors had a common thread: Family, Food and Service. Gianna’s grandfather, Modesto Arias, operated the "Kole City" (previously Cole City) Grocery at 34th and Buffalo (M.L. King Blvd. today), and before that the "Dali-Fresh Fish and Poultry" market on Central Avenue. Joe’s Great Grandparents operated the "Scolaro Bros. Grocery" on the N/W corner of 21st St. and E. 7th Ave in Ybor City where a bank occupies the same majestic building today.
The spirit of the Caravelli, Tagliarini, Arias, Scozzari, Giuffria, Adamo, Scolaro, Ferlita, Dato, Ferrante-Gennaro, Cueto, Gottino, and Maggiore families are with us even today. We feel a sense of responsibility to never forget what they strived for and accomplished. We have always instilled in our children the philosophy to work hard and be grateful for the health, travels, and good food in which our family has been blessed.
We believe our ancestors left us great memories and Legacies. Like them, we also have a desire. We have dreamed of our own Italian restaurant for many years. Well, here it is and here we are! Truth be told, in our home we live on the cheeses, salami, wine and many of the entrees we make and serve here!
So, we welcome you and hope you come, enjoy a meal with us every now and then. Take a moment to reflect on the Legacies we honor and have prominently displayed in our café. Life is short, so we hope you live a full one and prosper!
We are a Cucina Italiana - an Italian Kitchen at heart. Buon Appetito!
Warmly, Gianna, Joe & Family