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Despite this rich ethnographic Sicilian history, the earliest written records of Favazzi are in Northern Italy. The family may also have had either familial ties or business interests in Candia.About 1600, three merchant Favazzi brothers moved to Venice, the European hub for the Asian and Middle Eastern trade.

Giuseppe, ten years her senior, took teenage Antonia away overnight.

The belief was that stepping on native soil would make her fertile.

Grandma Antonia said, she realized she was pregnant on the trip over to Sicily. She gave birth to 11 children, nine of whom lived to adulthood. My grandfather, Giuseppe “Peppe” or “Joe” Favazza said they were so poor in Favarotta that they couldn’t afford bread.

The bandits were most likely disillusioned picciotti from Garibaldi’s army and may have included a relative. Whatever the relationships and the nature of any aid or barter, because of the accusation, the farm was confiscated, the uncle jailed and the orphaned children bundled off to different towns in Sicily.

According to family stories, the bandits provided the children’s grandmother, most likely Giula Tocco but perhaps Antonina Palazzolo, with some basic food supplies, such as flour and oil. Julia was sent to Palermo, to one of the “palaces” to work as a domestic, where she learned her skills as a seamstress. He would visit his sister in Palermo, where she would pick the burrs and nits from his hair.

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