Can Baltimore's Little Italy Be Saved?

Feb 18, 2021 413

BY: Ron Cassie

Mario Scilipoti left his newly wed and, unbeknownst to him, pregnant wife behind in their mountainside Sicilian village when he departed for the United States. The 23-year-old did not speak English. He did not have, or need, a visa when his ship, the Patria, sailed past the Statue of Liberty and landed at Ellis Island. He did not have a lucrative job or graduate school admission waiting.

Arriving 100 years ago this spring, he only had hopes of a brighter future for his soon-to-be-family and an uncle in Baltimore who was a barber. Following a lengthy apprenticeship while his still-unmet bambina spoke her first words back in Sicily, Scilipoti received his own license from the Maryland Board of Barber Examiners on July 24, 1922.

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