By Barbara Ann Zippi
The city of Media on Oct. 8 welcomed a delegation of police from Ariano, Irpino, Italy, and the mayor of Flumeri. Media Police Chief Marty Wusinich invited his officers, fellow Delco police chiefs, officials with the Pennsylvania State Police and Mayor Bob McMahon to a celebration sponsored by Anthony Bellapigna.
Bellapigna, owner of Ariano’s Italian Restaurant in Media, named the restaurant after his grandfather’s ancestral village located an hour west of Naples.
His grandfather, a 10-year veteran in the Italian Army was held as a POW and later immigrated to America.
Now, years later, on the steps of the Delaware County Court House the delegation of 14, led by Lt. Col. Maria Felicia Salerno, Vice Questore Aggiunto della Polizia di Stato, was hosted by his grandson. Delco County Council Chair Mario Civera and District Attorney Jack Whelan had police and emergency vehicles showcased on the street demonstrating the latest in technology to their counterparts. In addition, the Delaware County Historical Society presented a History of Police in Delco pictorial display.
“Ciao Bella Living Italian Style” TV cameras captured the visit for an upcoming episode which included lunch of Italian specialties from the Flumeri region of Italy. Bellapigna accomplished his mission of sharing the excitement of “The Italians are Coming.” Language host translators helped the visitors connect with their hosts as they exchanged gifts including copies of The Italian American Herald.
Salerno addressed the group gathered on the steps, with excellent English, welcoming all to continue this international dialogue and visit Ariano, Irpino, to experience her department’s hospitality.