Our Celenza Heritage


A site dedicated to our brave immigrant ancestors and their descendants from the small hilltop village of Celenza Valfortore, Province of Foggia, Region of Puglia, and most especially to our Nonnie 

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Ritorno a Celenza

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Ellis Island and Boston arrivals

 Celenza Valfortore Genealogy

Gambacorta Castle


Photo Gallery 



Waterbury Celenzani 

Celenza sul Trigno

Sign Our Guestbook

Contact us

Firma o lascia
un messaggio


Cognomi di Celenza Valfortore

Elenco dei Celenzani: Ellis Island

The view of the approach to Celenza Valfortore

Clicca qui per il nostro sito nuovo:

Our new site:


www.celenzaheritage.com"Little Celenza" 

Perched high on a hilltop, in the Sub Apennine Mountains of Daunia,  is a small village that residents affectionately call "Little Celenza." Celenza Valfortore, which overlooks the valley of the Fortore River at the Lago di Occhito, rises 480 meters above sea level and is surrounded by abundant fields of rich, verdant farmland.  It is located 60 kilometers from Foggia, 35 kilometers from Campobasso, and approximately 102 kilometers from Benevento.

A serpentine, one lane road leads to the town center, which will bring you back in time to the days of your grandparents, great grandparents and beyond. The ancient streets are paved in cobble stones, and the narrow arches of the village walls are just barely wide enough to accomodate a passing car.

 A view of one of the narrow lanes of Celenza Valfortore

Rising high above the humble stores and houses of Celenza is the ancient Gambacorta Castle, with its circular stone tower and distinctive turrets. The baronale palace dates to  the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while  I am told that the tower dates to 300 B.C.  Many a day would the peasants of Celenza look at the Castle from the fields in which they toiled, dreaming of what grand things lie inside.

The Gambacorta Tower

A Virtual Piazza 

When we were planning our trip to Celenza Valfortore in November, 2006, there was an absence of English language websites dedicated to this charming village of our ancestral past. We hope that this site can be a virtual town piazza, a meeting place to chat as paesani, share stories of the old country, swap pictures, exchange family surnames and even share recipes. Send me your suggestions. Tell me about your nonna and nonno, their journey to America and their struggle to live the American dream. Tell me about their life in the Celenzano enclaves of Waterbury, Connecticut;  Brooklyn, New York; Hazelton, Pennsylvania and beyond. This is a journey for us too, so I welcome any suggestions, and of course, any corrections to information that is posted here! 

A fountain from a piazza in Celenza Valfortore