Romeo Castellucci Town Ambassador di Montelanico
Romeo Castellucci Town Ambassador di Montelanico

A football game in America with the Montelanico chestnut festival shirt

Romeo Castellucci and his brothers left the small village of Montelanico when he was 17, but he never managed to cut the umbilical cord that still feeds his heart.

So even when he plays the weekly game with his friends, in one of the peripheral cities of Chicago where he lives, he makes the team compete with the jersey of the 'chestnut festival' of Montelanico.

For me Montelanico is my little paradise. I know details that those who live it every day don't even notice. When I go back for at least a few weeks every year I also do dozens of strolls around its center, scrutinizing every detail that could have escaped me".

This seems like a declaration of love that everyone would like to hear from their partner, a feeling so delicate that it borders on poetry.

Romeo Castellucci in  Montelanico
Romeo Castellucci's family

Montelanico is a town that you can hardly see, born on a hill along a gully of the road that connects the Valle del Sacco with the Monti Lepini and then the sea, on the Colleferro - Carpineto Romano.

When he left he had attended all the schools between Montelanico and Colleferro and therefore already had his company of close friends. Then back then everyone lived in the historic center and social life took place in the squares and streets of the center which were always lively with life and crowded.

“A niece of mine did a research and discovered that I was born in the house of one of my aunts who lived in the house near the town hall, opposite the main bar. I was born in the area called Jo Burgo and, therefore, my destiny was to be inextricably linked to Montelanico”.

Today Romeo has his family in Illinois, with his wife Rosa Maria born in the beautiful San Vito Lo Capo in Sicily and moved to the USA when he was only 2 years old. Together they have three children and five grandchildren to whom Romeo always tells the stories of Montelanico like that of the werewolf of the village.

Even his grandchildren know the village better than many who live there!

When Mayor Sandro Onorati thought of the three Castellucci brothers for the Town Ambassador project of the Rome Metropolitan Area, he could not have made a better choice. The interview with Romeo gave me an unusual peace and poetry: maybe tomorrow I'll take a trip to Montelanico to look for my peace too.


Sandro Onorati Sindaco di Montelanico e Claudia  Bettiol

Romeo doesn't have social media, so he will work to promote his country and all the nearby ones in collaboration with his brothers Saverio and Angelo. Among other things, Angelo went to live in the house next to Romeo's and together they recreated their little Montelanico family community.

When people ask me in America why I go to Italy every year, I explain that for me it's like the Bialetti valve. Montelanico saves my life. I feel good and I recharge. Already when I land in Fiumicino, a great peace enters within me. The tragedy is the departure”.

Because of his sensitivity, Romeo has repeatedly interviewed people who had left Italy and he told me many stories and also explained to me the great difference between those who had reached America by ship and those like him by plane. Listening to him is a real bath of poetry and I think we will have to dedicate an evening to him when he returns to Italy this summer.

Montelanico is not the most beautiful town in Italy, it has no famous historical monuments or natural monuments, but for Romeo it is everything. He reminded me that each of us is special to someone. You don't have to be tall and young to be attractive. Love goes deeper and captures what others don't see.

'What is essential is invisible to the eye!'

Romeo Castellucci e i suoi amici

Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

Subscribe to Newsletter

Discover a territory through the emotions of the people that have lived it.