Our ancestor


The teacher Cristina Ferretto

Sicily became a part of the Kingdom of Italy towards the end of the 19th Century. In that period the population of the island was largely illiterate. The only language spoken was Sicilian dialect. In 1876 a young Piedmontese teacher came down to Sicily in order to teach the Italian language. She ended up living in the village of Acitrezza ( just a few minutes’ walk from our school along the seafront promenade which runs between the two towns).She was called Cristina Ferretto and was only 17 years old. She fell in love with Sicily and its people, and amongst that life and passion she also found love. For a long time, up to 1909, she was the only teacher of girls in the town as at that time classes were not mixed. A few years later the Commune of Acitrezza tried to cut classes for gilrs in an attempt to make some savings, but the determined young teacher defended the rights of her students and in 1913 even managed to match her salary with that of her male counterparts, in this way triumphing in the dispute with the local council!
So if we are to select a few of our most notable ancestors, without hesitation we choose Cristina Ferretto for her spirit and her passion, and who today would have the venerable age of 153, almost the same as the period of time which has passed since the Unification of Italy.