This logo is taken from a pre-9th Century picture of the castle overlooking the town of Voltaggio in Northern Italy just north of Genoa. Its latin name was Vultabium. While we have no records to prove it, my family believes that we could have originated in that town. I visited the town three times; in 1984, 1986 and 1999. It is a delightful little village of less than 900 souls and has one main street and a few dozen stores and houses. It is known for the castle on the hill that dates to before 900 AD and a sulfur spring which is supposedly known for its healing properties. Click on the logo to take you to more information on Voltaggio
In 1984, my wife and I, accompanied by the father, visited the town for the first time. After picking my father up at the Genova rail station, we drove up the Autostrada and then up into the foothills towards Voltaggio. Our first site was seeing the town garbage truck parked in the parking lot at the entrance of town, with the sign on it: "Comune di Voltaggio". It was a delightful, but short visit of only a few hours. We walked all through the town (not difficult to do) and saw several photo opportunities with the word Voltaggio on various signs. One was the Communist Party HQ of Voltaggio and another on a shop which advertised: "Amaretti di Voltaggio". We came to find out that these Amaretti are sold all over the region and are made in a factory in Genova. We bought some and were pleased by the great taste. We visited the mother church in the center of town and my father asked the priest if there were any records. Alas, there was a fire and they were destroyed in the 1700s. As a result, we could never make the link back to Voltaggio, since our ancestors were already in Sicily by that time. We met the Vice Mayor at the city hall and my father and he discussed the history of the town. We ate lunch at the Ristorante Viscounti and departed in mid afternoon. It was a great experience for my father, as well as myself and it came to pass that it was not my last visit to the town.
After the trip, I remembered the Amaretti and decided to mail the store that I saw in my photos to have them ship some Amaretti to me in the US. I had several batches shipped and really enjoyed them.
In 1986, I had a business trip to Bergamo and returned to Voltaggio via rental car. At first, I went up to the castle, which I missed on the previous trip. There are only a few ruins left and its main use is the place to put the TV antennas for the town! I returned to visit the church and also met with the Vice Mayor (a different one from the previous visit). He showed me the sulfur spring (noted for its healing properties) and several of the other smaller churches in the area. As I was passing a food store, I noticed the Amaretti sign and realized it was the store that I ordered the Amaretti from. I went in and introduced myself and the old lady remembered me and after talking for awhile invited me in for dinner in the apartment in the back of the store. The woman was Giuseppina Repetto and I met her husband, daughter and grandson. I had a fabulous time.