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January 16, 1912 Vittoria Privitera was born in Brooklyn, New York to Mary (DiCarlo) and Giacometti Privitera, both immigrants from Sicily.  Vittoria and her family moved to Red Bank, New Jersey when she was a young child and lived among other Italian families who immigrated from Italy and Sicily.  In Red Bank, she later met and married Frank Innacelli. Together they raised 3 children, Lucia, Guido (my father) and Maria.   Vittoria’s Vine and Cheese is named after my paternal grandmother, who was without a doubt the most loving grandmother who believed in keeping her family well-fed table. Vittoria’s love of gathering and feeding family was so obviously a joy for her.  When we visited “grandma” she never failed to have meats, cheeses, bread, ginger ale and wine for all as we  arrived…

Wine bottles on shelves
Wine bottles on shelves

and always with a bottle of wine on the table.  Even as children we were allowed “just a taste”….watered down wine with ginger ale.  Just thinking about her evokes thoughts of good times and good food.    Vittoria’s professional passion was nursing which she continued throughout her life as an emergency room nurse.  Probably the most memorable event of her nursing career was May 6, 1937 when the German Airship, the Hindenburg, crashed and burned on it’s way to the Naval Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Vittoria was working that night at Fitkin Memorial Hospital, in Neptune, New Jersey.  She, along with other nurses and doctors, were driven to Lakehurst was about 20 miles to be first responders at this horrific air crash.

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